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Meditation...A Selfless Pursuit

ShoshinShoshin No one in particularNowhere Special Veteran

There are many ways to look at meditation and the reasons as to why one is drawn to meditate...

Have you ever stopped to wonder......

Is meditation a selfish act ?

Or a selfless act ?

It would seem what starts off as a selfish endeavour gradually becomes a selfless act, and this selflessness tends to crop up in one's daily life...(Well that's the overall plan :) )

pegembara

Comments

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    I don't see it as being inherently either.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @vinlyn said:
    I don't see it as being inherently either.

    Interesting.....

    One would think that the sense of a self would be the driving force behind the motivation to meditate ... hence it being a somewhat selfish motivation in this sense...But I could be wrong.... :)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Why do we have to apply analysis to everything? In Meditation we rest in Calm Abiding.
    Who gives a rat's ass whether it's selfish, selfless self-indulgent self-motivate or self-anything?

    Jeesh....

    Many ways to look at it?
    That depends on the person meditating. And everyone is different, and every Meditation is different.

    Why one is drawn to meditate? See above.

    Have I ever stopped to wonder....?
    Nope.
    I just sit.

    No point over-thinking it when the whole object of some people's exercise, is to - NOT think about it....

    It would seem....? To whom?
    Not to me....

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    I sort of agree, Federica. I'm reading a small Buddhist book now which has the basic theme of stop making meditation so difficult; it's really rather easy...which may be an oversimplification of meditation, but maybe we do tend to make it too mind boggling.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited August 1

    Personally over-thinking is not a problem for me, thoughts come and go no big deal ...However I realise that over-thinking for some can be a major issue and create lots of stressful moments...So my apologies ...

    The post is simply about meditation which leads to selflessness and the motivation behind it...Ie, the self's desire to dissolve the self's selfish motivations ...so to speak :)

    Perhaps I should have posted this in general banter or philosophy :)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I can move it if you want. Your choice of 'venue'... :)

    Shoshin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @Shoshin said:... The post is simply about meditation which leads to selflessness and the motivation behind it...Ie, the self's desire to dissolve the self's selfish motivations ...

    Speaking for myself, that's neither my desire nor motivation. I don't have a goal or aim, objective or wish of any kind. I just sit to Meditate and whatever arises or manifests, I ride it, observe it and move on....

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited August 2

    @federica said:
    I can move it if you want. Your choice of 'venue'... :)

    Yes thanks...Perhaps general banter is the best bet...Philosophy has the potential to make me overthink :wink: :lol:

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    It was my/the 'self' that introduced Buddhism and meditation to itself ( I guess this was a craving/desire of sorts)... "I" was looking for a way to end "my" suffering...So to be quite honest the motivation for this self was ( to begin with) selfish in nature ( clinging to this sense of self, not knowing that this was the source of the suffering), ...

    And this selfishness gradually started to give way to selflessness ...a becoming aware of the fact that in order to end 'my' so-called suffering, there was a need to act in a selfless manner when interacting with other sentient beings..

    Once realised... life began to flow in a more harmonious way ...However it is still a work in progress...

    So when I say selfish motivation... this ^^ is what I meant by it....

    pegembara
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I do all my meditation for selfish benefits, which include my increased altruism (allegedly/theoretically).

    I hope to be completely selfish selfless at some point in my meditation o:)

    Shoshin
  • yagryagr Veteran

    While we are on the subject...who gets to choose how much thinking is normal? Been told I over-think things all the time. Must admit, usually told to me by people who I believe, under-think.

    I then realize that I have a subjective opinion of what the right amount of thinking is too. I think about what relative normal is when it comes to thinking. Then I think...

    Eventually I get dizzy and fall down.

    Then I laugh.

    Shoshin
  • @Shoshin said:
    There are many ways to look at meditation and the reasons as to why one is drawn to meditate...

    Have you ever stopped to wonder......

    Is meditation a selfish act ?

    Or a selfless act ?

    It would seem what starts off as a selfish endeavour gradually becomes a selfless act, and this selflessness tends to crop up in one's daily life...(Well that's the overall plan :) )

    It starts off as a self centered pursuit leading to realisation of non-self. Don't try to change the world. Be the change instead.

    "Monks, be islands unto yourselves,[1] be your own refuge, having no other; let the Dhamma be an island and a refuge to you, having no other. Those who are islands unto themselves... should investigate to the very heart of things:[2] 'What is the source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair? How do they arise?' [What is their origin?]

    "Here, monks, the uninstructed worldling [continued as in SN 22.7.] Change occurs in this man's body, and it becomes different. On account of this change and difference, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair arise. [Similarly with 'feelings,' 'perceptions,' 'mental formations,' 'consciousness'].

    "But seeing[3] the body's impermanence, its change-ability, its waning,[4] its ceasing, he says 'formerly as now, all bodies were impermanent and unsatisfactory, and subject to change.' Thus, seeing this as it really is, with perfect insight, he abandons all sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. He is not worried at their abandonment, but unworried lives at ease, and thus living at ease he is said to be 'assuredly delivered.'"[5] [Similarly with 'feelings,' 'perceptions,' 'mental formations,' 'consciousness'].

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.043.wlsh.html

    Shoshinlobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited August 2

    @yagr said:
    While we are on the subject...who gets to choose how much thinking is normal? Been told I over-think things all the time. Must admit, usually told to me by people who I believe, under-think.

    I then realize that I have a subjective opinion of what the right amount of thinking is too. I think about what relative normal is when it comes to thinking. Then I think...

    Eventually I get dizzy and fall down.

    Then I laugh.

    You make an interesting point @yagr ...

    I "think" at times we might be in the habit of throwing in a "You're overthinking" or two, when 'we' think too much thinking by the poster is taking place after reading a post/comment (especially when the poster is being 'self' critical or worried )....When in fact it could be the 'reader/responder' who is doing the (so-called) overthinking...The poster may well be 'just' posting what's on their mind...no overthinking on their part ..."just" thinking out loud... :)

    After thought had learnt to think, it hatched a devious plot
    “Um now that I have access to the aggregates, I can control the bloody lot”

    Well once thinking took control, it became impossible to stop
    The mind once clear and pure was now ...more like a thought gossip shop

    Meditation did save the day, it helped to stop the chatter in the mind
    The thoughts now pass on through, no longer do they bind

    ~Modern version of the "Twin Verses" ~ :wink: :lol:

    yagr
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    It starts off as a self centered pursuit leading to realisation of non-self. Don't try to change the world. Be the change instead.

    I'll join.

    Yesterday I was near the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, visiting the quiet public spaces were the yogis can sometimes be found growing ... Sat opposite the above one. This space is also visited by a resident Buddhist monk who lives in the same park, the homeless, lovers and maybe occasionally by the residents of Grenfell Tower

    I quite selfishly want to live in an enlightened society. That values humans above empty profits. What are we trying to peddle here?

    ShoshinKerome
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @yagr I do think there are a lot of people who laugh nervously and say "You are thinking too much!" when they simply don't understand what is being discussed or are uncomfortable with the topic for whatever reason. But I also think there are people who spend too much time in their heads, too. My oldest son is one of them. He thinks himself into anxiety by worrying in circles about things that are years away. It isn't necessarily his thinking that gets him in trouble, but his failure to bring those thoughts to someone who can help him settle them down. They foam over like a poorly poured beer and he doesn't know how to stop it. It causes him a lot of problems. I wouldn't say he is overthinking, but perhaps improperly thinking, and a lot of it is because he spends too much time by himself when he is, by nature, a kid who loves to be with groups of people. He needs to expend that energy he has, and when he can't, it translates into an over-active mind that runs wild on him because he hasn't learned yet how to control it versus let it control him.

    I determined I was a person who thought too much. But what was really going on was that I had no control over the process. The idea that we are not our thoughts, that we can control them versus them controlling us was mind-blowing to me. I still think a lot. I contemplate things all the time. But I now have much more control over that process and which thoughts I follow and which I let go of. As a result, I no longer get so lost in thought that I am ignoring my loved ones. I no longer have difficultly falling asleep because my mind is racing. I no longer drive miles out of the way because I am following my thoughts. I have been able to corral my mind and thoughts and no longer feel controlled by them (at least not most of the time).

    yagr
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I honestly think we have had a couple of members who really did 'Think too much'.

    Sadly, it all-too-often falls to me to deal with the 'over-thinking'. It's not honestly an aspect of my duties that I relish; It leads me into wondering whether they indeed ARE over-thinking 'stuff' or it is I who am not thinking enough.

    Abusive PM messages from said thinkers, usually prove my instincts correct.

    yagr
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