Author Topic: I'm a meditation noob, but I've had fairly quick/good results. Questions inside.  (Read 1833 times)

Brain Man

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    • vipassana
So, I just registered about a week ago. I'll introduce myself in the introduction topic, but this is sort of a more full introduction as to how I got involved in meditation. So, I think I initially took interest in meditation when I was listening to Sam Harris on the first Joe Rogan Experience podcast he was a guest on. He mentioned that it's possible to achieve an MDMA state from meditation alone. At the time I thought this would be something that would take months or years to do, but somehow I managed to achieve that similar/lesser MDMA state already. It was delayed, coming about a couple to a few hours after I meditated. It's happened a couple times now.

I've heard that, of course, this is something that people can get addicted to and the ultimate goal is not to do this, but to achieve a greater state of awareness and to realize negative thoughts are the source of suffering. Avoiding the pits of negativity should be the goal, but of course, it's hard not to want to experience these sensations. I've had some tranquil experiences, too, but if they come they seem to come instantly. So I've been meditating for about a month and a half now, almost every day. Usually I'll meditate for about 15 minutes, but I have had a half hour and 45 minute session.

So as a noob, I've experimented with different techniques due to hearing different opinions and being ignorant on the subject. I follow Sam Harris a lot, not just because of meditation, but more so because of his philosophies on morality, politics, science, etc. He had a guy on his Waking Up podcast a couple weeks ago who's a 50 year vet. They were saying to try to be aware of everything. And this first struck me as strange, because what I've always heard growing up (which would mostly be from people who haven't done meditation and don't know what they're talking about) is to focus on nothing. Nothing at all. I guess monks do this, or this is a state you can get to, but in vipassana we don't. Correct me if what I'm saying sounds off, though. So they mentioned using the breath as a vehicle to experience awareness.

At first I would try to focus on everything cuz I kind of forgot that they mentioned to use the breath as a vehicle...but then I started to focus on the breath only and nothing else. The first time I did this I experienced a tiny giddy/MDMA feeling WHILE I was meditating. That was the first time. Also during my 45 minute session, I got tired after a half hour and laid down for the rest. It seems that as soon as I laid down, I became more in touch with the breath. It was as if my awareness was so finely tuned and sensitive at that point, that moving the location and movement of my breath, by changing positions, helped me to be more aware.

Also, another question. Someone on Facebook in some comments claims to know a lot about meditation and he said that meditation is basically a technique that makes you sleepy and the point is to sort of train that muscle that resists the sleepiness. How do you feel about that wording?

Another question. Today felt like a breakthrough. I think for the first time I really used the breath as a vehicle, as they said in the podcast. I focused on the breath for about 5 minutes, then I would change my attention to the fan in the room, or my arms...small stuff, whereas before I tried to focus on everything at once. I got to the pleasant tranquil sort of spaced out feeling. Thoughts would arise but they just couldn't penetrate through that feeling. I was always there. So I felt like I made a breakthrough. Should I start small like this?

For instance, meta is used to focus love for a friend, then the focus moves to a neutral person, then an enemy. It is like working out, or adding "weight". Should I do this with vipassana? Should I focus on the breath, and then focus on another object, and then maybe two at once, and work my way up?

Brain Man

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Forgot some questions. Does anyone know of any good reads on the science of meditation and also on the many practices of meditation? And do you think that focusing on everything is what trains the brain to connect to the present moment because to focus on everything actually means to focus on all that's happening one at a time, but in quick succession? So you are passing thoughts quickly, even if they feel that they come at the same time..

Goofaholix

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    • Theravada / Insight Meditation
It sounds like you are all over the place.  I would recommend finding a teacher or group nearby who can help get you established, if you let us know where you are located we may be able to recommend something.

A good book to start with might be this one http://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php/topic,33.0.html and this pamphlet might help http://sayadawutejaniya.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/right_attitude_23_points.pdf

Sam Harris is an interesting teacher but he is quite complex and it would be good to get a grounding in the basics first.

Billymac629

  • Bill
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  • Everything rises and everything falls away
    • Breath and Satipatthana
    • mindfully observing
Forgot some questions. Does anyone know of any good reads on the science of meditation and also on the many practices of meditation? And do you think that focusing on everything is what trains the brain to connect to the present moment because to focus on everything actually means to focus on all that's happening one at a time, but in quick succession? So you are passing thoughts quickly, even if they feel that they come at the same time..
You can't focus on "everything"...  You'll be better off focusing on one thing at a time.   It doesn't have to be the same theme every time... One sitting maybe the breath.  Another maybe metta.   Another maybe physical sensations.. Another maybe sound..  Etc..   However to sit and try to "focus" on everything at once is not helpful.. The Mahasi style is close to what you are asking but even in Mahasi one has a primary object like the breath to focus on and as secondary objects come up then one may switch for a bit and then come back to the primary object again.

My suggestion would be to stay with one object at a time... 

Kind regards
Nothing in this world is to be clung to as I, me, or mine...

 

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