How "necessary" is meditation?

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How "necessary" is meditation?

Postby Jbrooke » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:47 pm

I wondered what your perspectives on meditation are? I have been reading some things written by several insightful people (cannot recall their names at this point) who follow the "Buddha path" and are very much at peace. Within these writings is the very clear message that daily meditation is necessary to experience presence, peace, and awakening.

I admit that I have tried to meditate for months and have found it to be laborious and anxiety inducing. I cannot seem to calm my restlessness and even the mere concept of meditating incites frustration and dread inside of me. It feels like a discipline that I am not motivated to engage in likely due to my inner resistance. I cannot determine whether meditating is just not a tool that I am meant to use or if it a matter of me being too lazy or if my ego is simply resisting and rebelling.

Very curious about your experience and thoughts on the importance of mediation and so forth.
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Re: How "necessary" is meditation?

Postby rideforever » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:49 pm

Can I ask what you are doing at the moment ? And what do you plan on doing ?

What kind of thing do you think would work for you ?
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Re: How "necessary" is meditation?

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:44 am

It's important to be able to quiet the mind. A quiet mind is the space in which insight arises. A quiet mind is where clear presence is most accessible. Meditation is one very well established discipline to quiet the mind. Sometimes it's having a greater effect than is apparent to the thinking mind and is only evident over a longer period of time.

One way to increase its effectiveness, that can be more immediately recognized, is to add a breathing discipline to your mind quieting efforts. Long, steady, deep and connected breaths is an effective way to get more out of your meditation sessions. Breath-work can be an effective enhancement to clarity and mind stabilization on its own. The Latin word for breath is 'spirit'. Interesting when you consider it. Consider the words that incorporate breath/spirit. Respiration, inspiration, expire, and more. Breathing, when focused, is a spiritual discipline that helps quiet the mind.

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Re: How "necessary" is meditation?

Postby tod » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:20 am

Jbrooke wrote:I admit that I have tried to meditate for months and have found it to be laborious and anxiety inducing. I cannot seem to calm my restlessness and even the mere concept of meditating incites frustration and dread inside of me. It feels like a discipline that I am not motivated to engage in likely due to my inner resistance.


Notice that that restlessness consists of thought, emotion, and sensation... and that you are making a restless self out of those arisings. Noticing this is meditation.

Meditation is not a concept to frighten yourself with, nor a discipline with which to overcome resistance; that is just more thought (conception), emotion and sensation to notice.
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Re: How "necessary" is meditation?

Postby kiki » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:29 am

I like the way Adyashanti answers this question; words to this effect: Awakening sort of happens by accident. Meditation isn't necessary for awakening, but it makes you more accident prone.
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Re: How "necessary" is meditation?

Postby runstrails » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:57 am

I find it hard to do a formal sitting meditation. But I involve myself in meditative activities (like walking/running in nature, yoga, sitting still, becoming present) and it seems to work well.
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Re: How "necessary" is meditation?

Postby Jbrooke » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:20 am

rideforever wrote:Can I ask what you are doing at the moment ? And what do you plan on doing ?

What kind of thing do you think would work for you ?


I have tried several things. Going into a comfortable, empty, silent room and sitting down comfortably. I breath deeply and focus on my breath. Try to observe my thoughts vs resist them and so on. I try to feel the sensations in my body and the stillness inside and outside of me. But my heart is constantly racing and palpitating, my thoughts and mind feel they will combust. At times I try to visualize a white light entering my body. At times I engage in the mantra by Thich Nhat Hanh ("I have arrived, I am home, In the here and in the now...)

As far as what I plan on doing... I don't know. I DO know that mediation should not be something I dread or that feels like a task. At least, I believe this to be the case. So, obviously I am doing something wrong. Approaching it the wrong way. I don't know.

I do like the idea of involving myself in meditative activities vs formal meditation like kiki mentioned. Perhaps that would be better for me. I just tend to feel guilty and lazy for not engaging in routine meditation. I know it can be important and I tend to avoid it.

I am greatly appreciative to all of you for your insights, by the way.
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Re: How "necessary" is meditation?

Postby rideforever » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:46 am

Osho has some movement meditations. They are 1 hour long, but the first 30 mins is with some cool music and you shake (Kundalini Meditation), or dance (Nataraj Meditation), or shout (Dynamic Meditation ) ... and then you STOP ! And you lay on the floor in silence for last 30 mins ... and then there is a gong.

They were designed for people who find it hard to do sitting practice.

Or you could go for a run and then try to sit.

You also might try a guided meditation that you listen to on headphones, some are quite soothing, like you are guided through a walk in the woods.

I also have one here that is a guided Yoga Nidra that is really good.
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Re: How "necessary" is meditation?

Postby jan-sandahl » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:34 pm

I used to have a similar kind of resistance up until a year ago (or more like since around mars 2012). Since then lots have changed, pretty fast. I think I had to "get enough" of things in my life to be able to break a barrier of sorts. Breathing, was a BIG issue for me and I created much unease around it.

Through suffering, I did very active and passionate "meditation". It wasn´t about the stillness at first but more an inner deepness. Using the passionate feelings of unease I had to melt down my resistance to feel ease. Exactly how I did this is hard to tell, but there was this "energy" and I focused it inwardly, instead of outwardly. I´m getting images of desperatly praying people as I write this. :)

I don´t do formal, sitting meditation, and had great help through Adyshantis True meditation to unlock things. I trust myself more and more every day.

My best advice is to forget about the rules and concepts around what meditation is supposed to be, and rather feel your way to it. What it is for - for you. Make it yours. Then, if any school of meditation attracts you, you can do it if you need the formal stuff and disciplin around it.

Try to use helpers, initially, as music that has ease to it, listening to "teachers" that resonates with you, rain sounds, nature sounds (or REAL nature even - if that´s around. :) ). This is a mix of things that (now) has the power to kick me right into bliss, almost every time - if I need them.

I´d agree on the importance of calm breathing, but since you seem sensitive to techniques and rules, just breathe in a natural way - for you. Do that, and slow the pace down, little by little. Take just a little deeper breaths. Close you eyes if that helps. Do it for short periods, or as long as it feels comfortable. Once you have it going just a little bit, it´s just a matter of time before you can experience how it deepens by itself.

Lastly, meditation can be with you always and everywhere you choose. With small steps, and knowing that everytime you "fail", you´re closer to succeeding if you let the failure be surrounded by the feeling "it´s ok". Be kind to yourself in that respect. try to find your own recepies for feeling calm, and don´t call it meditation if that helps.
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Re: How "necessary" is meditation?

Postby tod » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:25 pm

JB, meditation need not be seen as anything special; it may be seen (thought of) as sharpening the observer in you. For instance in your last post you observed that: you have tried things, you are planning things, you do not know, you breath deeply, your heart is racing, you believe... So you are meditating (observing) already. And as you become more sensitive to this capacity to observe, you tend to naturally be more observant - life becomes (more of) a meditation, observation in action.
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Re: How "necessary" is meditation?

Postby jan-sandahl » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:29 pm

Posted this here http://eckhart-tolle-forum.inner-growth.info/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=9242&p=94573#p94551.
Showing it here to emphasize some points. :)

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Re: How "necessary" is meditation?

Postby Jbrooke » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:34 am

Thank you all so much for your posts. I have gathered some really helpful insights from you and am feeling more comfortable with the fact that meditation is not a one size fits all sort of thing. I tend to feel pressure to see it that way at times. Lots of "right and wrongs", etc.

I appreciate the feedback very much!
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