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 Building a Daily Practice with Self-Pacing
 problem on managing practices
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Alvin Chan

Hong Kong
407 Posts

Posted - Nov 13 2005 :  10:08:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
I don't know whether the experience I'm having are the side-effects of my practice (which started around 1 week ago): I become sensitive to my emotional issues(about my relation with my girlfriend, lingering for some months already) and get into deep sorrow. There is indeed something trigger it, but I am usually not triggered by such things. Memories of the past flow into my conscious which make me rather sad.

I have to say I went into this state occationally, so I can't be sure whether it's the effect of my practice. I am only up to meditation and spinal breathing (usually overtime...) in AYP, usually with some asanas(some stretching and headstand) before in the morning session, but not in the afternoon one. Also I have yoga nidra(Satyananda) every night for some weeks which allows me to rest more fully. (I have had mild insomnia and yoga nidra helps)

I am just wondering if it is indeed a sign of over-practice, can I relief that by taking more meditation, and resting more afterward as describe in the lessons;in stead of shortening/reducing spinal breathing? Meditation should have a calming effects in the long run, but what about its instant effects?

Along with the emotional overflow I am also experiencing a good condition of my mind(though not willingness) for my work as a research student; which is badly needed as I have been down and lazy (and thus quite irresponsible for the work) for a long time. And I am more "outward" too, hoping to meet friends all the time in stead of being alone(though may be partially due to my depression). That's why I don't want to step back on my practices despite the pain I'm feeling. The desire to light up my life is what draw me into all these practices.


5192 Posts

Posted - Nov 14 2005 :  09:58:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Alvin:

Irritability or other excessive emotions in activity can be an overflow of purification from deep meditation or other practices.

The first thing to be sure of is that you are taking at least a few minutes "coming out" of meditation, with no intention to pick up the mantra during that time -- just easily resting. If there has been some roughness in the session (or even if not) it is good to lie down for 5-10 minutes at the end. Not resting enough at the end of meditation is the most common cause of overflow of unwinding purification into activity, which can manifest with some emotions in the way you described.

Less common is a sensitivity to meditation in the individual. If irritability continues in activity even with good rest at the end of meditation, then sensitivity to meditation may be the cause. The way to find out and deal with it is by scaling back the time of meditation a bit (5-10 minutes) and see if that helps. If it does and the emotions smooth out, then we can try inching back up with meditation time when we are feeling better to fine tune our time to the right amount for ongoing smooth purification.

Of course, meditating for more than 20 minutes twice per day is asking for irritability, for just about anyone. That goes without saying, yes?

There can be many ups and downs along the path of inner purification, and we can navigate them by regulating our practice a bit up and down along the way, much like driving a car along a winding road and adjusting our speed to match the varying conditions along the way. This is the art of self-pacing.

Finally, inner energy excesses can also happen by adding other practices, and/or by doubling up on practices, especially when using several pranayama methods in the same session or day. Of course, I cannot speak to all the other practices you may be inclined to try in addition to AYP. These will be your individual research. Let us know of your discoveries! But do keep in mind that beginning stage is not necessarily the best time to be doing research on the effects of diverse practices. Better to get a foundation of inner silence underneath with deep meditation, and then you can tolerate much better the inevitable excesses one is bound to encounter when doing research trying new things. That goes for taking on new practices within AYP too.

It is good to be aware that there is only so much purification our nervous system can handle comfortably on any given day, and ongoing irritability or other energy upheavals are the common symptoms of continually overdoing in some area of our practice.

Other than that, it sounds like you are having some good benefits already in your life. As you stabilize your routine it will become even better!

The guru is in you.

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Alvin Chan

Hong Kong
407 Posts

Posted - Nov 25 2005 :  8:34:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Of course, meditating for more than 20 minutes twice per day is asking for irritability, for just about anyone. That goes without saying, yes?

Do you mean even long-term practioner of meditation will find meditating for more than 20 minutes twice per day too much? But what about those monks who do that all day long? Is it because of the difference in meditative methods? or are they, simply wasting time because of a diminishing return? For example, many of the most accomplished piano player (and many other field of expertise including sports), say will only need to practise for < 4 hours, beyond which they said are just a waste of time.(e.g. Kissin, Volodos, both only for 2 hrs/day) Sport is even more obvious. Too many practises will just the body too little recuperation time. Is meditation similar here?

I am asking because, Meditation seems to be a type of resting and recharging as opposed to the above activities. So maybe it's different(?)
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United Kingdom
741 Posts

Posted - Nov 26 2005 :  09:08:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit riptiz's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Dear Alvin,
Yogani will no doubt answer this also. If you meditate in what yogani(and others) consider excess then you will experience cleansing effects.It depends on what amount you are prepared to accept to speed up your journey on the path.

'the mind can see further than the eyes'
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5192 Posts

Posted - Nov 26 2005 :  10:54:03 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Alvin:

20 minutes twice a day still works fine for me, after 30-some years. Of course, all the other practices are there too, so overall sitting time is more. Good activity is essential to stabilize the results of sitting practices. It is a balance we each have to find for ourselves, applying the principles of self-pacing.

On longer sittings with other styles of meditation, that is certainly true. I touched on "witnessing-sytle" meditation in your topic over here:

Mantra yoga-style deep meditation is unique when correctly performed -- it is pro-active meditation with great power, so a little bit goes a long way.

The guru is in you.
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Alvin Chan

Hong Kong
407 Posts

Posted - Nov 29 2005 :  08:43:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you, Yogani. I have another question here. I am having my practices everyday now, but not always at the same time. I only do it once I get up.(which could be some where between 6:30am to 10am) The second sitting time is even more irregular, but usually before my dinner. Would it be less effective? I find it hard, in my case, to always do it at the same time. (esp the second one)

The advice of making it regular is only mean to make sure we really practice everyday, is that true?
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5192 Posts

Posted - Nov 29 2005 :  10:31:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Alvin:

Yes, "regularity" is a matter of keeping up daily practices. If that is at irregular times it can still work, though it does make it a bit harder to keep the habit -- more difficult to infuse it into the biorhythms. That is the main reason for developing a steady routine. Insuring longevity!

The business of keeping the habit of regularity is discussed in lesson 209 - "Fitting daily practices into a busy schedule"

The guru is in you.
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