Or Does Deep Meditation Stop
Working After A While?
With an effective method, meditation benefits can be noticed virtually immediately. Often new practitioners are thrilled with what they experience in their daily lives, while others quietly confirm that they do think something different is going on. But does this all last?
My meditation has stopped 'working'
Over the years I've heard several people tell me that they stopped meditating after some time because it didn't seem to be working anymore. These were all people who had been using a technique of deep meditation that transcends thought and thinking, not the kind of meditation that keeps the mind at the level of thoughts and observation.
Others keep meditating every day, but some say they wonder if it is actually doing anything for them anymore. The wonder if has perhaps stopped working.
This experience is clearly not uncommon, and I think it's unfortunate if people drop the practice because of a feeling that it is no longer 'working'. If you have had this experience, then I would suggest you consider two areas that might be the source of your concern.
1. Correct practice
First, are you still meditation correctly? This is the first thing to check. If you have a meditation teacher, ask them to verify that you are meditating according to the instructions you were given. Sometimes, in our desire to 'get it right', we deviate slightly from the correct procedure and this can dampen the effectiveness of the process.
In the techniques I can recommend, applying the slightest effort is the most common cause of lessened benefits from a deep meditation technique.
If you learned via written or audio course lessons, go through the course again. Sometimes when we do that something catches our attention that we seem to have forgotten and let slip by during our daily sessions.
2. Familiarity breeds ... well, familiarity
The other day I opened the door to go from the lounge to another room where a window was slightly open and facing the Atlantic Ocean. I immediately noticed the smell of the sea, even though the ocean is a good number of kilometres away from my home. The smell was not strong, but definitely noticeable.
My partner had been in that room reading a book. I remarked to her about sea air, but she had not been aware of it. She couldn't smell the sea at all. Very soon I too could no longer smell the sea. The contrast between the air in the two rooms had faded in terms of my senses. When I first walked from the one room to the other, the contrast was very clear. Yet very soon my olfactory senses had adjusted to the new smell and it was no longer discernable.
My immediate response was, Ah! This is exactly the kind of experience people have after having meditated for some time.
There are many such experiences of adaptability in our lives, when the initial contrast is very noticeable, but after a while we become accustomed to it and the contrast seems less, or cannot even be detected at all. For example...
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