Meditation ?

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by MiTo, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. MiTo filosofos Registered Senior Member

    I have no experience in meditation, however I'm thinking about it.
    What's the best way to meditate, is one better then another? What's with TM meditation, I've read that it's easy to learn and you gain more benefit from it then from other techniques.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. Esoteric Tragic Hero Registered Senior Member

    Here are some video clips you dont feel like reading.

    The fundamental practice in zen Buddhism is meditation called zazen, which is a Japanese word that literally means "sitting zen" or "sitting concentration."
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2004
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Zero Banned Banned

    I highly recommend you learn the basics from a certified meditation instructor. If that's not available (being too lazy to find one is no excuse), then buy a credible book on the topic. I don't recommend trying to learn this from websites ...

    -- Long live the Female Messiah!
  8. MiTo filosofos Registered Senior Member

    ok, thanks all

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  9. SkippingStones splunk! Registered Senior Member

    I've heard similar statements many times but I have never heard a good reason why one shouldn't try it on their own. I've never talked with a instructor but I've had great success with basic meditation. The basics are very simple and it's something anyone can do.
    If it makes you feel better and more at peace with the world, go for it.
  10. robtex Registered Senior Member

    Mito, first off what are you trying to accomplish by mediating?

    I use to mediate a lot in college and right after for relaxation purposes. I learned it from marital arts so it was watered down from religious mediations associated with buddism, zen, and taoism. I picked-up a few things from experience that I want to share with you:

    1) location is very very important. You have to find a place that is quite and out of the way with a moderate amount of light to very little light. Room temperature should be moderate of if outside at first, outside temperature should be moderate--at least until you gain experience and than that does not matter as much.

    2) Posture is very important. When you mediate you should sit. Meditating while standing requires upright is really difficult in retrospect to sitting down. Laying makes people want to sleep. So go with sitting for now and maybe you can experiment later on. When you sit your head, neck, back and hips need to be in vertical alignment straight up and down. Meaning perpendicular to the ground. Put your hands on your knees. If you put them in front of you you are "closing" your chest which restricts breathing a little. If you put your hands on your knees you are "opening" your chest. Cross your legs in front of you and if you are on a hard surface (like concrete or wood) tie a sock around your ankles for a cushion.

    3) Breathing: Breathing is going to be regular and even. In through the nose and out though the mouth. The pont is you want to use as much of your breathing facilities as posible if you are breathing in and out through your nose your are circumventing the nose. Your stomach should be puffing in and out as you breath as opposed to your shoulders rising and falling. If your shoulders rise and fall you are only using the upper portion of your lungs. Take a breath in until you can't inhale anymore and hold it for just a few seconds. Than exhale. slowly and evenly. Each inhale/exhale is one. Count your breaths slowly going from one to ten. Than start over at one. It does not matter what number you count to. It is more important how deep and even your breaths are and that you can stay "under" for at least 10-20 minutes to start with.

    4) thinking: Keep thinking to a minimum. At first the only thinking you might want to shoot for is thoughts of counting your breaths. If that is tough, or later on, imagine images that lean towards breathing. One example I used frequently is I would watch an ocean in my head and when it rose I was inhaling when it fell I was exhaling. It was large and slow and even ..even like my breaths. Another common one is seeing a candle flame head. The flicking of the flame rises and falls with your breaths. At first mediate with your eyes closed. If you keep your eyes open it is really easy to get distracted by the world around you.

    5) Time: The best times for mediating are early in the morning or in the evening for most people. The reason is that in the morning you do not have the normal worries of the day on your mind and in the evening you have finished your day and can hopefully move past the earlier obstacles of the day. I use to mediate before training sometimes to mellow out in an effort to increase my martial arts preformance.

    6) Preparation: There two exercises for prepartation that I usesd

    a) preparation breathing. Sitting cross legged (or seiza sometimes) I would inhale forcefully for 10 seconds or more. Hold for three...exhale for 8 seconds. I would only do that about 10 a warmup.

    b) Stretching. That is a whole art unto itself but the tips I can give are a) stretch to relax instead of to max flexablity b) stretch whole body not just the legs (neck shoulders and arms too) c) Use same even breathing as talked about ealier d) Use static isometric stretching as opposed to stretching using a lot of motion

    I have read about transendtial mediation but have no experience in it so I have no useful comments for you about it. I only used it for relaxation and focus not for enlightment.

    If you gain more expience you can work on other techinques ( I did) and there are many others to choose from but if you can watch someone (as opposed to read) you can really learn a lot. Martial arts people are good to learn from because they will be less apt to attach a philsosphy on how to live your life to it. If you learn from a buddiest, taoist or shintoist you are more apt to get a packaged deal that includes their beliefs. While that may strengthen your experience to have the packaged deal you can always add it later after you get the raw technique of mediatation without ideological attachments.
  11. exsto_human Transitional Registered Senior Member

    Try doing a Koan, it's simple yet effective.

    No intsructors needed.
  12. sevenblu feeling blu Registered Senior Member

    Most examples on "how to meditate" should be called: "how to concentrate." Meditation is suppose to be the practice of seperating yourself from ALL thoughts, yet many are told to concentrate on a single thought. Staring at a flame in a dark room contradicts the idea behind meditation.

    Personally I believe that meditation is near impossible and you would be hard pressed to find a person who can even concentrate well.
  13. MiTo filosofos Registered Senior Member

    robtex : thank you very much for the insight,
  14. exsto_human Transitional Registered Senior Member

    koans are meant to make you not think, make your thought process stop completely.
  15. robtex Registered Senior Member

    You are welcome. I wish you well in your journey. Do me a favor and tell me how it is going with mediation from time to time.
  16. robtex Registered Senior Member

    I went to that website and I wanted to point out three things about the woman meditating in the picture.

    1) She is sitting in a position called a 1/2 lotus. Her right leg which is tucked under is sitting on a rock. Over a short time her ankle wil ache because of that. Two solutions for that is (a) tie a sock on her right ankle to act as a cushion (b) bring a pillow with her and sit on that...but the pillow has to be even so that she won't be lopsided..otherwise she will use muscle tension to stay upright. The sock might be a better option.

    2) Her stomach is slightly bent and her neck seems ever so slightly forward. It is optimal to have the hips stomach chest neck and head in vertical alignment perpendicular to the ground--as opposed to the slight hunch in the picture.

    3) A lot of schools teach the hand position she is using. I forgot the name of it but putting your hands their in my experience closes the chest and does not allow optimal breating preformance. I would recommend that she move her hands to her knees to open her chest up. You can experiment with this to test the theory. Put your hands in your lap and inhale deeply in your chair while you stare at the computer. Exhale strongly and about 2 seconds into the exhale move your hands out of your lap and and to the sides of your chair. You will see your exhale become stronger immedialtly as you move yoru hands. Having the hands where she has them also naturally hunches the shoulders which slightly inhibits breathing.

    I do realize that the opinions on the website are contary to mine. Try it both ways and see which one works for you...I don't believe I have heard anyone who talked about mediation before suggesting to lower your head.

    The rest of the site is about buddism and why I know a little I don't know enough to offer a really educated opinion on it.
  17. Outkaster Registered Member

    Stopping thought is nearly impossible. Meditation is like talking in a crowded room you have to learn to push thought and imagination into the background where you don't notice it is there.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2004
  18. moementum7 ~^~You First~^~ Registered Senior Member

    Meditation is not complicated.
    Yes, it is a form of concentration.
    It is meant to interupt your current state of habitual everyday thinking.
    Instead of your mind constantly flittering about, it is about bringing your consciousness to the present.
    It's about learning to take control of your thinking. Your focus.
    Start by focusing on something for 5 minutes.
    I personaly beleive that concentrating on ones breath is the best and most personal way to begin meditation.
    If thoughts of any kind enter your mind, just let them go and continue to focus on your breathing.
    I have meditated in many different ways.
    From concentrating on a single word, an image, my breathing, learning to watch where your thoughts come from as TM teaches is quite an experience.
    Fasting for a day, physical relaxation, and some others.

    They all have the same outcome.
    You will eventually find your own way of meditation.
    The one that you enjoy most is probly the one for you.

    I may have to start meditating again, in fact...........
  19. moementum7 ~^~You First~^~ Registered Senior Member

    Oh yeah, and you usually come out with awnsers to questions you have been asking but not putting in the neccessary time or effort into doing so.
    Definite bonus.
    Man, I can tell I haven't meditated in a while, my mind was all over the place!
    Much better now.
    I love it.
    It's so preciously intimate.
    The more time with me the better, OHH!
  20. Zero Banned Banned

    Meditation is not a process to stop thoughts.

    A gun to the head will do better to stop all mental activity.
  21. exsto_human Transitional Registered Senior Member

    What is meditation Zero?
  22. Rick Valued Senior Member

    What is most obfuscating is that some people just want to keep their knowledge to themselves.They wont reply until cajoled about it.Wait till i start carping KM...

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  23. Apostrophes Registered Member


    You've never heard a good reason why meditation should not be tried on your own? The Dalai Lama himself warns against damaging your mental health. It is very, very important to have a stable mind before embarking on single-pointed meditation. I am speaking from first-hand experience. Sometimes pulling at a thread can cause the entire tapestry to unravel.

    Having said that, Zazen is a good place to start. Begin with just five minutes and slowly build up over a period of weeks. The thing about Zazen is that when thoughts and feelings arise, don't try to push them away or bury them again or analyse them. Just let them float up, hang around, then float away even if those thoughts and feelings are unpleasant. I have heard many people complain that meditation doesn't work for them because they couldn't relax. That is meditation working. When I become agitated during meditation I just carry on sitting there. I might want to get up because it's 'not working' but I just keep on sitting. A little voice in my head says, "Come on, let's do something else." But I just keep sitting, remembering all the while that there is no such thing as a bad meditation.


Share This Page