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Struggling and mediation

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  • Struggling and mediation

    Dear Venerable
    The majority of the meditation teachers say that meditation should be enjoyable. Is this possible at least at the beginning for a inexperienced person? I think most of the time is not. I try to meditate and a lot of times i struggle. What should my attitude be? Should i continue or stop? I am afraid that if i stop every time i struggle i would not meditate at all. On the other hand struggling is exactly the opposite of the purpose of meditation.
    Thank you

  • #2
    Dear Chris,

    No, don't give up. The first thing to do is simply to learn to relax. Start off your meditation by fully relaxing, and make sure that you are fully relaxed throughout. If you have to, lean back against a wall or the back of your seat. Only when you are relaxed and your mind is relatively clear should you take up your meditation object. If relaxation means that you fall asleep, so be it.

    If you find that your mind is not clear enough for ānāpānasati, and this is the case for most people, then do a more active type of meditation. Walking meditation is great, and metta is very useful. For example, you can simply walk up and down and remind yourself of the good qualities of people around you. If you do this consistently, it becomes easy to forgive the petty irritations that are such a common part of human life, and you are creating the basis for metta meditation proper. Also, remind yourself that anyone's bad behaviour is due to suffering or delusion. This gives rise to compassion, and keeps the anger at bay. By just doing these two things you are freeing your mind of so many obstacles, and this will have a powerful effect on your meditation in the long run.

    Good luck!

    With metta.



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