Results 1 to 27 of 27

Thread: Meditation

  1. #1
    Korpsy Knievel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    4,234
    Mentioned
    33 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Meditation

    Meditation is an ancient and varied practice of shaping and strengthening the mind that demonstrates numerous beneficial effects obtainable through its regular exercise1. A number of forumites have experience with meditation and probably even more are curious about it (plus we need more easy threads to troll), and so I thought we could start a new discussion about this topic.

    I'll kick the can first:

    1) When envisioning myself in old age the initial mental image has usually appeared roughly so:


    2) After gaining an interest in meditation and meeting mostly with weird and hokey answers from the probable experts whose brains I picked2, a friend suggested I read "Turning the Mind Into an Ally", written by the golfer and mental cowboy Sakyong Mipham. The book outlines a simple meditation technique which I have found to be quite useful and easy to follow. However, I must admit having become very lax in meditation as a regimented exercise and can't really be said to be applying myself lately at all.

    3) Given 1 and 2 plus other reasons yet unknown3, I am pleased to have acquired the exotic-sounding T'ai I Chin Hua Tsang Chih, or Secret of the Golden Flower4. Apparently a major instruction in the book concerns breathing, a very big deal. Though I don't expect to be miraculously transformed, salutary effects will arise through assiduous application to this program5. In the interest of carrot and stick I would like to check in on this periodically.


    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_on_meditation
    2. For instance, an avowed yoga practitioner I asked could only recommend various contortions, and a papered philosopher who professed Oriental inclinations would just smirkily fake-shrug the guru hoodoo, "I don't know". White people!
    3. The book has illustrations, one likely source of excitement. The Wilhelm translation also includes commentary by Uncle Carl.
    4. http://www.alchemylab.com/golden_flower.htm
    5. http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/stor...idual-effects/

  2. #2
    Exits, pursued by a bear. Animal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    TIM
    It sneaks up on you
    Posts
    3,051
    Mentioned
    83 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Recently, I've been pleasantly surprised by some of the cumulative effects of my meditation practice over the last five years. Some things I have noticed:

    1.) The increased ability to concentrate or focus or redirect the mind has proved extremely helpful with my bouts of depression and anxiety. I actually gave up meditation for most of last year, corresponding with a period of intense depression and existential angst. But when I finally returned to it, I found it surprisingly easy to enter states of intense presence. It's like an athlete who takes a break from training for a few months: substantial muscle mass and strength can be lost in the interim, but is quickly gained back within a few weeks of returning to the gym. I've been much better able to let unskillful mind-states pass away. This is a huge deal because depression and anxiety tend to have cumulative effects on the body-mind complex. With each bout of depression, the more entrenched the mental patterns become, and the more likely one is to relapse again. As the colloquialized version of Hebbian theory states, "neurons that fire together wire together." For many people, unskillful cognitive-behavioral patterns cycle into a bit of a downward spiral. They concretize and form an identity around these mind-states and behaviors and it becomes harder and harder to live outside these patterns, or even see oneself as capable of existing outside them. This conceptualized self takes on a life of its own, and one becomes trapped in the recursive loop of self-definition. The longer this process goes on, the more content there is that is added to this conceptualized self and the more that needs to be relinquished and renounced to transcend it. Meditation seems to have offered me a way out of this loop.*

    2.) I've gained more psychological and behavioral flexibility, owing to the fact that the meditation I practice is largely about embracing whatever comes up. A lot of suffering is caused by an unwillingness to experience unpleasant thoughts and emotions. Welcoming such internal experiences fosters a less adversarial relationship with one's inner demons. This will sound loopy, but I've realized that love is the undercurrent of all emotions: fear is love that's lost it's way, as is anger, grief, loneliness, and shame. It's love for yourself or another person that has put on a (perhaps somewhat crusty and uncomely) mask. Knowing this, and being able to find the distorted love beneath any violent emotions like hatred or shame has made life a whole lot easier.

    3.) Increased presence from moment to moment, and thus increased opportunities to appreciate joy. While it has been extremely important for me to get my external circumstances in order (finding supportive friends; making sure I'm pursuing important life goals; finding an income stream that does not demoralize me, etc.), I've always found that happiness is not possible without an inner faculty to appreciate the details. Tiny little things strike me now and hit me like the most amazing music or art: a string of streetlights way off in the distance, a tree growing at an wry angle, the sound of sleet hitting the roof. It's like I'm living on a movie set, and picking up on the ambiance of every detail around me.

    * I've found that meditation in a vacuum, without a philosophical and ethical framework doesn't really help very much. I needed to change my worldview and the way I approached experience. Simply following your breath, without the existential framework of, say, the Buddha will not likely give you much beyond stress relief. The real inner transformation comes about from adopting principles of non-harming (both yourself and others), renunciation (which sounds pretty unappealing, but really is just about simplicity and relinquishing the slavery of material craving... I don't mean going full-on monk and demonizing sex and fun stuff; just giving up the rat race mentality of having to accumulate so much crap, or those people who are desperate for a relationship and cannot tolerate being single for over a week), living life in the face of death, and with an eye toward fostering strength rather than taking the path of least resistance. I don't follow Buddhism to its world-denying letter, but I've found the renunciant spirit (the idea that you need very little to be happy) profoundly freeing.
    "How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."
    -- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

  3. #3
    what is essential is invisible to the eye fox's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Space
    TIM
    ILI
    Posts
    12,802
    Mentioned
    367 Post(s)
    Tagged
    9 Thread(s)

    Default

    Meditation has helped me through a lot of rough times. It's also helped me gain both awareness, clarity and perspective. I feel like overtime as I lose mindfulness, those once open areas grow clouded over yet again as egotistical junk slowly accumulates. I'll then grow to an overflowing point where I once again feel lost in self loathing and materialistic pursuits... Usually when this realization hits me I'll have to go on a so called mental cleanse to gain that clarity back. I may go into more detail later.
    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    betas should be kept in zoos for children to stare and throw pop corn at.

  4. #4
    In Transition Raver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    TIM
    Ne-IEE 6w7 sp/sx
    Posts
    3,694
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    I've been meditating for about 3 years now on and off and it's been very useful for a variety of reasons. The main differences that stand out to me when I do meditate is that my anxiety levels are generally lower and I develop a thicker skin albeit temporarily. I'm able to better understand what people do and why they do it, which makes me less likely to react emotionally since I can see the logical reasons behind it. My ability to focus improves considerably and I can get things done that I normally would of procrastinated on. I focus much more on the present and break out of my typical routine, which results in doing things that turn out to be more interesting and rewarding. On very rare occasions I've meditated long and deeply enough that I was able to visit my past and understand how it's affecting my present.
    "Nothing happens until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change."

    Ne-IEE
    6w7 sp/sx
    6w7-4w5-9w1

  5. #5
    Korpsy Knievel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    4,234
    Mentioned
    33 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    These are all encouraging reports, which I say because they paint familiar landscapes with recognizable features. I would like to revisit some of the more common elements of contemplative practices as this thread progresses through the eons and is trolled.

    Presence is a quality I expect is responsive to strengthening through exercises of intentionality (i.e. meditation), so it's funny you would mention presence as it's something I've given thought to recently as well. Secondly, though this more or less esoteric or yogic involvement with intentionality, it is entirely sensible to ground oneself in a school or tradition whose ontology and ethics are co-extensive. That way the conjoined twin worlds of Is and Ought are provided for, and one is spared some unnecessary spinning of wheels. Plus come on, riddles and cool drawings? You can't beat that. Anyhow, there are connections presence and ethics share with intentionality through the roundabouts of bhakti or other devotional practice and the ultimate holism common to much of Eastern thought. I would like to explore that further by biting the top of my head off and skipping jumprope with my tonsils.

  6. #6
    Korpsy Knievel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    4,234
    Mentioned
    33 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    In response to mentions of presence, intentionality, rooting meditation in positive (i.e. definitive) ethical values and practices of a given school or tradition, disciplined exercise, and even love, a few relevant quotes from M. Scott Peck sequenced to present the loose appearance of a human thought:

    “The difficulty we have in accepting responsibility for our behavior lies in the desire to avoid the pain of the consequences of that behavior. ”

    “When we teach ourselves and our children discipline, we are teaching them and ourselves how to suffer and also how to grow.”

    “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

    “Discipline is wisdom and vice versa.”

    “With total discipline we can solve all problems.”

    “Love is the will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth... Love is as love does. Love is an act of will -- namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.”

    “Spiritually evolved people, by virtue of their discipline, mastery and love, are people of extraordinary competence, and in their competence they are called on to serve the world, and in their love they answer the call.”

    “Problems do not go away. They must be worked through or else they remain, forever a barrier to the growth and development of the spirit.”

    “Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom; indeed, they create our courage and wisdom.”

    “We must be willing to fail and to appreciate the truth that often "Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived."”

    “It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually. ”


  7. #7
    Exits, pursued by a bear. Animal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    TIM
    It sneaks up on you
    Posts
    3,051
    Mentioned
    83 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by k0rpsy View Post
    “Problems do not go away. They must be worked through or else they remain, forever a barrier to the growth and development of the spirit.”

    “Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom; indeed, they create our courage and wisdom.”

    “We must be willing to fail and to appreciate the truth that often "Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived."”

    “It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually. ”
    These in particular remind me of a story I read in Ezra Bayda's book Being Zen:

    Once a farmer went to tell the Buddha about his problems. He described his difficulties farming -- how either droughts or monsoons complicated his work. He told the Buddha about his wife -- how even though he loved her, there were certain things about her he wanted to change. Likewise with his children -- yes, he loved them, but they weren't turning out quite the way he wanted. When he was finished, he asked how the Buddha could help him with his troubles.

    The Buddha said, "I'm sorry, but I can't help you."

    "What do you mean?" railed the farmer. "You're supposed to be a great teacher!"

    The Buddha replied, "Sir, it's like this. All human beings have eighty-three problems. It's a fact of life. Sure, a few problems may go away now and then, but soon enough others will arise. So we'll always have eighty-three problems."

    The farmer responded indignantly, "Then what's the good of all your teaching?"

    The Buddha replied, "My teaching can't help with the eighty-three problems, but perhaps it can help with the eighty-fourth problem."

    "What's that?" asked the farmer.

    "The eighty-fourth problem is that we don't want to have any problems."

    Oddly, the tendency of the mind to create problems out of what are simply circumstances (by adding a layer of resistance to them) tends to dissipate when you take on this mentality. Nothing is a problem anymore. Simply pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral circumstances, which we can either work through or accept.
    "How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."
    -- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Exits, pursued by a bear. Animal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    TIM
    It sneaks up on you
    Posts
    3,051
    Mentioned
    83 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default



    EDIT: I'll come back with a better list later. I keep wanting to add more books, lol.
    Last edited by Animal; 01-26-2013 at 02:09 AM.
    "How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."
    -- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

  10. #10
    Decadent Charlatan Aquagraph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Continental Vinnland
    TIM
    OmniPoLR
    Posts
    3,967
    Mentioned
    126 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    My mind is weak and restless in this aspect. I can't just sit down. Sometimes I think it's because of the stress, sometimes I think it's because of the short attention span. Then I think that both are good reasons to meditate. Whatever it is, meditation is something totally different.
    “I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life. - Osama bin Laden

  11. #11
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    TIM
    LSE
    Posts
    18,006
    Mentioned
    162 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default


  12. #12
    . willekeurig's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1,512
    Mentioned
    70 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    How exactly do you people go about meditating? I've tried it a few times, but don't really know what I should do. How is meditation different from listening to music in a bus, staring out of the window and thinking stuff through?
    Where and in what position do you sit/stand/lie? How do you set the lights? Do you listen to music? What kind of music? Are your eyes open or closed? What is your mind focused on? Are you repeating some mantra in your head? How often do you meditate? How long do you do it at once? At what time of the day?
    Quote Originally Posted by 1981slater View Post
    Axis of Evil: Iran, Iraq, North Korea and Agarina
    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa Darmandzhyan
    Agarina does not like human beings; she just wants a pretty boy toy.
    Johari Nohari

  13. #13
    squirreltual's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    UK
    TIM
    SLI 9 sp/sx
    Posts
    809
    Mentioned
    33 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    Order of personal preference for a morning routine:

    - Beginning with some form(s) of moving meditation
    - Moving onto healing sounds ("liu zi jue")
    - Standing meditation (dan tian breathing)
    - Ending with sitting meditation and embryonic breathing ("tai xi" which dan tian breathing naturally leads onto)
    - After leaving the house, gently touching the thumb with the first two fingers on the hand opposite to the foot stepping down whilst walking.

    For me it's too much to go straight into sitting meditation and this isn't the way I have been taught. I forget the names of the different meditations and movements but I want to return to this with questions and more detail anyway.

    I really want to know the juicy details of what works for other people.
    Last edited by squirreltual; 01-26-2013 at 03:03 PM.

  14. #14
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    TIM
    LSE
    Posts
    18,006
    Mentioned
    162 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Agarina View Post
    How exactly do you people go about meditating? I've tried it a few times, but don't really know what I should do. How is meditation different from listening to music in a bus, staring out of the window and thinking stuff through?
    Where and in what position do you sit/stand/lie? How do you set the lights? Do you listen to music? What kind of music? Are your eyes open or closed? What is your mind focused on? Are you repeating some mantra in your head? How often do you meditate? How long do you do it at once? At what time of the day?
    First and foremost - practice makes perfect.

    Having said that and providing you're genuinely interested in it, it is a process of trial and error which means when someone said unto you that "this and that is great and works for her/him, so it is bound to work for you and everyone" is bullshit, for every single one of us is subtly genetically different, has different experiences, belief systems, etc. Looks like it is a diverse world.

    What I am saying is, you're the world's foremost expert on yourself and you have to work out if some piece of information is going to be of benefit to you. Oh and we gain mastery of a skill after 10,000 hours of practice

  15. #15
    Exits, pursued by a bear. Animal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    TIM
    It sneaks up on you
    Posts
    3,051
    Mentioned
    83 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Agarina View Post
    How exactly do you people go about meditating? I've tried it a few times, but don't really know what I should do. How is meditation different from listening to music in a bus, staring out of the window and thinking stuff through?
    Where and in what position do you sit/stand/lie? How do you set the lights? Do you listen to music? What kind of music? Are your eyes open or closed? What is your mind focused on? Are you repeating some mantra in your head? How often do you meditate? How long do you do it at once? At what time of the day?
    There are many forms of meditation from various traditions, all with different specifics and aims. In general, most forms of meditation can basically be divided into three categories:
    1. Concentration practices: those that involve the control of attention; focusing the mind on a certain object to the exclusion of all else -- these have a calming effect on the mind, and can even produce states of euphoria or rapture. I have found they are not particularly useful in and of themselves, except to foster a still vantage point from which to witness the workings of the mind. Includes:
      • anapanasati (mindfulness of breathing) in Buddhism
      • mantra meditation (which includes "Transcendental Meditation", various Kundalini yogic practices, the Hare Krishna mantra, or simply focusing on a neutral word like "om" or "one")
      • extended prayer (think: the rosary in Catholicism, or whirling dervishes in Islam)
      • walking meditation
      • music meditation
    2. Cultivation practices: those that involve visualization; consciously evoking certain emotions, thought-patterns, or experiences. These include:
      • the brahmaviharas (goodwill/lonving-kindness, compassion/mercy, selfless joy, and equanimity) in Buddhism
      • energy meditation (imagining breathing in healing energy or light into various parts of the body)
      • therapeutic meditation (often used in a psychotherapeutic setting, in which the patient imagines a traumatic event, slows it down, and processes the event at a more tolerable rate; should only be done in the supervision of a trained specialist)
    3. "Choiceless awareness" practices: those that involve simply "letting go" and allowing whatever arises in experience to do so, with as little mental interference as possible. These have been the most helpful for me, especially in dealing with anxiety.
      • samatha-vipassana (peaceful presence and insight) in Buddhism
      • zazen in Zen
      • "letting go and letting God"-type meditations in deistic traditions; similar to the "Serenity Prayer" (God grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change...")
      • "embracing your demons"-type of meditation, in which all experiences, even those that are deeply unpleasant, are welcomed and opened up to; Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach are prominent teachers of this sort of "radical acceptance"
      • Sedona method and Releasing Technique
      • I believe a lot of Eckhart Tolle's teaching falls into this category as well, although I've only read bits and pieces of his work


    These categories are not mutually exclusive, and the distinction between them often disappears in actual practice.

    Like squirreltual, I don't like jumping right into sitting meditation without first burning off any excess energy through exercise or daily activity. When I sit, I usually do it after I work out (not usually immediately, but in the evening after an afternoon workout). But I often will substitute walking meditation (basically when I just go walk in nature and allow the layers of conditioning and self-defining to fall away, and simply open up to the immediate experience and surroundings: the sights, sounds, smells and tactile sensations, allowing the mind to rest in pure awareness.

    My sitting meditation is pretty simple, and based on the anapanasati sutta of Buddhism. I sit in a chair in whatever posture is comfortable. It's best to stay upright, so that the spine is balanced and each vertebra is balancing on top of the others and the skeletal system is doing all the work rather than the muscles. Then I simply feel the entirety of the body, breathing. There's no special way to breathe, I simply try to allow the breath to be as free, natural, and pleasant as possible. After a few minutes of noticing the breath, I use the breath to calm any tension in the body. Inhaling, I send the breath to any tense spots; exhaling, I breathe out any tension. I then do this with any mental agitation, worry, anger, etc. Breathing in, I relax mental activity; breathing out, I "die" mentally -- letting go of any "selfing" activity. Sometimes I stop there, but usually I will move into a "letting go" meditation, in which I simply allow whatever thoughts, feelings, memories, etc. to arise, and soften to them, opening to them without having to control my inner experience.

    Sometimes, when I've really anxious or depressed, I have to do a loving-kindness or compassion meditation. These involve the repetition of simple phrases. You "drop the phrase" into the well of the mind and "listen for an echo" -- usually a feeling of kindness or love will arise. (You can find a good guided goodwill meditation here; scroll down to "Guided Metta Meditation" by Shaila Catherine.) You then move on to other people: wishing the same for close friends, people who have benefited you, and eventually, people who you may be angry with and then the entire universe. It sounds pretty lofty, but the point is simply to turn off the mind's habit of creating division both within yourself and outside and, thus, alleviating unnecessary suffering.
    "How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."
    -- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

  16. #16
    what is essential is invisible to the eye fox's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Space
    TIM
    ILI
    Posts
    12,802
    Mentioned
    367 Post(s)
    Tagged
    9 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Agarina View Post
    How exactly do you people go about meditating? I've tried it a few times, but don't really know what I should do. How is meditation different from listening to music in a bus, staring out of the window and thinking stuff through?
    Where and in what position do you sit/stand/lie? How do you set the lights? Do you listen to music? What kind of music? Are your eyes open or closed? What is your mind focused on? Are you repeating some mantra in your head? How often do you meditate? How long do you do it at once? At what time of the day?
    Here's a little trick --

    Think of a sentence, phrase, or poem. It can be any sentence. For example: essence of inner light

    Play the sentence slowly in your head. Then concentrate on one word at a time making each word in your head appear big and bright. Then, shift each word to the next: essence -- of -- inner -- light note the space between each word.

    Think "essence" then shift over to "of" then shift over to "inner", then slowly shift back again to "of". Notice that between each word is a space, or gap. The next time you shift between words, try to stay in between that gap for as long as you can. This gap is essentially where you want to be. Keep practicing shifting through words while staying between each gap for as long as possible without interference. When you feel that gap or space being interfered with by a distraction or thought, quickly shift back to the next word, and make that word big and bold in your mind. Then revert back to the gap.

    Meditation is not entirely about being in that space, but that space is essentially where you want to embrace. You are observing through the "space" or "gap"... Your inner being. If you have a thought, you want to be aware of those thoughts or words flowing into that "space" that "nothingness". Behind all your thoughts, behind all your emotions, behind all the chaos, lies that constant peacefulness of "space" or "being"... Which could even be described as the essential essence of the universe.

    The lyrics of one of my favorite songs explains things so well : http://youtu.be/buDwgaN9VJY
    Last edited by fox; 01-27-2013 at 10:14 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    betas should be kept in zoos for children to stare and throw pop corn at.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    May 2012
    TIM
    LII
    Posts
    28
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Agarina View Post
    How exactly do you people go about meditating? I've tried it a few times, but don't really know what I should do. How is meditation different from listening to music in a bus, staring out of the window and thinking stuff through?
    Where and in what position do you sit/stand/lie? How do you set the lights? Do you listen to music? What kind of music? Are your eyes open or closed? What is your mind focused on? Are you repeating some mantra in your head? How often do you meditate? How long do you do it at once? At what time of the day?
    I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Savatthi in the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migara's mother, together with many well-known elder disciples — with Ven. Sariputta, Ven. Maha Moggallana, Ven. Maha Kassapa, Ven. Maha Kaccana, Ven. Maha Kotthita, Ven. Maha Kappina, Ven. Maha Cunda, Ven. Revata, Ven. Ananda, and other well-known elder disciples. On that occasion the elder monks were teaching & instructing. Some elder monks were teaching & instructing ten monks, some were teaching & instructing twenty monks, some were teaching & instructing thirty monks, some were teaching & instructing forty monks. The new monks, being taught & instructed by the elder monks, were discerning grand, successive distinctions.


    Now on that occasion — the Uposatha day of the fifteenth, the full-moon night of the Pavarana ceremony — the Blessed One was seated in the open air surrounded by the community of monks. Surveying the silent community of monks, he addressed them:


    "Monks, I am content with this practice. I am content at heart with this practice. So arouse even more intense persistence for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized. I will remain right here at Savatthi [for another month] through the 'White Water-lily' Month, the fourth month of the rains."


    The monks in the countryside heard, "The Blessed One, they say, will remain right there at Savatthi through the White Water-lily Month, the fourth month of the rains." So they left for Savatthi to see the Blessed One.


    Then the elder monks taught & instructed the new monks even more intensely. Some elder monks were teaching & instructing ten monks, some were teaching & instructing twenty monks, some were teaching & instructing thirty monks, some were teaching & instructing forty monks. The new monks, being taught & instructed by the elder monks, were discerning grand, successive distinctions.


    Now on that occasion — the Uposatha day of the fifteenth, the full-moon night of the White Water-lily Month, the fourth month of the rains — the Blessed One was seated in the open air surrounded by the community of monks. Surveying the silent community of monks, he addressed them:


    "Monks, this assembly is free from idle chatter, devoid of idle chatter, and is established on pure heartwood: such is this community of monks, such is this assembly. The sort of assembly that is worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, an incomparable field of merit for the world: such is this community of monks, such is this assembly. The sort of assembly to which a small gift, when given, becomes great, and a great gift greater: such is this community of monks, such is this assembly. The sort of assembly that it is rare to see in the world: such is this community of monks, such is this assembly — the sort of assembly that it would be worth traveling for leagues, taking along provisions, in order to see.


    "In this community of monks there are monks who are arahants, whose mental effluents are ended, who have reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, laid to waste the fetter of becoming, and who are released through right gnosis: such are the monks in this community of monks.


    "In this community of monks there are monks who, with the wasting away of the five lower fetters, are due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, destined never again to return from that world: such are the monks in this community of monks.


    "In this community of monks there are monks who, with the wasting away of [the first] three fetters, and with the attenuation of passion, aversion, & delusion, are once-returners, who — on returning only once more to this world — will make an ending to stress: such are the monks in this community of monks.


    "In this community of monks there are monks who, with the wasting away of [the first] three fetters, are stream-winners, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening: such are the monks in this community of monks.


    "In this community of monks there are monks who remain devoted to the development of the four frames of reference... the four right exertions... the four bases of power... the five faculties... the five strengths... the seven factors for awakening... the noble eightfold path: such are the monks in this community of monks.


    "In this community of monks there are monks who remain devoted to the development of good will... compassion... appreciation... equanimity... [the perception of the] foulness [of the body]... the perception of inconstancy: such are the monks in this community of monks.


    "In this community of monks there are monks who remain devoted to mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.


    "Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, brings the four frames of reference to their culmination. The four frames of reference, when developed & pursued, bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination. The seven factors for awakening, when developed & pursued, bring clear knowing & release to their culmination.


    Mindfulness of In-&-Out Breathing
    "Now how is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit?


    "There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore.[1] Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.


    "[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' [2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' [3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.'[2] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' [4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.'[3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'


    "[5] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.' [6] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to pleasure.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to pleasure.' [7] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to mental fabrication.'[4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to mental fabrication.' [8] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming mental fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming mental fabrication.'


    "[9] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the mind.' [10] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in satisfying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out satisfying the mind.' [11] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in steadying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out steadying the mind.' [12] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in releasing the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out releasing the mind.'[5]


    "[13] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on inconstancy.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on inconstancy.' [14] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on dispassion [literally, fading].' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on dispassion.' [15] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on cessation.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on cessation.' [16] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on relinquishment.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on relinquishment.'


    "This is how mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit.


    The Four Frames of Reference
    "And how is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination?


    "[1] On whatever occasion a monk breathing in long discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, discerns, 'I am breathing out long'; or breathing in short, discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, discerns, 'I am breathing out short'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&... out sensitive to the entire body'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out calming bodily fabrication': On that occasion the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. I tell you, monks, that this — the in-&-out breath — is classed as a body among bodies, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.


    "[2] On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out sensitive to rapture'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out sensitive to pleasure'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out sensitive to mental fabrication'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out calming mental fabrication': On that occasion the monk remains focused on feelings in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. I tell you, monks, that this — careful attention to in-&-out breaths — is classed as a feeling among feelings,[6] which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on feelings in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.


    "[3] On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out sensitive to the mind'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out satisfying the mind'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out steadying the mind'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out releasing the mind': On that occasion the monk remains focused on the mind in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. I don't say that there is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing in one of lapsed mindfulness and no alertness, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on the mind in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.


    "[4] On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out focusing on inconstancy'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out focusing on dispassion'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out focusing on cessation'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out focusing on relinquishment': On that occasion the monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He who sees with discernment the abandoning of greed & distress is one who watches carefully with equanimity, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.


    "This is how mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is developed & pursued so as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination.


    The Seven Factors for Awakening
    "And how are the four frames of reference developed & pursued so as to bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination?


    "[1] On whatever occasion the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world, on that occasion his mindfulness is steady & without lapse. When his mindfulness is steady & without lapse, then mindfulness as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.


    "[2] Remaining mindful in this way, he examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment. When he remains mindful in this way, examining, analyzing, & coming to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.


    "[3] In one who examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, persistence is aroused unflaggingly. When persistence is aroused unflaggingly in one who examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then persistence as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.


    "[4] In one whose persistence is aroused, a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises. When a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises in one whose persistence is aroused, then rapture as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.


    "[5] For one enraptured at heart, the body grows calm and the mind grows calm. When the body & mind of a monk enraptured at heart grow calm, then serenity as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.


    "[6] For one who is at ease — his body calmed — the mind becomes concentrated. When the mind of one who is at ease — his body calmed — becomes concentrated, then concentration as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.


    "[7] He carefully watches the mind thus concentrated with equanimity. When he carefully watches the mind thus concentrated with equanimity, equanimity as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.


    (Similarly with the other three frames of reference: feelings, mind, & mental qualities.)


    "This is how the four frames of reference are developed & pursued so as to bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination.


    Clear Knowing & Release
    "And how are the seven factors for awakening developed & pursued so as to bring clear knowing & release to their culmination? There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor for awakening dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening... persistence as a factor for awakening... rapture as a factor for awakening... serenity as a factor for awakening... concentration as a factor for awakening... equanimity as a factor for awakening dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment.


    "This is how the seven factors for awakening are developed & pursued so as to bring clear knowing & release to their culmination."


    That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One's words.

  18. #18
    cunnilingus epilepsy inducer
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,428
    Mentioned
    45 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    From a western standpoint, Stoic exercises reconstructed: http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/56199/1...+Feb+2010).pdf

  19. #19
    In Transition Raver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    TIM
    Ne-IEE 6w7 sp/sx
    Posts
    3,694
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Agarina View Post
    How exactly do you people go about meditating? I've tried it a few times, but don't really know what I should do. How is meditation different from listening to music in a bus, staring out of the window and thinking stuff through?
    Where and in what position do you sit/stand/lie? How do you set the lights? Do you listen to music? What kind of music? Are your eyes open or closed? What is your mind focused on? Are you repeating some mantra in your head? How often do you meditate? How long do you do it at once? At what time of the day?
    What the other forum members posted in this thread is very good advice. I'd also like to add that you should start off with what dolphin mentioned and then increase the length of meditation only when your ready. I started with 10 minutes, but now I can do 30 minutes without a problem even if I take a long break from it. Meditation is a skill and it's not something that is going to be easy from the beginning simply because it requires breathing. Even after about 3 years of meditating on and off I still feel like I haven't mastered it. I find that doing it at night right before bed is the easiest for me because during the morning I am too tired and during the day and evening I am too busy.

    Meditation requires discipline to be able to sit still for an ample amount of time without the urge to get up and end it quickly and the breathing needs to be done right or it won't be effective. You need to breathe at the right pace and depth too as I've found myself breathing too quickly or heavily at times and that caused more harm than good. All you need to do is sit down on the floor with a pillow if you want or on a flat surface and sitting on a chair works fine too. The usual idea of meditation is in the lotus position with your fingertips touching, but I personally find that letting your legs stretch and resting your hands on your lap produces the same results.
    "Nothing happens until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change."

    Ne-IEE
    6w7 sp/sx
    6w7-4w5-9w1

  20. #20
    Creepy-male

    Default

    I'm a wind instrumentalist so meditation is focused on a few things for me;

    - Breathing
    - Listening
    - Toning

    They are all at some level related; breathing involves proper physical attention. You focus on physically how your breath is taken in and exhaled. Their should be very little tension in inhalation and involve a relaxing from the diaphram versus strain in lifting of the shoulders. Also pay attention to the ryhtmn at which one breathes. Musically I could use a metronome or merely depend on my own internal sense of rhythm (harder). Paying attention to the heartbeat as well as the flow of blood and air in the body is also key. Counting something like 8 in and 8 out or maybe 4 in and 8 out if you are breathing in fast. Then progress to smaller and smaller and quicker breaths and then back down to slower ones when it is too taxing. This is basic breathing. I've found when running this applies as well or when someone pulls g's, sprint, or chanel their energy into a quick sudden release their has to be a rapid release, which can be pleasantly developed so it doesn't hurt through progressive decreasing the duration required to inhale and exhale a full breath.

    Ear training is also meditative and involves listening for a particular pitch and being able to internally hear it ressonate and identify it. There is also relative pitch which involves distinguishing two pitches played in sequence or simultaneously. These can be compounded to complex combinations -- two pitches simultaneously, followed by another tone. You can work within the octave or even outside of that. This is easy to do with two people, but can be done single handed through listening to music and attempting to transcribe it. Sometimes a song gets stuck in your head or a pitch is ressonating in your subconcious. Then try to identify it, if its off, compare. Sustained ear training can be extremely meditative, especially considering how much sensory focus is put into vision and the like. Soundscapes are just as important as what one can envisualize.

    Toning is a process through which a single tone is played. Usually an instrument will have the a harmonic series of tones situated around that tone. Playing the tone in the lowest position of the harmonic series and then all other tones built up from that works exceedingly well.

    So C,G,C,E,G,Bb,C,D etc...... for c's harmonic series. It is also a chance to hear the tone in tune at its center and how to distort that intunation away from its center. Also you can change the timbre or articulation of the note. Wind instrument players call these long tones. Playing them is very relaxing both physically and mentally. It is primarily through this process that I almost always subconciously have a pitch in my mind.

    Also sometimes I've experimented around with meditation involving stretching, yoga, and chi as well as meditation involving envisualization and lucid dreaming as well as meditation techniques to stay in a dynamic trance whilst running, driving, or flying.

  21. #21

  22. #22

  23. #23
    lump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    TIM
    Fi/Te 6 sp/sx
    Posts
    12,596
    Mentioned
    631 Post(s)
    Tagged
    3 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireyed View Post
    Here's a little trick --

    Think of a sentence, phrase, or poem. It can be any sentence. For example: essence of inner light

    Play the sentence slowly in your head. Then concentrate on one word at a time making each word in your head appear big and bright. Then, shift each word to the next: essence -- of -- inner -- light note the space between each word.

    Think "essence" then shift over to "of" then shift over to "inner", then slowly shift back again to "of". Notice that between each word is a space, or gap. The next time you shift between words, try to stay in between that gap for as long as you can. This gap is essentially where you want to be. Keep practicing shifting through words while staying between each gap for as long as possible without interference. When you feel that gap or space being interfered with by a distraction or thought, quickly shift back to the next word, and make that word big and bold in your mind. Then revert back to the gap.

    Meditation is not entirely about being in that space, but that space is essentially where you want to embrace. You are observing through the "space" or "gap"... Your inner being. If you have a thought, you want to be aware of those thoughts or words flowing into that "space" that "nothingness". Behind all your thoughts, behind all your emotions, behind all the chaos, lies that constant peacefulness of "space" or "being"... Which could even be described as the essential essence of the universe.

    The lyrics of one of my favorite songs explains things so well : http://youtu.be/buDwgaN9VJY
    this is fucking awesome. definitely trying it if/when I start giving meditation another go. tonight.

  24. #24
    Chains's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    2,296
    Mentioned
    65 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    I can't ever seem to meditate sitting still. I prefer focusing while performing a task; to either calm my mind and/or perfect the task at hand. It feels great. It's important not to rush. Just do a good job and think about the present. Living in the moment and that sort of thing.

  25. #25
    Haikus Beautiful sky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    EII land
    TIM
    EII INFj
    Posts
    22,740
    Mentioned
    531 Post(s)
    Tagged
    6 Thread(s)

    Default

    I meditate when I walk.

  26. #26

    Default Meditation

    Meditation is great and very effective activity to keep our mind healthy and stress free. By meditation we empty our mind and by meditation we are go into state of natural unconscious. Best way to keep our mind refresh every time. Free meditation classes is best for those who want to explore about the meditation for the newbie.

  27. #27
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    TIM
    LSE
    Posts
    18,006
    Mentioned
    162 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    I meditated today whilst chopping wood. Done.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •