Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by KnowSelf, Oct 27, 2019.
First of all, I find it difficult to meditate. However, mindfulness is more natural.
My experience is different. I find it easier to meditate, when I find time to do it, because I’m specifically setting myself apart from everything else going on.
I find mindfulness tougher because it requires my presence more in the moment and I find myself caught up in everything else going on in the moment.
I have trouble being still for meditation, It's not so much being distracted but being still. I don't seem to have time for stillness. I live and breath in the moment so mindfulness is my cup of tea.
Funny how we use these terms in such different ways.
To me, mindfulness is a necessary quality of meditation, it's not either-or.
Stillness, physical or mental? I can be walking, but my mind can be still.
Mental training is a fascinating topic.
Yes, you could say that meditation is seated mindfulness. It involves paying attention to particular aspects of experience.
A new year, time to welcome a new contributor!
Looks like you are finding your way around.
Could I also say meditation is walking? Can I, please?
What adpects of experience in particular, btw?
Yes, there is walking meditation, though I prefer to call it "mindful walking", since it's dynamic. While walking you could focus on the changing sensation of pressure in your feet, or perhaps the warmth of the sun on your face when outside, ie bodily sensations.
You could also focus on your thoughts or state of mind, but that is more challenging.
Yeah, I could get all technical about it. There is so much to know, so much to train and control and get obsessive about! Attain! Succeed!!
Can I also just relax?
Sure! I am quite lazy about it all really.
I do find mindfulness illuminating though.
Can I ask, if not 'mindful', what d'you mean by meditation?
My understanding is quite dated. I undertook courses and practice at the London Buddhist Centre.
The first practice taught was 'mindfulness', and basically it was an introduction to meditation, the first steps in developing the necessary mental discipline to engage in the deeper aspects of the practice — of course all this was couched in the language of the tradition from whence it came.
A second meditation practice was metta bhavana (Pali) 'to foster kindness' and usually called 'Loving Kindness Meditation'. This entailed a different practice. These two, I think, were doorway practices into a much wider world. If you look around the web, there's all manner of meditations.
At this point, those who know me will know I'll launch into a critique of the secular practice of appropriating religious practices, stripping them of their contextual situation, dressing them up in all manner of nonsense, repackaging them for consumer consumption, and the emergence of all types of experts/guides/whoevers of various degrees of tradition ignorance and context illiteracy blah, blah, blah ...
(The psychologically negative aspects resulting from bad practice and unskilled technicians are now a matter of record, although the industry as a whole tends to ignore this, itself a warning sign.)
If this sounds off, bear in mind I achieved Reiki Stage Two after two weekend sessions, was given a handbook about the history of Reiki which is largely a work of fiction, and told to go and develop my practice unsupervised on the basis that one cannot do harm because the Universe is not like that ...
Small world, I used to attend London Buddhist Centre many years ago. They teach mindfulness of breathing and mettabhavana.
But yes, there are all sorts of meditations, with various assumptions and purposes.
I've had some amazing results in meditation...
By that I mean sitting in silence, clearing my way to somehow access a part of my brain that had info I could not consciously connect with
Is there such a thing as meditation without intent, without intent to meditate that is? The daydream state?
Recently I had started to meditate, but used it solely to commune with God. First I would do my devotions, including one particular prayer that I had found to engender closeness to God. Then I would spend 24 minutes strengthening the connection to God. Sometimes this worked, sometimes it didn't. I made no effort to clear my mind of other thoughts, just concentrated on communion. More recently, though, I've lost that connection to God, and gave up meditating. I don't know why I lost connection that I've always sometimes had when I prayed. I don't know if it's a condition in my brain or medication I'm taking, or some other reason. I thought maybe taking Haldol to reduce anger from my psychiatrist was leveling emotion in my brain, because I also felt less love for other people. My psychiatrist agreed that this might be happening, but when I stopped taking it, it was this that induced my tardive dyskinesia, and my spiritual and love connection did not improve. I now take a drug for tardive dyskinesia. As a result of this tardive dyskinesia, my hands would twitch a lot, I would blink a lot, move my mouth and tongue a lot and it affected my balance, so I had to use my cane to help me walk, and I had trouble chewing such that I could then only drink, and eat foods such as ice cream, pudding, applesauce, and mashed potatoes. Daily I've been drinking Glucerna that has vitamins and nutrients that I need, tapioca pudding, applesauce, and mashed potatoes. I eat no meat. I take a vitamin supplement. The drug I am taking has really helped my walking, so I no longer need a cane, but nothing else has improved. The only other thing I would like to see improve is my chewing, but I'm ok with what I'm eating for now.
That's some really dark stuff you're going through, @Truthseeker9! Wishing you all the best.
That sounds like it could be something which is well-documented in most traditions.
In some Buddhist meditation treatises which detail the training progress in meditation, there is mention of this disconnect with the meditation object, for a certain range of stages. Christian mystics like St Teresa of Avila write about their struggles with this. The Four Valleys mentions this, in the second, if I remember correctly.
Paradoxical as it sounds, the tenor of all these manuals is that the sense of separation and loss is a sign that the meditation practice is done correctly and should not be given up at this point, they all emphasize the importance of perseverance.
It is also commonly recommended to get a teacher who knows how this meditation stuff works first hand, as experiences like this can be very misleading and distressing.
Separate names with a comma.