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Posted: 06 September 2007 08:31 PM   [ Ignore ]
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[ Edited: 22 January 2008 08:14 PM by zarcus ]
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Posted: 06 September 2007 08:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I am going to a meeting on transcendental meditation next week. They charge a fee? Hundreds of studies have been done on meditation. My opinion is that: there several approaches and techniques. A visual imagery person and an audio person—would benefit from different methods. Experiment and develop a customized technique for yourself.

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Posted: 06 September 2007 10:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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[ Edited: 22 January 2008 08:14 PM by zarcus ]
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Posted: 06 September 2007 10:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I found How to Meditate by Kathleen MacDonald helpful. And most of Tich Naht Hahn’s writings, while not “how to” guides, are very helpful in working on carrying the mindset or sensations of meditation experience into the daily grind in a useful way.

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Posted: 06 September 2007 11:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Learn about “zen” and “zazen.” I think this will assist you in you endeavour. “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki is a good book to start with.

[ Edited: 06 September 2007 11:51 PM by morgantj ]
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Posted: 07 September 2007 12:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks, morgantj & mckenzievmd,

I found Kathleen’s book on Amazon and read some reviews, looks promising. The Shunryu Suzuki book I not only found, but found in audio and downloadable.

Here’s the description for the download:

A respected Zen master in Japan and founder of the San Francisco Zen Center, Shunryu Suzuki has blazed a path in American Buddhism like few others. He is the master who climbs down from the pages of the koan books and answers your questions face to face. If not face to face, you can at least find the answers as recorded in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, a transcription of juicy excerpts from his lectures. From diverse topics such as transience of the world, sudden enlightenment, and the nuts and bolts of meditation, Suzuki always returns to the idea of beginner’s mind, a recognition that our original nature is our true nature. With beginner’s mind, we dedicate ourselves to sincere practice, without the thought of gaining anything special. Day to day life becomes our Zen training, and we discover that “to study Buddhism is to study ourselves.” And to know our true selves is to be enlightened. 

I’m not a fan of Zen Buddhism, but this sounds like it is worth a listen, it also appears I may get some practical advice on meditation.

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Posted: 07 September 2007 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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zarcus - 07 September 2007 12:11 AM

I’m not a fan of Zen Buddhism, but this sounds like it is worth a listen, it also appears I may get some practical advice on meditation.

I haven’t done meditation recently, but in the past found Zen meditation to be very congenial. Especially in urban US Zen centers, they go pretty light on the religious aspects; Zen tends to take meditative practice as the be-all and end-all of the religion. While there do tend to be various chants, in my experience they were only a small part of the experience and weren’t taken overly seriously.

There are also probably some secular Zen-inspired meditation centers, clubs or courses you could find by doing some reading around in your local area. But do be wary of cults. If something doesn’t smell right, leave.

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Posted: 07 September 2007 08:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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But do be wary of cults. If something doesn’t smell right, leave.

Knowing me, if I ran into a cult while searching out information on meditation, I’d be in heaven. I am confident that I could recognize “cultish” trappings fairly quickly, but then I would end up dissection the beliefs and talking to the people. This would probably last, maybe an hour, then I would get bored and take off.

In my more militant days as an activist I welcomed any chance to dissect, in person, a belief system. This was about 12 years ago but I did learn something. One thing I learned was how quickly I became bored. That the threads that linked what appeared to be very diverse beliefs were all quite similar, especially when talking to someone face to face. Outside of textual form, people most often retreat into fall back positions that walls them off. When I pretended to be receptive, but “skeptical” people would be much more open, but I still became bored quickly.

I have an old tattered t-shirt that has a very recognizable image of Darwin wearing the clothes of Marlon Brando from The Wild One. Beside the image are the words; “Rebel with a cause”. I got this shirt about ‘97 and just about any time I wore it in public it would provoke comment. The best one to date was from a elderly women in a laundry mat. I watched as she took notice of the magazine I was reading that I left on a chair while sorting, It was the issue of Skeptic that asked on it’s cover; “Are We Slaves to Our Evolutionary Past”. Her teeth were noticeable grinding as she calmly stared at my t-shirt, she mustered up a question; she asked; “who is that a picture of on your t-shirt?”, I said, “it’s Charles Darwin dressed as Marlon Brando”, she responded, slowly and in clear measured tone, “oh I thought it was a monkey”.

I just love that. I laughed out loud and told how wonderful she had done to set the scene up. She huffed something under her breath and sat in the corner. A real one trick pony that lady was.

I found the picture from my shirt:

[ Edited: 07 September 2007 08:39 AM by zarcus ]
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Posted: 07 September 2007 09:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Ha! Love the photo!

LOL

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Posted: 07 September 2007 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Is that another pic of Doug?  My my my Doug is a nice looking man.  wink

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 07 September 2007 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Why is meditation always decided by other people?  Does creative meditation on your own terms not count?

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Posted: 07 September 2007 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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retrospy - 07 September 2007 10:06 AM

Does creative meditation on your own terms not count?

Of course it counts. My favourite form of meditation, for example, can be performed with a bottle of wine (or two).  wink

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Posted: 07 September 2007 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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retrospy,

Great questions. I intend to find my own way some how, as Brad informed; “Experiment and develop a customized technique for yourself.” I have no guarantee that I will discover usefulness in my endeavor, but I am willing to try. Personally, I am by nature and nurture, an anxious person. This fact has continually been a sticking point when trying to achieve what I think will allow me a more fulfilled life. I’m slowly coming to terms with what I call “my potentiality”. What attracts me to meditation is the calmness and release. I especially like the idea of viewing and recognizing internal patterns, without judgment. To simply recognize and release.

The first I had heard of this technique was in the clinical setting. I was dating someone at the time who was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. I at the time had suggested CBT & REBT. She was told by a therapist to perhaps try Marsha Linehan’s, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, with her help. Aftrer some research I had become concerned, I wanted to know what claims were being made by the idea of “mindfulness meditation”. I have thought about this for a very long time. It appears to me that the more fantastic claims made can be traced to what I term “Western Buddhist Activist”. The problem there is that they are not completely wrong, but they are also can be misleading. What studies have been done on meditation and the interpretation of such studies varies. Without getting to far into this right now, I would say that the signal I get is for me properly using a technique I am comfortable with may aid me in finding calmness, and more acceptance.

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Posted: 07 September 2007 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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zarcus - 07 September 2007 10:28 AM

I intend to find my own way some how, as Brad informed; “Experiment and develop a customized technique for yourself.” I have no guarantee that I will discover usefulness in my endeavor, but I am willing to try. Personally, I am by nature and nurture, an anxious person. This fact has continually been a sticking point when trying to achieve what I think will allow me a more fulfilled life.

This may not fit your prefered method of discovery, but I recently found a scientific approach to the same problem.  Tom Raths book Strengths Finder 2.0 done by the Gallup organization.

zarcus - 07 September 2007 10:28 AM

I especially like the idea of viewing and recognizing internal patterns, without judgment.

This happens to be a strength.  The book includes a 35 min online test that compares your data with the data from 500,000 interviewed “sucessfull business people”.  Your dominant 5 strengths are identified out of their list of 34 with the intent that you will focus on these possitive aspects on a daily basis and live a more possitive fulfilled life.  From a meditation view I think this scientific method could be complementary in focusing your thoughts.

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Posted: 07 September 2007 01:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I find that closing my eyes and counting sheep helps.

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Posted: 07 September 2007 07:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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What is your purpose for meditation? I personally find my local Yoga class a great place to meditate.

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“The truth is not for all men, but only for those who seek it.” . Ayn Rand

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