Meditation Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Meditation, Practice And The Path => Topic started by: Meditative on January 20, 2019, 01:26:44 AM

Title: Should I drop ideas/philisophy/religion and just practice meditation instead?
Post by: Meditative on January 20, 2019, 01:26:44 AM
Since 2014 I've been heavily interested deep life questions and all things spiritual. I've studied things from Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age, Osho to chakras, kundalini, psychology, bioenergetics, psychedelics, and shamanism. I've learned a lot and see many similarities, but also many differences among these concepts. Learning this stuff is addicting, it's like candy for my brain... it has left me with many ideas and a deep thinking mind, but also much confusion and little gained in wholesome life changes or peace of mind.

My intuition says I should just drop all these concepts, useless questions, and just put something into practice that resonates with me. For me that would be the calm abiding meditation from this website in conjunction with other healthy practices like exercise, proper nutrition, ice baths/cold showers, Wim Hof method, etc. Should I just do this and not worry about any external seeking? My mind is constantly asking questions.

Thank you
Title: Re: Should I drop ideas/philisophy/religion and just practice meditation instead?
Post by: stillpointdancer on January 20, 2019, 11:59:44 AM
Since 2014 I've been heavily interested deep life questions and all things spiritual. I've studied things from Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age, Osho to chakras, kundalini, psychology, bioenergetics, psychedelics, and shamanism. I've learned a lot and see many similarities, but also many differences among these concepts. Learning this stuff is addicting, it's like candy for my brain... it has left me with many ideas and a deep thinking mind, but also much confusion and little gained in wholesome life changes or peace of mind.

My intuition says I should just drop all these concepts, useless questions, and just put something into practice that resonates with me. For me that would be the calm abiding meditation from this website in conjunction with other healthy practices like exercise, proper nutrition, ice baths/cold showers, Wim Hof method, etc. Should I just do this and not worry about any external seeking? My mind is constantly asking questions.

Thank you
It's how I got into meditation in the first place, to experiment with such ideas and see what happened. Eventually I realised that I just needed to develop a couple of basic meditations to practice long-term and then I could go back to my studies once the practices were part of my everyday life. The simple meditations then did their thing and my studies progressed. I agree about exercise and a good diet, but cold showers? Brrr!
Title: Re: Should I drop ideas/philisophy/religion and just practice meditation instead?
Post by: dharma bum on January 21, 2019, 04:56:28 AM
I think a curiousity about different religious traditions is quite healthy. I went through a similar phase when I was young and I still have an interest. I am not an expert, but I have read that many religious traditions have contemplative meditation practice. There needn't be any conflict since the goal of Buddhist meditation is kindness and compassion, which is what many religions aspire to. When I was young, I had a huge appetite for knowledge, but now I feel bored by all the crap in all the religions and am only interested in the parts that mean something in my life.

What might differ is the technique of meditation. I think people should pick up any technique that works. But sometimes after it becomes stale, people lose heart. At that time, you should switch to some other technique. Eventually, you'll stop expecting novelty in meditation.
Title: Re: Should I drop ideas/philisophy/religion and just practice meditation instead?
Post by: stillpointdancer on January 21, 2019, 10:46:54 AM
I think a curiousity about different religious traditions is quite healthy. I went through a similar phase when I was young and I still have an interest. I am not an expert, but I have read that many religious traditions have contemplative meditation practice. There needn't be any conflict since the goal of Buddhist meditation is kindness and compassion, which is what many religions aspire to. When I was young, I had a huge appetite for knowledge, but now I feel bored by all the crap in all the religions and am only interested in the parts that mean something in my life.

What might differ is the technique of meditation. I think people should pick up any technique that works. But sometimes after it becomes stale, people lose heart. At that time, you should switch to some other technique. Eventually, you'll stop expecting novelty in meditation.
Yes, it takes time to settle into meditation practice. I was lucky in that I had experimented with a number of different techniques before I became a Buddhist, which meant that I could slip into different meditations when I got bored. Like you say, eventually, and I mean after some years in my case, my mind accepted simple meditations for longer periods of time. There are two choices when you get stuck. Either stick with it or change for a while and go back to it later. It really depends on what works for you.
Title: Re: Should I drop ideas/philisophy/religion and just practice meditation instead?
Post by: Matthew on January 21, 2019, 05:22:13 PM
Since 2014 I've been heavily interested deep life questions and all things spiritual. I've studied things from Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age, Osho to chakras, kundalini, psychology, bioenergetics, psychedelics, and shamanism. I've learned a lot and see many similarities, but also many differences among these concepts. Learning this stuff is addicting, it's like candy for my brain... it has left me with many ideas and a deep thinking mind, but also much confusion and little gained in wholesome life changes or peace of mind.

My intuition says I should just drop all these concepts, useless questions, and just put something into practice that resonates with me. For me that would be the calm abiding meditation from this website in conjunction with other healthy practices like exercise, proper nutrition, ice baths/cold showers, Wim Hof method, etc. Should I just do this and not worry about any external seeking? My mind is constantly asking questions.

Thank you


The answers you seek are inside and will be revealed by meditation, Mindfulness and morality in your daily living.

Studying through words and images can feed your knowledge of the path to a limited extent, yet walking the path is the only way to know it: the qualities one seeks to grow, and those one needs to discard, must be studied through your own awareness.

Seeking externally risks putting you in the "spiritual supermarket" and running around chasing your thoughts about how to integrate these different paths. Mindfulness begins with breath, yet seeing through the arising and falling of thought is a key step on the path.
Title: Re: Should I drop ideas/philisophy/religion and just practice meditation instead?
Post by: Heitentinger on January 21, 2019, 05:29:44 PM
Why shouldn't these concept be contradictory ?

they aren't an exact science so it's pretty normal that everything doesn't fit. The most important is how you feel about them, and what they mean to you. I agree that it's only with self experience that you can find a thought that fits to yourself.

meditating and thinking are not exclusive. You can continue to interest yourself in such things and also continue to meditate.

have a nice one

Title: Re: Should I drop ideas/philisophy/religion and just practice meditation instead?
Post by: Matthew on January 21, 2019, 07:17:28 PM
Thinking is a form of meditation, however, it is not a form of meditation until you have completely conquered habitual thinking. This is no small hurdle. You will know when you are the master of your thoughts, not the slave to your thoughts. A weight will lift from your shoulders.
Title: Re: Should I drop ideas/philisophy/religion and just practice meditation instead?
Post by: raushan on January 23, 2019, 06:34:01 AM
Thinking is a form of meditation, however, it is not a form of meditation until you have completely conquered habitual thinking. This is no small hurdle. You will know when you are the master of your thoughts, not the slave to your thoughts. A weight will lift from your shoulders.

This is a great line.
Title: Re: Should I drop ideas/philisophy/religion and just practice meditation instead?
Post by: Meditative on January 26, 2019, 05:50:14 AM

Eventually I realised that I just needed to develop a couple of basic meditations to practice long-term and then I could go back to my studies once the practices were part of my everyday life. The simple meditations then did their thing and my studies progressed. I agree about exercise and a good diet, but cold showers? Brrr!

Yes this is what I'll do for now. What meditation techniques do you practice? I'm afraid of mixing or practicing multiple techniques because I read in this forum that can be harmful. However I do want to try qigong and hatha yoga.

Ya cold showers massively sucked at first, still sucks, but after a few months of practice I don't resist it nearly as much. It leaves me very energized yet relaxed by the time I'm done. There's also many health benefits proven by science. To name a few it turns off inflammation pathways in the body, increases brown fat which are fat cells with more mitochondria, and improves cardiovascular health as it gives the smooth muscle in your blood vessels (all 80,000 miles) a good workout as blood rushes from the periphery to your core in attempts to keep you alive. I invite you to give it a try. 


The answers you seek are inside and will be revealed by meditation, Mindfulness and morality in your daily living.

Studying through words and images can feed your knowledge of the path to a limited extent, yet walking the path is the only way to know it: the qualities one seeks to grow, and those one needs to discard, must be studied through your own awareness.

Thinking is a form of meditation, however, it is not a form of meditation until you have completely conquered habitual thinking. This is no small hurdle. You will know when you are the master of your thoughts, not the slave to your thoughts. A weight will lift from your shoulders.

This is my feeling as well. What exactly do you mean by thought forms as a form of meditation? Is it being fully aware of thought forms so they don't have power over you? Can it also mean choosing what thoughts or thought patterns you want to think?

Thanks to everyone else for the wise answers.
Title: Re: Should I drop ideas/philisophy/religion and just practice meditation instead?
Post by: stillpointdancer on January 26, 2019, 12:05:23 PM
Meditative: "What meditation techniques do you practice? I'm afraid of mixing or practicing multiple techniques because I read in this forum that can be harmful."

Usually Metta Bhavana and Mindfulness of Breathing, but with variations I've developed over the years. However, this is after many years of experimenting with a wide variety of meditation techniques, which I still use on occasions. I was warned that the 'butterfly effect' of trying out different meditation could be a problem, but I was one of the only people at the Buddhist Centre who enjoyed meditating, with most finding it a chore, so I carried on exploring.

Title: Re: Should I drop ideas/philisophy/religion and just practice meditation instead?
Post by: Matthew on January 29, 2019, 11:40:15 PM
Thinking is a form of meditation, however, it is not a form of meditation until you have completely conquered habitual thinking. This is no small hurdle. You will know when you are the master of your thoughts, not the slave to your thoughts. A weight will lift from your shoulders.

This is my feeling as well. What exactly do you mean by thought forms as a form of meditation? Is it being fully aware of thought forms so they don't have power over you? Can it also mean choosing what thoughts or thought patterns you want to think?

As I wrote thinking cannot truly become a form of meditation until habitual thought is completely conquered - not by force, however, by letting go: repeatedly watching thought arise and fall and seeing it's fleeting nature, always returning to breath as the anchor. Thoughts not having power over you is a transitional step.