Does anyone here meditate?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Shamus, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. Shamus macrumors 6502a

    Shamus

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    Feb 26, 2006
    #1
    Hey all,
    Meditation is a fantastic way to rejuvinate energy. It has been know for millenia. I meditate, and find that it is a fantastic way to calm the body, and release stress. It is also a great way to escape the troubles or frustrations that may arise throughout everyday life. :)

    I am just wondering how many people here on MR meditate, and what benefits (if any) you find that you get from meditation?

    And for those who do not meditate, please feel free to express your opinion of meditation, and any question that you have concerning meditation, feel free to ask. :)

    EDIT: Alot of people misinterpret meditation as being connected with religious beliefs or practices. Meditation is not connected with religion, but some religions use it as a form of prayer. I for one, am not religious, and use meditation simply as an enrichment of the mind.
     
  2. njmac macrumors 68000

    njmac

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #2
    I have never tried to meditate but I like the idea. I would like to try transcendental meditation. Can you learn it from a book?
     
  3. Shamus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Shamus

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    Feb 26, 2006
    #3
    Yes, I would definately recommend transcendental meditation.
    And yes, it can be learnt from a book, or from the internet, where I learnt it. Im sure that if you began transcendental meditation, you would find it very fulfilling.

    As for trying meditation, it is very simple to learn. :)

    For further information on Meditation, visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditation
     
  4. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #4
    I meditate on occasion to relax/focus my energy. It's a great way to pick up after a long day, and it'll get rid of headaches (for me at least) in 15 seconds or less.

    I started doing it a while back after I got hypnotized. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=176640
     
  5. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #5
    i meditate daily, for a variety of reasons. its soothing and relaxing. i cant imagine my life without it?
     
  6. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #6
    >>> Shamus...i'm sure you mean well..but...Transcendental Meditation as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi can NOT be learned from a book or the web according to TM teachers and Maharishi himself. Now..as someone who practiced TM, the TM-Siddhis program, attended MIU, etc, etc..for nearly 10 years...way, WAY back when...TM would NOT be *my* recommendation, but it isn't a "bad" choice either. To learn TM from an official TM teacher costs a LOT of money. Regarding TM and religion...that is a HOTLY debated issue, (the NJ Court case, etc, etc)..as the mantras used in the practice of TM **ARE** in fact "bija" mantras used in Hindu tantric practices...primarily Goddess worship. The Srividya tradition in particular. As someone who is deeply involved in tantric practice...there is absolutely no doubt that TM is derived from Hindu tantric practice and therefore has religious connections..whether the meditator is consciously aware of what he/she is doing or not. Imagine someone repeating the Lord's Prayer, but unaware of the meaning of what they're saying...AND... being lied to regarding the meaning of what they're saying..*THAT* is TM in a nutshell. There is a website that lists the TM mantras..http://minet.org/mantras.html
    with "commentary" that gives one the impression that TM could easily be practiced from info gathered on the net. I say..maybe, but maybe not. Just one example of many, learning TM from a book skips the "puja" (ceremony) which is another HUGE clue as to TM's spiritual heritage. When Maharishi was asked about receiving the mantra without the puja (like from the net or a book)...Maharishi replied.."the mantra is dead". Very delicate thing. If one wishes to practice meditation without any "religious" connections...I strongly recommend simply "watching" the breath..a deeply profound practice. Mantras can be added such "so-ham", etc..but these do bring philosophical / religious implications into play...though these mantras add tremendous power too!

    peace

    PS: For those that may be interested in going deeper into an evolving meditation practice, i highly, highly recommend:
    Ammachi www.amma.org
    Karunamayi www.karunamayi.org
    Sri Aurobindo
    Andrew Cohen www.andrewcohen.org ...or www.wie.org
    Tsoknyi Rinpoche

    More Christian based:
    Beatrice Bruteau
     
  7. njmac macrumors 68000

    njmac

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    #7
    I checked out the wikipedia article on TM and some believe it is a cult :eek:
     
  8. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #8
    please tell me you're kidding...? If..again..IF...you are a Christian in fear of "cults"....Jesus was the biggest "cult" leader of all time...just study Christian history via Harvard / Yale Divinity Schools, etc, etc...
    Modern theologians are currently "pulling the rug out from under" Christianity..revealing its Gnostic "cult" origins...and the Gnostic stuff is profound! Christianity *SHOULD* be call Constantianity..as Catholic/Protestant beliefs far, far more reflect the "teachings" of the Emperor Constantine than Jesus. Christianity is a creation of an Roman Emperor... Constantine via the Nicean Council, etc, etc. Read the Gnostic gospels for the teachings of Jesus, the great mystic. If you're interested..start with theologians Elaine Pagels and Karen King.

    The point of my rant? Please don't let fear of "cults" keep you from benefitting from the company of the great Mystics walking on this planet..right now. The Divine is about love..not fear.
     
  9. crdean1 macrumors 6502a

    crdean1

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    Texas
    #9
    I'm not sure you have done your homework on Christianity...can you point out which scholars are calling Christianity a cult. I am sure they are not many, and they are not Christians.

    Also, Constantine may have something to do with the way we "have church", but Acts 11 is where we first get the word Christian (The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch). Edit: I don't believe many Christian scholars would agree with the above statement, except to acknowledge the Creed/Council of Nicea (425??), which is more of a behavior more so than belief. :)

    As to the meditation, I have tried it, but include prayer. But I have trouble sitting still that long. :D
     
  10. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    >> crdean1.... I am relying on the "homework" of the leading theologians in th world today from the Divinity Schools of Harvard, Yale, etc. My rant above does indeed greatly oversimplify the topic..and...
    Granted, these Christian scholars(!) do not support the common fundamentalist Christian views prevalent in Christianity today... and God bless them! I'm quite sure the local Baptist and even Methodist ministers in Texas don't agree with the theologians of Harvard and Yale. It doesn't serve them. I'm quite confident if you asked Christians..."Did the story of Jesus and the prostitute..'you without sin, cast the first stone story' actually happen??...the VAST majority would say .."of course!" Well... guess what..it didn't. Would many Christians know that the Dec. 25th birthday of Jesus actually came from the birthdate of a "competing" contemporary "cult" leader of Jesus' time? No way! Yet..again..it's true. And don't even get me started about about Mother Mary or Mary Magdelene. Even the Catholic church is now(!) admitting Mary Madelene was NOT a prostitute, but rather was actually Jesus' CLOSEST disciple. The prostitue story was invented by the Catholic Church to disempower women in the church. Christianity is not my area of deep study...but having recently read some of the latest theologians..it is VERY fascinating to me. Read "Misquoting Jesus"...by Bart Ehrman who is a former...yes.... FORMER...fundamentalist Christian..now a theologian...and let me know what you think. ** Bart Ehrman still considers himself deeply devoted to Jesus...just not a fundamentalist anymore.

    peace

    Edit: Sorry..missed the "cult" point. MANY theologians refer to early Christianity as a "cult" or similar terms. Remember...Jesus was crucified...obviously not because he was respected and well-liked in his time. He was seen as an intolerable heretic in fact...and far as the historians of his time...Jesus was not even worth mentioning...thus many theologians admit that the very existence of Jesus is quite debatable. There is very, very little historical evidence to prove he actually existed. Other religious "cult" leaders of the time were far more famous...or infamous...and **their** lives ARE recorded by the historians of the day. It is NOT my intention to belittle or weaken anyone's faith in Jesus...but for us all to encourage one another to examine our experiences and beliefs deeply...and not rely on blind faith.
     
  11. crdean1 macrumors 6502a

    crdean1

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    #11
    Yes, and read "A ready defense" by Josh McDowell and "A case for Christ" by Lee Stroebel. Both set out to disprove the Bible, and both became believers because of the overwhelming evidence that proves the Bible. I am not sure how you can disprove, or anyone can for that matter that the story of Jesus and the prostitute did not happen (by the way you wrote it, I am assuming you were there?). I believe it most certainly did happen. I derive my information from the Bible, not a non-believing scholar (obviously). Furthermore, I've not read where Yale and Harvard are the leading Theology schools of today. Let's try Luther's teachings if you want to really look at a scholar. Let's look at Oxford, or some of the seminaries.

    It all boils down to us being on two different pages, and I will not post again here as this is the wrong forum for our discussion (and the fact that we could discuss this all day and not get anywhere). I do respect the right for your opinion, albeit misinformed.:)

    Edit: Most Christian Scholars believe Jesus was born in April, can you believe it!
     
  12. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    Toronto
    #12
    ahh... I'm going to dodge the last few posts, :rolleyes: and state that I use za-zen meditation to relax and rejuvenate. While this form of meditation is used in philosophical pursuits to achieve enlightenment... that would require a state that I can't get to. I may one day, but it's not my main goal.
     
  13. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    1123.6536.5321
    #13
    Can we please not turn this into a religious debate? Please save these types of discussions for the appropriate Forums. :cool:

    Back on topic, I meditate a lot myself. There is a whole "mental" aspect to the universe which we are ignorant to, so it is nice to briefly tap into that via meditation. Everything in our world is physical-based, however that is only half the picture. :cool:
     
  14. crdean1 macrumors 6502a

    crdean1

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    #14
    Out of curiosity, what are the different states and how do you reach them? What is za-zen? I don't know much about this subject, but it is interesting.
     
  15. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603

    2nyRiggz

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    Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
    #15
    I have never done it but I would really love to meditate....I really really need it.


    Bless
     
  16. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #16

    >> You want to use Stroebel as your defense??? Stroebel..the Brittany Spears of Christianity? He did go to Yale..Law School. Don't get me wrong..i think Brittany is a hottie. Stroebel is not remotely a scholar or in the same league as Pagels, King and others. At least he seems sincere though. Josh McDowell is even worse. That's a joke. His books can barely even claim a pretense(!) of scholarship. You are entitled to enjoy what you wish...just be clear...you are NOT reading scholars...by ANY definition. Regarding the story of Jesus and the prostitute...that is blind faith i'm afraid. It did not happen. One could argue..it doesn't matter...as it serves to demonstrate Jesus' teachings, etc... but it did not, in fact, happen. Your premise..that one must be physically present to verify every event in history only reveals the weakness of your view. Don't dance...make an argument. Think on your own two feet. The story of Jesus and the prostitute was originally written in the margins by the scribes (as MUCH was by the way)...but clearly you would rather not know that, because you see it as challenging Jesus' legitimacy and your faith in him. I can promise you...these theologians (and I) are not in a conspiracy to destroy your faith in Jesus..quite the opposite!!! This puts me in a difficult position...do I simply wish you well on your journey..and be "nice"...or ....


    I derive my information from the Bible, not a non-believing scholar (obviously).

    >> Here you reveal what i was "smelling" all along. These scholars are indeed believers in Jesus..dedicating their lives to studying his teachings and its history...though probably not according to you...since they won't simply accept the Christian history based on blind faith. Do you consider yourself a fundamentalist...or "born-again"...or evangelical Christian???...because ONLY a fundamentalist would say "obviously"...when it ain't obvious in the least and your assumption is flat out wrong. Now please prove me wrong....


    Furthermore, I've not read where Yale and Harvard are the leading Theology schools of today. Let's try Luther's teachings if you want to really look at a scholar. Let's look at Oxford, or some of the seminaries.

    >> Indeed..let's! If McDowell and Stroebel are your references...you do not want to argue about seminaries, Oxford, etc. Yale..Harvard...well, try getting into one of those schools. It will become clear...i promise. Luther the anti-semetic! Hey... Luther was very courageous and I applaud him in many ways, but let's not make him a saint either. He NEVER intended much of the social impact of his writings posted on the wall of the Church that fateful day. His OWN writings prove this. Read them.

    It all boils down to us being on two different pages, and I will not post again here as this is the wrong forum for our discussion (and the fact that we could discuss this all day and not get anywhere). I do respect the right for your opinion, albeit misinformed.:)

    >> i agree wholeheartedly. :)

    peace
     
  17. zach macrumors 65816

    zach

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    Medford
    #17
    i do basic meditation that i've taught myself.. i'm sure it's the "wrong" way to do it, but i simply clear my mind and attempt to open myself up in a spiritual sort of way. i can feel a connection to ?nature? or some sort of force or something.

    i'm a firm believer that this "force" is simply a manifestation of our own minds, but meditation still helps me to calm myself and focus on things i need to accomplish, so i'd say whether it's a placebo effect or not, i still like it.
     
  18. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #18
    >> you might find this site informative regarding zazen. They have wonderful zazen retreats in Mount Baldy

    Mount Baldy Zen Center
    http://www.mbzc.org/

    peace

    PS: you also might enjoy "The Zen Teachings of Jesus"
    by Kenneth S. Leong
     
  19. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    NYC
    #19
    There's really no wrong way to meditate. All I do is sit upright in a comfortable chair, close my eyes, and focus all of my thought on one thing....the easiest thing to do is the feeling of your breath going in and out. I clear my mind of absolutely everything except the feeling of my breathing, in a way, my entire existence is my breathing. Sounds really weird...but it works.

    Usually I'll start by focusing my energy on each part of my body and consciously 'relaxing' it.

    The way I know I've done it right, is when I open my eyes, it'll feel like 2-3 minutes have passed when it has really been 20-30 minutes.




    As to Transcendental Meditation, I did some research on the web and read the Wikipedia article about it, and in the end I think I agree with this statement:

    Sounds like some serious BS....$2500 for a training session to learn how to repeat something in your head twice a day? Right-o. This is one of those things that'll work as well as you want it to, so of course it'll work great after you've dumped 2500 bucks on it.
     
  20. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    Oct 16, 2003
    #20
    I wanted to learn how to meditate, but a Steiner school teacher (for those who know what that is) told me that the last thing I needed was to get more distanced from the world and that she recommended some earthing exercises instead.

    I don't know if those exercises did anything, but I guess she did have a point in that I probably have more need of getting down to earth mentally.

    Edit: Oh, and maybe I should describe the earthing excersise she taught me for anyone who are interested. It's quite simple. You stand with your legs apart. Keep you feet firmly planted on the ground. Focus on your feet and their connection to the ground. If it helps you keep focused you can imagine a red triangle going through each leg and through the ground between your feet.
     
  21. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #21
    Heh. Steiner schools....my friend went to one for 4 years, it was kind of, eh, a joke of a school. There were big parent meetings because one parent was letting his kid watch TV...and nobody really learned how to do math. Sorry if you're a steiner-school type. :eek:
     
  22. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #22
    I'm not. I guess I should've been clearer. This teacher was a neighbour of a friend of mine in college.
     
  23. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #23

    Phew...Okay. Some people are passionate about their steiner school ideals, but I felt I'd throw my opinion out there. :p
     
  24. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #24
    I practice mindfulness meditation techniques, and teach them sometimes as part of psychotherapy. I find them top be very enjoyable and effective. I do breathing and walking meditation, sometimes meditate on other stimuli....
     
  25. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    back in NYC!
    #25
    I've never done the stereotypical sit down cross legged, close your eyes kind of meditation (not that there's anything wrong with that!), but I do meditate in certain ways.

    I suppose my definition of meditation is more of a re-centering of your energy (or chi if you want to relate it to the way I've meditated in the past) and thoughts. What I do is get a cup of (preferably green) tea, and drink it. While doing this I sift through my thoughts, try and re-evaluate them or look at them through a different perspective, and if I'm feeling bogged down with thought and emotion I try to clear my mind. I focus on my inner self, and I leave everything outside of me out of my thoughts. For example, if I had been insulted about something I wore and I was feeling bitter about it, I'd concentrate on what I thought of what I wore, what that means to me, etc, not what other people may think of it. I suppose it's a bit like defragmenting your hard drive. You reassign locations, delete un-needed things, re-prioritize things, etc. Makes you feel a lot better afterward, and sometimes it makes you operate faster :).

    I've also done tai chi, which I consider a form of moving meditation. Your concentrating on your movements, and your flow of energy when you do it. I saw a really huge improvement in my kung fu and wushu when I started doing tai chi. I also got a lot better at basketball, believe it or not. It increased my reflexes vastly, and I didn't have bad reflexes to begin with. I've since stopped tai chi and all forms of martial arts, but if I ever feel that my identification with my own body is lacking, like if I had Parkinsons, I'd start doing tai chi again. Very beneficial.

    My tea drinking, though sifting meditation is beneficial to my mind, and tai-chi meditation is beneficial to the body (and mind).

    e
     

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