Does anyone here meditate?

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

  1. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    #51

    >>> Shard,
    While I take the "blame" for initiating the debating posts, I do hope we don't throw discrimination out the window in the name of tolerance. What's wrong with airing one's views and perceptions to be challenged...even passionately? I sincerely hope if I had used the Da Vinci Code as a scholarly reference..someone would have called me on it...and not just "patted me on the back"....with a smirk on their face.

    peace,
    james
     
  2. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #52
    No, nothing is wrong with stating one's views, passionately or otherwise. However there is an appropriate place set aside for those such discussions on MacRumors, and it is not in a community discussion thread such as this one. By making political, religious, etc. comments in an inappropriate place like that you risk having the thread veer off topic and getting shut down, and I don't think the OP or anyone wants his thread crapped on like that. I appreciate the relevance of what you are saying and how it ties into the topic, but the fact is that that type of talk does not belong here, it belongs here. :cool:

    I encourage you to please state your opinions and even start threads of your own for discussion - but please do it in the appropriate place, that's all. :)
     
  3. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    #53
    >>> Hi Shard,
    I sincerely appreciate your comments...and point well taken. Yet...

    I can see where my response to njmac's comments regarding "cults"...where I did indeed go on a tangent to make a point...did lead the thread off topic from one perspective...but njmac brought up "cults", I didn't....and my follow-up *responses* were implicitly, if not explicitly asked for...*except* for njmac's on "cults". For me, it is a very narrow line to walk... to discuss meditation and have anything "religious" or "spiritual" be "off limits". I'm confident that isn't the spirit of the "keep on topic" comments from you, but in reality...that's the result in my opinion. It is disheartening to me..that in a discussion on meditation...to mention the Christian Gnostic teachings (my references to Pagels and King for example) is too explosive of an issue to be discussed on a public forum. That the impact and potential of meditation on one's life must be confined to relaxation and stress relief...for anything beyond that is..again..too controversial for discussion and blatantly discouraged. So...on one hand, pluralism is celebrated in this thread, for example..."there's no one way to meditate", etc..yet it is a narrow definition of pluralism and tolerance in truth...defined as: if the meditation practice and its associations are vague...non-specific..and non-threatening to my religion/spirituality..or lack there of...it can be discussed. Sure...one person mentioned Vipassana (wonderful Buddhist practice)...but again...a very vague description and Vipassana appears to be quite unfamiliar (non-threatening) to practically everyone who has contributed to this thread. Another mentioned zazen...again..Buddhist..again quite vague. I stayed away from saying much on those threads because of the vibe after my posts. Actually, I guess the real theme here is: stay away from Christian references. That's the explosive arena.

    You wrote: "I appreciate the relevance of what you are saying and how it ties into the topic, but the fact is that that type of talk does not belong here, it belongs...".
    How can what I've written be both.... relevant to the topic..AND...not belong here? Shamus wrote: "But by all means, feel free to discuss/express what connections with religion you make...". Who is in charge? Seems to me..it's far more reasonabale to simply not respond to the posts one doesn't find of interest..instead of putting a straight jacket on the thread.

    I know...you're simply saying..discuss it in a different forum and I truly can see validity in that perspective, but first... *I* didn't start this thread here...Shamus did...and I'm quite sure Shamus did so with the best and most innocent of intentions. I simply responded.

    Second..and far more importantly in my opinion...my points from above remain regardless of the forum. The PM's I'm receiving prove it. I am receiving multiple PM's from individuals that are *nothing* but personal attacks because of my posts regarding Christianity. I don't see the posts that discourage THAT. Why is that? The vibe is..."well, that's what we're talking about...you asked for it".

    No...I didn't.

    peace
     
  4. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #54
    Revived Thread

    I just started meditation (practice) with the two apps I downloaded- Headspace and Insight Timer. Both have intro courses. I'm about two thirds of the way though the intro courses, and they are going well, I am really getting into it for the ten minutes I'm being guided.

    As I see a light at the end of the tunnel as far as practice, I'd like to ask those of you who use apps to meditate, what is the plan after the practice?

    Before, I kind of thought the idea of meditation was just going it alone, exist in your space, but I see both of these apps offer a pile of "courses". What are those exactly, someone talking to you for an entire session, guiding you, just background music, or something else? They seem like being guided courses, where you are guided along with some specific intent.

    I'd love to hear about it from someone experienced.
    Thanks!
     
  5. yaxomoxay macrumors 68030

    yaxomoxay

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    #55
    Oh, I was looking for this type of thread.
    I have been meditating for a few months, mostly mantra effortless meditation. 20 mins in the morning, 20 min late afternoon. I facilitate meditation with the 1GiantMind app (100% free). I downloaded Calm yesterday as I am testing mindfulness.

    Before I answer your question, can you clarify what you mean by “plan after your practice?”

    I can tell you this: life changing.

    Ps: I strongly suggest that you try the 1GiantMind app. After 12 days it’s not even a course anymore, and it’s very easy.
     
  6. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #56
    Oh, someone I can talk to! :D I finished up Insight Timer this morning. i have 3 lessons to go in Headspace. Between those two, I prefer the woman's voice in the former over the latter, although they are both excellent.

    The first sessions, man was I in the zone! It was like a new awareness of surroundings, although I have prevuiodly experienced this on walks in the woods, were I start looking at my surrounds as if it was the first time. Today I read about walking meditation, and said, Ah, hah! ;) I also mention that seeing things in a new light also struck me during Runner’s highs, and during a marijuana high (the latter in my teens and was quite amazing).

    Back to meditation, in later sessions, I admit as the newness wore off, my mind wandered a bit. They covered mindfulness, breathing, and manta. Breathing, and mantra so far have worked best. Mindfulness, seemed to be harder, because I’m not wishing for anything in particular other than more self awareness, insight, and a clearer mind, not reducing stress or feeling more love or overcoming any fears or building self esteem. Also inventorying my body seems to be a bust, although I heard my heat beat. ;)

    This is what I was asking. After sitting though all these guided sessions, you almost walk away with the idea that meditation is someone talking to you, guiding you though each session. Then I look at all these courses, like build self esteem, or get over some exiety or fear, and this almost seems not like what I consider meditation to be, which is primarily a solo activity.

    Here is another thing, guidance is great precisely because it gives you something to focus on, a voice. And although there are brief periods of time when nothing is said, mostly you are being talked to. I almost get the impression that guided courses, (some are rented) may lean more towards self help instead of plain meditation.

    So the question, what’s next involves intermediate mediation course which I would think is not be a pep talk (conquer a fear) but an intro explaining what the purpose of the session is, and very minimal if any talking during focusing on one of the meditation techniques.

    This is what I’ve noticed in my sessions:
    • Very relaxed.
    • With eyes closed, I see a canvas, sometimes dark swirling colors, but other times it would burst into a bright scene, sometimes with people in it. I think the latter is associated with a momentarily, wandering mind.
    • Can hear my heart beat.

    I’ll check out GiantMind. :D
     
  7. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #57
    @yaxomoxay, I tried step 1 of 1 Giant Mind and what I really liked about the tutorial is that the instructor did not talk for most of the 15min session. He set a modest goal and then let you practise it.
     
  8. yaxomoxay, Aug 3, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018

    yaxomoxay macrumors 68030

    yaxomoxay

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    #58
    As long as we don’t meet in PRSI all is good :) Thankfully the mods took care of it :)

    I totally understand! I have exclusively done nondirective meditation (it’s basically Transcendental Meditation, just free), although I am also trying Mindfulness now (using Calm).

    I have to say, during some sessions I am totally out there, it feels like floating in space or something. In one occasion I found myself visualizing my mathernal grandfather; he passed away a decade ago at 99years and 11 months and we were kinda close. I won’t hide that during that meditation I almost felt like I could hug him, so a couple of tears decided to leave my eyes. Now, I don’t think that I made any “spiritual” connection (however, who knows?), but I am sure that at minimum my subconscious decided to bring up a very clear image of him, as if I needed some sort of reassurance. It was weird to say the least.
    Some sessions are a whole different game, I am very distracted and a couple of times I actually finished more nervous than I was 20 minutes earlier.

    I believe that one of the very important results of meditation is that it help feelings, worries, thoughts, ideas to surface. Sometimes they are good, sometimes they are bad, but they are ME nonetheless.

    I have to admit that I never experienced something similar. It is truly changing my life and my approach to things. First of all, it makes Viktor Frankl’s insight that our main freedom is to decide how WE react to external events something that is much easier to practice. I notice that I let things go much faster; I might have my occasional outburst if someone cuts in front of me (usually followed by a series of interesting words both in English and Italian), but I let it go in less than five seconds.

    It is also making me enjoy the present moment much more. For example, the other day I was by the Reunion Tower in Dallas, at the Hyatt’s somewhat elegant lobby. I had to wait about 45 minutes for my wife as she had to meet with some people, which is boring in itself. To my shock, once I sat down in one of the chairs I relized that I left the book I am reading at home. I decided to not spend 45 minutes looking at my phone, so I went to the cafe in the lobby to get a Starbucks (a small black coffee, no sugar, no creamer... $3.45!!!!!!) and then I went back to my chair. You know what I did? I just waited. 45 minutes, sipping coffee (at times with my eyes closed), looking around, observing people, observing the place. I was alone with my thoughts in the midst of at least a hundred passerby’s. I don’t know exactly why, but it was a great experience, something that I used to do as a child or a teen (when there were no smartphones and I had to wait for someone, or my parents etc.) and that I totally forgot about. It felt weird, let me tell you. From the outside I probably looked strange (which is a sad statement), maybe kinda like Dougie :) I think that without meditation I would’ve never have the patience to do just sit still, with a coffee, and observe the world. (Now, it can be objected that it can be done going in the woods, or camping etc.; as someone that loves the outdoors and visits many Texas State Parks every year, I think that it’s a fundamentally different experience. When we go outdoors we are outside of our “regular” environment; that is, what is in front of us is different than our regular routine so we still have to process many different new inputs. Being in the subway, on a bus, at work, or in a hotel is more “normal” for us.)
    --- Post Merged, Aug 3, 2018 ---
    This is what I like about this type of meditation. There is really no “wrong” way of doing it. Just hear your mantra for 15/20 minutes, and without any effort go back to it if you get too far from it. If you need to scratch your nose, just do it. If you feel you want to write some amazing insight you just had, just open your eyes, write it down, and go back to the meditation (that way the “insight” won’t bother you during the rest of the meditation). It’s incredibly simple and effective.

    I noticed that mindfulness requires much more effort. Good effort, of course, but it’s still more effort. Even the count 1,2-1,2 coordinated with the breathing requires some effort and active thought. It’s absolutely good, I am not saying that it’s not, but I don’t think that as a meditative practice it will work for me. As a concept and as a practice it will work for me, being present is something I truly want and just the idea of actually tasting food is very very interesting.

    I think that the 1GiantMind teacher (Joni) was a Transcendental Meditation teacher but got fed up with the cost of the practice, which I can understand.

    I strongly suggest the book “Why Can’t I meditate?”. Despite the cheesy title, it’s an amazing book.
     
  9. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #59
    I’ll check out the book. I notice there are substantial costs to take a transcendental course, like $600-800 inperson, no app. It’s. interesting you mentioned the 1GB instructor, because you mentioned transcendental meditation, and I read about it and all three of these app tutorials sound like transcendental meditation.
     
  10. yaxomoxay macrumors 68030

    yaxomoxay

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    #60
    Transcendental Meditation can go up to a few thousand dollars, depending on your income and experience. I believe that there is one TM course that costs about $1,000,000 (yes, one million). That’s the very bad part of TM, that is it’s a closely guarded group, ready to defend its practice (and business) at any cost. On the other hand, it seems very effective, especially for at-risk individuals.

    1GM apparently does the same thing of TM with minor differences; they are both rooted in Vedic tradition. Jonni seems very capable, and he started a good group. I think that most of what he does is for free or at least for a much lower cost than TM, including becoming a teacher (to become a TM teacher you have to pay at least $19,000 and make it your primary job).
     
  11. Huntn, Aug 5, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018

    Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #61
    I’m still conducting dual tutorials. I finished the Insight Timer tutorial. The female instructor has a great voice for this. I’ve got one more session in Headspace, and still early in the 12 step 1 Giant Mind. As I said before, I like this because that instructor (Jonni?) does not talk as much as the others. One thing However is that he teaches mantra meditation, and I think I’ve discovered that focusing on breathing is not only easy, but it is more natural that generating a repeating mantra in your head. Other than whatever works, do you have a personal preference on style of meditation? :)
     
  12. Coloratura macrumors member

    Coloratura

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    #62
    I don't know if the OP is around these days to read my answer, but yes, I meditate. I engage in several types of meditation: mind clearing meditation, to reduce or remove stress, and ritual meditation, as part of my spiritual practice.
     
  13. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #63
    Have you ever used a meditation app? If so, what are your impressions?
     
  14. Coloratura macrumors member

    Coloratura

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    #64
    No, I have never used an app. I learned meditation without any kind of aid beyond a candle. Not to say apps are bad, but I prefer to meditate with zero distractions.
     
  15. Lioness~, Aug 7, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019 at 2:50 PM

    Lioness~ macrumors 65816

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    #65
    We are so diverse in what’s best for us. I’ve meditated since back in the early 90’s.
    Learned many ways to meditate and to explore the consciousness. Each to their own :)
     
  16. BenTrovato macrumors 68030

    BenTrovato

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    #66
    I like meditation apps if only to get back into the practice when it has slipped away for whatever reason. I've used the calm app to do their 7 or 21 day meditations or just a simple 5 minute timed meditation. To me it's a very beginner meditation but there's nothing wrong with that. With meditation there is no time or advancement. Sometimes you need the app for 5 minutes, sometimes you do a 10 day silent retreat. They all have value. Like the above poster said, to each their own.
     
  17. Huntn, Aug 7, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018

    Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #67
    What are the the goals of the profound meditations you practise?
    --- Post Merged, Aug 7, 2018 ---
    I was impressed at how much benefit just a 5 minute session could provide. I am a beginner, I’ve done several 15 minute sessions, still under a tutorial mode, and although very enjoyable, I don’t see much differentiation from when I first started and wonder is this all there is from a depth standpoint (not to imply dissapointment), or is there something more undiscovered and much more profound waiting around the corner?

    Is the Calm app mostly paid subscription or free?
     
  18. vkd macrumors 6502a

    vkd

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    #68
    There are various meditations you can do on your own, no need to rent or buy an app. Here are 3:

    1. You just sit quietly and comfortably and close your eyes. Maybe lotus position, simple legs crossed or in a chair it is up to you. Then focus on your body, start with the feet, focus on how they feel, what they are resting on, if anything is resting on them, socks, shoes and how they feel. Then move up to the calves and same again, focus on feeling them in isolation and how they are situated. Then thighs, abdomen, chest, hands, arms, neck and head. Then think about the whole body and listen to what you can hear, see how far distant sounds you can hear. Draw your awareness to your situation, think about where you are in the room, where the room is, where the building is (if you are in one) etc.

    2. Chakra meditation. There are seven base chakras in the body; at the perineum (between the genitals and anus) [Muladhara chakra], about 10cm above there [Svadisthana Chakra], at the navel [Manipura Chakra], the heart region [Anahata], throat [Vishuddha], between the eyes [Agyah / Ajña] and top of the head the Sahasrara or thousand petaled lotus. Start by sitting comfortably and close the eyes. Focus on the perineum area and mentally imagine a flower pointing down out of the body and you mentally open the petals so the flower is blooming. Feel the energy flow there (prana or chi). Next move your focus to the Svadhisthana area, above the genitals and do the same meditation again, the rest of the chakras are not pointing down, they are pointing horizontally out of the front of your body. Keep going mentally opening all your chakras until you get to the top of the head. Spend as long as you like on each one, until you can distinctly feel the chakra and the energy flow there; you should be able to practically feel the chakras open at your willing when you are proficient. Once you get to the Sahasrara and have basked in your chi for a while, you can move back down the chakras in reverse order and repeat as many times as you like, taking as long as you like or feel necessary.

    3. Microcosmic Circuit. This is a Tao meditation ("The Way"). Again in the area of the torso, there are two channels, the Governor Channel, which runs from the perineum up the spine to the brain, and the Functional Channel, which descends from the head through the face, neck, chest, abdomen and back to the perineum. Start your focus at the perineum and mentally feel the energy there, gather energy (prana or chi) until you distinctly feel it. Then with the mind lift this energy up the spinal column to the top of the head. It may move quickly or slowly, at some section it may not move and need more mental encouragement to get it to move up. Just keep your focus on the energy until you have it in your head. When you are there, you release the energy, let it flow down like a waterfall, it will flow through your face and chest etc., a very nice feeling, back down to the perinium. This is one circuit. Then just keep going as much as you like, circulating your chi or prana cosmic energy around your body, this will replenish you, clear out blockages, open chakras and generally calm you and promote health. When you are proficient you can send your chi in reverse, up the Functional and down the Governor channel. You can send it down your legs too; if you do some standard circuits, up the spine and down the front, then when the chi is at the perinium coming from the abdomen, send it down the back side of your legs to your feet and up the front side of your legs back to the perinium, then again up the Governor Channel and back down the Functional and so on.

    Thank you for your time, I hope you get some benefit from this.

    Namasté!
     
  19. BenTrovato macrumors 68030

    BenTrovato

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    #69
    I used the free calm app for a while. Then I found out Groupon regularly offers the Calm app coupon code at 50% off and I bought the subscription. My uses for the app are if I arrive to where I am going ahead of time, I will do a short meditation in the car. Or if my mind is racing and I've fallen out of practice, the guided or non-guided timed meditation get me back on track.

    I think that's the beauty of meditation. If you've found something in only 5 minutes a day, then that's great. I have found much more around the corner but it requires more effort. As in hours per day. When I do the 10 day Vipassana retreat, I'm a different person. Then old habits creep back in.

    There are also many outer worldly things a deep meditation practice can open up to you but that's even more work. It's a weird subject because time has less meaning there. So you know if you do A, B, and C for 8 hours a day, for the next year you can accomplish your task. With meditation, I find you must continually practice and when you are ready, the master literally appears.
     
  20. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #70
    Thanks much! I'll get this copy and pasted and look into these. :)

    Right now, the best way I can describe a meditation session is being in the here and now, with my eyes closed, concentrating on my breathing and looking at the backside of my eyelids, which may sound stupid, but there is a show to see there. The tutorial I am currently doing, teaches using the "ahum" mantra, but it strikes me as controlling the experience, introducing a word/sound artificially, which is kind of ironic as what they say is not to control the experience. I'm finding concentrating on my breathing feels more natural. Otherwise I've very pleased with the 1GiantMind 12 day tutorial (15min per day).

    They say to notice your body and points where there is tension. usually I'll hear or feel my heart beating. Well today I had a tender shoulder from swimming yesterday, and so called examined my shoulder with my mind, but really saw nothing to do about it, not that I was expecting anything. ;)

    As far as the show behind my eyelids, normally when I start, it's a black or grayish space that is perceived, but as some point in the process, I typically see a purple screen, wall, or plain with swirling shades of purple. Sometimes mixed in are subtle indistinct icons/images of various colors. Sometimes the purple turns to green, in a couple of instances, I saw visions when the screen turned a sky blue and I saw something that is hard to describe, and as it seems I was not focused on it, it is hard to remember what I saw, something that passed by, but it was not threatening or welcoming, it was just neutral.

    At the end of the session, I open my eyes and am in the moment, observing my surroundings, but that passes in a while when I start moving about my daily routine, although one of the challenges in the tutorial is to see how long I can stay in the moment. This is familiar to me from my walking experiences, when I can look at my surroundings and it's a state of mind as if you are looking at a tree or plant for the first time, examining it's detail and experiencing some wonder because it's a living organism. :)

    So to sum up, this is my experience so far and I'm wondering what might happen next...
     
  21. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

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    #71
    I'm not sure if what I do would qualify as meditation or self hypnosis. I look at them as two related states. I put myself in a trance like state every night to go to sleep easily and quickly shutting out all thoughts. I just focus on my breathing and relax each part of my body through suggestion. It's difficult to describe. It's like focusing on nothingness and hearing the random thoughts of the id. Works great, cured my insomnia.

    Sometimes I'll focus my efforts and go deeper. Planting two or three suggestions or a starting off point for lucid dreaming.
     
  22. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #72
    Day 9 of the 12 day 1 Giant Mind App Tutorial. Of note, the continuing theme seems to be just letting go of stress. Is that it?

    I thought meditation is about much more than this, such as insight, perspective, contentment perceiving the nature of your existence. I’m not complaining, and maybe these other things occur as a function of meditating and are discussed more at the higher levels of meditation.
     
  23. BenTrovato macrumors 68030

    BenTrovato

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    #73
    Haha yes... I would say more opens up at the higher levels of meditation. Letting go of stress and keeping the mind chatter out is an essential part of it. A lot of silent meditation courses will spend 10 days in meditation only focusing on the breath of air that passes by your nostrils - and nothing more.
     
  24. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #74
    What is the next step? Can you solo it?
     
  25. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #75
    I finished the 1 Giant Mind app tutorial, tomorrow starts the 30 day challenge. I need to see what this is, guided, unguided, or something in between. This will be the 3rd meditation tutorial I've completed. One thing I've noticed in my local driving is that I'm leaving the radio off so I can be in the moment. I never did that before, always have something on the radio, music or talk.

    One thing I've not shaken yet is the music that plays in my head on occasion. Some pretty good songs, but I'm trying to have a bit more control. I'll have to research it, maybe it's a common condition, with a name?? ;)
     

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