Author Topic: Why meditate?  (Read 3637 times)

Hazmatac

  • Member
Why meditate?
« on: August 31, 2008, 03:02:15 PM »
What is the ultimate goal of meditation? In other words why should I bother?

mettajoey

  • If you follow the standard allowable path, you'll get standard allowable results
  • Moderator
  • Share the love
Re: Why meditate?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2008, 03:11:37 PM »
Hi Hazmatac,
For me it is achieve better clarity of who I really am, to become present in this moment and to live my life more fully and happily.  :)
Take care,
-Joe 
The best type of meditation is the one that you'll do

Hazmatac

  • Member
Re: Why meditate?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2008, 03:17:34 PM »
Hi Hazmatac,
For me it is achieve better clarity of who I really am, to become present in this moment and to live my life more fully and happily.  :)
Take care,
-Joe 

Okay. What makes clarity of who you are a value, and what makes being in the present moment a value? What do you mean by living life more fully? Thank you for your response.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2008, 03:23:13 PM by Hazmatac »

mettajoey

  • If you follow the standard allowable path, you'll get standard allowable results
  • Moderator
  • Share the love
Re: Why meditate?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2008, 03:47:18 PM »
Okay. What makes clarity of who you are a value, and what makes being in the present moment a value? What do you mean by living life more fully? Thank you for your response.

"What makes clarity of who you are a value"
Knowing my strengths and weaknesses and being ok or non-judgmental about allows me live in the direction I choose instead of trying to create an image of myself to try and be what society, friends or family makes me feel I should to be.  There is a term "conditioning" that meditation helps one to see through.

"what makes being in the present moment a value"
Being in the present and not spending time in conditioned thoughts and judgments allows me to see things and react in ways more appropriate to the situation.  I can learn more and have a much greater appreciation for people and events.

"What do you mean by living life more fully?"
When I am living closer to my own basic good self I am much happier, productive and a better asset to my work, family and friends.

Meditation is a tool to help discover the truth about who you are and what events, physical and emotional, helped to create the image you may have about yourself.  Not many of us see ourselves for who we really are and meditation helps.  I think it's Socrates who said, "An unexamined life isn't worth living".  The truth will set you free...

Metta,
-Joe

The best type of meditation is the one that you'll do

Flipasso

  • Guest
Re: Why meditate?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2008, 11:30:50 PM »
Thanks you both for both the questions and the answers!
Sometimes on looses track of the way.

frepi

  • Guest
Re: Why meditate?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2008, 12:24:55 AM »
I don't have any spiritual goals, I do not try to be "a better person". I only do it to be less a victim of my own negative emotions or conditionning. I am trying to free myself from myself. What ever comes on top of that is a bonus.

Paul

  • Guest
Re: Why meditate?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2008, 11:51:24 PM »
Hazmatac, you've opened a Pandora's box with this one!  2 years ago, on the forerunner to this site someone asked this same question, to which I replied "To attain enlightenment".  At the time this seemed completely obvious to me and I couldn't think of any other reason to meditate.  So I spent 2 years meditating to attain enlightenment, and although I calmed my mind and gained some insights, I wasn't really reaching my goal.  Then, this summer I went to my first ever retreat.  After a couple of days the monk who was leading the retreat said something and the penny dropped: right effort is not trying to acheive anything, it is just being there, sitting in your body, and focusing all your attention on here and now (this is how I understood what he said).  Any attempt to acheive anything is wrong effort, and will lead you nowhere.  So I did that, just sat aware of my body and following the breathing, being completely here and now for hours.  After a couple of days of doing this, things started really changing, and the dharma suddenly became very clear, as did the reason why we were all there meditating.  A life changer.

I really recommend it - if you are trying to acheive something, just let go of that concept and just sit there and be with whatever is happening, that's all you need to do  :)
« Last Edit: September 04, 2008, 12:31:03 AM by Paul »

Hazmatac

  • Member
Re: Why meditate?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2008, 03:08:08 AM »
Yeah, I find when I am struggeling or looking to achieve something in mediation it doesn't work as well as just letting go of whatever may happen, and THAT is when things WILL start to happen.


Hazmatac, you've opened a Pandora's box with this one!  2 years ago, on the forerunner to this site someone asked this same question, to which I replied "To attain enlightenment".  At the time this seemed completely obvious to me and I couldn't think of any other reason to meditate.  So I spent 2 years meditating to attain enlightenment, and although I calmed my mind and gained some insights, I wasn't really reaching my goal.  Then, this summer I went to my first ever retreat.  After a couple of days the monk who was leading the retreat said something and the penny dropped: right effort is not trying to acheive anything, it is just being there, sitting in your body, and focusing all your attention on here and now (this is how I understood what he said).  Any attempt to acheive anything is wrong effort, and will lead you nowhere.  So I did that, just sat aware of my body and following the breathing, being completely here and now for hours.  After a couple of days of doing this, things started really changing, and the dharma suddenly became very clear, as did the reason why we were all there meditating.  A life changer.

I really recommend it - if you are trying to acheive something, just let go of that concept and just sit there and be with whatever is happening, that's all you need to do  :)

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: Why meditate?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2008, 10:22:11 PM »
I don't have any spiritual goals, I do not try to be "a better person". I only do it to be less a victim of my own negative emotions or conditionning. I am trying to free myself from myself. What ever comes on top of that is a bonus.

Frepi,

I think there is much confusion about the word "spiritual". You have described very practical goals that you have for your practice. Most of the confusion comes from the cartesian split between thought and the physical world - resulting from this there is the idea of a separate "spirit" or "soul" and this is something the Buddha denied.

Anatman means "no-soul" and is a fundamental Buddhist doctrine: We do not have a soul, a spirit and there are no "spiritual goals" - as there is no spirit - and "real life goals": there is just being. Meditation helps us dicover what being really means.

In the Dhamma,

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

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: Why meditate?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2008, 10:23:25 PM »
Dear Hazmatac,

Yeah, I find when I am struggeling or looking to achieve something in mediation it doesn't work as well as just letting go of whatever may happen, and THAT is when things WILL start to happen.

Yes that is a fundamental point. Letting go of goals because we are taught to be "goal oriented" and that is part of our conditioning and meditation removes conditioning.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: September 07, 2008, 10:25:38 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~