(Picture from CK Hon)
You know sometimes i try to meditate, sometimes for a half an hour, sometimes one hour. However, i don't know why, probably i do something wrong, it doesn't calm me down, doesn't bring me any relief. How should i do it? I usually sit on the floor or on the bed with my legs bent, upright posture. Could you give me any directions how to improve my practise? Thanks!
We must always remember that when we meditate, we are actually undergoing a life-time training process. In any training programme, it is expected to have mistakes. It is in this manner that we can learn to improve ourselves. If we are experts, we don't need to train anymore. Whatever we do will be perfect and our so-called training will be just another perfect performance.
As you know, our mind is very difficult to tame. We can just do our best. Of course, the more time we put into our training the more we can improve, and at a faster rate. However there will always be those off-form periods
where things don't seem to follow through. It is natural that we face this "problem".
The Buddha listed 5 mental hindrances that disturb us when we meditate. They are sensual desires, ill will, sloth and torpor, restlessness, and doubts. These mental impurities always disturb us, especially when we meditate. In any circumstance, once our mind is not stilled and concentrated, we will become the servant of the mind, and this mind will lead us from one "adventure" to the next, without our mindfulness. The trick is to note these moments of wondering, once we come to realize their presence; and to "bring back" our wondering mind to the reference point of concentration, be it rising and falling of the abdomen, or the in-breath and out-breath at the tip of the nose, or whatever point of concentration that we choose. Actually most of the time when we meditate, our main concern is to note these wondering moments, and there are many. When we become skilful in this noting, we will find that we can maintain a certain level of concentration and calm for longer periods and with more consistency.
So don't worry too much about your "problem". It is not a problem, after all. It is just "the way it is", and if you can realize this fact, you have understood the Dhamma..."The way it is".
Smile from justinchoo:-)