Recent Posts

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 ... 10
Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Meditation Tattoo Idea
« Last post by dharma bum on Today at 03:56:30 AM »
How about the wheel as a symbol of balance? The wheel is an ancient traditional buddhist symbol denoting the dharma.
Meditation, Practice And The Path / Meditation Tattoo Idea
« Last post by PsychedOut on April 18, 2019, 03:03:44 PM »
Hey there everyone,

So I was thinking about getting my first tattoo (left shoulder), but wanted to run the concept by people to see if it makes sense. So the theme is "Balance is Key", which should be self explanatory. Originally I was thinking of just getting a key that said "Balance" on it, but now I think I want a door that is moderately ajar with the key sticking in it. I'm trying to figure out if there should be darkness when the door is open, or something else? Essentially for me, the thought is that once you have a consistent balance in life, then the possibilities are endless. So the "Balance key" opens you up to the world of endless options and potential happiness if that makes sense? I'm not sure if that makes sense or not, so please let me know!

And if anyone has any better ideas to represent balance, then I am all ears.

Thank you :)
Hi All,

I have been meditating for around one year and more recently, since 4.5 month ago, I have switched to Vipassana in Goenka style. I have several questions regarding the practice:

Q-1. I am not trying to visualize but during the practice I have some visual sense of my body over which I am moving my concentration. Recently, I have some diffculty in moving my concentration since I do not know which specific point in my body I am moving my concentration. For example, when I open my eyes (but not focus on seeing through them), I have a good sense of where my focus point goes but when I close my eyes I have this visual sense of the body which somehow mis-directs my focus.
Also, I feel my body as if the solar plexis and chest part is swollen and is much forward than its usual place.

My question is how should I basically direct my attention from one point to another. To be more specific, if I want to focus on my hand or my foot, etc. my focus immediately moves there but when I try to move my focus on different parts of my back and shoulders, it sounds as if my mind is totally confused and does not know where to focus on.

Q-2. As far as I learned from my 10-day retreat, Goenka mentioned that one should not stay too much with strong sensations and should move more to weak sensations to make the mind sharper. Currently, I have some difficulty with this. I guess there is some sort of clinsing going on on my forehead and I feel a very strong sensation there, which by the way, I am totally ok and sense it with full equanimity. However, when I try to move from head to other parts I cannot move my whole attention and continue to feel the head or even worse, my attention jumps from that point to the head and back.

I would like to know in these situations what should one do? I am asking since I feel that brute force is not working here. I had read that if some sensations keeps the attention so strongly, one should make it the meditation aboject and keep with it. But the problem is that in Vipasanna we do not have a meditation object perse. Also, in that case, as I have tried it, my attention goes deepr and does not move from the head by any means.

I would like to know what is the right thing to do in these situations in Goenka style Vipasanna?

Q-3. From my 10-day retreat, I remember that Goenka mentioned that as one starts to feel deeper organs one should also move the attention deeper. Currently, I can feel much deeper parts of my body, which sound as hard bricks. When I focus on them they start to dissolve and tear apart.

I would like to know how should I manage my focus. Should I go with these deeper sensations or should I always sense the surface of my body. I feel that when I go deeper some feelings of restlessness or sensations of huge aversion arises which de-stabilizes my attention and focus. I would like to know what is the right approach to proceed.

Also, I am a little bit confused with sensations. Let me explain as follows. When I decide to focus on let's say the blood flow on my hand, I can clearly feel the sensation and can somehow trace the blood vessel on my hand. So, in that sense, the sensations I feel from these deeper parts, are they related to any specific organ? For example, when I feel the sensation of tearing out and dissolving something inside, then what happens exactly? Is this associated with any internal organ?

Thanks a lot and looking forward to your helpful comments.

Best Wishes,

It was during one of these instances of not being able to sleep (while I was meditating deeply) that I had an episode that may or may not have been an ego dissolution experience. I can't say for sure because these things are so difficult to describe to each other. In any case it was incredibly weird and crazy and made me feel strange and uncomfortable for the whole following day. For several days I was a little scared I was loosing my mind, another reason I decided to stop that type of meditation for good and stick with something more mild. Though a little part of me wants to experience that again and learn more about it, but I'm too scared to.

I was asked not to describe some of my experiences to others at the Buddhist centre in case I put people off meditating. But if we don't share, how do we know what is merely a side effect of meditation, and what is a warning to lay off for a while? My own experience is seeing some kind of monster leap down off a balcony in the shrine room where I was meditating, rune up to me, punch a claw into my chest and rip out part of my heart. I can still see it if I close my eyes.

As it happens, this sort of thing doesn't bother me. Instead it was hard not to burst out laughing and disturb the other meditators. It's my strange sense of humor I guess, but as it did this I warned it that it to take care, that it would be infected with me. And then it just disappeared. Of course, for me this really is a side effect of meditating, that it brings changes to the brain and that things which belong to our dreaming state kind of 'leak' into our wakeful meditating state. On the other hand, if you don't believe that then I can see that it would be a pretty terrifying experience.
Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: What exactly am I doing?
« Last post by mobius on April 13, 2019, 01:09:35 AM »
As i usually say, im no expert but ill just add that; in response to your first post what you described sounds like how Micheal Pollen described "holotropic breath work' which is breathing in a very specific rhythm. In his book this was described as another type of meditation but it seems to me a bit or perhaps quite different from simply focusing on your breath without managing or paying attention to a rhythm and as such id think the results would be different. Every one is different and whats good for some people might not be good for others.

Just some random thoughts; as to some of physical health benefits it seems like all that matters is your mind and body is resting, less active and can thus heal itself. But the more subtles of the mind are important too and to understand that better myself the only thing ibe found more helpful at least for myself was Buddhism. Ive been reading Mindfulness by Joseph Goldstein. As stillpoint said to really understand your mind u need to consider these things all the time; not just while meditating.
As an example since meditating ive noticed when i get angry more often, but it doesnt prevent me from getting angry. I need to think/act further to improve on my anger issues. Ive begun to 'carry my practice with me' I guess as they say. But it sure isnt easy.

Ive asked that question "what am I doing? And why?" many times about everything. And to be honest my answer is I dont have the first damn clue :D
Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: After years of meditation, a new level?
« Last post by mobius on April 12, 2019, 10:57:07 PM »
I'm taking a break alright but like I said even if I don't sit and meditate I naturally fall into a meditative state every time I'm trying to sleep. It's become a habit, a curse!

I want to sleep guys! How do I close my eyes and fall asleep without inviting the same Kundalini wrath upon myself?

This was the exact problem I had several of months ago. In my case I kept going into this weird REM state and hallucinating like crazy. Which, in retrospect maybe is not all bad and maybe I could learn from that and it could be good but idk. I also had migraines and other severe problems at the time.
Anyways, it made me very uncomfortable and I could not sleep properly, or at least it seemed that way. Eventually I would go to sleep every night. In my case what I did to avoid the meditative state was think/day dream (the opposite of meditation). Also; I stopped doing the 'deep' type of meditation I had been doing at that time which was often going into an REM state (during meditation). I usually meditate (now) by focusing on breath which feels good and seems to be beneficial but does not have these other intense side effects. After several weeks this problem gradually went away and now I no longer hallucinate like crazy at night or have the other problems. I could go to sleep without the worry that caused.
Ironically now though, lately, I've found that I can get to sleep quicker if I stop daydreaming and thinking, though I'm still not going into a meditative state but I might focus on my breath a little bit or just stop thinking and I start feeling more tired. I notice often that if I'm really thinking a lot in bed, I don't feel tired.
Another thing I changed was I was using a screen alteration program on my PC that changed the colors on my screen that was supposed to make it better for your eyes but for some reason this made me hallucinate more (I read there is possibly some scientific truth in that; weird as it is). I do however still hallucinate occasionally at night but it's not as bad and I can deal with it. I wonder honestly if I really just started hallucinating around this time, or if I really always had been but only noticed it now that I'm meditating....
I think the main thing that allowed me to go back to sleeping/getting to sleep in a regular way  is the change in the way I meditate however. I never get in that REM state while meditating now, and it doesn't happen at night either. So I would just recommend trying a different type of meditation and perhaps avoiding the states/symptoms you're experiencing during meditation and maybe it'll go away at night too.

It was during one of these instances of not being able to sleep (while I was meditating deeply) that I had an episode that may or may not have been an ego dissolution experience. I can't say for sure because these things are so difficult to describe to each other. In any case it was incredibly weird and crazy and made me feel strange and uncomfortable for the whole following day. For several days I was a little scared I was loosing my mind, another reason I decided to stop that type of meditation for good and stick with something more mild. Though a little part of me wants to experience that again and learn more about it, but I'm too scared to.
Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Sudden realization of dukkha
« Last post by stillpointdancer on April 11, 2019, 11:14:51 AM »
When you meditate, nothing much happens most of the time. You get the health benefits, but nothing to write home about. However, occasionally something does happen, like a dam bursting and then you spend the next few months trying to come to terms with what happened. There are various terms for this, but you could say they are flashes of insight. Often they are difficult to communicate, as garyatblackhouse recalls, and this means you have no outlet to resolve any issues arising from what happened.

Zen people call this 'sudden', not because it comes easy, because it can often come only after years of nothing happening, but because it comes like a flash, and then goes as quickly. These insights build up over time but can't be forced. They have to come when they are ready rather than when you wish for them. Of course the biggest sudden insight is enlightenment but for many Buddhists the one where you know you are never going to give up Buddhism, stream entry, is the most important.
Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Sudden realization of dukkha
« Last post by OskarVipassana123 on April 10, 2019, 05:30:08 PM »
Think the Zen guys are the ones most often talking about sudden enlightenment. That being said all the different schools of buddhism have different systems of explaining the different experiental levels on the path. F.eks Stream entry (therevada), kensho (Zen), sem-ngo tropa (Vajranayana). Though I don't know if this would correspond to your experience, but you could do some googlin'? Probably the best would be to see if you find a qualified teacher with enough experience him/herself that can help you out.

Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Military Medical Corps
« Last post by stillpointdancer on April 10, 2019, 11:37:16 AM »
I've studied a lot about PTSD when people leave military service. My father was in the second wave of the D Day landings and fought his way, after recovering from wounds, into Germany. He was a gentle person but kept to himself the trauma he continued to suffer, especially the nightmares he had of being under shellfire and rocket attacks (I learned this later from mom, who often found herself being pushed down the bed, or trench as he thought it was, in the middle of the night).

My point is that studies of mindfulness training in the US military show that people who are to be put in harms way do benefit from meditation, which should be offered to anyone about to serve in areas of conflict.

Yes. This makes sense. There are lot of military person who came back home traumatized. That means it negatively effected their mind. Also meditation can truly help them.

I have read about the greatest sword fighter Miyamoto Musashi. He was buddhist and he fought multiple person. He got enlightened when fighting with a person. According to him becoming very skill in sword fighting was meditation for him.

I didn't understand this. How ever it is somewhat conflicting with the five precepts of Buddhism.
The precepts are to protect you from doing stuff that will be painful to you later as you gain insight into the nature of things. Which is why Zen masters would allow samurai to become Buddhist pupils, because they knew that if they survived they would have to live with what they had done. Of course, the main reason was that they had so little time to live in times of war that they needed an accelerated course in Buddhism to at least be part way along the path before they died, or to have a chance, however small, of enlightenment. 
Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: No feeling
« Last post by jackofalltrades on April 10, 2019, 06:52:18 AM »
I think meditation does have positive effect if you really get dedicated into it. I used to be a heavy smoker who smoked no less than 2 packs of cigarettes a day and I even bought an electric cigarette roller to roll cigarettes myself. But after I started meditation, I got some change and smoke less. Though there is a long way to go, things are getting better.
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 ... 10