Author Topic: Is it just that, or more ?  (Read 312 times)

Guillaume

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Is it just that, or more ?
« on: March 15, 2020, 09:59:24 AM »
I have many pressing questions but don't want to spam the forum, so I tried to assemble all my thoughts and experience about meditation.

And if I do that, the best description of what 'life with meditation' is, would be life after the best night of sleep. When you have a good night of sleep, everything seems great, easy, positive, no bad thoughts, nothing really matters, because we just feel good.

That's my current state of mind since meditating seriously (I do plenty of other things, I work, do sports, take care of others, etc).

Is there more to seek? I mean ... If life wants to show me more, I'm in an open position for it, but, should I intentionally look for it?
Should I study texts about that?

I'd be happy to know if you've been where I am, and what you did, if you did something. Thanks!

stillpointdancer

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Re: Is it just that, or more ?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2020, 11:30:18 AM »
My favourite quote about meditation is in my signature, “You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

The tricky bit is getting to the stage where you just sit in meditation, not expecting anything to happen, for day after day, month after month and year after year. Are you willing to do this for twenty years on a regular basis with not much happening? Unfortunately Kafka didn't say how long the "wait" is, perhaps because it depends on the individual.

If you can get a couple of basic meditations which you can use on a regular basis, the good news is that it's not as bad as this sounds. I got to the stage where I couldn't imagine not meditating as my life lacked a certain quality if I didn't.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Guillaume

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Re: Is it just that, or more ?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2020, 04:32:52 PM »
Very nice quote, indeed. I don't think I would have understood it before actually experiencing meditation and its effects.

I just don't get why you are saying it's "tricky", and "it's not as bad as it sounds". I find meditation very pleasurable, if I had more time, I would do it much more. And I see the direct benefits. Don't you?

stillpointdancer

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Re: Is it just that, or more ?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2020, 11:34:54 AM »
Very nice quote, indeed. I don't think I would have understood it before actually experiencing meditation and its effects.

I just don't get why you are saying it's "tricky", and "it's not as bad as it sounds". I find meditation very pleasurable, if I had more time, I would do it much more. And I see the direct benefits. Don't you?
Absolutely. It's just that I spent 15 years or so going to my local Buddhist centre where lots of people actually didn't like meditating. They saw it as a chore to get through as part of being on the path. I used to go to a double meditation session there and people looked at me as though I was mad when they learned what I was doing. I was talking, perhaps, to those who get despondent that nothing seems to be happening, and that a long term strategy is best.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Guillaume

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Re: Is it just that, or more ?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2020, 08:26:15 PM »
Thanks, interesting to know that it seems many people don't like it.

Siddharth

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Re: Is it just that, or more ?
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2020, 01:03:38 AM »
Thanks, interesting to know that it seems many people don't like it.

It is quite obvious from where i see it. It is similar to addicts being in denial of the fact that they are addicted, as facing reality leaves only two options:
1. Either conquer your limitations, to maintain the self image or ego that we have.
2. Falling into darkness so as to say, because suddenly the model of self and the world around you is shattered...and it is too hard/slow to change/deal with the issues.

Both options are hard, but the first one though painful in the beginning is desirable for self and the society. The unexpected (for the beginner) consequences are that as one faces and conquers their internal limitations, the ego is not boosted but tamed, because that itself is the limitation. Thus over time one starts to identify more with the process of ego crushing ego, rather than identifying with the ego for the self, which we so dearly cling on to.

Meditation, calm abiding, equanimity, etc. Help one face the reality without falling into the darkness. Hence allowing one to walk in light or choosing the first option.

Notice how many supervillains are actually very intelligent, capable and talented...but lack the above calm/equanimity and turn to darkness....the references are spread across mythologies around the globe.

I am these days moved by a quote from the movie two popes as i have mentioned in this forum earlier:
Truth without love is unbearable.

Thus,Meditation is a tool which helps one carry the truth with grace and skill, and I would encourage you to practice it, with a little less ambition and a little more love

With best regards,
Siddharth
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

stillpointdancer

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Re: Is it just that, or more ?
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2020, 11:16:56 AM »
Thanks, interesting to know that it seems many people don't like it.
I think the real problem is that too many people are introduced to meditations which, although great meditations, they are not ready for. There are many fun meditations, or at least meditations which are relaxing and/ or interesting, which should be the first stop for those needing something different at the start. I personally got into meditating using a self-hypnosis tape many years ago as a student. The type where you 'insert your own items for improvement' such as give up smoking or become more confident.

I found that I didn't need to fill in the gap as the hypnosis-come-relaxation process was so much fun. I could lay on my bed in college and feel as though I was floating on air without a care in the world. 40 or so years later I still play the tape in my head if I can't get to sleep or if I really need to relax. It eventually led to me experimenting with many different types of meditation and eventually finding Buddhist meditation practices. A roundabout way of getting there, but by the time I finally went to a Buddhist centre I had been meditating for a number of years and took to theirs like the proverbial duck to water.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Guillaume

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Re: Is it just that, or more ?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2020, 07:03:36 AM »
Thus,Meditation is a tool which helps one carry the truth with grace and skill, and I would encourage you to practice it, with a little less ambition and a little more love
Thank you Siddharth.
Then your answer to my initial question would be : there's more, and it's to be found on the 'love' side.
I sometimes experience it during meditation, but I do not necessarily look for it, I'm more a 'light seeker'. Is light related to ego and/or ambition? Is there a contradiction between light and love? That, I don't know.

Guillaume

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Re: Is it just that, or more ?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2020, 07:15:02 AM »
I personally got into meditating using a self-hypnosis tape many years ago as a student.
That's funny, I also started with self-hypnosis. I guess that's the path for scientific minds to escape the physical world with some walls around it.

Siddharth

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Re: Is it just that, or more ?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2020, 09:57:19 AM »
I'm more a 'light seeker'. Is light related to ego and/or ambition? Is there a contradiction between light and love? That, I don't know.

Try not to give too much emphasis on defining/labeling who you are....just focus on observing things as they are as much as possible, with the help of calm and metta(love/best regards for all beings).
Universe is manifesting itself every moment in front of us, only we need to become capable of seeing...i agree with spd's kafka quote here.

Also do not give much emphasis on labels and words like light/love/ambition as i have noticed that each word means different things to different people based on personal experiences and context and leads to unnecessary or unwholesome debates at times, rather focus on the mechanics and continuity of any basic form of practice to evolve your own understanding..

Ultimately we are ll students as well as teachers in this sangha and everything must be taken with caution..

In regards,
Siddharth
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

Dhamma

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Re: Is it just that, or more ?
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2020, 04:29:32 PM »
We must be careful as Buddhists to never get caught up in "identities".  There is no inherent self as we see in the concept of emptiness.
Be present, practice "noting"  (awareness of all thoughts and actions as they arise) and meditate. Also, wish all beings happiness (metta) and attempt to practice high morality. But never feel shame and guilt for wrong actions as that only induces greater suffering. This is the recipe for true happiness in a nutshell. :)

Middleway

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Re: Is it just that, or more ?
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2020, 04:00:42 AM »
We must be careful as Buddhists to never get caught up in "identities".  There is no inherent self as we see in the concept of emptiness.
Be present, practice "noting"  (awareness of all thoughts and actions as they arise) and meditate. Also, wish all beings happiness (metta) and attempt to practice high morality. But never feel shame and guilt for wrong actions as that only induces greater suffering. This is the recipe for true happiness in a nutshell. :)

Well said! I would suggest minor edit. Emptiness is not a concept. It is devoid of all concepts.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Dhamma

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Re: Is it just that, or more ?
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2020, 06:01:06 PM »
Well said! I would suggest minor edit. Emptiness is not a concept. It is devoid of all concepts.

You're right, dear friend:  Even emptiness is empty.

 

Guillaume

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Re: Is it just that, or more ?
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2020, 07:22:50 AM »
Hehe, it's funny those concept of emptiness and not labeling in a forum where basically we just have words to communicate  :D
But your comments are right, thank you so much :prayersmiley:
 

mobius

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Re: Is it just that, or more ?
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2020, 06:57:45 PM »
A quote from the Heart Sutra says "all things are empty; the one who sees this no longer has anything to attain"

So to answer your question "is there more to seek"? Maybe not? The way I interpret it is like this: Peace and happiness is inside of us right here and now. And if we realize it and accept it; it will always be there. We choose to be happy. Peace is not some place we need to get to. It's not "achieved" after climbing the mountain or getting a raise at your job etc. Doing whatever it is you do in life may be 'admirable' , good or bad and it may bring you joy but joy can be felt on the way there as well. I think the biggest trap for us is to 'feel bad' when we're striving for X then thinking we'll be happy when X is achieved.
"better to have journeyed well, then to arrive"

'Not having anything to attain' sounds pretty appealing to me honestly. It means you don't need anything; you don't have to worry about anything. When good things happen; fine. When bad things happen, we'll deal with them as we have to and remain at peace.

It sounds like you're a pretty happy person right now. That's something to relish; so many people today don't know much happiness.
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakuin Ekaku

"I have seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it has never come to pass" - Mark Twain

Guillaume

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Re: Is it just that, or more ?
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2020, 09:15:55 AM »
It sounds like you're a pretty happy person right now. That's something to relish; so many people today don't know much happiness.
Yes, that's right.  :) The only problem of being happy is jealousy, and also that I tend to laugh very often, and some people think I make fun of them when I do.  :D

But I've always worked my mind to understand what makes me truly happy on the long run. So I stopped satisfying myself with material acquisition, with experience, with social interactions, I stopped telling my experiences and discoveries with most people because they think I do that within the social competition.
 
Sadly, all our society is based on satisfying and building the ego, and around social competition, at least in the western world. If you read Pierre Bourdieu, you will see that people exist in the eyes of others by their differentiation, by their social position and fields of expertise, or material possessions. It's very hard to disengage from that and still keep a social life and work.

I am no one, I am your repairman down the street, the pizza delivery guy, your postman, the vagrant you ignored, your IT support guy, one of those crazy scientists, your math teacher, your gym coach, a farmer, a monkey, I am no one and all of them. I try to be, at least. And it's cool ;) It just needs a bit of practice  :D

Of course it's hard for many people, because their social status is their security. Losing it is probably the worse thing that could happen to them. People tend to spend more time building their social status than building skills to be independent from others.
I have done the exact contrary : I have constantly improved skills, I am constantly learning, and whenever I gained a certain authority somewhere, I left. Just because I don't see any sense in that, I find it ridiculous. It's the funny thing of language : building a social status is empty of meaning, but emptiness itself has more sense !!  :D

Maybe when we are young there is a period when we need to prove ourselves that we are not stupid, and fighting is somewhat necessary. It's part of the survival let's say, we somehow need to be sure that we have a fully functioning body and brain. But then ... fighting is the last thing to do, ego and overthinking kill people.

BUT, but, but, there's one thing that survival should teach us : practice. Passively watching tv or day-dreaming is the worse thing. Why do they do that? Because they are tired. What does meditation do ? It gives a clear mind like the one you have when you sleep well. > Go back to starting post.

That's my 2 cents and a useless brain loop :D :D :D