Home Relaxation Need Advice on How To Avoid Zoning Out in Meditation

Need Advice on How To Avoid Zoning Out in Meditation


I’ve been training zazen for a while now, and I discover that my meditation classes undergo some distinct phases. The monkey mind part the place ideas are simply pinballing is par for the course. But there’s one other part I generally wrestle to establish, and it usually occurs after the thoughts begins to settle, and I believe my mind and physique appear to need to simply fall asleep.

It’s seductive as a result of it feels good, and likewise as a result of it genuinely does really feel as if discursive thought has subsided, however I acknowledge that zoning out is not consciousness both, and I generally wrestle to establish this situation and return to the breath for what appears like substantial durations of time (the durations may very well be 10 seconds for all I do know, time takes on a bizarre high quality in meditation).

It’s simple sufficient to establish distraction, however onerous for me to establish when I’m merely zoned out. Do you guys have any suggestions for figuring out this state and remaining awake and conscious?

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  1. Meditation reduces activity of mind. Mind has been associating less activity with sleep for entire life. This association has to be trained away. Otherwise meditator can be stuck in this half sleep state for years without maturing in meditation.

    So. Directly when you notice that this feeling of sleepyness closes in on you 1) take a few controlled deep breaths. If it does not help 2) try splashing water on your face. If it still does not pull you out of sleepynes 3) try clenching your pelvic floor muscle. Then continue.

    Edit: try catching the sleepyness as fast as possible. Because the sleepyness grows fast.

  2. I spent the last 2.5 years meditating with this state as the end stage. I recently decided to change from awareness meditation to concentration meditation and have not zoned out once in my past three sits notwithstanding that I also doubled time on the cushion. Hoping that after I build up concentration skills I can go back to awareness without this problem.

  3. One *will* zone out when meditating (at *some* point). If one notices that and returns to focus, one learns a small, but significant, lesson. If one notices that it happens again and again — and looks to see why — one begins to learn how the conditioned mind actually works. Rinse and repeat often enough, and one becomes wise.

  4. These are all good suggestions, I sometimes find myself in this state as well. Its important to not get frustrated with yourself because as mentioned above, you can return to the breath infinitely so when you catch yourself zoning just gently guide yourself back to your breath! That’s one of the many amazing teachings of meditation is that every moment is a new moment and it’s never too late to start again with anything we do in life. That is truly being present.


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