Author Topic: Slipping into Dullness while Focussing on Breath  (Read 669 times)

Offline moSh

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Slipping into Dullness while Focussing on Breath
« on: July 09, 2016, 06:05:17 am »
First of all, having only learned of dullness relatively recently, I'm still not overly sure if this is what I'm experiencing. I think it might just be my mind start to fall asleep: my eyes start to wobble/lose their focus, and thoughts turn to completely random scenarios or images--as if the starting of a dream. If anyone can define dullness for me, that would be excellent.

So, something I've noticed over the last year or so is that often when I really get my concentration locked on my breath, when I'm most free from extraneous thoughts, I feel my mind slipping. It's quite frustrating as it means when I'm doing well I'm subsequently doing badly! What I wonder is if this has to do with using single point of focus meditation as a get-to-sleep technique a few years ago; has the association built up in my mind between the two, so that I find it hard to do one without the other following? The thing is, I stopped doing this a long time ago when I started to think it could be the cause of my dullness during meditation, so I was hoping someone might have some tips to counteract it!

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Slipping into Dullness while Focussing on Breath
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2016, 08:24:45 am »
First of all, having only learned of dullness relatively recently, I'm still not overly sure if this is what I'm experiencing. I think it might just be my mind start to fall asleep: my eyes start to wobble/lose their focus, and thoughts turn to completely random scenarios or images--as if the starting of a dream. If anyone can define dullness for me, that would be excellent.


It sounds like you slipping into a half-sleep state.  Are you getting enough sleep? One solution might be to meditate earlier in the day when you have more energy.   Another solution might be to open your eyes while meditating.  Also you could try sit-walk-sit, ie two shorter sits with a period of walking meditation in between.

Technically it is the hindrance of sloth and torpor and there are traditional antidotes.
See here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanaponika/wheel026.html#sloth

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Slipping into Dullness while Focussing on Breath
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2016, 03:42:02 am »
First of all, having only learned of dullness relatively recently, I'm still not overly sure if this is what I'm experiencing. I think it might just be my mind start to fall asleep: my eyes start to wobble/lose their focus, and thoughts turn to completely random scenarios or images--as if the starting of a dream. If anyone can define dullness for me, that would be excellent.


It sounds like you slipping into a half-sleep state.  Are you getting enough sleep? One solution might be to meditate earlier in the day when you have more energy.   Another solution might be to open your eyes while meditating.  Also you could try sit-walk-sit, ie two shorter sits with a period of walking meditation in between.

Technically it is the hindrance of sloth and torpor and there are traditional antidotes.
See here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanaponika/wheel026.html#sloth

Wonderful link. Thank you Spiny Norman.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline moSh

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Re: Slipping into Dullness while Focussing on Breath
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2016, 07:47:07 am »
That sounds more like it, half-sleep. I'm definitely getting enough sleep--I'm getting into my lucid dream practice so aiming for 7+ hours a night. I do, however, tend to meditate in the afternoon or evening, so I'll try in the morning and see if that helps.

That link is awesome, so many things to try, and I look forward to reading through the other sections as well. Thanks a lot!

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