General Question

Mp123's avatar

Is it possible to regress in my spiritual journey?

Asked by Mp123 (317points) January 9th, 2014 from iPhone

I started meditating a few months ago.

At some point I kinda got better at it and could meditate properly and feel good energy. I could also enjoy the present moment with no other thoughts.

Now I almost fall asleep every time I meditate and I can’t feel the present moment like I use to.

Do you have any thoughts on it ?

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20 Answers

DWW25921's avatar

Accepting yourself is key to relieving stress. That’s all I got.

johnpowell's avatar

I get where you are going. I’m a hippie too. But your questions lacks details. I’m not really sure what you want us to provide.

DWW25921's avatar

@johnpowell I figured a regression is caused by stress. That’s why I answered the way that I did. The way the question is formed… vague… tells me that @Mp123 is weighted down by something. Maybe I over analyzed. I do think there are details here that are being left out.

Smitha's avatar

Get more sleep. Your mind or body really just wants to fall asleep. Even if you don’t have a sleep deficit sometimes you may be going through a period of meditation where your body needs an experience of sleep in order to release some tension or stress. For this you need to let the body shift into the state it needs, and when that situation or stress has been cleared, then your meditations will resume to its usual nature.

Mp123's avatar

@johnpowell .. Sorry, sometimes it’s hard for me to find words to go along with my thoughts.

I mean that at some point I got better at meditating(I could get my mind to relax and not overthink). And now I’m back to struggling with all my running thoughts and focus.

Also, It’s hard for me to enjoy the present moment since my thoughts are always racing. Just thinking of everything and anything at once.

kess's avatar

The highest form of existence, exist in the state of rest, why are you perturbed, when you are exactly in the same state?

Time progresses through alternating darkness and light, accomplishing all that it will, both by the things of darkness and by the things of light,

If the two was separated, then time become stagnated, the things of darkness remaining in the dark and the things of light remaining in the light and time ceases to be only because it has accomplished all that it will.

So because your experience is within time your progression would be the same until time is accomplished and you see only LIGHT.

A long way to simply say in all thing be at peace and you would be the creator of the same.

dabbler's avatar

Meditate at a different time when you are not so likely to fall asleep.
It is said that the best time to meditate is early morning before the sun has come up, in the period from around 3am to 5am. Most of us aren’t up that early and just after you get up is a good time too.
The Taoists also like the afternoon ( 3 to 5 pm), the “hours of dead breath”, because they felt there is not much else one can do spiritually useful during that time.

If you really can’t meditate another time besides just before going to sleep, I recommend doing some breathing exercises, pranayama, to pump up your alertness. A few rounds of kabalabhati and anuloma viloma wlll energize and calm at the same time putting you in the perfect state for meditating.

Mp123's avatar

@kess What do you mean? “So because your experience is within time your progression would be the same until time is accomplished and you see only LIGHT”.

Thank you! @dabbler

DaphneT's avatar

Yes, it is possible to regress on a spiritual journey. In retrospect, my personal story goes like this: moved away from home, was stupid about my life choices, started coming around to calm and stress-reducing practices, felt great and on top of my game, made life choices that moved me back to my childhood home, bang back to stress and anxious living. It’s been over ten years since I did that and am just now shifting back into calm and stress-reducing practices and that is going very very very slowly.

So, if you are falling asleep during meditation, are you really getting enough sleep during the day, have you changed your diet such that your fuel balance is off, has your system aligned with the diurnal rhythms of the day such that you are really in hibernation mode because it is so cold? Any one of these or other issues could change your response to your meditation practices. gotta go

thorninmud's avatar

There is a trap associated with thinking of spiritual practice as a “journey”. When you take a journey, it’s often because you’d rather be somewhere else. You imagine a destination that’s quite different from —and probably better than —where you are. That puts you in a frame of mind where you constantly measure progress and compare where you are to where you want to be.

But the spiritual “journey” doesn’t work that way. In fact, that’s kind of the opposite of the way the spiritual journey works. In this journey, what matters is where you are, not where you’re going. Here, I have to say something that sounds all mystical and enigmatic, but it really isn’t: The journey is the destination. In the spiritual journey, you are constantly arriving. Every moment is it. There’s nowhere to go from here.

Sometimes, “here” is a sleepy place. If you imagine that the destination must be someplace where sleepiness doesn’t happen, then this sleepy “here” looks like someplace you have to get through to get where you’d rather be. You get discouraged because you feel far from the destination. When the sleepiness goes away, you think “Ah, I’m closer to the goal now!”, but that won’t last, and you’ll end up feeling all the more discouraged when the sleepiness comes back. It will feel like you’ve regressed.

You could say that the only way you “regress” on the spiritual journey is when you reject here as something you have to get through on your way to a better place. This is it. Sleepy or not, distracted or not, this is it. There’s nowhere else to be. That’s the journey.

GoldieAV16's avatar

Out of the ball park, @thorninmud. Excellent.

Strauss's avatar

I first heard the phrase “two steps forward, one step back” in the context of progress on a spiritual journey. I think it can be applied to the learning of any technique, spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical.

gailcalled's avatar

@dabbler: Completely irrelevant to the question, but I thank you for this:

The Taoists also like the afternoon ( 3 to 5 pm), the “hours of dead breath”, because they felt there is not much else one can do spiritually useful during that time.

From jr. high school on, I was the one napping on the desk during the last period of the afternnon. What a relief to know that it has a ame. To this day, I have a brown-out then.

Strauss's avatar

I can’t cite sources, but I’ve heard from several sources over the years that some people are better suited to several naps throughout the day rather than one long 8-hour stretch of sleep at night. When I worked nights, I found this to be true for me.

Darth_Algar's avatar

If your mind races then let it race. That’s being in the present moment. Don’t try to empty your head of thoughts, that’s not really possible and it’s not really the point anyway. When you sit in meditation just be in the present moment, with your thoughts and everything. Don’t try to get to some place you think you should be, that’s a bit counterproductive to being the the present moment.

lifeflame's avatar

I think it depends what the purpose of your meditation is.
In the tradition that I practice, vipassana, it is important to let go of judgment; including the comparison of past experiences to the present one. One of the truths that you are supposed to experience is the impermanence of being, including the so called feeling of “being present” or transcendental bliss.

If, however, you wish to strengthen your mindfulness and concentration, I would suggest that aside from formal sittings, you actually just be aware of your breathing and drop into your body whenever you have a spare moment. It could be waiting for the bus, or washing the dishes. This practice of being present will help you when you come to your formal sittings.

I have heard also that when one goes deeper into the practice, you start to unearth old karma, etc. Sleepiness is “defence mechanism” on the part of your subconscious to prevent your from changing, so it is not so much a “regression” as it is part of the process.

One book I found very helpful is called “Mindfulness in Plain English.” You may wish to check it out.

kess's avatar

Time is the vehicle given to men in order to be spiritually progressive.
As they progress they will have their highs and their lows just as time alternates between light and dark.

They reach the pinnacle of spiritual maturity when they begin to see only light.

When there is no alternating darkness and light there is no time.

If one sees only darkness, then there will be the coming of light, which is another progression through time until Light alone is seen.

I hope you question is answered effectively.

Mp123's avatar

@thorninmud Thank you for the great answer!

Mp123's avatar

@kess yes! thank you for taking the time to explain :)

ISmart's avatar

yes it is called waking up from denial and taking responsibility for your actions and helping others.

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