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Early Vispanna meditation stuff [Feb. 9th, 2007|02:01 pm]
John
I feel like I've come to Buddhist styles of meditation with an advantage. You see, I've already come to believe, based upon a kind of rational faith, that the end principles are a good idea. E.g., should you love your enemies and wish them well? Of course; being in alignment with good is a good thing. Either they're wrong, and deserve to be in alignment with what's good, or I'm wrong, and I shouldn't wish them ill.


I've also done some magical/energy work, so I understand the kind of focus required.

I've been reading a book on meditation, and it's really pretty easy to sum up.

Focus on your breath. Nothing else.

Okay, but you won't, especially at first. That's fine; just notice that you're not focused on your breath, and focus on your breath again. Try not to *say* "okay, I'm not focused on my breath"; just try to notice it. Notice it, and then go back to your breath.


Really, the answer to just about every problem is "be aware of it, notice it, and then go back to your breath". Don't slam yourself for drifting, because the moment you notice your drift, and move back to your breath, well, that's the very mindfulness that you're trying to obtain; Really, and truly, your "failures" are what strengthen you for success. Think of them as the weights you're lifting to build your muscles.

Now, part of what's going to happen (in the long run) is that certain things will pop up, and by being aware of these things, you'll learn more about them, and about you, and recognize how little power they have over you.

You're worried about X? Well, if you can affect X, you can. If you can't, worrying doesn't help, and you know, you don't have to be worried. You can step aside from your worry, look at it, and understand it. Then, you can do something, or... well, just stop worrying.

Yesterday was the first time I tried it for real, using that system.

First time, I was sleep-deprived; I had some jerks and fall-asleeps, but I got through fifteen minutes. Then I did it again. A lot of distractions, (some of which was probably "dude, I'm totally focused on my breath!" which means, "no, dude, I'm totally focused on saying I'm totally focused on my breath".

I just took a brief break at work to do fifteen minutes. I walked away thinking that I didn't understand the "bliss" they talk about. I was relaxed, sure, but...

And then I realized it was just neat to talk to people, and I'm walking back to my office with a nice plate of Thai curry, and I've got a goofy grin on my face.

I think it helps that I have no major worries about my life... my biggest worry is that I'm flush enough that vices are easy to come by. "Hey, I like this whiskey. $30 a bottle? No problem; I could drink a bit of it every night if I wanted!"

It also helps that I'm coming to this with no preconceptions about what's going to happen. I mean, if this works, great. If not, hey, I'll try it as long as I feel like it. If I'm good at it, right off the bat, cool; if not, eh, what's the big deal?

I also loved one line in one of the books I read, talking about pain.

It's okay to avoid pain, you know? If you see a bus coming at you, jump out of the way!

Meditation will help you with the bus that you didn't see coming.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: kightp
2007-02-09 10:11 pm (UTC)
*smile* Best description of the post-meditative bliss state I've seen in a good, long while, darlin'. And I hope it carried on right through to "wow, this curry tastes great!"

Did I mention there's a new yoga center in Albany? I've met the guy who runs it, and I really liked his sense of humor, which seems to me to be a very good thing for someone teaching yoga and meditation classes. I'm going to check it out one of these weekends.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2007-02-09 10:28 pm (UTC)
Meditation will help you with the bus that you didn't see coming.

My therapist/lifecoach/mentor/friend believes this really strongly, and I think I am beginning to understand the wisdom of her POV. She told me some practical stories about how her husband went through surgery, and how the meditation helped his recovery.

My new favorite book about meditation is "Meditation in a New York Minute". He actually talks quite a lot about bliss. One of the things he said that I'd never thought about before is that one of the purposes of meditation is not the effect it has on you, but the effect it has on the people around you, on the environment you create with your presence. I liked that a lot.
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[User Picture]From: phinnia
2007-02-10 05:07 am (UTC)
Thank you for posting this. It was really helpful. :-)
This part especially: your "failures" are what strengthen you for success. Think of them as the weights you're lifting to build your muscles. That's such a great way of looking at it.
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From: (Anonymous)
2007-02-21 09:25 pm (UTC)

Great!

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