Author Topic: Question about "outward" meditation  (Read 2410 times)

musician1776

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  • A student in search for inner peace
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Question about "outward" meditation
« on: August 05, 2014, 01:27:43 PM »
I've dabbled in mindfulness and meditation in the past, but I'm now studying and practicing daily. I'm very serious about mindfulness and meditation for many reasons, but the main reason is due to an unwanted sensation that drove me to taking medications (which I'm now off of). I can feel my pulse throughout my body 24/7 that started 13 years ago. I'm a distance cyclist and runner and my cardiac health is amazing, but this symptom still bugs me because it's a constant thing.

I've had every cardiac test known to man with no negative results or anything out of the ordinary. My family and I are no-added-oil vegans as well (I'm not preachy or anything, just giving some background). I recently got off of an extremely strong anxiety medication and I'm feeling pretty good. I came off of a total of four medications that I was taking to attempt to remedy the cardiac symptoms and now I'm seeing a counselor that is into mindfulness and meditation. It was difficult getting off of the meds, but I don't want poison in my body as well as the desire to deal with this myself.

I can say that in the small amount of time that I've been practicing mindfulness and meditation, I've recently had instances where the aforementioned sensations have subsided for a little more than half a day at the most! I haven't felt relief from these symptoms (even with CRAZY meds) in 13 years and it's getting better everyday. I'm NEVER going to stop meditating!

I just finished listening to a lecture on audiobook titled "Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation (The Great Courses)" by Dr. Mark W. Muesse. It was about 12 hours long and very informative. I'm now reading "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" by "Shunryu Suzuki and I'm open to any other suggestions for reading.

My main reason for coming here is to ask about a specific type of meditation that my counselor suggests, but I can't find anything substantial on google, et al. He told me that I need to meditate "outwards." Since I'm very in-tune with my body, he told me that I need to get out when I meditate.

The way I do this is at the end of my meditation, I picture myself in an infinity pool and I begin to make small waves in the water with positive vibes and intentions outward towards the universe. It works well, but I'm looking at getting a little more detailed with it. Sorry for the huge post and I look forward and thank all of you for any information!"
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I wish you all well.

Quardamon

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    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: Question about "outward" meditation
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2014, 06:43:42 PM »
Hello Muscian 1776,
Welcome to the forum.
What a story!

My main reason for coming here is to ask about a specific type of meditation that my counsellor suggests, but I can't find anything substantial on google, et al. He told me that I need to meditate "outwards." Since I'm very in-tune with my body, he told me that I need to get out when I meditate.
I get confused: You try search machines, you try this forum   . . .    What would happen if you asked your counsellor what he means, and where to find more information?
It sounds OK, what you are doing at the end of your meditation. And then still   . . .    give your counsellor a chance to explain what he meant, please.

VinceField

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Re: Question about "outward" meditation
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2014, 12:47:52 AM »
The concept of "outward" meditation in the way that you are referring to seems to be the opposite of most Buddhist meditation practices that I know of.  The idea is usually to go deeper inward and get in touch with one's body and mind more intimately.  The fact that your symptoms have been reduced from your meditation practice leads me to think that perhaps the symptoms are stress related, as one of the primary results of meditation is the reduction of stress. 

I would experiment with grounding myself in the body and "letting go" of the felt symptoms with peace, love, and acceptance.  Perhaps work on alleviating your aversion towards these symptoms, probe and study them with equanimity and perhaps try to calm and reduce them with your mind and intention, rather than trying to avoid them.   

musician1776

  • Member
  • A student in search for inner peace
    • Not sure
Re: Question about "outward" meditation
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2014, 02:23:00 AM »
I get confused: You try search machines, you try this forum   . . .    What would happen if you asked your counsellor what he means, and where to find more information?
It sounds OK, what you are doing at the end of your meditation. And then still   . . .    give your counsellor a chance to explain what he meant, please.

Thank you very much for the wonderful response! I didn't give enough information about my counselor to paint the entire picture, I apologize. He's not very traditional in terms of specific types of meditation and I have figured this out from my personal studying and research. In reference to the "outward" meditation, I asked him many times about types of practices, teacher, books, et al. He really had no additional info about it, which is one reason why I'm here. He just basically had exercises in mediation that are very general and generic. This is okay because I'm now meditating and I don't ever plan on stopping due to the amazing results I've had thus far.

I'm now listening to the audiobook "Mindfulness: The Body" lectures by Joseph Goldstein and they're the deepest, most informative that I've heard so far. As far a books go, the "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" by Suzuki is heavy material. I'll just stay on the course that I'm on and will look for a teacher when everything works out as far as schedule goes. In the meanwhile, any other books that you suggest? Thank you for your time and I wish you well.
I wish you all well.

musician1776

  • Member
  • A student in search for inner peace
    • Not sure
Re: Question about "outward" meditation
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2014, 02:34:59 AM »
The concept of "outward" meditation in the way that you are referring to seems to be the opposite of most Buddhist meditation practices that I know of.  The idea is usually to go deeper inward and get in touch with one's body and mind more intimately.  The fact that your symptoms have been reduced from your meditation practice leads me to think that perhaps the symptoms are stress related, as one of the primary results of meditation is the reduction of stress. 

I would experiment with grounding myself in the body and "letting go" of the felt symptoms with peace, love, and acceptance.  Perhaps work on alleviating your aversion towards these symptoms, probe and study them with equanimity and perhaps try to calm and reduce them with your mind and intention, rather than trying to avoid them.   

Thank you for the response! I have used a specific method of feeling and observing the sensations as fully as I can without judgement. Once I have observed and experienced the sensations as much as I can, I observe that self that originally started observing it. So, it's like a third self neutrally watching, very separated from my original self that is having the unwanted symptoms. This has helped and I'm figuring that what this is doing besides accepting and letting it go is creating a lot of separation from what is going on. I got this exercise from my first book on mindfulness.

I realize that this is going to seem very rudimentary and messy, but here's what I do when meditating:

1. Body scan if the day as been extra tough, but not always
2. Sitting practice- I have a mantra that counts with my breathing and I recite it until I feel that I'm in "the zone."
3. I have a second mantra that is very positive, but not using the anchor unless my mond goes astray.
4. I end with my vision of being in an infinity pool that's looking out to a horizon of a sunset. I relax in the still pool until I'm focused. Once I'm focused, I begin to make small ripples in the water moving outward from my body with positive intentions and thoughts out to the universe. Once I've done that for about 5-10 minutes, I end the practice.

I'm looking at getting more guidance during my sitting practice and even looking at walking practice as well as mindful eating. I need to find a teacher soon, I have so many questions. 
I wish you all well.

VinceField

  • Guest
Re: Question about "outward" meditation
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2014, 03:05:29 AM »
I don't have a teacher either.  I have learned a great deal from simply listening to dhamma talks and reading books written by esteemed teachers.  I have learned the bulk of my knowledge on Buddhism and Buddhist meditation practices through these sources, although being a part of online communities such as this forum and especially Dhamma Wheel, along with several Buddhist facebook groups, is exceptionally helpful in answering questions that arise along the way. 

Many questions that you may have, such as your latest one about following thoughts, can be answered simply by studying the teachings.  I recommend taking some time to somewhat thoroughly study the principle teachings of a respected teacher (I am currently studying Thanissaro Bhikkuh and Ajahn Brahmavamso), as this would probably take care of most of your questions and give you a good knowledge base and a proper perspective for the answers you get from any questions that haven't been covered in the teachings.  Most audio and literary material can be acquired freely online. 
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 05:07:12 AM by VinceField »

Quardamon

  • Member
    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: Question about "outward" meditation
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2014, 07:12:18 PM »
The (audio) books that you mention: Mark W. Muesse, Joseph Goldstein, Shunryu Suzuki seem good to me.

I am still puzzeled about this counsellor.

     now I'm seeing a counselor that is into mindfulness and meditation.
He's not very traditional in terms of specific types of meditation and I have figured this out from my personal studying and research. In reference to the "outward" meditation, I asked him many times about types of practices, teacher, books, et al. He really had no additional info about it, which is one reason why I'm here.

When someone speaks of a counsellor, I see in my fantasy a psychologist with in an office, and in the corridor hangs, in a frame, his certificate that tells from what university he graduated. A person that had a training at a university would welcome your questions and answer them.

So I wonder who or what corrects your counsellor and controls him - or that maybe you yourself are the only one who does that. In which case you are doing a good job: you are looking further around, you are double checking things.

I can imagine, that you find my questions silly. But I love to check the framework.

clayton

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Re: Question about "outward" meditation
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2014, 06:12:02 PM »
I find meditating on sound as described here to be fairly outward.

some times if I just stand at the bus stop the cars will drive by.. if there are a lot of cars I have found focusing on what is only in front of me without moving my eyes, focusing very intently on each vehicle, and by letting the cars drive by it becomes some sort of meditation. each car passing me by is like a thought that arises and passes by LOL sounds a little funny typing it but perhaps something to experiment with if the opportunity is there.
Follow your nose

 

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