Author Topic: Meditation-What has it brought you  (Read 1932 times)

frepi

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Meditation-What has it brought you
« on: September 05, 2008, 02:13:14 AM »
Ok I know this is somewhat related to the topic "Why meditate", yet I think it is necessary (for me at least) to have a description of your own experiences.

I would like to know what meditation has REALLY brought you. I am agnostic, I don't believe in Karma and I am not interested in the spiritual aspects of meditation. You see, I never spoke with really seasoned meditators and most of the ones I met had strong buddhist beliefs. Those people seemed to "believe in meditation" like christians "believe their prayers will come true".  I am not interested in these "faith based" experiences.

Has it changed your life in a fondamental way or has it made your life slightly better? Has it cured or reduced the symptoms of some psychological or physiological problem you had?


Thank you
« Last Edit: September 06, 2008, 02:36:20 AM by frepi »

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: Meditation-What has it brought you
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2008, 10:57:11 PM »
Dear Frepi,

See my welcome to you in the welcome thread which I think answers this question for you quite fully in regards to the faith/belief/religion issue.

Joey's answer in the what has meditation brought to you thread is good.

meditation has freed me from conditioning I did not know was running my life. It continues to do so the further I travel on the path.

If you have further questions do not hesitate to ask.

In the Dhamma,

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

Hazmatac

  • Member
Re: Meditation-What has it brought you
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2008, 01:37:24 AM »
The Irreverent Buddhist: What do you mean by conditioning running your life? Thank you,

Rob

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: Meditation-What has it brought you
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2008, 08:58:12 AM »
Dear Rob

From the day we are born and before (in the womb and even if you don't have thoughts regarding past lives), we are experiencing stimuli that engender responses in us. These build neural pathways that strengthen the more they are used.

As small children we look at those around us and copy them: it is how we learn.

Then we go to school and spend many years being conditioned both into incorporating our cultures, history, language etc into our sense of self and ideas regarding how we must react to other people such as those in authority.

All these experiences set up neural pathways which, the more they are used, the stronger they become. And they are largely subconscious. Your mind may make what it considers to be a rational thought out decision. However, behind the scenes many unconscious processes have been taking place that colour and influence that decision. So it is not as rational and thought out and consciously chosen as we pretend to ourselves.

This is what I mean about conditioning and "conditioned existence" running one's life.

These neural pathways are the pathways of habit, of unconscious thought, feeling and reaction.

In meditation as we sit and quiet our minds then progressively examine our bodymind and become more at ease with it these layers of conditioning fall away. In meditation, progressively, you stop being "who you have been told you are by past experience" and start becoming "that which you experience yourself as in this moment".

This is one of the Buddha's synonyms for "enlightenment": "beyond conditioned existence", i'e' when one has removed all traces of past conditioning (or karma can be used here), one is fully present to the reality of now.

In the Dhamma,

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

 

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