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[May. 3rd, 2007|10:24 am]
So... my desktop replacement laptop is now in place; my desktop is pushed away from my desk. There's been one large, immediate change in my life already...

My cats no longer have a step up to beg for attention from right next to my computer chair. (This is not good because needy cats like to walk across my desk where my keyboard is.)

I've still been facing depression fits... I'm dealing with them better, but I really don't like it. I'm making some changes in my life to see if I can get rid of them.

One thing I might have learned might help, though. I think - I think - that I'm finally understanding meditation.

Vispana meditation suggests you focus on your breath, nothing else. Let all other thoughts pass through, returning to your breath. I've tried doing that, and I've always had troubles with it. One of the troubles is that I have a tendency to go into nap-like states. I don't think I fall asleep (at most, my head bows a bit, and I tend to be able to come back to instant alertness, with an ability to remember the past few seconds of conversation if someone is speaking to me), but it's more like sleeping than it is like meditation (or at least, what I think of when I think about meditation).

Well, I thought about the word (mindfulness) that Buddhism uses to describe its goal. And I thought about how Buddhist monks process things differently than we do. For example, if you're in a room where there's a slow metronome ticking, you'll blank out the ticking quickly. Buddhist monks have shown brainwave indicators that they keep hearing it. And one meditator's guidebook suggests that the proper state is one where you're so busy dealing with every moment that you don't have time to worry about the past or the future.

And I realized that I probably was looking at meditation backwards. Rather than trying to keep a whisper of focus on my breath, and eliminate focus on anything else, I should probably be trying to shape all of my focus towards my breath, rather than trying to pull awareness away. Meditation should be an active task, then, a filling and focusing and honing of the mind, not an attempt to "clear" one's mind. Maybe an attempt to *clean* one's mind... by letting water flow through it (thinking only of one's breath is a clearing thought), one washes away other negative thought patterns.

Of course, I've been too tired and busy to meditate much. Oh well. Still, my few attempts at meditation have seemed more fruitful... I think I might be on to something.

[User Picture]From: essaying
2007-05-03 08:27 pm (UTC)

This fits in with my thoughts about why bottoming works as a sort of meditation: it keeps your brain so frickin' busy that it can't be anywhere else or doing anything else but just keeping up with the tidal wave of input.
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From: kightp
2007-05-06 03:38 am (UTC)
Indeed. Talk about a "be here now" state ...
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2007-05-28 08:01 pm (UTC)
Nod. I also suspect it might be somewhat behind my kink, and especially my preference for getting it hard, fast, and intense until it's all I can' perceive. Everything else is blanked out.

An interesting thing is, there's a certain pace, not much slower, where it becomes much stronger from a psychological perspective, because it gives me that tiny bit of time to process the "OW!" and then move on to feeling a bit sorry for myself before the next one comes.

Both tend to leave me in a state not unlike I sometimes get from meditation, though I tend to be more wrung out after bottoming. (Oh, yeah, and I've never been quite as sore after meditating. Having my legs go to sleep just doesn't compare :-).)
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From: siliconshaman
2007-05-03 10:09 pm (UTC)
From what I know of the subject. You are describing the diffrence between one pointed [or focused] meditation and empty vessel meditation.

Perhaps flowing meditation may serve you better. Where on splits focus between the course of inner thoghts, allowing them to flow over you... and smiply sitting and observing ones surrondings in all details...
being inthe moment fully until
ones mind is quiet.

Or at last thats my thought.
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[User Picture]From: ruth_lawrence
2007-05-06 05:19 am (UTC)
My understandign is that there are at least two kinds of meditation.

Focussing-inwards won't work for me, as I am too much in my mind already. It just spins faster.

Focussing-outwards (which I think hearing the metronome may include), is more useful and possible (for me).

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