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Is Meditation Important To Your Practice ?

ShoshinShoshin No one in particularNowhere Special Veteran
edited February 2016 in Meditation

The Dharma teachers that I've had the good fortune to meet, all emphasise the importance of regular meditation practice...
Do you have a regular meditation practice, ie, daily ?

Every now and again ?
Can one skip it altogether and just follow the path as best as one can ?

Please Note: I realise for some (be it through illness or caring for young children, or elderly family members, etc etc), they can find it quite difficult to find time( not impossible, but very difficult)...

An after thought : Wouldn't it be nice if meditation came in pill form and one need only pop a pill ( just kidding :wink: )

how

Comments

  • Daily formal meditation is what gives me the temerity to refer to myself as a Buddhist practitioner.
    Informal practice is what makes enlightenment.

    I do 'follow the path as best I can'. Which I suggest most everyone here does. As for skipping ones way to enlightenment ... how is that plan working out?

    Shoshinrohitsova
  • howhow Veteran

    @Shoshin

    Regularized meditation is valuable for experiencing meditation when we might not otherwise be inclined to do so
    but
    rather than thinking of ones regularized periods of meditation as being pivotal to ones overall meditative practice,
    remember as well that only in **this **present moment, is any meditation possible.

    lobsterShoshinsova
  • Tee Hee.

    @how advocating meditation at all times again ... <3
    Tsk, tsk. Nobody hears that untill ready.

    My formal practice is best described as 'pretending to meditate' whilst awaiting the present moment.

    Carlita
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @how said:
    @Shoshin

    Regularized meditation is valuable for experiencing meditation when we might not otherwise be inclined to do so
    but
    rather than thinking of ones regularized periods of meditation as being pivotal to ones overall meditative practice,
    remember as well that only in **this **present moment, is any meditation possible.

    Very good point @how...It's not as if one needs to carry a cushion around at the ready

    along with burning incenses on the go...

    Meditation in one form or other is on tap....Any time any place...There's no time like the present to be present....

    sova
  • 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

    No.
    Yes.
    No.

    rohitmerx
  • DobsDobs Explorer

    Minimum of one hour of meditation daily, often more. Observe Uposatha weekly, all day meditation. Two 2 week retreats a year and of course always keep the precepts (or try to).

    lobsterrohitsova
  • @Dobs said:
    Minimum of one hour of meditation daily, often more. Observe Uposatha weekly, all day meditation. Two 2 week retreats a year and of course always keep the precepts (or try to).

    Good for you. Welcome. :)

    I am intuitively guessing you are a Buddhist? ;)

    If my personal formal sits go over an hour, then it usually means some imbalance is happening, just as too little is indicative. Group sittings are often just for reinforcing group behavour, so on the whole not my thing anymore. Not sure I can remember what the precepts even are ... 'Do no evil?' ... wait I think that is Google's precept ... B)

    ... and now back to the all important karmic scoreboard ...

  • @karasti said: Ew. I meditate daily, even if it's only a few minutes. I try to work it into life, while waiting for doctors, at red lights, in line at the store. It helps, so I do it.

    I would describe that as re-establishing mindfulness at regular intervals. Arguably more important than sitting meditation.

    lobsterShoshinsilverkarasti
  • rohitrohit Maharrashtra Veteran

    I want to meditate daily but I end up irregular. Sometimes I develop desires for materialism and beauty of the world. I mediatate and goes to complaete monkhood state and starts realizing futility of desires and starts to find way to escape.
    I don't think that without meditation a Buddhist can be a true practitioner.

    Shoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    I'm under the impression that once one has set foot on the path (whether one routinely meditates or not), practice gradually creeps into one's daily routine,(be it in a subtle way) for example a situation occurs and one finds they are stopping to think it over first, where as in the past they might have just rushed in trigger-happy guns blazing ....This is not to say that one does not slip up every now and again, but one is gradually becoming more and more aware of ones actions and their consequences ...I guess mediation does help speed this up some :)

    rohitkarasti
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I have been cycling through the Lam Rim (sounds like a travel show!) for a couple of years now along with some simple breath meditation.

    One topic per day (most days).

    Shoshinkarasti
  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited February 2016

    @Shoshin said:
    The Dharma teachers that I've had the good fortune to meet, all emphasise the importance of regular meditation practice...

    regular meditation is important because it provides the time and space to contemplate on Teaching

    unless one does not contemplate on Teaching one knows what one heard/read as Teaching but one never sees Teaching

    until one sees the Teaching one has only the knowledge of Teaching

    once on sees the Teaching one is able to meditate while one works, cares elderly/ young ones, cooks, cleans etc.

    so to see Teaching one needs to meditate regularly

    as we know, contemplating on Teaching is the Buddhist meditation

    Shoshinsovarohit
  • @Bunks said:
    I have been cycling through the Lam Rim (sounds like a travel show!) for a couple of years now along with some simple breath meditation.

    One topic per day (most days).

    Well done, Bunks! I regularly meditate when running or hiking, but I don't feel safe doing so while cycling. I hope you have a traffic free circuit!
    Even so, meditating while exercising is very helpful for me.

    Shoshin
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    edited February 2016

    I find it happens naturally when I am outdoors, whether I am walking, hiking, biking, running, snowshoeing or what. I don't have to purposefully think about something (like having to decide on which fork to take on a trail). It just happens without my thinking about it. I wish I could be in that zone all the time when I run. It happens more often for me than a lot of runners (it is a topic talked about often among them) because I meditate and practice otherwise. It's great to be able to run and run and run without getting sucked into the "what was that? My foot hurts. Why is my nose runny? Do I need more water? Do I need a snack?" commentary that happens on "bad run" days, lol. It's such a different experience.

    I got a giggle out of this "I want to meditate daily but I end up irregular." Meditation constipation!? Sometimes it feels that way indeed.

    I am reading "When Breath becomes Air" and one of the quotes I highlighted is from a friend of the author, talking about what he would like when he dies. He is a camp counselor:

    "Suddenly, now, I know what I want. I want the counselors to build a pyre...and let my ashes drop and mingle with the sand. Lose my bones amongst the driftwood, my teeth amongst the sand...I don't believe in the wisdom of children, nor in the wisdom of the old. There is a moment, a cusp, when the sum of gathered experience is worn down by the details of living. We are never so wise as when we live in this moment."

    Fabulous, amazing book, by the way. Highly recommend. It is about a man who is a brilliant neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer at 35. His journey to become a doctor (I am only 1/3 through it) and his thoughts along the way are really interesting. It made me look at doctors in a different way, for sure. He's an amazing writer. I started reading while in the bathtub, and hadn't even noticed that my water was long cold before I took a break. One of those books you lose yourself in and lose track of time (and cold bath water, lol).

    Shoshin
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Hi there @littlestudent. I think the way I worded my post was a bit deceptive. I don't ride a bike while meditating but cycle through the Lamrim from the first to last meditation either sitting on the train or on a cushion at home. =)

    I quite like the idea of meditating while exercising though. I haven't really tried that. Take care!

  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing Veteran

    Sitting practice is vital. Sit every day. Sit with the right intentions. Don't solve any puzzles while you're sitting. Just let the universe come into balance. The rest of your day, everyone you meet thereafter, and the rest of your life, will benefit from even just half an hour of just-sitting a day.

    Sit still, keep good posture -- the spinal column can rest comfortably... one right atop the next. Find a posture that is effortless, be at-ease. Be free as soon as you can, and free all beings.

    Sitting practice is something that a fully enlightened being rejoices in.

    You eat, you breathe, you rest, you meditate. It is all part of our natural balance. Forget not that we are interconnected, and that true joy comes from living in alignment with the heartbeat of the universe.

    Once you gain some stability, open your eyes slightly. Keep them open when you sit and eventually you will be able to fall into or drop into an unhindering state of being when you are doing "other stuff"

    This moment is a pure reflection,
    fulfill all virtue .. feed the hungry, give change generously, above all nourish the intentions and the thoughts that all may benefit with whatever little you give or do. This is because mind always comes before matter. Thus, proactive, completely novel aspirations for benefiting beings will flourish in the garden of the mind when nourished.

    Sit and be still like the candle flame. Past you and new you are not the same. Nor different are they [not].

    Imagine if aliens came but they just "didn't know" they had to eat food to not be hungry. We could eventually share this wisdom with them, and all their problems would go away. In the same vein, meditation with regularity (and eventually with continuous uninterrupted effortlessness) is precisely what relieves all. Your whole life-experience is a tide-pool of selfless intermingling. True for every sentient being in the cosmos. Virtue will purify your perceptions and make it easier to relax.

    Tides tides tides .. sit and let the waters still. You are doing it right. Just relax and remember that we are all in this together.

    For sanctuary I go to the Buddha essence that pervades all beings.
    For sanctuary I go to the Dharma, teachings and techniques that reveal the path to freedom.
    For sanctuary I go to the Sangha -- enlightened beings and those ahead of me on the same trail, who will, thanks to enduring and un-ending compassion, hang back to help me out of the rut of belief and disbelief.

    With great auspiciousness rejoice, and remember that by dedicating your efforts to the Great Enlightenment of all beings, it is like putting it into an envelope for safe-keeping. (Just a final remark to quote Pema Jungne)

    Also, don't forget to bust out into giggles when you sit down sometimes. Dharma is for polishing the jewel. Don't forget that the jewel is within us all. <3

    lobsterShoshinrohithow
  • Very well said @sova
    Many thanks. B)

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Article in the Huffington Post (Nothing new really :) )
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nicola-albini/should-you-be-meditating_b_9153420.html
    ”As shared by Richard J. Davidson, this full throttle brain activation can be attributed to an effect that is similar to how a dancer's performance is enhanced by practicing dance. Meaning, meditation enhances your brain in the same way practice enhances performance. Davidson's research also confirms that mediation creates neuroplasticity in the brain, which opens the door to more compassion, joy, and empathy. It also helps us to clear obstacles that keeps us from building valuable connections.”

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited February 2016

    Every so often I hear about the struggles some (other Buddhist practitioners) face in their lives, (example stressing out about something, things not going to plan etc etc ) and how they wish they could over come them, yet many still can't bring themselves to just sit for a while....It's as if their minds are so full of crap, it leaves them with standing room only....They seem to do the same thing over and over again each time hoping for a different outcome ...Their lives are like a broken record....

    I must admit it's somewhat frustrating ( frustration which arises because of wanting to end others suffering) when trying to work out why it is that some people 'know' the problem and also 'know' the solution, but can't bring them selves to the cushion...
    I know its to do with ones karmic pattern, but it can be quite frustrating knowing that they too know that the solution is 'within' reach....I guess their old self always wins out in the end....

    This feeling of frustration is my cross to bear, it not so much disturbes the mind, just sadness in the heart, when I hear the broken record being played ....

    Having/developing the patience to sit which allows that subtle shift in "Awareness" to unlock the [aggre] gates to many wondrous things...

    And this I found was the key (Well for this bundle of vibrating karmic coated energy it was/is :) )

    lobster
  • Very good post @Shoshin. Many thanks.

    My entry practice was study and I was not studying dharma, that however is another story ...

    Meditation for me at core is 'facing the real', 'know thy self' activity that can be done through life
    But in stillness is most direct. Most unavoidable.

    I am a great believer in meditating improperly. Pretending to meditate. Walking slowly. Cooking meditation. Mindfulness in the art of hovering around 'the cushion', housework or meditation kind of ultimatums etc.
    http://www.how-to-meditate-properly.com/how-to-meditate-properly-and-the-types-of-meditation/

    However I am also a cushion junky, so have no problem 'just sitting'. Here is my fun companion :skull:

    ... and now back to :waving: the other than meditation practice ...

    howShoshin
  • I have not had a regular meditation practice for many years now since having a family. Have strayed far off from practice and paying the price, I've come to realize how important it is for being a Buddhist (Theravadin).

    The non-doing of evil, the cultivating of good deeds, and the purifying of the mind, would seem almost impossible to do without regular meditation practice. Just a thought.

    howShoshinlobster
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