Author Topic: Not beneficial to expend a lot of energy to have a still mind while meditating?  (Read 190 times)

Ja192827

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I read this from a post by Matthew which was posted a few yrs ago:

"If you try and hold yourself too tight during sitting this can turn into a form of self hypnosis - whereby one does not consciously have thoughts but is using huge amounts of energy to maintain this position. This does not lead either to calm-abiding or to insight."

I was hoping to ask Matthew or anyone else to elaborate on this.  I thought that if one was able to not have thoughts enter their mind, that this was beneficial and would carry over into everyday life.  I realize that this comes at the sacrifice at huge amounts of energy, but isn't it like exercising?  The more energy one expends on an exercise bike, for example, the body becomes stronger and its capacity increases and is able to expend more energy in the future.  Just curious why this form of meditation is not beneficial.  Thanks a lot.


Guillaume

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Yes, I agree with Matthew on that, self-hypnosis is not meditation. It's hard to explain, it's just a different state of mind, and I would say hypnosis is less conscious than meditation.

To take your analogy with practicing the bike, you can develop 2 types of qualities : strength or stamina. If you develop strength, you will have big muscles and you will be able to sprint very easily. If you build up stamina, you muscles won't be as strong, but they will be able to deliver more power on the long run.
Mindfulness and attention definitely require stamina, and not strength.

But just like with building strength, as you say it's exercise, so it will build a bit of stamina, it's much better than not exercising at all. Self-hypnosis calms the mind, and has a very good effect on the mood and sleep, which are all very good for consciousness. But not as much as meditation.

Ja192827

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Thanks a lot for elaborating on this for me.  This makes total sense and makes me want to avoid the self-hypnotic states.

Dhamma

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In proper meditation, we learn to accept all phenomena as they arise. We learn to become at peace with everything inside and outside of ourselves.

May we all fulfill our deepest wish: to be free from all suffering. :)

stillpointdancer

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I got into meditation through self-hypnosis tapes. I did this for a number of years and then took up meditation. There's no problem with the first stages, sitting in a relaxed state for a while, but it lacks any structure or direction when applied to Buddhism. My first stages of meditation are not a million miles away from the tapes I used to listen to, but then I go into mindfulness of breathing, or Metta Bhavana or whatever.
“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

mobius

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When I first started I was (unknowingly at the time) doing self hypnosis and not traditional meditation.

Now-a-days occasionally I'll do a little hypnosis to calm myself if I'm feeling really hyper or unable to focus or calm down. It is effective for very quickly putting my mind at rest or getting me into a more peaceful state.

But I don't do it all the time. When I was doing that every day in the beginning it quickly lead to me having bad headaches and trouble sleeping and feeling weird all the time.

When I meditate 'properly' I don't have these immediate or powerful effects and often times I don't know if anything happens at all; but I know it works in the long run. I know for example, over the past months I've gotten angry less often then I used to. I don't have as much anxiety as I used to.
"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

dharma bum

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What is self-hypnosis and how is it different from meditation?
Mostly ignorant

Guillaume

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Time.
In meditation, you don't lose consciousness of time, at least this is what I feel. I actually intuitively measure time much better when meditating.
In hypnosis, losing track of time is a sign that you're deep enough.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 10:15:33 AM by Guillaume »

dharma bum

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I would like to try some light self-hypnosis. Anything on the internet anybody can recommend? Thanks in advance.
Mostly ignorant

Guillaume

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I would like to try some light self-hypnosis. Anything on the internet anybody can recommend? Thanks in advance.
There is so much! Before meditation, I was a big fan of hypnosis (all hypnosis is self-hypnosis), I think the hypnosis that works best is very personal, and also very much depends on our mood. I like Alicia Fairclough very much, she is very loving, kind, and does quality videos. Anything below 10 minutes won't get you very deep, you can safely try.




 

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