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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Sharing personal Benfits of meditation
« Last post by Matthew on November 29, 2019, 11:00:12 PM »
One thing I noticed that meditation helps me to deal with the high pressure.  Keeping the mind calm in the high pressure can be a great gift. Meditation helps to develop that.

This is good to hear Raushan - I know you have struggled sometimes to find real benefits from meditation, and have continued to practice diligently, despite the doubts that inevitably arise. It is good to see that you are discovering the fruits of practice manifesting off the cushion - where they really matter.

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Even retreating just for 15 minutes from outer world to inner world immediately refreshes the mind. One can clearly see when mind is anxious it is not doing any productive work, And if one is able to see that then one can also make the mind calm.

This is very true. I have often advised people to take short breaks if they are in a high pressure working situation and go to the bathroom. Just sit on the toilet for five or ten minutes and calm and centre the mind. Nobody is allowed to disturb you when you are in the bathroom.  When you return to working your efforts will be twice as productive.

Middleway advised me to see these limitations as teachers and allow them to take their time with me..which i found interesting.

This is great advice. Explore the nature of the limitations without pushing them - give them space to expose themselves to you.

..
I read once that researchers found that Buddhist monks in Tibet have smaller amygdala in their brain. This fact is available on wikipedia also.
 ..
Amygdala basically controls the Fight-or-flight response in human, which is also associated with fear and anxiety. But yes it was not visible immediately.

Again this is true - and a direct consequence of calming the body and mind. The calming of body precedes calming of the mind and sends a strong signal via the vagus nerve to the brain, including the Amygdala, that everything is OK. Continued practice reduces the fight/flight response and thus shrinks the Amygdala.

There are also strong connections between these systems and memory. Mindfulness and remembering are synonymous in the English language.

https://www.apa.org/monitor/apr04/vagus

There is a lot to this. Much to continue exploring through practice.
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Sharing personal Benfits of meditation
« Last post by raushan on November 29, 2019, 09:38:15 PM »
Hi Siddarth,

Yes it's true. I read once that researchers found that Buddhist monks in Tibet have smaller amygdala in their brain. This fact is available on wikipedia also. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amygdala#Memory_modulation
Amygdala basically controls the Fight-or-flight response in human, which is also associated with fear and anxiety. But yes it was not visible immediately.

Your approach is good. It really takes sometimes long time to really understand the problem. You might have to go to multiple cycle to truly understand and resolve it.

Middleway gives good advice though he is now less active on the forum.

Thanks
Raushan
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Sharing personal Benfits of meditation
« Last post by Siddharth on November 29, 2019, 01:17:20 AM »
Hey raushan,
Neuroticism(one of the big 5 personality traits)  according to psychoanalytic research is negatively linked to happiness, satisfaction, income outcomes amongst other things.
One of the effects of meditation is to counter neuroticism in one's personality and thus it seems to help us in our day to day lives, hence its benefits in situations of pressure...like being able to watch with lesser reactions even when everything around is burning so as to say...

I am grappling more with the issue of seeing something in me which i recognize fully as something unwholesome, but being unable to act on it.
Though i have now resorted to a more piece meal approach and learned to be equanimous relatively to these things i see in myself, i am still craving to overcome limitations and become a so called better person in my own eyes, or reduce the self induced suffering from my life at this point of time...

Middleway advised me to see these limitations as teachers and allow them to take their time with me..which i found interesting.

With metta,
Siddharth
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Questions on Meditation effects good and bad
« Last post by dharma bum on November 29, 2019, 12:49:27 AM »
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4.)What is meditation? like what is it really?

There are many different traditions of meditation. Even within Buddhism, there are different ways to meditate. There are methods that are regarded as Hindu. I'm sure Christianity has some things like prayer that are similar.

So when people say 'meditation', they might be referring to slightly different things. Regardless, almost all meditation involve sitting and trying to let go, or fill your mind with something like love, or compassion, or some people say 'divine light'.

Most meditation techniques involve tuning awareness to something - like breathing, sensations, images, words (called mantras).

If you identify with Buddhist ideas, meditation is supposed to lead you to wisdom and an understanding of the nature of suffering. If you are Hindu, then it might want to lead you to 'discover the divine within yourself'. If you are secular, then you have to find your own purpose. :). Perhaps becoming a calmer, kinder person. You can figure it out and as you keep going, and your purpose can change depending upon your experience.
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Sharing personal Benfits of meditation
« Last post by raushan on November 28, 2019, 11:14:12 PM »
Hi,

One thing I noticed that meditation helps me to deal with the high pressure.  Keeping the mind calm in the high pressure can be a great gift. Meditation helps to develop that. Even retreating just for 15 minutes from outer world to inner world immediately refreshes the mind. One can clearly see when mind is anxious it is not doing any productive work, And if one is able to see that then one can also make the mind calm.

Thanks
Raushan
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Questions on Meditation effects good and bad
« Last post by Katia on November 28, 2019, 07:14:47 PM »
OP, it sounds like you learned from your reading that what you experienced is common?  IOW, probably not something to be concerned about, right?  Is this pressure especially intense and causing a lot of pain, that you are thinking of discontinuing your meditation practice?  Or is it simply that you are disturbed that it happened?

To me it seems that you are building a minor occurrence up in your mind until it is something negative... for example, your first reaction to an unfamiliar sensation was, "I must have a serious/terminal illness."  Next you went on to read extensively about negative things that happen in meditation, and are now afraid that this unfamiliar sensation will lead to depression and psychosis (instead of simply noting that this sensation is something that can happen often to meditators, realizing you're normal and being reassured that all is well, remembering that meditation is helping and not hurting you, nodding, and carrying on).  I assume this tendency to search for the worst-possible explanation is a product of your anxiety?

Are you seeing someone for the anxiety?  You might talk with them about your meditation practice.  I assume they have given you tips for keeping your anxiety from overriding you-- one of them, I'm sure, being to not immediately go looking for the worst-case scenario when you're unsure of something-- and will be able to help you apply those to your meditation as well.

In short, I don't think you have anything to worry about.  You feel that meditation is helping you, you are not exhibiting any worrisome effects, and you know that what you experienced is completely within the bounds of normal.  Perhaps you would benefit from also reading about the positive effects of meditation, to give you a viewpoint to counter all of the negatives? 

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If u keep doing this you are on the right track....

>>I was simply sitting out side and listening to the sounds and watching thoughts come and go trying not to focus on them>>


I can only answer you these..


2.) what does anyone know about the negative expierences of people?

For those people who think a lot compare to others, once they get out of meditation and carry on with their daily activities, they can become more agitated, get frustrated/irritated more easily. The reason for this is from a no thoughts, complete calmness state, returning to a normal human being day to day activities where the mind think/works endlessly, the contrast is too big for the mind to "adapt" to. Is like asking one who is sleepy or had taken medicine that make one drowsy, to do some strenuous exercise. That feeling.


Some ( people who is by unhealthy )can get more depressed if the sitting is too long. In a calmness state, basically the breathing become very shallow and the heartbeat also slow down which means bad blood circulation. They can become very moody, some can last for days.

3.) is meditation not for everyone?
These advises from thai monks who are great meditation teachers, i read from their books. So is up to individual to consider this is valid.
People who had epilepsy, serious OCD or people who can't control their mind at all. These people, unfortunately, have to exhaust their negative karma in this life. The only thing that can help them is medicine.

4.)What is meditation? like what is it really?
[/quote]

In buddhism point of view, meditation( mainly samathan and vipassana) is a training to allow one to see clearly the body and mind, from a third "eye". To see that "we" do not really operate this body and mind( in buddhism sense). It functioned by its own, it generate thoughts, sensation, feelings by its own when in touch with the five aggregates of clinging. With diligent and correct practises, the conscious, can dettach itself from the body and mind, knowing the suffering but not suffer with them. And eventually, break away from the chain of samsara.

Third eye is a metaphor....perhap it is conscious in buddhism sense
 

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Hi Michael
If you are meditating for a reason such as anxiety then it's important to understand what it is you are actually doing. I began meditating many years ago as an experiment to see if it could change how I perceived things (I was a science teacher interested in optics). Little did I know what I was starting.

1.) does anyone know what happened to me what did i experience?
The simple answer is stuff happens when you meditate, so it's best to try a few simple guided meditations first if you can't find a teacher. What you did is called 'Just Sitting' meditation and is quite advanced for a beginner as things tend to bubble up to the surface of your mind. Sometimes you merely become aware of stuff that happens anyway but normally doesn't get noticed.

2.) what does anyone know about the negative experiences of people?
If you research meditation you will find lots of examples of negative experiences. Again, a teacher will help but if you can't get one it's important to understand that meditating is not usually a series of happy, relaxed sitting experiences. It can be, but it means you aren't making any changes you might want to make, although the medical benefits such as lower blood pressure are often useful.

3.) is meditation not for everyone?
When I was a teacher in a Primary school I often used to take assemblies (usually morning religious assemblies here in the UK) and teach simple meditation to 8 to 11 year olds as part of multicultural themed assemblies. Most of them seemed to enjoy it but there were always those who didn't. My own view is that most people miss out on something if they don't meditate.

4.)What is meditation? like what is it really?
We are only just starting to understand this. Current thinking is that the brain is so plastic that it continually changes. New cells can form as we learn new things and new connections between areas of the brain can replace old connections in ways we can physically measure. Whatever we do brings about change in the brain, if only a strengthening of habitual thinking and understanding.
Meditation has developed over thousands of years to take advantage of this plasticity in the brain. People might not have known how meditation worked, but trial and error showed the effects of it. When we meditate, whether we know it or not, we change the wiring in our brains deliberately rather than leaving things to happen by chance as they do every day. How we choose to meditate dictates how we want our brains to change.
Buddhist meditation has developed differently in different parts of the world, but there are common strands to bring some kind of balance to how we change. There are relaxation meditations to help both mental and physical health, mindfulness meditations to make us more aware of what we are and how we respond to the world, vipassana or insight meditations to help us understand things in a different way (maybe levels of consciousness?) and so on.

So what meditation is really, at least in my understanding, is a series of practices to give you the chance to change yourself, in ways that you control, by sitting (or standing or walking) within some kind of meditation practice. The changes are real and measurable (with the right equipment you can see physical changes in the brain). It's a bumpy road but one that has enriched my own life and hopefully yours too if you decide to carry on.
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Questions on Meditation effects good and bad
« Last post by georg7887 on November 28, 2019, 10:49:58 AM »
Hi Michael,

I'm trying to give you a detailed answer to your first question. If you don't understand something, please feel free to ask. If you are interested in my opinion on the other questions please let me know.

In the following I want to describe, in my understanding of reality, what you may have experienced during and after the meditation. I write may here, because I'm not claiming to be a seer or psycic ;). I just wanna make clear that all my following assumptions on your experiences are based on my own and could also contain some of my own misunterstandings. May the following words be of some benefit to you.

During meditation you were (as you described) focusing your attention on sounds and thoughts. At one moment (to another and maybe another, …) you felt a bodily sensation (intense pressure in your forehead).

At this moment(s) your attention got attracted by this bodily sensation and your focus shifted (away from sounds) to the pressure in your forehead.

So, this bodily sensation become your new object of meditation (knowingly or unknowingly, only you could tell). To this point it was only a sensation (without any positivity or negativity in it), it was just pressure, which you were recognizing.

Then your mind was reacting (unknowingly I assume) to this sensation, which showed up in a feeling tone (which in Buddhism is “only” to distinguish between liking, disliking and neutral). I assume it was a feeling of disliking.

This feeling of disliking led to identification with the pressure (=I’am the pressure) and a “judging” response (e.g. thoughts (knowingly or yet unknowingly to you) like I’don’t like it, make it go away, I should be calm, etc.). This thoughts probably caused a reaction of more bodily sensations, identifications, thoughts, which lead to more and more (unaware) confusion, till you came to the moment when you were recognizing: I’m anxious.

This bunch of bodily sensations, feelings, thoughts, etc. made up the story which we call anxiety. So, anxiety is not just one thing.

The really important thing were the moment you recognized anxiety: You were awake at that moment, being back in the here and now, experiencing some taste of anxiety.

So, what can you get out of that? The one side of your experience showed you, that this hole bunch of unknowing experiences (anxiety) were too heavy to handle for you and you was trapped in your anxiety instead of watching and observing it for what it really is (sensations, feelings, thoughts, etc.).

The other side of this experience motivated you to search for a solution/answer, to overcome your anxiety.

In short: Overcoming your anxiety with meditation is possible: You can do that in getting to know your anxiety better and befriend with it over time. Step by step, little by litte. Not forcing anything and trying to be gentle with you, even if anxiety overwhelmed you – it’s only human.

Meditation can be your training field, in which you can start to watch what your anxiety is made up of, it’s the playground in which you can get in contact with it. But I can’t say it often enough, don’t force yourself too much, start regularly but slow. 

You may reflect on the following question:
-   What do you think what meditation should be like/should not be like
-       or in other words, does a good or a bad meditation exists and if so, what makes the good one
        good and the bad one bad?

I also would be interested how if you tell me something about how you meditate (how long, how often, etc.)


Greetings Georg
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Questions on Meditation effects good and bad
« Last post by Siddharth on November 28, 2019, 07:17:46 AM »
1) what happened to you is fairly common and is basically you getting a little anxious due to observing things in your body mind that you did not know about before..
2) negative experience of meditation is generally when people force more than they can handle..like 10 hours a day for 2 months and so on..also depends from person to person and if you have serious psychological issues..you should take up meditation under guidance but from what you described..you will be fine.
3) this has been discussed a lot of times here...the thing with meditation is that it does work as mentioned here before. And you must be accepting of all the +ve and seemingly negative externalities..
4) i leave this to others...and suggest you figure out for yourself..

With regards,
Siddharth
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