Author Topic: Guided meditation  (Read 3853 times)

mik1e

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Guided meditation
« on: November 30, 2009, 02:32:07 PM »
“Is there anything stopping you adding this to the forums?”

Actually, nothing (except a lot of typing  ;D)  As I understand, you ask me whether I can describe in details what will happen during the sessions.

However, from my point of view, this will be useless. The main reason is that the greatest problem for a beginner is to switch from the “language of words” to the “language of states”. When you read the text, your rational (mental) part of the mind activates first. But for successful practice, you have to switch it off and translate the obtained information to wordless commands which can be directly percept by the body. (Mental energies are good for formal, logical thinking, but without proper balancing, they make the body stiff.) Finally, you stop thinking in words and start percept the world directly in body’s states. If you have such skill, you are definitely not a beginner and need not help of such kind.

The main purpose of online practice will be not to chat or to listen to nice stories, but to help people to get directly into the certain state – for example, the state of sitting with straight spine. When they get this body experience, we can move to the next task. To achieve this goal, I need to see everybody and correct his/her mistakes just at the moment when they appear. That’s why I can't just describe the practice in words and for the same reason it’s useless to describe in forum what will happen during the session – each session will be unique and the recommendations will be specific for given person and for his/her current state. Such recommendations allow the person to remain in the thoughtless state during the session, which is the most important for a beginner.

On the other hand, these sessions can’t substitute the individual (and active!) work – they just can give one “the taste of” the state, but you have to work hard to find this state in your everyday life and to make it “your own”.

mik1e

  • Guest
Re: Guided meditation
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2009, 10:51:15 PM »
Hi,

I'm grateful to moderators who put my post in separate thread. That means that we think in the same direction, and this is really great!

I would be glad if practitioners (especially beginners) will ask their questions here.

I am teaching people to work with consciousness for about 20 years, and I have learned that problems in mastering the person's consciousness are essentially the same for everybody, especially on the first stages. On the other hand, there are rather simple principles and techniques which can be used to boost the first steps in the practice.

Having scientific background, I prefer to explain all techniques in modern terms and in simple language. Being described in this way, ancient practices become more familiar to modern people and easier to understand.

Best,

Michael.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Guided meditation
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2009, 06:45:22 AM »
Michael,

It made sense so further discussion would not be of two subjects in one thread. Glad you get that.

In fact I was wondering where and how you host these conversations? That rather than the specific nature of them with my above question although that is of interest too.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

mik1e

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Re: Guided meditation
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2009, 02:20:44 PM »
In fact I was wondering where and how you host these conversations? That rather than the specific nature of them with my above question although that is of interest too.
Matthew,

Now I am working with people individually using Skype videochat. This allows everybody to work in convenient environment. For working with several persons at once I think to use one of teleconference services. I have checked the TokBox service once, but it had too large delays, so this may be an issue. Or I will have to use one of paid services.

I need to see the one's body position and movements to correct his/her mistakes. It is the only reason for using video on the student's side. I myself don't use web-cam (actually, I don't have it :))

Here is a promo text which I have prepared. I hope that it those who need it to start working with me.
===========================================================
I want to organize the online guided group for learning the basics of work with consciousness. The group is targeted to strongly motivated beginners who do not have practical experience in such kind of work or have problems, which they cannot solve themselves.

My main goal is to give clear, simple and efficient techniques to everybody who really needs them. Please draw attention that “simple” does not mean “easy”. There are rigorous laws of nature on which every efficient technique is based on, and you can use these laws, but you cannot get round them.

Why guided practice allows you to get better results?

It is clear that you can master almost any technique yourself – just by observing your body and consciousness.

However, to be able to work in this way, you have to train your body and mind for such kind of activity. This training is especially difficult for beginners because the whole society constantly “pushes” you into various ego-focused states (fears, egoistic love, competition, dogmatism, etc., etc.) In addition, you have the body, poisoned by wrong food and bad habits. So, when you begin to practice, the first thing, that you actually do, is fighting with all these obstacles. This is really very difficult, because you actually have to do two things at the same time: (a) to fight with your body’s habits and social pressure, and (b) to do your practice.

The role of the guide in the guided practice is to help the practitioner to focus solely on the practice. The guide watches the person, sees the mistakes (s)he does, lets the practitioner know of these mistakes, and helps him/her to correct them. This allows you to dramatically boost the initial stages of your practice and literally “jump” into the state.

Does guided practice make me free from personal work?

No, in no way! You still have to work hard if you want to be the master of your consciousness. The guided sessions let you quickly “come in contact” with the certain state, but you have to find this state in your everyday life to make it “your own”. So, the main part of your practice is between sessions. That’s why strong motivation is highly important for success of the practice.

The main goals of online practice are to develop the next basic skills and states:
   habit for keeping the spine and neck straight;
   abdominal breathing. Medics say that "normal" rate of breathing is 10-15 breaths a minute. I am sure that for really healthy body this parameter should be about 2-3 breaths a minute;
   observation of energy flow;
   mind calming;
   observation of processes in the person's consciousness.

Basic conditions:

1) You have to understand that forming of any state of the body takes certain time. The more time you spend in the specific state, the quicker your body adapts to it.

2) Regularity. Two sessions a week is only the minimum, which allows you to keep the state more or less alive. The longer are gaps in your practice, the longer it takes the result to come. If you decided to work – come and work!

3) Work between sessions. Don’t be lazy! Regular everyday practice is very important for your real progress.

4) Technical details:
   Constant Internet connection (128 kbps or higher).
   Web-cam (I need to see the position and movements of your body).
   Headphones (speakers) and microphone.
   No distractive factors during the session (loud sounds, relatives, kids, etc.)

If you have questions, please feel free to ask them here.

If you decide to join the group, please contact me by email: esosci_at_gmail_dot_com

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Guided meditation
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2009, 07:51:48 PM »
Michael,

This forum would not exist except for Skype :) The founder of the original vipassanaforum.com tuned in to one of my Skypecasts on meditation some three years ago. Shame they stopped that service. It was excellent.

Do you charge people for your time or is this an offering of Dhamma?

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

mik1e

  • Guest
Re: Guided meditation
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2009, 10:35:40 PM »
Do you charge people for your time or is this an offering of Dhamma?
Matthew,

I charge for the sessions for two reasons:

1) I want to make this service my real profession, i.e. gain money for life by making something what I like and what is really useful for other people. And I have to help a lot of people, since I want to put into life some R&D projects which I am thinking of for many years. Current technical means allow me to help dozens, but I want to help millions. So, from this point of view I consider charging as some kind of "fair exchange": I help you to grow, you help me to survive and realize projects which let me help even more people.

2) I am using the payment as some kind of filter, which has to “cut off” curious people who don’t know what they are namely doing in their life.  I have seen a lot of such guys when I worked with big group. They are happy to eat some nice energy, and to get “something new and unusual” and than chat about it in every corner, but they are absolutely not ready to change a bit. I want to see on the screen the person who does ready to change and ready to pay for it – by his/her time, efforts, relationships with the world... For such people the charge, which I will ask for, should not be a big deal. Anyway, this charge should not be too big – I don’t want to turn my work in moneymaking.

Michael.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Guided meditation
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2009, 07:52:53 AM »
Michael,

If it helps people I expect your business will come from word of mouth. I don't see anything fundamentally wrong with charging reasonable sums for help practicing the Dhamma - as the idea of doing an alms round in My local district scares the hell out of me. I reckon three door and you'd be slapped in the face.

Also you are very right there are many faux-new age energy vampires to be found everywhere. Ego feeding on Dhamma messes people up so the filter is not stupid.

The one thing I would say is to remember compassion for the ones who are serious and cant pay.

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

mik1e

  • Guest
Re: Guided meditation
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2009, 10:45:32 AM »
The one thing I would say is to remember compassion for the ones who are serious and cant pay.
Matthew,

Yes, I thought about this. I don't think that it will be a problem if in group of 10-15 people there will be 1 or 2 "free" members. But to talk about these things, I need to have working group first. Until that moment such people are free to ask me questions here.

Now I want to ask you a question: Do you know somebody who may need such "coaching"? Usually the first step is the most difficult, and personal recommendation helps to overcome the psychological barrier. And I know that many people who do can get real help from working in such group, don't look in Internet for such information. If you can find such person and bring him/her in contact with me, and I can help him/her to go deeper in practice, it will be good Dhamma for both of us.

You may explain people that first contact does not make them obliged. We will communicate via Skype and make a test session for 30-60 minutes, so that I could understand the level of the practitioner and his/her problems, and (s)he could understand what is going on during the session. And then the person will decide does this worth his/her time and money or not.

The only thing I can say is that until now everybody who passed the first session decided to work further.

Michael.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 10:46:14 AM by mik1e »

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Guided meditation
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2009, 08:13:43 AM »
Michael,

I do not know anyone who needs this service. Nor would I recommend anyone based on our short, to date, interactions. Not being rude or denying that what you offer may be of use - more a question of my personal ethics of responibility towards this community and practitioners in general. Based on descriptions from you I am not in possession of enough information. I woud need to meet you probably but certainly speak to you on Skpe for some time and have a relationship with you beyond typed characters on a screen.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

mik1e

  • Guest
Re: Guided meditation
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2009, 10:13:06 AM »
Michael,

I do not know anyone who needs this service. Nor would I recommend anyone based on our short, to date, interactions. Not being rude or denying that what you offer may be of use - more a question of my personal ethics of responibility towards this community and practitioners in general. Based on descriptions from you I am not in possession of enough information. I woud need to meet you probably but certainly speak to you on Skpe for some time and have a relationship with you beyond typed characters on a screen.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew

Matthew,

Your position is absolutely normal and expected. I myself would do so, too. So, please contact me by e-mail, and we will communicate by Skype.

Michael.

bashmaki

  • Guest
Re: Guided meditation
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2009, 03:49:39 PM »
Mathew,
I gotta tell you; there are people out there desperate enough for a teacher to try most anything. Whether or not Michael can teach the basics of meditation via skype is, if anything, an interesting approach to distance learning. In the infancy of my practice I may have jumped on something like this; proven of course to be legitimate.

gus

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Guided meditation
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2009, 08:36:46 PM »
Dear Gus,

I know! Used to be one. Then found two amazing teachers who taught me more than I thought I was capable of learning.

The Dhamma I am able to offer here and share flows from their generosity and their genuine depth of practice and compassion. Virtues they taught me well. Caution in finding help is always appropriate though as there are a lot of messed up people teaching nonsense.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

bashmaki

  • Guest
Re: Guided meditation
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2009, 09:34:23 PM »
Dear Gus,

I know! Used to be one. Then found two amazing teachers who taught me more than I thought I was capable of learning.

The Dhamma I am able to offer here and share flows from their generosity and their genuine depth of practice and compassion. Virtues they taught me well. Caution in finding help is always appropriate though as there are a lot of messed up people teaching nonsense.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew




Matthew,
I hear you on the "messed up people teaching nonsense" bit. I'd say your being generous with that remark.
BTW, where did you find your teachers anyway? Were they local? Or did you travel?

gus

mik1e

  • Guest
Re: Guided meditation
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2009, 01:57:34 AM »
Matthew,

I am still waiting for your e-mail. I don't want to put here my Skype contact.

Gus has got my idea:I want to develop and check the technology for distant learning such things as Vipassana and correct meditation. Having mastered the basics, the person then can look for deeper teachings form lamas or in monastery. We live in 21st century, so why don't we use its possibilities? I see nothing wrong in trying this myself. What I am doing now works fine for those whom I working with, but I would like to make this technology as common as any other distant learning. If we wait for high lamas to do this, it may take several hundred years more :)

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Guided meditation
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2009, 04:54:31 AM »
Matthew,

I am still waiting for your e-mail. I don't want to put here my Skype contact.

That's why we have the private message system :) PM me your skype name and I will add you straight away.

Best,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

mik1e

  • Guest
Re: Guided meditation
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2009, 07:09:30 PM »
Matthew,

I've PMed you my Skype address.

Michael.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Guided meditation
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2009, 01:45:59 AM »
Thanks Michael. Got it. What timezone are you in? We'll be able to speak hopefully tomorrow.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~