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Newcomer to meditation: early experiences

MutleyMutley Somerset UK Explorer

I am a newcomer to meditation but I will mention that I have trained as a hypnotherapist including self hypnosis.

I started about one month ago using_Meditation for Dummies_ as a guiding text. My first sessions were very short, less than five minutes. Then I started to build up time and went from five to ten to 15 minutes and my last session was 30 minutes.

I meditate sitting on a straight backed chair using a cushion and loose fitting clothing. My mantra is Absolute Compassion to All.

I try to understand people toward whom I feel anger. I am highly visual so I put a blue light of healing around them, followed by a translucent gold light of knowledge, followed by a green light of growth. I always include myself in the picture (at a younger age) so that I am healed as well

Does it work? So far yes. My visualisations of angry, violent scenes that have troubled me for so long are lessening and under better control. An objective measure is my blood pressure, which is at its lowest for a good while, decades in fact.

What are other people's experiences of meditation?

lobsterShimsilvershep83

Comments

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I am a great fan of 'meditation for dummies'.

    My experience is meditation works. It does as a side effect have some of the physiological, psychological and emotional benefits you mention.

    This morning my cyber consort Bodhi Siri did not seem to be responding to my voice command 'Set timer to 45 minutes'. However I found the culprit, as usual it was me ... it responded so fast I thought the iPad had not heard ...

    So anyways ...to try and find some experiences during meditation, I came across one of my old web pages
    http://opcoa.st/0QpQk

    ... which is probably not relevant but I am passed caring :3

  • ShimShim Veteran

    Enjoy your time as a beginner! :waving:

    I wish I could rewind back to those days with only one simple guidebook and an open mind....

    I really love hearing about people discovering/starting/restarting their meditation practice. That is really inspiring.

    Btw, does your hypnotherapy training help with learning meditation? I'm curious because I'm avid listener of guided meditstion/hypnosis videos on youtube (ahem...) and sometimes the two seem to overlap.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    Very impressive for a beginner, OP! As you probably know, meditation is considered to be a form of self-hypnosis, so your prior experience with that has clearly helped. Very inspiring, really. Thanks for sharing!

    Steve_B
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Dakini said:
    As you probably know, meditation is considered to be a form of self-hypnosis

    Que?

    Quite the opposite. Buddhist meditation is not the induction of trance or hypnotic states. Where have you got this from?
    http://opcoa.st/0gJF8

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited July 2016

    Hypnotherapy experts have said it's very similar. (We had a thread on this once, in which a hypnotherapist/Buddhist practitioner participated. I don't know if you'd be able to find it via a search. It was years ago.) The use of imagery (visualization), auto-suggestion, sometimes a light altered state of consciousness can be involved, brought about by calming/centering/breathwork; all these are components of self-hypnosis.

  • 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

    @Dakini, perhaps you'd consider revising your comment...?

    "There are SOME forms of Meditation that can be ministered so as to induce a level of hypnosis" Is I'm is probably more apt, rather than "as you probably know" (we didn't) "meditation is considered to be a form of hypnosis" (no, not by those who Meditate, it isn't).
    It can be applied to that degree, but I've never thought of it as a type of hypnosis.

    Until just now, that is...

  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    Dakini, very intriguing.

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited July 2016

    Having being in a group hypnotherapy session, the experience is no different from experience during anapanasati(mindfulness of breathing) in the calming of body and mind sections. The difference is the absence of autosuggestion in meditation.

    lobsterShim
  • 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

    Exactly. Which is why I "corrected" (if you will) @Dakini's contribution....

  • @pegembara said: Having being in a group hypnotherapy session, the experience is no different from experience during anapanasati(mindfulness of breathing) in the calming of body and mind sections. The difference is the absence of autosuggestion in meditation.

    Could you elaborate on the autosuggestion bit?

  • 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 July 2016

    I didn't realise this, but when in France, I used to 'hypnotise' my students when we wound down a Qi Gong class... they would lie down on their mats, and I would get them to relax their bodies completely... talk them through a process of letting all their weight 'go' and then give them a visualisation, but I'd also maybe count them down some steps (counting down)... and during this half hour, people would fall asleep. You could hear them gently snoring.... but whenever I ended this period of 'winding down', I would "walk" them back up the steps (counting back up again) ask them to wriggle their fingers... their toes... rotate their wrists.... their ankles... and gradually bring them back to the room... and the sleepers, right on cue, would awaken.
    Hypnosis was not something I was consciously doing. I never 'suggested' any form of behavioural modification, I just led them through a visualisation designed to be completely relaxing.... But I realise now, it was a form of hypnotism.
    The people who 'fell asleep' would tell me how blissfully relaxed, serene and at peace they felt all week....
    These were the people who would have been (I am now informed) excellent candidates for a series or programme of hypnosis.

    I'd like to take a course, actually, because I know how well and successfully I can do it.
    But knowing now what I know now, I would hope to never be accused of using a manipulative means of hypnotising people....I'd rather do it "with a qualification" to my name, than just launch into it...

    That's the kind of 'autosuggestion' I think @pegembara was referring to, @SpinyNorman ...

    RuddyDuck9pegembara
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    There is tremendous value in hypnosis, trance, relaxation that @federica mentions which is also used in yoga, focus/concentration, led new age meditations and visualisation ...

    I would suggest that altered states of consciousness are quite common in normal life, induced by music, TV, driving etc. In an ideal sense, meditation is an unaltered or pristine state of attention ...

    Have I gone into a trance again? ... [... and wide awake ... phew!] B)

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited July 2016

    @pegembara said:
    Having being in a group hypnotherapy session, the experience is no different from experience during anapanasati(mindfulness of breathing) in the calming of body and mind sections. The difference is the absence of autosuggestion in meditation.

    It depends on how you define autosuggestion. Some forms of meditation include what some call "autosuggestion". For example, when you meditate on viewing the guru/teacher as the Buddha, or you visualize extending compassion to all beings or to your enemies, or when someone like the OP focusses on healing imagery, that is autosuggestion. The purpose of compassion meditations is to make us more compassionate: to change our feelings and behavior. Following the breath could be considered an induction technique. In fact, the nurse I first learned it from clearly stated that's what it was, in preparation for biofeedback therapy.

    The goal in meditation is to quiet the busy mind, the "monkey mind", which is the left brain, so as to allow the intuitive right brain to come to the fore. That's an altered state of consciousness that the meditator has self-induced.

    Also, I think there are misconceptions about hypnosis on the part of the general public, where people think that being hypnotized means you go into some magical zone where you can be made to do goofy things you wouldn't ordinarily do. In other words, your conscious mind checks out fully. Hypnotherapists are quick to correct people that that's not what it is at all. In some cases, the trance state can be so light that, as pegembara said, it's hardly different from the calm state of mindfulness and focus on the breath.

    No, meditation isn't considered self-hypnosis by most meditators, but it is considered to be similar by many hypnotherapists. I was clearly addressing the OP (a hypnotherapist), not the membership, when I said "As you probably know..." I would never assume the membership at large would know a thing like that.

  • 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, you weren't 'clearly', hence my confusion... and simply because hypnotherapists and 'other experts' consider meditation a form of hypnosis, doesn't necessarily make it so....

    But I digress.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    @Dakini said:
    Very impressive for a beginner, OP! As you probably know, meditation is considered to be a form of self-hypnosis, so your prior experience with that has clearly helped. Very inspiring, really. Thanks for sharing!

    I can't imagine how there could be any mistaking that this was directed at the OP.

  • 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

    Don't mind me. I have several situations offering distractions right now.
    Carry on.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    @federica said:
    Don't mind me. I have several situations offering distractions right now.
    Carry on.

    Oh, sorry to hear that. Be of good cheer, and I hope everything works out for you.

    lobster
  • @SpinyNorman said:

    @pegembara said: Having being in a group hypnotherapy session, the experience is no different from experience during anapanasati(mindfulness of breathing) in the calming of body and mind sections. The difference is the absence of autosuggestion in meditation.

    Could you elaborate on the autosuggestion bit?

    You go into a peaceful and relaxed state and the hypnotherapist place a suggestion eg. feeling confident or more capable or having nothing to be afraid of(for phobias).

    To be clear, I was not a client but a member of our group wanted us to experience what it feel like.

  • @pegembara said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @pegembara said: Having being in a group hypnotherapy session, the experience is no different from experience during anapanasati(mindfulness of breathing) in the calming of body and mind sections. The difference is the absence of autosuggestion in meditation.

    Could you elaborate on the autosuggestion bit?

    You go into a peaceful and relaxed state and the hypnotherapist place a suggestion eg. feeling confident or more capable or having nothing to be afraid of(for phobias).

    To be clear, I was not a client but a member of our group wanted us to experience what it feel like.

    I think metta bhavana practice would be an example of this. "May I be well, may I be happy...."

    pegembaraRuddyDuck9
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Mutley said:

    What are other people's experiences of meditation?

    Zazen....The experience had when not having an experience :)

    lobsterBunks
  • You had not having an experience?! Sheer luxury! :p

    ShoshinRuddyDuck9
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Mutley said:

    I meditate sitting on a straight backed chair using a cushion and loose fitting clothing. My mantra is Absolute Compassion to All.

    They won't know what hit them! :3

    I try to understand people toward whom I feel anger. I am highly visual so I put a blue light of healing around them, followed by a translucent gold light of knowledge, followed by a green light of growth. I always include myself in the picture (at a younger age) so that I am healed as well

    Very nice. :)
    I am very visual too. It is why Tantra appeals. What you are describing is similar to metta bhavna and Tonglen practices. B)

    The 'Absolute Compassion to All' is really the Mahayana creed or refuge. <3

    RuddyDuck9
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