Meditation, some answers

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Meditation, some answers

Postby zinnat » Wed May 11, 2016 5:47 am

I tried this already in the other thread named as Some Answers, but realized that i would not serve any purpose if i go indirectly, thus decided to skip all that side traffic and come right at the issue.

I have seen here at ILP and and many other places on the net too, that people are by and large confused about meditation. They neither know what exactly it is nor aware of its methodologies. They are also unaware of its physical and mental impacts. Besides that, i also found that these so called formal meditation centers/sites also do not offer anything substantial or really helpful.

As i am personally involved in this, and quite seriously too, since last more than 20 years, thus thought that perhaps my experience in this field may provide some help to those who are also engaged in it in one way or other, or want to engage in it. And, those, who are not engaged, may be able to get the clearer picture of what actually it is, and what happens in it and why too.

Before i say anything, please realize that i am not trying to promote anything, especially any particular faith/religion. That is not my intention at all. My one and only purpose is to explain meditation, as a pure mental exercise, nothing else whatsoever. And, no religion/faith has any copyright on meditation either. Having said that, i may be forced to use some religious terminology while explaining some details, because of the non-availability any other alternative regarding that phenomenon.

It would be slow thread. I want to go in the details as far as possible and as far as i know, but slowly, step by step, otherwise it would not serve much purpose. I do not want it to be a monologue either. Posters are welcome to inquire further, question and even criticize. I do not know all, but certainly know enough to provide help, especially in the initial phases.

Next post will follow shortly.

with love,
sanjay
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Re: Meditation, some answers

Postby zinnat » Wed May 11, 2016 6:57 am

I have said this before too, but want to repeat it once more here.

Before anything else, the first thing to learn is to establish direct two way connection between conscious and subconscious mind. Here is very simple method of it and this will help in many other ways too.

All one needs is 20 min in 24 hours for this.

When going to the bed in the night, do not sleep at once. Devote roughly half an hour to yourself daily. When one is going to sleep, after finishing all your work, he/she just to down calmly for some seconds there on the bed and close your eyes. Let some breaths go in and out smoothly then try to remember what you did during the whole day from waking up till the bed. Start from the event one, whether important or not. Then try to remember your state of mind while doing different actions, like whether you had a fight with your boss or employees, love or quarrel with you spouse, etc. Go in the details and try to see the motives behind your actions, examine your frame of mind doing a particular action, and, also try to judge whether your actions and intentions were right or not, and then sleep.

That is all one has to do.

But, please understand that though it looks very simple, but it is not. It would be somewhat thrilling for some initial days, but, sooner or later, that moment would come when your mind would refuse to stick to it and tells you quietly that let us bunk it today. And, if you fall in the trap, it would argue more profoundly next day for avoiding it by telling you that you have some more important things to think about, so why engage in this useless exercise. And, if you make a gap of some days, then you have to start all over again.

Just remember two things.

Never open your eyes doing so otherwise that system would not be activated and eat slightly less at dinner to avoid falling asleep immediately.

with love,
sanjay
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Re: Meditation, some answers

Postby zinnat » Fri May 13, 2016 7:01 am

I think that those who are interested, must have been read it by now, thus it is time to resume.

After reading my suggestion, the first question that must have been crossed to everybody's mind, is why do all this, in the first place? What is its purpose, why it is necessary, or how it can be helpful in any way? What it has to do with the meditation? Is it meditation, and if not, what else is meditation?

Let me address these questions to the best of my abilities: what i experienced in person, what i derived via those and what i learned through other sources. But, let me make one thing very clear here that, though my explanations may have some borrowed portions, but my experiences are absolutely not.

The first thing that is required while discussing anything is its definition. One cannot know for what exactly one is looking after unless he has its that much clear definition, which is enough to recognize that particular thing.

Thus, first of all, we have to define meditation, but, the problem is that the meditation neither can be defined nor understood without understanding our mind, thus, we have to go though those details of the mind which are necessary to understand meditation.

As most of the intellectuals agree that mind is basically works in two ways: consciously and subconsciously, or we can say that our mind is divided into two basic parts: conscious and subconscious. Conscious part/working or the mind is that phenomenon, with which we mostly determine as ourselves. We have direct and total control over it. On the other hand, we consider that our subconscious mind is not in total control of ours. It rather learn/experience though conscious mind, derive conclusions autonomously, and impose those on the conscious mind. This theory is by and large true.

But, there are some more details, which are very pertinent here to understand both of the working of the mind and meditation as well.

The fact of the matter is that our subconscious is even more dominant over its counterpart that we assume. It is subconscious that takes most of our decisions, though mostly indirectly. The act of thinking/learning is mostly done by the subconscious mind only. Being in the direct control of the body, conscious merely implement the decisions of the subconscious. What we consider as habits, are nothing but the default/permanent decisions of the subconscious, and that is precisely what forms what we use to term as will. And, for whatever reasons, whenever conscious goes against those default/permanent decisions of the subconscious, we call it will power. And, that is precisely why it is called free will. It is called free only because it is still within the capacity of the conscious, but this does not mean that it very easy to implement, though the term free gives somewhat impression. Free merely means available, nothing else.

And, meditation is all about this will power. In simple terms, meditation is nothing but breaking that default dominance of the subconscious and making it listen to the conscious.

One more important thing to understand here is that though conscious and subconscious use to interact constantly, but it is mostly one way traffic: from subconscious to conscious. The duty of the conscious is mostly limited to inform the subconscious, what conscious has experienced through the body. Or rather, the system works in such a way that being in a kind of witness/spectator position, subconscious is automatically aware of the experiences of the conscious. Conscious cannot hide anything from the subconscious, but on the other hand, the majority of the working of the subconscious remains hidden from the conscious.


Again, meditation is all about removing this one sided veil and allowing conscious not only witness but also interfere in the working of the subconscious by converting this one way traffic into two way.

I think that is enough for one post. I will take remaining questions in the next post.

with love,
sanjay
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Re: Meditation, some answers

Postby zinnat » Sun May 15, 2016 4:30 pm

Now, in the light of what i said in previous two posts, it is natural to come in anybody's mind how that particular mental exercise fits into the context. for that we have to back again to the interacting mechanism between the conscious and subconscious minds.

If we take a closer look at the mind, we would find that mind mostly remember things via references or markers. That is a quite natural phenomenon. As it stores a lot of memory, many times more that we assume, thus, it cannot be put in any unorganized manner scattered all over the place. There has to be some kind of order otherwise it would be very difficult to recall any old memory when it is required immediately. This arrangement is quite similar to that of a big library, where books can be placed either alphabetically or according to the time frame, but there has to be some order to enable the locator to find the required book. in the same way, the mind uses a small reference or marker to remember a long event. It is its default mechanism and cannot be overruled in any case.

To explain this phenomenon further, i would like to put forth an old folklore from Hinduism.

Once there was a very learned and famous sage, and people used to come to him for learning and help in issues from all over. He also had a son, who was stupid and lazy but wanted to get the benefits from the knowledge of his father. So, one day he asked his father to teach him the mantras for immorality. The sage refused by saying that thee are no such mantras, but the son kept on insisting. And, when his father continued to ignore him, the son gave up eating and said he would die fasting if his father did not grant his wish. Seeing no other option, the sage lastly agreed to teach those mantras to his son. The son became very pleased to hear that and also asked his father to teach mantras immediately. But, the sage calmed him down and said that he would teach the mantras tomorrow early morning just after taking the bath.

Next day, as asked by the father, the son took the bath in river and came to the sage eagerly. Then, the sage said that though he (sage) is telling the mantras to him (son), but also warned that there is still a small but necessary condition remains to be fulfilled. The son son asked what it is, and the sage told that it is necessary that the remembrance of the monkeys should not come in one's mind at all while reciting those mantras, otherwise immortality could never be achieved.

Hearing this, the son laughed saying that as the thoughts regarding the monkeys never come to his mind, so it is a non issue for him. The sage told the mantras, asked his son to repeat 100 times, warned his son again regarding the monkeys, and left.

Now, as soon as the son started reciting the mantras, the first thing popped up in his mind, was a monkey. He became surprised and thought it is just a chance, but monkeys refused to vacate his mind. He kept trying to forget them, but the more he tried to forget them, the more they continued to haunt him. Years passed, but neither monkeys left the son nor he became immortal.

Obviously, the story is not true but fabricated only, but its moral is absolutely true. That happens in reality because that is how our mind works. And, my suggested mental exercise is based precisely on the moral of above mentioned folklore.

We use to come across to many different circumstances daily, and quite obviously, we have to somehow deal with those too. But, our way of dealing does not always happen to be in such a way what it ought to be, even according to ourselves. And, for meditation, that intent is the first thing to have. It is not the issue here what is right or wrong according to one's thinking. That is still to be known by one, but one must be committed to follow honestly what he considers right. My focus is on the intent of being right, not much on the right deduction of being right. If the intent of being right will be there, being right will follow sooner or later. And realize, that this what it ought to be is not regarding only societal issues, but all verticals of the life like business, profession, job etc.

But, in the loud noise of ambiance, and also because of that much fast pace life we live today for whatever reasons, we never get the chance to reevaluate what we have been done, thus lose the opportunity to correct it too. This mental exercise will certainly help in that regard.

But, the question, how it can help, is still unanswered.

When we would start reevaluating our everyday's actions and our frame mind while doing those also, that would slowly but surely start creating a reference/mark in our mind about our intents and actions. Of course, we will judge (or came to know later through experience) some of our intent/actions right and some wrong, but every such reevaluation would darker the reference in our subconscious mind by one notch. And, if one keep doing it for long enough and continuously too, that will create a default warning system in the subconscious mind, and whenever that very situation arises again, it would tell conscious mind immediately how to handle that situation.

It is something like what we have safety softwares in our phones and computers. Whenever that software finds any bug, or we try to do anything such which may harm the device in any way, safety softwares immediately warn about the danger,and we correct the course too. The same this mental exercise can do for our mind. Though, our mind still uses this mechanism, but only sparingly, not always.

With this, i think have covered all questions that may arise pertaining to what i have been said till now, thus will move to the basics of the meditation methodologies/exercises from the next post.

with love,
sanjay
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Re: Meditation, some answers

Postby Mithus » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:12 pm

Sanjay, it has been more than a year ago that you wrote the last post in this thread. I was interested in your explanations of meditation and I still am. Do you bother to go on? I would really like to read more about the basics of meditation methodologies and exercises.
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Re: Meditation, some answers

Postby zinnat » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:01 pm

Mithus wrote:Sanjay, it has been more than a year ago that you wrote the last post in this thread. I was interested in your explanations of meditation and I still am. Do you bother to go on? I would really like to read more about the basics of meditation methodologies and exercises.


Thanks for reminding me about this thread. As i took a long break from posting for some personal reasons, thus was unable to continue with the thread, but now i will resume posting here. You will see next post here in a day or two.

By the way, are you interested in anything particular?

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Re: Meditation, some answers

Postby Mithus » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:56 pm

zinnat wrote:By the way, are you interested in anything particular?

Nothing in particular and you mentioned it already. It's always the same story: How to get rid of the "monkey", the noise. ... or a persisting thought, which does not only prevent from meditation, but which has also a big influence on one's perception of life.
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Re: Meditation, some answers

Postby Alf » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:43 pm

The western kind of action and reaction is very invasive, very dynamic, very straight. The eastern kind of acting and reaction is just the opposite.
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Re: Meditation, some answers

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:46 am

For me ... an exciting OP ... authored by one who appreciates the value of experience ... I have been flogging the belief ... "experience is superior to knowledge" for some time now.

A favorite personal experience(s) involving the influence of our subconscious involves travel. My conscious mind is almost always occupied with distractions when I should be paying attention to present location and intended destination ... no GPS :-)

More often than I can count my subconscious mind will interfere ... wake me up so to speak ... precisely when it's time to make a turn ... notice a landmark ... or some other important circumstance ... not noticed by my conscious mind.

A personal question ... why is the dream state the prevalent channel of communication between our conscious and subconscious?

The exercise suggested ... before going to sleep ... reminds me of "Examen of Conscious" by Ignatius of Loyola. The Jesuits have shouldered a lot of resistance in their 500 year history ... and it continues to this day. The level and duration of resistance is a measure of the "potential" in somethang. The Trump scenario is a classic example.
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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Re: Meditation, some answers

Postby zinnat » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:41 am

Mithus wrote:Nothing in particular and you mentioned it already. It's always the same story: How to get rid of the "monkey", the noise. ... or a persisting thought, which does not only prevent from meditation, but which has also a big influence on one's perception of life.


It is a bit complex issue. Let me address it i a way i can.

There is no way one can get rid of the monkey. That is not possible, not even desirable or helpful. The solution lies in realizing that there is naughty monkey, who is creating warranted distractions most of the times, and then learning how not to get distracted always by its actions. Monkey is not going to leave ever thus it is useless trying to push him away. People, especially hardcore religious ones, often commit that mistake. Instead of that, the trick is to discern monkey's activities from your one's and then allowing his unwarranted intentions pass through you without being attracted to those.

Do not flow with those, let those flow through you instead. That is precisely what detachment is. Detachment is not curbing any desire forcefully but merely not to become a slave of it. As that happens, Monkey and its doings would stop bothering even being there forever. That monkey is certainly an evil, but a necessary one also. Judaism called this concept as Yetzer Hara.

It is the same monkey that enables one to realize in the first place that there is a monkey also
.

See, how useful this monkey can be sometimes.

with love,
sanjay
Last edited by zinnat on Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Meditation, some answers

Postby zinnat » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:58 am

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:A personal question ... why is the dream state the prevalent channel of communication between our conscious and subconscious?


Dreams do not state the communication between the two. That is something else. I think that we should discuss this later instead of now as to avoid confusion.

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:The exercise suggested ... before going to sleep ... reminds me of "Examen of Conscious" by Ignatius of Loyola.


Even not being perfect, all major religions got things right far more times than pure intellectual philosophy (read western along).

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Re: Meditation, some answers

Postby zinnat » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:40 pm

Let me address this issue of monkey (detachment) a bit more. Sometimes it becomes difficult to explain complex issues in pure intellectual language thus i am using simpler form of analogy to make it easily comprehensible.

Let us take a common example like habit of eating salt. There is a man who has a habit of eating too much salt. Thus, we can say that he is attached with salt. Now, he wants to be detached from salt. So, what should he do?

The common answer is that he should try to reduce having salt gradually and if he carries on, the day will come, when he would be able to avoid salt and thus, detached from it.

But, it is not true as even stopped having salt, he is still not detached from the salt. He just shifted the sides. At first, he had the habit of eating salt and now he has developed the habit of not eating salt. Thus, the habit regarding salt is still very much there thus we cannot claim that he is detached from the salt.

This is not detachment but escapism merely.

Now let us adopt a different procedure. Instead of reducing salt in his meals, he starts using salt alternatively. Now he uses to have supper with a heavy dose of salt and dinner totally without any salt. Now, what happens if he continues to do the same? The stage will come when the salt would lost relevance to him. He would not mind having meals either with salt or without salt.

This is actual detachment as he has been gone beyond all the habits regarding salt, either positive or negative.

This is precisely the meaning of phrases like “just be there” often used in eastern religions, especially Buddhism. Complete the full circle first and only after that just be there, not from the starting. This is the precise reason why monks and sages used to return to the society after spending years in meditative isolation. We should not draw the conclusion from their example that it is useless to have isolation and “just being there” in the society is detachment. They used to come back to test and thus complete the process of detachment.

The same is with the monkey of our story. If the monkey is not there, so be it, and even he is there, so be it. Let him do what he is supposed to and let us do what we are supposed to do.

If a log of a wood is in the sea, its waves will force the log to move here and there continuously. And, if a log wants to be absolutely still, it has to make a lot of effort doing so. By doing so, it may appears still to a third person but it is not so neither by intent nor by effort. On the other hand, if the log stop resisting, it will start moving with the waves. Again, now it may look unstable to the third person, but it is very much still both by intent and action, thus detached from the waves.

And that is what really matters.

with love,
sanjay
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Re: Meditation, some answers

Postby Mithus » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:44 pm

Thanks for your answer, Sanjay. I understand what you mean. So it is crucial not to chase the "monkey" away, but rather accept his presence, without concentrating on him, so that he is losing his importance. And by frequently repeating a meditative exercise, such as the one you proposed in your OP, one can learn a technique to make the conscious mind aware of how to deal with those detachments.
As for me, your proposed exercise is sometimes difficult to do, as I work mainly in nightshifts and when I come home in the morning I'm often too tired. I got something else which I found helpful: since many years, the first thing to do after I wake up, are some yoga-exercises. These are physical exercises, since years the same ones, it takes about 15 minutes to do them. During this time I try to concentrate strictly on those exercises, on that which happens with the body and the breath, whereas all other thoughts merely pass by. Besides the effect that my spine is in a much better condition as it would be without them, they sort of clear up the head in that way that it is possible to start the day with a fairly relaxed attitude.
But nevertheless, I would like to learn more about the basics of the meditation methods and exercises, as you announced.
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