Author Topic: hello there...  (Read 9875 times)

Andrew

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    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
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hello there...
« on: January 31, 2011, 02:55:11 AM »
Hi there,
I would like to introduce myself, my name is Andy. Which is about all I have to say about that. ;)

I haven't been practicing meditation for a long time, though each week I'll sit down maybe once to 15 mins of frustration! I pretty sure it isn't "meditation"!

i don't have a specific question or anything, I just would like to belong to a group of like minded people. I'm not interested in religion as such, i grew up with an extreme for of Pentecostalism, so nothing shocks me and I've pretty much seen everything before.

What i really want is to replicate an experience I describe as 'my 8 seconds' that occurred many years ago. While sitting in meditation, I suddenly felt weightless and without any cares at all. I saw a crystalline, yet indistinct blue haze, and then the thought kicked in 'don't mess this up' and of course that was it, all over. Since that time, I never got back there, and my enthusiasm waned. It seemed like a fluke, like I stumbled onto something, lost it, and have no idea how to get back there.

Anyway, thanks for the great forum, hopefully in time I can add something constructive as well.

cheers

Andy
getting it done

Morning Dew

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Re: hello there...
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2011, 08:26:33 AM »
Hi Andy and welcome aboard mate  :)

Quote
I haven't been practicing meditation for a long time, though each week I'll sit down maybe once to 15 mins of frustration! I pretty sure it isn't "meditation"!

 ;D  I like your writing style, good man. Yes you are right that isn't meditation if there is too much frustration, and especially each time you sit. Meditation is first and foremost about relaxing into the body, noticing bodily sensations without judging them, noticing arising thoughts, emotions without judging them and letting the run their course without engaging them. Calming the body with each in and out breath. No focusing, no concentrating, no wanting ... just letting go into relaxing the body which is storing all the accumulated tension. This is Calm-Abiding Shamatha practice.

In my experience daily practice is of great importance to actually feel the difference, when our body starts to generate natural calming hormones which invoke calm and joy  :)

Quote
What i really want is to replicate an experience I describe as 'my 8 seconds' that occurred many years ago.

I had something similar; I could literally feel the volume of this great planet while I was lying down on the grassy field in the summer time. I could feel sooo many tiny lines coming all the way from its center connecting all that is walking or standing on it. It was sooooo VIVID.
I too wanted to get this feeling back only to realise after a few month of Shamatha that all this is just the ego me trying to cling to an old experience which can only take place in the very now. Wanting it will never invoke it. Letting go of it might invoke it or rather similar experiences but that we don't know. The more you want it the less possible it is to get it. Meditation is about learning to let go of the ego-self desires and aversions and take the life as it is moment to moment.

All this I am telling you is pure intellectual knowledge and of no real importance. The actual sitting practice will show you the actual self, the actual insight will show up, so welcome to sitting with us, alone, on your own.  :)

Quote
So for me, messing with the mind by forcing it to 'let go' or whatever is extremely dangerous

Forcing is an ego enforced fabrication and is to be avoided or rather recognised/noticed when it takes place and let go of it by simply going back to calming the body with each in and out breath, not judging the ego's doings, just disconnect softly away from it and go back to your body. Mind will eventualy follow on its own, Force nothing , concentrate nothing just observe and calm without engaging into the thought trains.

Once again friend, welcome aboard of Vipassanaforum  :)

Che

Vivek

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Re: hello there...
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2011, 09:49:41 AM »
Quote
What i really want is to replicate an experience I describe as 'my 8 seconds' that occurred many years ago. While sitting in meditation, I suddenly felt weightless and without any cares at all.
Hello, Andy. I would strongly recommend that you let go of any such desire to recreate experiences during meditation. That would probably pose the greatest obstacles to progress in your meditative practice.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Quardamon

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    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: hello there...
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2011, 10:58:22 AM »
Hello Daydreamer,

So you sit down once a week for 15 minutes of frustration, and now you hope to find a group of likeminded people. Grin.
Welcome to the forum.
In my view, there are different layers to human experience: 1.There is actions; 2. There is the personal psyche and personal subconsiousness; 3. There is the collective unconsiousness, the spyche of groups; 4. A layer of myths and religions; 5. A basic layer of unity.
What you describe as your 8 seconds, sounds like an experience that probes far deeper than the personal unconscious - I would call it a religious experience. Something of layer 4.
So as I see it, you made the experience that you can have a religious experience without this experience pointing to Jesus or the God of Abraham, and without the experience binding you to a Pentacostal group.
From what you write, I suppose that that is a beautiful thing in itself for the individual that you are. I mean, my wild guess is, that it has a balancing effect on you, to have a first hand and genuin experience that the religiuos can have other forms than that held high by the group that you grew up in. Beautiful. And, to be honest, I think that getting this message once should be enough. It stays valid. Please do not get out of balance by definitily wanting this experience back. Smile.
I can imagine that the longing to have the experience again would lead you in a gentle way. Like it lead you to this forum.
Like Che Guebuddha said, there is no way to force it. And you will probably find, somewhere on the road, that this longing it stands in the way, and you need to let go of it. 

I like the honesty with wich you write your status: "Trying too hard, without trying hard enough". It shows your entanglement.

Be well,

Quardamon

ivana

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Re: hello there...
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2011, 08:06:46 PM »
Hi Andy
welcome, I had to look for Pentecostalism. I grow without any religion.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentecostalism

Regarding
"I never got back there, and my enthusiasm waned."

Meditation is not good if we wait something.

Take care
ivana


Andrew

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    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: hello there...
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2011, 12:13:49 AM »
Wow, I really picked the right forum to enter!! Thanks for all the fantastic replies, I'm actually very touched by the warmth and guidance; that's something I haven't had for, well , forever!

quardamon said "So you sit down once a week for 15 minutes of frustration, and now you hope to find a group of likeminded people. Grin." HAHAHA, that is very funny!
 It is probably more like 2 x 10 mins sessions of boredom at random intervals, then the frustration session on another day rapt up in a general emptiness..any takers for my method??!!!!

Yes I definitely needed to be told to let it go, all the wanting,  and to remember such experiences as encouraging events. I very much like the way you all express yourselves, I can after reading them a few times, easily remember the main points. Which is exactly what I was hoping for joining this forum.

Regarding my post over on the meditation forum, "TERRIBLE AND TRAUMATIC at a Goenka retreat"  I fired that one off a bit hastily, I actually get the feeling I would handle such an experience, but to be frank, I'm tired of holding philosophies that I can't share with anyone because of fear of what it might do to them, i.e. Alot of what I went through over the last 10 years leaving Christianity behind, I don't think many could follow. Sure people leave, but they usually stay christians of sorts. Anyway, it was , as we would say "a reaction" that post. I really am not interested in offending or flaming anyone over these things, so if it did offend, I apologize. I also may still consider such a retreat, I am not frightened by extended periods of introspection!!

I can hear Yoda saying "you will be,... you will be"!!!

Love

Andy

  
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 12:17:00 AM by daydreamer »
getting it done

Morning Dew

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Re: hello there...
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2011, 08:27:18 AM »
Quote
It is probably more like 2 x 10 mins sessions of boredom at random intervals, then the frustration session on another day rapt up in a general emptiness..any takers for my method??!!!!

May I be your follower please  ;D

About Goenka threads; no worries there mate, I almost left this forum back in the start because I just couldn't understand how experienced meditators could fall that low and argue (read cling, crave, desire, reject) which technique is better. Thanks to Matthews PM I reconsidered and stayed on board and I can tell you one thing; I am happy now I stayed  :) I also realised that all those "experienced meditators" are also walking their own path through a tick wall of ignorance and this wall can prove it self to be very tick at times indeed  ;D
Even the "best" get carried away by the cravings at times (I find the full moon to be the worst, call me superstitious)  ;D

About the goenka retreat; dont rush your self. Get to know your self a bit by practicing calm-abiding, relax into your body, become aware of the mind formations, bodily sensations, calming with in and out breath  :)
It is a very good start to establish a daily practice even for a short 5-10 minutes just make it daily. Our mind is a habitual freak  ;)  and will benefit alot from a daily practice and the relaxed body will release calming hormones into the body-mind calming it throughout the day distancing one self from reacting and rather responding instead.

In my opinion (not experience) if starting meditating in a group setting at an early stage one can easily cling to that feeling of comfort a group provides. Sitting alone (not lonely) could become very difficult if one fails to see this. Meditation is a solitary practice even if in a group. Therefore it could prove it self worthy to establish a solo daily practice first and join a group sitting later on. Just my opinion of course, I could be wrong.

Friendly Che

Andrew

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    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: hello there...
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2011, 08:41:58 AM »
Calm abiding..OK, let the calmness begin.... ;) Even 5-10 mins will 'work'? that's cool. I'll start there and build the habit like you say. My expectations have been all over the place.
It's quite weird to be talking about this on a forum, I think it will help alot though. I tried to go to the Dhammaloka Centre in Perth, (Ajahn Brahm is the Abbot) many years ago, but I really don't want to be a 'Buddhist' anymore than a 'Christian'. I do want to be a meditator,  and I hadn't considered forums a viable alternative to 'going to church/temple' but I already feel strengthened in my resolve to build a regular habit of this.

thanks and love

Andy
getting it done

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: hello there...
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2011, 01:55:24 PM »
Hello Daydreamer,

So as I see it, you made the experience that you can have a religious experience without this experience pointing to Jesus or the God of Abraham, and without the experience binding you to a Pentacostal group.
From what you write, I suppose that that is a beautiful thing in itself for the individual that you are. I mean, my wild guess is, that it has a balancing effect on you, to have a first hand and genuine experience that the religious can have other forms than that held high by the group that you grew up in. Beautiful. And, to be honest, I think that getting this message once should be enough. It stays valid. Please do not get out of balance by definitily wanting this experience back. Smile.

Quardamon

I mean to say more about this part of what you said quardamon, as it really made me feel connected with the flow you speak of. That it would be something particular to me, that 8 seconds,  and taylored to provide a new balance for me, is extremely insightful, vipassana, i guess we could say!! It has really stuck with me all day and helped me imagine a meditation that doesn't strive for this again. I hope for it still, but I have a calmness growing in my thoughts that allows it to be special for the moment it was in, all those years ago. I can also imagine now sitting for all those days to come without the despiration I have felt. Word are certainly powerful agents of change, when connected to insight. I am a big believer in the power of imagination, and these word of yours have allowed me to imagine a reality I hadn't thought existed. Thankyou. Thankyou very much.

love

Andy
getting it done

Matthew

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Re: hello there...
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2011, 09:01:11 PM »
Andy,

Welcome to the forums. 5 - 10 minutes will work, 20 will work better and an hour will be very strong - especially twice a day.

Build up slowly with compassion for yourself but try and make it part of your routine. You spend an hour a day or so on physical hygiene if you are anything like the average person - your mind hygiene requires more effort than that !

Don't chase experiences nor push them away. Be with what is.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Quardamon

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    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: hello there...
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2011, 09:53:32 AM »
Thank you, Daydreamer, for your reply. I am really glad. For you, and for myself. It is always nice to get a pat on the back. I am touched, even.
Quardamon

Andrew

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    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
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Re: hello there...
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2011, 02:08:39 PM »
I'm going back over all the advice actually and letting it soak in a bit. It is very different from reading a book, the advice given was 'realtime' interaction on a levels 1 and 2, as you might put it. I have been a member of an tube guitar amp forum and have become quite 'addicted' to it, it occurred to me that having this powerful feeling towards a meditation forum, to have some accountability to others and to interact, would be worth trying to get me kick started again. i can feel the momentum building.

by the way, I am aware that the word metta is roughly translated love, this is why I sign off that way now, it is a challenge to me to realize that we are connected in that universal way and to express it as clearly and as confronting as 'love' also occurred to me as something to challenge my mind and to establish a connection with this forum.

so,

love

Andy
getting it done

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: hello there...
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2011, 02:10:35 PM »
Andy,

Love is something you may not have gotten enough of or in the right way as a child. So accept it now, from all life has to offer.

Be well,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Semantic

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Re: hello there...
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2011, 02:02:29 PM »
Best of luck, daydreamer. Really nice to read your positive reactions to the good advice on here.

Sounds like we're in somewhat of a similar boat. Also grew up in a Pentecostal environment.

And I am also often finding meditation practice a struggle, but I am persisting and am finally feeling that it's starting to have some sort of effect, however vague, on my everyday life.

(I like your little analysis of singing off with "love" too :)

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: hello there...
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2011, 03:17:29 AM »
Hi Semantic,

Thanks for the luck, I will take whatever I can get!

Yeah, in some ways I  feel I'm starting all over again, but in a more profound way I know that the events of my life have led me to this point. It's all in the interpretation really.

 How many years since you left christianity? I'm going on around 10 I think, I went through the first actual 'spiritual' experiences on the way out of it, rather than the 20 years in it!

It was Jesus's own words that led me away, he said "Ask the father for bread and he won't give you a stone, for fish, and he will not give you a scorpion" basically, if you ask in faith for the truth, then god will arrange the truth to arrive for you. The truths that arrived were not christianity as I knew it, so I left.

It was  a rough ride, but worth it. For me meditation has always been that 'thing' I held in my mind as being the only real practice, but it has also  been the one thing I had little success with. I think I had to live a little to free myself of excessive expectations. that has taken until now and the advice on this forum.

Good luck to you with your meditation also!

love

Andy
getting it done

Morning Dew

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Re: hello there...
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2011, 08:12:57 AM »
Quote
It was  a rough ride, but worth it.

This is how I feel about my war time experience. Full of shit but still worth the experiennce. I saw in people the best and the worst at the same time. Great school but never to happen again.

Quote
For me meditation has always been that 'thing' I held in my mind as being the only real practice, but it has also  been the one thing I had little success with

Maybe because meditation is not what you think but what you actualy do by sitting on your ars  ;D

By the way how is your practice going daydreamer? Did you kick it in gear?  :)

As always, friendly
Che

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: hello there...
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2011, 12:00:56 PM »
Hi Che,
I've been sitting morning and night for around 5-10 mins, just noticing and naming things until I start to relax. I have noticed a substantial reduction in frustration in life in general, I think it maybe the honeymoon period of 'getting back into it' and the general relief of thinking 'I can do this'.

So for me, Stage 1: establish habit. Stage 2: work that out when I get there!

And yourself? How are you going?

love Andy

 
getting it done

Semantic

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Re: hello there...
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2011, 01:27:17 PM »
How many years since you left christianity? I'm going on around 10 I think, I went through the first actual 'spiritual' experiences on the way out of it, rather than the 20 years in it!

To be honest, it was never really something I succcessfully engaged with. It was just a system forced upon me by my parents. It never made sense to me, and I was never able to 'feel' it like the other people around me seemingly were. It mainly just served to create a lot of guilt and anxiety in me as a child. So I left it behind in my teens, and have ever since had a very negative view of all things religious. The last 15 years or so, I've basically rejected anything to do with religion/spirituality and had a very materialistic/scientific outlook. I'm starting to revise some of that now, but I think one reason I'm finding meditation a struggle is because I so completely shut down this side of myself during a long time.

Semantic

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Re: hello there...
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2011, 01:30:32 PM »
This is how I feel about my war time experience. Full of shit but still worth the experiennce. I saw in people the best and the worst at the same time. Great school but never to happen again.

CheGue, your background intrigues me. You've experienced war and you live in Sweden (a country that hasn't been in a war for centuries), but you express yourself like a native English speaker. Maybe there is an introduction message buried somewhere in the archives that I should track down... :)

Semantic

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Re: hello there...
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2011, 01:31:53 PM »
I've been sitting morning and night for around 5-10 mins, just noticing and naming things until I start to relax. I have noticed a substantial reduction in frustration in life in general, I think it maybe the honeymoon period of 'getting back into it' and the general relief of thinking 'I can do this'.

Sounds like great progress. Nice one!

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: hello there...
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2011, 05:16:09 PM »
@ daydreamer

Even 5-10 minutes daily is great in the beggining to form a habit and get the first feel of it. You will know when to up your practice. You can try up it for 5 minutes every week until you come to 30 minutes, stay there for a while and when it feels right top up for 5 minutes every week until you reach a confortable time. If you come to a point where you feel it just is too much to bare, back down to just 30 minutes or less even.
Whatever you do be gentle with your self and force nothing and most of all fabricate nothing.
Relaxin into the body is very good.

My practice is rolling fine thanks for asking my friend. I judge my practice now by observing the self in my ordinary life off the cushion. It seems i cope much better with stress situations and i tend to react less and respond more. I also have more understanding for others. All in all it seems to be going the mindful way.

@ Semantic
Hi mate. To clear some of your confusion :D
I am born in Germany and lived there until i started schooling. My father moved me to Bosnia where i stayed until the end of the war. Moved to Serbia from there moved to Dublin Irl and lived there for almost 5 years. After that i moved to Sweden in 2005. Now im a swedish citisen and member of this ciber sangha :)

You say meditation is a strugle i agree it is a struggle only when the self desires or rejects certain conditions. Clinging to such phenomena causes suffering, strain.
Step back, breath in relaxing the body breath out relaxing the body. Want nothing, aim nothing, just relax and notice all that is knowing that this too shall pass. Be kind to yourself if you get cought up in scenarios and ideas.

Both of ya are doin just fine. Keep at it :)

Friendly Che

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: hello there...
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2011, 11:14:51 AM »
It mainly just served to create a lot of guilt and anxiety in me as a child.

Amen to that brother...I guess I took it so seriously that I didn't know that people around me were just pretending, engaging in self-hypnosis, mentally unstable, and generally really broken people. In turn I broke as well, so I'm pretty good at spotting "Big Sticks"!!!

I'm not even vaguely interested in religious / dogmatic approaches to faith. so for me, If I don't expereince it, or at the very least feels that it could be be true, then it doesn't get far with me anymore.

I think your 'excursion' into the scientific view of the world echoes my excursion into the new age. We both just needed to blow the cobwebs out of our minds with something else other than the religious "this is how it is, don't worry about evidence or how you feel about it, just suck it up" experiences of youth.

I can now, looking back understand the power of what jesus was/is, though my view would not be called 'christian'. I'm intent on continuing to approach buddhism with the same attitude i.e. there is a level of meaning that lies below the 'popular' (mis)interpretations. Not that I know that much, but I know that the bigger the audience the smaller the words get and the less truth is being communicated. (that last bit was Ingo Swann's assessment, but I agree with it)

love Andy

« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 11:17:09 AM by daydreamer »
getting it done

Andrew

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    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Goodbye
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2011, 02:18:20 PM »
Hi All,

Thanks for all the help over the last month and a half, I really appreciate it. I don't think that I can continue at this time being a part of the 'forum' life. I'm just spending far too much time on here. It is really a two way thing at the moment, I seem to be learning things, but when I try and disengage from the thoughts and comments I'm not able.

I've come to realize, as selfish as this sounds, I have achieved what I came for, to learn about meditation and form the habit. It is without a doubt my own weakness that prevents me getting a balance with the forum and my life, although I knew that from the beginning I would addicted, and now I am spending far too much time.

I just tried to sit for an hour as I have said i needed to start doing and i couldn't get this place out of my head. And thinking back it has been like that alot. So though I made it out like Che is the reason, I know it is only my strong attachment to the forum which would otherwise cause my feelings to lead me this way. You'll keep , Che, keep up the music, you've got some talent there and thank you for all your discussions.

So, yes, I'm a spoil sport, but I'm talking my ball and I'm going home!

I'll see how I go once I've got more peace and feel I can contribute without it throwing me sidewards all the time. 

Thanks Matthew for all your hard work keeping this forum going, it is a real treasure in a sea of confusion. Thanks also to all you guys and girls, Quardamon, Jeeprs, Kidnovice, Namaste, Vivek, Rideforever, Jhana4, Ivana, Rocket, nibs, torgear,  DragonEye, Renze, Hazmatac, and many others who have said some very enlightened things.
 
love

andy   
getting it done

rideforever

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Re: hello there...
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2011, 02:32:22 PM »
Hey Andy ... it's been good chatting, and hope to see you again soon ... I probably need to take a break too.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: hello there...
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2011, 04:19:52 PM »
andy,

Sounds like some time practicing and reflecting on that practice will be very beneficial. Just don't replace the forum with another addiction.

Be well,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~