Unable to make any progress with my samatha meditation! PLEASE HELP

This has been very sad for me.

Few months ago, I could meditate occasionally and within 10 minutes easily reach a jhana where I felt all was blissful, my mind was clear, concentration was effortless, etc.

Now, for the past 4 weeks, since I have decided to take up persistent meditation to change my life and develop myself as a human being, I have been unable to make any progress! at all!

When I meditate, I sit and I concentrate on my breath. In’s the outs’. As my mind wanders, I bring it back to the breath, calmly noting the thought it wandered to and leaving it be. For the past 4 weeks, every single day, several times aday, I sit and meditate in silence. I get no where. I don’t get relaxed. Sometimes I have sat for 40-60 minutes with no progess. I make SURE I do not meditate within 2-3 hours of eating because eating can slow down the mind. When I meditate after eating, I get really really really tired.

I can’t get my mind to settle down into stillness like I used to a few months ago. No matter how long I sit. I have already made it a habit of setting time aside for meditation. I probably practice accumulative an hour-2 or so aday, if not more spread out into different sessions. I wish I could go for hours on end, this is my goal.

Why can’t I make any progress? Why can I not relax myself when I meditate? I use mudras, and they don’t help me at all. I have used the ohm mudra with the thumb and index touching, and the tranquility mudra with the thumb holding down the tips of the ring and pinky finger.

None of them help.

I sit in perfect lotus pose with minimal strain on my body.

I can’t achieve relaxation. Regardless of the pose I use. When I practiced a year ago, a week of meditating 10 minutes aday became super easy and brought intense relaxation. I can’t go anywhere near that. The problem when I did that was I did it as experiementation and didn’t establish habbit or have any intent to.

I can’t settle my mind on my breath steadily. No matter the speed of my breath and duration of pauses and such, I have tried so much with no avail. Everyday I tell myself it’s only difficult because I am building up to it. But this is rediculous. I am making NO progress. Sitting and breathing slowly and steadily for 40 minutes straight should calm me down but it does nothing for my mind! I have tried labeling my thoughts and such, but this helps me little. It doesn’t help me get into access concentration of jhanas nor does it help keep my thoughts away like it used to.

I have been practicing hard and diligently for about a month and based on my practice a few months ago I should be making a TON of progress, which I am not. I can’t even get into mere relaxation!

I have tried alternative nostril breathing and I have tried the breath of fire. During alternative nostril breathing I have the same problem I have during normal meditation, unable to relax. My breathing slows but it does nothing for my mind. I stopped doing the breath of fire because it kept clogging up my nostrils and when it didn’t, it never helped me with my meditation.

Please, I need help. I will do anything. I want to make progress. I have kept track of how i meditate each day and how difficult it is, and I am litterally making NO progress.

Hello,

I think you’re being too hasty. You shouldn’t expect “progress” or “results” that quick.
Meditation is a lifelong practice, it undergoes several unexplainable, unexpected stages, it might seem you’re making no progress, but in fact you’re doing it. Or would you ever think that because of the practice you have receded spiritually? It would be foolish…

Progress is slow but sure, be patient, practice, and judge the results in twenty years from now.

Blessings

Okay… so how come when I practiced a few months ago, 10 minutes aday for a week, I could feel rapid changes in how easy it was to meditate, my relaxation, concentration, mental clarity, etc.

I have never ever heard of any report of someone who has meditated as much as I have been doing and experienced no results.

Something I am trying is smiling during meditation because I have noticed when I smile my body starts to relax. Lets hope it aids me c:

[QUOTE=Openmeditator;67031]Okay… so how come when I practiced a few months ago, 10 minutes aday for a week, I could feel rapid changes in how easy it was to meditate, my relaxation, concentration, mental clarity, etc.[/QUOTE]

What was different in your life when you were doing this? What has changed between then and now?

And I know that you’re trying to meditate a lot in order to achieve better results, but some people have reached great peace and achieved many things with a meditation practice of 40 minutes a day, or with no meditation practice at all. If your practice is not bringing you peace (and it seems to be agitating you), do you have a mentor or a teacher who you can go to in order to receive guidance to find something more productive for you? Note that it is the nature of a soul to change and evolve. As you stated that you had reached new heights in your practice in the past, then your practice should evolve and change with you in order to be most effective for your new starting place. Applying the same or random tools with great urgency and energy, and expecting they will push you forward, is like throwing everything in a pot that has ever been paired well with chicken, and hoping that it will make a delicious chicken noodle soup. It’s possible that something in there is going to trigger what you’re looking for, but you’ll end up expending a lot of excess energy trying to figure it out.

[QUOTE=suryadaya;67034]What was different in your life when you were doing this? What has changed between then and now?

And I know that you’re trying to meditate a lot in order to achieve better results, but some people have reached great peace and achieved many things with a meditation practice of 40 minutes a day, or with no meditation practice at all. If your practice is not bringing you peace (and it seems to be agitating you), do you have a mentor or a teacher who you can go to in order to receive guidance to find something more productive for you? Note that it is the nature of a soul to change and evolve. As you stated that you had reached new heights in your practice in the past, then your practice should evolve and change with you in order to be most effective for your new starting place. Applying the same or random tools with great urgency and energy, and expecting they will push you forward, is like throwing everything in a pot that has ever been paired well with chicken, and hoping that it will make a delicious chicken noodle soup. It’s possible that something in there is going to trigger what you’re looking for, but you’ll end up expending a lot of excess energy trying to figure it out.[/QUOTE]

Well, the thing that was different was I was in school.

I also noticed in the past month I’ve had a lot of nightmares which is sort of like my soul clearing emotional baggage or whatever.

It’s not just change I am looking for. I am looking for developing a perfect mind-body connection. To alter body temperature with ease, to develop supreme concentration, to be able to enter dreams through focusing, etc. Control of the mind. Be able to focus and concentration, learn with intense ease… etc. All the attributes of a mind that can focus.

I do not seek enlightenment for the time being. Though I do plan to practice vipassana once I get a stable samatha practice established with ease.

Since what you’re doing isn’t working for you, maybe you should try something else. Instead of sitting in lotus, you could try doing some asanas. You say that your body doesn’t relax. It think that being able to relax easily is a skill that can be learned. One thing that has always worked for me is to focus on different parts of the body in an orderly way, starting from the feet and going up through the head, and vice-versa. As you focus on each area, you can conscioiusly tense the area and then relax it, noting the sensations as you do so. This teaches you to relax easily.

Instead of simply trying to silence the mind, you could try giving it something to focus on, like a mantra or visualization. There are many. Just find one that appeals to you.

[QUOTE=Asuri;67051]Since what you’re doing isn’t working for you, maybe you should try something else. Instead of sitting in lotus, you could try doing some asanas. You say that your body doesn’t relax. It think that being able to relax easily is a skill that can be learned. One thing that has always worked for me is to focus on different parts of the body in an orderly way, starting from the feet and going up through the head, and vice-versa. As you focus on each area, you can conscioiusly tense the area and then relax it, noting the sensations as you do so. This teaches you to relax easily.

Instead of simply trying to silence the mind, you could try giving it something to focus on, like a mantra or visualization. There are many. Just find one that appeals to you.[/QUOTE]

Ah good idea. I just started doing ohm meditative chanting and I can feel it having a nice effect on me. I already knew this would happen… though when you know so much about a topic sometimes you forget some of it x). Thanks.

If you have problems with focusing, that the scriptures advise practicing pranayma. Because the key to controlling the mind is pranayama. It is written the Yogasastras:

manonathastu marutah |*

“Which means the mind (manas) is controlled (natha) by air (martut).”, from Yogamrita by Yogi Dhirananda

I was under the impression that pranayama WAS what I was doing. That is, balancing my inhales and exhales. The breath is intimately connected with the state of mind.

I actually figured out what my problem was.

I noticed my mind is easily distracted when I focus too far below my nose on the sound of my breath. Instead, I noticed focusing on my breath right at the nostrils allowed for easy focus through which I have been able to regain progress making very rapidly!

The past 2 days have been 10x more beneficial to me than the past 4 weeks of failed practice.

[QUOTE=Openmeditator;67316]The past 2 days have been 10x more beneficial to me than the past 4 weeks of failed practice.[/QUOTE]

It also might be helpful to stop looking at those previous practices a a failure just because you did not see the immediate benefit. Quality, sustainable results and produced by long and consistent practice with the right intention.

All time is valuable, spent in meditation or otherwise, and it does more to calm the mind to to recognize that, rather than discount those as failed moments. At least you were sitting, with your attention in the right direction. Time could not be more well spent.

Try awakening of Kundalini with this exercise:
http://www.freemeditation.com/online-meditation/self-realization-workshop-kundalini-awakening/

[QUOTE=Openmeditator;67316]
The past 2 days have been 10x more beneficial to me than the past 4 weeks of failed practice.[/QUOTE]

Nice to hear that. If you enjoy you practice and feel the effects of it, then carry on with your meditation.

Stop practicing your meditation for a while, and then begin again.

[QUOTE=Openmeditator;67040]Well, the thing that was different was I was in school.

I also noticed in the past month I’ve had a lot of nightmares which is sort of like my soul clearing emotional baggage or whatever.

It’s not just change I am looking for. I am looking for developing a perfect mind-body connection. To alter body temperature with ease, to develop supreme concentration, to be able to enter dreams through focusing, etc. Control of the mind. Be able to focus and concentration, learn with intense ease… etc. All the attributes of a mind that can focus.

I do not seek enlightenment for the time being. Though I do plan to practice vipassana once I get a stable samatha practice established with ease.[/QUOTE]

Hi

You are chasing something but meditation is not a goal orienting activity and it is I think a problem. To use a story of Forrest Gump “my mama said meditation is like a box of chocolate. You never know what you’r gonna get”

I do both. I do morning Vipassana meditation (scanning body) and evening samatha (awarness of my breathing). If you want to do Vipassana meditation try it. My development of type of meditation was from a relaxation to transcendental meditation to my vipassana.

By the way I remember I had similar questions. I did a lot of swimming I swam every day before my work for 1.5 yers. I asked people what is wrong because I felt more myself after swimming than after meditation. These days I am not going to involve in any discussions of Jhanas.

Take care
Ivana

what is going on your life that is infiltrating your spiritual practice?

pin that down.

I would suggest you to join Arhanta yoga they offer meditation teacher training online at an affordable price.

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A LOT OF DIFFERENT PROCESSES MAY BE GOING ON, BUT ONE THING IS MOST OBVIOUS. YOU MUST EXHAUST YOUR DESIRE TO GET SOMEWHERE. WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU WILL BE GETTING TO. PART OF YOUR SPIRIT IS ALREADY ONE WITH DIVINE SOURCE. THERE IS NOWHERE TO GET. IT IS THE CONCEPT OF GETTING SOMEWHERE THAT ACTUALLY LEAVES THE SELF. THE MIND HAS MANY VEILS. DESIRE TO GET SOMEWHERE JUST PUT YOU ON THE MATRIX MAGNETIC SWING. AND THAT'S OKAY LET YOUR MIND DO WHATEVER IT WANTS. THAT YOUR FEELINGS DO WHATEVER THEY WANT. AND JUST WATCH IT AND FEEL IT. WHETHER IT IS PLEASANT OR UNPLEASANT OR EVEN TOTALLY BORING. DON'T JUMP BACK IN TO TRYING TO CONTROL IT. THAT'S THE TETHERING INTO THE MATRIX. AND HERE THE MATRIX MEANS EXPERIENCING OUR PHYSICAL BUT NOT ALSO OUR SPIRIT. THAT'S WHAT STOPS US FROM ALSO SIMULTANEOUSLY EXPERIENCING OUR SPIRIT WHICH IS UNDIVIDED AND DOESN'T HAVE ANY SWINGS! :slight_smile: take care... whatever is happening inside you is correct for the moment. just feel it. and that which needs to dissolve will continue to dissolve. and that which needs to vibrate more and more beautifully will also do so. the masters say "God unto yu" :pray:t3: