[HEALTH] Autism/ADHD and meditation practice

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  • Ryker
    Member
    • Feb 2024
    • 69

    [HEALTH] Autism/ADHD and meditation practice

    Now this can go for any mental condition that makes concentration or "just doing" difficult/different, but how do u manage?


    For me, I can't turn off my brain, that doesn't mean I can't relax it's just that I'm constantly thinking about something, and keeping my eyes closed is hard but I think that's the ADHD.

    A note about Autism: it's a spectrum so will impact everyone differently regarding symptoms.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-04-2024, 04:03 AM.
  • Nengei
    Member
    • Dec 2016
    • 1697

    #2
    Hi Ryker,

    I am going to suggest working your way through these excellent tours of shikantaza, our way of just sitting: https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/foru...-FOR-NEW-FOLKS

    There are lots of good suggestions and advice in there from our teacher, Jundo.

    Sometimes a sitting period is almost an hour. Sometimes it is 20 minutes. Sometimes it is 2 minutes, or less! It helped me to work up to longer sitting periods, in a no-rush manner. Every bit of shikantaza is perfect and complete, the fulfillment of all of our practice. I might think "That wasn't a good sit." But I am wrong there. It was exactly what it was, fully shikantaza.

    Maybe try setting a standard sit time. If you are new to shikantaza, maybe 5 minutes is a good sit time, or even 2. Do that for a few weeks. Then bump it up by 2 minutes, or 5 minutes, and do that for a while.

    20 or 25 minutes is a good place to settle in for daily practice, but by the time you are doing that, you'll have a good idea of how you want things to go.

    I'm old AF, and just beginning to explore my own ADHD and autism with my doctor, but I fully recognize how challenging it made zazen in my early years of practice. I started with quite a bit of breath-focused work. After years of practice, I still struggle with my mind exploding off in every direction, and have to remember to drop thinking, stop thinking, let my body and mind fall away. People sitting in practice only look like they are not working at it, but really, we all are. You are doing just fine.

    Gassho,
    Nengei
    Sat today. LAH.

    If you would, always try to sit a little, so when you post you can write "sat today."
    遜道念芸 Sondō Nengei (he/him)

    Please excuse any indication that I am trying to teach anything. I am a priest in training and have no qualifications or credentials to teach Zen practice or the Dharma.

    Comment

    • Ryker
      Member
      • Feb 2024
      • 69

      #3
      Originally posted by Nengei
      Hi Ryker,

      I am going to suggest working your way through these excellent tours of shikantaza, our way of just sitting: https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/foru...-FOR-NEW-FOLKS

      There are lots of good suggestions and advice in there from our teacher, Jundo.

      Sometimes a sitting period is almost an hour. Sometimes it is 20 minutes. Sometimes it is 2 minutes, or less! It helped me to work up to longer sitting periods, in a no-rush manner. Every bit of shikantaza is perfect and complete, the fulfillment of all of our practice. I might think "That wasn't a good sit." But I am wrong there. It was exactly what it was, fully shikantaza.

      Maybe try setting a standard sit time. If you are new to shikantaza, maybe 5 minutes is a good sit time, or even 2. Do that for a few weeks. Then bump it up by 2 minutes, or 5 minutes, and do that for a while.

      20 or 25 minutes is a good place to settle in for daily practice, but by the time you are doing that, you'll have a good idea of how you want things to go.

      I'm old AF, and just beginning to explore my own ADHD and autism with my doctor, but I fully recognize how challenging it made zazen in my early years of practice. I started with quite a bit of breath-focused work. After years of practice, I still struggle with my mind exploding off in every direction, and have to remember to drop thinking, stop thinking, let my body and mind fall away. People sitting in practice only look like they are not working at it, but really, we all are. You are doing just fine.

      Gassho,
      Nengei
      Sat today. LAH.

      If you would, always try to sit a little, so when you post you can write "sat today."
      Thank you I will work thru that post actually now
      And oh wow reading that it can be even 2-5 mins (and still be a valid sit) as a start makes it much more manageable, I figured a start of 10-15 minutes would be a bit too hard right away so that makes it way more doable for right now, and then I can move on up to longer sits.

      I am glad u are exploring with a doctor, it absolutely opened my eyes to what I was experiencing.That is good to know, everyone else seemed to have it "all together" so I felt so nervous to even start even what should be a simple task.

      From now on I'll make sure to sit and lay before posting, even if that means not posting till hours after I am up if I haven't done either.

      Thank you so so much, Nengei
      PS. Apologies for not doing all this before posting a bunch [emoji28] 🪷

      Gasshō [emoji120]

      Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

      Comment

      • Onki
        Treeleaf Unsui
        • Dec 2020
        • 697

        #4
        Originally posted by Ryker
        Now this can go for any mental condition that makes concentration or "just doing" difficult/different, but how do u manage?


        For me, I can't turn off my brain, that doesn't mean I can't relax it's just that I'm constantly thinking about something, and keeping my eyes closed is hard but I think that's the ADHD.

        A note about Autism: it's a spectrum so will impact everyone differently regarding symptoms.

        Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
        Hi Ryker,

        Please take what I am about to say with a grain of salt as I am a Priest in Training.

        When I first started sitting many years ago, I was able to sit for 5 minutes at a time. And boy, did that 5 minutes feel like a lifetime!

        In my experience, I have slowly increased the amount of time sitting. As mentioned above, 5 minutes was what I could do at the time and that was okay. I would sit 5 minutes for an amount of time and gradually increase the amount of time I would sit. This can be done slowly, such as adding one or two minutes at a time. Do not rush this process. I would rush, end up feeling overwhelmed, and sometimes stop sitting for a time. I’m still learning that there is not a specific amount of time that one must sit Zazen. If you can sit for 30 minutes, awesome. If you can sit 5 minutes in the beginning, that’s cool too.

        Go slowly and gently.

        Gasshō,

        On

        Sat today/LAH


        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
        “Let me respectfully remind you
        Life and death are of supreme importance.
        Time swiftly passes by
        And opportunity ist lost.
        Each of us should strive to awaken.
        Awaken, take heed,
        Do not squander your life.​“ - Life and Death and The Great Matter

        Comment

        • Ryker
          Member
          • Feb 2024
          • 69

          #5
          Originally posted by Onki
          Hi Ryker,

          Please take what I am about to say with a grain of salt as I am a Priest in Training.

          When I first started sitting many years ago, I was able to sit for 5 minutes at a time. And boy, did that 5 minutes feel like a lifetime!

          In my experience, I have slowly increased the amount of time sitting. As mentioned above, 5 minutes was what I could do at the time and that was okay. I would sit 5 minutes for an amount of time and gradually increase the amount of time I would sit. This can be done slowly, such as adding one or two minutes at a time. Do not rush this process. I would rush, end up feeling overwhelmed, and sometimes stop sitting for a time. I’m still learning that there is not a specific amount of time that one must sit Zazen. If you can sit for 30 minutes, awesome. If you can sit 5 minutes in the beginning, that’s cool too.

          Go slowly and gently.

          Gasshō,

          On

          Sat today/LAH


          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
          Hey thank you so much!
          I have another question and figured I'd ask it now despite not having sat today yet just since I don't want to come off as if I'm ignoring everyone...

          (Haven't been able to due to work and well being extremely overwhelmed last few days..Been hell)

          But, say if I can only do say 5 mins at a time, should I not join zazen zoom sessions for example till I can do it longer?

          Sorry for the long post, hope ur day is good

          Gasshō, Ryker

          Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

          Comment

          • Geika
            Treeleaf Unsui
            • Jan 2010
            • 4980

            #6
            Originally posted by Ryker
            But, say if I can only do say 5 mins at a time, should I not join zazen zoom sessions for example till I can do it longer?
            If you like, you could join without a camera and mute your microphone, and sit off and on to your degree of comfort without anybody being disturbed by your coming and going.


            stlah
            求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
            I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

            Comment

            • Ryker
              Member
              • Feb 2024
              • 69

              #7
              Originally posted by Geika
              If you like, you could join without a camera and mute your microphone, and sit off and on to your degree of comfort without anybody being disturbed by your coming and going.


              stlah
              That is such a good idea! Thank you so much, least I would want to do is disturb anyone else

              Thank you Geika.

              Gasshō, Ryker [emoji120] 🪷

              Lah

              Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

              Comment

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