Problems with Adyashanti's meditation technique.

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Problems with Adyashanti's meditation technique.

Postby Omnium11 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:28 am

Now I really love Adyashanti!! Especially his retreats what with the spiritual inquiry. I also really like his 'Allow everything to be meditation.' Lately I have been having some 'problems' though. It was going really well until a little while ago, now I constantly hear music in my head the last 3 out of 5 times I have done this meditation. It just won't stop. It seems like when I surrender control my mind just keeps on playing it over and over again. Whats worse is that my awareness naturally drifts to it when I completely surrender control. It seems to become forefront in my awareness.These meditations are never as good as the ones without the music, I can still feel myself becoming more relaxed but I never reach the very 'present' state that it usually gives me. I start to doubt: "Am I really surrendering complete control or am I somehow fueling this music by energizing it with awareness." It seems like I just naturally becomes aware of the music though and when awareness lies on it it gets stronger and is forefront in my presence. I also have the doubt 'Oh no what if this becomes stronger and stronger so that whenever I try to meditate I will hear music.' I know its just a thought but I would like to hear if anyone has any advice or have had a similar experience.

Also if I switch to a manipulative Eckhart Tolle type of meditation where I shift my attention n a particular thing the music goes away. Its not a true Adyashanti meditation though so it feels like cheating. Do you think the music will eventually go away if I did an Adyashanti meditation for like 6 hours or something. Also if I come in to the meditation already fairly relaxed with no music playing in my head the music doesn't spontaneously come in. Its only when I do a meditation when I have a lot of mind activity.

Anyways I would really appreciate any input. Thanks!!!!
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Re: Problems with Adyashanti's meditation technique.

Postby karmarider » Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:45 am

It sounds like you're doing great. It's about being gentle, effortless, unoccupied, choiceless awareness. Aware of awareness. If music pops up in awareness, that's fine. Observe it. Contain it whole in awareness, and look at it.

It's not about concentration. It's about awareness. Whatever pops up, is fine.
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Re: Problems with Adyashanti's meditation technique.

Postby Sighclone » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:38 am

Eckhart talks about people not having the "off" switch to thoughts which race through the mind. But there is one. Using it doesn't make you enlightened, but I've found that there is a "place" (is that the right word?) which has a Sanskrit term (ritam bara pragyam) for the source of thoughts. Now, when I settle in for some stillness, I can become aware of the emergence of a thought, pre-verbal...sort of a vibratory temptation to let it blossom...a "proto-thought" if you will. If I rest in the simplest silence, nothing enters, but sometimes a little trickle of something "wants attention." Occasionally it gets it and there I am down some little thought-stream bunny-trail. Oh well, back to Presence... :)

Let it all be...thoughts, music, farts, whatever...and judge not one meditation better than the last...

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Problems with Adyashanti's meditation technique.

Postby James » Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:23 pm

Let the music play as long as it wants to, be at peace with it, but don't indulge in it either. Wanting to be rid of it or indulging in it is what energizes it and keeps in a continuous loop. Ask yourself if trying to get rid of the music ever worked? Instead "Let what comes come, let what goes go, and see what always remains"... You, the pure awareness in which every thing appears, and that is not affected by music, thoughts or any other experience.

True Meditation is "Being Awareness". One's true nature, effortless and ease, it is not something that can be created, it already is, relax into it.
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."
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Re: Problems with Adyashanti's meditation technique.

Postby jackh » Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:56 pm

What I've found in my experience with Adyashanti's meditation is that being caught up in ego drama is already a somewhat effortless thing for me, it's unconscious and doesn't require much doing on my part. It just happens, I mistake the thoughts for me, unconsciously. So when I'm caught up in a lot of mind activity and try letting go of effort and trying, a lot of the time I feel like I'm in the exact same place as I was. At the same time though, if I've been really intent on manipulating my mind into being quiet or trying to control my experience to give me a feeling of presence, Adyashanti's technique is supremely refreshing. Once it leads back to mind chatter, though, I can't seem to relax or be present at all without the help of someone like Tolle. I was listening to an interview with Adyashanti though on his True Meditation tape in which he said that yes with his technique the mind does keep chattering much longer than normal but it eventually subsides. Maybe I just haven't reached that point yet.. but I can't help but feel at times when letting go of effort/the meditator that I get lost and kind of worked up.
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Re: Problems with Adyashanti's meditation technique.

Postby James » Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:35 pm

Once it leads back to mind chatter, though, I can't seem to relax or be present

What if you gave your mind permission to chatter as long as it wants, even if it that was forever? I'm sure it would run out of steam eventually and quiet down. But even if it never did quiet down, you don't need to wait for that to happen to be what you are. Try just letting mind do its thing with out concern. What is always present before thoughts arise, while thoughts arise, and after they are gone? Be alert to that, or better yet simply Be That.
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."
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Re: Problems with Adyashanti's meditation technique.

Postby jackh » Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:28 pm

Yeah I definitely understand what you're saying but it still feels like I have to use a lot of effort and struggle to be aware of awareness itself. Even though it should be the simplest thing, it feels like I have to really direct the focus of my attention to notice that which is noticing the thoughts and comes before them. And then when my attention drifts back to the thought and I lose sight of awareness, I have to yank my attention back to awareness. Hard to explain but it definitely doesn't feel natural.. noticing awareness is definitely a huge "doing" at this point for me.
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Re: Problems with Adyashanti's meditation technique.

Postby James » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:47 pm

Yeah I definitely understand what you're saying but it still feels like I have to use a lot of effort and struggle to be aware of awareness itself.

I understand too, this is where it gets tricky and sometimes confusing to explain with words. There is a distinction between being aware of awareness, and "Being Awareness". If there is effort it is because the mind is involved, the mind is trying to do something, to be more aware, more alert more conscious. That is not the Awareness with a capital A, that is still mind or human consciousness.


it feels like I have to really direct the focus of my attention to notice that which is noticing the thoughts and comes before them. And then when my attention drifts back to the thought and I lose sight of awareness, I have to yank my attention back to awareness.


What you are requires no effort to be what It Is. This may sound like a cliche at first. The Important thing is to really let go of control or manipulation, which is what the mind does. Let go of the idea of being a meditator. Let go of any outcomes, hopes or intentions, any shoulds. Perhaps you could turn it around, conceptually speaking, and be the space for meditation to happen, spontaneously when you feel the inner urge to sit in stillness. And actually this can done anytime, while working, during activities or lying in bed. Nothing needs to be deliberately noticed, noticing is what Awareness does on its own, in fact you can't not notice. So recognize that you Awareness, is that which notices. And thoughts, feelings, perceptions, experiences, objects are what appear in this awareness that you are.

noticing awareness is definitely a huge "doing" at this point for me.

Try True Meditation lying down before going to sleep or in the morning before getting out of bed. This way you will already be very relaxed, peaceful and not exerting effort. Then you may find yourself naturally Being Awareness.
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."
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Re: Problems with Adyashanti's meditation technique.

Postby karmarider » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:18 pm

jackh wrote:Yeah I definitely understand what you're saying but it still feels like I have to use a lot of effort and struggle to be aware of awareness itself. Even though it should be the simplest thing, it feels like I have to really direct the focus of my attention to notice that which is noticing the thoughts and comes before them. And then when my attention drifts back to the thought and I lose sight of awareness, I have to yank my attention back to awareness. Hard to explain but it definitely doesn't feel natural.. noticing awareness is definitely a huge "doing" at this point for me.


Yes, it is effort in the beginning. Accept what it is. It seems, effort is necessary to see that it is not.

Maybe thinkingness is like a nervous habit. Some people for example shake their foot when they sit. It takes more effort to shake, but it's easy to get into it because of the habit. Holding the foot still is effort; it's more thinking. Letting go completely is when the foot is still and there is no effort to keep it that way.

In my experience, using a release method, concurrently with an awareness method (meditation), can help.
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Re: Problems with Adyashanti's meditation technique.

Postby Omnium11 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:31 am

Thanks deeply everyone, some of your replies make me think I am not quite grasping this meditation fully, in particular my relationship with what arises. It almost seems like the music is becoming me and I no longer am the awareness that watches it happen.

I've sat with this for a while and done some more meditating and I think my question is becoming more clear. This is very hard to explain but I'll do my best: It seems like maybe I am surrendering out of presence and into the trance of music. So no longer am I the awareness which the music arises in, now I am the thinker which is playing the music (Ace of Base btw lol) It feels like the trance of identified thought. Almost as if I have surrendered from the awareness into the thought. It is quite odd because regular thoughts I don't have a problem with: they arise, are witnessed and recede back into awareness. It seems to only happen with music. Almost as if the repetitive nature of the music pulls my mind into a trance. It makes me wonder if I am really indulging in and maybe even becoming the thinker playing the music. Its quite hard to tell because it is so subtle. Now when doing an experiment and I consciously break away from the trance of music and just be the awareness (the same state my Adyashanti meditations used to lead me into) an interesting thing happens when the music starts. At first it is just witnessed. It is very 'light feeling' not very powerful or trance provoking, much like a random thought. However with thoughts they just recede back into awareness though and I never lose presence and Adyashanti's meditation works great for me. I think the repetitive nature of the music though almost creates an easily slipped into trance which takes me out of awareness. Now right when I get to this point the music starts playing and after a couple seconds it seems like to not continue playing the music would be purposely stopping it (manipulation) and so therefore wrong, I can't tell does it want to stop or not, am I sustaining it when it wants to naturally stop playin? So I continue to play it over and over again because I don't want to manipulate even though possibly the only reason it keeps playing is because my mind is sustaining it in a subtle form of manipulation. So I guess my fear is that I am some how fueling this music consciously without meaning to. Like my mind is sustaining it which is a form of manipulation. Somehow my mind is creating a problem its just so difficult to figure out exactly what is going on. For some reason regular thoughts just recede back into awareness naturally. Perhaps though that nothing is really wrong and that all of the above is just a paranoid problem the mind has created and the music will just stop spontaneously when it has run its course.

Adyashanti talks about 'effortless effort' I have never really understood what this means. Is it just the effort to rest in awareness and 'be' the awareness. Maybe my problem is that I am sort of slipping into a dreamlike state because I don't maintain the effortless effort required to just be the awareness when the music starts so I easily slip into a sort of dreamlike trance state. Whenever I just allow the music to be my meditations just seem so dreamy and I no longer feel like I am the awareness. Feels like maybe it is a problem with my relationship to the music. Am I becoming the thinker perhaps?

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Edit:
Also its quite amazing how approaching these questions and these 'problematic' meditations with a sense of 'innocent discovery' like Adyashanti recommends completely prevents any further creation of problems, resistances or negative beliefs like "I'm not doing it right I'm a bad meditator', 'I got to get out of this this isn't good' etc. This is the first time I've really gotten the whole 'be patient and gentle with yourself' and the right attitude part down.

Thanks again everyone! This is a great helpful site
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Re: Problems with Adyashanti's meditation technique.

Postby James » Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:21 am

It sounds like you are doing just fine. I hear music in my head from time to time, as do many people. It has been brought up on this forum numerous times, (use the forum search field to look for other posts about it).

I find the music that tends to repeat, is music that I listened to a lot or intensely. You are probably a music lover, I'm guessing (who doesn't love music :lol: ); but some people play it loud and often, and that can appear to have a hypnotic affect, due to the repetition and strong attraction to certain pieces or songs. So as a practical preventative measure, Be Aware prior to listening to music, are you approaching it with intensity, a personal sense of self, perhaps identifying or becoming attached to that music? That is object consciousness, remember you are the Formless Awareness, not the content that appears to you. The same thing can happen with TV or movies, Video games, whatever someone focuses on intensely, and forms a false identity through it.

So now that you have a certain piece of music in your head, simply stop feeding it with your attention, and also stop fearing it. It sounds like you still fear it as if it can harm or affect what you are. So just accept it, allow it, let it pass through, if you find yourself humming a few bars, just accept that too. It's all Ok and welcome. The music can stay as long as it wants to, it's not a problem, unless it is perceived as a problem.

Another practical tip that I discovered, try listening to a different piece of music, but this time do it gently and with conscious awareness. Sing along or hum it, what ever you enjoy, so long as you stay awake/aware while doing it. I've found doing this is like rewriting a CD, the old music is forgotten, and replaced by the new piece, but this time there is no hypnotic affect, because there was Conscious Presence while hearing it, so it does not reverberate.

Let us know how it goes, OK

james
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Re: Problems with Adyashanti's meditation technique.

Postby Omnium11 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:36 am

James wrote:It sounds like you are doing just fine. I hear music in my head from time to time, as do many people. It has been brought up on this forum numerous times, (use the forum search field to look for other posts about it).

james


Thanks James. I will try it out right now before I go to sleep. You are right I do still fear the music. I will just completely allow the music to be. If it stops then it stops if not then it does not. It is as it is as they say.
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Re: Problems with Adyashanti's meditation technique.

Postby jackh » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:48 am

"What you are requires no effort to be what It Is. This may sound like a cliche at first. The Important thing is to really let go of control or manipulation, which is what the mind does. Let go of the idea of being a meditator. Let go of any outcomes, hopes or intentions, any shoulds. Perhaps you could turn it around, conceptually speaking, and be the space for meditation to happen, spontaneously when you feel the inner urge to sit in stillness. And actually this can done anytime, while working, during activities or lying in bed. Nothing needs to be deliberately noticed, noticing is what Awareness does on its own, in fact you can't not notice. So recognize that you Awareness, is that which notices. And thoughts, feelings, perceptions, experiences, objects are what appear in this awareness that you are. "

Wow. Thank you, that was so helpful for me. Awareness can't not notice. That really sucks all of the striving toward something out of it. And I see now that I was trying to steer my meditation into a certain outcome, kind of into my own idea of what effortlessness should be. But I see how tricky the mind is that it creates all of this struggle and manipulation and disguises it as letting go of control. :lol:

And karmarider I think you hit the nail on the head that thinking is a nervous habit and only takes less effort because it is a habit. Kind of like on your site how you mention holding a fist is uncomfortable but becomes automatic. Your release technique is so useful though, I had this really thick anxiety sitting in my chest for the past hour and I was able to release it instantly and completely. I think you're right that release along with awareness is crucial, it's sort of like how Adyashanti talks about how you have to have a certain emotional availability to really dig into awakening.

Thanks again everyone.
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Re: Problems with Adyashanti's meditation technique.

Postby Sighclone » Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:12 pm

I think you're right that release along with awareness is crucial, it's sort of like how Adyashanti talks about how you have to have a certain emotional availability to really dig into awakening.


It seems they work together, the embodied "human" elements, and the transendent. As you awaken, the "blockages" in your ego-identified self (and they can be subconscious or unconscious) loosen. They are more available for access and clearing.

Good work, jackh!

Andy
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Re: Problems with Adyashanti's meditation technique.

Postby Omnium11 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:31 pm

Well I just had a harsh but nice lesson on surrender. I realized that I was trying to hard to 'do it right' and realized I was going to war with my mind. Was sort of hectic for a while there but I eventually found peace. I surrendered not only to the music but to the mind's wondering if I am doing it right and to the mind's craving to play it.

The music still remains, I think I've learned something though
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