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Meditation Instructions; Feel Free to add to this
Topic Started: Mar 14 2016, 10:05 PM (403 Views)
Ardy
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Generous
Meditation Instructions

Introduction


Meditation is a serious pursuit and should be approached with a serious mind. Used to its fullest it will change your life and your personality which although attractive at first becomes more difficult and potentially, mentally painful as time goes by.

I think it is not too much to say that meditating twice a day over several years can be one of the most difficult things you will ever attempt and few succeed in breaking through to enlightenment by the death of your ego.

At its simplest, it can be used as a method of stress relief, or a means of throwing off lethargy and encouraging happiness. In this state you just use it as you need it and you need not make it a regular practice.

Dogen says "Thus the whole body of skin, flesh, bones and marrow hangs in empty space" therefore you have nothing to fear only your fear. Step forward into this world of meditation and embrace it as the surest way to see the reality of who you are and maybe some of you may become fully enlightened or enter the kingdom of heaven in this life - why not now?

Cross legged or Not


I personally believe that it makes little difference how you sit as long as you sit. If you are comfortable sitting cross-legged on the floor then do that. Remember an upright back and a solid sit is essential to this method. Full lotus is for the very flexible and is described by many as the best method.

If you feel more comfortable on a chair then follow these instructions:

Find a chair that is as upright as possible. Sit with your back and head upright and your ears in line with your shoulders. Try to have your thighs at 90o to the floor and your feet planted firmly and comfortably on the ground.

Beginning

Find an area that is quiet where you will not be disturbed. There are many ways to meditate and plenty of argument about which is best. The two most used are counting breaths and using a mantra (pronounced muntra). Counting breaths is simply counting on the out breath starting at one , two three four five six seven eight nine ending at zero and then starting at one again. Using a mantra is surrounded by some religious dogma but I think I will not offend anyone by suggesting that you use OM! (Pronounced OHMMMM).

Get yourself into a calm state by feeling your breath go in and out and allowing your hearing to go out as far as possible to hear the furthest noises then feel the play of air on your skin. Slowly close your eyes (Note this is only in the beginning later you can meditate with your eyes partially open)

Begin by counting the breaths or repeating the mantra, making the breaths or the mantra slow and deep. This should be done for approximately ten minutes once a day to start and when you're comfortable with that, move up to ten minutes twice a day. There is no rush at this point and the idea that you have ‘nowhere to go and nothing to do’, prior to mediation is a good way to release any tension or resistance to doing meditation.

When you start it is natural for your head to droop. Don’t be discouraged, you will become more upright as time goes by. You may even fall asleep at the start this too will pass.

Dealing with Unwanted Thoughts


Initially your mind and senses will enjoy mediation as it is a new experience and your ego is fascinated by anything new. After a very short time the ego realises that this is a serious threat to it's control over you and it will start to fight back.

Early on lovely images may arise, pretty gardens with beautiful streams or wonderful colours, ignore all of this it will pass. The next thing that may appear are ugly images, these too will pass.

The battle you have to deal with are thoughts that speak inside your head and say something like "How can you sit here doing this, you promised you would phone so and so urgently" or "You must stop and check on the kids" Say back to the thoughts in your head "That’s important and I will do it as soon as I finish meditation". Other random thoughts are a bit like files that the senses are bringing to you and you can just file them away for another time. This battle gets to be very big as the ego knows you intimately and tries constantly to bring you down and out of meditation.

Note: Once you are proficient you may find it beneficial to half close the eyes and allow them to go out of focus.


Development of Meditation


As you progress over a few weeks you will find several things that are not immediately obvious.
There will on occasions be a great peace that enters into your meditation and at other times there will be a great battle.
Do not say "I like this type of meditation but not this". It is all natural, accept it all nothing is bad or good.
Secondly, although you may not be obvious, there will be a general feeling of well being or happiness, it is not on the surface but bubbles away beneath you.
After some time passes, you may wish to increase your time of sitting. Go first to fifteen minutes twice a day and when comfortable with that go to twenty minutes twice a day. Stay at this amount of time for a fair while until you are sitting upright and completely comfortable with your meditation process. This may be weeks for some people or months for others. There is no set time frame.

If you are facing a serious problem in your life just state the problem, as you would say a mantra and most times an answer will appear before you mostly after sleep.

I have heard meditation described as trying to put a dog outside that has lived in the house too long. It howls at the door. The howling during development of mediation is great.

Traps

These are many and varied as the ego/senses battle with you for control of yourself.

Any advantages you get from meditation are nothing to do with you and mainly to do with your place in the universe.

Do not get attached to the dogma surrounding spiritual meditation. It has nothing to do with religion, so just do it. There are many examples of Zen monks ignoring the rules and tenants of their religion, including a monk who burnt wooden images of Buddha on a cold night and others who have destroyed sacred writings to prove a point.

Summary

Meditation is very simple to start and very hard to keep going. I hope that it brings you whatever you are looking for. Strange that all you have to do is ask, as long as the question is not about material gain but is for you or others internal gain.

If you feel the need for a master then I warn you, there are many well meaning and sometimes not so well meaning charlatans out there. If you find a true master you are well on your way. The company of an enlightened master is the quickest route to take you through the gate-less gate to the great discovery of who you are. The search for one can be the work of a lifetime.

These instructions are meant only to get you started, once you are on your way you will naturally search out literature that suits you and assists you in your spiritual search. Each person is different in some way and the way becomes clearer only after you have started on it.

This road has been walked by many including Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed. Walk on it yourself and discover that the hard narrow road is far better.

Remember, if you search for it, it is not there. If you don’t look for it you will never find it. Everything is fundamentally empty.

The whole Universe
Shatters into a hundred pieces
In the great death
There is no heaven or earth

Once body and mind have turned over
There is only this to say

Past mind cannot be grasped
Present mind cannot be grasped
Future mind cannot be grasped

Dogen 5th Month, 3rd year, Kangen Era
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Water
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In the past I've had these experiences with white light during meditation. It wasn't light so much, its hard to describe, my whole visual field pulsed from non existent closed eye darkness to this most dazzling white.
It felt... it was amazing, some mutant ecstasy, seeing without seeing, hearing without sound, and being pierced by the most profound joy. It mostly only lasted a split second, almost every time it happened it would jolt me out of the meditation. It was like being hit by a train. And since then when I feel like I'm skirting close to deep meditation I'll have these apprehensions about experiencing it again and lose focus. I would very much like to revisit that white and accept it and not lose focus, what should I do to curb the apprehensions?
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crow
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Be brave, that's all, and it's all you can do. You don't get damaged by it, do you?
If you do, then stop. If you don't, just accept it and continue.

A lot of strange things happen, the deeper you go. It is helpful to cultivate a passive kind of curiosity, and an openness to discover what there is to discover. It's not so much that there is a goal to reach, as an experience to experience. When you're on the bus, the bus is all there is. You'll know when to get off the bus.

"Squawk!" said the crow, and then made space.
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Veronique
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is it good to meditate while focusing on something like the flamme of a candle or some sort of religious icon or is it best to just close our eyes?
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crow
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Some say it's good, but I don't. Eyes gently shut. Fewer distractions. When you're getting somewhere worth getting to, you won't know if your eyes are open or closed. And when that happens, it won't matter.
"Squawk!" said the crow, and then made space.
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crow
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Seems to me I've omitted to mention something of possible importance...

Although I made a thing of deep breathing for several weeks, preceding the main event, I didn't specifically meditate at all.
I may be wrong about this, because I really don't remember the exact sequence of things, or the exact events that occurred in any specific order. But it may well be true to say that I didn't meditate, at all, until I did, and as is my custom, I really went for it when I finally did.

In which case, it may well have been a case of:
Enlightenment In An Afternoon.

Sounds silly, sounds unlikely, but no matter what it sounds like, it may actually have been the case.

Preparation is the thing. Breathing is integral. And really, there are no rules.
Either you're ready, or you're not, and if you're not, it's not gonna happen.

"Squawk!" said the crow, and then made space.
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Ardy
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Water
Mar 15 2016, 01:46 AM
In the past I've had these experiences with white light during meditation. It wasn't light so much, its hard to describe, my whole visual field pulsed from non existent closed eye darkness to this most dazzling white.
It felt... it was amazing, some mutant ecstasy, seeing without seeing, hearing without sound, and being pierced by the most profound joy. It mostly only lasted a split second, almost every time it happened it would jolt me out of the meditation. It was like being hit by a train. And since then when I feel like I'm skirting close to deep meditation I'll have these apprehensions about experiencing it again and lose focus. I would very much like to revisit that white and accept it and not lose focus, what should I do to curb the apprehensions?
As Crow says, accept it, or ignore it, or put it away for later. When you get to the edge of life as you perceive it, then you will know and make the great decision to jump or step back. Up to that point, most effects are manufactured to drive you out of meditation.
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crow
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That reminds me of the Trump/American People, versus the Deep State/leftist scenario, with the meditator being the former, and the crazy mind-noise being the latter.
The mind is fake news, and the one motivated to meditate: the seeker-after-truth.

"Squawk!" said the crow, and then made space.
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