Hi Michael, it's nice to see you again too. Thank you so much for the help. Let me see if I understand it clearly: what I usually end up doing is re-wording the meaning of the text, mainly so I can work with it in my head using my native language. So should I also meditate on the words longer in order to burn the meaning into my core? Would that would be the right thing to do if I don't need to know the exact words?
Thank you for your question to clarify your understanding.
We want to move away from recitations and start down the path of analytical meditation to help you get around your short-term memory issues; and rote memorisation does little for our understanding and insight, memory issues or not.
So how do you meditate analytically? While there is a reason entire books and courses are written on this single topic, here is a simple process that you can use to start doing it today.
First of all, what is "analytical meditation" and how is it used?
Short-term Memory Problems Affecting Meditation & Dharma Practice - Buddhism Explained (Q&A Part One)
I have a problem with my ability to meditate, in 2015 something happened to me and my short-term memory has been affected ever since, so now I have a really hard time memorising the texts. So, I decided to just keep the texts with me (in-hand) and read them, but it feels so artificial. I had the exact same problem during a recent retreat and I don’t know how to handle it. Should I just make an extra effort until I memorize it all, allowing myself to just "be peaceful" and read, or should I skip the recitation part entirely?
- N. V.
So nice to see you again.
I can understand how it can be frustrating or feel limiting to have your short-term memory affect your ability to meditate or memorise the buddhadharma. I have good news: it doesn't have to be! May I offer an alternative to "artificially reading" the texts or skipping the recitation part entirely?
The purpose of the Dharma is neither memorisation nor recitation; at least not in its true sense. However, we can use
a simple sing-along or chant that can be used as a teaching tool or a reminder practice.
This may seem silly and frivolous, but in these challenging times, it's nice to have more fodder for positive thoughts than negative ones, and I know many people are ruminating a lot on what they see as a pretty negative future-state. :(
I was asked by a student to write a short mantra that they could remember to use with her children (and herself) as she saw fit, so I took a ubiquitous and popular children's song and I tweaked and reinterpreted it with deeper Buddhist meanings.
Forgiveness is really not about someone else’s harmful behavior; it’s about our relationship with our own past. When we begin to work on forgiveness, it's firstly a self-care practice for ourselves.
Forgiveness and patience are critical to being able to cultivate your ability to develop inner peace-of-mind and happiness.
The Sagacious Buddhist Blog
Michael Turner is a pre-monastic Buddhist Ariya-puggala and a deeply accomplished enlightenment trainer and dharma life coach. He emphasises and teaches the practical application of Buddhism in our everyday lives to make real progress toward enlightenment and is particularly adept at explaining them in ways that can be easily understood and practiced by Western Buddhists. He has been meditating and cultivating the techniques to generate indestructible resilience and inner-strength for more than 25 years and has helped countless numbers of people enhance their practice to make clear progress along the Path.