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My findings on meditation

Discussion in 'Meditation' started by DanielKotzer, Dec 15, 2015.

  1. DanielKotzer

    DanielKotzer Member

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    I listened to many hours of video teaching, by Osho, by S. N. Goenka, by Ven Ajahn Brahm, by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, by Rabbi Erez Moshe Doron (Author of the book "The Warriors of Transcendence").

    Cross referencing all the sources I mentioned above, and comparing them with my personal experience I concluded the following:

    Meditation is about detaching consciousness from the senses. In the waking state, both the senses and consciousness are awake. In the sleep state, we lose both – our senses and our consciousness. What we try to do in meditation is to lose our senses, but keep our consciousness, and thereby break the identification of consciousness with the limitation imposed on it by the senses.

    The five senses are sending us signals, each of these signals becomes a stimulation, meaning, it creates a sensation - pleasant or unpleasant. We react to the stimulation, not to the external object. As this lady says and I agree:

    There is no problem in reaction to stimulations, as long as it is not an automatic reaction, or as Osho says - there is a difference between a reaction and a response, if you react, you are controlled by an external force. What makes the difference between a reaction and a response is the awareness. If you don't react immediately to a stimulation, you leave room for awareness; for mindfulness; for discretion.

    If consciousness is attached to the senses, than a pleasure sensation imprints an addiction in the consciousness, and a painful sensation imprints a trauma in the consciousness.

    Trauma and addiction are the reason why we react automatically to stimulations. How do we stop it? We let the light of awareness go into our consciousness. As Osho says, the light of awareness melts down all the negativity suppressed in our subconscious.

    How do we amplify our awareness? We need to give it some room. If we don't leave room for quiet, between the time the stimulation hit us, and the reaction, we don't leave time for awareness to happen, and separate the consciousness from the senses.

    Ven Ajahn Brahm says, the human being has two main aspects, the 'doer' and the 'knower', and we need to take the energy, or the attention, from the 'doer' to the 'knower'. Osho also says something similar, "meditation is doing nothing at all – just be the watcher on the hill. Contemplation is also doing, concentration is also doing. you can't practice it, you just have to understand it" I think that's way, in meditation, we put our awareness on one continues stimulation, like the breath, because moving the attention from one stimulation to another, is also a reaction. And even keeping the attention on one object forcibly, is a reaction – it is also a form of doing. You need to simply let-go, and sink into the object of meditation, effortlessness is the name of the game. Ven Ajahn says, you don't realy need an object to meditate on, if you are experienced enough, you can by pass this stage, and jump right to pure awareness. or as Jon Kabat-Zinn puts it: the main thing is not the object of attention, but the attentiveness itself. Eventually the object of attention drops down by itself; you don't wait for the right time to drop it, as this is also 'doing'.

    I find that the main purpose of a mantra is to quiet the mind. Also S. N. Goenka said so. I see we have 6 tools of doing, 2 hands, 2 legs, the sex organ, and... the head. The head is doing the thinking and the talking. In the middle of all the action organs is the heart, where the attention /awareness is. In meditation you stop the activity of all the doing organs, and activate the mindfulness organ - which is the heart (spiritually speaking). 'Doing' is a distraction, and disturbs the 'knowing'. As Ven Ajahn Brahm says: "if you take notes on a lecture, you don't hear parts of the lecture". The 'doer' and the 'knower' don't work together.

    S. N. Goenka said: in vipassana, don't use a mantra. it quiets the mind very easily, but ... and then he gives reasons why not to use it. None of those reasons made any sense to me. And from my personal experience, if you are not a monk, living outside of the action, it is very hard to quiet the mind without a mantra.

    In the YouTube movie "Spiritual Reality - The Journey Within" we are introduced to a form of mindfulness meditation and the instruction is not to chant a mantra, because chanting a mantra is an activity of the mind, and there for it should be stopped. This makes sense, as in meditation we try to stop the 'doer' and activate the 'listener' or the 'knower', as mentioned above.

    I once heard in a YouTube video by Abraham-Hicks: "the way to meditate is feeling for a vibration or listening for a vibration… until before you know it you'll feel a detachment from your physical environment, and the reason you feel a detachment from your physical environment is because you are tuning into your inner world, where there is not sight, and there is not sound, and there is not smell, and there is not taste, and there is not touch…" According to that, how can a mantra be a meditation object? It is not a sense object that keeps your attention active, while the 'doer' goes to sleep; it is a doing by itself. Transcendental meditation always made me wonder, what is the object of attention in this meditation technique? In transcendental meditation you don't mess with your attention at all. once the mind is quiet, the attention moves naturally inwards, the technique itself is a mechanical process of repeating a thought in the mind, as I heard Maharishi saying so himself.

    Therefore I think a mantra is not an attention object to keep the 'knower' awake, it is activity, but an activity that eventually brings the mind to its rest. From my experience, quieting the mind, on the one hand, while channeling your attention to a soft stimulation - like the breath, gives me the best result, therefore, on the out going breath I think the mantra, while on the incoming breath, I put my attention on the sensation of the breath. This way I cover both aspects, I stop the 'doer', while channeling the energy to the 'knower'.

    How does the mantra quite the mind? I heard a few explanations: One is that you disturb the activities of the inner chattering of the mind. Or that the inner chattering becomes regulated and disappears like a background noise, like the constant sound of a refrigerator. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is quoting a sutra that says, the only way to quiet a disturbed mind is by doing one thing, he says it has to do with creating boredom on the thought level



    Maybe it's the boredom that is causing the attention to move away from thought, because by its nature, attention seeks for interest, and attention feeds the thinking process. Once attention detaches from thought, the minds activity is slowing down, even though you're not supposed to resist your thoughts, because that would be also a form of 'doing'. The byproduct is the quieting of the mind, even if it's not the immediate result. Anyway, whatever the explanation is, my experience is that repeating a mantra quiets the mind, and it is a very powerful tool.

    Hope you find this interesting. You don't have to agree with me, but I like to hear your comments.


    Regards,
    Daniel
     
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  2. DanielKotzer

    DanielKotzer Member

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    I have to add something. on the previous thread, Giles stated: "meditation is not about controlling the breathing, but about simply observing the natural breath".

    As I said before, It's true that meditation is about stopping any type of doing, and just give your attention to a stimulation. Regulating the breath, is a form of intentional doing, which contradicts this principal. But then also repeating a mantra is an activity, but this activity brings about a rest to the mind, therefore we use it, the same goes for regulating the breath in some forms of meditation practices, they may seem to be against the principle of "stopping the doer", but it is a small sacrifice, for quieting the mind, which for many people is almost an impossible task.
     
  3. Energylz

    Energylz Moody-rator ©
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    One way to look at it is that these are tools to get you to the destination, but they are not the destination itself. Once you reach the destination you no longer need to use the tools.
     
  4. DanielKotzer

    DanielKotzer Member

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    Yes. No doubt the destination of all these practices should be to let go of all intentional doing, of body and mind, if at the end of the day this was not achieved, the point was missed.
     
  5. Tashanie

    Tashanie Well-Known Member

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    No it wasn't missed.........much benefit can be gained from even imperfect meditation. I am more concerned that people try , than whether they do so perfectly
     
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  6. DanielKotzer

    DanielKotzer Member

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    I think anyone who is a beginner in practicing meditation, does it in a very innocent way, not knowing what to expect, and it works for him more or less, but then, after a while, when he becomes knowledgeable, and start doing it intentionally as if it is a work that needs to be done, then meditation doesn't work for him any more, because meditation is about letting go of all intentional doing and turn your attention to the observer within you. That's what happened to me, that's why I went looking for a deeper technical understanding of the practice of meditation. I didn't want my meeting with the bliss of meditation, to be a chance meeting. If you play with meditation, not knowing what you are doing, it is better then not doing it at all, because occasionally, you might get it, but if you know what you're doing, you own it.
     
  7. DanielKotzer

    DanielKotzer Member

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    The essence of meditation is simply awareness, meaning: to be aware of stimulations without responding to them. Therefore it would be right to say that Vipassana is the purest form of meditation. But there are other techniques like Transcendental Meditation, which is mantra repetition, and Pranayama, which is breath regulation. These techniques are for quieting the mind, because shutting down the thinking activity, is the hardest part of meditation. (I don't think you can really shut down the mind. You can transcend it, by detaching your attention from it, and this will cut the energy supply which is fueling the thinking activity, or influence it in some other indirect way).

    The Techniques for quieting the mind, are creating the circumstances for awareness, but I'm not sure that once you quiet the mind, a state of pure awareness is bound to happen, so I don't think these techniques are standalone techniques - they have many psychological benefits by themselves, but meditation is more then just a form of therapy or relaxation. In my opinion, mindfulness should be the end goal of any meditation technique.
     
  8. Tashanie

    Tashanie Well-Known Member

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    Sorry Daniel you are wrong. Unless you practice it , you will never get it right. By your logic no-one would ever meditate because no-one would get it right at first.
     
  9. DanielKotzer

    DanielKotzer Member

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    You should google "meditation is not working for me", and see that practicing meditation can be fruitless. Knowing the mechanism of it, and doing it right is very important. Moreover, if someone is practicing it wrong, and is disappointed, he might never give it another try, thinking it's no good for him. So basically I'm not saying you shouldn't practice it unless you've spend 10 years learning it first. I'm saying - practice it, but at the same time, analyse it, because doing it, knowing what you're doing, makes a very big difference.
     
  10. DanielKotzer

    DanielKotzer Member

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    To tie everything together, meditation is awareness, all the different words like - being in the now, being watchful or being mindful, they all mean the same thing - awareness (Osho). The reason why you can't give your attention to both the 'doer' and the 'knower' parts of your mind at the same time, is because every type of doing/reaction falls into one of 2 categories, embracing or rejecting, which means, preferring one thing over the other. So every reaction contains an element of judging, and if you are judging, you are filtering your experiences, instead of being a passive observer who accepts the whole truth for what it is.

    Rejecting your thought is a reaction, while being a passive observer, open to what ever happens, will cause all activity within you to die, including your thinking activity.

    I think that the 2 parts of the mind, which Ven Ajahn Brahm calls "the doer and the knower" are in fact the critical mind, (which is the conscious mind) and the experiential mind (which is the subconscious mind). Osho said that during meditation we move deeper and deeper into the subconscious mind. He also made an interesting distinction: the conscious mind is expressing itself verbally, while the subconscious mind is expressing itself visually. Maybe that's why when the inner chattering stops, we are getting visions.
     
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  11. Anne Mary

    Anne Mary Active Member

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    I like keeping it simple! What I do is, these days: walking up and down, up and down, about 40 yards, always the same, while focusing on my abdomen. If I forget to focus, I bring my attention back there, no worries. That's all. It develops all the time, and it works for me. Don't care why!
    But I must say, following a meditation diet makes all the difference. What I have eaten in the last 24 hours - things like even ginger mess it up. Learned that at Acem, the Norvegian meditation system. For details, ask!
     
  12. DanielKotzer

    DanielKotzer Member

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    I still have the page you have send me, with instructions on what food is good or not good for meditation, I try to work accordingly. I remember it. if you have anything additional to send me, I'll be happy to read it.
     
  13. japa.guru

    japa.guru New Member

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    I love everything you have written, it is very insightful.

    Personally, I used to use a mantra regularly. Whenever performing routine tasks I would always be repeating the mantra over and over in my head. And whilst it was beneficial in some ways I feel that it did take away some of my awareness. And, for me, awareness is where I experience most benefits.

    Now I do not use a mantra and instead I try to bring awareness into everything I do. Much of the time this is not effective and in the rush of life my awareness can lack. But when it is effective I find the benefits are beautiful and bring great peace.

    Thank you for your post :)
     
  14. DanielKotzer

    DanielKotzer Member

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    I had some more insights since I wrote this post. I think the main point in meditation is inner awareness, we usually focus our attention outward, after the senses. Meditation tells us to stop being distracted by the senses, and look inward as well, then we'll see that there are powers that are controlling our reactions, that we weren't aware of, as we where distracted by the senses. To be more specific, we are talking about the subconscious mind which works in the background and controls our thoughts and actions, while we don't pay attention. The subconscious mind is our downfall, because it can be programmed by external forces, and conditions can be planted into it. these conditions are controlling our actions when we don't pay attention, or in other words, when we act with no awareness. When you distract your attention from something, or even if you focus your attention on something, which inevitably causes your attention to distract from all other things, the area you have distracted your attention from, becomes the domain of the subconscious mind. You create the subconscious mind within yourself, by distracting your attention. In advertising they use subliminal messages, which are hidden messages send to the subconscious mind. How is it done? they usually distract your attention to something else, and through the void, which your awareness doesn't cover, they send you a message, which is planting a condition into your subconscious mind - from "the corner of my eye" so to speak.

    Meditation causes your subconscious mind to dissolve, and the trick is - "choiceless awareness" - as Osho defines it; simply don't focus your attention on anything, this makes your subconscious mind to dissolve, and all the conditioning is dissolving with it.

    Every moral code is a form of conditioning, and it creates a constant inner conflict within a person. Inner awareness is much better, it makes you aware of the negative forces that control you from within, and once you know them, you don't want to play their game anymore, because a human being is good at it's core. (that doesn't mean he can't defend himself, defending your self from harm, is your right, and this has nothing to do with judging others).
     
    #14 DanielKotzer, Jan 22, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2017
  15. Anne Mary

    Anne Mary Active Member

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    Basically: you get to know yourself and your motives better, and so also understand other people's motives and realize that they are no worse than you! I don't much care about the theory of meditation, but it works for me.
     
  16. jnani

    jnani Well-Known Member

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    This is what you understand....a bit from here and abit from there and your own brain filling in the gaps to make a reasonable picture out of bits of jigsaw. with a bit of luck in time this will lose its grip on you and you will not understand it so tightly....then lesser and lesser ...until you know no more.
    Then you would see what you did understand was not only irrelevant, but also not quite it. Then your words will get fuzzy as will your brain....then you wouldn't be able to entertain understanding. Words will fail you. You will fail words. You will be disenchanted with words, concepts of meditation, hiit's role, its benefits, the right and wrong way to do it. This will again with a bit of luck take you to the point of futility of meditation ...to a point where meditation will feel like a funny word and may well leave you wondering -what the heck are people so hooked on meditation for....and what is it even doing for them? why don't they just live?

    The moment jigsaw is completed, it disappears.
     
  17. DanielKotzer

    DanielKotzer Member

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    Janani... I only write to those who are interested in understanding the theory of meditation, if you are not interested in it, then we have no common ground for a conversation. Learning from many people only makes you richer. I like to hear many opinions, it fertilizes me.

    anyway.

    One thing I have to add, a question that has bothered me. If meditation is about awareness, and focusing your attention is causing distraction, how come many of the meditation practices start with concentrating your attention?

    My understanding is that meditation has 2 phases, what is called in the TM teachings - a stroke inwards, and a stroke outwards. In the stroke inwards, you want to cause a distraction, in order to activate the subconscious mind and let it control your thoughts. the state in which the subconscious mind controls your thought, is what we call "dream state". Once you get this flow of subconscious thinking, you move to the second stage which is the letting go stage - what we call choiseless awareness. In TM it's called the stroke outwards, were you stop recycling the mantra, and go into total surrender of your will. You need to activate your subconscious mind in order to observe it, and become aware of it. But even without any meditation object, if you simply wait a while, doing nothing at all, the daydreaming will start on it's own. Once the daydreaming has started, and you are aware that you are dreaming, you are in a "lucid dream" state, which is the gateway for out of body experience.
     
  18. Energylz

    Energylz Moody-rator ©
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    Because typically our attention is jumping all over the place, getting distracted by multiple things from multiple senses, and bringing up different thoughts and memories etc. etc.
    Starting with a single focus, allows the mind to quieten and become less distracted, allowing us to find the state of awareness more easily.
     
  19. jnani

    jnani Well-Known Member

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    I responded about meditation...that's the common ground. You did say in your op that "you don't have to agree with me, but I would like to hear your comments". Now you say there is no common ground for a conversation! What is common ground in your view? Never mind, that's just a rhetorical question. It's banter

    Again this makes sense to you, it is right this moment. over time this may meta morph into something quite unrecognizable....
    You mention surrender of your will....that rarely ( infact certainly never) happens with meditations, whether it is TM, vippassan, or dynamic osho meditations.....no matter how much one understands....surrender happens with love. Surrender is utter madness...when the mind is no more caught up with any understanding, mechanism and methodology. When it is not worried about making any sense, that is the cusp of free falling of surrender....
    All meditations are mere preparations to drop the notion of doer-ship. ...

    When there is no one left to meditate is when choiceless awareness happens. People say it is with meditation that you get to choiceless awareness. Nothing could be farther from truth...It is the other way round...when no one is left to meditate, choiceless awareness arises. Incidently In that space The in-body or out-of-body experience does not matter. 'This' loses value as does 'that'.
     
  20. DanielKotzer

    DanielKotzer Member

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    Clearly, if that's what you'r saying, you think that my effort to define the mechanism and dynamics of meditation will lead nowhere. Why? because I'm caught up with the mind, and meditation happens when there is no mind. I guess that is more or less what you are saying. I've heard it before. But honestly, I don't think these 2 things are related. I can use my mind to know who to bring myself into a state of no mind. This post is about understanding, and for those who think that understanding the dynamics of meditation can help the practice.
     

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