December 19, 2016 at 2:09 pm #1721
I’m at Stage 4 and this dullness really SUCKS! If I’ve had plenty of sleep, it starts around the 20 minute mark. If I’m the slightest bit tired, it starts immediately and if I don’t do anything, I’d fall asleep every few seconds it’s so bad. Tried all the techniques in the book – they help but don’t fix so far… Today I started punching the air above my head on both the in breath and the out breath and I found that by doing that, I could keep good concentration on both the breath AND introspective awareness. If I stopped ‘punching’, I’d be asleep within seconds. Doing this definitely worked, today anyway. Is it a good idea?December 19, 2016 at 2:31 pm #1722
Major props for creativity. Meditating while standing didn’t work?December 19, 2016 at 3:08 pm #1723
Actually, both standing and sitting DO work. But with dodgy knees (one is a total replacement), I try to limit both. But THANKYOU for replying. 🙂December 19, 2016 at 3:11 pm #1724
Ah, I see your problem.
And the hold your breath, clench up and release technique has no effect?
I should say that I went through a process similar to yours, and only made it out the other side when I finally figured out how to notice that I was entering dullness before it got so strong, and learned to counter it at that point, not later on when it’s almost impossible to stop.December 19, 2016 at 4:09 pm #1725
Thanks Ted – the hold my breath, clench up and release helps a lot at times – it’s my chief technique and often lasts for several minutes. But other times, the dullness begins straight away and nothing (except punching the air so far) seems to work. I will keep going, using standing and walking when it gets really bad. Gosh I’ll be glad when this part of the process is over lol. It’s very disheartening. Aaaaargh lol. How long did your fight last Ted?December 19, 2016 at 5:47 pm #1726
I understand exactly what you are going through as I’m at the same place my self.
What is this technique ‘punching the air above your head’? How do you do that?
Ted, you made me interested in giving the clench up and release technique another try, it seems effective but I think I didn’t try it well enough last time.
Exactly Glensys H, when this process is over and done with it will be a very nice release. This hit me strong almot instantly as my thoughts stopped and everything was so quiet.December 19, 2016 at 6:19 pm #1727
Hi B Lejon – it really is incredibly tedious and frustrating yes? Lolol.
Punching the air above my head – like you see boxers on TV punching the air in front of them – I do it above my head. Just raising one arm, then the other, only ‘punching’. Lol. It actually works, but I’m not sure it’s a valid technique lolDecember 19, 2016 at 6:21 pm #1728
I can see why monks in monasteries used to whack their students for falling asleep lol. That would work I’m sure lol. I feel like whacking myself! Aaaargh!December 19, 2016 at 6:30 pm #1729
I only recently overcame this myself after struggling with it for 3 months… and it sucked.
The one thing that helped me was straightening (or more accurately, lengthening) my spine; (think pushing the ceiling up with your head) when dullness sets in. Like Ted Lemon said: catch it early!
Also I started changing up my routine a bit: 20min sitting (then dullness would set in) – get up and do walking meditation for 10 minutes – sit for 30 minutes further.
In the end though, I think that it mainly just went away on its own. Now I can sit the whole session.
Best of luck to youDecember 19, 2016 at 6:33 pm #1730
Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Junot C. 3 months? I can do that. XXXXDecember 19, 2016 at 6:34 pm #1731
And I will try the spine straightening too! 🙂December 19, 2016 at 6:41 pm #1732
Well no guarantees on the time frame, but thought it might help to let you know it can take some time. Culadasa does say expressly in the book to be prepared to work with dullness for entire sessions (p.145). Really though, the walking meditation interlude was well worth it. I think what’s happening is that one is trying to ‘reprogram’ your conditioning that when you start to get relaxed it’s time to go to sleep.December 19, 2016 at 8:12 pm #1733
I will do the walking – my dodgy knees will just have to cope. Funny thing is, I’ve taught myself to meditate in bed, lying down, before I sleep. As long as I go to bed half an hour early, I can meditate just fine. It was really difficult when I first tried, but now it’s good. And even now, with the strong dullness, if I go to bed early, I can meditate without going to sleep.
I know you can’t guarantee the time it takes, just getting one person’s timeframe helps though – I can certainly handle months. Thanks again Junot C.December 20, 2016 at 1:51 pm #1734
For me it helps a lot right now to know how I am not alone in this phase, and that others went trough it!
After steady “progress” the beginnings of longer concentrated periods now have thrown me back hard with heavy dullness setting in very quickly. I am not yet able to catch it before it gets to strong. But for I while it seemed like totally numbing all any possibility of escaping it.
What helped me a bit then was easing up and not trying so much to correct anything. Still I need to apply an antidote the clenching up doesn’t seem to help, the deep breaths or breathing out forcefully through pursed lips is not helpful. I try to work with open eyes and standing up and even then I get dullness and it happens that I find myself sitting down after couple of minutes without remembering deciding to do it. Very strange!
What I then do is I try to broaden my focus, and try no notice the sensations of the breath in the whole body, .e.g. shoulders rising, chest expanding and so on and not restrict myself on a tiny focussed area. Has anyone had success with this, or is it a bad idea now?December 20, 2016 at 2:02 pm #1735
Me too Alek – it helps hugely to know this is normal. If I didn’t have the book and this community to know that, I might have given up on meditation as it’s almost impossible to get anywhere. I too seem to have been thrown backwards badly – I was making really good progress, now I can hardly meditate at all. I tried the whole body thing – it is a valid Culadasa technique I believe. It helped but didn’t solve. I’m going to now try the walking meditation. How long have you been experiencing it?
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.