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Meditation - Has It Worked For You? If So, How?

Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:22 pm

Hey there A.netters,

As a professional in the corporate world with a lot going on, I am susceptible to anxiety, lack of motivation, stress and anger. No more than anyone else, however I have a high performance drive and would like to control these emotions a bit more. For the past 5 years, I have heard so much about balancing your emotions (and life in general) with meditation. I have tried a few bouts of meditation, went to India and lived in an ashram and just got frustrated with the process. I just couldn't calm my mind and wasn't a fan of the chanting.

I have also tried to research this topic, however there is a mountain of conflicting information on this topic and most of this information online is designed to sell you something. In this case a course or method of meditation with faux social proof.

I feel a bit lost to be honest. It seems quite simple, however there is so much conflicting information.

Have you or do you practice(d) meditation?

What is meditation? By definition and your personal definition.

What has the result/impact been on your professional life and personal life.

How do you actually meditate?

Any hot tips?

Thank you in advance for your contribution.
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RE: Meditation - Has It Worked For You? If So, How?

Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:25 pm

I was taught Transcendental Meditation when I was in my teens and I have practiced meditation, on and off, ever since.

I practice a personalized version of TM, usually sitting in a dark and quiet room, typically sitting upright on my bed.

For me, the benefit of meditation is to still my mind - if just for twenty minutes - from the relentless mental pursuit of planning or worrying the next thing in my life. It is more restful than a nap and I find it helps me establish a strong baseline of equanimity in my life. Balance, taking things in stride, tamping down the drama of the day, etc.

As for the spiritual aspect of meditation, well, I keep that mostly to myself. But I will say it is beneficial from a spiritual point of view. I find that during meditation I experience something similar to, but not quite the same as, dreaming. Sometimes these fanciful thought states shed profound light on what is happening in my world.

I don't have any hot tips on how to do a better job meditating except to reduce as much external stimulus as possible - soft lighting, no televisions or radios blaring, no one else around. However, I have finally given into trying to keep the cat away while I'm meditating. Benjamin Kittenyahoo insists on being part of the action and he will sleep in my lap for the twenty minutes when I meditate. Although it is frowned upon, my cat isn't a distraction and doesn't interfere with the meditation process.
"If I don't manage to fly, someone else will. The spirit wants only for there to be flying. As for who happens to do it, in that he has only a passing interest."
- R.M. Rilke
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RE: Meditation - Has It Worked For You? If So, How?

Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:58 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
What is meditation? By definition and your personal definition.

I consider meditation anything you do where you are consciously interacting with only yourself. Not trying to accomplish anything other than being present in that moment.

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
What has the result/impact been on your professional life and personal life.

How do you actually meditate?

Any hot tips?

I meditate by walking in the woods. I carry everything I need to on my back and just walk over mountains. Its hard, but calming. Being out in nature by yourself for 3-4 days allows you to really just be in the moment. Its so calming for me I find myself craving it.

I think finding an activity that you can do alone and that you truly enjoy is the best way to meditate.
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RE: Meditation - Has It Worked For You? If So, How?

Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:13 am

For me, meditation isn't about doing. Meditation is being. It's becoming one with myself on both physical and spiritual level and just be the unconditional peace, love and joy. I get those positive vibrations purely by paying attention to my breath while realizing that it's part of the force that allows me to be, live, do and experience life on this physical playground. Non-verbally I just enjoy, love and appreciate the air in and air out. A powerful sign of the driving force of life. It's one of my sponsors of my great yesterday, and it will be one of my sponsors the greater tomorrow, but all that with full awareness in the now!

I often wondered what the meditation equivalent would be in the animal world. Perhaps you can compare it to how a bird sometimes quietly sits on a rooftop "doing nothing". For a few moments it sits there looking around. It doesn't appear to bother about what to eat, where to go or what to do. Whenever those things need to happen, they happen, but for a moment it's "just" being a bird on a rooftop. That's how I approach meditation as well. Whenever I do it, I intend to "just" be. Not being me as a person with a identity and things to do and/or worry about, but just as human, resting in a quiet comfortable place.

I dedicated a very large part of my life in paying attention to the way I think and feel in life. Initially it started by itself when I hit rock bottom at age 14 due to all kinds of causes. It kinda forced me to start asking questions and filosophize about life and reality. I'm not here to claim things without scientific proof, but I went from being a person with 75 sickdays at work in 2008 to someone that rarely gets sick today. I full-heartedly believe that my health improvement and personal success have to do with the life style that came out of all the meditating and change of mindset. It allowed me to drop a lot of old luggage. Today I rarely experience the negative form of stress now.

It's good that you want to find about meditation by yourself. A lot of the basic information you can find is of good value, but there also is a lot of junk out there that in my opinion give it a sort of religious and/or cash-scamming vibe. Perhaps it has to do with beliefs and ideas that originated hundreds if not thousands of years ago. However if even science is subject to evolution throughout human history, then meditation certainly is too. Today we have for example quantum physics and neuroscience that can give us new perspectives and allow us to approach meditation in a whole new way. The concensus about meditation has mostly been about quieting the mind from all the external stimulation. What if you turn it around to view and handle the external stimulation in a different way first? Meditation itself suddenly could get a whole new meaning.

That's the realization I always used and helped me a great deal. Going to a special retreat in India to find myself doesn't have to be the only way I can achieve the inner peace as that would make it very conditional and selective. It's about taking the (internal) meaning and value that people give to a(n) (external) spiritual retreat and find ways to apply them wherever and whenever I find myself on the planet, in a true unconditional way. I can be in downtown New York or deep in a jungle in Thailand, on a very deep quantum level both places are made out of the exact same building blocks, and it is my perception that will give it a meaning.

What works for me might not necessarily work for another, but just take it light and easy and play with it in your own unique way. There's more than one way to do this. You can sit down and just be. Or you can do what you're already doing and cut down on the external stimulus. Know that our minds can be like wild horses that we try to tame when we start to meditate. If you have thousand-and-one thoughts shooting through your mind at first, then just let the horse run around for a bit and give it a shot another day. The more you do this, the more you'll notice how things start to calm down. Just don't fight it as it only will make it wilder and harder to control.

I remember I used to use this imagination where I'd picture myself slowly lifting off into outer space. I'd picture my house, street, city, country, continent, planet, solar system and eventually milky way getting smaller and smaller. Straighth into the unknown for me. I did this because of how our minds tend to keep activating neuro-networks with every single observation or thought. You sit down to meditate and focus, and suddenly you hear a jet fly over. And basically that's it. For the next minute you unconsciously go: "Hmmm... I wonder what that is... I didn't hear that distinctive Airbus whistle so it might be a Boeing... Didn't sound like a heavy... Or maybe it's one of the newer Airbus models... American has those now... maybe its the late flight to Miami.... Hmmm, Miami was awesome last summer... Love how my uncle took me to a Dolphins game... Too bad now Superbowl for them... Good ol'Dan Marino... Hah, he was funny in Ace ventura... I wonder what Jim Carrey is up to these da.... oh I'm suppose to be meditating!". Going outerspace would allow me to focus on the vast darkness of space and actually quite easy remain there too.

If your mind is too busy and you find it hard to sit down and focus on nothing but you, then find something that puts you in a meditative state while you do it. That can be anything that you enjoy doing so much or gets all of your attention, that you just forget about anything. The experience of time changes as it flies by and you completely forget about everything but the particular thing you're doing. It can be playing a game, an instrument, jogging, driving, listening to music. Anything that gets 100% of your attention.

Have fun and allow the peace!  

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