Tuesday, 15 December 2015
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What are internal distractions that are causing interruption of continuous attention during the day and during the meditation session? How they can be discovered (in case one have not learned how to meditate), analyzed and addressed?

I presume that once one has learned how to meditate it can be done through meditation, but how to deal with them if they prevent learning to concentrate and meditate? I have read most of the courses on your web-site and elsewhere, but I am still struggling with concentration for months despite my daily attempts of self-remembering and self-observation, dropping bad habits and increased focus on ethics, as well as working with 3 factors daily. Lack of progress really leads me into despair, which I need to fight constantly.
6 years ago
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#10881
Accepted Answer
You say are "not able to concentrate," yet this is not the fundamental obstacle to being able to meditate. Acquiring comprehension does not depend on acquiring one-pointed concentration for an hour. Comprehension is simply a conscious understanding, which is the basis of liberation. Concentration helps, certainly, but it is not required absolutely.

Moreover, comprehension begins the instant you feel the impulse of the conscience. When you feel that a behavior was wrong, that is comprehension. It is not deep, but it is a start. So, comprehension is something we are always gathering, provided we are listening to the conscience.

Of course, by meditating, we go deeper. On this note, concentration helps, but it does not have to be 100% one-pointed. Even a few moments of consciously reviewing an event can be enough for your conscience to recognize what in it is wrong and what in it is right. So you see, meditation begins in a simple way, and is not difficult.

Eventually, by continual practice of this retrospective method (described in the lecture I recommended), with the combination of concentration, imagination, and drowsiness, you will suddenly find yourself in a dream like state, perceiving internally, but with awareness. In that state, one can go even deeper into the investigation of the event. Accessing this state is done in the same way that we take a nap or go to sleep, but with awareness. So, it is not difficult or impossible, it just takes a bit of balance and practice.

All along this process, one finds answers not through spectacular visions (although they might happen), but mostly through listening to the impulses of the conscience. That is called intuition.

Another lecture that might help: http://gnosticteachings.org/courses/meditation-without-exertion/2409-comprehension-in-meditation.html

"Do not worry; cultivate the habit of being happy." - Samael Aun Weor

6 years ago
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#10872
Please explain specifically what you are doing to learn concentration.

"Do not worry; cultivate the habit of being happy." - Samael Aun Weor

6 years ago
·
#10875
I have multiple sessions of concentration/meditation during a day (from 7 to 25 minutes, 1-2 hours a day in total), which I begin from relaxation and prayer. When possible, I also combine them with runes and pranayama, which I perform daily. During these sessions I try to concentrate on a single object and not forget that I am meditating (to reach at least 4th stage of calm abiding). Over the last 6 months I tried all possible methods – visualization, concentration on a spot, mantra, breath, but none of these methods brought any tangible results. Although concentrating on breath is the least distractive, but it neither brought substantial progress. After a few minutes of the session I start wondering, dreaming or identifying with thoughts and forget what I am doing. When I become aware that I am distracted I return my attention to the object of concentration and this happens many times during the session. The longest period of undistracted attention probably lasted only for 10 minutes after 6 months of daily practice and that happened only once.

During the day I also try to focus on what I am doing and have continuous directed attention combined with self-remembering. However, the same happens as during meditation - I notice that I am being distracted, forget myself and need to bring back my attention on where I am and what I am doing. This is especially true when I need to make a public presentation or have discussions with my colleagues during the day.
6 years ago
·
#10876
If you are noticing the times you are distracted, then you are succeeding in your practice.

Perhaps the cause of frustration is an unrealistic expectation of "progress." Take a look at your expectations and/or desires spiritually speaking. Try to remind yourself that the purpose of all of your efforts is not just to get single-pointed concentration, but more importantly it is to be capable of recognizing the causes of affliction in your psyche. It sounds to me as though you are doing that; now you just need to transform the impressions that you are receiving.

I suggest that you study this lecture: http://gnosticteachings.org/courses/beginning-here-and-now/3461-transformation-of-life.html

Regarding the development of concentration, it is a gradual process of refinement focused initially on placing attention, then once it is placed, progress comes by recognizing obstacles and applying antidotes. For example, most students experience a swing between variations of excitement (anticipation, expectations, urgency, etc) and laxity (defeatism, frustration, despair). One has to come to see those swings for what they are, transform the impressions, and continue practicing, indifferent to "success" or "failure." Eventually, they lose their power, and one steadily grows in the practice.

"Do not worry; cultivate the habit of being happy." - Samael Aun Weor

6 years ago
·
#10879
Thank you.

I think you have raised very important topic – transformation of impressions, where I also struggle a bit. The key question for me is how to not become identified with daily situation and select the impressions, while not being able to meditate? As mentioned, my problem is that I am not able to concentrate, therefore not able to meditate and get answers to my questions.

For example, if somebody is rude with me or yelling at me, I feel the anger and pain (sometimes I react physically, sometimes I don't) and I comprehend this only on the intellectual level, i.e. "oh, it must be my pride, self-esteem, etc." However, I am not able to get the real answer through the meditation "why I become angry?", and therefore I become identified in the same situation again and again, despite comprehension at intellectual level. Something inside tells me that I will never be able to become indifferent to daily situations and select impressions as long as I will not be able to meditate and comprehend what drive these negative emotions, which creates a vicious circle, but on the other hand it might me just a trick that the mind is playing with me.

So the key question is how to learn from daily negative situations and not become identified with the same negative manifestations again and again, without being able to comprehend what drives these negative emotions through meditation?
6 years ago
·
#10881
Accepted Answer
You say are "not able to concentrate," yet this is not the fundamental obstacle to being able to meditate. Acquiring comprehension does not depend on acquiring one-pointed concentration for an hour. Comprehension is simply a conscious understanding, which is the basis of liberation. Concentration helps, certainly, but it is not required absolutely.

Moreover, comprehension begins the instant you feel the impulse of the conscience. When you feel that a behavior was wrong, that is comprehension. It is not deep, but it is a start. So, comprehension is something we are always gathering, provided we are listening to the conscience.

Of course, by meditating, we go deeper. On this note, concentration helps, but it does not have to be 100% one-pointed. Even a few moments of consciously reviewing an event can be enough for your conscience to recognize what in it is wrong and what in it is right. So you see, meditation begins in a simple way, and is not difficult.

Eventually, by continual practice of this retrospective method (described in the lecture I recommended), with the combination of concentration, imagination, and drowsiness, you will suddenly find yourself in a dream like state, perceiving internally, but with awareness. In that state, one can go even deeper into the investigation of the event. Accessing this state is done in the same way that we take a nap or go to sleep, but with awareness. So, it is not difficult or impossible, it just takes a bit of balance and practice.

All along this process, one finds answers not through spectacular visions (although they might happen), but mostly through listening to the impulses of the conscience. That is called intuition.

Another lecture that might help: http://gnosticteachings.org/courses/meditation-without-exertion/2409-comprehension-in-meditation.html

"Do not worry; cultivate the habit of being happy." - Samael Aun Weor

6 years ago
·
#10888
You say that "concentration helps, certainly, but it is not required absolutely", however in some of your courses it is written that in order to have effective meditation on ego, one should have at least concentration at stage 4, which is making sense. Because without concentration, even if I retrospect all events of the day, I just get the understanding whether I acted right or wrong, but it does not answer my questions and leads only to wandering.

I have a feeling whether I acted right or wrong even without meditation, intuition tells me that, but even if I know that this is wrong I keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again the next day, next week, etc. It is the same as with alcoholics – even if they feel that they are doing wrong, they keep acting the same way. And this is quite painful. The key challenge for me is not in understanding if this is right or wrong (I can feel it in my heart anyway), but in understanding what causes my anger, pride, frustration, etc. No matter how hard I try to understand it, I don't get anywhere.
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