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Meditation

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cfer, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. cfer

    cfer Active Member

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    I've read about lots of different ways of meditating. But now I'm curious:

    For those that meditate, what technique do you use?
     
  2. Feathers in Hair

    Feathers in Hair World's Tallest Hobbit

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    Guided meditation works well for me, as well as staring at a candle.
     
  3. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    I've used guided meditation before with good results. Today, I use a concentration on breathing with a background blanket of classical music.
     
  4. Fluffy

    Fluffy A fool

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    Hehe staring at a candle just makes me sneeze :). Whenever I meditate I have to have complete silence (normally requiring ear plugs) and a soft surface to sit on (like my bed). I sit cross legged mostly because I can sit that way for a long while without getting pins and needles. Then I begin by first steadying and then slowing down my breathing.
     
  5. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I find soothing music, with a focus - like your candle Feathers-works well indoors. Outdoors, I can just stroll through the trees in the park, and listen to nature.....:)
     
  6. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    Meditating is a very big fad these days. But alot of people don't do it right. All they are basically doing are relaxing. But meditation in the past has always been seen to be a very serious spiritual endeavor. A zen buddhist meditates to achieve enlightenment, not to get rid of stress. I use taoist meditation and chi gung. But I also use drumming and moving meditation. The key to any meditation is rigid comfort, this means that one needs to be comfortable but not too comfortable. Alot of people like to lay down, well if you can do that without falling asleep then be my guest. But the majority do fall asleep. Another key to meditation is focus, not just focusing on a candle, but focusing the mind without objective perception. Focus is necessary for the mind to be able to be controlled. Alot of people also think meditation is just quieting the mind, or thinking of nothing. Well either way is impossible unless you can focus and control your mind. Taoist meditation focuses on chi, and the way it moves throughout your body and your environment. And you can manipulate it to make you healthier, stress free, more energetic, etc... This is called chi gung. There are many ways to meditate, but they all take MUCH practice and discipline. Its not something that is easily learned. But once it is learned, it can be the greatest achievement in a spiritual field.
     
  7. robtex

    robtex Veteran Member

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  8. cfer

    cfer Active Member

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    Isn't chi gung often referred to as "moving meditation"? How do you focus on chi?

    Okay. I've often heard that about thinking of nothing, but never understood it. Is there something in particular that you're supposed to be focusing on? I know that there is a Buddhist technique that concentrates on a mantra. Are there other meditation techniques of focusing your mind?

    I know it sounds funny, but I don't really know what I'm supposed to be focusing on while I'm meditating.

    Thank you, everyone, for your help and sharing your stories.
     
  9. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    Chi gung is the practice of manipulating chi throughout your body. It can be done while doing moving meditation, but that isn't the norm. You focus on chi by first detecting it. Learning to recognize it and how it moves. Then you can begin to focus on its movement, and then be able to control it. Its of course harder than that, but that is basically how it works.

    The thinking about nothing part is kind of a misunderstanding. Its more along the lines of letting your thoughts rise, and just letting them drop. You don't want to suppress any thoughts because that will cause stress. There are many ways of practicing focus. The mantras which you talked about are one way, focusing on your breathing is another. Focusing on the candle is another, focusing on a beat to a song, (or yourself drumming) is another, if your in the woods: focusing on all the sounds you hear, or all the smells, feelings etc... Focusing on your emotions, on others emotions, etc... There are many many ways. I suppose it depends on where you are, what you have at your disposal, and what you want to accomplish by your meditation.
     
  10. cfer

    cfer Active Member

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    How do you detect chi? Can you actually feel it flowing throughout you? What does it feel like?
     
  11. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    you can feel it flowing throughout your body. I can't really say what it feels like. Heres a fun exercise I do with people. Put your palms close to each other but not touching. Now close your eyes and imagine your palms touching (but don't move your hands.) If you feel something, than that is chi. ALot of people criticize that and say it is all in the mind, well maybe. But thats only the beginning. You can even go up to other people and put your palms close to theirs and do the same thing, experiment with the different feelings, temperatures, etc... Its hard to do without an instructor though. But you can try it.
     
  12. ayani

    ayani member

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    i meditate both in meeting and on my own, and both are silent. i find that the more pomp i put into mediation, the less i get out of it. just sitting on my bed or on the ground works better for me than sitting on a cushion or with crossed legs.
     
  13. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Strange that you should mention that, M.V, that is exactly the same way I demonstrate 'Ki' as I call it (What's in a name?)- it doesn't often seem to impress though, people find excuses, reasons.:help:
     
  14. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I was sort of snickered at on another thread when I mentioned that I can feel energy fields...what you're calling chi. When I bring my palms together, it sort of feels like I have a balloon between my hands. Oh...and meditating was a big fad back in the 1969 when I started. Would it still be called a fad 36 years later? ;)

    I never meditate lying down because I just fall asleep. I usually sit cross legged in a big comfy chair and sit upright. I've used a variety of techniques but it just depends on my mood. When I use music, my favorites are Gregorian chanting or native american drumming. One of my favorite CD's is called Sacred Spirits. Generally I use music when I've had a really stressful day.

    For awhile now I've been trying to clear my thoughts of everything and just "wait" as in:

    "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they run, and not be weary; and shall walk, and not faint."
    Isaiah 40:31

    It's not impossible, but there is no way I could have done this when I first started meditating. Even now, I have a difficult time shutting my brain down when I've had a stressful day...although if I can manage it, the results are worth it!
     
  15. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    Well, in japanese and korean, the word is "ki". It is the same thing as "chi", but "chi" is chinese. Also spelled "Qi", but the Q is pronounced "ch". So what we are talking about is indeed the same thing. They do find excuses, and rightly they should. But when they start to say it's just body heat, that is still a part of chi. They are just using a different term. :D

    And Melody, Meditation has been around MUCH longer than 36 years, as I'm sure you know. It is not, and will not be a fad to those who seriously practice it.
     
  16. Doc

    Doc Space Chief

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    Ah, I am afraid I am partially guilty as being a fad follower. Although I learned of meditation on my own and not from anyone. I use meditation for several different ways. Since I am no where near Enlightenment, I use it for simpler reasons. Partially it is to relieve stress at the end of the day. I find it relaxing and helps me awake more energized in the morning. I have performed better at school this way. However, I use it to resolve personal problems in a calm and careful way. Whether they be social problems with friends and family or deeper issues, I have resolved several by meditating.

    Another is releasing my anxiety which used to be a problem for me. I would get worried over useless things and always feel like I was forgetting something. After reading a book on meditation and inner healing, I have become more immune to anxiety.

    And the sleeping thing...well that has only happened once. When meditating, I lock my door, dim the lights or turn them off, put on some light soul music, sit in preferred position on the floor, and focus on an object. When I was finished, I laid on my back, and drifted off for an hour. (I think that Jazzy music got to me:cool: )

    Anyway, I have only recently started, and hope to learn much more about the art of meditation.:)
     
  17. Engyo

    Engyo Prince of Dorkness!

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    In my Buddhist tradition, we practice four forms of meditation formally (say that three times fast!). These are (in order of frequency): Sutra recitation/mantra chanting; silent sitting; writing meditation (copying sutras, mantras or Buddhist images using brush and sumi ink); & walking meditation (with or without mantra recitation). Each of these is incorporated (in various ways) into formal meditation services, which are done at various times (generally at the practitioner's discretion). If I am agitated and upset or nervous, for example, I would probably not want to try a writing meditation service; it would only increase my frustration. However, mantra chanting is a wonderful antidote for that sort of mental state, so I would most likely choose that type of service as opposed to another at that particular time. I have come to truly apreciate this flexibility.

    In addition to formal meditation services, almost any act of daily life can be performed as a meditation, if approached properly. As one becomes more proficient in the use of meditation, the mindfulness and peace of it can be carried over into the chaos and insanity we deal with each day, where it is arguably most useful. Mantra chanting, for example, can be done while driving, or at one's desk (generally under the breath), to help achieve a state of calm and concentration. Naturally, I am not trying to accomplish any spiritual "work" at that point, but using my familiarity with this meditation style to help achieve a mental state conducive to accomplishing what I am currently doing. Since Buddhism is meant to apply to the entirety of one's life, I find this approach completely compatible with the Eightfold Path.
     
  18. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    On the subject of 'chi', 'ki', I have learned Reiki (only to the first stage) - next stages involve distance healing and then teaching reiki to others; I feel no particular need to study those.

    As I walk my dog in the morning, I often come across a couple who have two dogs; one is a mongrel, the other is a little King Charles spaniel called 'Charlotte'.

    The owners have been through a very rough time with the spaniel. She has been unwell for a long time, has seen specialists, had scans, doses of antibiotics, but no one can tell what is wrong with her - at first they thought it was an e-coli infection.

    One day, I was making a fuss of her (The man was telling me she wasn't very friendly), and I surreptitiously tried to give her some healing. Animals (apparently) are much more 'attuned' to the forces of nature than we are, and I always understood that if one tries reikic - for practice on an animal, that they get bored very soon, and try to run away.

    This little Spaniel did not do so; she is slowly on the mend, although no one knows exactly what she is suffering from, she still has to have painkillers - especially at night, when she apparently wakes up crying.

    I saw the couple today, and as with every occasion since my trying to help her with reiki, she almost 'seems to be asking me for help' - I know that sounds fanciful, but that is what I feel; I made a fuss of her, and spent five or so minutes. The owners cannot understand why she likes me, or indeed why she lets me touch her head - which normally evokes a yelp of pain from her.

    Call it what you will, I believe it is helping her. The worst that you can accuse me of is being a 'well meaning gullible' person.

    There was also one time, when walking through the centre of town; I noticed some carers, taking people with cerebral palsy, through the shopping centre in wheelchairs. I was in a hurry, and rushed off to buy what I wanted to buy. I saw them again half an hour later - and one of the women in the wheelchairs was very agitated; as I was meeting my wife very shortly, I had to move on once again.

    Marie and I had lunch, and she wanted to do some more window shopping, so I went off on my own again. There was the same lady, still agitated, or maybe agitated again; the carer looked a little worn down.

    I am actually quite shy; for me to go and ask the carer if I could try reiki on her charge was an effort - she looked confused, and said, well, I suppose it would'nt hurt. I sat with the lady, right in the middle of the precinct, giving her reiki - feeling so embarassed being seen by the crowds, and yet I managed to stay for ten minutes during which time the lady in the chair slowly calmed down, much to the relief of the carer.

    reiki, coincidence - I don't honestly know - there is no way of knowing; but in my own mind, I am pretty certain:eek:
     
  19. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    My point was that I was practicing it 36 years ago....and it was considered a fad then. Can it possibly be considered a fad *still*?

    Or was it considered a fad 300 years ago too? :D
     
  20. Engyo

    Engyo Prince of Dorkness!

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    Meditation was a religious practice before Buddha's time, well over 2000 years ago.
     
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