Vipassana

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by Michael, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    Dude, as soon as I find my digital recorder, I am so going to try that at home.
     
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  3. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Of course the way you think affects you! But we are not talking about thinking, we are talking about meditation. As you know, the process of meditation has very little to do with thinking.



    I wasn't aware that yoga was divorced from religion by Indians. Where did you get this impression?

    All the yoga instructors I know combine yoga with devotional lessons.

    In fact:

     
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  5. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    I'll try and find a citation when I have a bit of time.

    I suppose it's the word "thinking" that's a sticking point. The point is, depending on which areas of your brain are active, different outcomes will be achieved.

    It may not be divorced from religion, but, it's not predicated on it either. Also, my point was about a single deity who looks into your neural net, decodes the impulses, and passes judgment on said action potentials.


    Yoga stretching and breathing can be practice with effective outcome without any belief in a deity. This suggests that the fundamental basis for yoga is something other than a deity. Can Islam be practiced effectively with out Allah?
     
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  7. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    You have to consider how yoga was practised. It was part of the system of knowledge that was exclusive to those who were permitted access to the scriptures. Education in India was exclusive, the domain of Brahmins and yogic education like all other religious education was parcelled out only as they permitted - to those who had access to the Vedas, the Gita and the Upanishads. What is unique about yoga is that even those who did not believe in the Vedas, like Jains and Buddhists, embraced yoga as a common tradition. Hence the Yoga Vashist.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoga_Vasishta

    Sure. You can practise anything in Islam by divorcing it from the religious aspect. Yoga is part and parcel of a wider Hindu system. When you learn it from yogis, you cannot learn only breathing and stretching. You observe all the rules which they consider important to the yogic experience. But any person can pick and choose what they want from the experience - it will not be the actual yoga experience, but then the goals are different. Similarly, you can learn the chants which make up the Islamic salat and go through the motions without any of it having any religious importance to you.

    It is however interesting to see westerners who reject the rituals of the church, willingly embracing the rituals of Brahminical tradition in the pursuit of some mystical and esoteric realm
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  8. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    If the Islamic chants have no importance are they practiced effectively? IOWs what is their function if there is Zero belief in Allah?

    Yoga, stretching and meditation can induce calm peace of mind without any knowledge of the religious aspect. That is, assuming mental peace is the point of these exercises. Which is why people teach Yoga divorced from religion. And why people practice Yoga without any need of Religion.

    Does this happen in Islamic Chanting? If it's not the case that there are atheist Imam's who teach the chanting for some purpose, one must assume they are no longer effective. Wouldn't you agree?
     
  9. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Its my opinion that prayer is an end in itself. Its purpose is to destress calm and focus the mind. One thing I have noticed about people who pray faithfully and regularly is that not only are they healthier, but they are more peaceful. So I would say that it works. All the stretching and breathing which goes on is also beneficial, also in my opinion. There are 80 and 90 year olds who are spry and flexible because of a daily prayer regimen.

    If you think its that easy, try it for a month or so. You'll discover joints and muscles you didn't know you had. You have to follow the exact instructions - no matter which madhab. I'd be interested to know if you could even take the salat position.

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    http://www.quranreading.com/ramadan/how-to-offer-salah.php
     
  10. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    To destress, calm and focus the mind for what purpose?


    I am asking you this because if we are to go with the idea that the "destressing, calming and focusing of the mind" is the aim of prayer, then I will have to call you an atheist.

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  11. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Not at all. In Islam the purpose of prayer is not to ask, but to receive.

    The purpose of being calm and destressing and focusing is to lead a better life and to behave well towards others. Lots of people have many notions about the purpose of prayer in Islam, but it would just be one opinion against another.

    For example:
    Basically prayer is a form of invocation which involves dhikr or remembrance of God. Its a kind of tool which people use to focus their spiritual needs. Which is why Muslims have a qibla - which in itself has nothing to do with God, it is merely a focal point for prayer.

    One example of chanting which induces a state of meditation is the Hadra

    Another is Sama

     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    That must have been the schools in Alabama. There was no prayer in the schools in Illinois that I attended from 1949-1952, and none in the schools in Arizona from 1952-1960.

    Now that I've pointed that out, I will also point out another instance of your trademark intellectual dishonesty. As a self-identified scientist, there's no way that you cannot be familiar with the Fallacy of Correlation: Post hoc ergo propter hoc, or "Correlation implies causation" in English.

    Considering that 1959 was the year when The First Baby Boomer became a teenager, it's hardly remarkable that by 1963 that generation's impact on American culture began to escalate from hula hoops and rock'n'roll music to the full-blown Generation Gap. The Sexual Revolution, the peace marches, the civil rights demonstrations, the motorcycles, the drugs, Women's Liberation, the backlash against religion, the popularity of political science classes--all of these social upheavals were either already underway or just around the corner.

    What you're seeing (the Sexual Revolution and other disorderly behavior) is just one of the early symptoms, and what you regard as its cause (the backlash against religion) is just another one. The Generation Gap would not have happened so easily if the Baby Boomers' teachers, who got their degrees in the 1940s and were influenced by the ultra-liberal (and at that time quite small) academic class weren't spreading that influence.
     
  13. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    I just want to make sure I have SAM correctly. The benefits of Islamic chanting are in no way connected to a belief in God. IOWs, Islamic chanting is no more and no less effective than Scientology Chanting and/or simply Chanting words you have no idea what they mean?

    It's just the act of Chanting itself?

    I mention this because the Buddhist sect in Japan where the shitty movie that had Tom Cruse as the "Last Samurai" (you know that movie? It sucked). Anyway, that huge temple in the movie. That type of Buddhism is founded on a single word chant. They say it's Buddha's name and has "special" (aka superstitious) properties ( but of course those of us, like me and you, Signal and Fraggle, we're not superstitious in that way, so WE know this isn't true - it's just a word). I agree repeating it over and over calms the mind. I also agree this has nothing at all to do with superstition. There is a physical basis for this. People have used chanting as a meditative technique, probably from a time before religion as we know it, even existed.

    So, once again, any benefits of Islamic chanting have nothing at all to do with Allah. Correct?
     
  14. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    There's a strong correlation between the introduction of TV and violence. It's been suggested many Baby Boomers were plopped in front of the TV (convenient baby sitter) and were never properly socialized. As an example, cities of equal size where TV was introduced 4 years later, had a corresponding 500%+ increase crime ~18 years + 4 as neighboring cities who had the TV 4 years earlier (that data match across many cities in the USA this way). While we can't run an experiment, I'd say this is as good of proof as we're going to get.

    The Gods only know what the internet is doing.......
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique, uses a form of chanting as therapy. You set up your own chant, in the structure:
    Even though [insert something you do, think, etc., that you'd like to change,] I truly and profoundly respect myself.​
    You repeat it while making a cycle of taps on a prescribed set of acupressure points on your head and upper body.

    Eventually you get some insight into what/why/how it's bothering you and you modify the chant a little in response to that. You reiterate this cycle for a while and you'll very likely make some progress. People have gotten over things like arachnophobia this way. I've certainly used it to great advantage. I've got a 40-page notebook of revelations from EFT sessions.

    There's no religion to it and you don't even have to use the standard form of the sentence. You can put it together any way you want so long as you keep repeating it.

    Chanting is powerful. If you're chanting words in a language you don't understand, there is still something going on in your head.
     
  16. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Of course I know correlation != causation. Which was my point.

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    To some extent. Its my opinion that a strong faith goes a long way to determining the extent of success of any behaviour modification process. If you don't believe in something, does it still work? Probably, because in psychology they teach you that the act of smiling, even if you don't feel like it, can make you feel happier, by influencing your emotions. There are some studies [botox related ones, for example] which corroborate this.
     
  17. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    I think it depends on the behavior processes being modified.

    Breathing meditation is not the same as smiling exercises. Different areas of the brain, different outcomes. Breathing stimulates the Parietal lobe where as smiling would necessarily active the motor cortex (and is more than likely a hormonal response). Teaching a child to fear, would active the amygdala. etc...

    So, the neural modification is completely dependent on how the brain is used - or not used much, the case for the majority of people.
     
  18. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    OOOH!

    I never heard of that! I can really use it!

    *Wahoos idea like a shoplifted sixpack of Shiner and runs for the exit.*
     
  19. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    A bit off topic but since we're talking behaviour modification :

    While this is about talent vs effort, I think its relevant to the importance of quantity and intensity of a process, over quality.

    Or as Aristotle said, " we are what we repeatedly do"

    Voluntary vs involuntary? Cognitive vs instinctive? Where would you put meditation? aggression? practice? habit?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    It won't do you much good without the acupressure tapping points. Here's a chart: http://eftbytelephone.com/tapping-points.html

    It wouldn't hurt to set up one appointment with a telephone practitioner, just to make sure you're on the right track. He or she will probably charge you around sixty bucks (US) for an hour. I worked with a telephone therapist for several months before I started just doing it by myself.
     
  21. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Ha! Leave me out of this company!! :bugeye:



    And I like "The last samurai". I have the dvd, it is one of my favorite films and I have seen it at least five times.
     
  22. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Me too!

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    I believe there must be a reason why chants are so popular across many religions and societies [e.g. Gregorian chants, mantras, dhikr]

    I don't think we know enough about the effects of sounds on the brain to make such sweeping statements as "its just a word"
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  23. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    And I raise you with Vedic sound:



     

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