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TjD
07-19-2001, 10:15 PM
ok i had an interesting experience while meditating the other night... and was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience

i was doing normal sitting meditation - with a focus on trying to be aware of specific parts of my body

i was concentrating on my head for awhile, then i started to concentrate on the area where my 3rd eye (brow chakra) is located... then i felt a ball of energy traveling over some line around the back of my head to my crown chakra

i was wondering if this could be a meridian or something like that

has anyone else had experiences with this? perhaps when concentrating on different organs or systems in their body?

i was thinking mabye this is how all those old chinese men found out all them there pressure points and such things :)

peace
travis

if you never get into a fight,
you can never be defeated,
if you can never be defeated,
you are invincible

Nexus
07-19-2001, 11:45 PM
The mind created something subjective and you took it too literally. For thousands of years, the eastern world accessed the spiritual realm through etheogens as well as deep meditation. That was an explanation of mush of the talk in regards to what was seen in spiritual voyage. But, in regards to the chakras/meridians and so forth, that came from thousands of years of testing in acupuncture and acupressure.

What you saw was likely a distraction or created by the mind, and should probably be dismissed as such.

Clarity/Peace of Mind/Silence/Bliss/Serenity, that is meditation.

This may not be the answer you were looking for, but its an answer none the less.
- Nexus

Freedom is what you do with what is done to you. - Sartres

o
07-20-2001, 02:37 AM
Nexus, what's an etheogen? Do you mean entheogen? Also, do you know of any sources which trace the development of eastern spiritualism (including mysticism, qigong, mind training, religions, medicine, and all the rest...).

Thanks

o
07-20-2001, 02:50 AM
Nexus, here is what I think I know about the development (refer to above post). From this, I hope you get the idea of what I mean when I ask for that type of source (again, see above post).

From what I've seen, I think the origins of all this stuff is in India and the Indus Valley about 1000 B.C. (I'm not sure, however). There were ancient yogic systems back then and supposedly wall-carvings of people in the lotus posture. Then so-called barbarians came from the north. Eventually the 2 cultures mixed. Then travel was made to China and thus the Chinese shaman emerged. Here, it eventually turned into Daoism and qigong. Of course Buddhism re-emerged in the 6th century B.C. with Shakyamuni or Siddhartha (the Buddha of this aeon). Anyway, I hope you get the idea of what I'm inquiring about

TjD
07-20-2001, 08:47 PM
hey i was just looking for opinions - you were probably right

i always try to keep an open mind about such things anyhow - a correct answer is always better than the one i wanted

i do understand what you mean - my mind is a pretty **** tricky SOB; it can find the weirdest things to distract me, after i get up from meditation i always have a good laugh about that :) (if only i could recognize it during! hah ;) )

peace everyone :)
trav

if you never get into a fight,
you can never be defeated,
if you can never be defeated,
you are invincible

prana
07-21-2001, 02:28 AM
This is Samadhi.

Do not become attached to it, do not crave for later. Remain aware and equanimous.

It is a sign of progress, and arises differently in everyone. Some it feels as thin as a vein, for others, it is thick, like transformation of the whole torso into a heat channel.

My experience was the latter.

Did you find that everything was suddenly extremely beautiful and bright just after this experience ?

Recognise the vivid blue lights of Lord Vairochana.
Recognise the blinding white lights of Lord Aksobhya.
Recognise the brilliant yellow lights of Lord Ratnasambhava.
Recognise the fiery red lights of Lord Amithaba.
Recognise the pure green lights of Lord Amoghasiddhi.

origenx
07-21-2001, 10:55 PM
o - actually, as far as anyone knows, Taoism is indigenous and native to China. However, Buddhism is obviously an Indian import. As far as qigong, I'm not really up on the origins of that... In any case, over time, lots of these spiritual philosophies and energy techniques did all cross over and fuse together.

TjD
07-22-2001, 07:32 PM
i didnt get that bright and beauitful thing... although ive had similar experiences

i get the brightness all the time, but not the beautiful really


peace
travis

if you never get into a fight,
you can never be defeated,
if you can never be defeated,
you are invincible

joedoe
07-23-2001, 12:01 PM
All sorts of things happen when you meditate. Notice them but don't 'try' to get them to happen again. They are just experiences on your path of growth.

cxxx[]:::::::::::>
What we do in life echoes in Eternity

PlasticSquirrel
08-09-2001, 06:50 AM
there are pathways for qi to go through your body in so many places. most likely, a part of a large one way opened. energy balls are just a shape that energy can be made into. a ball is a very natural one at that, and the one that will occur without intention

i believe that when masters in the past were charting points and meridians, though, they simply saw them through their third eyes. in addition to looking into other dimensions, you can also look into this one, at the smallest bit of matter, or at our entire galaxy. of course, it is a long time before the third eye is opened and can be used in most schools of qigong.

dave the dragon
08-09-2001, 03:09 PM
quote from bruce lee "dont think feeel"

do your meditation and enjoy it dont wait for things to happen or have any expectations about what you think should happen "letting go"
will reap the most reward.(in my experience.)consistency is the key.


:D ;) :confused: :cool: :) etc!

TjD
08-09-2001, 06:35 PM
thats what i do :) this was just something i experienced in the process of trying to let go and relax myself, not something i was aiming for

i was just wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences

sorry if that came across wrong

peace
trav

Receive what comes, Escort what leaves, and if there is an opening, rush in

Void Boxing
10-20-2003, 03:35 AM
What do you feel meditation is for and what is its purpose in your life? Do you think its JUST energy? Or does it involve something deeper?

Thank you.

bodhitree
10-21-2003, 05:24 AM
not just energy
spiritual development.
a book I personally love states "if meditation has no effect on our daily lives, its not worth the time"

Meditation does not have to be formal sitting in the lotus position, I am best off if I try to stay in the here and now with a positive attitude all the time, and that is hard, very hard, so formal meditation is a practice method, all the other benefits are a bonus....

TaiChiBob
10-28-2003, 08:34 AM
Greetings..

Sometimes we neglect to realize that "Meditation" is something we do.. for me, the issue is much more importantly, what are we trying to accomplish.. Too often people mistake the ritual of Meditation for the goal it strives to achieve.. we can become great chanters, super Lotus sitters, master visualizers, and yet never realize the benefits of Meditation.. keep the goal in mind..

Be well...

Starchaser107
10-28-2003, 09:30 AM
Meditation is multi-faceted. It has a myriad of possibilities.
here are a few words I associate with meditation

Calming,
Centering,
Focus,
Isolation,
Connectedness,
Augmenting

it has the ability to be anything you want it to be.

BAI HE
10-29-2003, 07:34 AM
Sometimes people mistake meditation as a ritual instead of a practice. Meditation is an extremely personal practice. It means so many things to so many different people and is utilized by so many for different reasons IMHO.

Gold Horse Dragon
11-01-2003, 09:34 PM
MINDFULNESS

GHD

trilobite
11-08-2003, 07:36 AM
I try to do a few minutes of Hou Tien chi meditation every day. It really helps my Taiji, and it regulates breath, chi, and makes you stronger.

If I knew any I'd do Shien Tiech chi meditation too, but as of now I don't.

The main purpose of it for me is, well, GET STRONGER!

Scythefall
11-19-2003, 06:41 PM
I like Starchasers quick answers to it. I got into Meditation and Chi Gung after I had been studying Northern Shaolin for about 6 months. I was learning the Mantis style which is a very aggressive style and I noticed I was maintaining the aggression even after I was finished training. I was sizing people up and just carrying that attitude with me. First of all, that's not how I am, and second, i didn't like that I felt that way when I didn't intend to. I started out just doing simple grounding exercises from Chi Gung and then took up sitting meditations to work on simply focusing on the present. It wasn't hard to calm everything down and turn off that Mantis spirit, it just takes a little effort.

I meditate now to focus my mind and to be mindful of emotions that are out of balance and when I think on them, I can bring them back to balance.

bodhitree
11-20-2003, 06:21 AM
Mantak Chia said something like
"beginers meditate to relax, advanced practitioners relax to meditate"



GHD Right on!
:D

Azrael
11-21-2003, 05:18 PM
What do you feel meditation is for and what is its purpose in your life? Do you think its JUST energy? Or does it involve something deeper?

As Starchaser107 wisley stated, meditation is multi-faceted, and is different things for different people, For me, I meditate for many reasons, but primarily as a way to clear my mind. This alone allows for more mental clarity, focus, relaxation, centering, but most importantly self knowledge. I personally consider meditation to be a crucial aspect of my martial arts training. It is a very important part of the systems that I study. In fact, it is the base from which all else comes.

Gold Horse Dragon
11-22-2003, 09:10 PM
There is really only one purpose to meditation and that is MINDFULNESS. All the other items mentioned are what are considered side benefits of meditation. When one is Mindful, then he is aware and in the moment. An example of side benefits of awareness and being in the moment is knowing if you are relaxed or tense and if you are tense, you will be able to use your mind to relax. Being in the moment and aware also has obvious benefits for the martial artist.

GHD

SanSoo Student
12-11-2003, 07:41 AM
Meditation one key goals is to achieve Non-self, and she past the physical aspect of this world. With Mindfulness, a person can realize the true aspects of life and nature: that nothing is permanenthere, everything is always changing, and the best thing to try to do is livein the present.

TaiChiBob
12-11-2003, 09:38 AM
Greetings..

I see repetitive mentions of "mindfulness", when in fact, that is precisely what i intend to avoid.. I intend to avoid engaging the mind during the unfolding experiences, such that i don't introduce prejudices to the perceptions.. "mindfulness" is useful while moving toward the meditative state and afterward as we assimilate the experiences into a beneficial concept, but.. during meditation we should be empty, void of thought and permitting the experience to by-pass the prejudices resident in the mind and go directly to the spirit/soul where it can be referred to in its unprejudiced state.. naturally, immediately upon referring to it we introduce prejudices, but at least we have a clear starting point..

Be well...

dwid
12-11-2003, 09:44 AM
I think that is posited on a misunderstanding of mindfulness as it relates to meditation. Being mindful simply means being aware and awake and not clinging to each little bubble of thought that randomly goes through your brain during meditation. If you just want to experience what happens as it happens, but you don't want to be mindful, then what is the "you" that will be doing the experiencing. If you completely shut off your mind (if that's even possible) you wouldn't remember what you experience during meditation, so how could you interpret it later?

Gold Horse Dragon
12-11-2003, 12:26 PM
Originally posted by TaiChiBob
Greetings..

I see repetitive mentions of "mindfulness", when in fact, that is precisely what i intend to avoid.. I intend to avoid engaging the mind during the unfolding experiences, such that i don't introduce prejudices to the perceptions.. "mindfulness" is useful while moving toward the meditative state and afterward as we assimilate the experiences into a beneficial concept, but.. during meditation we should be empty, void of thought and permitting the experience to by-pass the prejudices resident in the mind and go directly to the spirit/soul where it can be referred to in its unprejudiced state.. naturally, immediately upon referring to it we introduce prejudices, but at least we have a clear starting point..

Be well...

Mindfulness is not the mind...that is the constantly chattering monkey mind. Mindfulness is Awareness of the moment without predjudices or at least being aware of predjudices, pre-conceptions, etc.etc. Mindfulness is like holding up a pure and clear mirror to reflect (show) what is really there (or not there!)

dwid understands it.

GHD

SanSoo Student
12-11-2003, 12:27 PM
Meditating without being mindful is just developing concentration. It is said that, that is the slow way of reaching enlightenment. But if you are aware of all that goes on in you body while breathing in and out with mindfulness, and shooting down the all thoughts that go into your mind, you are essentially being empty and only focusing on your breathing and what is happening to your body at the present moment. With alot of patience and practice, you will reach the first major goal of Buddhism: that is understand non-self. It may sound redundant like my last post but, eliminating the concept of I from your mind is not as easy as it sounds.

TaiChiBob
12-11-2003, 01:52 PM
Greetings..

Surely, i understand the concept of mindfulness.. the concept that "i" is not "what 'i' am".. i am not what i "think" i am, i am that which does the thinking.. i sense that we are dealing with the limitations of linguistics here.. i don't contend your explanations of mindfulness and i understand its application toward meditation.. my only assertion is that its best, for me, is loss of even the notion of mindfulness.. no longer concerned with the mechanics of meditation, or the the efforts to control the "mindful experience".. i become the experience.. (it is a most magical moment).. even entertaining the thought that this is really neat disolves its purity, to pursue it makes it more elusive.. it seems, to me, that hanging on to concepts like "mindfulness" is just one more speck of dust on "the mirror"...

Be well...

Gold Horse Dragon
12-11-2003, 07:10 PM
Originally posted by TaiChiBob
Greetings..

Surely, i understand the concept of mindfulness.. the concept that "i" is not "what 'i' am".. i am not what i "think" i am, i am that which does the thinking.. i sense that we are dealing with the limitations of linguistics here.. i don't contend your explanations of mindfulness and i understand its application toward meditation.. my only assertion is that its best, for me, is loss of even the notion of mindfulness.. no longer concerned with the mechanics of meditation, or the the efforts to control the "mindful experience".. i become the experience.. (it is a most magical moment).. even entertaining the thought that this is really neat disolves its purity, to pursue it makes it more elusive.. it seems, to me, that hanging on to concepts like "mindfulness" is just one more speck of dust on "the mirror"...

Be well...
Hey there Bob

Exactly...mindfulness is experience...being 100 % in the moment without concern...just being aware, no thought, no concern for control or no control...mindfulness is the just classical term to try to define the experience in the written word.

Be well...and...be there! :)

GHD

bodhitree
12-12-2003, 08:21 AM
I've only felt that a coulple times. I can never let go and be in the now.

scholar
12-12-2003, 10:46 AM
Who can? It isn't a decision that your conscious mind is able to make. Deciding not to decide is still deciding. As they say in Ch'an buddhism, you can't wash off blood with more blood.

This is where meditating, especially meditative physical disciplines like T'ai Chi Ch'uan, come in handy. They engage the mind and keep it busy long enough for the heart and body to take over for a minute or two. In a perfect situation, over time, you'll get better at paying more attention to your heart than your brain and not only will you feel better, you'll get better at it and eventually understand it well enough to teach others how to do it.

dwid
12-12-2003, 10:57 AM
Who can? It isn't a decision that your conscious mind is able to make. Deciding not to decide is still deciding. As they say in Ch'an buddhism, you can't wash off blood with more blood.

Or in the words of Rush (the band, not the pill-popping conservative mouthpiece), "If you choose not to choose, you still have made a choice."

Sorry, couldn't resist.

:D

TaiChiBob
12-12-2003, 02:48 PM
Greetings..

Choosing is a mental process.. You can, with training and good intent, simply respond "naturally", even if "naturally" is also a product of chosen training.. thought separates us from the experience, the time spent thinking about the experience is also the time we miss other experiences.. We can all "choose" to suspend thought in favor of the direct experience.. we do it when we listen to our favorite instrumental musics, no words to engage the mind, we simply suspend the thought and let the music massage the spirit.. if we are thinking about the music we aren't truly listening, just like when others talk to us.. if we're thinking of our responses we are not fully there for the conversation.. good conversation is slow and gentle, we hear the other completely.. then, we let the spirit respond, with our "truth"...

Anyway, i ramble too much.. Be well and Season's best to ALL..

Nexus
12-13-2003, 12:55 AM
TaiChiBob,

You really must stop criticizing yourself for talking so much, your ramblings are wonderful fun for my team of code-breakers to decipher! LoL!!! Just kidding pal!


As far as naturalness goes, a true connection of the mind and the heart aids in making our actions natural. Often we think we are going to get what we want by acting on the impulse of the mind and forget to make the journey to the heart. There is a saying my father would say: "The longest journey some people travel in their lives is between the head and the heart." and its true. Try and make that journey with each major decission or impulsive decission in your life, and you will find that your decissions are more natural and true to who you are.

Best of meditations to all =)

Volcano Admim
12-13-2003, 11:05 AM
you guys, i get into meditative state when masturbating
dead serious

backbreaker
12-13-2003, 01:49 PM
TaiChi Bob has broken the correct's neck with a punch. Excellent ideas. I practice a walking meditation where you breathe in for 4 or 6 steps , then hold for 2 steps , then out for 4 or 6 steps , hold for 2 , then breathe in again for 6 etc. When I concentrate on the meditation I am way more aware of all the sounds and what's going on around me , it's hard to explain. When I walk around regularly and conciously try to focus on things around me I miss most of what's around me and am unaware of alot.

Nexus
12-14-2003, 06:30 AM
Originally posted by backbreaker
TaiChi Bob has broken the correct's neck with a punch. Excellent ideas. I practice a walking meditation where you breathe in for 4 or 6 steps , then hold for 2 steps , then out for 4 or 6 steps , hold for 2 , then breathe in again for 6 etc. When I concentrate on the meditation I am way more aware of all the sounds and what's going on around me , it's hard to explain. When I walk around regularly and conciously try to focus on things around me I miss most of what's around me and am unaware of alot.

This makes sense. If we're walking, and we try to focus on each thing specifically, we enter into dualistic thinking.. for example, we focus on a branch, and we see the branch, not the tree. Focus on the tree, and we see the tree, not the forest. Focus on the forest.. etc.

By relaxing and breathing, we experience all the senses in full bloom, and our awareness is heightened, which could be thought of as our sixth sense. Take care.

Simon
02-22-2004, 06:39 PM
Hi all, thought i'd join this forum by starting a thread -

I've read (and heard) people from different styles relating the benefits of meditation / learning stillness from sitting etc when it comes to the surprise and adrenaline rush of an extreme encounter (read: fight / challenge match etc). The theory seems to be that if you can achieve real stillness in meditation, it will carry to your ability to retain some (or all) of the relaxation and flow that is so much easier to retain in training.

I was interested in any first hand accounts of anyone experiencing this?

I've only just started to regularly really test my reactions in a training situation and I can see the direct benefit of this sort of training - maybe there's an interplay between the both?

anerlich
02-22-2004, 08:21 PM
I seem to remember a study which found that monks who meditated heavily either reacted (via physiological events) less acutely, or recovered to normal much more quickly, than the controls.

The mental discipline brought about by meditation undoubtedly assists in dealing with the overactivity of the cerebrum which leads to destructive self talk.

The adrenal dump happens in the mid/reptilian brain. Whether you can control this with meditation, or whether you really would want to mess with your survival reflexes at that primitive level if you could, is IMO less clear cut.

Better and more practical (and quicker) IMO is structured rehearsall in the Kwoon of situations which cause the adrenal dump, so the student becomes acclimatised to it.

Structured breathing, rather than the mental aspect of meditation, is a conscious act which affects the autonomic nervous system and indirectly the viscera and hormonal systems, and thus this may be the more useful aspect at the mental level which IMO is more relevant.

Some people say your mental state during combat should equate that of meditation, but IMO this is wrong. Meditation requires an internal focus, and a fairly narrow one. Fighting requires a broad based external focus. If you are thinking about or viewing your own performance or state during a fight rather than the actual external events, you have added another opponent (yourself) to the fight and are headed on a downward spiral.

Not knocking meditation, it has loads of benefits for a martial artist or anyone else, and I practise it myself, but IMO a more direct approach will pay better dividends in a shorter time for the particular situation you discuss.

Ultimatewingchun
02-22-2004, 09:52 PM
Andrew:

You said that fighting requires a broad based external focus - not the fairly narrow internal focus that meditation requires and gives.

But in my understanding of meditation - the narrow focus, ie. - the concentration on the sound om (aum), for example - can and eventually SHOULD lead to a state of consciousness wherein the focus becomes more broad based...

The narrow focus (or conscious attempt at one-pointed concentration) is like a DOORWAY to pass through...and on the other side is the "free-flow"....

Like a jazz musician who memorizes the the notes in the solo (through memorization)...so well...and understands it's structure so well...that he eventually will be able to IMPROVISE on the theme without much conscious thought.

Likewise with fighting...as you know, in TWC the "focus' while fighting or sparring is on watching knees and elbows - but after MUCH experience with this...to the point where your defense is so good that getting hit, kicked, or grabbed becomes less and less likely...then the focus can become more all-encompassing than just watching these four points.

S.Teebas
02-22-2004, 10:06 PM
Fighting requires a broad based external focus.

I think it requires a broard focus starting from inside yourself.

For some poeple meditation can help find the inside... then expand the focus from there.

Simon
02-22-2004, 10:09 PM
i agree with the above-

Andrew - I find direct training is 99% of my slowly growing ability to retain my form under pressure

Victor - as a guitarist/saxophonist I have direct experience of your musical analolgy - concentration on good basics can expand your mind (a bit like the process described by phenix in another thread) so you see beyond the musical patterns and improvise around them.

I'm definitely a beginner when it comes to meditation but from some reading I've done it seems that you can treat it as a way of getting in touch with the moment, not searching for patterns (e.g. in an opponent's movements) rather reading moment to moment. as you have said the focus you learn in meditation is helpful too.

Phenix
02-22-2004, 10:19 PM
Ji----gly-puffs, Ji---gly-puffs, .......... :D

If you can stay alert effortlessly without a set expectation for out come in this instant or now. and dont have a sleepy mind, a dull mind, a drift mind, a self conversation mind, an absent minded mind.....

Then, you are in meditation . You dont need to create a scene to make believe you are meditating. or chanting ommmmmmmming.


Ji------gly--puffs, Ji-----gly---puffs,

Oh dont expect magic for fighting too---
just stay alert effortlessly without a set expectation for out come in this instant or now. and dont have a sleepy mind, a dull mind, a drift mind, a self conversation mind, an absent minded mind.....
you will see magic there but not the expected magic.

a magic is not wonderfull when it appears as expected. :D
But you need to train you body and limbs well, otherwise they will not bring the magic to reality. :D

:D

anerlich
02-22-2004, 10:36 PM
I'm definitely a beginner when it comes to meditation but from some reading I've done it seems that you can treat it as a way of getting in touch with the moment, not searching for patterns (e.g. in an opponent's movements) rather reading moment to moment. as you have said the focus you learn in meditation is helpful too.

Undoubtedly this is true. But all of this is cerebral, rather than the visceral, mid-brain reaction that comes in the face of a threat to one's life. Hence my argument that meditation is not the total or necessarily the best way to learn to handle the adrenal dump, which was at least one focus of your first post.

.
Andrew - I find direct training is 99% of my slowly growing ability to retain my form under pressure

Sure. But I would argue that the best way to do that is by training under pressure, as you are, not in the practise of meditation. The second may help the first, but it will never replace it.

The above posts indicate that there is a difference of definitions regarding what meditation is. I also would venture that there is a "practice of meditation" and a "meditative state", which are not the same thing, and I am interested in the first, but not in achieving the second in situations where IMO it is not necessary, appropriate or helpful (viz. while under attack). The practice of meditation is a means to an end, not the end itself.


I think it requires a broard focus starting from inside yourself.

I don't. Fighting IMO is done with pre-conscious processing without reference to one's internal state. Dwell on what's happening to you rather than what they are doing and your environment, you *will* lose.

Referencing the internal state is good for practise and training. NOT for fighting.

There are no points given for being in a meditative state, even in a sporting contest, let alone a life and death struggle. Survival is the relevant concern, anything else a dangerous diversion.

S.Teebas
02-23-2004, 12:06 AM
Dwell on what's happening to you rather than what they are doing and your environment...

The word you used...'rather'...seem to imply that it's only possible to do EITHER one or the other. I disagree with that.


..you *wil* loose.
That’s pretty broad statement, and speculative at best.

If a guy who’s 7 foot tall, weighs 150kgs and uses an internal TO external (i.e. both) type of focusing... and he fights a guy who is 4 foot tall weighs 40kgs and uses external focusing. Who’s going to win is not really a matter saying: "Hey he uses external focusing, so he *will* win!"

There's many factors that dictate who will win.

Simon
02-23-2004, 12:28 AM
I also think there's a variety of definitions here - a meditative state to me sounds like the state I'm in when sparring etc when I have a heathly level of confidence (without ego), I'm alert and I'm not thinking about anything in particular.

Unfortunately, more than likely, I'll start thinking "hey I'm doing well" or "he shouldn't be getting those in" - similar to the destructive self talk anerlich described above.

I don't think a meditative state has to be a lazy mind, or devoid of action - just focussed on the present?

blooming lotus
02-23-2004, 01:38 AM
Originally posted by anerlich
I
Some people say your mental state during combat should equate that of meditation, but IMO this is wrong. Meditation requires an internal focus, and a fairly narrow one.
uss.

I normally like the majority of your posts but I cant believe you said that :eek:

meditation..if done correctly is about getting a universal perspective and is in NO way narrow...it's seeing without seeing and sensing qi over physcial..esapecially during surprise attacks..why are you off guard like that anyway!!!????!!!

good breathing comes with peace comes from meditative familiarity...the longer you practioce, the higher you cultivate and the easier it is to return to that frequency at any given moment..

to break down into nuero - scientific terms..as you meditate...hopefully you will be gaining new insights, having new thoughts, in turn creating new nueral-pathways and providing you keep that pahtway open and stimulated by diligent practice and cultivation, it should not only expand but be increasingly esaier to access at increasing faster time..which pending practice method should provide a carry over ..upto and including during practice...

Masterkiller once said that gongfu was moving meditation...I love that ....:
rolleyes:
nice try though...;)

Gangsterfist
02-23-2004, 07:09 AM
My sigung did a qigong seminar last week that I attended. I learned a lot about qigong and some benefits of standing meditation.

One of the major things to look out for in tension in the neck and shoulders. You want good ciculation through these areas so your brain can communicate with your body easier. If you have good flow your brain will tell your body to heal faster. He also said to meditate once a day for at least 15 minutes but preferably 30.

Then he discussed how energy is released and used from the body. How some people steal it from others, and how some people expend too much of theirs. Overall it was a very interesting experience. I also learned that house cats are qigong masters, and masters of meditation.

To do some basic standing meditation, stand in a relaxed stance with your tail bone tucked. This creates a circle from the dan tien up your centerline to your chest, around your head and back down the spine. Close your mouth so your teeth touch but do not clench. Place your tounge to your pallet. Hold your arms straight out in a large circle at your chest level. Like you are holding a huge barrel. Slightly close your eyes and focus only a few feet in front of you. Hold it for 15 minutes. Adjust your body accordingly as you go. If you feel you need to stretch something stretch it. Listen to your body. Try not to scratch any itches though, just sit through those (I can't remember why, but I remember him saying don't scratch anything).

When doing that I felt a sensation of energy circling around my arms from hand to hand. I then would rotate my arms up and down and feel the energy split (yin and yang). I am somewhat new to qigong so I can't describe it any further than that.

Ultimatewingchun
02-23-2004, 01:05 PM
Simon:

Played a lot of sports when I was a kid and a young teenager...including Catch Wrestling at the age of 12-13-14...and for the next ten years - (I started with Wing Chun at the age of 24.5)...

I played lead guitar in various local rock/soul/blues bands around the metropolitan New York area here.

When disco came in...I got out...Good to dance to...terrible to play as a musician.

AND BESIDES...IT WAS TIME TO DO WING CHUN...which is something I'll take with me all the way to the end !

anerlich
02-23-2004, 02:18 PM
meditation..if done correctly is about getting a universal perspective and is in NO way narrow...it's seeing without seeing and sensing qi over physcial..esapecially during surprise attacks..why are you off guard like that anyway!!!????!!!

Well, our definitions differ. To me, meditation is a physical exercise that I perform to gain control the conscious mind, not about gaining extra senses or abilities of dubious veracity.

As I thought I'd made very clear, the focus I adopt during the exercise is NOT something I would EVER undertake where attack was of the remotest possibility, as it is unhelpful if not downright dangerous. So I'm not off guard. I'm sure even you aren't "on guard" 24 hours a day - unless you never sleep.

IMO all that other stuff sounds like lines from a badly translated KF movie. I'm a scpetic about most things, but most especially about the more grandiose claimsd regarding qi. Sorry if I didn't meet whatever expectations you may have had about any of that.

If you're expecting some sort of ESP to be able to help you in a threatening situation, make sure you have full insurance cover. Defense is about doing simple things correctly, not arcane metaphysics.


The word you used...'rather'...seem to imply that it's only possible to do EITHER one or the other. I disagree with that.

I never said it wasn't possible. Indeed, people have trouble NOT doing it, to their detriment. I just said that IMO it's a bad idea.


There's many factors that dictate who will win.

Oh, all right Mr Pedantic. I can't see anyone beating an enraged bull elephant.

But surely you have to get ALL your ducks in a line to maximise your chances. And if you think you can get by without everything you possibly can working for you in a situation where you are under attack, you too need to speak to an insurance salesman pronto.

And the more of those attributes you get working for you, including your focus, the better your chances. Can you afford to take the risk? I think not.

anerlich
02-23-2004, 02:23 PM
Unfortunately, more than likely, I'll start thinking "hey I'm doing well" or "he shouldn't be getting those in" - similar to the destructive self talk anerlich described above.

Bang on, Simon. That's EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Once your own performance becomes the focus, you start to handicap yourself. Affirmations, self-evaluation, and meditation are all good, but during training, not during a fight!

blooming lotus
02-23-2004, 02:55 PM
Originally posted by anerlich



As I thought I'd made very clear, the focus I adopt during the exercise is NOT something I would EVER undertake where attack was of the remotest possibility, as it is unhelpful if not downright dangerous. So I'm not off guard. I'm sure even you aren't "on guard" 24 hours a day - unless you never sleep.

GOOD POINT ;)..



IMO all that other stuff sounds like lines from a badly translated KF movie. I'm a scpetic about most things, but most especially about the more grandiose claimsd regarding qi. Sorry if I didn't meet whatever expectations you may have had about any of that.

If you're expecting some sort of ESP to be able to help you in a threatening situation, make sure you have full insurance cover. Defense is about doing simple things correctly, not arcane metaphysics.



WELL IF YOU ARE GENUINELY NOT AWARE OF ACTIVITY OUTSIDE OF YOUR RANGE OF VISION , FAIR ENOUGH I GUESS
BUT A BADLY TRSNSLATED KF MOVIE??!! LOL..NICE ANALOGY ;)




And the more of those attributes you get working for you, including your focus, the better your chances. Can you afford to take the risk? I think not.


AND WHAT EXACTLY ARE WE FOCUSSING ON?? THE ANTICIPATED MOVEMENT RIGHT....:rolleyes: lol..WHATEVER

kungfu cowboy
02-23-2004, 04:08 PM
Don't think! feeeeeel!! Don't go into the light!

Simon
02-23-2004, 05:54 PM
Originally posted by Ultimatewingchun
Simon:

Played a lot of sports when I was a kid and a young teenager...including Catch Wrestling at the age of 12-13-14...and for the next ten years - (I started with Wing Chun at the age of 24.5)...

I played lead guitar in various local rock/soul/blues bands around the metropolitan New York area here.

When disco came in...I got out...Good to dance to...terrible to play as a musician.

AND BESIDES...IT WAS TIME TO DO WING CHUN...which is something I'll take with me all the way to the end !

Sounds very similar to me (except the catch - not very experienced on the ground yet!) - played lead for a rock/blues/grunge type band for about 5 years in Perth, but just when we were getting some national radio play the band went different directions because of day jobs!

Found Wing Chun a couple of month later and now all my creative energy goes there. definitely training it to the end too!

re: disco - never enjoyed just clicking on the wah wah - scratching along to a heavy base line and calling it a song? ;)


Originally posted by anerlich


Bang on, Simon. That's EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Once your own performance becomes the focus, you start to handicap yourself. Affirmations, self-evaluation, and meditation are all good, but during training, not during a fight!

ok so from your personal experience - progressive resistance, attempted realism in the the class etc is the kind of ideas you have used to concentrate on the exterior.

I guess thats what I was asking above, first hand accounts of a meditative state not making you concentrate on yourself, or your training, instead calming the interior so you can more easily concentrate on the exterior. This may be kung fu movie mumbo jumbo - thats why I am asking.

S.Teebas
02-23-2004, 08:34 PM
Oh, all right Mr Pedantic.

I'll take that as a compliment. :D ..as Yuanfan often says: "the devil is in the details!"


I can't see anyone beating an enraged bull elephant.

Perhaps an enraged bull elephant with internal focus could beat him. ;)

anerlich
02-23-2004, 09:05 PM
S Teebas, take it as a compliment. I agree I made a far too sweeping statement.


Perhaps an enraged bull elephant with internal focus could beat him.

Bags not me who tries to find out :D

Nexus
10-22-2009, 10:22 AM
This makes sense. If we're walking, and we try to focus on each thing specifically, we enter into dualistic thinking.. for example, we focus on a branch, and we see the branch, not the tree. Focus on the tree, and we see the tree, not the forest. Focus on the forest.. etc.

By relaxing and breathing, we experience all the senses in full bloom, and our awareness is heightened, which could be thought of as our sixth sense. Take care.

The "we" that is experiencing the senses is the mind. When the source of the "I" is sought, it is cut off at the root. Then there is in fact no mind by which to experience any senses. There is no sixth sense, since there is in fact no "doer" who experiences any senses.

The source of all things is the Self. The Self is all there is. To see the Self, Be the Self. Look for the source of where thoughts come from and where the notion of "I" arises. The mind, when sought after disperses since there cannot be both the "doer" and the one who observes the "doer."

taai gihk yahn
10-22-2009, 06:17 PM
The mind, when sought after disperses since there cannot be both the "doer" and the one who observes the "doer."

then who is writing this?

Scott R. Brown
10-22-2009, 07:53 PM
The "we" that is experiencing the senses is the mind. When the source of the "I" is sought, it is cut off at the root. Then there is in fact no mind by which to experience any senses. There is no sixth sense, since there is in fact no "doer" who experiences any senses.

The source of all things is the Self. The Self is all there is. To see the Self, Be the Self. Look for the source of where thoughts come from and where the notion of "I" arises. The mind, when sought after disperses since there cannot be both the "doer" and the one who observes the "doer."

Hi Nexus,

Welcome back!

If the "I" is cut off at the root, and there is no mind to experience the senses, then what is this "Self" of which you speak? If there is no "I" how can there be a "SELF"?

If there is no doer that experiences any senses, then why do I experience sensation and what is it that is experiencing them?

If there is no doer who observes the doer, then what is it that observes and what is it that acts and how are the two related?

Nexus
10-23-2009, 12:32 AM
then who is writing this?

Nothing is being written, so how can there be a writer?

Nexus
10-23-2009, 12:54 AM
If the "I" is cut off at the root, and there is no mind to experience the senses, then what is this "Self" of which you speak? If there is no "I" how can there be a "SELF"?


Here is some elaboration:

The Self is happiness, bliss, peace. There is no doer of peace, the Self is peace. It is a disturbed mind that hinders one from realizing their true nature. This occurs from the delusion that the body is the self, and thus the five senses and memory are perceived as the "I". As one delves into the source of the "I" through self-inquiry, one will realize their true nature, and the mind that seems to constantly chatter will vanish, leaving one with clarity and true understanding of the self.


Experience the Self, do not seek to know it through knowledge of others, but through self-inquiry. By looking for the minds source, the mind will eventually vanish. This can be done by looking inward, introverted, for the source from where the notion of "I" arises and not deviating from this looking. This is not a process of analyzing where it came from, but rather directly focussing on the source inwardly from where the "I" arises. Look for when the notion of "I" arises, and find its source.


If there is no doer that experiences any senses, then why do I experience sensation and what is it that is experiencing them?

The answer is in the question. Look to where the source of the "I" that experiences sensation comes from.

Scott R. Brown
10-23-2009, 03:02 AM
Hi Nexus,

Thank you for your response. I have a few more questions please:

Previously by us:


The "we" that is experiencing the senses is the mind. When the source of the "I" is sought, it is cut off at the root. Then there is in fact no mind by which to experience any senses.

If the "I" is cut off at the root, and there is no mind to experience the senses, then what is this "Self" of which you speak? If there is no "I" how can there be a "SELF"?


The Self is happiness, bliss, peace. There is no doer of peace, the Self is peace. It is a disturbed mind that hinders one from realizing their true nature. This occurs from the delusion that the body is the self, and thus the five senses and memory are perceived as the "I".

It appears you are stating that identity with the body and experiences from the senses are what form the “I”. But if there is an experience there must be something that experiences. So if there is a something, you call the “Self”, that experiences “happiness, bliss and peace” it must be an identity itself and therefore could be referred to as an “I” as well! If it was not an identity then who is it that states, “Self is happiness, bliss, peace” and who is it that either experiences these or identifies that these exist at all!

If this argument is valid, then there is more than one way in which “I” may be manifested,

1) that which “experiences and remembers sensations” and
2) that which “conceptualizes” happiness, bliss and peace”.

If as you say, the “Self” is “no doer of peace”, but “is peace”, then there must still be something other than “Self-peace” that identifies/labels/conceptualizes the “Self-as-equal-to-peace”! If there is not, than we cannot say that “Self = peace”, because there is nothing to do the identifying/labeling/conceptualizing.

If there is no “I” that experiences these and they merely ARE the “Self” how can they be identified as being experienced by “Self” at all?

Further, if there is no “Self-I” what is it that experiences “happiness, bliss, peace”? If there is no “Self-I” that experiences these, then “happiness, bliss, peace” cannot be said to exist. For, in order for them to exist there must be something that “states” they exist and they must be separate from that which declares their existence or they could not exist! Also, just as Ying mutually arises when Yang manifests, so something other than happiness/bliss/peace mutually arises when happiness/bliss/peace become manifest. If opposing concepts do not arise, then happiness/bliss/peace does not exist! If they do not exist, then to what purpose is there to even be concerned about it at all?

If there is no experiencer how can we say an experience has occurred at all? If there is no doer, how can anything be done, such as “realizing of true nature”? For there to be an experience, there must be an experience AND an experiencer, for there to be something done, “realizing true nature”, there must be a doer, for there to be Yin there MUST be Yang!

If there is no “Self-I”, there can be no “self-inquiry”, no “happiness/bliss/peace, no “true nature”. If these do not exist, who/what is it that does the searching, and for what purpose?


As one delves into the source of the "I" through self-inquiry, one will realize their true nature, and the mind that seems to constantly chatter will vanish, leaving one with clarity and true understanding of the self.

If one has “true understanding of the self”, they are understanding an “I”. If there is no “I” there cannot be a “Self” as they are the same thing. If there is no “Self-I” what is it that occurs when there is “self-inquiry”? Is it not inquiring into what is not there?

If there is no “Self”, what is doing the inquiry? If there is no “Self” there will be nothing for self-inquiry to find, in which case, why inquire at all?

Isn’t this “self-inquiry” then, just another form of delusion? For if there is no “Self” there is not only nothing to do the inquiring, but nothing for inquiry to find!


Experience the Self, do not seek to know it through knowledge of others, but through self-inquiry. By looking for the minds source, the mind will eventually vanish. This can be done by looking inward, introverted, for the source from where the notion of "I" arises and not deviating from this looking. This is not a process of analyzing where it came from, but rather directly focussing on the source inwardly from where the "I" arises. Look for when the notion of "I" arises, and find its source.

Once again, if there is some “thing” that seeks, it must be a “Self-I”! If not, then what does the searching/inquiry? If you say it is the “mind”, it is still a “thing” (a Self) that is “doing” something (searching/inquiring), in order to locate a third “thing” (the Source of itself)!

So we have one “thing” performing an “action” in order to locate “something else”! The first “thing” must be a “Self”, an “I”, a “Mind”,all are just different names for the same thing! And what it is searching for is “Itself”!

If “the mind will eventually vanish”, then so will this “Self-I”, for the “Self-I” is formed from the mind. If the “Self-I” vanishes, it could be said it was never there to begin with. If it was not there to begin with, then why inquire into it in the first place?

You previously stated:


The mind, when sought after disperses since there cannot be both the "doer" and the one who observes the "doer."

If this is the case it is futile to inquire at all because the doer is inquiring into itself. If it is inquiring into itself, and “there cannot be both ‘doer’ and the one who observes the ‘doer’, as you have stated, then, ‘that which is doing cannot observe itself’, in which case inquiry is a purposeless action! The doer will never find what it is looking for because it is looking for itself, but since the doer cannot observe himself, the doer will never find what it is inquiring about/searching for!

Skip J.
10-23-2009, 06:07 AM
.................If this is the case it is futile to inquire at all because the doer is inquiring into itself. If it is inquiring into itself, and “there cannot be both ‘doer’ and the one who observes the ‘doer’, as you have stated, then, ‘that which is doing cannot observe itself’, in which case inquiry is a purposeless action! The doer will never find what it is looking for because it is looking for itself, but since the doer cannot observe himself, the doer will never find what it is inquiring about/searching for!
Thanks Scott!!!

"I" wish "I" could say all of that...

taai gihk yahn
10-23-2009, 06:15 AM
Nothing is being written, so how can there be a writer?

oh, boo; D-

Scott R. Brown
10-23-2009, 08:38 AM
Thanks Scott!!!

"I" wish "I" could say all of that...

Thank you Skip!:)

Nexus
10-23-2009, 10:32 AM
If the "I" is cut off at the root, and there is no mind to experience the senses, then what is this "Self" of which you speak? If there is no "I" how can there be a "SELF"?

If there is no “I” that experiences these and they merely ARE the “Self” how can they be identified as being experienced by “Self” at all?

Further, if there is no “Self-I” what is it that experiences “happiness, bliss, peace”?

If there is no experience how can we say an experience has occurred at all? If there is no doer, how can anything be done, such as “realizing of true nature”? F

If there is no “Self-I”, there can be no “self-inquiry”, no “happiness/bliss/peace, no “true nature”. If these do not exist, who/what is it that does the searching, and for what purpose?


If one has “true understanding of the self”, they are understanding an “I”. If there is no “I” there cannot be a “Self” as they are the same thing. If there is no “Self-I” what is it that occurs when there is “self-inquiry”?

Is it not inquiring into what is not there?

If there is no “Self”, what is doing the inquiry?

If there is no “Self” there will be nothing for self-inquiry to find, in which case, why inquire at all?

Isn’t this “self-inquiry” then, just another form of delusion?


Once again, if there is some “thing” that seeks, it must be a “Self-I”! If not, then what does the searching/inquiry?


If “the mind will eventually vanish”, then so will this “Self-I”, for the “Self-I” is formed from the mind. If the “Self-I” vanishes, it could be said it was never there to begin with, If it was not there to begin with, then why inquire into it in the first place?


The doer will never find what it is looking for because it is looking for itself, but since the doer cannot observe himself, the doer will never find what it is inquiring about/searching for!

Knowing the Self means being the Self. Can you say that you do not know the Self? Though you cannot see your own eyes and though not provided with a mirror to look in, do you deny the existence of your eyes? Similarly, you are aware of the Self even though the Self is not objectified.

Or, do you deny your Self because it is not objectified? When you say ‘I cannot know the Self, it means absence in terms of relative knowledge, because you have been so accustomed to relative knowledge that you identify yourself with it. Such wrong identity has forged the difficulty of not knowing the obvious Self because it cannot be objectified. The mind cannot rest until the Self is known. Finding futility in self-inquiry rather then applying self-inquiry is hindering knowing the Self. Look for the source of the "I" without deviation and each time a question arises, rather than writing it here as an argument to the futility of the practice of self-inquiry, use that question as a means to finding the source from where that question arises.

Paraphrasing, the question is ‘how is one to know the Self?’

Ramana Maharshi says it in this way:

Your duty is to be and not to be this or that. "I am that I am" sums up the whole truth. The method is summed up in the words "Be still". What does stillness mean? It means destroy yourself. Give up the notion that "I am so and so". All that is required to realize the Self is to be still. What can be easier than that? Self-knowledge is then simple to attain.

This knowledge of oneself will be revealed only to the consciousness which is silent, clear and free from the activity of the agitated and suffering mind. Know that the consciousness which always shines in the Heart as the formless Self, ‘I’, and which is known by one’s being still without thinking about anything as existent or non- existent, alone is the perfect reality.

Skip J.
10-23-2009, 10:50 AM
Thank you Skip!:)

Oh you're welcome Scott!

anytime....

Hendrik
10-23-2009, 02:21 PM
This is a very simple subject for those who have an enligthenment teacher to learn.
This is a practice which most will not do thus will not be able to witness the teacher's teaching.

Speculation is useless for those who dont have a teacher( who have been there and be able to describe the journey ) and have never walked the journey .

it is beyond mind, so simple but so difficult.

Hendrik
10-23-2009, 02:29 PM
1, There is nothing wrong with self.

Self is just an Identity. To do a certain job, and Identity is a must. When a Buddha teaches he took the identity of a teacher.


2, The issue is get stuck at the identify. That becomes problem.



3, meditation is a practice to not get stuck. meditation is not a practice to attain a certain state or to stay at certain high or low energy state. For the practice of attaining a certain state or stay at a certain state is attachement is getting Stuck. practicing a meditation to get stuck doesnt get you to liberation but trapping you even more.

IE: taking a cold softdrink feel cool in the throat however one will rely on softdrink and wanting more and more and thus deeply attach to soft drink. those kind of practice is suffering or Duka.





4, enlightement is as it is and have no love or hate or dueling. It is as It is and if the situation needs an Identity arise as the condition changes the identity is letting go without a second thought.




5, Thus, life is ok, death is ok, peaceful is ok, suffering is ok, everyting is a transformation within the samadhi of the Thus comes one --- the silence, the Nirvana. only those who knows there will know the direction of the liberation. Those who have been there will no longer desire to attach.

Hendrik
10-23-2009, 02:40 PM
For those who knows chinese and would like to learn Zen check the following master.

http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/JkWmPB-kwWk/

http://www.xzxdc.com/xmwj/a27.htm


100000% honest and solid for your cultivation.


I really hope somedays there is a translation to English. This sure will benifit lots of practitioner who is seeking for Zen teaching.

taai gihk yahn
10-23-2009, 03:06 PM
1, There is nothing wrong with self.

Self is just an Identity. To do a certain job, and Identity is a must. When a Buddha teaches he took the identity of a teacher.

2, The issue is get stuck at the identify. That becomes problem.

3, meditation is a practice to not get stuck. meditation is not a practice to attain a certain state or to stay at certain high or low energy state. For the practice of attaining a certain state or stay at a certain state is attachement is getting Stuck. practicing a meditation to get stuck doesnt get you to liberation but trapping you even more.

IE: taking a cold softdrink feel cool in the throat however one will rely on softdrink and wanting more and more and thus deeply attach to soft drink. those kind of practice is suffering or Duka

4, enlightement is as it is and have no love or hate or dueling. It is as It is and if the situation needs an Identity arise as the condition changes the identity is letting go without a second thought.

5, Thus, life is ok, death is ok, peaceful is ok, suffering is ok, everyting is a transformation within the samadhi of the Thus comes one --- the silence, the Nirvana. only those who knows there will know the direction of the liberation. Those who have been there will no longer desire to attach.

it must be an off day, because I concur w/Hendrik (;)); especially, as he puts very well, that within the suchness of enlightenment, identity / self arises with changing conditions - much the same as in "not-enlightenment", but the condition out of which that self / identity rises and falls comes out of a responsiveness to the immediate situation such as it is, as opposed to a reaction based on habitual projection; meaning that, if I encounter someone and they and / or the situation within which I find myself reminds me of someone else I have "issues" with (e.g. a parent, an ex, etc.), if I simply react, I will do so based on the stored-accumulation of memory of that person / event; OTOH, if I do not act out of that habitual pattern, but rather respond based on what is directly in front of me, without filtering it through an inapplicable past experience, then it is suited to that moment and I have the freedom to act as the situation warrants
in this responsiveness, one experiences a wide range of things: joy, peace, anger and sorrow; but it is a joy, calm, anger, sorrow. born out of that immediate moment, meaning that it, like all things is transitory - which, being transitory, eventually comes to an end, and one has awareness of this, as opposed to the joy / suffering experienced out of habit, which one either wants to go on forever in the case of the former or seem like it will never end on the case of the latter - and this is neurosis / anxiety and suffering - suffering is what happens when we do not experience directly, but rather try to avoid or enhance experiences beyond their natural rising and falling - and in the acknowledgment of this, one is free from fear of fully experiencing directly, and one is then able to drink deeply from the cup of life;

Hendrik
10-23-2009, 03:23 PM
it must be an off day, because I concur w/Hendrik (;)); especially, as he puts very well, that within the suchness of enlightenment, identity / self arises with changing conditions - much the same as in "not-enlightenment", but the condition out of which that self / identity rises and falls comes out of a responsiveness to the immediate situation such as it is, as opposed to a reaction based on habitual projection; meaning that, if I encounter someone and they and / or the situation within which I find myself reminds me of someone else I have "issues" with (e.g. a parent, an ex, etc.), if I simply react, I will do so based on the stored-accumulation of memory of that person / event; OTOH, if I do not act out of that habitual pattern, but rather respond based on what is directly in front of me, without filtering it through an inapplicable past experience, then it is suited to that moment and I have the freedom to act as the situation warrants
in this responsiveness, one experiences a wide range of things: joy, peace, anger and sorrow; but it is a joy, calm, anger, sorrow. born out of that immediate moment, meaning that it, like all things is transitory - which, being transitory, eventually comes to an end, and one has awareness of this, as opposed to the joy / suffering experienced out of habit, which one either wants to go on forever in the case of the former or seem like it will never end on the case of the latter - and this is neurosis / anxiety and suffering - suffering is what happens when we do not experience directly, but rather try to avoid or enhance experiences beyond their natural rising and falling - and in the acknowledgment of this, one is free from fear of fully experiencing directly, and one is then able to drink deeply from the cup of life;



Thanks.

Hope you attained Buddha hood soon.

Scott R. Brown
10-23-2009, 11:20 PM
Hi Nexus,

Thank you once again for taking the time to reply to my comments!

Here are a few more:

Knowing the Self means being the Self.

When the concept of “knowing” is created an "objective thing to know" mutually arises. To conceive of a "Self" to "know" is to objectify "Self". When "Self" is conceived it becomes “I”. If "Self" is not conceived no “I” arises and there is no "Self" to "know" and no conception of "knowing". Why conceive of "Self" and "knowing" in the first place? If there is no "Self" there is no "knowing". If there is no "knowing" there is no "Self". So why be concerned with any of it?

The mind cannot rest until the Self is known.

First you create a "Self" to "know"; now you have created a “mind” and the condition of “rest” in order for "Self" to be "known". This complicates matters more! When there is no "Self" from the first there is no "mind" that must "rest" and nothing to "know"!

Finding futility in self-inquiry rather then applying self-inquiry is hindering knowing the Self.

More complication! First you started with conceiving/creating a “Self”, then you decided this “Self” should/must be “known”. Then you created a “mind” that must “rest” in order for this “Self” to be “known”. And now you have created “self-inquiry” in order to bring the “mind” to “rest” in order to “know” the “Self”. All you have done is create something out of nothing in order to complicate matters. When one realizes there is nothing from the first all this rigmarole becomes useless drivel! It only has meaning when one is attached to a conception of "Self"!

Look for the source of the "I" without deviation and each time a question arises, rather than writing it here as an argument to the futility of the practice of self-inquiry, use that question as a means to finding the source from where that question arises.

“Self-I” is a conception. When “Self-I” is conceived, conception of “the source” mutually arises. Questions arise due to conceptions. When no “Self-I” is conceived no “source” arises and no questions arise. With no conceptions there are no questions. When one recognizes this there is no need for inquiry! There is no need for inquiry because, with no conceptions there is nothing to find!

Paraphrasing, the question is ‘how is one to know the Self?’

When there is no “Self” there is nothing to "know". When there is nothing to "know" there is no "question"! While the entire process may be engaging and entertaining, it is also unnecessary.

What can be easier than that? Self-knowledge is then simple to attain.

When there is no “Self” there is no "easy or difficult" and no "simple", there is no “self-knowledge", and nothing "to attain"!

Your duty is to be and not to be this or that.

When there is no “Self” there is no “duty”, no “being”, no “this”, no “that”!

"I am that I am" sums up the whole truth.

When there is no “Self” there is no "I am that I am" because there is no "I" and no "being", therefore there is no “truth” to "sum up"!

The method is summed up in the words "Be still".

When there is no “Self” there is no “method”, no “being”, there is no agitation so there is no need for “stillness”!

What does stillness mean?

When there is no “Self” there is no "stillness" and no reason to be concerned about it!

It means destroy yourself.

When there is "nothing from the first" there is nothing to be "destroyed"! When there is no “Self” there is nothing to be "destroyed" because nothing was created!

Give up the notion that "I am so and so".

Give up the notion of "I-Self" and "so and so" disappears!

All that is required to realize the Self is to be still

When there is no “Self” there is nothing required! When there is no “Self” there is no agitation, when there is no agitation there is no need for stillness!

Once again: Look for the source of the "I" without deviation and each time a question arises, rather than writing it here as an argument to the futility of the practice of self-inquiry, use that question as a means to finding the source from where that question arises.

When there is no “Self” there is no “I”! When there is no “I”, there is nothing to "look for"! When there is nothing to "look for", no “questions arise”! When no "questions arise" "self-inquiry" is unnecessary, when "self-inquiry" is unnecessary, there is nothing to “deviate” from!

When there is no “Self” there is no “source”! When there is no “Self” there is no self-knowledge and nothing to attain?

This knowledge of oneself will be revealed only to the consciousness which is silent, clear and free from the activity of the agitated and suffering mind.

When there is no “Self” there is no concept of "oneself", no "knowledge" to be “revealed” and no “consciousness which is silent, clear and free from the activity of the agitated and suffering mind”! When there is no “Self” there is no “agitated” mind, there is no “suffering” mind, and there is no need for any kind of “knowledge” to be “revealed”!

Know that the consciousness which always shines in the Heart as the formless Self, ‘I’, and which is known by one’s being still without thinking about anything as existent or non- existent, alone is the perfect reality.

There is no “formless Self” because there is no “Self” from the start! When there is no “Self” there is neither “stillness” nor agitation, neither “knowing” nor not-knowing, neither “existence” nor “non-existence’ and certainly no “perfect reality”!

One certainly may go through this whole process of “self-inquiry”, “stilling”, “knowing” etc., but in the end, one must give up conceptions of “Self”. So rather than dilly dally around for years following a process that is artificially created from the first, only to give up conceptions in the end, how about giving up conceptions from the first, and skip all this intermediate bunk!;):)

taai gihk yahn
10-24-2009, 07:22 AM
So rather than dilly dally around for years following a process that is artificially created from the first, only to give up conceptions in the end, how about giving up conceptions from the first, and skip all this intermediate bunk!;):)

oh, you're no fun anymore...:mad:

Scott R. Brown
10-24-2009, 09:02 AM
oh, you're no fun anymore...:mad:

LOL!! Well of course many, if not most, people prefer the dilly-dally route and that is okay too. I suppose there is no real hurry or deadline.

On the other hand, it could be said that many people prefer to dilly-dally because it is familiar. It is always more comfortable to go with the familiar rather than the unfamiliar, on the other hand it is often more exciting to go with the unfamiliar!

Either way it is all good, it is only an issue if you are unhappy with where you are!;)

And I have NO IDEA where I am! :)

Hendrik
10-24-2009, 09:54 AM
Hi Nexus,

Thank you once again for taking the time to reply to my comments!

Here are a few more:

Knowing the Self means being the Self.

When the concept of “knowing” is created an "objective thing to know" mutually arises. To conceive of a "Self" to "know" is to objectify "Self". When "Self" is conceived it becomes “I”. If "Self" is not conceived no “I” arises and there is no "Self" to "know" and no conception of "knowing". Why conceive of "Self" and "knowing" in the first place? If there is no "Self" there is no "knowing". If there is no "knowing" there is no "Self". So why be concerned with any of it?................


From the above clearly you both dont know what is self what is Know and what is spinning the mind to speculate and what is droping the mind and let things surface by itself in suchness of awareness.

These above type of "who knows it more debate or reasoning" is only going to get you both stuck. why go this path? a wasting of life and trap. no liberation because even if you think you win you still stuck. and how is this type of ideas or teaching going to help others? cant it cant but create more stuck for others.


As an analogy, you both are debating within the Microsoft Internet Explorer platform, and no matter how you debate within the Microsoft Internet Explorer platform you are not going to go beyond the Microsoft Internet explorer platform.

Until you can get to the Window operationg system, and go even further to be able to shut the whole computer down, you are within the limited Microsoft Internet Explorer domain. Thus, you dont know what it is or how is it when the Microsoft Internet Explorer is shut down totally, further more the Window Vista is shut down....etc.



Why waste life to debate on something you think instead of you have been there at least once?

But then may be it is full of sense this type of conversation taking place because this discussion is intended to boost ego instead of learning to become liberate? thus, that is a great reason why this type of debate exist.

Hendrik
10-24-2009, 10:16 AM
What can be easier than that? Self-knowledge is then simple to attain.

When there is no “Self” there is no "easy or difficult" and no "simple", there is no “self-knowledge", and nothing "to attain"!


------------------------------------------------------------------------

The above is a confusion without knowing BODY and APPLICATION is unity. BUT thinking BODY can be APPLICATION without transformation into a particular Identity and Knowing not Application is needed for Creation.




When the Buddha is teaching, there raise the Teacher identity with an intention to teach. That identity is a "self", however, the Buddha doesnt take this identity as him.

Once his teaching is done, this identity naturally drop.


Buddha nature is the BODY and Transformation of Identity needed is the APPLICATION. Identity is the begining of the Creation.

Without the BODY there is no APPLICATION. WITHOUT the APPLICATION the BODY is useless.


If there is no Identity then there will be no application. similar to one cannot see the electricity, however one can see the light power by the electricity.

seeing the light is a must due to the present of electricity. light is not electricity but it is a transformation of electricity based on condition.

electricity is the Body and Light is the Application.












---------------------------------


Your duty is to be and not to be this or that.

When there is no “Self” there is no “duty”, no “being”, no “this”, no “that”!

):)[/QUOTE]

---------------------------

These above are from a confusing mind and a mistaken mind.

The proper teaching or practice is

Not attached to self, Not attached to duty, Not attached to Being, Not attached to this. Not attached to that.



Again, a teacher's duty is to teach thus it needs to take a teacher's identity.
and the buddha nature is capable to do 10000000000000000000 limitless transformation in to different identity to complete all the duty without attach to anyone identity naturally.


Trying to keep oneself in NO DUTY NO BEING NO THIS and NO THAT is called dead water cant have Dragon in Zen or this is the path of Extinction or Dull emptiness one turn into stone or rock or wood with this type of practice. it is a total misleading.



and

duty is to be and not to be this or that. is just from some one who is confused himself.

Scott R. Brown
10-24-2009, 11:45 AM
Why waste life to debate on something you think instead of you have been there at least once?

Why have you created a debate when all I see is a discussion between friends. Your time may be better spent considering your own illusory projections rather than creating ones for others!

You have no idea what either of us have directly experienced, or not. You have projected your own ego-centric views on to our conversation and create a debate in your own mind.

There is a difference between describing a direct experience and aping the teachings of others. The words may appear the same even though the source is different. You have demonstrated no ability to distinguish between the two!

Your own ego projections color your judgment and once again, as is your pattern of the past, you have projected your own ego-centric views on to others!


But then may be it is full of sense this type of conversation taking place because this discussion is intended to boost ego instead of learning to become liberate? thus, that is a great reason why this type of debate exist.

Whose ego is this comment meant to boost?

If you are so concerned with the egos of others, why have you imposed your own ego-centric views on to the conversation of others.

Whose ego are you most concerned with, your own, or others? To date, it appears your ego motivates you to be overly concerned with your imaginings of the ego-centric views of others, and blinds you to your own!

You may have gained no benefit from this conversation, other than ego-centrically casting judgment upon it, why do you think it is of no benefit to anyone else?

So far you have demonstrated no understanding of the use of "expedient means"!

Hendrik
10-24-2009, 12:50 PM
Why have you created a debate when all I see is a discussion between friends. Your time may be better spent considering your own illusory projections rather than creating ones for others!

You have no idea what either of us have directly experienced, or not. You have projected your own ego-centric views on to our conversation and create a debate in your own mind.

There is a difference between describing a direct experience and aping the teachings of others. The words may appear the same even though the source is different. You have demonstrated no ability to distinguish between the two!

Your own ego projections color your judgment and once again, as is your pattern of the past, you have projected your own ego-centric views on to others!



Whose ego is this comment meant to boost?

If you are so concerned with the egos of others, why have you imposed your own ego-centric views on to the conversation of others.

Whose ego are you most concerned with, your own, or others? To date, it appears your ego motivates you to be overly concerned with your imaginings of the ego-centric views of others, and blinds you to your own!

You may have gained no benefit from this conversation, other than ego-centrically casting judgment upon it, why do you think it is of no benefit to anyone else?

So far you have demonstrated no understanding of the use of "expedient means"!



You certainly are 100000000000000% correct to express the above using your present mind set.

However,

If there is just a single chance you discard this mind set and be open, you will be closer to liberation.


Everything is up to which identity you choose and either you to attach to the identity or not.



Best wishes.

Scott R. Brown
10-24-2009, 01:17 PM
It is interesting how, in your imaginings, when others converse it is debate for the purpose of ego, but when you participate in the conversation it is, “What?”

Why do you criticize what you imagine to be a debate for the sake of ego between others, and then create a debate of your own?

I spy a bit of hypocrisy here!

The above is a confusion without knowing BODY and APPLICATION is unity. BUT thinking BODY can be APPLICATION without transformation into a particular Identity and Knowing not Application is needed for Creation.

The confusion is yours, you have misapplied the principle of “Body and Use” to the previous comments.

Identity is an illusion. It exists within a specific context, yet has no underlying reality. It is like a blank white page with the imagining of a circle upon it. While the “imagining” of a circle is real, there is no circle on the page. The imagining of a circle does not change the blank page. It is pretend and inherently it both exists and does not exist except that “exist” and “not exist” are themselves imaginings. Identity and the circle are artificial projections of mind. The blank page is always a blank page no matter what is projected upon it!

When the Buddha is teaching, there raise the Teacher identity with an intention to teach. That identity is a "self", however, the Buddha doesnt take this identity as him.

Once his teaching is done, this identity naturally drop.

Just as a circle is imagined upon a white page, Buddha is an imagining. He is an “expedient means” and nothing more. There is no “Self” there is merely the “appearance” of a “Self”!

The “identity” teacher is not for the sake of the teacher, but for the sake of learners. When one realizes “from the first nothing is”, Buddha identity disappears as does the conception of learning. For Buddha there was no identity of a teacher, the identity of “teacher” is a projection others created!

These are all expedient means. Inherently there is no Buddha, and nothing to learn. So one may play the game and spend much time following methods and in the end realize “from the first nothing is” or they may cut to the chase and realize intuitively, “from the first nothing is”!

Buddha nature is the BODY and Transformation of Identity needed is the APPLICATION. Identity is the begining of the Creation.

"Buddha nature is the BODY" is an artificial, conditional, illusory concept, an "expedient means" used for a purpose.

Buddha nature is an illusion for use by those who require ”expedient means”, inherently there is no Buddha and no Buddha nature. It is a projection others create in order to benefit from “expedient means”!

When nothing arises there is no creation and nothing is extinguished. There is no need for creation when “from the first, nothing is”!

Without the BODY there is no APPLICATION. WITHOUT the APPLICATION the BODY is useless.

Now who is confused? You treat Oneness as if it were two. There is no “application” and “body”. The two are the same thing. It would be more proper to say. Body IS Application, Application IS Body, it would be even more appropriate to not say anything about it at all!

If there is no Identity then there will be no application. similar to one cannot see the electricity, however one can see the light power by the electricity.

seeing the light is a must due to the present of electricity. light is not electricity but it is a transformation of electricity based on condition.

electricity is the Body and Light is the Application.

“Tao does nothing, yet through Tao all things are accomplished”

If identity were necessary for creation to occur nothing could occur from the start because Tao is identity-less. Any identity others perceive relating to Tao is the identity they project upon it!

That identity is required for application/use to occur is an illusion! Identity is not “Body”, it is “A” body, a transient, illusory body, a portion of a whole. Since it is transient and illusory and only a portion of a whole, it is inherently non-existent, just as an imaginary circle on a blank white page is illusory, transient and inherently non-existent!

Conditions are transient and therefore only exist within a relative context. Identity exists within a relative context. However, identity remains an illusion because it is transient and not permanent. It is a creation for a purpose, an “expedient means”.

You could have used a better metaphor for “lamp and light” than “electricity and light”, although more properly it is “flame and light”. Your metaphor is incomplete, because electricity may exists without light, while a flame, within the context of the metaphor, cannot! A flame IS light, while electricity is not light, it produces light!

These above are from a confusing mind and a mistaken mind.

The proper teaching or practice is

Not attached to self, Not attached to duty, Not attached to Being, Not attached to this. Not attached to that.

Yes…and the “confusing mind” and “mistaken mind” are your own!

When there is no “Self”, no “duty”, no “being”, no “this” and no “that” there is no “attachment”! These only exist for the mind that is attached to phenomena. When it is realized that “from the first, nothing is” all these fall away as a natural consequence “of themselves”.

Again, a teacher's duty is to teach thus it needs to take a teacher's identity.
and the buddha nature is capable to do 10000000000000000000 limitless transformation in to different identity to complete all the duty without attach to anyone identity naturally.

When a teacher conceives of teaching, he creates a need for students! There are no teachers and no students when there is no “Self”. Teachers and students are only important to those whith attachments.

Buddha did not create for himself the “identity” of a “teacher”. This occurs in the minds of those with attachments. When no attachments exist, Buddha disappears!

Trying to keep oneself in NO DUTY NO BEING NO THIS and NO THAT is called dead water cant have Dragon in Zen or this is the path of Extinction or Dull emptiness one turn into stone or rock or wood with this type of practice. it is a total misleading.

You are confused again…..there is no “keeping” anything, anywhere at all! Duty is an artificial and conditional construct as are “being”, “this” and “that”. There is only “dead water” when one is attached to “keeping” anything. If one conceives of “duty”, “being”, “this”, and “that” he is “keeping” those concepts. The problem is not “duty”, “being”, “this”, and “that” they are conditional and therefore illusory concepts, a problem is created when one attempts to “keep” to anything, “Keeping” IS attachment! If these are not conceived, there is no “dead water”, which is itself a conditional and illusory concept generated by attachments!

No one said anything about extinction. That is your illusory creation.

duty is to be and not to be this or that. is just from some one who is confused himself.

When one conceives of “duty” one is bound by that concept. When there is no “Self” there is no “duty”, no compulsion to do or be anything. What is, IS without interference!

Nexus
10-24-2009, 01:19 PM
LOL!! Well of course many, if not most, people prefer the dilly-dally route and that is okay too. I suppose there is no real hurry or deadline.

On the other hand, it could be said that many people prefer to dilly-dally because it is familiar. It is always more comfortable to go with the familiar rather than the unfamiliar, on the other hand it is often more exciting to go with the unfamiliar!

Either way it is all good, it is only an issue if you are unhappy with where you are!;)

And I have NO IDEA where I am! :)

Scott,

Regarding your previous post and the one quoted above, well said =)

Familiar gives the sense of being in control and knowing what to expect. Unfamiliar gives the sense of having no control and having no expectations. We could say that in reality, whether you are steering the sails or simply letting the winds take you, you always end up where you're supposed to, so having no idea where you are is exactly where you are supposed to be. :)

Thank you.

Scott R. Brown
10-24-2009, 01:25 PM
You certainly are 100000000000000% correct to express the above using your present mind set.

However,

If there is just a single chance you discard this mind set and be open, you will be closer to liberation.

You are bound by your own conception of what you "think" is my mindset, and this is where you fall into error!

You presume to know what you do not know and this is your own attachment to ego-centric mind.

Perhaps you would benefit more by concerning yourself with your own mindset and your own liberation rather than projecting your ego-centric interpretations on to others!


Everything is up to which identity you choose and either you to attach to the identity or not.

What is this attachment you have to what you "imagine" are the attachments of others? Mind your own store and allow others to mind their own!

Your own identity attachment is where you need to focus.

Scott R. Brown
10-24-2009, 01:28 PM
Scott,

Regarding your previous post and the one quoted above, well said =)

Familiar gives the sense of being in control and knowing what to expect. Unfamiliar gives the sense of having no control and having no expectations. We could say that in reality, whether you are steering the sails or simply letting the winds take you, you always end up where you're supposed to, so having no idea where you are is exactly where you are supposed to be. :)

Thank you.

Well stated Nexus!:)

It is always a pleasure to discuss "nothing in particular" with you, LOL!:D

Hendrik
10-24-2009, 02:30 PM
Identity is an illusion. It exists within a specific context, yet has no underlying reality. !



If so why cant you drop it but continous on with a long pages of reasoning to make your point to support the identity you love?


interesting isnt it? human. hahaha

Hahaha. :D

Nexus
10-24-2009, 06:22 PM
Well stated Nexus!:)

It is always a pleasure to discuss "nothing in particular" with you, LOL!:D

I also LOL'd. :p

taai gihk yahn
10-24-2009, 06:36 PM
Familiar gives the sense of being in control and knowing what to expect. Unfamiliar gives the sense of having no control and having no expectations. We could say that in reality, whether you are steering the sails or simply letting the winds take you, you always end up where you're supposed to, so having no idea where you are is exactly where you are supposed to be. :)

who are you?!? It does not appear that we've met before, but well met indeed; ;)

what is the boundary between the known and the unknown, between the familiar and the unfamiliar? between repetition and re-creation?

more importantly, can anything said to be repeated at all? and if not, can anything truly be said to be "familiar"? why then, might we not see this? how is it that we miss the perpetual newness of each day? why does the mind categorize and label to the exclusion of this?

and then, how is it that the former may transform into the latter? how do we become more sensitive to the freshness of each moment??

people say meditation is something to be practiced; if so, practiced for what use? when we sit / stand / lie and let the body be still, allow the chatter of the mind to fall away, what are we doing this for?

how does one rise to meet the challenge of life?

Hendrik
10-24-2009, 06:50 PM
people say meditation is something to be practiced; if so, practiced for what use? when we sit / stand / lie and let the body be still, allow the chatter of the mind to fall away, what are we doing this for?

how does one rise to meet the challenge of life?



Meditation is for practice on how to penetrate the attachment trap under a static or close environment condition. It is to prepare one so that one be able to penetrate attachement trap in dynamic situation.


So, while practice meditation, if one could go far enough to break all the attachement barrier. Then, one could see one's original face.

However, seeing this original face doesnt mean one has attained liberation. it only means one knows the original face.

Even as the Six patriach, he got to then practice dynamic attachement barrier breaking in every instant of dynamic daily life, from awake to sleep condition.


The above is the path of Buddhism the teaching of the Zen patriach.


Saying the above, if one keep speculate and debate and argue about ideas and ideas of NO Mind, yes mind.....NO self, Yes self.... etc without knowing the whole story is just to not attached and let go. One is trapping one self with one's own mind.

Only practice non attachement one can go beyond the mind and make use the mind otherwise one becomes the slave of one's own mind.



In this new age, most have no direction and process of cultivation, thus wasting life and do no good for one's living. That is very sad.

However, with proper direction and process, in an instant one will know one has a choice of liberation.






BTW. one doesnt need to stop one's mind or to do something to stop the mind.

When one aware and doesnt attached to one's thought, the thought naturally will dissolve.
Stoping mind is a sickness of Zen which is the practice of Dead Water cant cultivate Dragon.

However, until one reach the 8th Ground of Boddhisatva level it is very difficult for one to penetrate one's attachement. even if one intended to and work very hard. one stuck because one's samadhi is not yet develop. Thus, there is where Mantra is used as an aid to penetrate the attachement.

However, one must be a vegitarian and taking the 5 precepts before using any type of mantra. this is because if one is not even decisive to let go eating meat and taking life. one is not serious enought to break any attachement.

It doesnt making any sense for a person who attached to food's taste and claiming to be cultivating non attachement.


Sure, some will said "well, I eat it but I have no attachement." that is the biggest lie.

Scott R. Brown
10-25-2009, 12:02 AM
If so why cant you drop it but continous on with a long pages of reasoning to make your point to support the identity you love?


interesting isnt it? human. hahaha

Hahaha. :D

Clearly explaining anything to you cannot get past your ego-centric attachment, so I won't take the time to do so!

Scott R. Brown
10-25-2009, 01:24 AM
who are you?!? It does not appear that we've met before, but well met indeed; ;)

what is the boundary between the known and the unknown, between the familiar and the unfamiliar? between repetition and re-creation?

more importantly, can anything said to be repeated at all? and if not, can anything truly be said to be "familiar"? why then, might we not see this? how is it that we miss the perpetual newness of each day? why does the mind categorize and label to the exclusion of this?

and then, how is it that the former may transform into the latter? how do we become more sensitive to the freshness of each moment??

people say meditation is something to be practiced; if so, practiced for what use? when we sit / stand / lie and let the body be still, allow the chatter of the mind to fall away, what are we doing this for?

how does one rise to meet the challenge of life?

NOW who is taking the fun out of it?

I'll give you a hint.....it isn't you You YOU, and it isn't me Me ME!!!:D

taai gihk yahn
10-25-2009, 06:54 AM
Clearly explaining anything to you cannot get past your ego-centric attachment, so I won't take the time to do so!

THIS was all that I would have needed to do to shut you up?!? <smacks forehead into palm and drags down face>

Scott R. Brown
10-25-2009, 08:25 AM
THIS was all that I would have needed to do to shut you up?!? <smacks forehead into palm and drags down face>

You should have tried the fish dance first!:D

jdhowland
11-10-2009, 03:43 PM
...more importantly, can anything said to be repeated at all? and if not, can anything truly be said to be "familiar"? why then, might we not see this? how is it that we miss the perpetual newness of each day? why does the mind categorize and label to the exclusion of this?

and then, how is it that the former may transform into the latter? how do we become more sensitive to the freshness of each moment??


Beautifully stated.

I'm curious to know If you have read the works of Alfred Korzybski, founder of General Semantics and the (first?) working definition of sanity? He was heavily criticized by philosophers such as Max Black for trying to create a practical training method, based on scientific evidence, for learning good mental habits which helped to avoid pitfalls such as the "isness" of identity. Critics argued that the "mind/nervous system" operates by generalization and cannot function on the level of awareness of a greater reality and that his scientific jargon obscured the fact that what he was teaching was more an attitude than a science. Korzybski, himself, confided to a friend that his system could really be seen as structural metaphysics, but to keep it from being dismissed as mere cultism he brought it to to the attention of the the more educated among us so that the ideas would be preserved until society was ready to implement them. As a system of evaluation, I consider it to be the western equivalent of buddhist thought. There is no "I," no identity, no perceivable reality behind common labels; they are just words which can only convey very general responses along with associatons and emotional baggage.

With this as background I would offer that we miss the "perpetual newness" by falling back on mental habits which allow us to ignore most of the information avaiable to us by our already filtered nervous responses. "Oh, yeah, it's just a sunset." Those habits help us to focus on a very limited aspect of reality so that we can concentrate on how best to trap that mastodon, but fail us when we need to get off of autopilot and learn to live with each other.

Everything is always a new event.

jd

Lee Chiang Po
11-16-2009, 08:36 PM
you guys, i get into meditative state when masturbating
dead serious

I know the thread is dead. It went from meditation to self and something else. None of it making any sense. Interesting though. I took time to read this and this post I am sure was meant to be silly and get a laugh, but in fact, it is the only post that actually lends itself to the facts.
In his meditative state you can just imagine what he is thinking. He is committing the act in his mind. This is what meditation is actually. It is defined as thinking or intending. When we think something out, doing it over in the mind until we get it right, it is called premeditated. We premeditate an act when we meditate. We can clear the mind to be able to focus, and in order to prioritize our thoughts. But that is not meditation. We do not really trip off into another realm, we just sit or stand and think of doing something. We can do a form in our mind, over and over again. Then we can get up and do the form physically. I have done this a time or two. I can not swear that it helps me with my precision or skill, but it feels like it does. This is the simple and easy definition of meditation. Simply using the imagination to it's greatest ability.

LCP

Fa Xing
11-29-2009, 10:37 PM
I was once a Buddhist monk, and this is just too much for me to wrap my head around. My head hurts reading all this stuff :confused:

Or, it could have something to do with the Organic Chemistry I just stopped working on. :rolleyes::p

Scott R. Brown
11-29-2009, 10:59 PM
I was once a Buddhist monk, and this is just too much for me to wrap my head around. My head hurts reading all this stuff :confused:

Or, it could have something to do with the Organic Chemistry I just stopped working on. :rolleyes::p

Does it need to make any sense?

I would guess it is the Organic Chemistry. Organic Chemistry is supposed to make sense, conversations aren't, necessarily. It is all a matter of context.

If we don't try to wrap our head around it from the start no dilemma arises!

Being a Buddhist monk or Organic Chemist doesn't necessarily prepare one for seemingly pointless conversations.

taai gihk yahn
11-30-2009, 02:07 PM
Being a Buddhist monk or Organic Chemist doesn't necessarily prepare one for seemingly pointless conversations.
I think you should approach your local university and offer to teach a seminar on doing just that - I know I would be in line to sign up!

Scott R. Brown
11-30-2009, 07:55 PM
a pointless class about pointless conversations???? People have paid large sums of money for more foolish endeavors. Forget the Universities, I am going or international seminars!!!:D

taai gihk yahn
12-03-2009, 02:19 PM
a pointless class about pointless conversations???? People have paid large sums of money for more foolish endeavors. Forget the Universities, I am going or international seminars!!!:D

go viral on the web man!

Scott R. Brown
12-03-2009, 07:50 PM
There's no MONEY in that, just 15 minutes, or less, of fame!:(

I'll take MONEY:) over fame:( any day!

stoic
08-14-2011, 09:37 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_mn4tlkEZU&feature=player_embedded

rett
08-14-2011, 10:34 AM
I was about to make an In Soviet Rawsha joke but that was too cool:)

ShaolinDan
08-14-2011, 01:51 PM
Yeah, it was nice. Action-packed, but with a nice moral. :)

GeneChing
04-04-2016, 10:05 AM
I hope so because this would be a good trend.


Say aaaaah! Meditation studios are the newest trend in wellness (http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-meditation-dens-20160402-story.html)

http://www.trbimg.com/img-56fdbddf/turbine/la-he-meditation-dens-20160402-002/750/750x422
Thick cushions are evenly spaced along the Den's wood floor, top, and a raised dais at the front is for the teacher during sessions. (Jameca Lyttle / The Den)

This is how busy and harried we are at work, home and all places in between: A new boutique studio in Los Angeles offers busy Angelenos a place to do nothing but … meditate.

Like so many entrepreneurs, Tal Rabinowitz was emboldened by the fact that she couldn't find what she needed — and went ahead and made it herself. The result is the Den, a meditation-only studio that Rabinowitz designed to be secular, accessible to the masses and not linked to a particular movement, guru or lifestyle.

"There is no lingo here," she said. "Meditation should be for everyone."

Rabinowitz has long been a proponent of meditating, finding it enormously helpful in the high-stress job she formerly held as an executive vice president at NBC. (The official opening party brought in a stream of her celebrity friends from her TV days, including Kate Walsh, Amanda Seyfried and Anna Kendrick.) In September of last year, she took over the space once occupied by the venerable textile store, the Silk Trading Company, on the corner of La Brea Avenue and 4th Street in Los Angeles.

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The Den, a new boutique studio on La Brea, offers classes in meditation. (Jameca Lyttle / The Den)

With all the distractions at work and home, said Rabinowitz, sometimes you have to be in a space where the only thing you can do is meditate. (It joins another drop-in meditation studio, Unplug in Santa Monica.)

Now the 2,500-square-foot studio — filled with comfy couches and bookshelves and where the walls are painted soothing shades of teal blue next to exposed brick — holds three rooms. The main meditation room is where classes take place, run by a rotating roster of 22 teachers. Sessions range from 20 to 45 minutes.

A smaller room is for people who want to drop in and meditate on their own.

In the last space, healers in disciplines such as reiki, cranialsacral therapy and massage will offer their services.

The rooms are, predictably, cozy and welcoming: thick cushions are evenly spaced along a wood floor, a raised dais at the front is for the teacher. Dim overhead lighting comes from brass lanterns swinging from the ceiling. Some classes offer music, others are conducted in silence with only the teacher's voice as guidance.

There are several classes a day, each with a different intention: focus, healing, breathe and, the last classes of the night, including sweet dreams. Meditation incorporating qi gong and fostering creativity, as well as those for pregnant woman, are also offered.

"We try and cover the bases," Rabinowitz said. "Some classes are mantra-based, others target focus and mindfulness. We encourage people to keep meditating at home, but there's also something wonderful about being in a group setting like this."

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Besides meditation rooms, there are also comfy couches and bookshelves in the new 2,500-square-foot meditation studio, The Den, on La Brea. (Jameca Lyttle / The Den)

Classes are $22 each. A five-class package is available for $100, and a monthly unlimited membership is $160. Workshops are also offered, and those who want to drop in and meditate outside of a class pay $5.

Our favorite three classes:

A.M. energizer

The first class of the day, at 8.45 a.m., is directed toward the pre-work crowd: This 30-minute session is designed to increase mental acuity and sharpen clarity for the day ahead. "People set their intentions for how they want their day to be," Rabinowitz said.

Lunchtime detox

The 1:15 p.m. class offers a 30-minute session midday: "It's a quick relaxation to bring you down, clear your head, and get you ready for the rest of the day," she said.

Candlelight relax

This is just as it sounds: 45 minutes of flickering candles and deep breathing to help meditators decompress at the end of the day, clearing any negative vibes that have accumulated at the office or elsewhere.

The Den is located at 360 S. La Brea Ave. in Los Angeles. www.denmeditation.com

rett2
04-08-2016, 07:46 AM
This 1987 TV documentary with Bill Moyers and Jon Kabat-Zinn, Healing from Within, was very influential I believe. Still quite powerful to watch.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma_ATGxe0Ro

GeneChing
04-29-2016, 09:08 AM
The notion of a meditation binge is funny.


My Meditation Binge, in a Nutshell
On Wellness
By ALAINNA LEXIE BEDDIE APRIL 25, 2016

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Hosted by District Vision at the Standard Hotel earlier this month, the Indian yogi and mystic Jaggi Vasudev, known as Sadhguru, discussed being “High on Life.” Credit Kelly Taub/BFA.com

In a city full of fitness and wellness tribes, it can be seemingly impossible to break into a new one — but not when it comes to joining the growing group of meditators. Last week, a New York Times article explored the “mainstream business practice and a kind of industry in its own right” that meditation has become. And though inclusive — it’s hard not to feel welcome at a group meditation — the movement is quickly becoming associated with millennials and start-up companies.

Of course, mindfulness is not new in Manhattan. A certain set of New Yorkers has been meditating their whole lives — or, at least, careers. The Michelin starred TriBeCa chef Marc Forgione, for example, has a Native American spiritual guide, and has brought in the Buddhist author and meditation teacher Lodro Rinzler to teach his staff how to meditate — a handy tool, surely, in a bustling kitchen. And in L.A., where New Age gatherings are as commonplace as happy hour, a guy called Gabriel Heymann discovered a love for transcendental meditation — which led him to embrace a healthier lifestyle, and ultimately brought him to New York, where he recently launched Smart Beer, the city’s first organic brew. (He still practices meditation.) But meditation is no longer a behind-the-scenes part of a successful person’s lifestyle — it’s at the forefront of many new brands.

Chef Forgione’s friend Rinzler, for one, co-founded MNDFL, a boutique meditation studio that opened late last year in Greenwich Village. At MNDFL and a handful of similar new studios, like at any fitness class, visitors pay in advance and book a spot — a meditation cushion — online (for as little as $10). And because the world is small, one of the studio’s instructors, Eric Spiegel, officiated the wedding of Marissa Vosper — whose cult underwear line Negative Underwear is as minimal and uncluttered as the regularly meditated mind. When Vosper, who grew up meditating (her parents are practicing Buddhists), invited a small group of friends and editors to her SoHo office earlier this month to a meditation led by MNDFL, it would be safe to say that no one thought twice about the invitation. Gathering in groups to get quiet is just what we do these days.

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Inside Negative Underwear’s SoHo office, where the brand recently hosted a group meditation led by MNDFL. Credit Courtesy @victoriaalewis, via Instagram

At the time, Vosper’s event was one of very, very many mindful-oriented invitations in my inbox. There were too many to choose from — discuss Dharma with a Buddhist monk, find quietude in a sold-out sound bath, chill out with Waris Ahluwalia’s chai tea and an Indian mystic — so I did them all.

I first flexed my mind muscles at Medi Club. Founded by Jesse Israel, it’s a safe haven for like-minded “modern meditators” to gather monthly and meditate, discuss what’s new in their community and prepare for an event called the Big Quiet — mass meditations in Central Park and Lincoln Center. When I arrived at the Medi Club meeting at And & And Studios (the very chic owners of Calliope/Sub Rosa lend the space), I found what looked more like a frat party than a meditation event: 20- and 30-somethings were queued up outside the front door, and three young girls armed with iPhones (to check in guests) guarded the entrance. They had somehow lost my reservation but would accept a donation of $20 — “and can you please remove your shoes?” Inside, everyone seemed to know each other — or want to know each other. I felt like I was at a singles event and overheard one girl asking another what brought her to Medi Club for the first time. (She read about it in a New York Times article.) The meeting was ironically really loud for a club organized around quietude. (When Israel began playing Jeremih’s “Birthday Sex” to shout out birthdays, I knew I hadn’t quite found the right place to quiet and harness my thoughts.)

The next day, I sought the comfort of my favorite workday escape: OmFactory, a crunchy yoga studio (by New York standards) that offers an afternoon Flow & Meditate community class — at half the price of Medi Club’s suggested donation. The combination of yoga (to wring out the body’s toxins) and meditation (to flood the mind with stillness) felt infinitely more organic than Israel’s gathering — the focus was actually on the body. (If you’ve never meditated, the act of mindful meditation is very physical in nature: In order to clear your mind of other thoughts, you focus it on your breath, each inhale and exhale, and on your body.) The class calmed and prepared me for the adventure I’d embark on the next evening: a weekend meditation retreat in Rockaway Beach. continued next post

GeneChing
04-29-2016, 09:08 AM
https://static01.nyt.com/images/2016/04/25/t-magazine/25beddie-Rockaway/25beddie-Rockaway-master675.jpg
A scene from Buddhist Insights’ meditation retreat in Rockaway Beach this month. (The writer and T’s online managing editor, Alainna Lexie Beddie, is pictured at far right.) Credit Beth Perkins

Free and open to the public, and led in part by a Buddhist monk called Bhante Suddhaso, the weekend was organized by the new nonprofit Buddhist Insights. Between rounds of meditation Suddhaso discouraged idle chatter. The resulting environment was drastically different from the clubby Medi Club, and our group — which consisted mostly of neighborhood locals ranging from teenagers to grandparents — ate most of the home-cooked organic meals together, gratefully and in silence, by an old wood-burning stove.

Even on the retreat, in the beachy neighborhood of Queens, it was impossible to ignore mindfulness’s enduring appeal to young entrepreneurs. Buddhist Insights was founded in January by Giovanna Maselli, a 30-something former fashion features editor at Elle in Milan, to connect enlightened monastics with jaded New Yorkers. The retreat’s location, the three-year-old Rockaway Retreat House, is owned and operated by another 30-something: Maselli’s neighbor across the street, Jaime Schultz, who cooked all our meals, led a guided meditation on the first night and separately has a full-time job in real estate. Maselli’s and Schultz’s community of like-minded and similarly aged friends and neighbors all pitched in for the weekend: Miriam Kwietniewska provided sweet treats from her one-year-old paleo desserts company M.U.D. (Mindfulness Using Desserts), and led a grounding workshop to help connect us to our bodies (and the Earth); Lena Roca came in from her donation-based yoga studio down the street to lead daily yoga classes; Michelle LaDue, the local doula, acupuncturist and herbalist behind Moonflower Healing Arts, was a steady presence, pitching in whenever needed during the retreat.

On the retreat, we all brought with us our biggest baggage — loneliness, loss, unrequited love — and left grappling with Suddhaso’s Buddhist belief that at the root of all of our unhappiness is desire. Because we want something to be different, we are unhappy. Because I’d always rather be catching a big fish in Virginia and drinking ice-cold micheladas, I am unhappy that I am actually sitting on a cold floor in Rockaway, not catching a fish. (Killing living things, I also learned from Suddhaso, isn’t great.) You can’t change the past (so it doesn’t matter, forget it), and you can’t control the future (it hasn’t happened yet, don’t sweat it).

At the Standard, East Village hotel a few days later, I sat in front of an Indian yogi and mystic Jaggi Vasudev, known as Sadhguru, for a talk called “High on Life.” The new sports and well-being eyewear label District Vision, hosted the event, where Sadhguru shared his wisdom. (This is also where Ahluwalia served his tea.) Some of Sadhguru’s most memorable quotes on mindfulness from the evening include:

“Everybody has their own drama going.” (You are not special. Stop acting like it.)

“We are trying to fix the world for our needs instead of trying to fix ourselves for this world.” (You can’t change what happens around you, so just focus on yourself.)

“People are just lost in the mud of their thought and emotion.” (If you can control your mind, and clear it, you will be less burdened by unnecessary worries and feelings.)

And, my favorite: “If you had a choice for yourself, is it to be blissful or miserable? Hello?” (Hello?)

But I learned that actively dispelling thoughts, especially notions of desire, is hard: It’s true what they say about achieving mindfulness, that the mind is a muscle you have to flex in order to train it. So my biggest disappointment in meditation was that it was not what I hoped: an endless savasana (the pose at the end of yoga where you lie on the ground in silence, and sometimes even doze off).

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Jessica Caplan hosts monthly sound baths at Pure Yoga.

Except that is exactly what I stumbled onto the following weekend at Pure Yoga. Since it can be hard to focus on our own bodies, the use of lights and sound (even, a guide’s voice) are sometimes used to help lead us. And healing sound baths are the drug of choice these days to achieve both heightened awareness — and utter relaxation. (The notion has even gone mainstream, and sound baths are an integral element of treatments at luxury spas like the Mandarin Oriental in New York.) Each month, Jessica Caplan hosts Sonic Saturday at Pure Yoga, where she is also a yoga instructor. At her April class, she prefaced the meditative soundscape with a disclaimer about snoring: It’s fine to do it, even expected, but you may feel a tap on the shoulder and a nudge to move onto your side so that you don’t disrupt your neighbors. Finally, the hourlong savasana of my dreams — set to the beautiful melodies of Caplan and her guest sound healer on that day. As we lay around the room on yoga mats, the duo sang over and around us, to the tune of exotic instruments. They chanted and they chimed. They transported us from the outside world — and ultimately, in my case — into deep slumber. My mind melted. And I emerged from the experience as from a luxurious nap: renewed, and totally, as they say, in my body.

I hope meditation is genuinely trending. That would be great for all.

David Jamieson
05-03-2016, 07:14 AM
Why are these things always packed with women? I find that fascinating.
I also find it fascinating when someone says they need to "find themselves".
Being of the mind that really, focus should be on creating the self.

In keeping with continuing Ch'an practice. Be. Do.

do be do be do. :)

Jimbo
05-03-2016, 07:32 AM
Why are these things always packed with women? I find that fascinating.
I also find it fascinating when someone says they need to "find themselves".
Being of the mind that really, focus should be on creating the self.

In keeping with continuing Ch'an practice. Be. Do.

do be do be do. :)

I've taken part in some alternative (non-religious) spiritual practices, and I've always found that the overwhelming majority of participants are women, although there's often a few men as well. I couldn't tell you why. Perhaps there are more women than men who are interested in and open to these types of things, and thus actively seeking them out?

As for people seeking to 'find themselves', I think the phrase itself has become a cliche to most people, but it does have a deeper (potential) meaning behind it than the purely self-indulgent concept that most people associate it with. Meaning, to rediscover one's true self beneath all the artificial, egotistical trappings that one accumulates over a lifetime that obscures who they (we) are at the soul level.

David Jamieson
05-03-2016, 12:03 PM
I've taken part in some alternative (non-religious) spiritual practices, and I've always found that the overwhelming majority of participants are women, although there's often a few men as well. I couldn't tell you why. Perhaps there are more women than men who are interested in and open to these types of things, and thus actively seeking them out?

As for people seeking to 'find themselves', I think the phrase itself has become a cliche to most people, but it does have a deeper (potential) meaning behind it than the purely self-indulgent concept that most people associate it with. Meaning, to rediscover one's true self beneath all the artificial, egotistical trappings that one accumulates over a lifetime that obscures who they (we) are at the soul level.

Indeed.

Being and Doing, or fetch water, carry wood are excellent paths of discovery and knowing.

GeneChing
09-06-2017, 08:52 AM
BEAUTY
This Victoria’s Secret Model Has a Simple (and Stylish!) Trick for Staying Calm (http://www.vogue.com/article/district-vision-meditation-blanket-elsa-hosk-victorias-secret-new-york-city-marathon)
SEPTEMBER 5, 2017 9:58 AM
by ESTHER ADAMS ACHARA

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Photo: Courtesy of Elsa Hosk

There are a number of reasons running enthusiast and Victoria’s Secret model Elsa Hosk is taking up lotus position on a meditation blanket in the picture above. One: the intricately woven covering launches online today as part of eyewear label District Vision’s expanded repertoire of tools that aim to improve runners’ mental states, and in turn elevate their performance. Hosk is a fan (and she also happens to front the label’s eyewear campaign and date its cofounder, Tom Daly). And two: Hosk is a sometime meditator who genuinely believes in practicing the art of mind over matter.
“I would love to have a daily practice but I’m not quite there yet,” Hosk admits. “But when I do meditate, it always changes my mood drastically and makes me feel more grateful.” With studies suggesting that just five or 10 minutes a day is all it takes to reprogram a hyper-stimulated, stressed-out mind, investing in a beautiful, supportive measure like this one is a no-brainer. The blankets come in five different prints and are handwoven by indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico—the place where founders Daly and Max Vallot conceived of the vision for their label three years ago—and cost just $40 each. “The dense construction offers solid support during seated meditation or reclined yoga poses,” says Vallot. “And stacking two or three on top of each other is perfect for those just starting out.”
The blankets launch alongside yoga mats and blocks, and, starting next week, District Vision is offering a six-week series of free meditation classes at Sky Ting for those prepping for the New York marathon. But back to those blankets. Not only are they easy to wash (just throw them in your machine), but consider, also, Hosk’s argument that, even on non-meditative days, hers doubles as a “great beach towel or beautiful head wrap” and it’s hard to find a reason to resist.
Available from today, Arthaya meditation blanket, $40; districtvision.com

I'm not sure why this popped up on my newsfeed but I'm grateful and feel absolved for all the times I randomly plugged MartialArtsMart.com here (http://www.martialartsmart.com/).

GeneChing
09-20-2017, 08:52 AM
We Tried 3 Local Meditation Boutiques. Here’s How They Compared (https://www.washingtonian.com/2017/09/15/tried-3-local-meditation-boutiques-heres-compared/)
WRITTEN BY CAROLINE CUNNINGHAM | PUBLISHED ON SEPTEMBER 15, 2017

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The boutique wellness trend knows no bounds. We’ve seen everything from boutique indoor cycling to boutique boxing to boutique squash. Now there’s boutique meditation.

It was only a matter of time before the trend crept down the coast from New York City, where the meditation studios Mndfl and Inscape opened in 2015 and 2016, respectively, following the West Coast trendsetter, Unplug Meditation, which launched in Los Angeles in 2014. Given that DC’s studios started appearing in Washington right around the close of the 2016 election, it seems that local boutique owners have hit the timing right—opening just as a stressed-out Washington is seeking relief.

No matter your motivation for giving it a try, these new boutiques are open for beginners and experienced meditators alike. Here’s how they stack up.

Recharj
1445 New York Ave., NW; 844-334-6627; recharj.com

Ambience: Like glamping. The floor is covered in artificial turf; the walls are draped in white cloth, with the exception of a bark-covered accent wall; and soothing blue lighting shines from above. Because it’s in the windowless center of an office building, it’s blissfully quiet.

Little extras: A free tea station and a corner with lotions, succulents, and T-shirts for sale.

Class I tried: Mindfulness, which “teaches techniques and methods for systematically developing awareness.” Also on the menu: Sound Bath Immersion, Visualization, Movement, Deep Rest, Breath, Mantra, and more.

The experience: I settled into a comfortable position on floor cushions. The instructor struck a gong, then led the class of three through a roughly 15-minute session, directing us to focus on breathing and different parts of the body—such as the space between where the palms of our hands rested on our legs. There weren’t many moments of silence—the instructor kept up a continuous stream of directions. I found this ideal as a beginner because the instructions helped keep my mind from wandering. After the first 15 minutes, the instructor rang the gong, briefly discussed the experience with us, then led us through a second 15-minute meditation.

Exercise to steal: Count the beats as you breathe in, then breathe out to twice as many beats as you inhaled.

How I felt after: Relaxed, rested, and energized.

Price: $15 for a single class.

Take Five Meditation
1803 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-588-5198; takefivemeditation.com

Ambience: Like a salon. The marble countertop on the front desk and the light-wood accent wall in the lounge area help make the space feel a little more luxurious. The classroom itself is fairly blank—bare walls and gray carpeting—with the exception of a large gong. A big window overlooks the street, but the shades were drawn.

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Little extras: A free tea station and a bookshelf with journals for sale.

Class I tried: Mantra, which is “a form of vibrational healing that works from the inside out.” Also on the menu: Chi; Crystal Bowl; Mindfulness; Moving; Creating Joy; Clarity, Connection and Purpose; Relax and Replenish; and more.

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The experience: After settling in with as many cushions as it took to get cozy, we learned about different mudras—ways to position your hands—and mantras that can be used during meditation. This class, with four participants, was a bit more instructional than the other two and focused more on teaching than on doing. The mantras we practiced were the Sanskrit words lam and vam, which, when repeat-ed aloud, create certain vibrations in the lips and down the spine that we were told to focus on.

Exercise to steal: Repeat vam aloud and feel how the vibrations move through you.

How I felt after: A little less tense than before class, but the session itself wasn’t particularly relaxing because it required more engagement.

Price: $15 for your first class.

Just Meditate
4928 St. Elmo Ave., Bethesda; 301-312-8080; justmeditate.studio

Ambience: Like a school. Cubbies near the door and a long hallway with two classrooms labeled Studio 1 and Studio 2 in blue block letters lent a bit of a kindergarten feel. Inside the studio were mats with floor chairs in rows, further adding to the classroom vibe. (The legless seats have backs, for those who can’t handle sitting unsupported on a cushion for 30 minutes.) One big downside to the space was the creaky wood floor and thin walls—when someone walked down the hall, you could hear every step.

Little extra: A cooler with cups for water.

Class I tried: Just Enough, an abbreviated version of the 45-minute Just Meditate class, which is a “mash-up of modalities such as breath, body scan, compassion, and mindfulness.” Also on the menu: Just Breathe, Just Mindful, Just Word, Just You, and Just Kids.



The experience: This class had less instruction than the other two, so it might be good for those who have more experience and can stay focused throughout one 30-minute session. The instructions, when they came, primarily addressed breathing. One exercise involved focusing on the top of the spine where it meets the skull and trying to feel all the way down the vertebrae. A hand-held chime was used to start and end the class, and each participant—three in all—had the chance to strike it before the session concluded.

Exercise to steal: Ring a gong or bell, then try to keep the tone in your ear for as long as possible after it’s faded away.

How I felt after: Calm and happy.

Price: $22 for a single class.

This is trending enough to copy it off our general Meditation (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?26155-Meditation) thread into an indie Meditation Boutiques (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?70478-Meditation-Boutiques) thread.

GeneChing
10-16-2017, 08:33 AM
10.13.17
VOL 53 ISSUE 40
Historians Discover Meditation Spread From Ancient China By Annoying Monk Who Wouldn’t Shut Up About How It Changed His Life (http://www.theonion.com/article/historians-discover-meditation-spread-ancient-chin-57197)

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Artworks of the period depict the monk irritatingly recounting how even after just a few days of meditation, he was already feeling more present in his own mind.

NEW YORK—In a groundbreaking new study published Friday in The Journal Of East Asian Studies, a team of leading historians has proved that meditation originally spread from ancient China because a single, highly annoying monk went around telling everyone how much it had changed his life.

Analyzing documents uncovered across the Eurasian continent, researchers determined that the monk, who lived in the seventh century A.D. and learned rudimentary breathing and visualization exercises from a group of Mahayana Buddhists, traveled widely and talked constantly about how practicing meditation for only a week had fundamentally altered his personal outlook. From the Korean peninsula to the Central Asian steppes, he is believed to have aggravated people everywhere he went, inevitably shifting every conversation to the importance of mindfulness and being centered, even when it was clear no one was interested.


“Our research shows that from Mongolia all the way down to Java, everyone hated this smug *****.”
“There are mentions of an unbearably irritating monk in many texts from the period, and once we realized they were all referring to the same person, we were able to conclude that much of the Eastern world learned about meditation from this one sanctimonious *******,” said study co-author Sheila Ryan of New York University, explaining that contemporary accounts indicated the monk would travel the Silk Road via merchant caravan, nagging his drivers about the value of observing one’s negative thoughts without resistance or judgment. “For example, scrolls from Asuka-period Japan indicate the island nation’s first exposure to the practice was this monk droning on and on about all the insight he’d gained from a weekend spent meditating in Tibet.

“Our research shows that from Mongolia all the way down to Java, everyone hated this smug *****,” Ryan added.

In the fragments that remain of their written correspondence, traders who traveled the same routes as the monk remarked upon how every time a person said something negative, the exasperating little **** would invariably chime in with unsolicited advice about how they just needed to accept their worries for what they were and learn to appreciate the present moment. Three separate diaries found far apart from one another in present-day Cambodia, Bhutan, and Afghanistan independently verify that whenever the monk bragged about his morning meditation routine, people secretly wanted to punch him in the face.

According to the historians, the evidence they amassed has allowed them to confirm that a figure who appears in several gombi-style paintings from the period is in fact this same monk. In one typical depiction, which places the monk in the ancient city-state of Srivijaya around 680 A.D., he is seen sitting on a mat and meditating in the middle of a busy market square as visibly annoyed passersby shuffle past, many of them appearing to shake their heads, roll their eyes, or stare at him in quiet derision.

To this day, scholars have observed, oral histories passed down for centuries in remote parts of rural China tell of a monk who pestered the **** out of everyone he could find until they reluctantly agreed to attend his ****ty introduction to mindfulness course.

“In his extensive travelogues, the Tang dynasty writer Yi Jing describes an episode in which a man we now believe to have been this monk continually disrupts a hard-at-work blacksmith with lectures about how the mind is a muscle that must be exercised just like any other,” Ryan said. “Apparently, the only thing this pain-in-the-ass ever talked about was how spending 10 minutes a day focusing on his breathing had made him more relaxed and productive. He kept badgering everyone to let him lead them through a guided meditation so they could see how great it was. Some people even tried it just to get him to shut the **** up.”

“Our findings suggest he spread meditation to as much as 40 percent of Asia,” she continued. “He might have kept going, too, but after the monk told the Khmer emperor Jayavarman II that his empire would be much larger if he just tried a few simple stress-reduction techniques, he was beheaded on the spot.”

I just couldn't resist posting this here. :p

Scott R. Brown
10-23-2017, 02:39 AM
I'm waiting for someone to teach meditation on the toilet. Good for your bowels, good for your spirit.

GeneChing
02-08-2018, 10:06 AM
Anyone in the 'meditation community' knows this. Some people meditate on psycho stuff. :rolleyes:


MEDITATING EVERY DAY DOESN'T MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON (http://www.newsweek.com/meditating-every-day-doesnt-make-you-better-person-800341)
BY MELISSA MATTHEWS ON 2/6/18 AT 2:40 PM

Meditation has been credited with lowering stress, encouraging compassion and generally making us all around better people. “If every eight-year-old in the world is taught meditation,” says a quote attributed to the Dalai Lama, “the world will be without violence within one generation.”

European researchers looked into whether these claims about meditation are supported by scientific evidence. Most studies of meditation have focused on its psychological and physical benefits. This time, a group of scientists wanted to know whether the activity could be used to foster compassion, altruism and social connections.

http://s.newsweek.com/sites/www.newsweek.com/files/styles/full/public/2018/02/06/262017meditation.jpg
Mass meditation at a festival in Los Angeles. A new study says the activity does not make you a better person.
MARK RALSTON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The purpose of the study goes beyond debunking or bolstering claims. As the researchers write in their paper, if widespread meditation really could curb—or end—violence, then the act of meditating could be used to diffuse conflict in schools, prisons and possibly even politics.

Meditation typically involves focusing on your breathing or thoughts in a quiet location without outside distraction. Researchers at Coventry University in the United Kingdom, Massey University in New Zealand, and Radboud University in the Netherlands, reviewed more than 20 studies that researched whether this practice had any bearing on mindfulness, kindness or positive social sentiments.

They found that meditation did not significantly reduce aggressive or prejudice behaviors. Further, the practice didn’t help make people more socially connected. The team determined that most of the studies had weak methodologies. Specifically they found that studies on which the meditation teacher was a co-author produced more positive results, hinting at biases and weaknesses in the research.

“None of this, of course, invalidates Buddhism or other religions' claims about the moral value and eventually life changing potential of its beliefs and practices,” said study co-author Miguel Farias of Coventry University in a statement. “But our research findings are a far cry from many popular claims made by meditators and some psychologists.”

They note that studies that eliminate researcher bias are needed in order to obtain a true look at the benefits of meditation.

"To understand the true impact of meditation on people's feelings and behavior further we first need to address the methodological weaknesses we uncovered—starting with the high expectations researchers might have about the power of meditation," Farias said in a statement.

While the National Institutes of Health does not advise foregoing traditional medical assistance, the organization does indicate meditation could be used to lower blood pressure and help manage pain. The NIH is currently funding studies on using the practice to deal with headaches, stress reduction and post traumatic stress disorder.

GeneChing
06-20-2018, 08:30 AM
This new study is making the rounds and eliciting some pop news reports. I'm curious about the measures involved.


Mind-body practices and the self: yoga and meditation do not quiet the ego, but instead boost self-enhancement (https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/420273/)
Gebauer, Jochen, Nehrlich, A.D., Stahlberg, D., Sedikides, Constantine, Hackenschmidt, D, Schick, D, Stegmaie, C A, Windfelder, C. C, Bruk, A and Mander, J V (2018) Mind-body practices and the self: yoga and meditation do not quiet the ego, but instead boost self-enhancement. Psychological Science, 1-22. (In Press)

Record type: Article
Abstract
Mind-body practices enjoy immense public and scientific interest. Yoga and meditation are highly popular. Purportedly, they foster well-being by “quieting the ego” or, more specifically, curtailing self-enhancement. However, this ego-quieting effect contradicts an apparent psychological universal, the self-centrality principle. According to this principle, practicing any skill renders it self-central, and self-centrality breeds self-enhancement. We examined those opposing predictions in the first tests of mind-body practices’ self-enhancement effects. Experiment 1 followed 93 yoga students over 15 weeks, assessing self-centrality and self-enhancement after yoga practice (yoga condition, n = 246) and without practice (control condition, n = 231). Experiment 2 followed 162 meditators over 4 weeks (meditation condition: n = 246; control condition: n = 245). Self-enhancement was higher in the yoga (Experiment 1) and meditation (Experiment 2) conditions, and those effects were mediated by greater self-centrality. Additionally, greater self-enhancement mediated mind-body practices’ well-being benefits. Evidently, neither yoga nor meditation quiet the ego; instead, they boost self-enhancement.

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Accepted/In Press date: 3 February 2018
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Local EPrints ID: 420273
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/420273
ISSN: 0956-7976
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THREADS:
Meditation (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?26155-Meditation)
Yoga (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?22367-Yoga)

GeneChing
07-12-2018, 08:55 AM
Best application for meditation that I've seen in years.


https://www.mcclatchy-wires.com/incoming/4zpoow/picture214350924/alternates/LANDSCAPE_1140/Thailand_Dealing_With_Darkness_15195.jpg
FILE - In this handout photo released by Tham Luang Rescue Operation Center, Thai rescue teams use headlamps to enter a pitch-black cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach went missing, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, Monday, July 2, 2018. The group was discovered late July 2 after 10 days totally cut off from the outside world, and while they are for the most physically healthy, experts say the ordeal has likely taken a mental toll that could worsen the longer the situation lasts. (Tham Luang Rescue Operation Center via AP, File)

Buddhist meditation may calm team trapped in Thai cave (https://www.sacbee.com/latest-news/article214351339.html)
BY TASSANEE VEJPONGSA AND GRANT PECK
Associated Press
July 05, 2018 07:28 PM
Updated July 05, 2018 07:29 PM

MAE SAI, THAILAND
At a gilded temple in Thailand's mountainous north, Ekapol Chanthawong honed a skill that will serve him well as he sits trapped underground in a dark cave: meditation.

Before the 25-year-old was a coach to the young boys on the Wild Boars soccer team — 12 of whom are trapped alongside him — he spent a decade as a saffron-robed Buddhist monk. He still stays at the temple from time to time and will meditate with the monks there each day.

"He could meditate up to an hour," said his aunt, Tham Chanthawong. "It has definitely helped him and probably helps the boys to stay calm."

More than 288 hours have passed since Ekapol and the boys got trapped in Tham Luang Nang Non cave by monsoon floodwaters on June 23 after they went exploring. The group was discovered July 2 after 10 days totally cut off from the outside world, and while they are for the most physically healthy, experts say the ordeal has likely taken a mental toll that could worsen the longer the situation lasts.

"It's very likely that while the boys were in the cave but not yet discovered by rescuers that they experienced various degrees of anxiety, fear, confusion, vulnerability and dependency, and perhaps hopelessness," said Paul Auerbach, of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University's medical school.

Videos taken inside the cave show the boys, aged 11-16, and their coach interacting with Thai navy SEAL divers, who have been sent in to supply them, provide medical care and to keep them company. Though they are visibly skinny and weak, the boys and their coach appear to be in good spirits, smiling for the camera as the SEALs crack jokes.

Still the group is unable to leave and there is no timeline for their extraction. The only way out of the cave at this time would be for the boys to dive through the same complicated route of narrow passageways that their rescuers entered, something that is extremely dangerous even for expert divers let alone children with no such experience. Yet it is something being considered with storms on the way that could worsen the floods.

Cave rescue experts have said it could be safest to simply supply the boys where they are for now, and wait for the water to go down either naturally or by pumping. That could take months, however, given that Thailand's rainy season typically lasts through October.

"Being discovered was a moment of elation," Auerbach said, "but that is now followed by the reality that a difficult technical rescue might be necessary, which carries with it disappointment for the boys and a new set of fears."

Experts say the Wild Boars come into their situation with some advantages, including their youth, their group identity and, yes, their coach's experience with meditation.

"Adolescents are especially social creatures, and having friends with them as well as their coach would be a tremendous help," said David Spiegel, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University's medical school.

The boys and their coach are known to be a tight-knit group who go on adventures, including swimming in waterfalls, cycling trips through the mountains, river rafting and cave exploring.

Experts say Ekapol's meditation — a mainstay of the Buddhist faith — likely served the group well.

"I'd speculate it could be helpful — even if it functioned solely as a way for the children to feel like their coach was doing something to help them," said Michael Poulin, a professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. "Feeling loved and cared for is paramount."

Spiegel agreed that meditation could help those trapped manage their mental state, "allowing their fearful and negative thoughts to flow through them like a storm passing, rather than fighting their fear."

Aisha Wiboonrungrueng, whose 11-year-old son Chanin is trapped in the cave, has no doubt that Ekapol's calm personality has influenced the boys' state of mind.

"Look at how calm they were sitting there waiting. No one was crying or anything. It was astonishing," she said, referring a video that captured the moment the boys were found.

Omar Reygadas, who spent 69 days trapped underground in Chile in 2010 with 32 other miners, said faith and prayer, as well as humor were very important to the miners at times when they doubted they would get out.

"They shouldn't be ashamed to be scared," he said of the boys. "Because we were scared, too. Our tears also ran. Even as adult men, we cried."

If safety concerns force the boys to stay in the cave for an extended period, it will be important to their mental health for there to be organization and daily routines, said John Fairbank, a psychiatry professor and co-director of the UCLA-Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress.

He said that could include "daily hygiene routines, regular meal times, age-appropriate cognitive activities, regular physical exercise to the extent feasible in limited space, religious/spiritual practices, and specific times for daily briefings on their situation and for communicating with their families."

All the experts agreed that the group will continue to face challenges even after they make it out of the cave.

Thailand's Department of Mental Health said hospitals are making preparations to care for the boys' and will monitor them until their mental health is fully regained. They are also working with the families to prepare for how to interact with the boys once they get out, such as not digging for details about what they endured.

"Their re-entry into the world outside the cave will predictably be one of massive attention from family, friends and the media," Auerbach said, noting it could be overwhelming. "The world soon loses interest and moves on to the next story, so it is extremely important that these survivors not be forgotten and be closely monitored so that they can receive the best possible support."

https://www.mcclatchy-wires.com/incoming/rooxud/picture214351324/alternates/FREE_768/Thailand_Dealing_With_Darkness_01830.jpg
Rescuers lay telephone cable from a cave where a young soccer team and their coach are trapped Thursday, July 5, 2018, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand. The group was discovered July 2 after 10 days totally cut off from the outside world, and while they are for the most physically healthy, experts say the ordeal has likely taken a mental toll that could worsen the longer the situation lasts. Sakchai Lalit AP Photo

GeneChing
09-13-2018, 09:01 AM
What Meditation Can—and Can’t—Do for Your Health (https://www.self.com/story/mindfulness-meditation-health-benefits)
Mindfulness meditation is one wellness trend that shows no signs of disappearing. But what does the science say?

https://media.self.com/photos/5b0f1362fb856d7d3d023877/4:3/w_752,c_limit/meditation-health-benefits.jpg
CSA Plastock/Getty Images
Brain

You know you should meditate. You’ve probably had plenty of friends tell you so and seen plenty of headlines about the benefits of meditation. It makes you happier, healthier, calmer, glowier, smarter, younger, nicer—a generally better human, or so you’ve heard. Maybe you've even dipped your toe into meditating once or twice, downloading Headspace after a stressful day, and couldn't really motivate yourself to make it stick. Or, hey, maybe you are one of those people who actually sets aside 30 minutes a day to meditate.

Considering society's fleeting attention span when it comes to wellness advice, it's impressive that meditation—which has roots in a variety of ancient Eastern traditions like Jainism and Buddhism—has achieved this status as a pillar of well-being.

But is meditation’s ubiquity based on rock-solid scientific research? Or are there other factors to thank for its staying power? What exactly is meditation capable of, and should we all be doing it? We spoke to several experts behind the growing body of research on the health effects of meditation to hear more about what the science tells us—and what we have yet to learn.

What is meditation?
“Meditation is generally used as a broad umbrella term that covers a wide array of contemplative practices, many of which are drawn from Buddhist traditions but have often been adapted and secularized for application in Western society,” neuroscientist Wendy Hasenkamp, Ph.D., science director at the Mind & Life Institute and visiting professor of contemplative sciences at the University of Virginia, tells SELF. “[It is] a broad set of practices that seek to use the mind in specific, intentional ways.”

Although the goals and methods vary widely depending on the type of meditation, at the core of several is a quality called mindfulness. “We still don’t have any single authoritative definition or source that defines mindfulness in a way that’s accepted by all researchers in a contemporary context,” David Vago, Ph.D., research director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and director of the Contemplative Neuroscience and Integrative Medicine Laboratory at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, tells SELF.
When you think of mindfulness, you probably think of being present or focusing on the current moment, and that’s the gist of it. The most widely accepted definition of mindfulness today is attributed to Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., a molecular biologist, meditation teacher, and professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS). Kabat-Zinn once described mindfulness as an “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, nonjudgmentally.”
In 1979, Kabat-Zinn developed a program called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at UMMS that, as Vago explains, would help bring the principles and practices of mindfulness meditation traditions, largely rooted in the Buddhist Dharma, into a mainstream medical setting for clinical application and scientific study (work that continues today at the school’s Center for Mindfulness.
So, mindfulness meditation is the practice of experiencing and cultivating this quality of mindfulness “by a steady practice of attending to the breath, body sensations, thoughts, feelings and even awareness itself,” Susan Smalley, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychiatry at UCLA and founder of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, tells SELF.
This is sometimes called open monitoring or open awareness, says Vago. At the center of a variety of mindfulness meditation practices is “learning how to let go of distractions as attention is pulled away, and to do so with a gentle or kind quality,” Smalley says.

As Vago explains, “You open your mind and your attention to any object that arises, and you gently note and label whatever arises and passes, without following those thoughts or feelings down the rabbit hole, so to speak.”

All of this might sound familiar if you’ve ever tried this yourself, maybe while lying in Savasana at the end of yoga class. You focus on the sensations of your rib cage rising and falling as you inhale and exhale; then your mind wanders to thoughts of dinner prep or shopping, before you redirect your attention back to the present moment, focusing again on your breath. That is, in essence, mindfulness meditation.

Today, mindfulness meditation is the practice for which the most convincing body of evidence exists.
Many clinical trials still adhere to Kabat-Zinn’s official curriculum for MBSR, which has two main components that make up an eight-week intervention program: in-class group instruction by a highly trained teacher for two and a half to three and a half hours, once a week, and at-home practice for about an hour, six or seven days a week, to apply those learnings independently. The at-home practice includes both 45 minutes of formal mindfulness practices (including sitting meditations, body scan meditations, walking meditations, and hatha yoga) and five to 15 minutes of informal mindfulness practices (such as being aware of your thoughts, behaviors, emotions, reactions, and sensations during regular daily activities). There is also an all-day retreat during week six.
Other studies use regimens modeled after MBSR in principle and practice, which are grouped under the label mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), Vago says. (The degree to which they adhere to the original structure varies; they may be shorter, for example, or focus on certain practices but exclude others.) There is one MBI designed specifically for the treatment of depression known as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)—a mix of MBSR and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—that is now regarded as scientifically valid as MBSR.
Obviously, mindfulness meditation looks very different outside of the clinical world, and practices can vary from person to person—from the kind of meditation they practice, to how often they do it, and for how long. The majority of people who meditate aren’t following a formal program with an hour of practice every day plus weekly group classes with specially trained teachers personally coaching them and researchers keeping tabs.

But the scientists conducting research need to be able to compare apples to apples when they’re studying meditation, and these formalized programs are a way to control that variability and ensure that researchers are looking at the effects of the same active ingredient in their studies.

continued next post

GeneChing
09-13-2018, 09:02 AM
You may have already read dozens of articles with flashy headlines about meditation.
There are one-off studies looking at meditation’s potential effects on nearly every aspect of physical or mental health. The stories those kinds of studies produce might grab your attention, but they’re pops of color when what we’re looking for is the big, real-world picture.

The explosion in the field over the last few years has led to an overwhelming number of one-off studies about the effects of meditation on just about any health-related issue. According to PubMed, the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s database of biomedical papers, there are nearly 8,000 papers on mindfulness or meditation today, more than half of which were published since 2014. (There were fewer than 800 in 2000.)
With the thousands of studies out there, “You will find data that supports that it’s good for everything,” Vago points out. As a result, the benefits of meditation have, in many cases, been overblown thanks to headlines harping on awesome-sounding but unsubstantial studies. (Several leaders in the field, including Vago, voiced these concerns and many others earlier this year in a critical paper titled “Mind the Hype.”

As with many other areas of medical science, the most sound evidence emerges from meta-reviews and meta-analyses. These are rigorous, large-scale papers that aggregate data from a bunch of individual studies (all meeting a given set of criteria) and perform statistical analyses in order to identify the most consistent, reliable findings in the field. This prevents fluke findings from slipping through the cracks and any one study receiving undue weight. In science, replication of findings is key; the more studies that point in the same direction, the more confident scientists feel about that path of discovery.

The experts we spoke to agree that, when looking at the science on the benefits of mindfulness meditation, there are three conditions with a strong and convincing body of evidence to support its effects: depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.
Although the research still is not definitive, the positive effects of mindfulness meditation on these conditions “is holding up to the strongest, strictest standards of research” in well-designed, well-powered trials, Vago says.

Many of these rigorous studies are randomized controlled trials (RCTs), in which participants are randomly assigned to either receive the treatment being tested (in this case, a mindfulness-based intervention) or be in a control group, to which the treatment group is compared at the end. The people in the control group may receive no treatment, a placebo, or a different kind of treatment. Often, the control group will receive an evidence-based therapy (EBT)—a well-studied conventional treatment for certain conditions, such as antidepressants for depression. Researchers can also get creative to control for placebo effects, using “sham mindfulness meditation” or psychological placebo groups (such as taking educational classes about depression), to control for such factors as the expectation of getting better, getting attention from a professional, or group support, and isolate the active ingredient, e.g. mindfulness meditation.
Vago points to a heavily cited meta-analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2014 that evaluated the strength of evidence for several different meditation practices in improving a variety of “stress-related outcomes” related to both mental and physical health. The strongest evidence they found was for MBSR, MBCT, and MBI in improving depression, anxiety, and pain.
Here’s what the research tells us about meditation’s effects on depression and anxiety.
The authors of the JAMA study determined “moderate evidence” exists to support that mindfulness meditation programs can help reduce depression and anxiety over eight weeks, and that the effects lingered to a degree three to six months later. Now, “moderate evidence” may not sound super exciting, but when evaluating something as vague and multifaceted as meditation and mental health, it’s impressive.

“Moderate evidence is exactly what it sounds like,” Vago explains. “Results are positive using [the] most rigorous standards.” In looking at the effects on depression, for instance, in the JAMA study, “The effect sizes are comparable to what you would expect to get from taking antidepressants over eight weeks,” he explains. “That’s huge.” (Participants receiving MBIs also fared better than participants getting no treatment and those in a psychological control group.)

A February 2018 meta-analysis in Clinical Psychology Review that assessed 142 clinical trials, with a total of more than 12,000 participants with a variety of mental and behavioral health conditions, reached the same conclusion. Researchers found that MBIs were generally just as effective as evidence-based therapies (EBTs)—such as standard first-line treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or antidepressants—for people with depression and anxiety, both immediately post-treatment and in follow-ups.
MBCT in particular has been found to be effective for those with depression, especially recurrent depression, neuroscientist Gaëlle Desbordes, Ph.D., a radiology instructor at Harvard Medical School and researcher at the Massachusetts General Hospital Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, tells SELF. One 2016 meta-analysis published in JAMA Psychiatry found MBCT reduced the risk of depression relapse in people with recurrent depression as well as antidepressants did.
Desbordes, who is currently conducting a clinical trial on this very topic, says that although some people in the field hoping for more dramatic results were initially disappointed that MBCT didn’t outperform antidepressants, these kinds of analyses show that MBCT actually works. “This means that [MBIs] could be tried as an alternative to antidepressants for people who are hesitant or want to avoid the side effects of those medications,” Hasenkamp says.

Exactly how mindfulness meditation could help improve somebody’s depression or anxiety is not totally clear yet, but it might have to do with rumination.
Scientists believe there is a link between mental illnesses like depression and ruminative thinking (revisiting the same thoughts over and over and over again, often about yourself, usually about the past or future, and often without your choosing to do so). This kind of thinking seems to happen in our Default Mode Network (DMN), which is exactly what it sounds like: the network our brain defaults to when it’s not actively engaged in doing something else.
One intuitive theory is that people can apply the judgement-free thought-awareness (e.g. observing thoughts and letting them pass by) and attention-directing (choosing to guide their attention back to the present moment or the breath) they practice in mindfulness meditation to their habitual, depressive thinking. In other words, they can recognize and step outside their own “mental ruts.”


continued next post

GeneChing
09-13-2018, 09:03 AM
To that end, people with recurrent depression who practice MBCT may be better equipped to recognize the negative thought patterns, feelings, or sensations that precede a depression relapse. They may also be better trained to shift their focus away from ruminative thought patterns that could otherwise cause a relapse. In other words, mindfulness meditation allows them to observe their own thoughts instead of automatically buying into them, and direct their focus away from the kinds of thought patterns associated with depression.
Research is also gradually establishing a link between decreased activity in parts of the neural network of the brain associated with mind-wandering or rumination (the DMN) and reduced levels of rumination in people with depression who meditate. Some evidence suggests that meditation could increase connectivity between the DMN and the networks engaged when we’re focused on tasks. “The [research] suggests that rumination is a key factor in moderating how mindfulness reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety,” Vago says. “It’s likely that the more someone meditates, the less they’re going to be ruminating. And that decrease in rumination may be directly or causally linked to the improved symptoms in depression and anxiety.”
Here’s what we know about meditation’s effects on chronic pain.
There is decent evidence that people suffering from chronic pain may benefit from mindfulness meditation, says Desbordes, such as the 2014 JAMA paper that found moderate evidence to this effect.
A 2015 meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials, published in the British Journal of General Practice, concluded that people with chronic pain linked to a variety of conditions (including fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic musculoskeletal pain) may benefit from MBIs. Interestingly, mindfulness meditation had its effects not on pain intensity, but on perceived pain control—not how much pain the person physically felt, but how well they felt they coped with it.
Hasenkamp says there is work being done to develop theories about the specific mechanisms based on the various brain regions activated during MBI-induced pain reduction—but this hasn’t yet been nailed down. Recent research shows what’s not happening, though: A double-blind, randomized study published in the Journal of Neuroscience in 2016 demonstrated that mindfulness does not reduce pain through the body’s natural opioid system (that is, by producing endogenous opioids, like endorphins, that bind to opioid receptors in the brain). Rather, mindfulness meditation may help you interact with your sensory experience of pain differently via multiple complex cognitive processes—a “meta-cognitive ability to acknowledge and let go of arising sensory events [that] engages a unique, self-facilitated pain modulatory system,” the researchers wrote. This theory seems to line up with the mindfulness meditation practice of observing thoughts (“my back really hurts”) and sensations (like feelings of pain), and letting them pass by without reaction or judgement.
A 2016 paper co-authored by Vago similarly suggests that mind-body practices like mindfulness meditation may “teach patients to self-regulate their respective experience of pain directly with a present-centered and acceptance-based focus.”
Although the moderate evidence here is far from definitive and needs to be replicated across different populations with different conditions, scientists are impressed with the findings so far, given how many people could benefit from alternative ways to manage pain without the aid of potentially addictive drugs.


Outside of the Big Three (depression, anxiety, and chronic pain), the benefits of meditation become less clear.
There are many health issues that meditation could possibly help, with the weight of evidence sitting somewhere along the spectrum from flimsy one-off study to rigorous meta-review. Just eyeball the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) page on meditation to see all the areas that hold promise: PTSD, headaches, menopausal symptoms, ADHD, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, insomnia, smoking cessation, blood pressure, and quality of life in cancer patients.
While the field is going in many interesting directions right now, the research is preliminary, and the experts we spoke with are hesitant to express anything more than cautious optimism (which is understandable, given how often mindfulness meditation findings have already been overhyped in media coverage).

“It’s still a very young field,” says Desbordes. “All of these things have been measured in different studies, but when you put all the studies together, the big picture is still not convincing. We’re not there yet.”

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Benjavisa/Getty Images

With that in mind, there are a few lines of investigation that the researchers we talked to are most excited about—in part because the research has been conducted in clinically sound ways or has been replicated, and in part because of its far-reaching implications.
There is an intriguing cluster of studies forming around the potential benefits of mindfulness meditation for a couple of other stress-related health issues that are just as universal as depression, anxiety, and pain: inflammation and aging. If meditation can decrease stress—as evidence suggests it does in not just those with certain conditions but healthy populations—then it would make sense that it may be able to somehow lessen or limit the inflammatory and aging processes that are associated with increased stress (such as cardiovascular disease.
Some early meta-analyses are bearing this out. For example, when it comes to inflammation, Vago says, “There seems to be some data showing [meditation] can improve inflammatory markers or decrease inflammation in the body.” A 2016 meta-review looking at mindfulness meditation’s impact on immune system biomarkers across 20 RCTs and 1,600 participants found that “mindfulness meditation appears to be associated with reductions in pro-inflammatory processes, increases in cell-mediated defense parameters, and increases in enzyme activity that guards against cell aging.” And a 2017 meta-review of 18 studies and 846 participants found evidence that “suggests that MBI practices may lead to a reduced risk of inflammation-related diseases.”
“The evidence for mindfulness meditation practices on stress specifically have been very promising,” Vago says. “And whenever you’re able to decrease stress, you’re going to improve markers of inflammation and cellular markers of aging.”

As for aging, Hasenkamp is interested in a small but growing number of studies looking at the effects of meditation on telomere length, which is a biological marker of cellular aging. Telomeres are affected by many lifestyle factors, such as stress, and shorten as we age. According to Hasenkamp, “Shorter telomeres are associated with many bad health outcomes”—including aging-related diseases like cancer, heart failure, diabetes, and coronary heart disease—“and meditation seems to help preserve or lengthen telomeres.”
One study found, for instance, that participants in meditation retreats experienced telomere lengthening or an increase in telomerase activity (which mediates telomere growth) that also correlated with psychological benefits.
This research is in very early stages, Hasenkamp points out, but so far “agrees with several other lines of investigation showing that meditation may help slow the aging process.” That includes evidence suggesting meditation may protect the brain from normal cortical thinning (a sign of cognitive aging) and improve cognitive performance in elderly people. Smalley agrees, saying, “While brain studies remain small and many more are needed, there is increasing evidence that meditation might be a simple practice to protect the brain from stress.”
Neuroimaging studies are helping to pinpoint a few of the regions and networks of the brain that meditation seems to affect, though that still doesn’t tell us how meditation impacts these regions.
“There are many [neuroimaging] studies that show the brain changes—both structurally and functionally—in response to meditation practice,” Smalley says. These structural changes are indicated by increases or decreases in cortical thickness (how thick the cortical tissue is in a given area of the brain), while functional changes are indicated by increases or decreases in activation (how much tissue is being used in a given area of the brain). Meditation may also increase connectivity between different networks.
There are a lot of brain areas touched on in these studies that play a role in a slew of brain processes, including the way you process information, direct your awareness, feel emotions, sense what’s going on in your body, learn new things, and think about yourself. But in general, Hasenkamp says, “Meditation impacts brain systems that relate to attention, emotion, and self—not surprising, considering the nature of these practices.”

continued next post

GeneChing
09-13-2018, 09:03 AM
A 2014 meta-review of 21 neuroimaging studies and about 300 meditation practitioners found eight brain regions that consistently displayed effects, including areas that support meta-awareness, introspection, body awareness, memory, self-regulation, and emotional regulation, as well as improved communication between hemispheres of the brain. According to the authors, these findings line up with others being reported across the field, including other brain studies, clinical/behavioral research, and anecdotal reports on individual experiences.
What we’re learning so far also makes sense, given the focus on honing our awareness and attention in mindfulness meditation. Several brain regions in which we’ve seen consistent changes are part of the frontal parietal network, which belongs to a complex attention network that “allows you to continuously monitor body sensations and flexibly switch between internal thinking and processing of the external world,” says Vago, who is also a research associate at the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
One of the regions in that network is the frontopolar cortex, which, according to Vago, evidence suggests is the most highly evolved part of the brain and is thought to be responsible for supporting meta-awareness. Meta-awareness, Vago says, is “the ability for you to be aware of where your mind is at any time, whether it’s focusing internally on your narrative thoughts or what’s happening around you.” And, of course, at the core of mindfulness meditation is awareness of what your mind is doing in that moment.

This increase in activity seems to both strengthen these areas and may protect them from the natural degeneration of gray matter that occurs as we age. A 2015 neuroimaging study of 100 meditators (which is actually a relatively large sample size for this kind of study) concluded, “these findings seem to suggest less age-related gray matter atrophy in long-term meditation practitioners.” And a 2014 review of 12 studies found preliminary evidence that “a variety of meditation techniques may be able to offset age-related cognitive decline and perhaps even increase cognitive capabilities in older adults.” This kind of research, Vago explains, indicates that “[t]hese parts of our brain, which are basically being worked out through [the] mental training of mindfulness just like you work out with your muscles in a gym [...] are protected from the age-related decline or atrophy that happens normally across [our] lifespan.”
Meditation also appears to decrease activity in certain areas of the brain, including the amygdala, which is involved in stress and fear responses as well as anxiety. Another is the posterior cingulate cortex, which Vago says is thought to play a critical role in self-reflection and rumination. By the way, whether or not you have depression, you probably do way too much of this kind of thinking. A frequently cited 2010 study by Harvard University researchers shows that people spend roughly half of their waking hours letting their minds wander. But meditation appears to decrease activity in this network, Vago says.
It’s important to remember that brain imaging studies are just one in tool in a scientific investigation; many of these studies are on small numbers of people, and the results can be really interesting but not decisive. They show us where something is happening, but that’s about it. That leaves scientists to theorize about the what, the why, and the how using previous knowledge and other methods. As Smalley explains, neuroimaging studies tell us, “Here are brain regions likely influenced by meditation practice.” But exactly how meditation leads to these changes hasn’t been determined.

Ultimately, you could argue that the details about how meditation works is less important than the fact that it works at all.
Take blood pressure, for example: Research suggests that mindfulness meditation seems as effective at reducing blood pressure as monitoring your blood pressure with a cuff—and that it’s better than doing nothing at all to monitor blood pressure. It could be that mindfulness meditation helps reduce stress, which in turn lowers blood pressure. But Desbordes says there are other possible explanations: “For example, maybe people start exercising more when they become more mindful, and that is responsible for the decrease in blood pressure”—meaning the improvements cannot specifically, directly be attributed to the meditation practice.
But this doesn’t change the fact that in this context meditation can, directly or indirectly, lead to a positive change in health. And, there are potential additional benefits to meditation that a blood pressure cuff can’t achieve. “Mindfulness meditation can probably affect a lot of other things that the blood pressure cuff wouldn’t, such as how you relate to your own thoughts and feelings,” Smalley explains. “And in that regard, it can be viewed as a helpful tool for overall emotional and physical wellbeing.”

Despite all of the research done so far, experts caution against taking at face value grandiose claims that meditation is a wonder drug.
“It’s not a panacea. We know that,” says Vago. And even the proof in the best-studied areas has been overhyped at times. “Yes, there is evidence for improved outcomes in health, mental health specifically, [and] some preliminary evidence for cardiovascular disease and inflammation,” he says, “but we need to be cautiously optimistic.” Hasenkamp agrees: “There isn't any finding or effect that's been replicated enough to be totally reliable.”

And it’s already clear that meditation isn’t guaranteed to improve even the conditions with the most convincing evidence, like depression and anxiety. It really depends on the person. “We can't generalize all these findings to everybody [because] it may not work for everybody,” Vago says. “In fact, we're finding out a lot of people don't respond.”

Also, quantifying the results of meditation is, in a way, antithetical to its nature.
How do you capture the full picture of any one person’s meditative experience with brain scans and numbers measuring very specific outcomes? “The biggest challenge I see is that people see mindfulness meditation as very goal-directed, while part of meditation in general is to experience things ‘as they are,’” Smalley says. “There is a tendency to push too hard for some specific outcomes.” This fixation on particular results means we could be missing big pieces of the puzzle we’re not even looking for yet.

One of the most thrilling insights we’ve gleaned from meditation studies isn’t about any single outcome: It’s about a person’s ability to transform oneself. “The brain is incredibly ‘plastic’—meaning it can change itself based on experience—much more than we previously thought,” Hasenkamp explains. “Investigations around meditation and other forms of mental training have really advanced our understanding of how much the brain can change in a relatively short time—both in the way it functions and also in its structure. This is exciting because it shifts the way we think about human capacity for change,” she adds. “We don't have to be stuck in our current state or set of habit patterns—with intention and a good deal of effort and practice, we can change the way we're wired up.”

It’s also possible that some of the most profound influences of meditation won’t be about any one person’s health, but how we connect to each other and the world. “Perhaps the benefits of mindfulness meditation are more in how it impacts our relationships of self to self, others, and the universe at large, an area that has yet to receive much scientific investigation,” Smalley says.

Hasenkamp agrees: “These kinds of interpersonal effects are just beginning to be studied, and may be one of the most impactful outcomes that meditation could offer for society.”

So, even if your meditation practice isn't as evidence-based as you might have thought, it doesn't necessarily need to be in order to play a very positive and real role in your life.
The reality is that it’s probably not a huge deal if your home meditation practice doesn’t fully resemble what occurs in clinical trials.

Try thinking about meditation in the same way as other things that make you feel good: taking an early morning walk through the park, relaxing with a good book or glass of wine in a bath, or sipping on your wellness elixir of choice throughout the day. We don’t necessarily have concrete scientific evidence for why these practices can help improve our mental health or well-being in some small way. And while they make us feel good sometimes, on other days, they might not. We understand that they’re not a magic pill, and we know that they’re not the right choice for everyone.

But we do these practices because they are generally positive additions to our daily lives. “Mindfulness meditation and meditation in general are really helpful tools for people as we look for ways to de-stress, learn more about ourselves, and lean toward well-being,” Smalley says.

“In the end,” Desbordes says, “it’s really an individual choice. If people find some benefits for themselves, then they should do it.”

The original article has a lot of reference hyperlinks.

GeneChing
09-26-2018, 08:51 AM
So many confuse meditation with relaxation. :rolleyes:


Delayed flight? American Airlines offers meditation app 'Calm' to stressed-out passengers (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/25/american-airlines-offers-meditation-app-calm-to-stressed-out-passengers.html)
American Airlines will start offering Calm, a mindfulness and relaxation app, on all domestic and international flights starting Oct. 8.
Calm created three exclusive sessions geared toward the specific stressors that can accompany air travel.
Calm competitor Headspace started working with Virgin Atlantic in 2011 and now offers its in-flight mindfulness exercises on 11 eleven airlines, including United Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
Angelica LaVito | Leslie Josephs
Published 22 Hours Ago Updated 20 Hours Ago
CNBC.com

https://fm.cnbc.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/img/editorial/2018/09/25/105470336-1537892264951waterfall.530x298.jpg?v=1537892303
Source: American Airlines
Delayed flight? Stuck in the middle seat? American Airlines wants you to relax.

The world's biggest airline will start showing nature videos and offering passengers access to material through the Calm meditation app aboard most flights starting Oct. 8 to help keep travelers relaxed — even as they jostle for overhead bin space and the arm rest.

The airline will play nature videos during boarding and offer Calm's guided meditations and other content on the plane's seat back screens for passengers during flights.

Travelers may also have free access to the material through their personal electronic devices. Calm is an app that includes guided meditations, bedtime stories, relaxing music as well as photos and sounds from nature.

The Calm channel will include some of the features that come with its traditional app, including what it calls Sleep Stories, delivered in calm tones and accompanied by waterfall and other soothing sounds.

Calm also created three exclusive audio sessions geared toward the specific stresses that often occur during air travel.

One includes a breathing exercise. Another, called Relax and Release, encourages people to focus on the sensations in their hands or feet to distract them from their thoughts and relieve anxiety. Another exercise guides passengers through a meditation technique that focuses attention on relaxing specific parts of the body to help relieve stress and tension.

American is Calm's first airline partner. Its competitor, Headspace, started working with Virgin Atlantic in 2011 and now offers its in-flight mindfulness exercises on 11 airlines, including United Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

GeneChing
12-17-2018, 09:09 AM
How about we just call it 'prayer'? :rolleyes:


CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANS WANT TO STOP KIDS MEDITATING AT SCHOOL (https://www.newsweek.com/mindfulness-meditation-schools-aclj-buddhism-1260323)
BY KATHERINE HIGNETT ON 12/15/18 AT 8:52 AM

Conservative Christian watchdog group The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has launched a petition to stop “forced Buddhist meditation” in schools.

The group claims children in public schools across the U.S. are being “indoctrinated” by “Buddhist-based mindfulness methods in an “outright unconstitutional” practice. But companies behind the programs say their techniques can help improve self-awareness and self-control.

“We’re launching a multifaceted legal campaign including representing parents of these students, sending demand letters, state FOIA requests, and if necessary, litigation,” the petition reads.

Launched Wednesday, it has garnered almost 50,000 signatures on the evangelical group’s website as of 7.30 a.m. ET Saturday.

The group accuses schools in at least 12 states of "forcing" students to listen to mindfulness audio tapes, including those produced by Inner Explorer, Mind Up, and Dialectic Behavior Therapy.

Inner Exploration says its secular curriculum is designed to provide students with skills like self-awareness, resilience and self-control, for example.

Although meditation is linked to Buddhism spiritual practices, the programs provided by schools are secular. “Mindfulness is not a religion,” Inner Exploration’s website states. “It is a set of simple attention practices that promote full awareness of the present moment. These attention practices allow students to develop the capacity to sustain focus.”

Psychologists have used mindfulness techniques since the 1970s, but its popularity has soared in recent years with the rise of commercial meditation programs.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques were developed by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Used to help students improve their focus and concentration, their wider benefits are the subject of ongoing clinical investigation.

But ACLJ view the mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques used in some schools as a danger to children. The organization condemned audio recordings it claims say, “ We’re all connected through nature. And we’re all connected through the universe.”


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DuPdPuLW4AAr3_0.jpg
View image on Twitter (https://twitter.com/ACLJ/status/1072944400463003648/photo/1)

ACLJ

@ACLJ
Students in several #US states are forced to participate in #Buddhist-based meditation. If a child refuses, he or she is moved to the hall as if being punished. These schools are indoctrinating kids. This cannot stand. We’re demanding this end. Sign today. https://aclj.us/2S0vtlG

114
12:00 PM - Dec 12, 2018
112 people are talking about this
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Jay Sekulow, chief counsel at ACLJ and personal attorney to President Donald Trump recently criticized the use of mindfulness in schools on his radio program, Jay Sekulow Live, Buddhist website Lion’s Roar reported.

“We’ve got millions of people listening to this broadcast,” said Sekulow, per Lion’s Roar. “Find out what’s going on in your kids’ schools… We will contact the school board on your behalf, dispatch lawyers as necessary.”

The church faced fierce criticism from instructors and even Christians who practiced yoga. Local teachers said Lindell’s teachings had hindered their ability to make a living.

https://s.newsweek.com/sites/www.newsweek.com/files/styles/embed_tablet/public/2018/12/15/meditation-mindfulness-schools-aclj-buddhism.jpg
A sign on a door announces a meditation class in session at a financial company on September 21, 2017 in New York.
CATHERINE TRIOMPHE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

GeneChing
01-02-2019, 09:09 AM
The top 2019 fitness trends — and how to incorporate them into your workouts (https://www.nbcnews.com/better/pop-culture/top-2019-fitness-trends-how-incorporate-them-your-workouts-ncna952441)
Fitness professionals say these are the exercise trends to watch this year. Here's how to use them to your advantage.
Watch for sports with smartwatch. Jogging training for marathon.

https://media3.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2017_22/2018561/170530-activity-tracker-mn-1445_afbe55e9348ff0b5daf6a5efd3e8b4cb.fit-2000w.jpg
Wearable technology is seeing a resurgence, taking the first place for 2019 fitness trends (after dropping to 3rd place in 2018).Lifemoment / Getty

Jan. 2, 2019 / 5:50 AM PST
By Stephanie Mansour

Each year, the worldwide survey of fitness trends is sent to over 30,000 fitness professionals to rank exercise trends for the next year. These trends aren't "trendy" or fads — almost all of the most popular fitness trends predicted for 2019 have earned a spot on the list in previous years.

The trends that have staying power (such as HIIT training and group workouts) are ones that are easily accessible in everyday life. and deliver results, fast. Wearable technology is seeing a resurgence, taking the first place for 2019 (after dropping to 3rd place in 2018). Here are some of the top 2019 fitness trends along with their health pitch or claim, plus a takeaway for how you can integrate them into your current fitness plan.

STREAMING WORKOUTS
The Trend: Streaming workouts allow you to have the convenience of an instructor-led workout accessible no matter where you are. If you travel a lot and are stuck in hotel rooms, or if you’re unmotivated to get to the gym and go to an in-person class, these streaming workouts are for you.

The Verdict: As with all exercise, consistency is key. I’d recommend trying a streaming workout for a month, and track how often you use it. Then take the amount you paid for the subscription for the streaming workouts, and divide it out into how many workouts you actually did. Then decide if it's financially worth it to you. Celebrity trainer Joey Thurman (creator of the Joey Thurman fit app) warns that with streaming workouts, you don’t have a professional checking your form and prescribing the right exercises for your body, so you could risk injuring yourself or enforcing bad habits. So it may be worth scheduling a session or two with a personal trainer in person first to get instruction on proper technique. “All in all,” he says, “If it’s a reputable source, trainer, coach and company, you should be fine.”

The Takeaway: If you have an erratic schedule or travel often, the convenience of having workouts ready to play wherever you are can help you stick with a routine. What’s the difference between buying a subscription to streaming workouts and searching for workouts on YouTube, you ask? Good question. If you’re financially invested in a workout program, you’re more likely to stick to it. So while the free workouts may be tempting, the financial commitment may help keep yourself accountable.

HIIT WORKOUTS
The Trend: Traditionally, the benefit of HIIT workouts (high intensity interval training) is that you can get a big bang for your exercise buck. By pushing yourself through interval training, and alternating between high intensity and lower intensity, you’re all in for a shorter workout that rarely provides breaks or time to catch your breath. HIIT is being incorporated into more and more workouts – from boutique gyms to bootcamps. They’re even starting to pop up in Pilates classes and yoga classes.

The Verdict: According to Thurman, “This is a trend that never should go away.” He says that the point of HIIT is to, “Go hard or go home!” He has his clients do these workouts on their own one to three times a week and incorporates HIIT into his training sessions. Research shows that high intensity interval training is one of the best ways to burn fat quickly. By pushing your body full force for a shorter amount of time, you’re getting a strength training workout, cardio workout and a full-body workout all at once.

The Takeaway: You don’t need a fancy HIIT class to incorporate this trend into your workout. You can apply the HIIT training principles to any workout that you’re already doing. If you’re the queen of cardio, you can make your cardio workout more effective by changing your speed or changing the difficulty every few minutes. Or you could add 30 second sprints every few minutes. If you’re doing a strength training workout, you can cut out breaks in between sets and add in some cardio bursts to get your heart rate up. If you’re looking to spice up your yoga or Pilates routine, move through some parts of the sequence faster and go slower through other parts.

GROUP TRAINING CLASSES
The Trend: If you’re motivated by a competitive spirit or can't afford one-on-one training but would like direction from a fitness instructor, group training classes are a popular trend that allows participants to use the energy of a group to push through a workout.

The Verdict: Group training classes can serve as a good motivator to push yourself harder or faster compared to the people around you. One study found that 95 percent of those who started a weight-loss program with friends completed the program, compared to a 76 percent completion rate for those who tackled the program alone. Other studies confirm that working out with a partner significantly increases time spent exercising. Plus, with an instructor-led workout, you can bank on a good, hard workout, that doesn't take much forethought or planning on your part. However, Thurman warns, “Beware that everyone is doing the same workout, and one instructor has to watch 20 or 30 of you. Be sure to keep strict form and always speak up if something doesn’t feel right!”

The Takeaway: Enlisting a group mentality can help when your motivation starts to wane. Consider working out with a group of friends in your living room, joining a run club for weekly jogs in the park or signing up for a group training class to help hold yourself accountable and push yourself harder.

The Trend: Wearable trackers are definitely here to stay. They’re helping everyday people track their health on many different levels. From encouraging you during a tough workout to giving you feedback on your sleep, there’s a tracker to suit your needs.

The Verdict: Many of my clients use trackers in addition to their other health and fitness goals. For example, one of my clients has a tracker and tries to close her “rings” everyday. She has a step goal (10,000), a water goal (she has to manually enter this), and a sleep goal (a minimum of 6 hours) to meet. This is in addition to her other goals that help with weight loss. But when she closes her rings, it gives her an extra confidence boost. So while trackers are great, I’d recommend using them as a supplement to other goals. Thurman echoes this, “Wearing a smart watch is great … if you use it correctly. It’s nice that you hit your 10,000 steps a day, but how many steps were you taking before you got the watch?”

The Takeaway: Take the wearable technology with a grain of salt. Thurman even says, “Sometimes technology gives you a reason to slack off. They can also give you a false sense of accomplishment by overestimating your calorie burn or how hard you worked.” So use this tool to help keep you on track, but don’t rely on them fully.

The Trend: When you’re working with a personal trainer, all you have to do is show up and let him/her do the coaching. A personal trainer not only provides a well-rounded and educated workout for you, but also ensures accountability with the appointments. Thurman (who, as a personal trainer, admits he's biased) says, “For the most part, I would say this is the best way to get you the most efficient workout and results the fastest.”

The Verdict: As a certified personal trainer myself, I know the kind of results we can deliver. But sometimes I cringe when I see trainers in the gym staring off or checking their phones instead of checking the form of their clients. Make sure you have an attentive trainer who pushes you, but never makes you feel like it’s “all pain and no gain.” Ideally you want to feel like you’re working together with the trainer.

The Takeaway: “Make sure the trainer knows what they’re doing, will push you safely, is certified, and will give you 95 percent of what you want and 5 percent of what you need,” says Thurman. Communicate with your trainer so that you’re both on the same page, and if one isn’t working out for you, shop around for someone with a coaching style that fits your needs. If expenses are an issue, go to one personal training session a week and ask for a written out workout routine that you can follow for a few other days during the week. It is also important to know that trainers realize it won't be a life long partnership! The goal is to help you reach your goals and equip you with the tools you need to succeed on your own. So be honest about how many sessions you can afford and what you hope to accomplish in that time.
continued next post

GeneChing
01-02-2019, 09:10 AM
NOT ON THE LIST BUT SHOULD BE: MEDITATION BECOMES MAINSTREAM IN FITNESS
The Trend: Working out the mind is becoming almost as popular as working out the body. By practicing meditation and mindfulness, you’re able to be more in tune with your body and how you’re feeling. Whether you flow through a moving meditation (like in a yoga class) or set aside time each day to sit in a traditional pose and meditate, it’s becoming more and more common for people to have their own personal meditation practice.

The Verdict: Thurman says, “Meditation has been around for thousands of years for a reason … it works! The mind is a powerful thing, and I suggest getting to know yourself.” He also says that we can utilize our own energy for good or bad, and I’ve noticed this with my clients as well. When we go through positive body-image meditations, their outlook on themselves slowly (but positively) changes. What’s more, along with the mental effects of meditation, research shows that there are also physiological effects from meditation. Pain reduction, improvement in immune system, increasing blood flow to the heart, and decreasing cortisol are just a few of the effects that are similar to the effects of exercise.

The Takeaway: You can integrate meditation into your everyday life by using meditation apps. There are also some boutique studios that specialize in meditation, and even some mainstream gyms now offer meditation classes. The practice of mindfulness can also be brought into any workout — not just traditional meditation. Bring your awareness to a certain body part during a bootcamp session or pay attention to your breathing pattern as you run on a treadmill. Not only will you quiet your mind, but focusing specifically on certain aspects of your body may also push you to work harder and better target muscle groups.

Meditation (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?26155-Meditation) as a Fitness Trend (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?71144-Fitness-Trends). We've been saying that for centuries. :cool:

GeneChing
01-09-2019, 09:26 AM
This isn't quite a Buddhists behaving badly (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?68723-Buddhists-behaving-badly) or a Meditation (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?26155-Meditation) post, but we don't have a Vipassana thread... yet.



The Other Side Of Paradise: How I Left A Buddhist Retreat In Handcuffs (https://www.esquire.com/uk/latest-news/a25651175/the-other-side-of-paradise-how-i-left-a-buddhist-retreat-in-handcuffs/)
Michael Holden went to a Buddhist retreat to find himself. Now he's off his meditation
BY MICHAEL HOLDEN, ILLUSTRATIONS BY ANNA BU KLIEWER
26/12/2018

https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/unknown-42-1545388069.jpg
Anna Bu Kliewer

‘ALL OF HUMANITY’S PROBLEMS STEM FROM MAN’S INABILITY TO SIT QUIETLY IN A ROOM ALONE’ – BLAISE PASCAL, 1662

The police stayed calm and the Buddhists were calmer, but by then there wasn’t much anyone could do. In the hours previously, I had come to believe, simultaneously and sequentially, that I was: dead, alive, omniscient, immortal, non-existent, gay, straight, telepathic, a flower, a pulse of pure energy and a nuclear bomb. And that was the good part, relatively speaking. By the time I was handcuffed and led to an ambulance, my troubles, or at least this episode among them, were just underway.

It is not the conclusion one pictures to a meditation retreat: a shackled, ranting, middle-aged man being taken to hospital under police supervision. Ideas like mindfulness and meditation are sold largely by images of good-looking people and unfurrowed brows. Yet it wasn’t upbeat marketing that led me to a 10-day, silent sanctuary on the Welsh borders, but a man on fire.

Forty years before flunking out of Buddhism in chains, I chanced upon Malcolm Browne’s 1963 photograph of Thich Quang Duc, a monk, sat, burning to death by his own hand in an act of protest at a crossroads in Saigon, South Vietnam. “As he burned he never moved a muscle,” said The New York Times journalist David Halberstam, a witness to it, “never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him.”

I was young when I found the horrific image but I saw in it, also, proof that there was another way to be beyond than the swirling, self-sustaining system of hopes and regrets already established in my restless brain.

Decades later, a collision of life crises (marital, professional, medical and familial) and a kind of emotional insurgency — a relentless sense that there was something beyond or beneath all this — propelled me first into meditation, and then to the retreat where, if enlightenment were not forthcoming, at least I would have spent some time without my phone. What could go wrong?

A simple, contemporary definition of meditation is “a family of self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control.” Written references date back to 600BC. Techniques and traditions vary, but the most prominent associations are with Buddhist philosophy, and there are few spiritual schools of thought or religions which do not accommodate some practice which might be described as meditative.

Meditation’s modern offspring, “mindfulness”, has its roots (as a phrase) in the 20th century. Where one begins and the other ends is the subject of much debate. Suffice to say whether you’re sitting silently in a monastery or staring at a smartphone in your sister’s spare room, if you are taking time out to observe your thought patterns and breathe in a conscious manner, one or both terms have you covered.

What began in antiquity abided and bloomed into a billion-dollar industry in the US alone. Be it through ashrams or apps — there are over 1,300 now, and the Headspace app has been downloaded close to 35m times — meditation has been touted as a panacea for everything from childhood trauma to palliative care. There is plenty of evidence, empirical and anecdotal, that in many of these areas it does have positive results. So, I read some books, looked online, sat, and watched what my mind did.

From 15 minutes of sitting a day I felt subtly but tangibly changed. “Mental processes” were definitely “under greater voluntarily control”. I was no Buddha, but I was demonstrably less volatile. I had a taste for it and was soon seeking ways to do more. Much more. I booked the retreat. The perceptive among you will note this is precisely the kind of desirous behaviour pattern that meditation is often deployed to break, but Nirvana wasn’t built in a day.

Deep in the Herefordshire countryside at the tail end of June, the retreat I attended felt and looked like the apex of serenity. The discipline chosen by me and around 150 other attendees — an idealistic mix of ages, races and gender — is known as Vipassanā which, they will tell you, means “seeing things as they really are”. We decamped cheerfully from coaches and cars, gave up our phones, agreed not to speak for a week-and-a-half and wandered off to billets on the sprawling former farm. The atmosphere prior to the commencement of silence (you can talk with the retreat leaders at allotted times, if need be) was one of warm, collective anticipation, somewhere between a school trip and a festival.

At 4am the next day, we were awoken by a gong. And so began an 11-hour daily programme of meditation, punctuated occasionally by vegetarian food (until midday, after which it was fruit only). In the evenings, we gathered to hear the teachings of the course’s founder, Satya Narayan Goenka, an avuncular but deceased Burmese/Indian businessman and Buddhist scholar whose posthumous addresses were screened nightly. They came to provide a kind of group release; we laughed, and not just as counterpoint to the silence. Like other spiritual teachers, and some stand-ups, Goenka walked a fine line between practical philosophical insight and observational comedy.

After several days of silence, sermons, slender rations and pre-dawn starts, something significant shifted inside me. The inner dialogue ceased, replaced by an outbreak of peace so fundamental as to transcend what I could or can still share with language. And I could see and sense, even if I couldn’t speak to the others, that this was happening among them too.

The power of such a revelation, that everything you might have hitherto insisted you consisted of was instead an illusory construct which can, through self-examination, vanish and be replaced by something best described as love… that can take some getting used to. The implications for your “self” (by this point a minority shareholder in that which you perceive yourself to be) and society (all conflict, and thus much of history, being by these terms an avoidable mistake) are considerable. But before I could assimilate this, or perhaps because I couldn’t, the limitless love became a gruelling fear, mutating into the conviction that I, personally, could bring about the end of everything, since the macrocosm of our universe seemed so clearly and precariously contained within the microcosm of my being. Say this like you mean it, act stubbornly on your pronouncements, and they will come for you with handcuffs too.

continued next post

GeneChing
01-09-2019, 09:28 AM
I HAD COME TO BELIEVE, SIMULTANEOUSLY AND SEQUENTIALLY, THAT I WAS: DEAD, ALIVE, OMNISCIENT, IMMORTAL, NON-EXISTENT, GAY, STRAIGHT, TELEPATHIC, A FLOWER, A PULSE OF PURE ENERGY AND A NUCLEAR BOMB. AND THAT WAS THE GOOD PART, RELATIVELY SPEAKING

Psychosis is, I suspect, a little like falling in or out of love: something on the cusp of the personal and the universal that each of us experiences differently. Between the ambulance ride and the oblivion of sedation, I was held in a room with two police officers at the local A&E. They looked on reasonably benignly as I did my best to convey what I was feeling which, among other stark hallucinations and a roiling, primal fear, was that I was dying and being reborn every 90 seconds or so. I can’t really describe what that is “like” since the one comparable event is largely unremembered and the other unknowable, but it felt real and it was gruelling, and, in the end, I was begging them to knock me out.

All this was much to reflect on as I recovered (to some extent) in a psychiatric hospital over the next 48 hours. How had I fallen so hard and wide of the mark of meditation, of something so seemingly benign? Others on the retreat had become emotional, openly weeping (as I had done) but no one else had begged to stop, only to refuse to leave and then been forcibly removed.

What I did know, was that I had been “here” before. And not in a past life. In the mid-Nineties, in my mid-twenties when I was working as a journalist in London, I took enough recreational drugs to keep me awake for nine days, at the end of which I was psychotic, sectioned, sedated and held in hospital for four months. That might sound dramatic, but I did it to myself and for all I know the treatment (including drugs since withdrawn from use) and the incarceration saved my life. Certainly, it shaped it.

The advantage of this, insofar as it had one, was that when my mind disintegrated for the second time, I had some sense of what I was in for, and I knew I could get back. Maybe. Even naked terror takes the occasional break, and the sense in those moments that there is a way out, is in some ways all you need to carry on.

This time I was in and out of hospital in one weekend. With a month’s worth of anti-psychotic medication, I had some decisions to make. It seemed clear to me that if I could reach such an altered state through intoxication and insomnia once, and then do it again 20 years later through silence and concentration, then that state was “real” and not a figment of my imagination or the symptom of an illness per se.

I didn’t want to stay medicated (my previous stint had lasted a decade), and I understood that the rules of the retreat meant that as I had left before the end, I could not go back. Vipassanā makes it clear in its literature regarding “serious mental disorders” that: “Our capacity as a non-professional volunteer organisation makes it impossible to properly care for people with these backgrounds.”

I had been screened out at the initial application because of my history and then, after going into detail, accepted, as my prior issues were so long ago. I was thrilled to be admitted and delusional when I left, but barring some emails and a follow-up phone call, early exits from Vipassanā are final. Tossed from what had seemed briefly to be heaven, I went back to my elderly folks, weaned myself off the meds, and got thoroughly depressed.

In the weeks that followed, I began to google “meditation”, “mental illness”, “mania” (as my ex-wife pointed out, I ought really to have done this beforehand). But it was then I found that far from being alone in this, I was one of many who had learned the hard way that at a certain level, for some practitioners, something like psychosis is part of the meditative programme. And that not everyone who goes through that survives.

https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/unknown-43-1545388330.png
Anna Bu Kliewer

Dr Daniel Ingram is a recently retired, frontline ER physician who worked in one of America’s largest trauma centres in Huntsville, Alabama. He left trauma medicine in his late forties, he says, since, “you see some extremely bad stuff in high quantities, it starts to take its toll… it is in some ways a younger person’s game.” Ingram is also the author of Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha, a seminal and substantial text which, alongside a busy online forum which he moderates, has become a resource for those for whom the vogue for meditation revealed the void. One of his contentions is that despite millennia of existing wisdom about what can and will happen when you close your eyes and follow your breath for long enough, modern versions of these practices are often mis-sold.

“This dream of peace and wellbeing, happiness and contentment, mental health and emotional clarity,” says Ingram, “[doesn’t recognise] that some reasonable proportion of people will also be catapulted into full-on, deep-end spiritual development by crossing what the Buddhist tradition I come from calls the ‘Arising and Passing Away’ stage. And then they’re off and running in this whole different end of development, which, as you now know, is quite a different thing than what most people signed up for.”

An irony of finding Ingram’s work was that my own “madness”, the singularity of which I was both scared and perversely proud of, was made familiar, if not quite mundane. In a broad sense, he has heard it all before.

“You crossed the ‘Arising and Passing’ and hit the standard ‘Dark Night’ stages, just as one would predict,” he explains. When I tell him about the birth-and-death cycling, which I had taken to be particularly troubling and profound, he just says, “Nice”. These challenging but navigable “stages of insight”, he explains, are as old as meditation itself. They have, however, been largely omitted from the modern conversation.

The Vipassanā retreat I visited is part of a global, free-to-attend franchise run on the guidelines established by Goenka. The regime there, says Ingram, is, “absolutely perfect for getting people across the ‘Arising and Passing Away’, [but] not normalising the next stages.” These stages are often traumatic, known colloquially and historically as the “Dark Night”, and bear little or no phenomenological difference to the medical classification of mental illnesses, particularly bipolar disorder. According to Ingram, with the right expectations and support, the stages are temporary. Without it, “people crash out into the world a total wreck. I’ve had a hundred of these calls, more, I couldn’t possibly count them,” he says. “If you go online, the number of reports of this happening is thousands. So many I’ve lost track of them all.”

Three months before I entered Vipassanā, Megan Vogt, a 25-year-old American woman left a near-identical centre in the US “incoherent, suicidal and in psychosis,” according to reports in the local news. Ten weeks after she left the retreat she took her own life. Unlike me, Vogt had no history of mental illness or drug use. She would not have presented any issue at the application stage or known what hit her on the retreat. Nor did her family, or, it seems, the medical professionals to whom she was referred.

A spokesman for the Vipassanā Trust, which manages the network of retreats in the Goenka tradition, acknowledged that Vogt’s case was “horrendous, tragic and traumatic” but that such outcomes were “exceptionally rare”. He told me 1.2m new students have used their retreats since 2001, and they have accepted more than 200,000 since 2016. He also said that this case, and any other “serious incident”, was subject to an “incident review”, and that the Vipassanā Trust’s objective in these matters was to “check ourselves that everything is being done, and if not then make some changes and tighten it up”. He added that any student, regardless of how they exit or whether they finish the programme, is welcome to contact them for support or even to reapply.

Meditation can be rigorous, especially Vipassanā.

David Jamieson
01-18-2019, 08:45 AM
Death Meditation is difficult.
But, it helps to constrain ones violent intentions and fear.
There are so many varieties of meditation.

GeneChing
04-24-2019, 04:33 PM
Neuroscience shows that 50-year-olds can have the brains of 25-year-olds if they sit quietly and do nothing for 15 minutes a day (https://www.businessinsider.com/neuroscience-50-year-olds-brains-of-25-year-olds-habit-2019-4/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=topbar&utm_term=mobile&referrer=facebook&fbclid=IwAR2u5AR8_R8SknFL1r6cfQMBvSvmgXOSD8LyIPE7D pWz7BB0azfukZNLtsw)
Melanie Curtin, Inc Apr. 8, 2019, 3:49 PM

https://amp.businessinsider.com/images/5caba09877584e45b212ca00-1334-1001.jpg
A meditation class at Havas advertising agency in New York City. Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

Neuroscientist Sara Lazar found that people who practiced meditation had more gray matter in the part of the brain linked to decision-making and working memory: the frontal cortex.

While most people see their cortexes shrink as they age, 50-year-old meditators in the study had the same amount of gray matter as those half their age.

Participants in the study averaged about 27 minutes of the habit a day, but other studies suggest that you can see significant positive changes in just 15 minutes a day.

Neuroscientist Sara Lazar, of Mass General and Harvard Medical School, started studying meditation by accident. She sustained running injuries training for the Boston Marathon, and her physical therapist told her to stretch. So Lazar took up yoga.

"The yoga teacher made all sorts of claims, that yoga would increase your compassion and open your heart," said Lazar. "And I'd think, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm here to stretch.' But I started noticing that I was calmer. I was better able to handle more difficult situations. I was more compassionate and open hearted, and able to see things from others' points of view."

Eventually, she looked up the scientific literature on mindfulness meditation (a category into which yoga can fall). She found the ever-increasing body of evidence that shows that meditation decreases stress, depression, and anxiety, reduces pain and insomnia, and increases quality of life.

So she started doing some neuroscience research of her own.

In her first study, she looked at long-term meditators (those with seven to nine years of experience) versus a control group. The results showed that those with a strong meditation background had increased gray matter in several areas of the brain, including the auditory and sensory cortex, as well as insula and sensory regions.

This makes sense, since mindfulness meditation has you slow down and become aware of the present moment, including physical sensations such as your breathing and the sounds around you.

However, the neuroscientists also found that the meditators had more gray matter in another brain region, this time linked to decision-making and working memory: the frontal cortex. In fact, while most people see their cortexes shrink as they age, 50-year-old meditators in the study had the same amount of gray matter as those half their age.

That's remarkable.

Lazar and her team wanted to make sure this wasn't because the long-term meditators had more gray matter to begin with, so they conducted a second study. In it, they put people with no experience with meditation into an eight-week mindfulness program.

The results? Even just eight weeks of meditation changed people's brains for the better. There was thickening in several regions of the brain, including the left hippocampus (involved in learning, memory, and emotional regulation); the TPJ (involved in empathy and the ability to take multiple perspectives); and a part of the brainstem called the pons (where regulatory neurotransmitters are generated).

Plus, the brains of the new meditators saw shrinkage of the amygdala, a region of the brain associated with fear, anxiety, and aggression. This reduction in size of the amygdala correlated to reduced stress levels in those participants.

How long do you have to meditate to see such results? Well, in the study, participants were told to meditate for 40 minutes a day, but the average ended up being 27 minutes a day. Several other studies suggest that you can see significant positive changes in just 15 to 20 minutes a day.

As for Lazar's own meditation practice, she says it's "highly variable. Some days 40 minutes. Some days five minutes. Some days, not at all. It's a lot like exercise. Exercising three times a week is great. But if all you can do is just a little bit every day, that's a good thing, too."

Turns out meditating can give you the brain of a 25-year-old. Too bad it can't also give you the body of one.

Cool. I'll have to meditate on that.

David Jamieson
04-29-2019, 11:30 AM
Why do mentally deranged haters get to call themselves "conservatives" when really, they're just judgmental idiots?

Go figure.

GeneChing
05-16-2019, 07:48 AM
How is it that someone could write an article on music and meditation and completely overlook traditional chanting? Traditional chants have been handed down for centuries specifically for meditation. These sorts of nibbler articles are so disappointing.


Hate Meditating? Try Turning On Music Instead (https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/relaxing-meditation-music)
CORY STIEG
MAY 15, 2019, 11:40 AM

https://s1.r29static.com//bin/entry/49e/340x408,85/2180288/hate-meditating-try-turning-on-2180288.webp
PHOTOGRAPHED BY BIANCA VALLE.

There's a common misconception that meditation is all about sitting in absolute silence and breathing. or loudly chanting om. While there is often a lot of sitting, breathing, and chanting involved in most mindfulness practices, some people prefer to listen to the sound of someone's voice or calming music.
In fact, music can enhance meditation, and make it easier for newbies. Like meditation, "music has its own power to calm us down or help us tap into deeper levels of feeling or even consciousness," says Patricia Karpas, co-founder of the app Meditation Studio, which has guided meditations that include musical accompaniment. Music can bring us into the present moment, and help calm your "monkey mind," she says.
Even when you're listening to a spoken meditation, music can help you focus on the practice, says Jeremy Siegel, a composer for Meditation Studio. For example, if there's complete silence during pauses, it can heighten anxiety, because you're so focused on when the instructor is going to talk again, he says. "On the contrary, if the music is there as a cushion to fill the space in between, people may wind up less distracted and more focused," he says.

Choosing the music you want to meditate to is different than, say, crafting an energizing workout playlist. While Lizzo might be your go-to album for literally every other activity in life, meditation requires a different kind of vibe. Everyone's preference is different, but ahead are some Spotify playlists to turn on the next time you want to sit with your thoughts:

Singing bowls.
Singing bowls are believed to slow your brainwaves down to the same frequency as the sound waves, explains Ann Martin, Meditation Studio singing bowl teacher. "Music from singing bowls help calm the brain and relax the body so the stillness of the present moment can creep in; that's where you'll find pure consciousness for meditation success," she says.

Cello.
Karpas loves meditating to the cello, because "it has a beautiful deep tone that has the power to deeply soothe," she says. Other classical music that features several instruments at once is also great, because it allows you to focus without getting distracted by your own imagination, adds Chris Aimone, co-founder of Muse.

Ambient music.
Music that is simple and soothing can be calming for us, and provide a great context for settling the mind, Aimone says. Ambient music is a great example of this, because it often is wordless. "Music with words can be particularly challenging because words will stimulate storytelling and imagination within our minds," he says. "When we meditate, stepping outside of our stories is a critical part of the practice."

RELAXING MEDITATION MUSIC FOR SLEEP & STRESS: PLAYLISTS
GUIDE TO GREAT SLEEP • HEALTH TRENDS • HEALTHY LIFESTYLE TIPS • MIND • SPIRIT • WELLNESS • WORKOUT PLAYLISTS • YOGA
WRITTEN BY CORY STIEG
PHOTOGRAPHED BY BIANCA VALLE.

THREADS
Meditation (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?26155-Meditation)
Music Suggestions? (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?49528-Music-Suggestions)

GeneChing
05-30-2019, 08:03 AM
How the brains of master meditators change (https://www.vox.com/podcasts/2019/5/30/18644106/richard-davidson-ezra-klein-show)
The scientist joins The Ezra Klein Show to discuss what he learned from bringing the Dalai Lama to his lab.

By Ezra Klein@ezraklein May 30, 2019, 9:00am EDT

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/LwfYlbqUOKR5lZMluXFVLE3EMuA=/0x0:2700x1800/920x613/filters:focal(1501x480:1933x912):format(webp)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63919785/Davidson_Rich_brain_glasses_UWJeffMillerPhoto.0.jp g
Psychology professor Richard Davidson sits in front of a computer-projected image of a human brain at the Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior. Jeff Miller/University of Wisconsin

Richie Davidson has spent a lifetime studying meditation. He’s studied it as a practitioner, sitting daily, going on retreats, and learning under masters. And he’s pioneered the study of it as a scientist, working with the Dalai Lama to bring master meditators into his lab at the University of Wisconsin and quantifying the way thousands of hours of meditation changed their brains.

The word “meditation,” Davidson is quick to note, is akin to the word “sports”: It describes a huge range of pursuits. And what he’s found is that different types of meditation do very different things to your brain, just as different sports trigger different changes in your body.

This is a conversation about what those brain changes are, and what they mean for the rest of us. We discuss the forms of meditation Westerners rarely hear about, the differences between meditative and psychedelic states, the Dalai Lama’s personality, why elite meditators end up warmhearted and joyous rather than cold and detached, whether there’s more value to meditating daily or going on occasional retreats, what happens when you sever meditation from the ethical frameworks it evolved in, and much more.

Listen to the full interview and subscribe to The Ezra Klein Show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts:


https://megaphone.imgix.net/podcasts/cf1c256e-fa73-11e8-927a-5bad870081ec/image/uploads_2F1559156774343-mdlrhdeptn9-9eae65d444d11e6d3991bdb75168a098_2FDropbox1H2019_5 D-EdSpon_5BPodcast_5D-190516-km.jpg?ixlib=rails-2.1.2&w=200&h=200 (http://dcs.megaphone.fm/VMP5314129478.mp3?key=32bc63846c253f646ab775bbbdf6 aa5e)


I haven't listened to this all the way through but I like Ezra Klein and our Q&M subforum always needs a little extra luv of late.

GeneChing
08-23-2019, 03:10 PM
What Is Belly Breathing and Why Is It Important for Exercise? (https://www.shape.com/fitness/tips/what-is-belly-breathing-exercise)
Say it with us: deep breaths.
By Mallory Creveling August 23, 2019

https://static.onecms.io/wp-content/uploads/sites/35/2019/08/22153132/GettyImages-1046581192.jpg
FIZKES/GETTY IMAGES

Take a deep breath. Do you feel your chest rise and fall or does more movement come from your stomach?

The answer should be the latter—and not only when you're focusing on deep breathing during yoga or meditation. You should also practice belly breathing during exercise. News to you? Here's what you need to know about making your inhales and exhales come from your gut.

What Is Belly Breathing?

Yes, it literally means breathing deeply into your stomach. It's also known as diaphragmatic breathing because it allows the diaphragm—the muscle that runs horizontally across the belly, kind of looks like a parachute, and is the primary muscle used in respiration—to expand and contract.

While belly breathing is our body's natural way to inhale and exhale, it's more common for adults to breath ineffectively, AKA through the chest, says Judi Bar, a 500-hour certified yoga instructor and yoga program manager at the Cleveland Clinic. Many people tend to resort to chest breathing when they're stressed because the tension makes you tighten your belly, explains Bar. This ultimately makes it harder to breathe efficiently. "It becomes a habit and because it's a more shallow breath, it actually feeds the sympathetic response—the fight or flight response—making you more stressed," she says. Thus, you get a circle of anxious reactions just from chest breathing. (Related: 3 Breathing Exercises for Dealing with Stress)

How to Belly Breathe Properly

In order to try belly breathing, "you first need to understand how to relax enough so there's space in the belly for the diaphragm and your breath to move," says Bar. "When you're tense and hold the belly in, you're not allowing the breath to move."

For proof, try this little test from Bar: Pull your belly in toward your spine and try to take deep breathes. Notice how hard it is? Now relax your midsection and see how much easier it is to fill your stomach with air. That's the looseness you want to feel when you're belly breathing—and a good indication of whether it's all coming from the chest.

The practice of belly breathing itself is pretty simple: Lie down on your back and place your hands on your belly, says Pete McCall, C.S.C.S., a personal trainer in San Diego and host of the All About Fitness podcast. Take a nice big inhale, and when you do, you should feel your belly lift and expand. As you exhale, your hands should lower. Think of your stomach like a balloon filling with air, and then slowly releasing.

If taking deep inhales and exhales feels tough or unnatural to you, Bar suggests practicing it once or twice a day for just two or three minutes. You can place your hands on your belly to make sure you're doing it right, or just watch to make sure your stomach moves up and down. Try doing it while you're tackling an everyday task, too, says Bar, like while you're taking a shower, washing dishes, or right before you go to sleep. (Because there's nothing like a little breathing exercise to calm the mind for bedtime!)

After you've been practicing for a while, start paying a little more attention to your breath during exercise, says Bar. Do you notice if your belly is moving? Does it change when you're squatting or running? Are you feeling energized by your breath? Take all these questions into consideration when you're doing your workout to check in with how you're breathing. (These running-specific breathing techniques can also help make miles feel easier.)

You can belly breathe during most forms of exercise, spin class to heavy lifting. In fact, you might have seen a technique used among the heavy lifting crowd called core bracing. "Core bracing can help stabilize the spine for heavy lifts; that is a form of belly breathing because of the controlled exhalation," says McCall. To do it correctly, practice the technique before actually lifting heavy loads: Take a big inhale, hold it, then deeply exhale. During a lift (like a squat, bench press, or deadlift), you'd inhale, hold it during the eccentric (or lowering) part of the movement, then exhale while pressing to the top. (Keep reading: Specific Breathing Techniques to Use During Every Kind of Exercise)

The Benefits of Belly Breathing During Exercise

Well, you're working an actual muscle—and one that helps to improve core stability, says McCall. "People don't realize the diaphragm is an important stabilizing muscle for the spine," he says. "When you breathe from the belly, you breathe from the diaphragm, which means you're strengthening a muscle that stabilizes the spine." When you do diaphragmatic breathing through exercises like squats, lat pulldowns, or any of the like, you should actually feel your spine steady through the movement. And that's the big payoff of belly breathing: It can help you learn to engage your core through each exercise.

Also, breathing from the belly allows more oxygen to move through the body, which means your muscles have more oxygen to continue crushing strength sets or conquering run times. "When you chest breathe, you're trying to fill the lunges from the top down," explains McCall. "Breathing from the diaphragm pulls air in, filling you from the bottom up and allowing more air in." This isn't only crucial to having more energy through your workouts, but throughout the day as well. Big belly breaths make you feel more awake, says McCall.

With more oxygen throughout your body comes the ability to work harder through your workout, too. "Belly breathing improves the body's ability to tolerate intense exercise because you're getting more oxygen to the muscles, which lowers your breathing rate and helps you expend less energy," says Bar. (Also try these other science-backed ways to push through workout fatigue.)

To top it off, practicing a few moments of mindful belly breathing—especially if you focus on counting through the inhales and exhales to make them even, as Bar suggests—can help with a little stress relief and some moments of peace (or, say, when you're recovering from a bout of burpees). "It really down-regulates your system in an effective way," says Bar, meaning it takes you away from a fight-or-flight state and into a calmer, more relaxed composure. Talk about a good way to recover—and a smart strategy for gaining mind and body benefits.

By Mallory Creveling

THREADS
belly breathing (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?15673-belly-breathing)
Yoga (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?22367-Yoga)
Meditation (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?26155-Meditation)

GeneChing
09-05-2019, 09:24 AM
Local martial arts class learns rare lessons from meditation guru (https://www.wtap.com/content/news/Local-martial-arts-class-learns--559056901.html)
By Angel Thompson | Posted: Sun 11:42 AM, Sep 01, 2019

PARKERSBURG, W. Va. Grandmaster Sin Kwang The came to Shaolin Martial Arts Training Center in Parkersburg to teach meditation while walking. Grandmaster The has been coming to the city to teach classes for over 20 years.

https://media.graytvinc.com/images/690*386/med2.JPG

"Meditation while walk is important because we will have better results when constantly moving rather than sitting down," said Grandmaster The.
There are five steps to learning meditation while walking.

For those who don't meditate, meditation is said to have many health benefits.

" It reduces stress and also reduces the inflammation of our body and we become healthier and happier person. But also reduces the risk of heart attack or even cancer," said Grandmaster The.

Jason Knapp is the owner of the Shaolin Training Center in Parkersburg. For more information call (304) 481-5185

THREADS
Shaolin-do teaching the SUPER SECRET invincible internal style (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?38879-Shaolin-do-teaching-the-SUPER-SECRET-invincible-internal-style)
Meditation (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?26155-Meditation)

GeneChing
12-06-2019, 08:58 AM
Eva's problem here was that she trusted an app. An app doesn't always have the tools to guide you when you get into trouble. While some might be able to glean superficial benefits from self-taught meditation, if you really want to learn how to meditate, you need a good teacher.



MEDITATION MIGHT NOT BE A GOOD FIT FOR EVERYONE—HERE’S WHY (https://www.wellandgood.com/good-advice/meditation-side-effects/)
GOOD ADVICE
JULIA RIES, DECEMBER 5, 2019

https://www.wellandgood.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/GettyImages-meditation-side-effects-HeroImages-609x400.jpeg
Photo: Getty Images / Hero Images

Eva*, a 31-year-old living in Paris, has dealt with severe anxiety for as long as she can remember. As an adult, she frequently experiences vivid flashbacks that take her right back to the trauma she experienced as a young girl, during which she can’t breathe, think, or work.

Eva heard about meditation and its benefits for physical and mental health, and decided to give it a shot to see if it would help with her anxiety. She downloaded a meditation app and started using it every other day. But instead of overpowering her stress or silencing her trauma, Eva experienced the opposite effect.

“When I attempt to make my anxiety go away using meditation, my mind fixates more strongly on the thoughts and issues at hand and [I get] overwhelmed,” says Eva, making meditation feel impossible. “The guilt afterward—that I could not clear my mind or focus for those 20 minutes—makes me feel like I wasted time and was a failure, and, therefore, the anxiety gets worse.”

Meditation can be potentially triggering

The majority of people can benefit from some kind of meditation practice, as it can help with a wide range of physical and mental issues, says Anne Dutton, LCSW, the director of mindfulness education at the Yale Stress Center. There’s so much evidence indicating that meditation can lift your mood, improve your focus, and help with stress management.

Yet stories like Eva’s are not unheard of. Many people anecdotally report feeling jittery or nervous after giving meditation a go. In fact, a 2017 study from Brown University found that 82 percent of meditators experience emotional side effects like fear, panic, anxiety, and paranoia at some point during their practice.

Health experts suspect this is because mindfulness and meditation-based interventions pull people’s awareness to their thoughts and feelings, some of which may be troubling. “You’re basically turning towards whatever is present instead of distracting yourself, so if you’re prone to rumination or very negative mood states, you will come into closer contact with them and that can be triggering,” Dutton says.

These triggering thoughts can potentially catch people by surprise and cause a panic—which of course negates any potential calm that meditation is supposed to bring. “The quiet of meditation practice may provide a platform for rumination without any boundaries if they are not well-versed in being able to bring their attention back to the breath,” says Sue Kim, MD, an internal medicine physician with Stanford Center for Integrative Medicine. This can make meditation genuinely difficult for people with a history of trauma or other mental health conditions like anxiety or depression.

Some people can work up to meditation—but don’t force it

None of this is to say that meditation is bad; countless studies show the benefits of meditation and other mindfulness techniques for helping to ease symptoms of depression and anxiety in particular. But if you find that meditation can be triggering or disturbing, there are some things you can do to address it.

“[Meditation] takes practice like any other sport or new activity,” Dr. Kim says—which is why people should ease into it to mitigate potentially upsetting situations. Just doing a few minutes a day through a guided meditation app is a good place to start, says Dutton.

Dutton also recommends going in with no expectations. So many people have hyped meditation up to be a stress-reducing cure-all and are disappointed when they’re not blissed out afterwards. “They’ve got an idea in their head about what it means to be helpful—it means I’m going to feel a certain way [after meditating]—and that’s going to be an impediment to actual practice,” she says.

If you start to spiral, use grounding techniques to bring your attention back to your breath and your body (think: applying pressure in the chest, touching something warm or cold, etc). Taking notice of those different sensations can help you calm down. Then stop your meditation for the day and revisit if you’re comfortable doing so.

Over time, you may start to get the hang of it. Meditation is, after all, a form of exposure therapy. “You’re sitting with discomfort in a sustained way and just by the exposure it tends to extinguish itself,” Dutton says.

However, if meditation persistently exasperates your anxiety or causes panic, health experts recommend avoiding it—especially if you’re by yourself. “If it does trigger distress, then certainly it’s best for individuals not to continue with the practice and to either seek professional guidance around meditation or pursue other activities that may produce similar benefits,” Dr. Kim adds.

To her point, it might be worth trying a different kind of activity, like a somatic body-based therapy or a moving meditation practice like yoga or tai chi. The key is to find something that can help clear your head of the excess noise and commentary life brings, Dr. Kim says. If it’s not meditation, that’s completely okay.

*Name has been changed

GeneChing
08-27-2020, 09:31 AM
https://f2z5y7q2.rocketcdn.me/news/u/2020/02/military-soldier-meditating-large-bigstock-1536x1152.jpg

Study: Veterans May Benefit From Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation (https://psychcentral.com/news/2020/08/26/study-veterans-may-benefit-from-yoga-tai-chi-meditation/159070.html)
By Traci Pedersen
Associate News Editor Last updated: 26 Aug 2020
~ 2 MIN READ

Complementary and integrative health (CIH) therapies, such as yoga, meditation and tai chi may help improve overall physical and mental health and reduce perceived stress among veterans receiving care in the Veterans Health Administration (VA) system, according to a new study published in a special September supplement to Medical Care.

The study reports progress toward implementing CIH therapies throughout the VA system, part of an effort to promote a “Whole Health” approach in VA care. As required by the 2016 Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), the VA has expanded research and education on its CIH therapies, focusing on the impact on pain, mental health, and chronic illness.

The study was led by Dr. A. Rani Elwy of the VA Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Mass, and Associate Professor in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

For the study, Elwy and team administered a 12-month survey to analyze the impact of CIH therapies on 119 veterans who self-reported on their health and well-being. The Veterans completed 401 surveys at more than five different time points during the study. The surveys focused on patient-reported outcomes (PROs), an important target for efforts to improve healthcare. They focused on the most important problems and outcomes identified by the patients themselves.

Veterans in the study reported using 14 different CIH therapies. Yoga was the most popular, with nearly half of veterans participating. This was followed by meditation, acupuncture and tai chi. Three CIH therapies were linked to significant improvements in PROs:

yoga was related to decreases in perceived stress;

tai chi was linked to improvements in overall physical and mental health functioning, anxiety levels, and ability to participate in social role activities;

meditation was also associated with improvements in physical functioning.

“[O]ur study showed that meditation, tai chi, and yoga appear to improve overall physical and mental health and reduced perceived stress,” write the authors.

None of the CIH therapies were linked to improvements in veterans’ pain intensity or level of engagement in their health care. Larger studies with longer follow-up times may be needed to show significant effects on these outcomes, according to the authors.

“It is time to focus on health and well-being, as defined by Veterans, and reaching these goals must include participation in CIH treatment approaches,” concluded the authors.

The paper presents 11 original research papers and commentaries on the VA’s progress in implementing and evaluating the impact of CIH therapies on Veterans’ health outcomes.

The special issue addresses strategies to build support for and implement CIH programs, to evaluate their effectiveness, and to promote their long-term sustainability.

“We already know that CIH therapies are effective for the treatment of Veterans’ chronic pain, posttraumatic stress, depression, and other chronic conditions,” write Elwy and Dr. Stephanie L. Taylor of the HSR&D Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation, and Policy, Greater Los Angeles VA Medical Center. “Now we need to develop, test, and use effective strategies to increase CIH use and sustainment.”

In a commentary, Alison Whitehead and Dr. Benjamin Kligler of the VA Office of Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Transformation said, “As the VA continues to develop new and better ways of making CIH approaches available to all Veterans, and to collect data on the outcomes of this expanded access for Veterans and employees, we hope to demonstrate to the rest of the U.S. healthcare system how an emphasis on whole person care and self-management skills should become the new standard across the industry.”

Source: Wolters Kluwer Health

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Tai-Chi-Veterans-amp-PTSD (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?70689-Tai-Chi-Veterans-amp-PTSD)
yoga (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?22367-Yoga)
meditation (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?26155-Meditation)