Author Topic: What is Meditation?  (Read 2118 times)

PeasantProphet

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What is Meditation?
« on: May 13, 2014, 10:08:15 AM »
What is it? When I meditate I have so many random thoughts in my head. And then I try and change them. Should I just let these thoughts be?

Matthew

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Re: What is Meditation?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2014, 10:38:07 AM »
Meditation is many things. The Wikipedia definition is pretty all-encompassing:

Quote from: Wikipedia
Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or as an end in itself.

From the sounds of it you have quite an untrained mind at the moment. I would suggest starting by developing calm/serenity and concentration. Mindfulness of breathing is a good way to do this. There is a full description of a practice you can start with on the forum homepage that is all about developing these two qualities of mind.

Yes you let thoughts be, you concentrate on the physical sensations in the body created by breathing, each time you notice yourself drawn into thinking you recognise that, pause for a moment and then put your attention back on bodily sensations.

It's very normal to endure a lot of thoughts at the beginning. You don't want to suppress them, you want Meditation to be relaxed, calming and not forced quiet - the only way you get there is to consistently have thoughts intrude, recognise it, pause and then return attention to body sensations. This will calm the body and reduce activation of the nervous system - mind will follow body into calm.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2014, 10:43:42 AM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

PeasantProphet

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Re: What is Meditation?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2014, 11:12:40 PM »
My mind is very untrained my thoughts are like horses at the Kentucky derby racing each other. Other then that my back starts to hurt when I sit upright during meditation and I have to swallow saliva to. I will try using 2 pillows the next time. Or maybe seated meditation would be better?

Dharmic Tui

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Re: What is Meditation?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2014, 02:14:32 AM »
I generally sit on a stool or chair. I don't think it'll make much difference.

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: What is Meditation?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2014, 03:51:12 AM »
Try two cushions, finding comfort sitting is important, you want to be well supported. If using a chair try to suit up not slouch.

It takes time to train wild horses - and the mind, so also be patient with yourself and try not to judge/blame.

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

Crystal Palace

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Re: What is Meditation?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2014, 07:58:14 PM »
Other then that my back starts to hurt when I sit upright during meditation and I have to swallow saliva to. I will try using 2 pillows the next time. Or maybe seated meditation would be better?

Use whatever posture that keeps you comfortable and still for the longest period of time. When I started meditation, I would always sit, but these days I use a chair. The key is relaxed awareness. A relaxed body greatly helps the mind relax.

If you are using a chair, just make sure you don't slouch or fall asleep. You could also shuffle, i.e use a chair for one session, and then sit for another.

This is the chair I use these days (Please see attachment below). It is comfortable but also keeps me alert.


Quote
What is meditation?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkgnWFPxHB0

This is a very interesting clip. Ajahn Brahm and another monk are asked a simple question, "What is the gyst of your practice?" The first monk gives a rather complicated answer, while Ajahn Brahm just says, "To let go." I think this is a wonderful illustration of the simplicity of what meditation is. Sometimes, in our efforts to accurately understand meditation, we forget that its essence is very simple and short. Personally I have found that a feeling of "letting go" almost always manages to get me in a deep state of meditation quickly.

All the best in your practice  :)

Best,
CP
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

KingMe

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Re: What is Meditation?
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2014, 10:00:26 PM »
Matthew says it all. 

I'm recognizing that awareness of the breath and feeling the body is indeed a great way for me to stop from getting lost in my racing mind.

 

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