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 Post subject: Let's talk about meditation: the now of now
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 4:52 am 
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I did a little bit of "connection with self" 2day. Which has been sorely lacking in my life lately. Spending quality time with urself is the theme of this thread, Right now I highly doubt that I am in the proper stage or state of mind 2 discuss this matter properly and get 2 the heart of the matter.

Once I get some of ur responses I'm sure that I can make my points regarding this matter. How can we effectively "stop time" 4 ourselves? How can we get 2 a point in our lives or our day when we can safely say: ok I have, right now, entrusted my cares, my work, my children, my responsibilities to others, to the universe or other's care and can now put a hold on worry in order 2 cleanse my toughts and connect with the very fiber of the universe?

We all need a vacation from the world on a daily basis, this may b 1 of the healthiest things we can do 4 ourselves...But how do we find the time? How can we learn 2 devote time 4 ourselves? How can we safely say all is right with the world and now is the time 4 me 2 simply not think? I know all the counter arguements and what we seek to do here is not easy, at 1st. Tho it really is easy once u put urself in the proper state of mind. It may require alot of practice and discipline, or u may twig in2 it right away...

I know this will sound inane and obtuse in the beginning so let's get in2 it slowly. This is not a thread that I will take lighty or disregard because there have been many times in my life where meditation, letting go of all cares and worries, seeking contact or solace with some ideal, god or inner comfort or simply existing in the now of now have really allowed me 2 recharge and see reality in a different light.

So I will take it slow right now and direct u 2 the front page of a website that may b benefical in either learning about the "now of now" or will help a little bit in collecting ur thoughts b4 u comment further on this issue. Please go 2:Alan Watts read what is said there and come back with ur thoughts, fears and concerns regarding this issue.

If u don't understand what I mean or what is going on in this thread ask questions I will respond, or I'm sure Highdrake, Syl and others will respond. And now Danlo looked in that direction, too. He remembered that snowy owls mate in the darkest part of deep winter, and so along with this beautiful white bird perched in a tree a hundred feet away, he turned to face the sea as he watched and waited.

Ahira, Ahira, he called out silently to the sky. Ahira, Ahira<i>Edited by: danlo60 at: 3/15/04 1:35 pm
</i>


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 Post subject: Re: Let's talk about meditation: the now of now
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2003 2:39 am 
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Danlo,
I wrote quite a lengthy response to this last night and then my computer crashed so this will be a shorter version.
I'm taking it that the main part of your question is "how do I find time in my busy day to meditate or do whatever it is that you need to reconnect with yourself ?"

simple answer is that you need to make time. Place a priority on it and set aside a short time ( maybe just 5 minutes ) every day at the same time.
I'm no sure if you have a specific technique in mind - whether its focusing on the breath, some other meditation system or just sitting quietly, but the principle is the same.

waiting for all to be right with the world is an exercise in procrastination - obviously that will never happen - and its circular - all being right *with you* means having your quiet time so you can't just wait for it.

Not sure if this answers your question at all but just my thoughts. <i></i>


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 Post subject: Re: Let's talk about meditation: the now of now
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2003 11:32 am 
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(I fixed the Watts link, btw) I've been holding off on replying 2 this thread cause I really need 2 try some intense meditation later on 2day. Feeling that that will put me in more of a proper mood 2 discuss this. Notice I used the word "try" on purpose---"there is no trying, only doing". And y pray tell am I waiting till what really appears 2 b 2morrow 2 me (as it is still night here and I should b sleeping right now)? Yes I'm doing the dreaded procrastination thing r'nt I?

I've wanted 2 start a thread like this 4 a long time, but what really inspired me was a series of Instant Messaging chats I been having w/a fellow member of this board who was feeling that her life was getting 2 hectic and out of control. I suggesting she make "quiet time" 4 herself and allot a part of her day 2 meditation or "non-thought". Of course she reacted the way many of us do when any 1 does suggest such a thing: "I'm always on the go, what about my kids, I wouldn't kno what 2 do w/myself if I had 2 "shut down", etc...We all react this way at 1st when we approach this idea. The ez way is excuses and procrastination. This brings up the key paradox--it "appears" difficult, but it's not.

At the risk of sounding like Shakti Gawain, Dr. Phil or Oprah u simply have 2 make the time! Find (create) some time b4 or after work, create ur own personal "quiet space" in ur home (or go 2 a quiet place like a park or the woods) and just do it! Send the kids off, take the phone off the hook and explain 2 ur significant other that this is my time and I do not wish 2 b disturbed. Make it an hour-now this hour is ur hour, yours and yours alone-say to urself this my time, this is my daily recharge, this is my personal vacation and no 1 is going 2 interfere w/it.

In my next post I talk about meditation itself, or at least what I do and the different types I've been exposed 2. Now that u r in your "quiet space" how do u begin 2 quite ur mind? Well 1st begin by realizing that the world doesn't have 2 revolve around u. U can get your work done later, your kids r safe and ur s/o can take of themself right now. The answering machine is on silence mode and will take any important messages, the pager is near by in case of emergency. Then begin 2 push all thought and concerns out of ur head. I know that may not sound ez, it may require pratice, but it is ez or can become so.

My friend said, "well reading is my "quiet time". No it's not! You need 2 seriously quiet yourself now. Ur aim now is 2 completely quash the "data flow" that means no reading no computer, don't even think about what u've read, anywhere, unless it may b 2 book on how 2 mediate. The once u begin u have 2 get rid of that book 2! Some of the eziest primer body positions 2 start w/include either sitting on a large cushion on the floor with ur legs crossed and ur back straight or 2 get in the habit push the cushion against the wall and use that 2 keep ur back straight. Then close ur eyes, or 1/2 way close them, and take nice slow breaths.

Here's the last part as I am running on: Then just try not 2 think about ANYTHING! The world will go on w/out u right now, quash the "data flow" don't think about the past or the future. If u hear a common-place noise, such as a dog barking or a loud motorcycle let it go, disregard it. My friend said, "Well, if I'm at this point I just kno that a bunch of "ghosts from my past" will resurface." You need 2 work on this, recognize them and tell them 2 go away. Any distracting thought, at all, u need 2 push aside and out of ur head.

Sometimes books or tapes on meditation will help u w/this. Tapes on "guided meditation" can b VERY usefull 2 beginners. You can put these tapes on low volume either on a stereo or use headphones. The instructor will work w/u on how 2 put ur thoughts aside, just breathe and most importantly RELAX. But in all cases b conscious-be aware don't And now Danlo looked in that direction, too. He remembered that snowy owls mate in the darkest part of deep winter, and so along with this beautiful white bird perched in a tree a hundred feet away, he turned to face the sea as he watched and waited.

Ahira, Ahira, he called out silently to the sky. Ahira, Ahira<i>Edited by: danlo60 at: 3/15/04 1:41 pm
</i>


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 Post subject: Re: Let's talk about meditation: the now of now
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 7:17 am 
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Quote:One time I finished my best-ever pommel horse routine and walked over happily to take the tape off my wrists. Soc beckoned me and said, “The routine looked satisfactory, but you did a very sloppy job taking the tape off. Remember, every-moment satori.”

After high bar, he said, “Dan, you must still learn to meditate your actions.”

“What do you mean, meditate an action?”

“Meditating an action is different from doing it. To do, there must be a doer, a self-conscious someone performing. But when you meditate an action, you’ve already released all thoughts, even the thought, ‘I’. There’s no ‘you’ left to do it. In forgetting yourself, you become what you do, so your action is free, spontaneous, without ambition, inhibition, or fear.”I've posted that passage, from Dan Millman's Way of the Peaceful Warrior, before, and I'll probably do it again at some point. It says so incredibly much! It sums up the biggest part of Taoism perfectly!

I don't meditate at all. I briefly tried about a year and a half ago, because there's a Buddhist temple about a half-hour away where they'll teach you for free. (What a great place and great people!! I sure wish I was a Buddhist! ) I don't feel the drive for it. Every moment can be a moment of meditation, a moment of achieving perfection/satori/wu-wei. The times when I most desperately think "I need 'me' time" are the ones when I forget that; when I think, "I wish I was done with this already, so I could go practice wu-wei." But if I lived wu-wei in the first place, I would not need to be done with anything anyway.

Now I know it's not as easy as all that. Certainly not for me. I can't always just turn my mood from frustration to satori. But sometimes I can. And the more I think these things, the less intense my frustration is when it does come along. (And I currently have a 5 month old who, like her older siblings, screams for hours every day, and takes two 15-minute naps per day - if we're lucky. Frustration is there for the taking!) Remembering the lessons of the Tao Te Ching keep me rooted. In Le Guin's Dragonfly, we find this conversation:Quote:“What brought you here, Azver?” the Namer asked. “I’ve often thought of asking you. A long, long way to come. And you have no wizards in the Kargish lands.”

“No. But we have the things wizardry is made of. Water, stones, trees, words…”Amidst the excitement and action, the wonders of wizardry, we're told that we are steeped in magic all the time. Remembering such passages is my wizardry, and my meditation.

danlo, I see another post of yours below this text box. I'll have to read it tomorrow. ____________
Highdrake's mastery of spells and sorcery was not much greater than his pupil's, but he had clear in his mind the idea of something very much greater, the wholeness of knowledge. And that made him a mage.<i></i>


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 Post subject: Re: Let's talk about meditation: the now of now
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 3:28 pm 
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(now it's above ur textbox: as above, so below )

Let me clarify something I said in my last post: I recommended u devote a hour 2 ur meditation. This was specifically aimed at the beginner. Like butterflypalm once u practice 5 minutes might be all u need 2 clear ur head and connect 2 "non-thought" or 15 minutes and so on. It all depends on what ur body and state of mind may require at any given point. Or what u may b searching 4. The beginner needs time 2 get used 2 their surroundings, quiet is not something we're neccessarily used 2.

U may want 2 spend part of that time reading a medition primer or listening 2 1 of the tapes--then just sit and b aware of everything and plan on eliminating distractions: do I need 2 open a window because this place is 2 stuffy 4 breathing?...is there 2 much clutter? so forth. Then sit quietly and get used 2 it 4 about 5 minutes or so: r there any direct noises that need 2 b eliminated? Or simply try 2 get used 2 any constant noise. I find one of the best way 2 start meditation is 2 sit on a cushion, my back against the wall, my legs crossed "indian style" (do not try any fancy yoga "lotus" style at 1st), then I close my eyes a little more than 1/2 way and concentrate on a fixed point on the opposite wall.

Take a series of 5 2 10 long relaxing deep breaths, pace ur breathing and then close ur eyes (u don't have 2 if u don't want 2) and concentrate on a point between ur eyes at eyebrow level. Remember 2 always breathe through ur nose. Now breathe regularly and work 2 not think about anything, I know! Ezier said than done. Work 2 push any thoughts that come in2 your head out of your head. Work 2 accept or push out any external noises. Let go of thought--if u suddenly, say, remember an appointment 4 later in the day just say, I get 2 that when I get 2 that and let it go. If a memory from the past arises quickly accept it and push it away.

Eliminating thoughts may b the hardest part 4 a beginner. It may require practice and there r specific tapes that work with u 2 do that, if you're having trouble. If u do succeed in eliminating tought and "visions" arise u must do the same thing w/those eliminate them right away. I find one of the ezest ways 2 get 2 "non-thought" is 2 place all my attention on my breathing, I listen 2 my breathing and find a comfortable space in the rhythm then I shift 2 my heartbeat and then let it go.

One minute of true "non-thought", or satori as Highdrake mentioned above may b all u need 2 recharge and refresh 4 the day or u may need 5 or 10 minutes...reaching these goals usually depends on practice. What r the benefits of meditation? Well u'll kno them when u get there: it makes u feel good, it makes u feel part of the whole, it helps eliminate stress, it helps u 2 think more clearly and make better descisions. It can energize u 4 exercise, the benefits can b limitless...

Remember one thing tho: u r always in control in ur own meditation, of course their r advanced, guided and more unique ways 2 do it. When I talked about "visions" these may r stirred up by the subconscious. Never buy the (usually fundametal religious) arguement that if u completely "open u mind" 2 non-thought that the "devil" assumes control--it is ur mind and u can do with it as u please--this arguement is complete hogwash...

And now Danlo looked in that direction, too. He remembered that snowy owls mate in the darkest part of deep winter, and so along with this beautiful white bird perched in a tree a hundred feet away, he turned to face the sea as he watched and waited.

Ahira, Ahira, he called out silently to the sky. Ahira, Ahira<i>Edited by: danlo60 at: 6/14/03 8:38 am
</i>


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 Post subject: meditation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 8:06 pm 
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Hi everyone!
I see that this thread has not been active for a long time, and I'd like to revive it.
I just got back from a week long meditation retreat. I'm a complete novice at meditation, I figured that going to a retreat would be a good way to start.
So here I am, I've accumulated a lot of sitting hours, but I'm still not sure if I was meditating *sigh*.
What does one feel when meditating? How can you clear your mind of thought? I mean if you are concentrating on your breath than you are thinking about the breath, yes? Actually when I tried to concentrate on observing my breath I found that I couldn't breath calmly any more, it was like I was trying to control the breath.
I kinda feel like I'm back where I started.
-pitch <i></i>


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 Post subject: Re: meditation
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:18 am 
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Yep, this is another sign. I need to get back into meditation. I used to be good at it (meaning less than it sounds, just that I enjoyed it and didn't have to try too hard to find a relaxing no mind), being able to carry it with me in my waking/walking life. A true master can meditate while playing raquetball.

Like I never realized anything, lately I've been bogged down in the process of life, in the mind of doing, processing, reacting. I've got so wound up in everything that I've gone from knowing that every moment can be satori to just using at as an excuse not to actively seek it.

My advice on the subject (and I am not an expert, just was once very lucky)... Don't try too hard or expect too much at first. I'd only recommend starting with 5-10 minutes of trying not to think about anything except for maybe a focal point (candle, midpoint in field of vision, spot on the wall, etc.) and your breathing (though after a while, you won't need these, nor do you explicity need them in the beginning, they just make it easier for some people).

I know this will sound strange, but one of the things that worked the best for me was being on the bus. Pick a seat, make yourself as comfortable as you can and try to look around at the scenery and people (I prefer the seats that face the side windows) without thinking anything about it. It helps that since it's not polite to stare at people, you can't really focus your vision on anyone specifically, and if you're facing sideways, anything you look at out the window won't be in view for long enough to really think much about it. After a while you just expand your senses to include the smells, feel of the seat, and maybe whatever you're snacking on. If you can hold all that without thinking about it, you're there.

Anyway, however you decide to achieve no mind, when you're done if you have to start thinking about something, think about how it felt when you were doing it. Like I said, at first it might feel like nothing, a big waste of time, but if you really look, you'll find something, at least a small bit, that felt right and peaceful. The more you do it, the more you feel it. The less... ________________
I wanna feel the metamorphosis and cleansing I've endured within my shadow. Change is coming. Now is my time. Listen to my muscle memory. Contemplate what I've been clinging to. -Tool, "Forty-Six & Two" <i></i>


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