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What if I don't meditate?

lobsterlobster Veteran
edited April 2015 in Meditation

Personally I do meditate and intend to continue.

What of those studying or practicing/focussing on what they can? Where is the value?

I would suggest the value of good company, which includes dharma books is of value. Simple pre-attention or focus techniques such as Tai Chi and yoga are beneficial.

A more healthy and compassionate diet. The appreciation of quiet thought and contemplation of ones own or others insights. Leaving behind intoxicants and mind befuddlement such as the Hinayana path of 'son of cod' or not insulting the indoctrinated and intolerant. [oops failed again] Not being a perfect dharma boar ...

Maybe being generous? So many other ways of value. What are your recommendations and experiences?

Vastmindmockeymind

Comments

  • I think you are asking a lot of different things at once and I am struggling to reach a common thread.

    I would suggest the value of good company, which includes dharma books is of value. Simple pre-attention or focus techniques such as Tai Chi and yoga are beneficial.

    yes I agree and I would like to have more Buddhist friends (message me if you wanna FB friend me)

    For diet that is a huge issue and a hot wire for some.

    For myself I drink beer some nights and I found it is less neurosis to just drink it then 'indulge' the negative side of me who says 'bad jeff... bad buddhist'

    I have no clue about the 'son of cod'... really I have no idea.

    Generosity is great. Perhaps allow people to be themselves?

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

    "What if I don't meditate?"
    Then mark my words.... you'll burn in hell :D

    On a more serious note (Not saying that burning in hell's not serious :D )

    I think by just being a 'nice' person will clock up the merits in the wholesome karma bank..Enough so that one can live quite comfortably off the interest,,,,

  • howhow Veteran

    What if I don't meditate!

    If one doesn't meditate, then the path towards suffering's cessation can be approached through faith/ devotion or scriptural study. Bon appetite!

    As for my own experiences...They are not always my recommendation because my own meditative path, that allows for anything to be questioned, may not be appropriate for those on faith/ devotional paths.

    EarthninjalobsterEliz
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    The reason their are so many different schools of Buddhism is because their are so many different expressions if people.
    We each have our own path to follow, we need to find what works for us.
    Like jobs/partners/hobbies. One style doesn't suit all.

    @how said it beautifully. I'm a self inquiry/meditation guy myself but I have no doubt devotion can be as powerful if not more so.

    Don't feel guilty for having beers or not meditating. :) the point us to not suffer right?

    With metta
    Jeffrey
  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @Earthninja.... the point us to not suffer right?

    To experience Suffering its total fine for me, its to trancend the suffering wich is the point.

    And its there meditation, dhamma reading, yoga, a healty diet, good friends, and a sangha comes in to play.

  • Or like me you can do meditation as devotion.

    lobsterShoshin
  • Just being new to the practice, I can't imagine how one could cultivate the mind without meditating. Everything starts with the mind, and the violence of this world comes from the mind.

    I think it is very crucial to cultivate balance and there is no other place to deal suffering other than the mind through meditation.

    I was taught in the tradition that once a person practice meditation (regularly), the person becomes very balance and can attain a very strong sense of equanimity. Just my two cents.

    lobsterdantepwmmo
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    I don't meditate much these days. Once or twice a week at most. Life, and my own laziness to some extent, seem to have gotten in the way of my motivation to practice. Right now, I'm just trying to be a good person, practicing with things like generosity and patience. I doing alright at the former, not so much the latter. I've been really sad and angry lately. I feel like I'm heading for a low point mentally and could use some spiritual support, but I'm too stubborn to reach out to anyone. On the bright side, I know that this will eventually pass and I just have to keep my shit together until then.

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

    "What are your recommendations and experiences?"

    For me personally meditation (mind training) is the best thing since slice bread ( brown wholemeal) it's now become part and parcel of a balanced life ...

    And as far as recommendations for others go...If you're not harming your self or others I would recommend to carry on doing what you are currently doing, and if you need to change and or to meditate (more), you are bound to find a way to do so...It's not as if its going away any time soon....

    For no particular reason I stopped meditating for a while (for around six weeks around ten years ago)...Prior to beginning to meditate I had always been a relatively patience person and for the most part generous too ( especially with my time-I've never been what one could call well off money wise) , however I did have my ups and downs'dramas' some quite major...

    Meditation has increased my awareness regarding my thoughts words and deeds, I've become more aware of the 'intention' behind my actions...So the six week 'holiday' back then didn't greatly impact my sense of overall well being (caring for self and others)...I slotted right back into the 'now' after listening to a Dharma talk....

    Dharma

    lobster
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @Namada true that. :)
  • howhow Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @Jason
    It is surprising how much equanimity can unfold in a day that has included one minute of sincere meditation compared to a day that has not included any meditation.

    Perhaps one minute might be something to consider.

    Best wishes in this trying time.

    lobsterdantepw
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited April 2015

    Lobster puts on his best ass kickin' boot . . .

    I feel like I'm heading for a low point mentally and could use some spiritual support, but I'm too stubborn to reach out to anyone.

    Understood.

    @how is right on the one minute meditation
    You can find one on the guided meditations here:
    https://insighttimer.com
    I find it just about right, probably 30 secs too long but even so ....
    Insight timer is an app some of us use (there are Christian mystic groups) and other spiritual ass kicker groups. I use the free iPhone version on an iPad. Be stubbornly kind on yourself - you know you would for others. Would you prefer to kick yourself? :p
    Not always an option ... [more boot services available without request] <3

    Vastmind
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    If all else fails then watch TV mindfully. ;)

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran

    @Jason... The insight app even has guided meds from 1 min to 8 mins. Take care of yourself
    right now...we have our hands here.....sending much love and support to u. Hang around here more often. :)

    federicalobster
  • 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

    @Jason said: ....I feel like I'm heading for a low point mentally and could use some spiritual support, but I'm too stubborn to reach out to anyone.

    The irony.... Glad you were too stubborn to mention this... :wink: <3

  • dantepwdantepw Veteran
    edited April 2015
    @Jason maybe change your perspective. See it as the relaxation time. Get yourself your fav sitting place (couch, fav chair, etc) sit there for *as long as you want*. Relax a bit, see what objects are around you, noises, feelings on your body. Leave the bags of the past/future on the floor just for a couple seconds. If you want to, watch 5 or 6 breaths. Its there 24/7, no need for efforts, just see how it feels. You can get up and leave at any time you want.

    I used to find meditation very boring so I had to adapt it too. I think its important to find the fun of it and do it for the sake of the fun and not benefits (personal opinion).

    Soon it becomes as fun as sex/gaming/other fun-stuff. Still working on it. :)
    lobster
  • namarupanamarupa Veteran
    edited April 2015

    Meditation is like swordsmanship as fighting one's demons is necessary for salvation. Actually meditation would be more of the act of learning the means of survival, than a single type of a survival or battle skill.

  • thenovicemonk41thenovicemonk41 Explorer
    edited April 2015
    I've gotten this question many times. My answer: Even thou, yoga is beneficial to the mind and puts you into a state of relaxation it doesn't reach the same level of clear thoughts like meditation.

    Meditation is viewed as a base of reaching nirvana and becoming fully enlightened, which is a reason why Monks and Nuns stress the pratice. I typically put in 3 hours of meditation a day in. One at sunrise, one at midday, and one a sunset.

    As Buddha once said, "Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom".

    Meditation=wisdom and path to enlightenment.
    dantepwlobster
  • What if I don't meditate? Well, the thing I have done for many years to help clear the junk out of my head is to be in nature. Hiking typically, but sometimes just sitting, soaking it in and being happy to be away from the built world. And perhaps this is a form of meditation, but I never thought of it as such, let alone practiced it as "walking meditation", etc.

    @Jason There have been times in my life where I felt like I owned the east coast franchise on sadness and anger, so I get where your are at. Not sure I can offer any advice that hasn't already been given, so I'll just say that I hope that cloud drifts from your sky soon.

  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    If you know there is results of good and bad actions, and you do good wholesome actions of body, speech and mind then you will be alright.

  • It's only your business whether you meditate or not.

  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    And If you are already a stream entrant then you're golden whether you continue to meditate or not.

  • 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 went paddling today in our local lake... does that count? :tongue:

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

    @Jason said:
    I don't meditate much these days. Once or twice a week at most. Life, and my own laziness to some extent, seem to have gotten in the way of my motivation to practice. Right now, I'm just trying to be a good person, practicing with things like generosity and patience. I doing alright at the former, not so much the latter. I've been really sad and angry lately. I feel like I'm heading for a low point mentally and could use some spiritual support, but I'm too stubborn to reach out to anyone. On the bright side, I know that this will eventually pass and I just have to keep my shit together until then.

    That's great to hear Jason "This to shall pass" "Anicca"

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @federica said:> I went paddling today in our local lake... does that count? :tongue:

    Not if you got cold feet about your practice. ;)

  • 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

    Oh ha ha... touche!

  • @Jason said:
    I've been really sad and angry lately. I feel like I'm heading for a low point mentally and could use some spiritual support, but I'm too stubborn to reach out to anyone. On the bright side, I know that this will eventually pass and I just have to keep my shit together until then.

    <3

    Sad and angry eh? Excellent emotive qualities. I was both before lunch today but no point in indulging oneself ...

    Jesus, your hero and the Popes was the 'man of tears' ... what should we be sad about? I will leave you to come up with a never ending list ... or not o:)

    I was overly angry today, petty things not going my way. Cure? For me MORE EXERCISE. For you? ... you probably know ...

    You are not lazy. I don't accept your assessment. In fact it makes me sad and angry (knew they would come in useful) :) Why are you doing this to me? Have you no compassion? O.o

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    Thanks everyone. I appreciate all the comments and encouragement. :)

    Earthninja
  • tibellustibellus Veteran
    edited April 2015

    Ah, this topic couldn't have come at a better time for me. :) Thank you for posting it, @lobster. I sometimes seem to overdo the whole spiritual / Buddhist thing as I only focus on meditation, dharma talks, reading and practicing, and almost leaving aside everything else.

    I do this for a few days, then I put everything down for another few days when I let the things I learned sink in. I don't actively meditate, nor study. The interesting thing is that during this time I get little insights and the mind isn't as chatty as usual. I don't know if I am right or wrong, but I feel that taking retreats from the practice is a good thing. You get back to it refreshed, willing to learn more and to use the newfound insights along with your practice in whatever way you want to.

    Earthninjalobster
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @Jason I'm having a bad day with the moods and the mind. The mind is not playing nice today. I know wishing it to be different than it is just fuels the mind.
    Even small things are causing surges of annoyance and frustration up.

    My action plan is to tidy the house mindfully, often cleaning up your external environment helps your internal environment.
    I'm going to cook a nice dinner for my wife, doing nice things for others often makes me feel better.
    I'm going to listen to words of wisdom from a guru. I think this helps you get perspective. Something else to listen to besides that angry mind,
    I'm then going to meditate...watching the mind gives a sense of distance. This takes the sting out of the mind. Being the watcher of it rather than being it.
    They say now is the best time to "find" who exactly is suffering the mind.

    With metta chris
    lobster
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    Clearly there are different ways to practice, but does formal meditation add something that other methods don't? Just wondering.

  • @Jeffrey said:
    I think you are asking a lot of different things at once and I am struggling to reach a common thread.

    Probably the common thread is useful or functional practices for those who can't, won't or are not ready or interested in meditation.

    • I would suggest hypnosis relaxation DVD's or YouTube vids will provide a calming through subconscious or subliminal means with little effort.
    • or singing will lift the spirits
    • crafts that require intense concentration
    • walking in nature will develop a potential reverence and peace
    • and sitting by water, whether beach or river or still pool will provide some time for peaceful reflection ...

    Sometimes a holiday or change will trigger a new perception ...

    Earthninjammo
  • TheswingisyellowTheswingisyellow Trying to be open to existence Samsara Veteran
    edited April 2015

    Meditation is my medicine, it cuts through all the BS. When my ship is floundering, my mind is spinning with anxiety or depression or worry, it's the only thing that keeps me even keeled. Daily use is a must! The trick is to keep doing it even when the times are good.
    Vipassana, walking meditation, metta and mantras are my favorites.

    lobsterEarthninja
  • @Theswingisyellow said:
    Meditation is my medicine, it cuts through all the BS. When my ship is floundering, my mind is spinning with anxiety or depression or worry, it's the only thing that keeps me even keeled. Daily use is a must! The trick is to keep doing it even when the times are good.
    Vipassana, walking meditation, metta and mantras are my favorites.

    Outstanding!

    The trick is to keep doing it even when the times are good.

    Yes indeed. Well said.

    Thanks for suggesting mantra. At its simplest mantra may be a calming trance induction. It may be a call to idealisation or 'Bodhisattva Power' (a sort of soul energy or chi for the supernaturally inclined) Mantra may be a deep enablement of latent karmic knots or capacities. Powerful and transformative practice without doubt.

    For various personal reasons I tend to chant in Sanskrit or Tibetan but Latin or Hebrew or Klingon would also work well. If using English I would probably chant 'Cod is Greater' in memory of my fallen fish friends who sustained my lobsterian nutritional requirements ...

    This morning I did about fifty minutes of chanting, which is rather a lot for me at present. I tend to focus on the physical vibrations it sets up. A sort of human purring or healing dolphin sonar . . .

    Bonus track

    Theswingisyellow
  • I think it is nice to even if you do not meditate that day notice that you could. The cushion is there and your body and mind are there. There is oxygen and food and water to sustain perhaps even tea or coffee. Just notice the space and be aware that it will also be there tomorrow.

    lobsterEarthninjaTheswingisyellow
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited April 2015

    Good plan @Jeffrey - sort of like a sacred space or shrine with a cushion for when the day of practice might kick in. Like it. Many thanks.

    @SpinyNorman said:
    Clearly there are different ways to practice, but does formal meditation add something that other methods don't? Just wondering.

    Yes @Theswingisyellow mentioned this. I would suggest mindfulness (apparently all the rage at the moment) is even better but not all of us are ultra spirituals ... :p

  • TheswingisyellowTheswingisyellow Trying to be open to existence Samsara Veteran

    @lobster 'Cod is Greater' or perhaps "Om Mani Codme Hung" :)

    lobster
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