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meditation: how can I do it right?

Chaotic DescentChaotic Descent Registered User regular
edited April 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I've attended meditation sessions where it's been guided for part of each session (and then a long period of silence)... and I know it takes practice but... I feel like I'm doing something fundamentally wrong. Going in totally the wrong direction. I never feel relaxed or centered or anything. and each session seems to be the same with no improvement. I just get a headache; the same kind of headache I get when I force myself to fall asleep when I'm not tired. I think no matter how gently I pull my thoughts back to a focus, it's still too rough a fight, and I'm feeling the strain once I'm done.

Is there maybe some kind of practice I can do where I just work on individual elements of meditation without undertaking the full thing?

I'm also not sure what options I have...
are there basically two kinds of meditation?
One where you just try to be aware, of even your own thoughts without disturbing them (I find that really difficult. No matter how gentle I try to be, I utterly crush it with my awareness. It feels like an elephant trying to thread a needle.) I haven't actually had much instruction in this method.
The other is where you focus on something, like the breath, or a mantra, or a spot on the wall. Every time your thoughts wander you 'gently' bring them back.

I really didn't think I was a stressed or busy person. It's amazing how much of both you can be even when you have no life. There is always something so urgent and critical to provide stress and occupy time.
I've been asleep forever... but lately I've sparked an awareness, and now it's a fire raging out of control. I'm getting burnt out.

Chaotic Descent on

Posts

  • FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Maybe you don't need meditation. According to the very source of this philosophy, you need to concentrate in breathing, on that spot where the air enters and leave your body (just in the center of your eyes).

    It doesn't sound too difficult. I myself never found the true meaning of meditation, I found more relaxation in sleeping after a good exercise routine.

    Sorry, I am an idiot.

    Fantasma on
    Hear my warnings, unbelievers. We have raised altars in this land so that we may sacrifice you to our gods. There is no hope in opposing the inevitable. Put down your arms, unbelievers, and bow before the forces of Chaos!
  • FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Here you are some verses from the Bhagavad Gita:

    "Let the yogi seated in solitude and alone
    Having mind and senses under control
    And free from desires and attachments for possessions,
    Try constantly to contemplate on the Supreme Self.

    The yogi should sit on a firm seat
    That is neither too high nor too low,
    Covered with sacred Kusha grass,
    A deerskin, and a cloth,
    One over the other, in a clean spot.

    Sitting and concentrating the mind
    On a single object,
    Controlling the thoughts
    And the activities of the senses,
    Let the yogi practice meditation for self-purification.

    Hold the waist, spine, chest, neck, and head erect,
    Motionless and steady, fix the eyes and the mind
    Steadily between the eye brows,
    and do not look around.

    With serene and fearless mind;
    Practicing celibacy; having the mind under control
    And thinking of Me; let the yogi sit
    And have Me as the supreme goal.

    Thus, by always keeping the mind fixed on the Self,
    The yogi whose mind is subdued attains peace
    Of the Supreme nirvana by uniting with Me.

    This yoga is not possible, O Arjuna,
    For the one who eats too much,
    Pr who does not eat at all;
    Who sleeps too much,
    Or who keeps awake.

    But, for the one who is moderate
    In eating, recreation, working,
    sleeping, and waking,
    This yoga destroys sorrow.

    A person is said to have achieved yoga,
    The union with the Self,
    When the perfectly disciplined mind
    Gets freedom from all desires,
    And becomes absorbed in the Self alone.

    As a lamp in a spot
    Sheltered from the wind
    Does not flicker,
    This simile is used for the subdued mind
    Of a yogi practicing meditation on Brahman.

    When the mind disciplined
    By the practice of meditation becomes steady,
    One becomes content in the Self by beholding Him
    With (purified) intellect.

    One feels infinite bliss
    That is perceivable only through the intellect,
    And is beyond the reach of the senses.
    After realizing Brahman,
    One is never separated from absolute reality."

    Fantasma on
    Hear my warnings, unbelievers. We have raised altars in this land so that we may sacrifice you to our gods. There is no hope in opposing the inevitable. Put down your arms, unbelievers, and bow before the forces of Chaos!
  • UncleChetUncleChet N00b Lancaster, PARegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Deleted for dumb

    UncleChet on
    I'm sometimes grumpy and random, feel free to overlook the strange man in the corner.
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Everyone sucks at meditation.

    Those who you believe to be "good" at meditating are doing no more than faking it.

    I know Zen Masters who readily admit that it took them ten years to count to "one" without distraction. I understand your experience is more within a Yogic framework, but the entirety of what is popularly known as Zen meditation is the practice of "just sitting".

    Don't worry yourself. Meditation, especially in this culture, is immensely romanticized. It is breathing and sitting, no more.

    The Crowing One on
    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • Chaotic DescentChaotic Descent Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Everyone sucks at meditation.

    Those who you believe to be "good" at meditating are doing no more than faking it.

    I know Zen Masters who readily admit that it took them ten years to count to "one" without distraction. I understand your experience is more within a Yogic framework, but the entirety of what is popularly known as Zen meditation is the practice of "just sitting".

    Don't worry yourself. Meditation, especially in this culture, is immensely romanticized. It is breathing and sitting, no more.
    Thanks.
    It's so hard to talk sense to myself even when I know it. I should know that there's still value in sitting without inherent stimuli. I don't know why I thought I could jump from a crazy life straight into a still calm at will. I guess it's just the restlessness urging me on. "This isn't working! We need to do something else!" What's stupid is I heard that lesson and I still ignored it.

    Chaotic Descent on
  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Like anything, it takes a lot of practice. Especially considering the highly stimulating world we live in. I hate to be all cryptic on you, but you will get out of it what you want to get out of it. If you want to just sit quietly, that's cool. A lot of times I just let my mind wander wherever it wants to take me. A lot of times I take the time to build myself up by giving me encouraging thoughts.

    RocketSauce on
  • FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I know Zen Masters who readily admit that it took them ten years to count to "one" without distraction.

    According to some ancient texts I cannot quote right now, it can take several life cycles to achieve enlightenment.

    Fantasma on
    Hear my warnings, unbelievers. We have raised altars in this land so that we may sacrifice you to our gods. There is no hope in opposing the inevitable. Put down your arms, unbelievers, and bow before the forces of Chaos!
  • Dropping LoadsDropping Loads Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Everyone sucks at meditation.

    Those who you believe to be "good" at meditating are doing no more than faking it.

    I know Zen Masters who readily admit that it took them ten years to count to "one" without distraction. I understand your experience is more within a Yogic framework, but the entirety of what is popularly known as Zen meditation is the practice of "just sitting".

    Don't worry yourself. Meditation, especially in this culture, is immensely romanticized. It is breathing and sitting, no more.
    Thanks.
    It's so hard to talk sense to myself even when I know it. I should know that there's still value in sitting without inherent stimuli. I don't know why I thought I could jump from a crazy life straight into a still calm at will. I guess it's just the restlessness urging me on. "This isn't working! We need to do something else!" What's stupid is I heard that lesson and I still ignored it.

    I don't know anything about the Zen stuff but my yoga class involves regular breathing / meditation exercises.

    In terms of personal well-being, the idea is to be okay with the fact that your mind will wander (rather than trying to prevent it), and then refocus on what you're actually doing. The benefit comes from when you're doing fine and get distracted by a rude person or a distressing phone call and you can put that situation out of your mind without getting all worked up over it.

    The actual sitting there part is akin to weightlifting: You have to move heavy things at various points in your life, but rarely are they in ergonomically adjusted positions and attached to handles and pulleys. Yet if you practice, it's easier when you need to do it and you're less likely to hurt yourself (in this case by being upset over nothing.)

    I don't think there comes a point where the "reward" is the sitting there part.

    Dropping Loads on
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