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nommy
04 Oct 13, 18:33
I've been meditating for a week, I practice zen (soto) meditation. The first time I meditated was literally Wednesday of last week. I do 15 minutes a day. Yesterday I forgot to meditate and was too tired at the end of the day and didn't want to fall asleep during my meditation - a mistake, in hind sight. Today, I tasked myself to meditate after doing my morning chores and I did.

Um, what happened was...wow. Typically 15 minutes, around 7-8 minutes in, I start to lose my concentration. I started counting to 10 the previous session, and I can do that easily, but today, I just breathed without counting. I have my cell phone set up in a stop watch app to count my 15 minutes right in front of me. As I meditated, the cell phone melted away. I meditate not in front of a wall but in front of my tv in my living room because I don't have any room to do it anywhere else. I stare at my carpet and wood panel that the tv sits on. The texture of the carpet started to creep on to the texture of the wood.

Darkness took over the setting. It'd be light one second and dark the next. I put it aside, logically, that it had to be a shadow of a cloud. This happened repeatedly during my session. It really scared me for some reason. I faced that fear and put it aside, and suddenly the room was lit with the suns rays again. I could hear the birds chirping vividly, my dog outside yawning, I was still, and at peace. The darkness kept coming, and I fought it each and every time and won.

When I got up, my leg was asleep. I didn't realize it was asleep until I got up. But it wasn't just asleep, I had to slightly limp as I got up. I never felt this at all during my session.

I was saddened when my timer buzzed. Before, meditation was slightly boring, though relaxing. But don't worry, I love boring and relaxing, but today, um. What. I'm not posting this to show off or brag or anything, I just had to have some outlet to disclose my thoughts.

What in the world just happened?

nommy
04 Oct 13, 21:18
I do not like that a mod moved this to the seemingly dead zen forum and not to the mahayana forum or at the least, the meditation forum. Please move.

Aloka
04 Oct 13, 21:52
I do not like that a mod moved this to the seemingly dead zen forum and not to the mahayana forum or at the least, the meditation forum. Please move.

Hi nommy and welcome,

All posts on the website can be seen in a list when members click on the 'New posts' facility at the top of the main page or on "Click here to see recent posts to the forums" at the bottom of the main page.

This new Zen sub-forum to the Mahayana forum is the appropriate place to discuss Soto Zen meditation.

Are you receiving your meditation instructions from a teacher at a Zen centre?

With kind wishes,

Aloka :hands:

nommy
04 Oct 13, 22:07
That is assuring, Aloka.

I am receiving meditation instructions, but I've only really had just one lesson. So I'm mostly doing this on my own. By the way your avatar is beautiful.

Aloka
04 Oct 13, 22:24
I am receiving meditation instructions, but I've only really had just one lesson. So I'm mostly doing this on my own.

Having practiced with Vajrayana and Theravada, I don't know much about Soto Zen meditation. However, I think the problem might have occured because instead of meditating in front of a wall as you mentioned, you were staring at the carpet and wood panel under the TV. Perhaps your vision blurred, the textures merged and you started hallucinating slightly as a result of that.

I wouldn't worry too much, tell your Zen teacher what happened when you next go to the centre and get some feedback about it and some further advice from him/her.

In the meantime, here are some Zazen instructions which might be helpful.

http://zmm.mro.org/teachings/meditation-instructions/



By the way your avatar is beautiful



Thank you ;D

jim22712
06 Oct 13, 16:37
You are beginning to transcend where you are. Good show. Don't attach to it, let it continue to flow. Obviously you had your eyes open or half open. Try meditating with your eyes closed. I do it with my eyes closed and I get the sensation of the room brightening too. Its good to experiment with that and the leg positioning. I can relate to having no real place to meditate too. Try mixing things up and when things like this surface just keep letting them pass by. The mind is like a spoiled child... "Pay attention to me... Look what I can do..." Just keep letting it pass by.

fletcher
06 Oct 13, 20:13
Just my humble opinion, don't analyse it too much there is no good or bad Zazen just Zazen.
When you get up from your cushion forget it, Zen is about being in the present moment, leave that moment on the cushion and move on.
What you've experienced is just visual distortion nothing else. Keep sitting. :-)

Gassho
Gary

Trilaksana
07 Oct 13, 06:44
I agree with what Gary said. But I'll add that I've had similar experiences. If you stare at one spot then eventually what you're staring will seem to change especially if it's not just a blank wall.

My understanding is that these kind of things are very common with eyes open meditation. You may have been hyperfocused on one specific spot which in my experience causes often distracting distortion. In zazen it's recommended that your eyes are open but you don't really look at anything. You don't focus on one point; You sort of look at everything.

Keep in mind I've only been practicing for about 2 years. I'm by no means an expert.

John923
10 Oct 13, 03:24
What in the world just happened?

You had a "weird meditation experience". Interestingly though, weird meditation experiences are actually pretty common! but not something to be concerned about. "Weird stuff" is normal when it comes to meditation. :)

Mu Chak
23 Nov 13, 20:19
I've been meditating for a week, I practice zen (soto) meditation. The first time I meditated was literally Wednesday of last week. I do 15 minutes a day. Yesterday I forgot to meditate and was too tired at the end of the day and didn't want to fall asleep during my meditation - a mistake, in hind sight. Today, I tasked myself to meditate after doing my morning chores and I did.

I'm a student of Zen/Chan Buddhism and been practicing for close to nine years. Have heart, what you're experiencing is NORMAL. It happens to all of us in beginning of our practice. It's okay, just keep coming back to the cushion for your sessions and give your best.

Don't beat yourself about missing a session here or there when it comes to sitting practice too. The most important aspect of the practice is a sincere and mindful approach: 'easy does it'. When stuffs pop up in your meditation session, observe and let go. We have to do this over and over again (that's why it's call "practice"). Don't judge, just stick with the practice. It's okay if the mind wanders, or strange shapes appear in the carpet or wall--this is going to happen; so keep to the method that you were shown: following/counting the breath or just sitting and observing what pops up in the mind and let it go. When the sitting session is over, drop it and go about your business.

In the beginning we try to repeat certain experiences on the cushion from previous meditation sessions, but this is how we get stuck. Just give your best with each sit and see how it goes. You're not alone in what you're going through; so keep coming back to your sitting practice and it will work itself out :hands: