Meditation - What's the Point?

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posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 10:15 PM
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Astyanax
Meditation is a way of getting high by systematically depriving your brain of oxygen and sensory stimulus.

Long-term meditation abusers start believing that their hallucinations are reality. They come to hold that reality is an illusion, that there is no such thing as the self, and other dangerous illusions of a similar kind.

Over time, meditation rewires the brain until it can know longer function properly.

That is the point of meditation.


Actually, there's some truth to what you're saying. There are those who do just what you're talking about. Depriving the brain of oxygen is not meditation. And the hallucinations that come from it, are just that.

Proper meditation does not impede the brains functioning, though. Neither short, or long term. It's unfortunate, but there are good and bad practices in everything humans do.




posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 10:17 PM
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reply to post by openlocks
 


This is one of those brain back flips.

This is an example of a simplified version of the "Point."

A side question, Why would anyone want to learn a method of meditation (or practice) that is not believed to have been directly handed down from Buddha himself?

The rest of this post can be equated simply...

Mind = Blown.



posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 10:17 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


, that was an awesome troll job! I particularly like the choice of words such as "The abuser" and "parasite to society"...



posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 10:21 PM
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reply to post by RicketyCricket
 



Why would anyone want to learn a method of meditation (or practice) that is not believed to have been directly handed down from Buddha himself?

Buddha never said his way was the only way. Or that he was the only teacher. He would have told you to follow the path where ever it takes you.



posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 10:26 PM
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reply to post by openlocks
 

Thank you, openlocks. It is always good to be appreciated.

I take it you have been meditating for a very long time?



posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 10:27 PM
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Rickety,

Firstly to answer your question of "Why" I meditate...

I am a worrier and have a large tendency to over-analyze in most if not all situations.
I wanted to meditate to calm the reflex of being overly analytical and to also find solace from daily stressful situations that were a constant battle to my psyche.

I say nothing during meditation, and also try to bypass the questions or thoughts that do naturally occur when in this state of mind. All I am doing is simply inhaling through the nose and exhaling out of my mouth.
trying to stay quiet enough so that eventually I hear my heart beating and slowing down to a relaxed rhythm.

Envisioning: You may try this if it helps you. I sometimes like to use imagination and use small objects or containers that I can put all of my worries and negativity into, and then imagine the container slowly sinking into the ground and disappearing.

Physical Sensations: You more than likely will feel differently during meditation, as for these sensations they will be different per individual. I find that most times during this period I encounter a floating feeling and afterwards being very up (not enthusiastic) just a better overall mood in general. Many times my wife had commented after I re-emerged from meditation that I would even look differently than I did before my session.

If you are falling asleep during your meditation, you may need to use a less prone position when in meditation so as Not to fall asleep (nowhere is it said that falling asleep isn't allowed) In other words, you shouldn't be in a position where it is easy to fall asleep. In short, you can do either sitting up or laying down, all up to the individual.

Standing: You can actually meditate while strolling, do a quick Google search on that if you wish...

Silence: Again, you could take this time to focus on anything that relaxes you or nothing at all. You should have some sort of intention before you begin, to help guide you along and get you there, but do not worry about the end result, leave that as only your intention.

Candles, Crystals and Incense, oh my! (Sorry, had to)...you probably could use these if you wish. Just remember this, the point is to relax your thinking brain and quiet the mind. I personally have never used crystals during meditation, I have used incense and candles although candles become a bit distracting to me after having my eyes closed for a time.

Music: Does it relax/calm you down? Then use it.

Water/Drinking: You can and you won't be penalized if you do so.

I hope this helps you with getting some answers to the questions you posed.

Good Luck on your journey!!!

Namaste,

Frank



posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 10:29 PM
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Klassified
reply to post by RicketyCricket
 



Why would anyone want to learn a method of meditation (or practice) that is not believed to have been directly handed down from Buddha himself?

Buddha never said his way was the only way. Or that he was the only teacher. He would have told you to follow the path where ever it takes you.



Very true. In fact, meditation existed long before the Buddha ever became the "Buddha". To that end, he is largely considered to have expounded the most expansive, thorough and direct path. Many others have reached "enlightenment" by following this path, many of which live today (see previous examples), which is of course why it has been so trusted throughout history.

"There are only two mistakes when walking this path, not starting and not going all the way." - Buddha



posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 10:32 PM
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reply to post by openlocks
 




Very true. In fact, meditation existed long before the Buddha ever became the "Buddha". To that end, he is largely considered to have expounded the most expansive, thorough and direct path. Many others have reached "enlightenment" by following this path, many of which live today (see previous examples), which is of course why it has been so trusted throughout history.

"There are only two mistakes when walking this path, not starting and not going all the way." - Buddha

True that.



posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 10:36 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



Thank you, openlocks. It is always good to be appreciated.

I take it you have been meditating for a very long time?


Yes, I am definitely an "abuser" and a "parasite to society" too,
. Although, probably for different reasons than you put forth. You know, being a "Buddhist-Anarchist-Vegan" and all doesn't always coincide too well with the "Christian-Statist-Meat Lover's of America".

I do support myself though!
edit on 16-9-2013 by openlocks because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 11:07 PM
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RicketyCricket
reply to post by dodol
 


One poster said thousands of approaches. Would you agree?

Is that your goal of meditation, or is that how it was originally presented to you, or is that what the point of meditation is?

I believe that could be the entire point of it. In which case, that about closes the main point of the thread. Thank God for the rest of my long-windedness.

My religion... Well, that's a tough one. I was raised Roman Catholic, but took issue with the pomp and circumstance, noticed the hypocrisy of the situation I was in, and took a step back. I believe there is a God, almighty creator, or whatever you would like to call him/her/it. I also noticed that pretty much every religion has the same standards and practices, even the same cast of characters, however, some names of people, and places, along with the timelines don't quite match up. Does that help? You can call me a Christian if that makes it easier, but I don't really label my religion as one of the big 3.

I will keep all mantras away from materials and worldly things. Those are not the reasons I meditate. I go to work for the stupid stuff like TVs and Cars and Clothes and stuff.

Have you found that reading the prayer is more or less necessary at the later end of your day? Better question, when do you meditate? Morning? Night? Is there a "proper" time? Or "suggested" time?

When it is music, I go for Baroque (bad joke) and hit up some Bach. Occasionally some Steven Halpern makes it in there, but that's a bit out of my taste range. Are these types of music okay? Would Guns n Roses be a less than optimal choice? I ask because when I was a teenager, I would put on some rock to get my homework, project, studying done. I found the louder it was, the better I studied. I guess I needed something to actively acknowledge as far as blocking it out went.

Zazen... How do you let thoughts by without becoming involved? Isn't acknowledgement part of involvement? Or is acknowledgement just recognizing a thought as a thought, without giving any thought to the thought's message? "Kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia" vs "Buy more Toilet Paper at the store?"

Thank you for your reply.


Yes, agree. Thousands or more accurately, infinite approaches.
To be at Present Moment (Now/Reality/etc), there are many approaches.
Breathing in/out, is the easiest, just be the breathing.
More than one of the Five Senses also can be used at the same time to achieve this.
Feeling Energy/Vibrations inside the body is also another approaches
Even activity that require talent/intuitions like painting/dancing/singing will also do, you become the painting/dancing/singing activity itself, its like watching painting/dancing/singing done automatically for you.
Understanding the messages (koan/puzzle?) from historical sages/philosophers also one of them. it makes mind do some silent workout to understand them.
Bowing is also one of them. For example, Bow to your friend to thank him/her for helping you, wholeheartedly (no thoughts, just be the bow and everyone you bow), this will keep Ego/Mind checkmated.
etc. etc.

Religions don't matter, They all come from the same Source (I dunno about satanism or ufologism), even Pope Francis suggest a meditation on Psalms 102 (iirc)
Some Catholics also written a blog of the important of citing prayers to return to present moment.
Religions are just concepts, before your parent/gf/friend introduced you to Religion, what religion you have?
When you were inside your Mom's womb, what religion you have?
All concepts died with body and mind, when we physically die.

As for Music, only one music played repeatedly/infinite loop is a must for one meditation session. Be one with music, and dont get distracted by words from singer.

Meditation are not bounded by time/place, you can do it when you work, for example when we type this text messages.

Be the observer, just be aware all the activities (including your thoughts) and not identified by any of them. They are just things appearing and disappearing from your awareness. (Although I can explain this, I still fall into mind traps most of the time
)

one of the best Zazen video (www.youtube.com...)

Thoughts, dont worry about crazy thoughts, just watch and let go slowly including good thoughts. Some thoughts are replayed over and over but it's fine, if you realize it is not you, it will disappear forever or not (Sometimes they hide and come back, especially the discrimination thoughts)

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posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 11:08 PM
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Meditation what's the point? It's a hipster liberal kind of self righteous feel good sort of thing.



posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 11:20 PM
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reply to post by RicketyCricket
 


Hello RicketyCricket, may Peace be with you.

Meditation is to be consciously-aware and observant of reality and existence with clear perceptions. All of life is a meditation. Meditation will help you to truly know yourself, and will open new insights and understandings.

 

 


In my opinion, the first practice is to clear the mind of thought.

Quieting the mind is a major obstacle of meditation. It will take some practice, but the rewards are well worth the effort. The ability to "not think" will give your brain a rest, relieve stress, and re-energize you like a good nap.

Make some personal alone time, where you will not be bothered or distracted by people, pets, sounds, etc.

Sit or lay in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Slow and steady breaths. Become aware of your breathing and focus on it. Concentrate on breathing in, concentrate on breathing out. Slow, deep breaths. When you breath in, say to yourself that you are breathing in. When you breath out, say to yourself that you are breathing out. (This is a good time to practice the Anapanasati Sutta. Will post it in next reply)

As thoughts, memories, images, emotions, or songs appear in your mind, do not think about them, do not engage them, and do not dwell upon them. Do not think about 'not-thinking' about the thought. Snap out of engaging the thought and focus on your breathing.

If you are having trouble clearing your mind of thoughts,... imagine you are at a rail-road crossing as a train crosses. Imagine each distracting thought as an individual boxcar of the train. You see a boxcar come into view, you watch it pass. Be aware of it, do not fight it. Observe it, and allow it to pass out of your awareness.

Or imagine you are sitting by a river. Imagine each distracting thought as a leaf drifting in the water. The leaf comes into view and is carried down stream and out of sight by the current. Do not add to the thought, and do not think about 'not thinking.' Allow the thoughts to arise and pass, acknowledged but not engaged.

Thoughts arise. Thoughts fade and pass.

As you gain control over distracting thoughts, continue to focus on your breathing. Do not have a conversation in your mind about breathing. Simply, observe your breathing. Continue to allow thoughts to arise, then pass without ever adding to the thought.

As thoughts come less, and your internal voice stops chattering,... your mind begins to quiet. Enjoy the emptiness of a quiet mind. Find peace and relaxation in a quiet mind. Stay in that quiet place as long as you can experience it, or as long as you desire.

You may even fall asleep while meditating at times, and that's ok. It will be a restful sleep! Just try again the next day, and the next day, until you can quiet the mind without falling asleep.

In my personal opinion, further meditative techniques should not be tried until you are able and comfortable with focusing on your breathing and clearing your mind of distractive thoughts. The ability to 'not think' will give your brain a rest, relieve stress, and re-energize you like a good nap.

Meditation takes effort, practice, patience, dedication, trial and error. Give yourself 10-30 minutes of quiet alone time each day to meditate until you start to get the hang of it. Do not become discouraged, just like sports, meditation takes practice.



posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 11:21 PM
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Anapanasati Sutta
Mindfulness of Breathing


"The first breath: "Breathing in a long breath, I know I am breathing in a long breath, I know I am breathing out a long breath."

The second breath: "Breathing in a short breath, I know I am breathing in a short breath. Breathing out a short breath, I know I am breathing out a short breath."

"These two breaths enable you to cut through forgetfulness and unnecessary thinking, at the same time giving rise to mindfulness and enabling you to encounter life in the present moment. Forgetfulness is the absence of mindfulness. Breathing with awareness enables us to return to ourselves and to life."

"The third breath: "Breathing in, I am aware of my whole body."

"This breath enables you to contemplate the body and be in direct contact with your own body. Awareness of the whole body and awareness of every part of the body allows you to see the wondrous presence of your body and the process of birth and death unfolding in your body."

"The fourth breath: "I am breathing in and making my whole body calm and at peace. I am breathing out and making my whole body calm and at peace."

"This breath helps you realize calmness and peace in the body and arrive at a state in which mind, body, and breath are one harmonious reality."

"The fifth breath: "I am breathing in and feeling joyful. I am breathing out and feeling joyful."

"The sixth breath: "I am breathing in and feeling happy. I am breathing out and feeling happy."

"With these two breaths, you cross into the domain of feelings. These two breaths create peace and joy that can nourish mind and body. Thanks to the cessation of dispersion and forgetfulness, you return to yourself, aware of the present moment. Happiness and joy arise within you.

"You dwell in the wonders of life, able to taste the peace and joy mindfulness brings. Thanks to this encounter with the wonders of life, you are able to transform neutral feelings into pleasant feelings. These two breaths thus lead to pleasant feelings."

"The seventh breath: "I am breathing in and am aware of the activities of the mind in me. I am breathing out and am aware of the activities of the mind in me."

"The eighth breath: "I am breathing in and making the activities of the mind in me calm and at peace. I am breathing out and making the activities of the mind in me calm and at peace."

"These two breaths enable you to look deeply at all the feelings arising within you, whether they are pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral, and enable you to make those feelings calm and at peace."



posted on Sep, 17 2013 @ 12:18 AM
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RicketyCricket
reply to post by greencmp
 


Now I'm going to be trying to pick your brain on what you took from the book and how it affects you. Maybe even how you've utilized the take aways in your own life.

You've created a new monster!

It is great, my favorite suggestion was to pick a day of the week to be mindful (like Saturday), put a piece of paper on your ceiling above your bed that says "half-smile" so you can get started right away when you wake up and only pay attention to what you are doing all day. Half-smile is his solution to pretty much everything and it works.

If you haven't read the Tao Te Ching (online version), it is a must do. There are different/better translations. That online one claims to be accurate but, I enjoyed this one the most: Tao Te Ching when I got started, great artwork too.

Since then I have found scholarly translations that unite newly discovered (older) versions and compare the two. Very interesting but academic for your purposes and not as enjoyable.
edit on 17-9-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 17 2013 @ 01:32 AM
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reply to post by RicketyCricket
 


Modern meditation is for those not strong enough to withstand their own thoughts, so rather than face their lives and experiences in their mind, they instead seek to negate themselves and think about breathing or something completely arbitrary.

Meditation as contemplation however is where chaos becomes creation.



posted on Sep, 17 2013 @ 02:22 AM
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reply to post by openlocks
 



I am definitely an "abuser" and a "parasite to society" too,
. Although, probably for different reasons than you put forth. You know, being a "Buddhist-Anarchist-Vegan" and all doesn't always coincide too well with the "Christian-Statist-Meat Lover's of America".

I wouldn't know about that. I am from a small, benighted country on the other side of the world where people live mainly on rice, sugar and coconut. The majority of the population are Buddhists, and a right hash they've made of their lives and their country, I can tell you.


I do support myself though!

That is good to know. But if you aren't slinking about the place, begging-bowl in hand, gorging yourself on the sweat of others' brows, why do you call yourself a parasite on society?

edit on 17/9/13 by Astyanax because: of some nonsense.



posted on Sep, 17 2013 @ 02:49 AM
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The way you understand this world, society, people etc . It's all in your mind
The kind of person you are and your behaviour depends on the reaction you have on your surroundings which are programming your mind to work in a certain way, which most of the times isn't ideal
Meditation is about reprogramming your mind.
Imo the goal is subjective just as the way of practice and everything.
I don't agree with religious meditations (buddist. hindu, wiccan, etc.) although praying is a form of meditation too.

ps Meditation can have negative results too... sanity is mandatory



posted on Sep, 17 2013 @ 03:37 AM
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RicketyCricket
Hello all.

I am newish to the meditation realm, and had (seemingly) simple questions that I can't seem to get answered anywhere.

I was hoping that the lot of you would be able to throw in your collective ideas, mantras, reasons, and your "Why." The reason you meditate, is the "Why" I refer to.

What do you say to yourself while you meditate?

Do you say anything?

Am I supposed to be actively envisioning something?

Am I supposed to feel anything?

Am I supposed to fall asleep?

Should I be sitting or laying down?

What about standing?

Is the point of this just simple silence?

What role do candles and crystals and incense play in all this?

Are they necessary?

Can I play music in the background?

Am I allowed to drink some water while meditating if my throat is dry?


Is there some sort of guide out there for this? I've looked high and low and can't seem to find any solid accounting of this, or even two people who do it the same way. It makes me question meditation's effectiveness, and also makes me question if anyone really knows what they're doing when they meditate.

I'd love your input on the topic, and I would be ecstatic if someone with some real knowledge on the subject could drop some knowledge bombs on the rest of us (mostly me though, because it is my thread). From the outside looking in, I can see meditation being beneficial to me, I just want to know that I am doing it "the right way" so as not to waste my time.

Thanks in advance!


Why do I meditate?
I feel like people these days float through life not really understanding themselves. Why people do certain things, or act certain ways. We are all products of our environment through positive and negative feedback, and even more so we are impressionable as children. We form our sense of self through the way we perceive the world around us, and our interaction with it. I feel like meditation is a way for me to never lose connection with who I am, and to understand why I do the things I do. It allows me to face all of my skeletons in the closet, to power through my troubles and make peace with them instead of walking around them.

I don't say, imagine, or envision anything. I feel my body, starting with my feet and go all the way up through my back to my neck and down my arms, through my stomach to my face, and relax all muscles. If there is a thought or if I get distracted from my body, I slowly pull myself back to the task at hand. At the end, I focus on my breathing. I let the breaths come and go naturally, and do not try to control them myself. I imagine honey being poured over the top of my head and as it flows down my body I imagine all of my muscles relaxing completely. I then let people float into my thoughts, and it doesn't matter if I hate them or if they are my best friend. I wish them all well.

You can fall asleep (it has helped me fall asleep on many sleepless nights), and you can choose to sit or lie down, whichever is most comfortable for you (although lying down makes one more prone to falling asleep). I wouldn't recommend standing (too many distractions), and you can't relax your muscles. No music, no distractions from your senses, and drink water beforehand.

It allows me to see things differently. It has helped me to understand that stress is relative, and there is nothing I can't do. That happiness is only temporary and suffering is permanent, and the only way to relieve suffering is through compassion and love.

Hope this helps!



posted on Sep, 17 2013 @ 03:40 AM
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I see it as a mental exercise. It's practice in releasing thoughts that I would otherwise cling to and get carried away with, sometimes to the point of anxiety. I'm learning to observe without unnecessary judgments. I always feel rejuvenated after doing it. It's good for mental health.

There have been scientific studies that show meditation alters the gray matter of our brains as well. The parts of the brain that are associated with more positive feelings can change in as little as 8 weeks with meditation. Monks who do it constantly every day of their life showed brain activities that where off the chart compared to the average person.

I think meditation is one of the more difficult things I've tried dedicating myself to, but I've only see good come from it.
edit on 17-9-2013 by mahatche because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 17 2013 @ 04:06 AM
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reply to post by RicketyCricket
 


Hey RicketyCricket and welcome to the world of meditation!

I started on this path about 30 years ago and have had complete and total failure to 'sit still and quiet my mind' ever since!

I gave up on meditation ... until I came across Mantak Chia's books on Taoist energy meditation, the first book being all about male sexual energy.

As a 20 year old male this hooked me and I actually felt the energy in my body the very first time I gave it a shot.

I've been in and out of meditation since, mostly out, but I've got a few experiences under my belt:
I spent 18 days in total darkness practicing Kan and Li advanced Taoist energy work with Chia.
I also did a rains retreat (2 months) in the forest monastery attached to Wat Suan Mokh in Surat Thani, Southern Thailand, buddhism shaved eyebrows and wooden pillow style. I spent 15 days alone in the forest meditating, 6 of them fasting.
I spent time in Colombia and Brazil with a few hard core Shamen, participating in rituals and drinking various potions and I hung out with a real life Swami in Rhotak, Dehli in India too for a while, so I've rubbed shoulders with one or two of the so called 'enlightened masters' ... although in my humble estimation, none of them had made it yet!

2 years ago it all started to get a bit serious!

Last year, I began creating a series of 3 guided meditation audios. They are unique, I do not think you will find anything else like them. Certainly, they are nothing like 4 beats in, hold, 4 beats out


The first one is called 3 Stones (Awakening) and you will find it here:
www.openlounge.org/lastbusstop/3-stones-awakening/
complete with comprehensive articles and information you need to read in order to get the full juice from the Med. There are also two or three seperate discussions from people who beta-tested the meditation and follow up comments about their experiences.

Feel free to copy and paste anything there and put it here in your thread. [ I haven't been active on ATS for a while and not sure how the mods now view cross site linking, so I will leave that up to you
]

I am currently working on "Letting Go" the second of the series of 3, which should be ready in a week or three. At this time I have no idea what the third one will be, just that it will arrive when I am ready and able to first experience it and then produce it.

Each audio takes around 400 hours to create, plus the time to create the supporting material. There is no charge for the download.

The meds are VERY advanced, and only one or two people I know have got close to uncovering the more subtle and hidden aspects of what is in there. However, several 'noobs' to meditation have used them and had fantastic results all the same.

And if you enjoy the meditations, I'd rather you 'pay it forward' than tell me
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