Author Topic: My view of meditation in day to day life  (Read 391 times)

raushan

  • Member
  • from India
    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
My view of meditation in day to day life
« on: December 25, 2020, 12:12:24 AM »
In the modern world, we see meditation and professional career exclusive to each other. We find time to meditate. And we treat meditation as a self-improvement tool. But this isn't the case and I believe it's a wrong view.

Ajahn Chah says if you have time to breathe you have time to meditate. And I believe wholeheartedly in this statement. In the past, the greatest warriors the world has produced were the samurais. They were ardent practitioners of Zen Buddhism. Their whole life was meditation. Many of the samurais attained enlightenment through the fighting, through their way of the swords.

And it's true we perform best when we let go of thinking of the past or the future. We do any task best when we are the calmest. We make the best decision when we are calm. So I don't believe living life and mediation are exclusive to each other.

Ashoka one of the greatest king in Asia. He was a Buddhist. He spread Buddhism to another part of the world like Sri Lanka, Burma.

That's my goal. My goal is that my every moment should be a meditation. Each moment I should be in the present without worrying about the past and the future. I believe one can live a monk-like life without going to the monastery.

A person who is Self-aware can be a far effective leader. It's simple a self-aware person won't be greedy, envious of their juniors, or of manipulative nature. His decisions won't be tainted with unwholesome emotions or thoughts.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2020, 12:23:33 AM by raushan »

Siddharth

  • Member
    • unlearning, relearning and letting go
Re: My view of meditation in day to day life
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2020, 04:41:27 PM »
I am curious what everyone here feels, but my introduction to meditation (through Osho) has always lead me to believe that the practise on the mat is only one of the tools to be meditative in life, in general.

I personally feel being in the moment has a lot to do with being brave at the face of all the things/habit patterns/complexes that make us go on auto-pilot mode or on a trip to one of our mental imagination/dialogue episodes... it is easier said than done of course, but having the goal to be mindful is perhaps the first step to face these "demons" within that cause us to drift from the present.

The practice of watching our thoughts is perhaps this. the thoughts or the waves are an invitation to ride along on them, into fantasies, dialogues etc. to watch them, is to say "no thank you". again and again and again, so that over time they decrease in frequency for a while, only to start appearing again, very frequently as we allow them to over time, weakening in our resolve.

This has atleast been my experience so far. A lot of times, I know I can be in the present, but as if voluntarily choose to give in to some kind of binge...maybe a part of me likes it too much to give away completely, and at present I am okay with that.
that being said, while learning some new skill, like a chord progression on the mandolin, or a piece on violin, or while thinking and typing like now, or when I am fatigues and still continue to run, giving everything I have, those are the moments that force me to be in the moment, and I try to inculcate these in my day apart from the sitting on the mat part.

Currently, though I do not have some specific target, the way I act, says my target is: to have some handle on my body/mind, to be somewhat in control, but also let things go wild and allow the body/mind to indulge to a point. The control - indulgence balance keeps oscillating, and I voluntarily put leverage to maintain the balance. I sincerely feel, this is the best I want to do at present. Knowing the merits of control, and the demerits of indulgence, I am not ready to yet resolve to let go of all the indulgence, and have total order; or at least this is how I act.

Warm regard, and hoping from other insights,
Siddharth
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

dharma bum

  • Member
  • Certified Zen Master (second degree black belt)
    • vipassana
Re: My view of meditation in day to day life
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2020, 11:07:52 PM »
Quote
I am curious what everyone here feels, but my introduction to meditation (through Osho) has always lead me to believe that the practise on the mat is only one of the tools to be meditative in life, in general.

There are people you meet who appear to be deeply content without doing any meditation.
Among historical figures, Socrates faced his death with equanimity. Gandhi and Mandela
attained some inner peace despite being activists. There is no record of Jesus sitting in the lotus
position doing AnaPana. :)
Mostly ignorant

raushan

  • Member
  • from India
    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: My view of meditation in day to day life
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2020, 05:44:35 AM »
I am curious what everyone here feels, but my introduction to meditation (through Osho) has always lead me to believe that the practise on the mat is only one of the tools to be meditative in life, in general.

Hi Siddharth,

As per my current understanding, We realize the present moment when our mind is free of thought. It can happen in various ways. Many people experience this while pursuing their craft with devotion. I personally had a glimpse of it while doing the meditation. For a few moments, I was able to see my mind free of past thinking and future planning. It was wonderful.

Quote
I personally feel being in the moment has a lot to do with being brave at the face of all the things/habit patterns/complexes that make us go on auto-pilot mode or on a trip to one of our mental imagination/dialogue episodes... it is easier said than done of course, but having the goal to be mindful is perhaps the first step to face these "demons" within that cause us to drift from the present.

Yes, I agree most of the time our mind is trying to escape from the present moment either by reacting with physical activity. We can also escape by doing just the mental activity. Yes, there are a lot of things that need to be resolved before we can experience the present moment. The past issues may vary from person to person. For me personally, I had a lot of anger stored inside me for the reasons I can not discuss here.


Quote
The practice of watching our thoughts is perhaps this. the thoughts or the waves are an invitation to ride along on them, into fantasies, dialogues etc. to watch them, is to say "no thank you". again and again and again, so that over time they decrease in frequency for a while, only to start appearing again, very frequently as we allow them to over time, weakening in our resolve.

This has atleast been my experience so far. A lot of times, I know I can be in the present, but as if voluntarily choose to give in to some kind of binge...maybe a part of me likes it too much to give away completely, and at present I am okay with that.
that being said, while learning some new skill, like a chord progression on the mandolin, or a piece on violin, or while thinking and typing like now, or when I am fatigues and still continue to run, giving everything I have, those are the moments that force me to be in the moment, and I try to inculcate these in my day apart from the sitting on the mat part.

Watching thoughts happen once we develop a certain level of awareness and concentration I guess. Otherwise, thoughts can easily sway us as you mentioned. Once we can start observing our thoughts then a lot of interesting things can be noticed. For example, I find how thoughts pop up in my head having a judgment about some people I met. When I examine the thought I find it has no logical base to exist it. If I were not conscious of it I would generally take an action based on a thought which has no logical base. I don't know why this thought popped up in the first place. I must have certainly taken action a lot of times in the past. And it creates conflict.

So yes a lot of thoughts that come up in our head aren't useful but it hurt us if we aren't aware of them. Because we unconsciously act on it. So examining thoughts can teach us a lot of things. I also feel that just ignoring thoughts isn't enough. We should be able to recognize which kind of thoughts create worry, which kind of thoughts create regret, which kind of thoughts creates which emotions. There are many more that I don't know yet.

I am still aware of only very few thoughts maybe 5%(also not always). Playing Music can be helpful though I never tried it. Yes, I agree those habits definitely force our mind to not go into the default mode. It's good you do that.

Quote
Currently, though I do not have some specific target, the way I act, says my target is: to have some handle on my body/mind, to be somewhat in control, but also let things go wild and allow the body/mind to indulge to a point. The control - indulgence balance keeps oscillating, and I voluntarily put leverage to maintain the balance. I sincerely feel this is the best I want to do at present. Knowing the merits of control, and the demerits of indulgence, I am not ready to yet resolve to let go of all the indulgence and have total order; or at least this is how I act.


I think it's not bad to be indulgent occasionally if you are consistent with the meditation or you feel you are progressing by other means.

Earlier, I feel I have wasted my time in frivolous pursuits so I feel I have to make up for that. I caught up some bad mental habits over the years. Now I am able to realize how it has been harming me so I try to be aware as much as possible. Because that is the only way I am able to see a way out of it. I feel we automatically let go of things once we are able to see their consequence. Forcing ourselves may not be such a good idea. We need to be just aware of.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2020, 07:25:49 AM by raushan »

Middleway

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  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: My view of meditation in day to day life
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2020, 11:47:59 AM »
I suggest you read “meditations by Jiddu Krishnamurti”. It is a small 13 page collection of his musings on meditation. It is freely available on the net.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

stillpointdancer

  • stillpointdancer
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  • Retired teacher, deepening understanding of Dharma
    • Insight meditation
    • Exploring the results of 30 years of meditating
Re: My view of meditation in day to day life
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2020, 01:05:05 PM »
In the modern world, we see meditation and professional career exclusive to each other. We find time to meditate. And we treat meditation as a self-improvement tool. But this isn't the case and I believe it's a wrong view.


It may be the case that some people think that meditation should take up so much of your time that you can't have a career, but of course this isn't so, and you can easily make time for meditations no matter how busy you are. Whether it will make you more successful depends on more factors than the changes meditation brings about. Many businesses do not respond well to 'Mr Nice Guy' strategies and you may find yourself having to make decisions which do not sit well with the new 'you'. Meditation is not an exact tool for development in that you can't use it to bring about the changes you want to happen in everyday life. Having said that, the more people who do meditate the better we will treat each other.
“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

raushan

  • Member
  • from India
    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: My view of meditation in day to day life
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2020, 06:12:14 PM »
I suggest you read “meditations by Jiddu Krishnamurti”. It is a small 13 page collection of his musings on meditation. It is freely available on the net.

Hi Middleway,

I will definitely read it. I like Krishnamurti's writings.

raushan

  • Member
  • from India
    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: My view of meditation in day to day life
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2020, 06:21:44 PM »
It may be the case that some people think that meditation should take up so much of your time that you can't have a career, but of course this isn't so, and you can easily make time for meditations no matter how busy you are. Whether it will make you more successful depends on more factors than the changes meditation brings about. Many businesses do not respond well to 'Mr Nice Guy' strategies and you may find yourself having to make decisions which do not sit well with the new 'you'. Meditation is not an exact tool for development in that you can't use it to bring about the changes you want to happen in everyday life. Having said that, the more people who do meditate the better we will treat each other.

Hi spd,

I agree with your statement that many companies/Businesses are not congruent with the path of meditation. I myself feel many things designed in the companies is to make a people slave. Working hard to get promotion or to competing with the fellow colleague so to get better impression from their managers. These things are hindrances to freedom. Even people at the top in the hierarchy position will likely be compromising their freedom to a certain degree. Once we reach a certain level of awareness it's hard to do the same thing which every person is doing.

I think a person on the path to freedom will more likely pursue a creative pursuit like writing, music, artist, or research. But I also believe that it is possible to create a company that aligns with the path of meditation. I believe Elon Musk companies are working mostly to better humanity not to suck people attention and resources. So I think founding a new company which doesn't follow the usual path most company take will be a good idea. That's what a person should do.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2020, 06:23:25 PM by raushan »

mobius

  • Member
    • vipassana
Re: My view of meditation in day to day life
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2021, 03:53:23 AM »
It may be the case that some people think that meditation should take up so much of your time that you can't have a career, but of course this isn't so, and you can easily make time for meditations no matter how busy you are. Whether it will make you more successful depends on more factors than the changes meditation brings about. Many businesses do not respond well to 'Mr Nice Guy' strategies and you may find yourself having to make decisions which do not sit well with the new 'you'. Meditation is not an exact tool for development in that you can't use it to bring about the changes you want to happen in everyday life. Having said that, the more people who do meditate the better we will treat each other.

Hi spd,

I agree with your statement that many companies/Businesses are not congruent with the path of meditation. I myself feel many things designed in the companies is to make a people slave. Working hard to get promotion or to competing with the fellow colleague so to get better impression from their managers. These things are hindrances to freedom. Even people at the top in the hierarchy position will likely be compromising their freedom to a certain degree. Once we reach a certain level of awareness it's hard to do the same thing which every person is doing.

I think a person on the path to freedom will more likely pursue a creative pursuit like writing, music, artist, or research. But I also believe that it is possible to create a company that aligns with the path of meditation. I believe Elon Musk companies are working mostly to better humanity not to suck people attention and resources. So I think founding a new company which doesn't follow the usual path most company take will be a good idea. That's what a person should do.

This reminds me of a story told by a missionary friend of my parents when I was a kid that forever left and impression on me. I won't be able to tell the story exactly the way it was but I'll do my best.

There was a businessman who was part of some kind of odd program to invite or sponsor people from a poor place in Africa, think it was Mozambique, to come to America and get a college education with the promise of a job.

They found a poor father of several children fishing by a river. He lived in a small house, little more than a shack. He literally fished for his meal and his family every day. There was one well in town that everyone used. He spent most if not all of his life in this little town caring for his family. The businessman told him of his proposal. The fisherman asked him
"Why would I want to go to college in America?"
The businessman said;
"So you can get a high paying job!"
"Why would I want a high paying job?"
"Well you can work there for a number of years, say thirty or forty, saving money, get a good retirement plan and then..." The businessman smiled broadly. "that's where the real reward comes."
"What's that?"
"You can move into a house near a river, relax, fish and be with your family..."


I'm  missing some key points to the story but the point was that the fisherman already had everything that the businessman was selling essentially. All the end goals of retirement; he had it. He had that relaxing simple life already, even though he was poor.

I worked with a guy who did nothing but complain about his job then when he retired he came back to work part-time cause he said he had nothing to do.
You really can't make this stuff up...
"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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  • Certified Zen Master (second degree black belt)
    • vipassana
Re: My view of meditation in day to day life
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2021, 05:27:47 AM »
Quote
I think a person on the path to freedom will more likely pursue a creative pursuit like writing, music, artist, or research.

The ideal life is to be a monk in some monastery in some mountains and you can do some art, or write poetry because you need to do something. Then once in a while, you come down to the village and drink some sake and spend some time with the village prostitute. I think that is what they did in zen monasteries. Sigh.
Mostly ignorant

Dhamma

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    • Zen/Tibetan/Theravada
Re: My view of meditation in day to day life
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2021, 05:42:19 PM »
Quote
I think a person on the path to freedom will more likely pursue a creative pursuit like writing, music, artist, or research.

The ideal life is to be a monk in some monastery in some mountains and you can do some art, or write poetry because you need to do something. Then once in a while, you come down to the village and drink some sake and spend some time with the village prostitute. I think that is what they did in zen monasteries. Sigh.
[/quote]

That may have been so for many Zen monks in the day - I do not know. It is not for me judge. I don't know enough about these stories, even if they are very true. It doesn't make Zen teachings any less true, however. Many monks are corrupt in all traditions. But that doesn't make the Dhamma any less true, does it?

There have been nomads and wanderers who were enlightened, and no one knew about them. They are Buddhist monks and nuns who are also very enlightened, but we might no even know their names. We only know those who have gone rogue, or don't live up to the Dhamma's teachings.

We all know that being a monk or nun doesn't make you enlightened in and of itself. It is the complete and perfect application of the Holy Dhamma that does that.
 
Ajahn Nyanamoli Thero says that while it is theoretically possible to live wealthy and be enlightened (not be attached), it is not so in practice.

Peace and enlightenment
You are already Buddha

May we see clearly the emptiness of all phenomena

 

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