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My Top 5 Meditations

lobsterlobster Veteran
edited March 2018 in Meditation
  • Concentration types. For me this is often element meditation
  • Mantrayana. You sing it, I'll hum it ...
  • Body based meditation.
  • Shikantaza

Zazen: seated meditation
Shikantaza: Just, only, exactly, precisely sitting

Now what is the difference?
If I tell you to sit and meditate, what do you do?
In a recent question the person asked what to do when losing focus in shikantaza: return to the breath, return to body awareness or otherwise?
If you were doing 'sit and meditate' these would be valid answers.
However, shikantaza is not 'sit and meditate'. It's Just, only, exactly, precisely sitting.
The moment you return to the breath you are not doing 'only sitting'.
The same applies to 'return to awareness of the body', this is also not 'only sitting'. The moment you are thinking about sitting you are not doing Just, only, exactly, precisely sitting. Even when you sit without any point of focus but sitting and have the notion 'I'm doing 'sitting and nothing else' you are off.

To know the difference you'd have to experiment. What does it mean to sit and meditate? You probably know this.
But what does it mean to do Just, only, exactly, precisely sitting?
You'd have to work to understand just that. And it's not an easy task.

  • Mindfulness meditation ... oh dear ... meditation at all times ... =)

What are your top five, or are you a one technique type of gal?



  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran
    edited March 2018

    Shikantaza is at the top of my list, but if just sitting is too elusive, some kind of concentration meditation is substituted - usually involving intense focus on breath or on hearing. Ten minutes of that and shikantaza seems like a vacation in the countryside, and it has the added benefit of seeming to easily and naturally carry over into mindfulness in subsequent activities - just washing dishes, just paying the bills, etc.

  • I am very interested in shikantaza, as lately all my reading has been very Zen-focused. But I’m a little intimidated by it. It seems like Level 2, where Level 1 is mindfulness of breath or body. (Perhaps mindfulness of thoughts/feelings is 1.5.) I’m not sure I’m ready for “just precisely sitting”.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited March 2018

    That is honest @adamcrossley

    Treeleaf will give you an online taster. The two main roshi are beginner friendly, experienced and nice, balanced people ... They practice shikantaza, walking meditation and have an excellent support forum. You can even train to be a zenith mistress/master/priest

    Hope that is useful. <3

  • Thank you @lobster

    I’ve been listening to a good podcast recently called The Zen Studies Podcast. There are two episodes about Zen meditation which I can recommend:



    It’s a very straightforward format, almost like a lecture but very accessible. It’s been very useful for me anyway.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @lobster said:

    What are your top five, or are you a one technique type of gal?

    A one technique type of gal.....Just sit around and do nothing...I guess I'm busy doing nothing :)

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I use whatever seems right in the moment, I guess. I mostly don't prefer guided meditations at all because all the talking does not help me focus. But I did a forgiveness meditation with my yoga teacher that was amazing, and I do that one when I feel the need. I do a lot of body scan/focus types of meditating, a lot of both single focus and awareness types, and really mostly the most is just a sense of pulling myself back together many times a day. Similar to returning to the breath in meditation, but rather into myself. As my day goes on, parts of me scatter to the day, part to work (where thoughts of solving issues linger even after I log out) My kids and what is going on with them, etc. So I take time to let all that go and bring myself back to wholeness, which is the best I can come up with! I do some walking and nature meditation as well. Almost daily.

    Honestly, if a random person were to ask how much I meditate in a day, I would say "I do about 30 mins a day" and leave it at that. My meditation increasingly is my state of being more than it simply being something I do. Not 100% by any means :lol: Just more so than it used to be. I find myself in a meditative state of mind in many different ways, sometimes consciously, sometimes less so. But I'm glad for it either way.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    My standard is awareness of the breath and diaphragmatic breathing. Sometimes I do more of the Anapanasati set of exercises. Shikantaza I do on rare occasions when I’m experiencing too much stimulus and I just need to drop everything.

    For me it’s all about returning to a rested state. If I can feel my body and my mind reaching a state of calm, the mind slowing down and resting in a state of knowing, then I’m happy with my meditation.

  • I stay with the classics.

    1. Keeping in mind and clearly knowing the body in itself and/or its impermant, unsatisfactory or impersonal nature.
    2. ‎Keeping in mind and clearly knowing feelings in themselves and/or their impermant, unsatisfactory or impersonal nature.
    3. ‎Keeping in mind and clearly knowing the mind in itself and/or its impermant, unsatisfactory or impersonal nature.
    4. ‎Keeping in mind and clearly knowing dhammas in themselves and/or their impermant, unsatisfactory or impersonal nature.
    5. ‎Keeping in mind and clearly knowing jhana in itself and/or its impermant, unsatisfactory or impersonal nature.

    That's way more than five. :lol:

  • Very interesting everyone <3

    People have different requirements. I like the led meditations that @karasti mentions. Personally I use them as additional or complementary practices on occasion.

    You can find many on Youtube, https://insighttimer.com or https://www.freebuddhistaudio.com/meditation/

    Here too ...

  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    10 malas Om Mani Padme Hum

    3 malas Medicine Buddha mantra

    Alternate analytical and single-pointed meditation on Emptiness

  • CarameltailCarameltail UK Veteran

    Insight nature, movement/body,
    switching perspective, bring negative into visibility, expanding out 'energy' and breathing.
    That's 6 wow
    Also there is walking and lying down.

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