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PsiSeeker

Meditation

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I've been curious about meditation and what is involved with it since I was a teenager.  Only in the last year have I taken up the practice on a daily basis for many hours, sometimes the entire day.

The thing is my mind endlessly questions everything I do, meditation is no different.  The best description of its action I was eventually drawn to in my reading was the yoga description of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.

Dharana is the preliminary step described as the effort of keeping the attention focussed on a thing.  Dhyana is a result of Dharana where there is no longer any struggle or effort required to bring attention or focus to a thing.  The thing simply exists and so do you to contemplate it.  I struggle with an intellectual understanding of what Dhyana represents the most.

At some point one is meant to reached Samadhi.  All that exists is the thing in its entirety.

Samyama is just the process called for the continuous flow Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi have.

I've been extremely curious recently regarding what it means to know a thing and have wondered if meditation like this isn't perhaps a process one can undergo to transform a thing of the mind into something that is second nature to you.

When meditating I focus on my breath and practice having no judgement for the feelings that arise.  There is no reason why one can't focus on philosophical ideas to my understanding.

The only problem with doing this is that what you're focussing on isn't representable by a single thing.

To my mind meditation can be used as a means to gain knowledge of a thing by first bringing your attention to the knowledge of a thing, Dharana, then contemplating it free from other notions other than itself, Dhyana, and eventually embodying that understanding fully in Samadhi.

Most people meditate on things like God and love.  I wonder if it's ever been pursued more philosophically.

Though what is the distinction between thinking about a thing and meditating contemplating it in Dhyana?

As far as I understand most people who take up meditation don't progress beyond Dharana.  I feel like I'm within this category.

I think that Dhyana as meant as contemplation must he significantly different  from thinking and idle observation.  Sometimes I will sit in meditative pose with eyes closed and just ponder about anything and everything from past and future or ideas I've had or people and how I feel about them etc.

I've noticed that it is a waste of time to try and force yourself to think about something to the level that seems inherent within Dhyana.  How do you force yourself to think about nothing but the breath for an hour?  You just notice the same things again and again.

I find it incredibly frustrating dealing with the recursive action of doing the meditation while simultaneously assessing it to see if what I'm doing is correct. 

I've noticed that thinking, contemplation, is actually something that is a silent process.  When you think of or about something there is a period of silence before your mind presents you with further information.  The act of thinking is void of information. 

I get the feeling that this is what Dhyana is supposed to be.  The act of silently thinking about a thing without passing judgement on it.  It's incredibly difficult to sit in a silent state of thought like this and not get aide tracked by the eerie wondering of what it is that you're busy doing.

Samadhi seems more intuitive to me as the total embodiment of a thing though I don't pretend to understand it fully.  Union with one thing is supposed to be union with all things?  I haven't thought about it too deeply yet. 

The only thing I really seek to gain from meditation is the ability to become fully involved with a thing as I will it.  I'm really all over the place.  Moving on from one thing to based purely on how I feel about it.  And if I don't feel like it I won't become engaged. 

Edited by PsiSeeker

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11 minutes ago, PsiSeeker said:

I've been curious about meditation and what is involved with it since I was a teenager.  Only in the last year have I taken up the practice on a daily basis for many hours, sometimes the entire day.

The thing is my mind endlessly questions everything I do, meditation is no different.  The best description of its action I was eventually drawn to in my reading was the yoga description of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.

Dharana is the preliminary step described as the effort of keeping the attention focussed on a thing.  Dhyana is a result of Dharana where there is no longer any struggle or effort required to bring attention or focus to a thing.  The thing simply exists and so do you to contemplate it.  I struggle with an intellectual understanding of what Dhyana represents the most.

At some point one is meant to reached Samadhi.  All that exists is the thing in its entirety.

Samyama is just the process called for the continuous flow Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi have.

I've been extremely curious recently regarding what it means to know a thing and have wondered if meditation like this isn't perhaps a process one can undergo to transform a thing of the mind into something that is second nature to you.

When meditating I focus on my breath and practice having no judgement for the feelings that arise.  There is no reason why one can't focus on philosophical ideas to my understanding.

The only problem with doing this is that what you're focussing on isn't representable by a single thing.

To my mind meditation can be used as a means to gain knowledge of a thing by first bringing your attention to the knowledge of a thing, Dharana, then contemplating it free from other notions other than itself, Dhyana, and eventually embodying that understanding fully in Samadhi.

Most people meditate on things like God and love.  I wonder if it's ever been pursued more philosophically.

Though what is the distinction between thinking about a thing and meditating contemplating it in Dhyana?

As far as I understand most people who take up meditation don't progress beyond Dharana.  I feel like I'm within this category.

To meditate on an idea, or philosophy can be done one of two ways, that i know of. 

In mantra form, where you pound it into your sub. Or contemplative prayer, this is where i discovered meditation while doing a secular study of roman catholicism.

Mantra form is straightforward, contemplation is posing the query and stilling the mind-allowing the sub a chance to speak. Much like a koan.

Our lives are about our attention and where it goes, certainly nothing wrong with experimenting with technique. 

So whats the difference in meditation on an idea and actually just contemplating an idea? For problem solving, I think its more efficient to meditate, and we dont keep running the problem over in our heads zapping energy. Pose the query and still the mind.

Even to make jumps in philosophy could be considered to solve a problem i imagine... But hey, you can look at something any way you want to.:mellow:

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3 minutes ago, Wes4747 said:

To meditate on an idea, or philosophy can be done one of two ways, that i know of. 

In mantra form, where you pound it into your sub. Or contemplative prayer, this is where i discovered meditation while doing a secular study of roman catholicism.

Mantra form is straightforward, contemplation is posing the query and stilling the mind-allowing the sub a chance to speak. Much like a koan.

Our lives are about our attention and where it goes, certainly nothing wrong with experimenting with technique. 

So whats the difference in meditation on an idea and actually just contemplating an idea? For problem solving, I think its more efficient to meditate, and we dont keep running the problem over in our heads zapping energy. Pose the query and still the mind.

Even to make jumps in philosophy could be considered to solve a problem i imagine... But hey, you can look at something any way you want to.:mellow:

Often times an idea requires many words to express its essence.  Some ideas can be very complicated.  The same is true for philosophical concepts.

It's not difficult to hold awareness of things simply expressed like love.

When I think of meditation as Dhyana I don't think of a process where you question yourself.  I think of it as flowing awareness of whatever your attention is focused on.  It's not right to say flowing knowledge of the thing, but it must be akin to it.  The awareness flowing about the thing is just noticing more aspects about it.  Like endlessly bringing it into focus. 

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2 hours ago, PsiSeeker said:

Often times an idea requires many words to express its essence.  Some ideas can be very complicated.  The same is true for philosophical concepts.

It's not difficult to hold awareness of things simply expressed like love.

When I think of meditation as Dhyana I don't think of a process where you question yourself.  I think of it as flowing awareness of whatever your attention is focused on.  It's not right to say flowing knowledge of the thing, but it must be akin to it.  The awareness flowing about the thing is just noticing more aspects about it.  Like endlessly bringing it into focus. 

Im gonna think on this for a while and come back to ya, long work day!

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On 10.11.2017 at 3:06 PM, PsiSeeker said:

I've been curious about meditation and what is involved with it since I was a teenager.  Only in the last year have I taken up the practice on a daily basis for many hours, sometimes the entire day.

As far as I understand most people who take up meditation don't progress beyond Dharana.  I feel like I'm within this category.

 


 


I would do breathing and meditation separately, so you will move faster and enter dhyana.

If attention is kept in concentration for a long time, sooner or later it passes into a continuous phase of attention-keeping, as it becomes self-sustaining,  attention becomes tunneling,continuity of attention. And it seems that attention does not need to be restrained and forced to focus, but this is a mistake,you still need to continue to focus though with less effort.

Have you read Shivananda?

"If you concentrate your consciousness on one point for twelve seconds, it is dharana. Twelve such dharan will be dhyana (meditation). Twelve such dhyân will be samadhi (superconsciousness)."

It seems that 144 seconds of dhyana is a lot that attention is not distracted but in fact it's not too much if you catch this state of self-maintenance because it
carries you, and not you are constantly making efforts.

 

 

Edited by Coil
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So... I was wondering why the football was getting bigger... Then, it hit me! Lol

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During meditation, the mind will sometimes wander and get distracted, but as long as we are sat with the intention to simply witness the mind as it is—recognizing when the mind has drifted, letting go of that thinking, and then resting our attention back on the original point of focus—then we can rightly call that meditation, not thinking.

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2 hours ago, PurnanandBharti said:

During meditation, the mind will sometimes wander and get distracted, but as long as we are sat with the intention to simply witness the mind as it is—recognizing when the mind has drifted, letting go of that thinking, and then resting our attention back on the original point of focus—then we can rightly call that meditation, not thinking.

Peace to you friend xx.

Beautifully Articulated.. Nice ..

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The way I understand Dhyana is contemplation.

If my focus is a pen then being in Dharana is the process of bringing my attention back to the pen over and over again.  Losing attention, gaining, various thoughts floating through the mind that has nothing to do with the pen.

As I understand Dhyana it is when one becomes engaged and involved with the pen.  Observing its aspects.  Pondering it.  Contemplating it.  Reflecting on it.  Without drawing conclusion or passing judgement.  Endless flow of conscious awareness of all aspects flowing from that thing.  Similar to what a person who is in love with another person or passionate about a topic might esperiende.

Samadhi to me, conceptually, is realising the entire truth of that focus.  Seeing it wholly instead of fragmentally in terms of self or other.  Seeing it fully and clearly for exactly what it is.

I distinguish between the act of focussing on the breath (teaching me to direct my will for as long as I choose and to pass no judgement) and the process of reflecting on or observing a particular notion or the state of one's mind without passing judgement.  This is difficult, I often find myself becoming opinionated or overly curious and directing thought instead of allowing it to flow naturally and unhindered. 

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13 hours ago, PsiSeeker said:

I distinguish between the act of focussing on the breath (teaching me to direct my will for as long as I choose and to pass no judgement) and the process of reflecting on or observing a particular notion or the state of one's mind without passing judgement.  This is difficult, I often find myself becoming opinionated or overly curious and directing thought instead of allowing it to flow naturally and unhindered. 

Why do not you concentrate on space without allowing thoughts in your mind instead of focusing on breathing?

It just seems like you're doing double work instead of concentrating on calming the mind.

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25 minutes ago, Coil said:

Why do not you concentrate on space without allowing thoughts in your mind instead of focusing on breathing?

It just seems like you're doing double work instead of concentrating on calming the mind.

There are many different ways to meditate.  I find more benefit from actively focussing on my breath than I do from. An empty mind meditation. 

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On 10.11.2017 at 1:06 PM, PsiSeeker said:

The only thing I really seek to gain from meditation is the ability to become fully involved with a thing as I will it.

Focus on breath is a good thing in my eyes. But as you or I will it is is an attempt to force as i see it.

Here is the way i read or translate haavamaal 7.

In comes the guest
facing the right way,
ready to know the unknown;
ears hear,
eyes see;
tastes, while the source leads.

Just a thought from me...

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26 minutes ago, Skirnum said:

Focus on breath is a good thing in my eyes. But as you or I will it is is an attempt to force as i see it.

Here is the way i read or translate haavamaal 7.

In comes the guest
facing the right way,
ready to know the unknown;
ears hear,
eyes see;
tastes, while the source leads.

Just a thought from me...

I see what you're saying but what I meant is simply that whilst meditating for around 50 minutes on the breath I'm not met with strong feelings of not wanting to complete the activity.

Basically, I'm hoping for a higher level of discipline without my emotions beings my enemy. 

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Just now, PsiSeeker said:

There are many different ways to meditate.  I find more benefit from actively focussing on my breath than I do from. An empty mind meditation. 

   
Of course, it's your business, just breathing is not concentration, concentration- is pure concentration, 6th step of yoga, dharana but breathing- 4th stage even though you distract the mind with your breath.

Yogis warn that it is possible to breathe in years without receiving  higher results... but concentration on an idea or silence develops attention and the transition to the stage of meditation is faster.

To defeat the mind you need to work exactly with the mind and thoughts produced by the mind.

 

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7 minutes ago, PsiSeeker said:

Basically, I'm hoping for a higher level of discipline without my emotions beings my enemy. 

Me to  :-)

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26 minutes ago, Coil said:

   
Of course, it's your business, just breathing is not concentration, concentration- is pure concentration, 6th step of yoga, dharana but breathing- 4th stage even though you distract the mind with your breath.

Yogis warn that it is possible to breathe in years without receiving  higher results... but concentration on an idea or silence develops attention and the transition to the stage of meditation is faster.

To defeat the mind you need to work exactly with the mind and thoughts produced by the mind.

 

Oh okay.  Well, the second form of meditation I practice is the careful observation of an idea in all its facets.  A profound enquiry into the truth of being. 

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Just now, PsiSeeker said:

Oh okay.  Well, the second form of meditation I practice is the careful observation of an idea in all its facets.  A profound enquiry into the truth of being. 

And how do you do it?
And what post-meditative state do you experience after a breathing exercise?

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19 hours ago, Coil said:

And how do you do it?
And what post-meditative state do you experience after a breathing exercise?

The thing I find most difficult to stave is drowsiness sleepiness.  Sometimes I'll just end up feeling lethargic after meditating.  Other times I'll be more aware of my direct experience with my surroundings.

I find it difficult to make myself think of what I'm not presently thinking of.  What I do is take whatever is in my mind at the time I go to meditate and I delve into my thought.  Observing carefully and with full attention.  Whether I might be reflecting on something someone said or wondering about a future state or what to do etc.  Full attentive observation without passing judgement or reacting emotionally as far as I can help it. 

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Just now, PsiSeeker said:

The thing I find most difficult to stave is drowsiness sleepiness.


Drowsiness appears during the initial stages of concentration and then it passes. It's just a stage that you need to go through overcoming drowsiness. Apparently the consciousness passes through some sort of astral region associated with sleep and we are drawn into drowsiness and consciousness goes inside.

Quote

Sometimes I'll just end up feeling lethargic after meditating.  

Since the mind is very tense, it is not surprising that you feel tired and consciousness wants to forget itself in a dream and make up for strength.

After concentration, often the mind suppressed by silence tries to catch up and with a threefold power the thought stream captures the person and it is necessary to slow down the thinking.

------

Since the mind becomes more pointed, the dreams can be better remembered and if the body remains motionless for a long time in concentration, then the consciousness as it begins to fall into the body or it seems that it is shifted to the side.

If there is progress in yoga, it seems that in a dream you go fast on something (I was riding a bicycle ahead of others on the road)
 At higher levels of concentration, it seems that the physical head begins to break away from the body and hangs on a thin thread, this awakens the mental body of a person and carries the physical head upwards.
Incredible bliss brings moments of peace of mind as if the whole gravity of evolution is falling from the shoulders.
Sometimes there is an unreasonable laugh for a few minutes and a steady thought that no one in the universe can stop you and all difficulties can be overcome by will power and proper action.
Yogic life is like waking up from sleep and becoming aware while ordinary people walk in this dream all their life.

 

 

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On 12/22/2017 at 8:16 PM, Coil said:


Drowsiness appears during the initial stages of concentration and then it passes. It's just a stage that you need to go through overcoming drowsiness. Apparently the consciousness passes through some sort of astral region associated with sleep and we are drawn into drowsiness and consciousness goes inside.

Since the mind is very tense, it is not surprising that you feel tired and consciousness wants to forget itself in a dream and make up for strength.

After concentration, often the mind suppressed by silence tries to catch up and with a threefold power the thought stream captures the person and it is necessary to slow down the thinking.

------

Since the mind becomes more pointed, the dreams can be better remembered and if the body remains motionless for a long time in concentration, then the consciousness as it begins to fall into the body or it seems that it is shifted to the side.

If there is progress in yoga, it seems that in a dream you go fast on something (I was riding a bicycle ahead of others on the road)
 At higher levels of concentration, it seems that the physical head begins to break away from the body and hangs on a thin thread, this awakens the mental body of a person and carries the physical head upwards.
Incredible bliss brings moments of peace of mind as if the whole gravity of evolution is falling from the shoulders.
Sometimes there is an unreasonable laugh for a few minutes and a steady thought that no one in the universe can stop you and all difficulties can be overcome by will power and proper action.
Yogic life is like waking up from sleep and becoming aware while ordinary people walk in this dream all their life.

 

 

Yeah, it only pipes up if I'm not being particularly vigilant in my meditation.  Depends when I meditate too...  Like if I go into it already tired then I'm more at risk of having a poor meditative experience. 

The head breaks away from the body?  Can you clarify on this a little more?  What is a "higher level of concentration".

In quite familiar with different levels of bring present and concentrating to a very high level.  I have ADHD, and before being medicated I experienced what's known as hyper focus.  I would become so completely absorbed in something that I didn't notice other stimuli in my surroundings.

There are multiple games that I achieved a 99%+ percentile rating in (compared to other people engaged in the same thing) that is a measure of reactive skill in the moment.  However being more actively "concentrated" or "focussed" didn't translate well to very high achievements.  In actual fact, what I tended to find was the more focussed and concentrated I became the worse my performance over time.  (Though this may have been due to not taking any breaks) 

What I want to illustrate is this...  Take typing speed as an example.  Whenever I'd break through my old highest achievements I did it without trying very hard, being very focussed or concentrating very hard.  The same for other games.  Is this a higher state of concentration?

I've sometimes wondered if this reaching for celestial highness or divine insight and the like isn't counter productive.  I.e we rely on the perception of what we should experience when we don't, in actual fact, have any idea of what we should experience.

When I read about talking of going through the astral plane and such, I can understand it on an intellectual level, however I can' draw parallel to my own experience.

So far meditation for me has been teaching my mind to obey my will.  This is absolutely enormous as what I do tends to follow habit previously defined.  There are other things I'd like to do however I find it incredibly difficult around the habits that comprise my existence already. 

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On 12/21/2017 at 9:04 PM, Coil said:

   
Of course, it's your business, just breathing is not concentration, concentration- is pure concentration, 6th step of yoga, dharana but breathing- 4th stage even though you distract the mind with your breath.

Yogis warn that it is possible to breathe in years without receiving  higher results... but concentration on an idea or silence develops attention and the transition to the stage of meditation is faster.

To defeat the mind you need to work exactly with the mind and thoughts produced by the mind.

 

Rereading this.  I think there is a difference between the action of breathing (pranayama?) and having the breath as the object of one's focus.

I do also visualise the symbol for psi and try and maintain my focus and awareness on it as best as I can.  Is this more like what you mean by concentration on thing? 

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