Slooooooooooow / Noooooooooo Progress

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Lesley Baker 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    James H

    The fact that the thought i need to post here, has been a distraction to my meditation for the last few weeks says it all :).
    Sorry for the long post, but i thin the context is necessary.
    I’ve been meditating for 11 years, with so little progress except for the fact i’ve mostly been able to make myself sit daily.
    I have an exceptionally active mind and suffer from anxiety and depression.
    For the best part of a decade, i just assumed ‘meditation wasn’t really for me’ but kept practicing. Even though i have gone for a few weeks without meditating and don’t notice any difference.
    A friend showed me TMI in Sept 2017 and it blew my mind. I practiced it for a week and saw things in meditation i had never imagined, i could watch the breath mostly for 30 mins as i rushed through the stages in excitement. This was short lived though.
    After a particularily intense couple of months with anxiety which even stopped me meditating, i am back, mostly sitting for 30 mins a day and usually with a second afternoon sit of about 15-20 mins.
    However i am not getting anywhere, i can rarely get to the count.
    I set intentions, and i do find that momentarily i will be able to just enjoy sitting. But i get totally caught up in the 6 preliminary steps. When i get to bringing the awareness from senses down into the body, it’s like it’s too much freedom to begin with and i get lost. Usually i don’t make it past here.
    If i get to the counting usually my focus is ok and can start to follow the breath but this maybe only happens once a fortnight.
    I used to really try and rush through the 6 and then the 4 steps, but this doesn’t seem the right way to get through it.
    Basically i’m looking for an experienced practitioners to help me.
    I am good at sitting, and can’t believe my mind isn’t cut out for this, and am good at not getting frustrated. But….. It is frustrating, so anything you can offer would be amazing.
    (And worst case scenario, i have one less distraction in my meditation now)



    When I was getting lost in the six-step preparation, I started setting an initial intention to keep my attention on the six steps as I went through them. You could try that, and for your goal for the current session, which is step two, you could set the goal of finding pleasure and satisfaction in getting as far as you get in the six-step preparation.

    So far the solution to problems that I’ve had has been to calm down and work at the skill level I am currently at, rather than trying to push ahead anxious to get to the goal.

    And a big congratulations for your patience and persistence up to this point. Also, putting a smile on your face really does help.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  tjansen.

    Josh Geller

    Please let us know where you’re located so one of us could meet with you in person. I don’t find written advice to be as helpful as direct contact. Josh

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  Josh Geller.

    James H

    Hi Josh
    Thank you.
    Im in the UK, which i’m guessing might be a tricky one to do directly in person. But maybe?
    Alternatively skype?
    Let me know what can work,


    James H

    @tjansen thank you!l.
    BTW the intentions i work with are
    – To remember that even just sitting here is benefitting me (this helps me stay focussed)
    – To remember that each step servers a purpose and is worthwhile (to help enjoy each step)
    – Work through the initial steps as quickly and effectively as possible
    – To get to the observing the breath sensations and observe as many as possible.




    If you’re getting caught up in the 6 steps, you can always do them on your way to wherever you sit (before meditation) and start with the 4 step transition when you start your timer.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  Chris.

    Lesley Baker

    Hi James
    Its been a few days since you posted and I am wondering how your six part preparation now feels for you. Just because it’s called ‘preparation ‘ doesn’t mean it’s not a practice in and of itself. Give yourself time to enjoy this preparation practice, you will be learning valuable skills which will assist you as you go on. Eventually your mind will have practiced the steps enough and you will naturally move on to focus on counting the breaths and beyond. I note you are in the UK, so am I am and I am happy for you to contact me. My email is on the teachers in training list.

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