Author Topic: Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books  (Read 2639 times)

TheMichelle

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Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books
« on: October 26, 2014, 06:54:09 PM »
Hello everyone,

I'm new at the forum and in meditation, started only this week. I have some doubts about the types of meditation that exist. I've seen very nice videos of people talking about Vipassana and how good it was for them, I also read some articles about Transcendental Meditation and I know there are many other types. I still don't know what type would be "the best" for me. I just try to sit two times a day and let the thoughts go, breathe and relax.

I was wondering if anyone could explain to me the difference between Vipassana and Transcendental Meditation and maybe others.

And any advices for a person who is just starting would be very helpful too.

Thank you so much :)

Goofaholix

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Re: Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2014, 08:37:27 PM »
Transcendental Meditation is a concentration technique, I don't know a lot about it but gather it's designed to give one a sense of well being and relaxation and a break from discursive thought by forcing the mind continuously onto one object.  I'm not sure if there is any purpose beyond that.

Vipassana is designed to increase sensitivity and presence of mind to help one understand how the mind-body processes work, in understanding one naturally lets go of habits that cause tension and suffering.  It does also require a degree of concentration but this is secondary, we are more interested in learning how the mind works.

So I guess you could think of Transcendental Meditation as being a sledgehammer and Vipassana as being a scalpel.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2014, 08:40:28 PM by Goofaholix »

TheMichelle

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Re: Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2014, 08:59:28 PM »
Thanks a lot for you answer Goofaholix. How did Vipassana changed your life? If I can ask :P

Goofaholix

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Re: Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2014, 05:47:24 AM »
Thanks a lot for you answer Goofaholix. How did Vipassana changed your life? If I can ask :P

Seeing things much more objectively  Realising that happiness can't be found outside in gaining things or experiences etc, instead finding happiness inside.  The ability to remain calm in situations that would have knocked me off balance in the past.   

Re: Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2014, 07:15:59 AM »
Other meditations are done sitting in a isolated place and concentrating on an object of the mind. But vipassana is done every second of your life, all the time. Even in sleep. So once you start doing insight meditation there is no way out. You cannot hide from yourself anymore...

TheMichelle

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Re: Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2014, 08:26:55 AM »
Will I become happier?

And will I still enjoy the things I used to enjoy?

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2014, 09:16:12 AM »
Potentially you will become happier, "content" is probably more likely.

The things you used to enjoy may become richer for you as you develop a new found appreciation for things, some things you may no longer desire, and perhaps you will pick up some new forms of enjoyment.

TheMichelle

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Re: Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2014, 09:31:06 AM »
I'm asking this because I always liked to go to parties and festivals and drink and all those things. Now two months ago I started to experience anxiety, something like I have never felt before. Some people told me it's normal to have this kind of "crisis" at my age (19) but I'm kinda scared cause I never felt like this before. This is all new to me and I'm scared cause I don't know what will happen, if this will pass.. sometimes I start thinking too much about it.

Matthew

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Re: Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2014, 02:03:25 PM »
Ana,

There is one thing that never changes: the fact that EVERYTHING changes! Buddhists say to remember "This too shall pass".

Meditation is a good cure for too much thinking :)

Kindly,

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

Tarco

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Re: Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2014, 05:32:31 PM »
Are there any recent events that you can think of that might have triggered the onset of anxiety for you?

TheMichelle

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Re: Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2014, 09:41:20 PM »
Thank you for your answers. I remember reading somewhere in this forum that it's important to be aware of the purpose and the focus of our meditation. My purpose is calming down the mind, learning more about myself and about the world, not feeling anxious anymore or sad, learning to let things go... I believe I will be successful.

Tarco: I thought about it over and over again, alone, with my parents, with friends, psychologists and I don't think there is like an event that may have triggered it. Some people say it's normal in my age.. maybe. I do believe that there are many reasons for this, like a whole set of reasons that all together made me start having an anxiety disorder. I never even thought of myself as an anxious person, never before. My doctor told me to take some pills for anxiety. I'm taking them but I know they don't fix everything, just the symptoms.. because the anxiety is still there. So I feel that meditation will really help me through this and make me a better person.

Tobin

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Re: Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2014, 10:06:56 PM »
19 is a terrifying age. I feel for you Michelle. You're just finined school, you have new and greater expectations on you, you may have to move out soon and get a job or spend the next 2-8+ years in a very hectic post-secondary environment. I can see why you might have anxiety.

The good news is, if you hadn't told me you were 19 I wouldn't have had a clue. You sound very mature for your age, and seeking out something as profound as meditation, particularly Vipassana meditation isn't very common for a 19 year old. I'm sure you will be fine.

If you choose the Vipassana route, you will start exploring your experiences (bodily sensations, mental thoughts, reactions, etc). The more you do this, the better acquainted you will get with yourself. You can do this with your anxiety as well. I find when I'm paying attention to the raw, tight, nauseating ball of fear in my chest, it quickly dissipates until I forget about it. Start getting to know your anxiety. Try to define the physical experience with short descriptive words like, tight, hot, pain, pressure, shifting, etc. You will begin to discover things about it that you couldn't do intellectually.

Oh, and welcome to the forum!
Tobin
Regards,
Tobin

TheMichelle

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Re: Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2014, 11:39:44 PM »
Thanks Tobin. I started meditating more seriously this week, 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening. I'm feeling better already... trying to understand my emotions now that I don't feel so anxious, trying to question everything.

Thanks a lot for your answer :)

gasteria

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Re: Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2014, 12:52:32 AM »
Hi TheMichelle,

If you are serious about Vipassana and you can afford to spend 12 days at the reatreat in the Vipassana Center I would suggest to try it. It is sometimes confusing to do it on your own and Vipassana teachers do not recommend it. Also if you attend a retreat you can find likeminded people so you will not feel alone. The retreat is free of charge. You can donate afterwards whatever you can afford. Donations are not mandatory. Hopefully you have Vipassana center not far away from where you live.

You can lookup http://www.dhamma.org/en/locations/directory#US

I have just attended my first retreat. Most of the people attending the retreat were young. I wish I knew Vipassana at their age. That would save me from lots of suffering in my life.I am almost at retirement age.  Now I feel like my life starts all over again.

Good luck in whatever you decide to pursue,

Gasteria.

Goofaholix

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Re: Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2014, 08:44:00 AM »

Matthew

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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: Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2014, 11:21:33 AM »
You can lookup http://www.dhamma.org/en/locations/directory#US

and this monastery might be of interest and much closer to home http://mosteirobudista.com/

I'll second Goof on that one - the first is the one we talked about on Sunday Ana.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

TheMichelle

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Re: Questions about the practice, types of meditation and books
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2014, 01:31:31 PM »
Thanks a lot :D

 

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