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Deepening My Meditation Practice

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  • Deepening My Meditation Practice


    I practiced being mindful whenever I could and meditating on and off for several years. Then, I began meditating regularly two years ago. For the past two years I have meditated daily for at least an hour by myself. I don’t attend any group meditation sessions, besides the first few group sessions two years ago when I started meditating regularly. My meditation practice deepened in the first year or so, so that I had a good measure of inner peace and more quietude of mind. I always feel better after a meditation session, but lately I feel that I am not making any progress. I cannot keep my mind on the breath for even the count of ten, although I do bring my mind back to the breath when I notice my mind wandering.

    Still, if I earnestly meditate for an hour I end up feeling better and happier, but I feel like my meditation has not deepened in the past year. My mind is not usually crammed with thoughts, but thoughts still steal my attention, I meander away from the breath, perhaps muse to myself, etc, then slowly but surely remind myself to bring my attention back to the breath. Most recently, I think even that has been dwindling and I think sometimes I just end up thinking most of the time I’m supposed to be meditating. Perhaps my zeal for meditation also slackens a bit from time to time. I often listen to Dhamma talks or read Dhamma related articles though.

    1) How can I deepen my meditation practice by meditating solo so that I experience more stillness of mind, samadhi, more profound inner peace, and jhana?

    2) Do I need to put more relaxed effort into focusing my mind on the flow of the breath?

    3) Should I consider attending occasional group meditation sessions or retreats to reinvigorate my enthusiasm and diligence for meditation, or just to benefit from the group energy?

    I prefer deepening my meditation practice solo at home though.

    Thank you,

  • #2

    You might try the basics.


    • #3

      Maybe try mixing things up a bit. Metta meditation maybe?


      • #4
        You can also listen to a variety of guided meditation.


        • #5
          Personally, I find that letting go of expectations helps. Also as Sharon Salzberg says, catching yourself when you have drifted away is a big part of mediation. This is enormous and when practiced means we can catch ourselves before acting when caught by emotions etc. You seem to be doing this Haca and that's a big thing in itself :-)


          • #6
            Hello All,

            Thanks for the feedback everybody. Ed, you're right, I should keep with the basics and strengthen that foundation. As Eamonn mentioned, just catching oneself when one has drifted away is a big thing in itself. Plus, letting go of expectations helps. Jerrod, I usually end my sitting meditation session with metta meditation as well, so you're on the ball with that one. I can also try some guided meditation, so thanks for that Mara.

            I appreciate all your advice.

            Best wishes,


            • #7
              I use a mantra to focus my mind when it simply will not behave and stay on the breath. I used to exclusively use the mantra buddho but have incorporated namo buddhaya as well after hearing Ajahn Brahm recommend it in one of his dhamma talks.



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