Author Topic: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.  (Read 2026 times)

Vivek

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2018, 04:41:15 PM »
Welcome, Geraldine, Marshmallow and Sar.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Marshmallow

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2018, 06:03:20 PM »
Thank you Vivek, nice to meet you.  :)

oscarabeo

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2018, 06:43:35 PM »
Hi all,

my nickname is oscarabeo. I have no deep association to it, but it comes from a contraction of "o' scarabeo" meaning "the scarab" in Italian (Naples dialect.) Or at least, this is my guess, as I don't speak this language.

I rediscovered meditation several times over the past decade but it was only the past year that I became serious about it, when I realized I was bearing physical symptoms of anxiety. I am a PhD student in a hard science and I've gone through a number of tough situations with advisors, which have probably been the important factors. My physical symptoms include insomnia, dermatitis, elevated heart rate, stressful dreams, and some depression. I was sure I had a vitamin deficiency or a neurological problem, and brushed off anyone who suggested it might be due to stress. But test after test came up negative.

My insomnia drove me to desperation so I decided I would do ten-day vipassana retreat. In the middle of it I hit a "flow", where concentration became easy, sitting became comfortable, and my heart rate cooled down to a purr. For reasons I don't understand, the body-awareness methods of vipassana take me to a state of intense physical relaxation, which persists even after the meditation ends. After that flow-day, I slept well, my heart rate stayed low, and my anxiety all but vanished. I would not have believed it if it hadn't happened to me, but my dermatitis also went away.

These symptoms have returned since I have come back to work, but are attenuated. I wonder if with more practice they will go away.

The meditation also made me notice I carry around a heavy weight of regret. All of these past mistakes were my "sankharas".

For me, vipassana meditation has not been about finding insight, so much as it has been about finding peace through insight.

Per Goenke's suggestion I've committed to meditating at least two hours a day. With insomnia it's challenging to do it in the morning, but I always get it done sooner or later. Last night, I did my first sitting of an hour and a half, and the time flew by. It was a great feeling. I feel I am making good progress in terms of awareness of my sensations, and slower but steady progress in terms of equanimity.

It has been about a month since the first day of the retreat and I am optimistic about the time to come. There have been changes in my life, some positive, some neutral. Sleep has become only slightly better, and is now (curiously) filled with seemingly endless dreams, sometimes lucid ones. And I find that I am able to let go of work more easily, and not let it pull me away from the moment when I'm trying to do other things. My mind has become calmer and less controlling.

While it is too early for me to offer advice to others, I hope this sketch of my short experience will inspire others like me to give meditation a try. This looks like the start of a new way of life for me.

oscarabeo

raushan

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2018, 02:09:48 PM »
Welcome to the forum oscarabeo.
Glad to know about your progress in just one month. Yeah, with more practice they should go away.

Vivek

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2018, 03:07:56 PM »
Welcome, oscarabeo.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Marshmallow

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2018, 09:57:15 PM »
Nice to meet you Oscarabeo. I enjoyed reading your post and find it inspiring.  :)  You will certainly benefit more as you practice.

If I can't find enough time during the day to practice, since the days can go by so quickly, I practice when going to bed at night, instead of reading. It usually helps me fall asleep as well. I would recommend practicing the body-scan. Also practicing mindfulness meditation throughout the day makes it easier to practice more often, I find that it requires less discipline than taking 15-30 minutes to practice during the day. You can practice whenever you like, while walking, washing the dishes, brushing your teeth, showering, waiting in line, etc.

Marshmallow

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2018, 10:14:41 PM »
Please let me know if you didn't receive my message, since it doesn't show up in my sent messages for some reason.

bedifferent

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2018, 06:42:42 PM »
Hey everyone, new to the forum!

here's my first post/thread I made, if you'd like to get a bit of background of my past, and future plans  :)

https://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php?topic=3332.0

Isobel

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2018, 01:19:44 AM »
Hello

I’ve recently started meditating.  I have tried to practice mindfulness for a long time now but didn’t really take the time to sit down and meditate.  Then I completed an online course called Buddhism and Modern Psychology which made me realise that I should. I would like to find a meditation class but don’t really have the time or the money at the moment (well time wouldn’t be a problem if I could bring my four year old daughter along but I’m guessing that would be frowned upon :))So I thought that if I joined this forum I could at least ask for advice and share experiences.  Does anyone have any reading recommendations?

Middleway

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2018, 04:32:36 PM »
Welcome Isobel. Look under book recommendations on this forum. There are several helpful threads under books recommendations on this forum. Suggest you look at those first.

Welcome bedifferent.

Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Ottercreek

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2018, 05:28:02 PM »
Hi everybody
My name is Veronique, I wonder why I didn't just try that as username but anyway... Ottercreek is the translation for the french name of the creek where I live, in the woods near Quebec city, Canada (I saw there are a few proud canadians here on the forum!). Please forgive my -occasionnally strange- english!
I started to meditate seriously in 2002 at a Goenka course, it was a fantastic, life-changing discovery. I guess I was quite critical and not very respectful, and soon I got "kicked out", went on to practice with a Zen group (Deshimaru), back to Goenka's Vipassana for a couple of retreats and then to a Chan retreat center for more 10-days retreats. I've been practicing daily 1-2 hours for many years, but my daily practice seems not very strong, depending on life conditions like living with another boyfriend, sometimes I drop it completely. At least my efforts on continuous mindfulness really help to keep me going.
I'm not really buddhist, well I did take refuge officially but I'm not very keen on precepts and on traditions, generally speaking. Still, buddhist teachings contributed very much to my understanding of practice and of life, and I'm deeply motivated to share "the Path" or Dhamma or call it as you like, as irregular and as modest as my contribution may turn out to be... Looking forward to sharing with you all!

Siddharth

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2018, 07:28:01 AM »
Hey veronique ! Welcome  ;D
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

cluedance

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2018, 10:20:48 AM »
Thanks for the cordial welcome [matthew] !                                                                                       Regrds to one and all !                                                                                                                    cluedance

Neon

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #38 on: April 07, 2018, 09:55:31 PM »
Hello everyone. I don't know where to start.
I came from listening to an online guru and doing occasional meditation and self enquiry. The web site I've been following is a highly westernised attempt to promote fast enlightenment, and promotes these techniques but also psycodelics of various types which wasn't for me. There's other issues with that site too, I won't go into.

I became very confused as most of my meditation sessions turn into self enquirey sessions. Sometimes I had amazing results and actually had this chakra effect from basically doing everything wrong and turning "who am I" into a mantra.

Truth is, despite some interesting experiences, I feel I need to get back to basics and start again. I think I want to try following breathing. What do you suggest, is that a good place to start again?

My struggles: I have chronic tinnitus, very loud. I don't see this as a hindrance because you can listen to tinnitus and it's calming. However those of you who go for sensory deprivation; I can't do that.
I also work long hours and am tired most of the time (and about to have my first child in a few months). I sometimes go to attempt meditation and fall asleep.
I also am in a fair amount of back pain and IBS pain. This doesn't really hinder meditation but explains a lot of other things about me.

My progress. In meditation, I suddenly reached a place where I was not tired anymore. That was very very strange indeed. My over-whelming thought was "now I can meditate for hours like this!" and then alas it all disappeared.
Another time, during self enquiry, I see what looks like an explosion in slow motion shaped like a dandelion, and the sound of like school children in a playground. My heart was thumping louder and louder and I was being drawn into this centre. Again it ultimately dissipated.
These small things, keep me going on the path.

The feeling I need to start again, I guess comes from this hectic lifestyle, it doesn't sound condusive to meditation and yet you can still be copletely determined to follow this path however difficult it is.

If anyone is reading this, can i start with this question; what is the real difference between what I call meta-thinking, which is thinking about thinking, thinking about your thoughts as they occur and mindfullness?

Withoutascent

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2018, 07:22:34 AM »
Hi, I’m Barry. I was a high school English teacher for 33 years. I also grew up in a family of building contractors, learned the trade from my father and supplemented my income during college and summers and vacations during my teaching years building houses, roofing, painting, etc.

Now, at 67, I have given up my previous vocations to become a professional dog trainer. 20 years experiece at that. Starting in college, I began studying Tai Chi, Tai Chi Sword and Aikido. Continued studying both off and on for the past 49 years.

Began meditating in college, back in those early Ram Das years. Though TM was the flavor of that period, I began with zazen and then added vipassana. Less experienced in but working daily now on Loving Kindness mediation. Also employ body scanning for stress relief and Les Femhi’s Open Focus techniques.

I have returned to daily practice after several years of occasional meditation practice. I am doing two 30 minute self-directed sittings per day, plus some extra time spent on Headspace when I’m out and about. I am interested in the scientific analysis of meditation and learning about variation on techniques. I recently enjoyed reading Altered Traits by Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson. Just started on Robin Wright’s Why Buddhism is True. The Mind Illuminated is another reference I reread periodically.

I am interested in psychology, NLP, and ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) as an approach to psychiatric conditions. (Anxiety has always been a recurring issue for me.) I approach aging, cognitive enhancement and general health and well-being through vitamin and herbal supplementation, diet and exercise.

From 1973 -1982, I studied both Tai Chi and Aikido from the same man, Lou Kleinsmith, who was a master teacher of both disciplines in Saugherties, NY and NYC. He was a senior student af Cheng Man Ching, the Chinese master who brought Tai Chi the the US.

I was also studying a couple forms of karate at the time and doing resistance training. I asked Lou once about studying disparate and non-complementary disciplines at the same time so I could take the best of each and use each as a lens through which to evaluate and modify the others. For example, Tai Chi people do not tend to work on weight lifting to develop strength because that is not what Tai Chi is about. Karate practitioner block punches, Aikido practioners deflect and redirect them. TM practitioners worship the mantra while vipassana concentrates primarily on breathing. Lou’s advice was that if you dig one well, sooner or later you will hit water, but if you put energy into digging many wells, none may ever be deep enough to hit water.

So I ignored his advice and have always been the better for it!

in meditation, martial arts and all forms of self-development, I learn best by studying and then contrasting and comparing opposite approaches and applying concepts from one discipline to another. The operant conditioning I learned as a dog trainer taught me more about teaching teen-agers than any teacher training, seminar or class. I combine NLP techniques with meditation, especially when emotions come to the surface during sitting. The psychiatric principals of ACT parallel the teachings of vipassana very well. I use Aikido, mindfulness techniques and principals of psychoanalysis to train dogs. When I taught, I was doing Tai Chi every time I walked into a classroom—and sometimes Aikido when I broke up fights in the hall.  :)

Still digging lots of holes.

~Barry


Gabriel

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #40 on: April 16, 2018, 12:04:48 PM »
Good morning from Virginia, USA. I’ve meditated sporadically for years. Nothing special or advanced about it in any way. Just always interested in the topic.

I got very lost spiritually in my late teens and 20s. But now, I seem to have found in Buddhism some fundamental information about life that I didn’t realize I was looking for.

Looking forward to learning and sharing with all of you.  :)

Middleway

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2018, 12:45:11 AM »
Welcome to the forum Gabriel, Withoutascent, and Neon.

Withoutascent, that was quite in introduction!

Neon, please start a new thread and ask your questions. This thread is mainly for introductions and you may not get any responses here.


 
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Ottercreek

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2018, 12:38:52 PM »


I ignored his advice and have always been the better for it!

in meditation, martial arts and all forms of self-development, I learn best by studying and then contrasting and comparing opposite approaches and applying concepts from one discipline to another.

Hi Barry, many might disagree but I love your approach!  ;)

ColinOR

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2018, 05:25:27 PM »
Hello!

My name is - as my screen name would suggest - Colin. It's nice to meet you all and to join this community, which I'm grateful to find. I hope to speak to as many of you as I can manage. :)

I won't give you a full biography - I'm prone to verbosity - but will try to give my meditation background.

I have dabbled since my late teenage years (I'm in my late 40s now). My first introduction to the idea of meditation was actually as an obsessive Beatles fan (I wonder how common that is?), though I didn't really try to practice until I got a book called How to Meditate: A Guide to Self-Discovery by Lawrence LeShan, which gave me a simple breath-count meditation that I've used as my go-to ever since.

More recently I've tried to come back to meditation. I am a recovering addict (four years off alcohol) and have found meditation a useful part of my recovery. As part of a treatment programme I attended I did a six-week course in "Mindfulness Meditation" that was well taught and serious. I've also used HeadSpace for a while. I've done the "moving meditations" of yoga and tai chi and done classes in both that had a mindful or meditative aspect to them.

I'm interested in buddhism and have tried listened to a good deal of Pema Chodron, Robina Courtin, and Stephen and Martina Batchelor. I largely watch YouTube videos of them.

And therein lies my current wish to meditate more and more usefully and with more discipline: I really don't have the attention span to read a serious book at the moment. Quitting alcohol and drugs has been wonderful, but the anxiety they masked are now there to be faced, and obsessive online avoidance techniques - largely social media - have stepped into the place of the drugs and are behaviours I am struggling to moderate or quit as they are encouraging terseness, impatience, and selfishness in me.

I did warn that I can be verbose!

I wish you all well and look forward to finding out more about this community.



Matthew

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #44 on: May 28, 2018, 05:52:02 PM »
Welcome Colin.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

ColinOR

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #45 on: May 30, 2018, 04:39:25 PM »
Thank you, Matthew, that's very kind.

I'll have a look around and hope to contribute if and when I find I have something useful to say.

:)

kmikz

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #46 on: June 30, 2018, 08:33:04 PM »
Hello all,

My name is Adrian and I first tried meditation about 3 year ago, after I've seen that I have anxiety and I wasn't able to go to sleep, sometimes for hours. I first tried Headspace, committing to the first 10 days for 10 minutes a day. I was hooked ever since.

Headspace taught me to observe my breathing and with only 10 minutes a day, I was still seeing changes I didn't expect in my life: being calmer, having a better self image, not being so hard on myself. So when I heard there were 10 days retreats I was interested.

The first 10 day Goenka retreat changed my life. I had so much energy, everything was just shimmering and shining and had a glow I never saw before. I maintained a daily practice, but not with vipassana (body scanning), but trying to watch the breath, as I liked it more.

After that I began to chase the feeling that I had after that first retreat, which subsided after a few months. I still had a positive outlook on life, but the glow wasn't there. I took two or three more retreats before coming to know that it wasn't about the glow, there was something more and deeper than chasing that high.

I have been to 6 retreats in the past 3 years and one of them was as a server, to give something back to the people that helped change my life and help other people change theirs.

I joined this forum to grow in Dhamma and help strengthen my practice.

May all beings be liberated, may all beings be happy!

Cirrus

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #47 on: July 10, 2018, 12:30:11 PM »
Hello, how are you all?
My name is Rebecca, I live in the UK. I've very recently come to meditation from practising yoga asanas and pranayama, which I love and benefit from. For the last few weeks, this is how new I am, I've practised daily focused mediation and Vipassana. I hope to learn much more. Thank you for accepting me into this community. 

raushan

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    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #48 on: July 10, 2018, 09:54:52 PM »
Welcome Rebecca. You should find the forum helpful.

Vivek

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Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
« Reply #49 on: July 11, 2018, 06:58:53 AM »
Welcome to the forum, Adrian and Rebecca.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?