Does anyone here meditate?

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

  1. Lioness~, Aug 16, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018

    Lioness~ macrumors 65816

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    #76
    How wonderfully meditation erases certain mental and emotional patters is not a new scintific discovery.

    But I had an experience that have taken form over a period of time, that suddenly became pretty profound.
    How some music have been like drugs, and the artists are the drug dealer.;)
    Music can be inspirational and motivational. It speak to our emotions, and subconscious. But when we are in no need of that certain message anymore, it feels like we’ve been affected of a drug.
    It’s certainly not only music that carries particular messages in our world. Messages that may or may not be true. Maybe true in a period, to only sound hollow in another.

    I just had a good deal of laughter concerning this, just thought I would share, as it most definitely is an effect of meditation :)
    Was also thinking of the thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...-humanity-being-drained-out-of-music.2131428/

    I don’t think we are drained out of music, I think more our souls and minds more often are drained by all the constant noises and music that don't have soul. But each to their own, regarding that too, of course.
     
  2. StellarVixen macrumors 65816

    StellarVixen

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    #77
    I encourage everyone to do it.

    You have nothing to lose, and there is so much that you can gain.
     
  3. vkd, Aug 16, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018

    vkd macrumors 6502a

    vkd

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    #78
    Yes, Jimi Hendrix was onto this back in the late 60s. He'd play his shows at max volume to create a sound wave that would, in his words, hit you right in the chest. He was investigating sounds to wake people up, he'd talk about people walking around sleeping so his music was his way of reaching people. He invented the term Sky Church for outdoor shows and Electric Church the indoor ones.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 16, 2018 ---
    Have you tried Bhastrika, a pranayama (breathing) exercise? It is very good for clearing the head, eliminating anxiety, creating lucidity, clarity, calmness and centralised self-awareness.

    You sit preferably cross-legged and use the abdomen to force the diaphram (beneath the lungs) to rise and fall quickly, filling and emptying the lungs. The word bhastrika indicates bellows, that equipment used for starting fires by puffing air. So you sit and with the mouth closed breath in and out of the nostrils rapidly, pumping the abdomen to help. Do this as much as you can, 40, 50, 60 etc. repetitions. Finally inhale and hold for as long as possible. You may go a bit light headed but this is just prana (chi) clearing so don't worry it is not dangerous. When you can't hold any more exhale in a a controlled manner for at least a count of 8 or more until the lungs are empty, then repeat. Try 3 sets a day in the morning and see how your life changes!
     
  4. Lioness~, Aug 16, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018

    Lioness~ macrumors 65816

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    #79
    Oh, I think many artist are aware of this today too. That's why I said they are the drug dealers. They know they provide a drug, how they can manipulate people. It's big business.
    Sure, some might think they need to wake up people etc. There's a lot of big ego's in the music industry. Some are definitely talented too, for sure.

    Done A LOT of yoga & meditation, have even been teaching both. Well aware of a lot of deep tantric practices. Not on my schedule today. But thanks for your consideration :)
     
  5. yaxomoxay, Aug 22, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018

    yaxomoxay macrumors 68030

    yaxomoxay

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    #80
    Sorry for the late answer.
    I have tried the 1GM meditation (which is basically Vedic, as TM is) and I am going to stick with it. I tried Mindfulness but it’s really not my cake.
    Right now I am reading Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s book (“Science of Being and the Art of Living”) and it’s truly eye opening so far.

    More importantly, without any pressure from me, my wife decided to begin meditation. She’s also following the 1GM method and she is in love with it. We shall see how it proceeds.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 22, 2018 ---
    Letting go of stress is the primitive function of meditation. It allows you to be in the moment much more as it removes the stressful filters. Stress is the first and most visible consequence of all that we think of the various situations that are in front of us. With stress we certainly can’t observe the source of thought, that is us.
    The real challenge is to do it continuously so that it becomes easy to go back to the primitive status of our thinking, that is our Being. It will take time.

    From a 1GM/TM perspective the objective is not to perceive the nature of your existence. The objective is to go directly to the immutable source of your thought, that is your Being, what you are. Anything else, including thoughts, are just “movement” and noise created by your mind. If you perceive nature, it’s an interpretation of it based on your experience. You have to go back even further, as nature is without the need of your interpretation of it.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 22, 2018 ---
    Same here! At times I put some easy listening song, but often I find myself just listening to the sounds around me.

    I also found out that my car makes more weird noises than I thought...
     
  6. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #81
    I’ll respond to this besides a “ like” soon. :)
     
  7. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #82
    Thanks for your perspective! I’m 8 days into the 30 day challenge. i’m doing 20 minute sessions, one per day. I like 1GM except for one thing. I don’t run a mantra in my head. They make a point of saying don’t control anything, and the mantra feels artificial, me introducing something into the process, so I don’t. I focus on my breathing, or if I'm doing well, I listen to my heart beating, or there is the music itself. I may try a session with no music.

    Anyway, I do a good job of relaxing, but I stay alert. I close my eyes and look at the purple wall, the back of my eyelids. ;) It starts blank, and keeping my head clear, I’ll start to see swirling purples and hear my heart beating. Most of the time I don’t direct anything, but sometimes do a little, Mostly what I see is vague, but sometimes scenes burst into view, like forests or mountain ranges, but usually they are indistinct and brief, dissolving in a swirl of color. Sometimes, the color changes drastically.

    So I still am enjoying these sessions, but the sessions basically remain the same as when I first started, and I’m wondering if a threshold is reached where something more happens? Meditating has changed my perspective, and I now realize that I had previoudly achieved a meditational state during my walks in the woods.
     
  8. yaxomoxay macrumors 68030

    yaxomoxay

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    #83
    I think that anything goes. I see that mantra work for me, while breathing seems too mechanic. I am totally agnostic about it, so whatever works for you might be different to what works for me.

    The back of the eyelids is also a “side effect” that I observe once in a while. I know that most of it is electrical signals to the eyes, yet it’s quite an interesting phenomenon that helps me focus even more.
    As for the threshold, I believe that one of the keys is not “looking” for it. What I am trying to avoid is to make my meditation too formal. I just want to feel the experience, without guiding it too much.
     
  9. yaxomoxay macrumors 68030

    yaxomoxay

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  10. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #85
    Meditation is described as being in touch with yourself. Here is the challenge, what does that mean? Btw, I’m not complaining, just discussing it. :)

    When I meditate my consciousness is focused, I am aware, I see images, my mind is mostly blank so I’m not thinking about anything in particular, but I experience what seem to be randomized visions of nothing in particular. This experience is fairly consistent.

    If there is something more, I would imagine it as a threshold or barrier, not anything that would be actively strived for, but a level that might be achieved where something subtly or significantly occurs in your awareness. At this point, I’m not aware of any deeper experience than when I first started, so no clue if I’m headed in the right direction, or any direction. It is what it is. I have not experienced anything that I would describe as progress, or evolution, other than being able to stick with it. ;)

    From your reading about meditation, do you have any insight and are able to describe what these authors would say are the higher levels of meditation?
     
  11. yaxomoxay macrumors 68030

    yaxomoxay

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    #86
    Far from being an expert, what I am saying here could be totally wrong.
    You say,
    Being in touch with yourself.

    The problem as I see it is in the definition of yourself. Without going into the religious debate, I am sure that different people interpret “yourself” (“oneself”) in different ways.
    According to the book I am reading now,
    “Being is Life. It is existence. To be is to live, to exist. Being or existence finds expression in the different aspects of living: thinking, speaking, doing, experiencing, feeling. All aspects of life have their basis in Being”[...] “How can we distinguish existence from that which exists?
    Existence is abstract; that which exists is concrete.”

    It is evident by the text above that the Being is at the source of everything, “Being is the ultimate reality of all that was, is, or will be.”.
    If this is to be considered as a good starting point (which for me it is, but I wouldn’t say that you’re wrong if you disagree; as I said I am quite agnostic about it), it is clear that the purpose is to find this primordial status, the Being.
    My understanding is that according to this line of thought (Vedic), we are all dreamers that live inside a dream. (Remdinds you of anything ? :) ). So the idea is to meet the dreamer, that is oneself. The book clarifies that “Experience shows that Being is the essential, basic nature of the mind; but, since It commonly remains in tune with the senses projecting outwards toward the manifested realms of creation, the mind misses or fails to appreciate its own essential nature, just as the eyes are unable to see themselves”.
    I think that the above is the key to read the goal of meditation. To use the same example, we have to be able to see, feel our own eyes. With meditation, it seems that you can reach the source of thought, which is consciousness, which is you.
    Let’s take. a thought. Suppose you have an idea. It usually begins very unformed. “Dark”. Then the thought becomes more formed. “Dark. Need Light.” Then it builds up more. “Dark. Need Light. Switch is there.” And so on until the full train of thought is: “Dark. Need Light. Switch is there. Walk. Turn on Switch. Light!” (I am overly simplifying.) With meditation you are basically training your mind to do the opposite. I am pretty sure that you already notice - as I do - increased focus during meditation (maybe not always, but on average). Less thoughts are probably bubbling in your mind while you repeat the mantra, or while you focus on breathing. That’s the idea. Sooner or later, your mind will be trained, one step at a time to reach a much more primitive status, which is consciousness, that is the Being. I am still a beginner but this is my understanding.

    As for results, I think it’s normal. It’s like when you begin playing a sport. You start from scratch, and in a couple of lessons you can kick, throw the ball, receive, etc. that is you learn all the skills to know the surface of the sport so you feel like a champion because... you can be on the field. However, to be better at the sport, you need to practice those very same skills more and more, and do as many repetitive and boring drills as possible. Often skill advancement will feel nil. Until it clicks, and you’re on the next step, which will be even more difficult and will advance you even less relative to how much you advanced in the previous skill level.
     
  12. Huntn, Aug 23, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018

    Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #87
    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. You’ll get no argument from me, but I will throw out some thoughts.

    How can we distinguish existence from that which exists?
    Existence is abstract; that which exists is concrete.”


    Existence, the state of being, a sentient self aware entity, or soul if you prefer, the ability to contemplate one’s existence. As far as what exists, this is really no different than existence, we see everything though our senses and make assumptions about the state of matter that surrounds us, but our senses filter this info. We assume our eyes are showing us reality, and for all intents and purposes it is our individual reality, which we also tend to assume is a shared experience.

    I agree we could all be dreamers in an individual or shared dream.

    And since you referenced it, I think ;) , The Matrix is one of my favorite movies, and why I frequently mention the Earth Simulator, because if you place any credence on the possibility of the soul, that exists beyond a mortal existence, then our existence as we perceive it could be a reflection of a reality or a complex simulation and our bodies would be the conduit to this reality.

    Anyways, back to meditation. What I see as a possible barrier is our consciousness. With sight, your eyes show you a space that surrounds you, but your consciousness is a much smaller space that you feel is centered in your head. Your thoughts exist within this space. Last I heard, our science does not know where our consciousness is centered in the brain. There is an assumption, based on research, that the brain creates consciousness, but I don’t think it’s exact nature is understood. The concept of soul makes these processes much more complicated and less if not understood at all, and I don’t blame Atheists for being skeptics, that is a perfectly reasonable position to take. But I choose Agnostic because, I don’t presume to know one way or the other, and feel there is something more to existence, this ability to contemplate my existence, more than just a mortal life and death.

    So when I meditate, there is a conscious wall that surrounds me. There is a conscious space, with my thoughts, or lack of thoughts, along with physiological sensations. It’s a here and now feeling and it is a wall. My impression is that the goal of meditation is that something happens allowing you to dissolve this wall which has been limiting your perception, that it is possible for this wall to more or less gives away into something of a deeper experience, and awareness, something I have yet to see.

    The best explanation of the meditation process is no controlling, no trying, preferably no thinking, just gaining a greater awareness of something within you when you are looking into yourself. Gotta get through that wall, but no trying is allowed. :D
     
  13. Gutwrench Contributor

    Gutwrench

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    #88
    I’m very disciplined....I aggressive avoid any meditating and thinking.
     
  14. Retsiem, Aug 25, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018

    Retsiem macrumors newbie

    Retsiem

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    #89
    “Cult”? What does that mean?

    About meditation:
    I recommend Kriya Yoga as taught by Self-Realization Fellowship.
    It’s free. It works.

    Congratulations!
    To stop thinking is one of the goals of meditation.
     
  15. arkitect macrumors 603

    arkitect

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    #90
    Well, in the big scheme of things not much.

    But since
    , I doubt they'll see your answer. :)
     
  16. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #91
    I’ll research that. Right now I feel like I’m in the meditation duldrums.
     
  17. Huntn, Sep 7, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018

    Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #92
    I have to recommend this. So far it’s all been free and of great value. . https://www.1giantmind.com/get-the-app/

    Wisdom from 1 Giant Mind:

    In an average day where you are awake for approximately 15 hours, you apparently think up to 50,000 thoughts. If this is true, that’s about one thought every second. Oops there goes another one. Seems unbelievable if you think about it. Oops there goes another one. I’m sure it isn’t news to you that your mind is busy…really busy! Right?

    If you stop and consciously listen to your thinking, what you’ll notice is that most of your thoughts are in the sound of your own voice. They are constantly analysing, plotting, planning, commentating, reviewing, judging, discerning, agreeing, arguing, praising, worrying, appreciating, doubting, loathing, rehearsing… and a lot of this is happening involuntarily and unconsciously. In fact, psychologists say that 95% of your thinking is subconscious, leaving just 5% that you are actually aware of.

    Because your thoughts, in the sound of your own voice, are constant, incessant and unrelenting, like a pinball in a pinball machine bouncing from one thought to another, it’s reasonable to arrive at the conclusion that who you are, is that voice inside your mind.

    It may come as a surprise to discover that the voice inside your mind, although it may sound like you... is not actually you. That voice is actually just your thoughts structured in language that only sounds like the voice you speak in.

    So if you aren’t the voice or in some cases, voices, inside your mind, then who are you? Or better yet what are you? Now that you have been meditating for almost 30 sessions (bravo by the way!) you may have noticed the ability to witness thoughts flowing through your mind like leaves floating down a river.

    The fact that you can witness yourself thinking, immediately reveals that you are not your thoughts.

    So who is this witness? Or better yet, what is the witness?

    This is the million dollar question that has been asked for millennia by billions around the world. It’s also one of the most ancient questions, one of which, in these modern times we have forgotten to ask. ‘Who is the witness of the thoughts in my mind?’

    Most ancient wisdom traditions throughout the ages go to great lengths to describe this witnessing experience. You’ll be fascinated to know that they all pretty much arrive at the same conclusion. The witness is who you truly are. It’s described as a state of ‘Being’ that is always present, just beneath your thoughts.

    The qualities of Being are:

    • Self-awareness
    • Dynamism
    • Adaptability
    • Compassion
    • Enthusiasm
    • Innovation
    • And the unending capability to witness and respond to life’s challenges and demands.
    Throughout the ages, all the great masters who have realised the full potential of their minds, have warned that if we ignore Being, we will become trapped in the cage of our thinking mind and disconnected from who we truly are. They describe this experience as the cause of all suffering and illness.

    Over many thousands of years, powerful techniques have been discovered to awaken Being and establish the witness as a feature of everyday life. Having completed the 1 Giant Mind 12 Step Course, you have now learned one of these techniques. By allowing the mind to fall into quieter, less excited states, it makes direct contact with Being. Through daily practice, the mind automatically becomes infused with the qualities of Being and the ability to witness naturally, emerges.

    You begin to feel yourself more deeply, and this connection gives rise to a stronger sense of who you are and your purpose. As you continue to make meditation a daily habit, you will notice the ability to witness the highs and lows in your life and not feel overwhelmed. You will become less reactive to your thoughts and the actions or behaviors of others. You will feel happier for no particular reason, more calm under pressure and capable of listening to yourself. The overall experience of awakening Being is greater fulfillment, meaning and connection.
     
  18. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #93
    I’m at day 20 of the 1 Giant Mind 30 day challenge. These sessions of quiet solitude, experiencing whatever my consciousness produces is becoming more important to me. Is it boring? Amazingly no. Is it mystical? I can’t yet say, but it feels... different. Is it escapism? Maybe. :)

    I am not really doing a steady mantra, but when I do, instead of ahum, I have unofficially adopted the English definition: I am or an alternative, Omm which sounds smoother and less obtrusive to me. I am holds more significance and I’m now finding I look forward to these sessions as a place to find quiet peace for 20 minutes a day.

    I’ll add that in the quest for finding meaning in this life, if there is meaning, meditation seems like it might be a possible doorway, but I can’t yet say yes to that.
     
  19. Huntn, Sep 22, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018

    Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #94
    Finished the 30 Day challenge (previously mentioned), and where am I? I don’t know. :p
    When I first started, meditation had quit an impact on me, deep relaxation, but now that the newness has worn off, the relaxed state has diminished a little. I am still able to get though a 20 minute session, without issue. I’m not bored, I continue to see indistinct images, swirls of colors, mostly ourples, or lit, but random scenes, sometimes with people doing things, but there seems to be no relevance to any concern I might have. Based on a fiction book I read (Shibumi), I’ve decided to see if I can find a meadow in my mind. :)

    I may explore some of the other programs some more.. 1 Giant Mind only offers guidance at the beginning of a session, which is how I imagined meditation to be, mostly a solo journey. At Insight Timer many of those sessions seems to be guided, as someone talking the whole time, but I might be mistaken. I’ll check that out soon. I’m familiar with mindful meditation where you focus on addressing some aspect of your life, but so far I’ve only thought about having an unsore elbow. ;)
     
  20. yaxomoxay macrumors 68030

    yaxomoxay

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    #95
    I am glad you finished the 30 day challenge. I have been slacking the past two weeks, my [unacceptable] excuse being that my schedule is completely crazy right now.
    I think that it’s normal that you relaxes state has diminished a bit... your benchmark is now different than what it was at the beginning of the journey, so from now on you’ll probably see just slow incremental progress (kinda like the iPhone :) ).
     
  21. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #96
    Of interest, I came out of my session on Sunday really feeling different or better said, I had a strong effect from the session. I don’t know if you (or anyone reading) ever tried marijuana at some point in time, or have had a runner’s high, or a nature high, but most of the time I’ll venture to say that many of us go about our daily lives in a very routine manner as if living is nothing special, we are just wrapped up in our grinds.

    What it takes is something that triggers an awareness, a change, possibly amplified perception, that living is not a routine event. It can make you feel like you are a visitor to this world, it allows you to look at your surroundings like you are a visitor or if you are seeing something for the first time. And it gives you an inner feeling of well being, the effect almost equivalent to a drug.

    Have you experienced something like this?

    This article mentions running, love, nature, and sex, among other things. But it did not mention meditation, which I would add.

    The most troublesome aspect of these articles is that they reduce everything we experience down to chemicals, natural or added. I want there to something mystical! :D

    10 Ways to Get High — Naturally
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-sisson/natural-highs_b_5358901.html

    I find this next link very interesting. It dismisses endorphins and instead promotes a connection with marijuana, something related that naturally exists in your body:

    Endocannabinoids (ECs), on the other hand, are small molecules. Weiss said they’re a lipid (fat) “almost like the cannabinoids found in marijuana.” And actually, they’re part of a whole system. Scholastic defined the EC system as “a unique communications system in the brain and body that affects many important functions, including how a person feels, moves, and reacts.”

    The Evolution Of The Runner's High: How Endurance Exercise Changes Your Brain
    https://www.medicaldaily.com/evolution-runners-high-how-endurance-exercise-changes-your-brain-323734
     
  22. yaxomoxay macrumors 68030

    yaxomoxay

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    #97
    I totally agree with your post above.
    I experienced some of what you discuss, the awareness and amplified perception. In reality I don’t think that the experience comes from an addition of elements but rather from a subtraction of the noise around us. The more “noise” we remove - which includes cravings, desires, etc. - the more we can enjoy what really matters by being focused on it. I think we all lived through a cup of coffee being barely tasted in the rush of the morning exactly as we all lived through a nice, savored cup of coffee in the calm of our house. The cup of coffee might be exactly the same but the taste and the experiences are really going to be completely different.

    I think you should read the book “The Willpower instinct”, which I just finished. Although it’s a book about the biology of willpower (dopamine, etc.) it also discusses how (without drugs) we can change our own brain (and therefore our attitudes) by simply paying attention to a few psychological triggers. More interesting, in the very first chapter (if not the introduction) one of the keys that is mentioned is specifically meditation. The author cites several studies that demonstrate how the brain physically change after a certain amount of meditation, which in turn changes how we deal with temptations and so on.
     
  23. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #98
    I agree, but in addition to reduction of noise (distraction), it’s the focus, without effort, that makes it happen. You probably said something just like this. :)
     
  24. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #99
    I am.
    What am I?
    I seek, but do I see?
    Where is the handle to pull the gray curtain back? :)
     
  25. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #100
    Well I have drifted away from meditating. I really don’t need to relax. I think my expectations were too inflated and was hoping for an expansion of my consciousness. The routine seems to be get into the zone and experience random sight/visions, which reminds me of dreaming, but getting no insight to speak if, although it has altered my perception a bit in an improved way.

    Anyway any encouragement? :) I’ll try again soon.
     

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