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Wed Nov 4, 2015, 06:43 AM

Any meditators here?

I'm attending a class of mindfulness meditation.
would like to discuss if there is any interest.

(Meditation and Buddhism not synonymous of course.
Just looking for other meditators
Many Buddhists practice one form or another of meditation.)

34 replies, 2776 views

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply Any meditators here? (Original post)
ellenrr Nov 2015 OP
Nitram Nov 2015 #1
ellenrr Nov 2015 #2
Nitram Nov 2015 #3
JudyM Nov 2015 #4
ellenrr Nov 2015 #5
leftyladyfrommo Nov 2015 #6
ellenrr Nov 2015 #13
leftyladyfrommo Nov 2015 #15
leftyladyfrommo Nov 2015 #16
ellenrr Nov 2015 #20
leftyladyfrommo Nov 2015 #21
ellenrr Nov 2015 #22
leftyladyfrommo Nov 2015 #23
restorefreedom Nov 2015 #7
ellenrr Nov 2015 #8
restorefreedom Nov 2015 #9
ellenrr Nov 2015 #18
restorefreedom Nov 2015 #24
ellenrr Nov 2015 #10
restorefreedom Nov 2015 #11
ellenrr Nov 2015 #12
restorefreedom Nov 2015 #17
ellenrr Nov 2015 #19
restorefreedom Nov 2015 #25
ellenrr Dec 2015 #26
restorefreedom Dec 2015 #27
ellenrr Dec 2015 #28
restorefreedom Dec 2015 #29
ellenrr Dec 2015 #30
ellenrr Dec 2015 #31
restorefreedom Dec 2015 #32
ellenrr Dec 2015 #33
restorefreedom Dec 2015 #34
ellenrr Nov 2015 #14

Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 4, 2015, 08:48 AM

1. I've been practicing Vipassana mediation for about 20 years.

Did a couple of 10-day retreats at Goenkaji meditation centers.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 4, 2015, 10:43 AM

2. oh cool..I went to a Vipassana 10 day in the '70's

in Massachusetts with Joseph Goldstein.
Do you know him?
I am not familiar with Goenkaji meditation center. Where is that?

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Response to ellenrr (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 4, 2015, 10:50 AM

3. There are a number of centers, but the main one is in MA.

I've never been there. I went to one in Kyoto, Japan when I was living there, and one in NJ that was temporary for overflow from the MA center. I don't know Goldstein.

https://www.dhamma.org/en-US/index

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 4, 2015, 11:15 PM

4. Another vipassana student, also about 20 years.

I co-lead a kalyana mitra ("spiritual friends" group that's an offshoot of Tara Brach's Insight Meditation Community Of Washington (DC). We get together to meditate and discuss various selected dharma readings twice a month.

It's wonderful to have a community of folks on the same path that help each other along the way in the sense of mindful sharing, and growing awakening. If you decide to continue after the class finishes, you may enjoy finding such a community.

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Response to JudyM (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 04:58 AM

5. I agree, community is so important

esp. bec. in this outward-facing society, in general there is not much support for the practice of philosophy of inner-directed work.
(which can then become outer-directed)

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 07:56 AM

6. 40 years of Zen.

Still practice every day.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 27, 2015, 11:16 AM

13. 40 years! that's awesome. nt

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Response to ellenrr (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 27, 2015, 11:26 AM

15. It really takes a long time.

I don't sit zazen any more because it's hard for me now but I try to practice mindfulness all the time.

And I read stuff about dharma and practice and lifestyle all the time.

It just takes a long long time.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 27, 2015, 11:37 AM

16. I am reading the Wisdom Gone Beyond

Teachings on the Heart Sutra by Lama Migmar Tseten.

It's been really helpful. Interesting stuff. Emotions are the root of all karma and this helps with getting beyond emotions to the Wisdom beyond all that.

But I try and practice mindfulness all day long.



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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 27, 2015, 07:36 PM

20. when you say "it takes a long long time" - are you saying

it takes a long time to be able to practice mindfulness all day?

I am trying.. but far from there.

are you familiar with Pema Chodran?
My friend likes to read her.

I am reading A Force for Good about the Dalai Lama.
He talks a lot about compassion. I'm loving it.

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Response to ellenrr (Reply #20)

Sat Nov 28, 2015, 08:59 AM

21. It takes a lifetime to learn to do stuff.

I love Pema and have read a lot of her stuff. It's been very helpful. I also love Thich Nhat Hanh. Pema is Tibetan Buddhist and Thich Nhat Hanh is Zen. Pema really helps on dealing with emotions. And emotions are the key to the whole thing.

I also read the dharma and the Dalai Lama. I read everything I can get my hands on. It helps me stay on track. And it's interesting.

Mindfulness takes a lifetime to learn, too. The human brain just doesn't work that way and you have to reprogram it.

The whole thing is a way of life. With Zen there is no goal. You just do what you do for no reason. Even that is a really hard concept to get ahold of. Breathe in, breathe out.

40 years later you look back and realize you are a completely different person and you don't really know how you got there.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #21)

Sat Nov 28, 2015, 09:31 AM

22. wow. thanks for sharing that--

I was going to ask you if you would want to share anything about how you changed in the 40 years.

It is very subtle isn't it?
For me, altho I have not even been meditating a year, I feel like I have changed dramatically in a way, but then in a way, I am still me.

I also like Thick Nhat Hanh, I have read him, and gone to a couple of meditations. I like how we would meditate and then talk about "worldly" things. Like at this meditation we talked about friendship. It was amazing.

"Mindfulness takes a lifetime to learn, too. The human brain just doesn't work that way and you have to reprogram it."
Yes, I am just starting to appreciate this.

Emotions:
I had an experience thanks to the Dalai Lama book, which I was going to share in my last post, but ran out of steam:
it might be useful to someone reading this. I'll try to be brief.
Every holiday event, tension in me due to seeing my brother and sil. I rage (inwardly) - they don't understand me, they are superficial, they don't want to know who I am,
bla bla bla. Brooding and working self up to a tizzy.
Could not get it out of my mind.
I even told myself- 'You are a meditator. you should be able to control your emotions' (lol)

Yesterday I was in a park, reading the book about the Dalai Lama. In it, he tells the story of a woman who is about to send a very angry, guilt-inducing letter to her daughter, bec. the daughter had left her to spend a holiday somewhere, and the woman felt very bad about it. And then the woman realized that when something arouses huge, inappropriate emotions in her, it is probably a reminder of something that happened when she was a child. So instead of writing the letter she did a meditation using compassion.

I am not exactly sure what the "compassion meditation" is but will look into it.
The book said the woman meditated on giving compassion to her child self for the hurt and pain she had felt.

It made me realize that my holding on SO long to my anger over my siblings, and my intense concentration on it, is also an inappropriate response. Also a reaction to things that hurt me when I was a child, not a reaction to events in current time. Displaced reaction we might say....
When I realized that, the intense brooding about the situation melted away,
happy to say. (mostly).

I just sent a 'chatty' email to my sibling, and included a little "deep" stuff about me, and left it at that. They may get it or not. They may respond or not.
But I am so relieved at being free of having to make them be a certain way.
!

Thanks again for sharing your experience, ladyfrom mo.



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Response to ellenrr (Reply #22)

Sat Nov 28, 2015, 09:49 AM

23. You need to read Pema

She is so good at dealing with emotions. And look into the Tibetan practice of tonglen. That will help so much.

With emotion you have to drop the story line and simply feel the emotion and watch it. Then you can use tonglen to breathe in all the emotion you can. Strengthen that feeling all that you can. Really feel that emotion. And then you use the out breath to purify it and send compassion put into the world. It's not hard.

Those emotions are what causes us to take on karma. They arevthe key .They aren't even real. What we are trying to do is get under them to the Wisdom that lies beyond. It's the same for our physical body and our mental states. We are trying to be aware of the gaps that allow us to get beyond them into who we really are under all that karmic garbage.

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 25, 2015, 11:23 AM

7. i am starting to focus on it more

not a buddhist, though. kind of a hybrid of jain and earth spirituality.

meditation is useful in all paths imo

what is/was the class like?

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Response to restorefreedom (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 25, 2015, 12:07 PM

8. I agree, all meditation is good, many paths.

I can relate to earth spirituality.
the class is wonderful.
The teacher explains in a few minutes mindful meditation.
Then each class we do a 5 min. med, which focuses on the breath.
then a minute or 2 of discussion,
then another med for 10 min, which might be 'scan the body' or 'focus on a phrase'
or 'focus on breath', like the first 5 min. med.

then a minute or 2 of discussion
ie.. how was that? if someone says 'I was distracted' the teacher very gently asks the person to describe what distracted them.

no guilt, no blame, no judgement.

This meditation is very much about compassion and kindness, toward ourselves and toward others.
And the teacher really models this, by her words, and by how she interacts with the students.

Her teaching is following the teaching of Jon Kabat-Zinn.
http://www.mindfulnesscds.com/

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Response to ellenrr (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 25, 2015, 01:11 PM

9. catastrophe living...sounds about right

so how are the mini discussions? i am so used to classes where the discussion is more the focus, there are so many people who would say "wait...i just got started!" sounds like they are quick opportunities to get refocused with some guidance..kind of like the whack on the shoulder but less physical

what i am doing now is i put on some new age/tribal/ethnic music and just try and deal with whatever comes to me. i also sometimes use that time to communicate with my spirit guides or to pray/send healing energy to an individual or group. sometimes i talk to one who has crossed or try to get clarification on an issue.

no judgement, no hair shirt. just an opportunity to grow and be better. my next phase is going to be incorporating some physical...walking, hiking, something that combines outdoors, exercise, and reflection.



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Response to restorefreedom (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 27, 2015, 07:18 PM

18. ha, I got whacked once! I was on a vipassana retreat,

and we were practicing walking meditation, and I was telling the teacher,
"I just don't get it."
and he whopped me - I can't remember where - either the head or the hand--
not that hard, but it surprised the hell out of me.

as he whopped me he said something like, "did you get that?"

I'm not sure what that was meant to prove--
"to be in the moment" I guess...

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Response to ellenrr (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 30, 2015, 10:24 AM

24. wow. a friend of mine went to a zen retreat somewhere

and had a similar experience.

i guess its kind of like when you hear a loud crack of lightning. brings back the moment.

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Response to restorefreedom (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 05:19 AM

10. I forgot this one thing

Some practices encourage people to bring the meditation to their whole life, not just the one hour - or however long - that one sits on the zazen.
Mindfulness does this.
So there is walking meditation, for one.
And when I did a Vipassana retreat we were told to apply mindful practice to eating, and to everything we did.
to bring awareness.

I've been trying to do this lately, since I started the class.
It is not easy, to me.
But once in a while I get a glimpse of what it would be like to be aware in every moment, and it seems very nice.

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Response to ellenrr (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 27, 2015, 09:36 AM

11. i have tried that over the years

but yes, it is very hard to maintain. i keep working on it though..kind of like chop wood, carry water.....enlightenment....chop wood, carry water.....

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Response to restorefreedom (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 27, 2015, 11:12 AM

12. exactly. :) I read of a yogi who practices Kundalini Yoga,

for 40 years, every day he does sadhana (the yogic/meditative practice),
and he says-
every morning he wakes up and he thinks, I don't want to do this, and then he does it....

I was surprised, I thot after 40 years - the mind would stop resisting!
I guess not.

Consistency is an issue for me.
I have practiced Kun. yoga for months at a time, and then stopped, and it is hard for me to resume.

so these 3 meditations - I do a mindful practice twice a day, and a kundalini meditation once a day.
so far I haven't missed a day in about a month.

I tell myself - whether or not I "feel like" doing it is not the point.
The point is to do it.

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Response to ellenrr (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 27, 2015, 12:56 PM

17. congrats on the month! dr phil says it takes

about a month to develop a new habit..so thats a big milestone

i am tring to make a daily habit of morning before breakfast of doing a brief meditation. and then once that becomes more regular, i will add an evening one. i also walk almost daily and often meditate then. but on kickboxing or lifting days, meditating does not work as well, although the focus required to do either one safely is its own kind of discipline, i suppose

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Response to restorefreedom (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 27, 2015, 07:25 PM

19. thanks. Yogi Bhajan says it takes 40 days. to make a new habit

that's the Kundalini guru. (see below)

Sounds like you are very serious and determined about being disciplined.
I would think your other more physical activities can act like a meditation too.
My friend does some kind of martial arts (can't remember which) as a meditation.

One of my meditation teachers recommends doing the meditation as soon as I wake up, before coffee and breakfast.
Sometimes I try that, but I am so much more scattered then, than if I wait a couple of hours.

Let me know how it goes...





Yogi Bhajan's prescription
(I have not yet gotten to 120 days)

40 Days: Practice every day for 40 days straight. This will break any negative habits that block you from the expansion possible through the kriya or mantra.

90 Days: Practice every day for 90 days straight. This will establish a new habit in your conscious and subconscious minds based on the effect of the kriya or mantra. It will change you in a very deep way.

120 Days: Practice every day for 120 days straight. This will confirm the new habit of consciousness created by the kriya or mantra. The positive benefits of the kriya get integrated permanently into your psyche.

1000 Days: Practice every day for 1000 days straight. This will allow you to master the new habit of consciousness that the kriya or mantra has promised. No matter what the challenge, you can call on this new habit to serve you.

Remember, a habit is a subconscious chain reaction between the mind, the glandular system and the nervous system. We develop habits at a very young age. Some of them serve our highest destiny. Some of them do not. By doing a 40, 90, 120 or 1000 day special sadhana, you can rewire that chain reaction. You can develop new, deeply ingrained habits that serve your highest good.

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Response to ellenrr (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 30, 2015, 10:26 AM

25. excellent info!

i find that the sooner i meditate before the day starts, the better odds it will happen. i find the same thing with exercise...as the day goes on, the odds go down

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Response to restorefreedom (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 1, 2015, 06:22 AM

26. yeah, me too. Yogi Bhajan says the best time is between 4 and 6 am...

When I was doing Kundalini Yoga I did it at that time.
It is great.
But at the moment I have a discipline I try to keep to-
do my first meditation before my first cup of coffee,
and do my second before my second cup.

because coffee messes with my mind, makes me mentally jumpy

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Response to ellenrr (Reply #26)

Tue Dec 1, 2015, 10:25 AM

27. i like the coffee connection

esp because i think habit pairs or habit groups can be self reinforcing

i am thinking of incorporating a pre meal mini med. for just that reason. i am not likely to forget to eat, so if i connect the two, i will more consistently reflect, even if briefly.

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Response to restorefreedom (Reply #27)

Wed Dec 2, 2015, 06:58 AM

28. interesting... do you eat fast?

I don't eat fast, I inhale my food,

I am trying to at least occasionally eat mindfully.

sounds like your idea might help me with that, altho I see you would be using the eating to reinforce meditating.

Yesterday in class the teacher talked about living a mindful life ALL the time.
I think it would be wonderful.
I think it would also take a bigger commitment to meditation perhaps than I have right now.

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Response to ellenrr (Reply #28)

Wed Dec 2, 2015, 02:14 PM

29. haha i thought i was a medium eater

until i noticed when eating in groups that most of their food is gone while mine was there...so i guess i am slow...or maybe i talk too much

i was actually thinking of doing a semi fast/restricted diet in the near future. i don't like fasts for more than a day or two, but i was thinking of doing raw vegan or paleo vegan, something to really eliminate all but the simplest food for a time. we just had diwali/jain new year and the pagan new year is often observed at halloween, so seems like a good time to wipe the slate. hopefully besides bringing some increased physical health, it will help to clarify thought, facilitate temperance, and quiet the meditation.

when i work out the details i will post, and i definitely want to keep the connection between meditating and eating, even if all i am "eating" is a veggie smoothie

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Response to restorefreedom (Reply #29)

Wed Dec 2, 2015, 05:47 PM

30. You're a little late for halloween ;) I think Dec 2 is a pagan holiday...

it's been a long time since I was in a circle, but isn't Dec 2 the time when covens welcome new members?
I can't remember the name of it.
this date sticks in my mind for some reason.

when I lived in Houston I knew people who were really into fasting - 10 days, for ex. I never did that. It is said to clear the mind.

Do pls post about your fast, sounds very positive.

I am noticing that even giving a few minutes (very few) to mindful eating, I am more aware of how eating as fast as I do is very uncomfortable in my body.
so that's a good notice.

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Response to ellenrr (Reply #30)

Wed Dec 2, 2015, 05:51 PM

31. oh, lol, I'm 6 months off...

I was thinking of Candlemas, Feb 2,
"a major sabbat to initiate new witches."

It is/was one of my favorites.

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Response to ellenrr (Reply #30)

Wed Dec 2, 2015, 09:18 PM

32. there are many holidays of different importance to different people

the next one i like is winter solstice and i will celebrate christmas in tandem with that wih my family who is mostly christian.

hmmmm yes good pickup...when i do shovel it down i don't feel too good either. i have had some silent meals which is nice too..helps the mindfulness.

i think fasting is good if brief. one or two days. i am on my feet a lot and i exercise, so more than that is just not healthy for me.

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Response to restorefreedom (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 2, 2015, 09:22 PM

33. yes, this conversation made me pull out my Zsuzsanna Budapest book..

The Holy Book of Women's Mysteries, which is over 20 years old and I love it.
Haven't been involved in studying this, for a long time,
so now I may celebrate the solstice on the 21st.
A very special time I think...

thanks for bringing this to my mind.

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Response to ellenrr (Reply #33)

Wed Dec 2, 2015, 09:24 PM

34. my pleasure...enjoy the solstice

and your book!

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2015, 11:21 AM

14. Another benefit of meditation

Just found this note to myself:
12 minutes of daily yoga/meditation for 8 weeks slows the cellular aging process.
http://www.ls.ucdavis.edu/dss/news-and-research/shamatha-project-nov10.html

I found this reference in a book which is actually about school shooters, particularly James holmes (Aurora movie theatere) but also in general.

In the last chapter the authors talk about the benefits of meditation to keep the kids from "losing it".

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