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Meditation...Umm I'm In Two Minds

ShoshinShoshin No one in particularNowhere Special Veteran

Many people know ( or have heard ) of the benefits that comes from meditation, however it would seem not many are aware of the effort and commitment one needs to put into it in order to achieve the long term ongoing benefits...where effort gradually becomes effortless...

I find it strange to hear people say things like " Oh meditation....Yes, I use to meditate, I found it quite helpful, I really need to get back into doing it again !"

It would seem for many, meditation is 'on request' "Umm I'm stating to become quite stressed again, so I need to start meditating again!" ( like taking the meditation mind down from the closet shelf and dust off the thick layers of dust that has accumulated) ... and not something that is ongoing...

I remember a teacher once saying that in the East meditation is more so for prevention whereas unlike in the West where it's seen more as a cure ( cure is just a by-product) what he meant by this was, if one practices meditation when in a calm state by doing so one will not experience the anxieties that comes from having a mind that is untrained...But one of the hardest things for westerners to do is to sit and do nothing-they feel somewhat guilty/unsettled by doing so...

It's also interesting to hear people saying things like "I've studied Buddhism for many years but I still suffer from anxiety and stress " to the extent it still effects their quality of life and if one were to enquire a little further one would find that some don't bother with daily meditation practice and only do it every now and again ( when it suit them) and think that, that's enough...It's as if one mind knows the benefits of it and the other mind can't be bothered...( I realise that for some people they will also need additional professional help when dealing with severe panic attacks and the like-So I'm not saying that one size fits all)

So are you in two minds when it comes to meditation ?

Or to put it another way...How important is meditation to you ?
Do you practice diligently ?

Or only when stress dictates ?

Buddhadragonmmo
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Comments

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    I am no longer in 2 minds about meditation. The human predicament goes way beyond 'all or nothing' and 'one and everything'...\lol/...

    Debating whether you do it, or are doing it, is still a form of meditation, and this forum is the perfect sanctuary for it. It's really just about about scale and detail, honey and comb, birds and bees, shafts and diamonds, rags and riches etc....

    Lordy!

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    I've never understood the attitude of just meditating when things are difficult.

    Sadly @SpinyNorman this seems to be quite common in the West...

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    @Shoshin?

    How much experience do you have of the East?

    Shoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @anataman said:
    Shoshin?

    How much experience do you have of the East?

    Enough....

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    @federica said:
    Actually, if I'm going to be honest (and the 4th precept requires, through diligent practice, that I should strive to be) then I admit that hitherto, I've 'dabbled'.
    Only recently, since committing myself to stick to a routine, via the 'Insight' app, has this become less of a dabble and more of a considered dedication.

    And already, I've found it to be enormously beneficial.
    Admittedly, I'm starting the habit 'small'. I'm dealing with short periods of meditation, rather than going the whole hog and determining to sit for hours.

    If I don't practice, it feels wrong.... no matter what 'mood' I'm in.

    Good post, Shoshin, nice topic.

    Why do I not feel the same way?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I dunno.... is this a quiz....?

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    This is not a personal attack on those who 'choose' not to meditate...."Different strokes for different folks ...I'm not the Kyosaku

    Whether one meditates or not is entirely up to them ...I'm just pointing out how it is for some...It's no skin off my nose either way (well apart from the fact I really don't like to see people suffer, when in many cases it is preventable )

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Vastmind said:
    I feel like I know where your coming from...but I will admit, it smells a little like church checkin'. As in...

    "Hello there, Sister Sarah, nice to see you this Sunday. You haven't been here in quite a few Sundays....you know, coming once in awhile doesn't do much good, and have you been praying on the regular?.... What are we going to do with you?" (condescending smile).

    Then...your East reference doesn't really help me....

    "You know, Sister Sarah, over there at Southern House of Christ, they show up every Sunday....and on Wednesday night studies...your doing this all wrong"

    Yes, but the only person who's "church-checkin' " you - is you.
    Guilt trip be damned, you feel guilty? That's your stuff to deal with.
    Nobody's doin' it to ya - but you.

    What happens in Las Vastmind - stays in Las Vastmind.

    anatamanShoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @anataman said:
    Why do I not feel the same way?

    Who is asking the question ? (That should tie you up for awhile :D )

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran
    edited April 2015

    No @Shoshin

    • that's a very silly Koan, and shows you have a very silly mind...

    I see there's a ganging up mentality here :awesome:

    And a sense of humour that may be lost...

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran
    edited April 2015

    Actually @Shoshin I used to enjoy a good Koan, until you could google the good one's and then you find there are extensive discourses on the meanings of them from various respected authorities, and discussions that unfold from the sub-authorities who mis-represent their teachers views. However, when you realise no one has any authority, other than what you allow them to have over you, the schematic is no longer representative of the fact, and it all falls down, like a ring o roses.

    Shoshin
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    Out of interest @Shoshin Why are you personally here on this site?

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @anataman said:
    Out of interest Shoshin Why are you personally here on this site?

    Why do you want to know @anataman ?
    I'm here for the same reason others are here "karma" how about you ?

    BTW... all koans are silly, they wouldn't be koans if they weren't ...

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    I'm here because I can be. An annoyance, a delight (well probably not to anyone I'm mentally probing), a waste of space, a blight... Depends on your view!

    And not all koans are silly btw...

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @anataman said:

    And not all koans are silly btw...

    To me they are...that's why I like them...Simple things please simple minds I guess...

    I'm here because I can be. An annoyance, a delight (well probably not to anyone I'm mentally probing), a waste of space, a blight... Depends on your view!

    Well good on you, I find you a delight...

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    A monk asked Kegon, “How does an enlightened one return to the ordinary world?”
    Kegon replied, “A broken mirror never reflects again; fallen flowers never go back to the old branches.”

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran
    edited April 2015
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    How important is meditation to you @anataman ?

    I would like to bring the thread back on track to stop the mind/s from wandering...

    anataman
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    Well Meditation is so very important that it takes precedence in my life! But I am at the stage where I try not to let the concept of it get in the way of itself...

    nice so hussShhhhh o shoshin

    I'm trying to mediate ...\lol/...

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    ShoshinsilverEarthninja
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Pohutukawa (Commonly known by locals as the Christmas tree)

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    There's an old Mongolian Buddhist saying which goes like this "You can lead a meditator to the cushion, but you can't make them drink! (Meditate) " :D

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    Beautiful as trees go...

    There's this great Western saying that "you can cushion the ride, but if your not paying attention, you'll end up in the drink"

    Oh LAMSA...

    ahem!

    Shoshin
  • @Shoshin said:
    Or to put it another way...How important is meditation to you ?
    Do you practice diligently ?

    Gal needs a cushion! ;)

    I do not meditate in the road but in the Middle Way. Diligently and I find it useful/important. B)

    The reason? For the clarity to discern monkey mind internal, external and manifest for all to read . . . o:)

    BuddhadragondantepwEarthninja
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited April 2015

    MODERATOR NOTE:
    Just a brief aside - banter between members should really be reserved for PM chat... on forum, it's best to engage via topic, and not "hog the discussion", otherwise it can exclude others and halt the flow.
    @Shoshin already attempted to steer the topic back on course. @lobster has complied...
    Let's do that then, shall we?

    The nub of the question (@Shoshin correct me if I am wrong) is: Meditation: In two minds: What brings you to meditation? Is it the 'feel-good' factor in times of personal emotional upheaval, or have you developed a routine where no matter what, you devote time to meditation and it has always proved beneficial?

    Thanks!

    Shoshindantepw
  • It's important to be regular... ;)

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    It's important to be regular... ;)

    So eat plenty of roughage :D

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    Forced meditation can be as bad as distracted thinking in my view. That is why I go to the cushion when it calls and not when I feel I have to because a clock is chiming 3!

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    I made it a point to meditate at least fifteen minutes every day for the last twenty-five years.

    I don't overthink brushing my teeth, so I don't question the validity of my meditation routine.
    I just show up on the cushion and do it.
    No matter what.

    Has it helped? I don't know.
    I am a problem solver, I am able to fight affliction like a dragon, adversity does not get the better of me, I stand up stronger every time I fall, I am positive and optimistic, I never whine, I plough ahead through anything...
    Is it meditation? I don't know.
    Just in case, I never skip my session.
    ShoshinJeffreysilver
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    Thank you for the thread, @Shoshin.
    @anataman, stop taking personal umbrage at the slightest thing.
    Sit on an anger management cushion, for all Buddhas sake...
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @anataman said:
    Forced meditation can be as bad as distracted thinking in my view. That is why I go to the cushion when it calls and not when I feel I have to because a clock is chiming 3!

    You are utterly presumptuous if you think any of us 'force' meditation.
    Distracted thinking very often happens when one does NOT impose the discipline of voluntary routine.
    People need 'order'. Without it, there is 'dis-order'.

    By all means go to the cushion when it calls. In my humble opinion, you're either ignoring its beckon at times, or it's not calling you enough.

    But that's just me...

  • Sometimes I feel like meditating, sometimes I feel like being mindful, sometimes I feel like playing a game or work on a college project.

    I try to respect my mind and be as mindful as I can to not dwell in harmful thoughts and focus on how good my life is. Personally, it works a little bit like a form of meditation.

    Though, when I take the time to sit down, I usually do it to relax as much as I can my body and mind, sometimes I sit with my legs straight, like almost lying down lol, or sit on the shower and do some "water meditation" :lol: or whatever. :)

    I think it is more about calming the mind and finding the fun in it to me.
    ShoshinBuddhadragon
  • @anataman said:> Forced meditation can be as bad as distracted thinking in my view.

    Distracted thinking is inevitable without regular meditation. That's just the way it is.

    lobsterBuddhadragon
  • If you wait for everything to be pure with the right touch an everything right you may be waiting a long time. Whereas you may just meditate every day even if you are just going through the motions or have an ego about meditation. In that case meditating ever day probably does not hurt anything even though it is impure or ego or whatever. Eventually you will vomit up that ego etc and doing the meditation you actually have an opportunity to watch that ego etc every day. Also even if you have the wrong touch practice will at the very least help you be conscious of what you are doing and thinking.

    TravellerShoshindantepwBuddhadragon
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    You have fallen into my little contraption

    Perhaps I am being a little too presumptuous though - you decide :wink:

    @SpinyNorman said:
    Distracted thinking is inevitable without regular meditation. That's just the way it is.

    Ahhh!

    But meditation is also an inevitability if you look at it in that way. Why try to force what comes naturally?

    Just a thought!

    ...\lol/...

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @DhammaDragon you are reading far too much into my comments - I am not taking umbrage! I think you are taking personal umbrage at the fact that I am saying your attachment to timers and times you MUST sit which may grate at a fundamental problem, that is yours to resolve.

    Before I am shot down in flames here by moderators and fellow buddhists alike, if you think before you comment, you are creating something that will degenerate. Let it flow, and see how it flows and flowers...

    Just more to thing about!

    ...\lol/...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @anataman said: ..... if you think before you comment, you are creating something that will degenerate. Let it flow, and see how it flows and flowers...

    Yes... and kindly do likewise.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    <3 @anataman: I love you to bits <3
    Okay, that's the Latin address.
    As a Brit, you'd probably prefer to hear that I hold you deaahr in my heaaht, my daahhling.

    I really do.
    You are one of the first people I got close to when I joined the site.

    But that said, you pounce at everything too easily. And that, coming from me, is much to say.
    Lots of metta to you and stop lolling, please, you begin to sound like the Joker.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @DhammaDragon
    I use to think "I don't have time to meditate!" I often wonder how much more time I wasted a day, back then doing nothing, when I could have really been doing nothing and benefiting from it :D

    You make a good point re: your at least "15" minutes daily meditation...In fact I would go so far as to say even 10 minutes a day ...If one meditations for 10 minutes a day one will still have 23 hours and 50 minutes left in the day for other things...Bags of time ( one might as well get something out of sitting around doing nothing)

    Buddhadragon
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    I prefer bhavana over meditation.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @bookworm said:
    I prefer bhavana over meditation

    The Indian actress :D

    bookworm
  • Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Ay-men, brother! :D

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Mumonkanman said:
    Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life.

    A good Dharma diet can work wonders :D

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    @DhammaDragon I have re-read this thread a couple of times now and realise that you may have been offended by what I thought were light-hearted comments' and apologise publicly for this error.

    Please, in future, do not see any comments I make as an attack against you in particular (I love your views and comments, and would never wish to take them out of context) - however, as you noted I do play the joker sometimes; and everyone who explores this site, should be aware of it - it was never a secret play of mine that I would not if you review the historical record of this site...

    Namaste!

    :smiley:

    EarthninjaShoshinBuddhadragon
  • geniegenie Explorer

    There is no compulsion in Buddhism, which means meditation is just an optional activity. A person who meditates isn't guaranteed heaven (or nibbana, whatever). In fact, he is not even guaranteed peace of mind, since meditation may bring many subconscious turmoil to the surface.

    Earthninja
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