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B. de Corbin
04 Aug 2015, 12:57
I find myself trying to explain this often enough that I thought a thread specifically devoted to it might be useful.

Before I begin, let me say that I've been meditating for about 35 years, so I think I know something about it.

However, my knowledge is limited to and by my experience, so I want to make it clear that I am NOT an expert. There are many types and forms of meditation that I know little to nothing about. I hope that people will add their own understanding, and describe useful techniques here so we can all learn new stuff.

I'm going to copy and paste things I've written elsewhere here - feel free to do the same. I am imagining this thread as a sort of central hub that can be referred to when certain types of question come up.

I'm going to begin by giving my own TENTATIVE definition of "meditation."

Meditation

Meditation is not a "thing." It is actually a class of things - and a very diverse class at that. It includes things like: intense prayer, the rigorous application of formal logic, observing a sunset, travel to "the other place" (which for me is "inner space" but for others might be "the spirit world" or "astral plane" or something similar), and even daydreaming.

However, for a thing to be included in a "class," there must be at least one defining characteristic that puts it in that class.

As I see it, for meditation, that defining characteristic is this: the one who is meditating is making a conscious choice to change the way his/her mind functions.

It is possible to have the experiences that an experienced meditator has out of the blue - i.e.: without consciously choosing, such as having a "peak experience (http://psychology.about.com/od/humanist-personality/f/peak-experiences.htm)" or an "ah ha!" moment, but I don't think I can call it meditating unless one has chosen to work toward it.

It is the choice to use a particular methodology to reach an end (even when the end is unknown), not the end itself, or even the specific methodology chosen, that makes a thing "meditation," if that makes sense...

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How to meditate

I've copied and pasted this from another thread (edited for context) because A) I think it dispels some a common error that beginning meditators frequently make, and B) because it gives reasonably instructions for the basic (but important!) breath-counting meditation that most people who take a meditation class, or learn from a good book, would be taught first.

There are a couple of things you need to understand.

1. If you are trying to "make your mind go blank," forget that idea completely. Unless you enter a fugue state, it just is not possible, and entering a fugue state is very undesirable (in a fugue state your mind goes blank because your conscious mind has been shut down leaving you to run on autopilot).

2. Without entering a fugue state, you can not stop thoughts. Thoughts are generated by the unconscious mind, over which you have absolutely no control (you can only control that over which you are conscious. If you could control your unconscious it would stop being unconscious and become conscious - EXTREMELY undesirable. Doing so would render you entirely incapable of doing anything, including breathing).

3. The goal of relaxation meditation is to learn to "let go" of thoughts. If you try too hard to let go of thoughts your brain seizes up. It's like trying to let go of a hot coal by squeezing harder. It burns more, so you squeeze even harder... You get the picture?

It is important to understand that what you want to accomplish can not be accomplished by "will power" (mental squeezing). They can only be accomplished by "not-will power" (releasing).

Fortunately, the basic breath-counting meditation is exactly what you need. It is usually the first form of meditation taught in a well-considered meditation program, and, with a little practice, is easily learned.

Remember, the key is "don't try hard, try not-hard."

Here's what you do:

1. Sit in a comfortable position. If you tend to fall asleep, don't do this lying down... Although doing this lying down is great if you have trouble falling asleep because of troubling thoughts. Sit, instead, in a chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.

2. Close your eyes, but direct your eyes so that, if they were open you'd be looking down your nose.

3. Put your teeth together, and place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. This will prevent you from mouth breathing and/or getting a dry mouth.

4. Breath in through your nose strongly, but not strongly enough to hear yourself breathing. Inflate your lungs from the diaphragm (your belly gets larger when you do this, along with you chest) to their full capacity.

5. Exhale, emptying your lungs completely with the same degree of force (forcefully, but not forcefully enough to hear your own breath).

6. Mentally count each exhalation (inhale - exhale - one. Inhale - exhale - two). When you get to seven, go back to one and begin again.

7. While doing this, pay attention only to your breathing/counting.

8. Here is the critical part! You will get distracted. Random thoughts will pop into your mind. You will forget to count, or discover that you have counted to 27. Believe it or not, this is what is supposed to happen.

9. When the inevitable happens, go back to your breathing and begin again with one. Do not worry about it. Do not think you are failing. Do not try harder. Remember! Let it go!

10. Over time you will go longer and longer periods during which you remain focused on your breaths, but ONLY if you learn to try without trying.

monsno_leedra
04 Aug 2015, 13:24
I recall one early form I learnt was to use the breathing and color regression to meditate. You could start at 1 and count up or start at 100 and count down then avoid chasing the rabbit down the hole by using a color string. Was funny in that the color string is basic chakra colors I learnt later but it did help greatly in relaxing and growing beyond the mind as it where.

For me at times I use the movie projector screen method where you imagine your sitting in a movie theater and you place any and all images upon the movie screen. You don't attempt to really do anything with them other than let them play across the screen and sort of let them run their course. In some ways I suppose its another example of growing beyond the confines of the mind and body and growing larger.

anunitu
04 Aug 2015, 15:08
I was lucky in that I kind of had a natural affinity as far as meditation goes. I have been described by family and friends as "Spacy" and I will admit I can be what they termed "Flaky" .
I met a math teacher that was kinda like this,the absent minded professor type,and I could relate.

thalassa
04 Aug 2015, 17:01
I'm going to add to this, specifically for people that have tried seated meditation and just sort of suck at it or are frustrated and not having the experience they expect--maybe you aren't neurotypical, or maybe you just can't relax, it depends.

(some of this is also from some other places where I've talked about meditation, with some editing for context and clarity)



Meditation isn't about "clearing your mind" (although it can be), its about training your mind ("clearing" your mind through meditation is a way to train your mind and its really a huge misnomer--its supposed to be about clearing your mind of unwanted thoughts, not all thoughts AND meditation is not the only way (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201504/5-neuroscience-based-ways-clear-your-mind) to "clear" one's thoughts). And you can do this. I promise.

Probably, if you are having trouble with meditation, you are starting too big and too long. Probably you are trying to do the wrong sort of meditations. And probably you are trying to meditate while sitting still. And if you are like most people that I know, you've given up too soon. Toss everything you thought you knew about meditation out the window. You are going to have to try different stuff to make it work, but you CAN make it work. Remind yourself that meditation makes very real physiological and anatomical changes to your brain chemistry, neuronal connections and even (over time) your brain's very structure (such as folding patterns and the size and density of tissue in different structures.

This is one way that I have found that works for people like my son and my husband, both who have ADHD...it also works for people that don't have ADHD, like my daughter and the people I've worked with as new Pagans that had meditation troubles (I don't normally talk about it, because I don't claim to be any sort of "teacher" or "elder", but I've been doing the Pagan thing for a while, and have occasionally worked with newbies who wanted some guidance beyond a 101 book without the pressure of a specific tradition). I've never worked with anyone that it hasn't worked for (if they've stuck with it with due diligence), but I'm sure there are exceptions.


Make a list of the things that you do or places you go that make you feel the most focused and in the moment--in my experience, ALL people (especially those with ADHD or other atypical neurological conditions) have something that they can hyperfocus on. For my husband, its running (or video games). For my mom, its crochet and gardening. For my son, its being in the woods or at the beach, completely in nature and playing with his army guys (also video games). For my daughter, its gymnastics and the beach. For me, its the beach, painting, and swimming. If you have something that you can do and be completely immersed in for more than 15 minutes, you have the ability to focus (and focus doesn't mean you have to sit still--when my son plays video games, he looks like he's a jumping bean). Don't worry about sitting (much less sitting still), because if you have problems with meditation, one of your problems is that you spend too much time thinking about sitting (and then thinking about how uncomfortable your butt is, or how your foot has fallen asleep)...

Establish whether or not your "one thing" is a good activity to meditate to (or with)--depending on what this one thing is, it might be a great way to meditate. Swimming, running, dancing (there's a book called Sweat Your Prayers that is a bit cheesy and definitely written in the 90's. but offers some good insight here)...even stuff like doing the dishes and folding clothes can be done meditatively (I don't recommend video games or reading a book though...too much distraction there! Your mind is a bit too much outside of itself). Singing, chanting, drumming, etc work well too. Establishing what works best for you at this beginning stage is a matter of trial and error--and even if you try something today, and it doesn't work, you can come back to it later and it might, because you've had more practice and done the ground work of changing your brain.

Pick something that you know you can do for 15 minutes, and while you are doing it, think about what you are doing and how you are doing it and how you feel when you are doing it. Think about the angle of your hand, or the feel of the muscles moving in your legs, or the blueness of the sky. And when those pesky little distractions--did I turn off the coffee pot? when is recycling day again? oh crud, I forgot to call my mom... When those thoughts come up, the trick isn't to let go of your thoughts and what is in your head, but to embrace it--think each thought through, acknowledge it, and move back to the something you are doing. In your 15 minutes of doing this, if you could hold that focus for 30 seconds, its a success. If you could hold that focus for 3 minutes, its a success. If you could hold that focus for 15 seconds, it was a success. You can't fail at this.

Do this on a regular basis. Twice a day is best if you can manage it. Once a day or 2-3 times a week is good. Weekly will work, but it will take you that much longer to get good. Over time you will get better, if you keep it up. Set an alarm on your phone or clock or whatever for a time of day when you know you usually have 15 minutes. Maybe (if you are anything like me) you need two alarms. Meditation depends on repetition, as does rewiring your brain (http://positivepsychologynews.com/news/scott-crabtree/2012111824660).

Pick a meditation spot--find a place where you feel the most connected and in tune and make that your meditation spot. When I meditate, I go to the beach, I take my phone and turn off the ringers and all that and put it on Hindu, Buddhist, or even Gregorian chanting (or drumming, etc) on YouTube with the headphones in, and practice breathing in and out with the waves...as I breathe, I endeavor to become part of the beach--the sun, the surf, the wind...sometimes it takes me 30 seconds and sometimes I go home sort of frustrated but still somewhat relaxed and recharged after 30 minutes, not having entered "the zone". I can do this in other places, but the beach is the easiest place for me.

If you miss a day, forgive yourself and try again the next day--don't let your sense of impending failure be your excuse to give up. You will have bad days. It might take you months to practice mindfulness (http://lifehacker.com/what-is-mindfulness-and-why-is-everyone-talking-abo-1502693174)for 5 mintues, and then you have a bad day and spend a week back at 30 seconds. That's still success. Most people don't ever take any time to tune into themselves.

The next step...Once you get to the point where its easy to tune into yourself and your action (regardless of the length of time), practice turning your attention to your breathing--count how long it takes to breathe in and breathe out, visualize your breath moving in and out, visualize your breath as the vehicle by which you bring in something desired and get rid of something you don't like--this right here is the simplest and most effective way to do magic (whether you think magic is something supernatural and without or something natural and within)--one of our members, Mrs. P, has a book called Magic on the Breath that is a lovely read (and whenever I read one of her books, I imagine her voice reading it to me, since she has an awesome accent).

When this is easy for you, when you can do this for even 5 minutes, try your hand at guided meditation or guided visualization--there are some great audio and video ones on YouTube and other internet sites, or you can develop your own (http://www.the-guided-meditation-site.com/write-a-guided-meditation.html). Guided meditation offers you a "story" that distracts you from the unwanted thought problem and takes you along a journey to whatever goal you want to achieve. Don't expect immediate success at getting totally into the groove of the experience. This isn't a one size fits all sort of deal--guided meditations need to match your intent...and they don't work for everyone for every purpose.

Don't give up. It takes deliberate and conscientious repetition to get good (http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20121114-gladwells-10000-hour-rule-myth) at something. While the precise time involved is individual, the old adage is true--if at first you don't succeed, try, try again (and again, and again). If the method you are using doesn't feel like there is improvement after a few weeks of dedicated practice, try something else. As a sort of off topic example, studies show that a child (on average) needs to be exposed to a new food somewhere between 7 and 20 times (different studies have slightly different numbers, but the general consensus seems to be around 10-15 times)...my point is that if it takes a kid trying peas a dozen times to figure out if they like them (and that's not taking into account the many ways they can be prepared), how many more times might it take you to try meditating to figure out just the basics, much less something far more complex like trance work*?



*The words "meditation", "trance", hypnosis, etc are often used very loosely among spiritual practitioners, and nearly just as loosely among psychologists...but in brain scans, the resulting imagery of meditative, trance, and hypnotic states look remarkably similar. While these words differ in meaning and technique, depending on the individual, the actual (physical and chemical) neuronal pathway that achieves them (in terms of neurology) seem to be remarkably similar (if not the same), and it has been my experience and observation, that a good grounding in meditation makes one better at journeying.

B. de Corbin
04 Aug 2015, 17:30
Beauty, Thalassa!

Your statement "...even stuff like doing the dishes..." sent me on a hunt for this poem. I read it years & years ago, but couldn't remember the author or title:

The Zen of Housework
Al Zolynas

I look over my own shoulder
down my arms
to where they disappear under water
into hands inside pink rubber gloves
moiling among dinner dishes.

My hands lift a wine glass,
holding it by the stem and under the bowl.
It breaks the surface
like a chalice
rising from a medieval lake.

Full of the grey wine
of domesticity, the glass floats
to the level of my eyes.
Behind it, through the window
above the sink, the sun, among
a ceremony of sparrows and bare branches,
is setting in Western America.

I can see thousands of droplets
of steam—each a tiny spectrum—rising
from my goblet of grey wine.
They sway, changing directions
constantly—like a school of playful fish,
or like the sheer curtain
on the window to another world.

Ah, grey sacrament of the mundane!

volcaniclastic
04 Aug 2015, 19:59
I'm not as verbose as you lot, but another thing which works very well (for some people) is guided meditation. Apps like Headspace (which is my favourite, but hella expensive, so I torrented the files), Calm, etc are available for phones, or really, any number of places on the internet, including youtube will have great guided meditations.

It's exactly what Corbin described above, but with soothing music and guiding words to give you an idea of what to do. Focus on the breath, pay attention to your 'third eye spot', etc.

When I stayed in the monastery in Thailand, we did a lot of walking meditations, where we slowly paced up and down just letting our minds wander into stillness, while our bodies moved.

anunitu
04 Aug 2015, 20:04
I like Tabla drums,and sitar to meditate also Buddhist chants also work for me.

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There was this church in SF that had a "Path" called a spiral path to meditate

Kind of like this,you walk the path for meditation
.
http://cdn.nanxiongnandi.com/bing/RoseGarden_EN-GB1284911461.jpg

monsno_leedra
04 Aug 2015, 20:12
That last part reminds me of the idea of walking the Grail at Glastonbury in England.

volcaniclastic
04 Aug 2015, 20:44
That last part reminds me of the idea of walking the Grail at Glastonbury in England.

I did that!

Azvanna
05 Aug 2015, 03:08
My meditative practice is a little bit all over the shop at the moment in that I'm trying a few different things.

For a long time I'd only been doing something like what Corbin might call 'intense prayer' where I'd sit and just be aware of the presence of God until I could feel His presence all around me. Sometimes I'd be singing, sometimes I'd be sitting quiet in different positions, sometimes standing.

Over the past few years I've been trying to connect my meditative state with my breath and also movement (Asanas) thought I haven't ever achieved that same imminent presence that I could achieve so effortlessly before.

The other thing I did yesterday was listen to a drumming track with my earphones in and find a vocal note that made my chest and head vibrate. I'd hold the note for a few beats and then breath in for a few beats.

I think at the moment I'm just really experimenting with a few different methods and finding out what I like to do. I think intense prayer is still my very favourite as I really like to be fully present and pulling the divine into my physical space rather than trying to mentally move to wherever I think it may be.

monsno_leedra
05 Aug 2015, 03:29
I did that!

Always wanted to walk the tract at Glastonbury but never got a chance to. Sadly now not physically able to though still would love to go there and see it.

B. de Corbin
05 Aug 2015, 05:01
I think at the moment I'm just really experimenting with a few different methods and finding out what I like to do. I think intense prayer is still my very favourite as I really like to be fully present and pulling the divine into my physical space rather than trying to mentally move to wherever I think it may be.

This sounds like what (I've been told) the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) do.

B. de Corbin
09 Aug 2015, 08:38
Here's a good article:

What to Do With Your Mind During Meditation (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sonimacom/meditation_b_7889944.html)


While You Meditate
One of the common mistakes people make when beginning a meditation practice is believing that it is simply a way to turn off your mind. Your mind is a radiant, brilliant, amazing thing and there is no off switch. Meditation is not about zoning out and becoming a vegetable. You can befriend yourself in meditation, use it to transcend your usual experience, even have a powerful realization depending on what technique you are doing, but let's be clear that your mind will remain "on."

Another common misconception is that thoughts are bad and we should rid ourselves of thoughts. Our mind cannot stop producing thoughts. It's simply what it does. Often when people discover that there is no off switch in their mind and thoughts continue to come they get discouraged and think they are the worst meditator of all time. There have been thousands of years of meditators and I promise you, you are not the worst. Not by a long shot.

B. de Corbin
11 Aug 2015, 07:34
A selection of guided meditations for a variety of purposes. (http://www.sonima.com/meditation/guided-meditations-meditation/)

Azvanna
17 Aug 2015, 06:05
This sounds like what (I've been told) the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) do.
I hadn't learned what Quakers did before you mentioned them here. It was interesting to read about them though I think I like the exuberance of a church service. I would like to find a nice balance one day.

Speaking of balance, tonight in my meditation I did my usual mindfulness stuff and focus on the breath stuff. Then I found a place between dreaming and awake. You know those "dreams" you have right before you fall asleep? Well I found a thread somewhere between that state and being awake. It was a nice tension/balance between nodding off and remaining aware.


Here's a good article:

What to Do With Your Mind During Meditation (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sonimacom/meditation_b_7889944.html)

I like what the author says about keeping the mental pace you achieved during meditation for a little while afterwards. It seems backwards, but i think it's a more efficient state of mind to work from as I make less mistakes. I try to stay in this non-hurried state a lot.

anunitu
17 Aug 2015, 06:09
I think that is known as the "Be chill to the max dude,Be the wave" from the surfers book of really cool and happening stuff.

Azvanna
17 Aug 2015, 06:12
For me, a big part of meditation and prayer has been to try to remain aware of the presence of the Divine and the thread of life even when I haven't turned my mind to it.

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Anu, it's been a dream of mine to learn to surf!! I could definitely fit into that crowd :D!

SonoftheWaters
17 Aug 2015, 08:38
I have always found music helps me, I usually find a good rhythmic sound in tone I feel fits what I am attempting to do and let my mind focus on the rhythm.

volcaniclastic
17 Aug 2015, 09:57
Only slighted related, but with this many people interested in Meditation, why don't we have a PF meditation challenge? Meditate 10 minutes a day, 30 days, or something?

B. de Corbin
17 Aug 2015, 15:16
Speaking of balance, tonight in my meditation I did my usual mindfulness stuff and focus on the breath stuff. Then I found a place between dreaming and awake. You know those "dreams" you have right before you fall asleep? Well I found a thread somewhere between that state and being awake. It was a nice tension/balance between nodding off and remaining aware.

If you want to research that state a bit (and it is actually useful in several, like as a way to begin lucid dreaming), that dream state is called "hypnogogic" (when they happen whirl falling sleep) or "hypnopompic" (when they occur while waking up).

Most people go through it on their way to dreamland, but, generally, short term memory isn't working in that condition, unless you wake up during it.

Did you get weird distorted faces? They are common...

The Mystery of Hypnagogia (http://dreamstudies.org/2010/12/10/hypnagogic-dreams-and-imagery/)

Azvanna
19 Aug 2015, 02:56
If you want to research that state a bit (and it is actually useful in several, like as a way to begin lucid dreaming), that dream state is called "hypnogogic" (when they happen whirl falling sleep) or "hypnopompic" (when they occur while waking up).

Most people go through it on their way to dreamland, but, generally, short term memory isn't working in that condition, unless you wake up during it.

Did you get weird distorted faces? They are common...

The Mystery of Hypnagogia (http://dreamstudies.org/2010/12/10/hypnagogic-dreams-and-imagery/)

That's so cool ^.^ I'm not sure if I got quite to that stage by the description. My body felt fairly normal apart for my brain being half asleep. I did see stranger's faces and one I remember really well. I also remember being in a cane field that was partly harvested and seeing a dead body which my dream-self believed was someone close to her. I really don't know what I did but I know I wasn't asleep but it wasn't like my normal meditations.

Mindfulness meditations I can do pretty well, but this was something different and I'm not even sure if it's called meditation.

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Only slighted related, but with this many people interested in Meditation, why don't we have a PF meditation challenge? Meditate 10 minutes a day, 30 days, or something?

I would like to do this. I need some accountability! :D

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Corbin, also thank you for that link I'll be reading through that in depth.

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Also, just wondering is the Astral body supposed to be absolutely humongous? As in so huge there is no way it could fit on this planet if it were matter... The back story to this question is kind of complicated, so just take the question at face value ^.^

B. de Corbin
20 Aug 2015, 13:58
There is a type of yoga called "Yoga Nidra," that specifically makes use of the hypnogogic state:


Yoga Nidra is the state of awareness between waking and dreaming, between the conscious and subconscious mind. Psychologists call this state of awareness the hypnagogic state. During this state of awareness the brain emits alpha waves. It usually only lasts a few minutes, but the intent of practicing the technique known as Yoga Nidra is to extend the state of introverted awareness while maintaining external awareness. In Yoga Nidra the student is in a deep, relaxed state while listening to and staying actively, mentally engaged with the ongoing verbal directions of the facilitator.

The term Yoga Nidra is derived from two Sanskrit words, “yoga” meaning union and “nidra” meaning sleep. The term is somewhat of a misnomer as it is not a special kind of sleep, but rather a state between waking and sleeping. It is a systematic and deliberate method of inducing complete physical, mental, and emotional relaxation, leading you consciously into the subconscious mind for the sole purpose of making permanent changes in the psyche that will bring personal and spiritual transformation. (http://www.yogamag.net/archives/1979/ldec79/yoganidra79.shtml)

I have experienced this often when meditating to relax into sleep. I've never really employed this state for any particular purpose, but I enjoy the feeling of drifting about on the edge of my mind.

Näre
22 Aug 2015, 12:53
Yoga nidra seems also to be a label for almost any kind of body scan techniques nowadays... I tried to find a proper yoga nidra instruction on Youtube once but must of them were just generic relaxation tracks with new age music. But perhaps anything that puts a person into a relaxed state will do the trick.

B. de Corbin
22 Aug 2015, 19:27
Yoga nidra seems also to be a label for almost any kind of body scan techniques nowadays... I tried to find a proper yoga nidra instruction on Youtube once but must of them were just generic relaxation tracks with new age music. But perhaps anything that puts a person into a relaxed state will do the trick.

I'm not surprised if the meaning has been corrupted. I don't know much about it, though...

Azvanna
31 Aug 2015, 03:28
Yoga nidra seems also to be a label for almost any kind of body scan techniques nowadays... I tried to find a proper yoga nidra instruction on Youtube once but must of them were just generic relaxation tracks with new age music. But perhaps anything that puts a person into a relaxed state will do the trick.

So, I looked up this page to try to find what is the practise of Yoga Nidra as opposed to the state of Yoga Nidra. Information overload! There is so much information. Swami J makes the point that Yoga Nidra isn't the journey, it's the destination. But, if you keep scrolling, there's a heading: Yoga Nidra Methods of practice. He does qualify the heading by saying
Yoga Nidra is a state of consciousness,
not the methods that lead you to that state.

Here's the page: http://www.swamij.com/yoga-nidra.htm#companion

Gleb
30 Jan 2016, 11:18
Question to those who meditate - does any of you use some sort of incense or something else that spreads some kind of smell in the place you meditate in?

Eofor
30 Jan 2016, 11:58
Question to those who meditate - does any of you use some sort of incense or something else that spreads some kind of smell in the place you meditate in?

Yes! I usually use lotus when I'm trying to focus or seeking for knowledge and lavender when I'm trying to relax. :)

Gleb
30 Jan 2016, 12:02
I think of using something that spreads the smell of the sea in order to relax. I just need to fine something like this.

B. de Corbin
30 Jan 2016, 14:58
Question to those who meditate - does any of you use some sort of incense or something else that spreads some kind of smell in the place you meditate in?

Yes - 6 cats and 2 dogs.

thalassa
30 Jan 2016, 15:02
I think of using something that spreads the smell of the sea in order to relax. I just need to fine something like this.


unfortunately, nothing really smells like the sea....seriously, everything that is supposed to smell like ocean just smells like soap

anunitu
30 Jan 2016, 15:24
I myself like Sitar music,and some middle eastern music as well, It helps me to find my space to meditate. There is music labeled psychotropic that I like a bit.

An example,most likely not for everyone.

https://youtu.be/bXeJAC3_6Bk

Eofor
30 Jan 2016, 16:28
I like mixing some songs by Wardruna with Rainy Mood. It always gives me the chills.

anunitu
30 Jan 2016, 16:40
I checked them out on youtube..interesting. One reminded me of throat singing.


Here.

https://youtu.be/gQUgtEBbPi4

Eofor
30 Jan 2016, 17:13
Awesome! They are similar, indeed. I may use this video someday. It's very powerful.

I also find this song incredible.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LxsvTfASP8

Jembru
30 Jan 2016, 21:18
Question to those who meditate - does any of you use some sort of incense or something else that spreads some kind of smell in the place you meditate in?

Not every day. It's cold in the bay window where I usually sit to meditate, so I'm sitting up on my bed with the duvet wrapped around me most days at the moment. When it's warmer and I can sit on the floor, I like sandalwood joss.

Gleb
30 Jan 2016, 22:59
Thanks for the input everyone. :)

B. de Corbin
31 Jan 2016, 07:03
Thanks for the input everyone. :)

Gleb, since I can't help being a PITA, I find that I can't resist tossing this in -

Mediation is an internal event, not an external event. Every time you see a picture of somebody meditating, it will look like this:

4695

In reality, meditation should look more like this:

4696

(The third person in line is meditating. Everybody else is being cranky)

External things, such as music or incense, may (at best) help you, but they are aids, and the danger is that they become crutches. Unless you re broken it is best to avoid getting used to crutches.

"Meditation pictures," such as the first one I posted create the impression that meditation is something special, is something seperated from mundane life, something that requires a juju space to do. For people who have this attitude, the actual value of real life meditation is lost.

Once a person has learned to do it, that person should be able to do it during a coffee break at work, while taking a shower, while pumping gas, and, yes, while wasting time waiting in line at the store.

When that happens, the value of meditation to the meditator - and to all of society - shoots through the roof.

Be like the fireworks - aim for the roof!

Gleb
01 Feb 2016, 08:40
Gleb, since I can't help being a PITA, I find that I can't resist tossing this in -

Mediation is an internal event, not an external event. Every time you see a picture of somebody meditating, it will look like this:

4695

In reality, meditation should look more like this:

4696

(The third person in line is meditating. Everybody else is being cranky)

External things, such as music or incense, may (at best) help you, but they are aids, and the danger is that they become crutches. Unless you re broken it is best to avoid getting used to crutches.

"Meditation pictures," such as the first one I posted create the impression that meditation is something special, is something seperated from mundane life, something that requires a juju space to do. For people who have this attitude, the actual value of real life meditation is lost.

Once a person has learned to do it, that person should be able to do it during a coffee break at work, while taking a shower, while pumping gas, and, yes, while wasting time waiting in line at the store.

When that happens, the value of meditation to the meditator - and to all of society - shoots through the roof.

Be like the fireworks - aim for the roof!
Sounds like getting your mind distracted from this world and go "flying" somewhere else. Some kind of trance at a minor level.

anunitu
01 Feb 2016, 08:47
The term some people used was "Spacey" for people who were not completely attached to the material world.

B. de Corbin
01 Feb 2016, 08:48
Sounds like getting your mind distracted from this world and go "flying" somewhere else. Some kind of trance at a minor level.

Actually, there are a whole variety of "altered states of consciousness," and, although most people aren't aware of it, they spend most of the day drifting between them. If you are doing "mindfulness meditation," you will actually be here, now, fully present, which is where you wouldn't be if you were standing in line wishing you were somewhere else...

;)

DavidMcCann
01 Feb 2016, 09:22
Mediation is an internal event, not an external event.
Yes, but you have to get there. The psychologist Charles Tart, who studied altered states of consciousness, pointed out that to get from one to another you need to destabalise the first state, induce the second, and then stabilise it. Meditation postures involve relaxation (to reduce the attention to bodily sensation characteristic of waking) but some degree of muscular effort (to avoid entry into a more familiar state: sleep).

B. de Corbin
01 Feb 2016, 09:39
Yes, but you have to get there. The psychologist Charles Tart, who studied altered states of consciousness, pointed out that to get from one to another you need to destabalise the first state, induce the second, and then stabilise it. Meditation postures involve relaxation (to reduce the attention to bodily sensation characteristic of waking) but some degree of muscular effort (to avoid entry into a more familiar state: sleep).

Yup - that's why they are aids. However, once one is familiar with making the transition, the aids are less than necessary. The only thing I've found that is absolutely necessary is regulating breathing.

To "destabilize the first state" is a fancily technical sounding way of saying "shift yer brain." It's like saying "before you can stand on one foot, you need to destabilize a two-footed stance."

Once you can make the mental shift, breathing is as simple a trick as you will ever discover to trigger the shift, and you will always have the tool you need with you.

Unless you are dead.

But then you wouldn't be meditating.

'Cause you'd be dead.

I mean, really, I don't care. If people feel they have to build a temple, load it with sculptures, burn incense, and wear yellow in order to meditate, fine. I'm cool with time and money wasting. as long as it is somebody else doing it.

What I'm saying is that it isn't necessary. It's more of a type of self-indulgent luxury than a necessity, and it seems to me to make meditation more about the show than about the purpose.

B. de Corbin
01 Feb 2016, 12:25
https://youtu.be/2bAXwBbCtHg?list=PL-ZDz8lj9udl_RR66g2Z7CVlxs-nn-e9G

Taulmaril
01 Feb 2016, 15:20
I just came across this thread and to be honest I did not read all of the comments so if what I am about to post has already been posted, please forgive me. I recently started reading Dr. Wayne W. Dyer's book, Getting in the Gap. He stated that we have somewhere around 60,000 thoughts per day and that people have a hard time with relaxing their minds because of this. He wrote a very simple meditation (included a guided meditation CD in the book) that he uses which is pretty cool. He used the first line of the Lord's Prayer (I use the serenity prayer here) as the focal point.

B. de Corbin
02 Feb 2016, 03:14
My dad was a big fan of Dr. Dyer, way back...

But I've nevr looked into him. Maybe I should.

THANK...
02 Feb 2016, 03:26
For me meditation is anything that keeps me focused in the moment, aware of my breath, my body, and environment, whether I am in a 'Zen' state at work, practicing my Bagua, playing music, energetic practices, or just the traditional practice of sitting or standing and just breathing and letting thoughts pass by with as little intention as possible - learning to let go of the practice and just doing what I am doing with full sense of presence moving from breath to breath.

B. de Corbin
02 Feb 2016, 03:36
For me meditation is anything that keeps me focused in the moment, aware of my breath, my body, and environment, whether I am in a 'Zen' state at work, practicing my Bagua, playing music, energetic practices, or just the traditional practice of sitting or standing and just breathing and letting thoughts pass by with as little intention as possible - learning to let go of the practice and just doing what I am doing with full sense of presence moving from breath to breath.

This is also what meditation is for me. In the thread on Ego (http://www.paganforum.com/showthread.php?11697-Ego-in-Spirituality-and-Psychology) I'm preparing something directly related to this idea...

Taulmaril
02 Feb 2016, 09:36
My dad was a big fan of Dr. Dyer, way back...

But I've nevr looked into him. Maybe I should.

Absolutely. He was a very good thinker who had some excellent spirituality. Sadly he passed away this last year.

anunitu
02 Feb 2016, 10:16
I have to say B. De.,that my state of mind(chilling in the moment) is the reason I never had a "Postal moment" while I was in the working world.

Medusa
02 Feb 2016, 13:20
I think because of my bi-polar, I can't actually mediate.

But I can focus.

But you don't want that.


Really. We never want me to focus. It's just gonna end in tears and me giggling in a corner. :devil:

THANK...
03 Feb 2016, 12:36
This is also what meditation is for me. In the thread on Ego (http://www.paganforum.com/showthread.php?11697-Ego-in-Spirituality-and-Psychology) I'm preparing something directly related to this idea...

I definitely forget and don't care about my 'ego' in these moments, I just exist, or existence exists, in my deepest meditations.

B. de Corbin
03 Feb 2016, 16:06
I definitely forget and don't care about my 'ego' in these moments, I just exist, or existence exists, in my deepest meditations.

Ego, as I am defining the word, is "the sense of existence" (Ego = I, not Ego = what I am or what I am doing, or my feeling of self worth). What you are experiencing is not "forgetting" or "not caring" about your Ego (that would be defining "ego" as - if I understand you correctly - your connection or relation to the world).

What you are actually experiencing is Ego, in the absence of connection or relation to the world.

The word "Ego" is used in different ways, in different contexts, by different people. This is why it is important to precisely define the term as it will be used in the context of our conversation before using it. Your definition is not wrong, per se - it is one way in which the word is used - but it is not the way I am using it (which is also correct), so we are speaking confusedly.

THANK...
04 Feb 2016, 20:07
What I was referring to by 'ego' is attachment; I am letting go of my attachments to any- and everything and finding my 'True Nature' (void, eternal silence, gnosis... it's like a trance but devoid of desire).

In your terminology, I definitely find my Ego and fall in love with its boundlessness. I always saw the term ego as attachment (Buddhism) or hedonistic existence (LaVey), different aspects of 'I' in a limited sense. If I understand you correctly, in a different way 'I' really can mean connection 'to the rest of it all' without attachment to being or becoming.