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Just a comment:

 

Very few make a clear distinction between sitting practices and meditation.

 

Doing vs Non-doing

 

This is not to demean sitting practices or standing practices - simply to clarify that various energetic “Doing” is not meditation.

 

 

 

 

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There is nothing more blissful, as I see it, to be able to meditate with no thoughts whatsoever.  It's like the ultimate rest and reset.

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16 hours ago, Spotless said:

This is not to demean sitting practices or standing practices - simply to clarify that various energetic “Doing” is not meditation.

 

Spot on Spotless :)

 

With the caveat that you’ll need a lot of sitting practice before you can get to meditation proper.

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Do some of you experience "no thoughts" during meditation? This is different than repression of thoughts? I hear that there are techniques to block out thought and sensation and that this can be quite detrimental in the longterm.

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11 minutes ago, thursday said:

Do some of you experience "no thoughts" during meditation? This is different than repression of thoughts? I hear that there are techniques to block out thought and sensation and that this can be quite detrimental in the longterm.

Its not at all detrimental.  My experiences taught me that when random thoughtform energy manifests, it does so because of an excess of unresolved energy that is exacerbated by sensate input.  Once one is able to bring those dynamics to that consumption minima/efficiency maxima that results from streamlining the senses and bodily processes, the efficiency really starts to show - samhadi hits every session, more energy "stored" per session, the accumulation helps drive longer breath durations.

 

In no way does it impinge upon the ability to think deeply upon a subject when required.

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12 minutes ago, thursday said:

Do some of you experience "no thoughts" during meditation? This is different than repression of thoughts? I hear that there are techniques to block out thought and sensation and that this can be quite detrimental in the longterm.

 

‘Meditation’, as Spotless (and I) define it, is the absence of both thought or any movement of mind... samadhi, jhanna, chan, absorption etc - that’s meditation, and is quite a lofty achievement really.

 

Everything else that we tend to think of as meditation - like mindfulness, following the breath, sinking the mind etc is considered ‘sitting practice’ - these are preparatory methods to eventually get to meditation.

 

There is a technique in sitting practice that involves cutting thoughts... it’s a great practice, but it’s at an intermediate level. Best not done if emotional, unstable, fragile or low in self confidence - it will definitely make these worse.

 

The idea is that you stop any thoughts that aren’t to do with the present moment... and allow thoughts that are to do with the present moment, but only for a couple of seconds before stopping these too. If you’re not sure if it’s to do with the present moment, then you stop it also.

 

So you sit there... “urgh my leg is going numb” - that’s to do with the present moment, you allow it for a few seconds then stop... new thought will come... “I wonder if elephants...” - you stop this thought immediately. New thought will come “this is hard” - not sure if it’s to do with the present moment, so you stop it. New thought will come “I hear a bird outside”... you allow it for a few seconds. Etc etc.

 

This practice is not detrimental - as long as it’s clear that:

1. It’s not meditation 

2. You’re at a point where you feel at ease with yourself and fully grounded and secure in your practice.

3. You don’t try to stop all thinking. That doesn’t work and is harmful.

 

Hope that helps :)

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1 hour ago, freeform said:

‘Meditation’, as Spotless (and I) define it, is the absence of both thought or any movement of mind... samadhi, jhanna, chan, absorption etc - that’s meditation, and is quite a lofty achievement really.

 

Everything else that we tend to think of as meditation - like mindfulness, following the breath, sinking the mind etc is considered ‘sitting practice’ - these are preparatory methods to eventually get to meditation.

 

There is a technique in sitting practice that involves cutting thoughts... it’s a great practice, but it’s at an intermediate level.

 

I agree partly, but want to add a couple of points.

 

In the beginning the best or only way to stop thoughts is to focus on the body, so that is why beginners are instructed to focus on things like their posture, their breath, their subtle breath (energy moving, observing only), and most important of all, finding and releasing tension anywhere in the body.

 

I also add standing and moving chi kung to meditations.  Tai chi involves, or should involve, intense focus on the body and all the details of how to move correctly to the complete exclusion of any thoughts, so that is really the best way for a person to achieve 'no mind' as a beginner.  Well, the mind is engaged of course but that's beginning style meditation, but the mind is focussing on the body and not the shopping list.

 

After a person has some years or decades of practice then focussing on the body is not recommended because even that act of focussing causes some tension.

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5 minutes ago, Starjumper said:

 

After a person has some years or decades of practice then focussing on the body is not recommended because even that act of focussing causes some tension.

 

Great posts Freeform and Starjumper.

 

Question for StarJumper, it seems you're saying that focusing on certain parts of the body, or aspects of it like posture, breathing, etc... can be helpful at first, but then a crutch later on. Would you say it's also a crutch at these advanced levels, if you focus on the wholeness of the body, and not specific parts ? That's what I'm currently doing. Master Ni Hua Ching refers to this as dynamic meditation. You basically place your pure awareness on your life being, that's it. Another word is natural meditation. Because energetically if you keep looking at the mind, and choose not to connect to the body in any way, then the fire of the mind is not mixing with the water of the body and you end up with a different result. At least from my experience. I'm not saying it's better or worst though. 

 

When you place awareness on the body, without thoughts, effectively what you have is energetic conservation, transformation and alchemy. Of course the sense of body dissolves, but the body is an integral part of that meditation. Or else it couldn't grow and transform, it's like watering a plant energetically. I'm sure there are different approaches, especially in Buddhism, so just wondering how you guys meditate.

 

Thanks

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5 minutes ago, Sebastian said:

 

Great posts Freeform and Starjumper.

 

Question for StarJumper, it seems you're saying that focusing on certain parts of the body, or aspects of it like posture, breathing, etc... can be helpful at first, but then a crutch later on. Would you say it's also a crutch at these advanced levels, if you focus on the wholeness of the body, and not specific parts ? That's what I'm currently doing. Master Ni Hua Ching refers to this as dynamic meditation. You basically place your pure awareness on your life being, that's it. Another word is natural meditation. Because energetically if you keep looking at the mind, and choose not to connect to the body in any way, then the fire of the mind is not mixing with the water of the body and you end up with a different result. At least from my experience. I'm not saying it's better or worst though. 

 

When you place awareness on the body, without thoughts, effectively what you have is energetic conservation, transformation and alchemy. Of course the sense of body dissolves, but the body is an integral part of that meditation. Or else it couldn't grow and transform, it's like watering a plant energetically. I'm sure there are different approaches, especially in Buddhism, so just wondering how you guys meditate.

 

Thanks

 

Hua Ching Ni does know his stuff, that's for sure.

 

First of all, as it relates to just sitting, meditation can be done with energy work, which means certain specific postures which pays attention to the hand position; or it can be done without any energy work, which means no specific posture, in a recliner is great, and with hands 'closed' clasped together or folded over the belly.

 

As far as Mr. Ni's comment on focussing on the whole body, I think that is more like just accepting, and it's only feeling, not really of the mind.  I would say that this kind of feeling of the whole body is not the dedicated kind of body focus that I was referring to.

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22 hours ago, Spotless said:

Just a comment:

 

Very few make a clear distinction between sitting practices and meditation.

 

Doing vs Non-doing

 

This is not to demean sitting practices or standing practices - simply to clarify that various energetic “Doing” is not meditation.

 

 

There are many types of meditation as the word is commonly understood and used. And while I understand what you are pointing at, I suspect there are better ways to share this than by appropriating a word already in common usage, and claiming any variation of usage other than what you set forth is wrong - thereby creating a linguistic argument that could easily be intellectually debated. 

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3 hours ago, thursday said:

Do some of you experience "no thoughts" during meditation?

 

Yes, and during various times throughout my normal day to day life. 

 

3 hours ago, thursday said:

This is different than repression of thoughts?

 

Yes. And intellectualization can naturally fall away, as opposed to being pushed away - which would generally indicate repression.

 

3 hours ago, thursday said:

 

I hear that there are techniques to block out thought and sensation and that this can be quite detrimental in the longterm.

 

There are. And the question regarding detrimental vs beneficial is an interesting one. 

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My perspective on meditation differs front freeform. Hard to know about Spotless as he hasn’t defined it clearly. With respect for others’ opinions, I’d like to offer my own.

 

Meditation as I use the word is not the “absence of thought or any movement of mind.” Thoughts and movement of mind are a normal characteristic of the human condition and will be with us until death. Meditation is when thoughts and movement of the mind do not disturb the ability to rest in open presence, that very resting in fully open presence is meditation. Thoughts come and go and there is no one there to engage, follow, suppress, or elaborate.

 

There are stages one can observe. At the stage of “meditation” as I suspect Spotless is using the label, thoughts and activity of mind are compared to snowflakes falling on the ocean. As soon as they arise, they dissolve with no effort whatsoever and the stability of the meditation is untouched. The stage before that is likened to sunshine melting frost, activity arises and the practitioner is aware and then rests in open awareness, permitting the activity to liberate. There is a  very subtle doing there, I refer to it as effort. At earlier stages a variety of methods are used to liberate the activity but more effort is needed and until the effort is no longer needed, it is appropriate. All of this is meditation in my usage of the label. I respect others’ preferences to restrict the meaning of the word but I personally find it more supportive for beginning and intermediate practitioners to be more inclusive with the terminology. 

 

In the beginning it is useful to exert effort to quiet the mind in order to realize the mind’s nature, as opposed to what we usually experience which is its contents and activity. To have the expectation that all thought and movement of mind cease completely is an error in the view, in my opinion.

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Posted (edited)

100,000 songs of Milarepa - women's role in the dharma.

 

Listen, you fortunate girl,

You who have wealth and faith!

If you felt fine in meditating on the

sky, so be it with the clouds. 

Clouds are but manifestations of the sky;

Therefore, rest right in the sphere of the sky!

 

 

The stars are but reflections of the sun and moon;

If you can meditate on them, then why not

on the stars?

Therefore, absorb yourself in the light of

the sun and moon!

 

Bushes and trees are but manifestations of

a mountain;

If you can meditate well on that, so be it with the trees!

Therefore, abide in the steadfastness of the mountain!

 

Waves are but the movement of the ocean;

If you can meditate well on that, why not

on the waves?

Therefore, dissolve yourself right in the ocean!

 

The disturbing Thought-flow manifests the mind;

If you can meditate well on that, so be it

with the Thought-flow!

Therefore, dissolve yourself into the very

Essence of Mind! 

Edited by Apech
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, thursday said:

Do some of you experience "no thoughts" during meditation? This is different than repression of thoughts? I hear that there are techniques to block out thought and sensation and that this can be quite detrimental in the longterm.

 

It all depends on ones system of practices. With regard to silence, what is silent to one person can be a busy mind to another.

 

Back to silence in practice. When you look at Dzogchen they start people with Shine with Object. The goal here is to achieve silence.

 

The next stage is to do Shine Without Object. The goal here is to feel the movement of thoughts, be they silent or not. Over time one works to be able to feel the movement of thoughts as energy in all aspects of daily life. This is when one has moved beyond meditation.

 

The next stage is to reside in that movement of thoughts, to realize the clarity of thoughts, Rigpa. Or as Apech mentions above use the thoughts flows :)

 

Edited by Jonesboy
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Posted (edited)

The right Non-doing is when you are in the right place and you merge with the source letting go. 

Edited by rideforever

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11 minutes ago, steve said:

 To have the expectation that all thought and movement of mind cease completely is an error in the view, in my opinion.

 

The idea that meditation and thinking are mutually exclusive can be discouraging, especially in the beginning.  My mom started a meditation practice for health, discovered that she couldn´t stop her mind, and decided that meditation wasn´t for her.  

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11 minutes ago, steve said:

To have the expectation that all thought and movement of mind cease completely is an error in the view, in my opinion.

if one trains for it, it absolutely happens - and its not quite so much trying not to think, so much as simply keeping the focus of awareness.

 

when that happens, the samhadi is a moment.  a moment that if done right lasts a couple hours.  the efficiency level there is simply amazing.  it is important to recognize the precognitive stirrings and simply reaffirm focus when it happens - this is how to get past it - recognition of the precognitive stirrings doesnt prevent them, at first! 

 

then the precognitive stirrings become nothing more than then the faintest of breezes over the most glasslike of water surfaces.

 

1 minute ago, liminal_luke said:

 

The idea that meditation and thinking are mutually exclusive can be discouraging, especially in the beginning.  My mom started a meditation practice for health, discovered that she couldn´t stop her mind, and decided that meditation wasn´t for her.  

that's why in the beginning, breathwork is a good vehicle to create a modicum of quiescence so that people dont go stir crazy thinking about what meditation is while trying to meditate.  don worry, just tune up the breathing for 5 or 10 minutes at first, for people its that rough on.  if 2 months of sustained effort is put in 5-10 min a few times a day every day, that should be plenty to get her unstuck from the mental jibba jabba.  (my mom says she just couldnt do it also, so *shrugs* :D you can lead the horse, but you canna make im drink)

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24 minutes ago, steve said:

Thoughts and movement of mind are a normal characteristic of the human condition and will be with us until death.

 

I guess I die repeatedly on my cushion then :)  

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12 minutes ago, rideforever said:

If you breathe gently into you heart at the centre of your chest, gently with the natural breathing, and rest there .... slowly slowly you will feel something there, like a warm glow.  Then when it is clearly, rest inside there.  Be, there, and remain.

 

This is an instruction.  Is it not a good one ?   It is a good one.

 

Yes, it is a good one. :smiles:

 

Heart/mind

 

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12 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

The idea that meditation and thinking are mutually exclusive can be discouraging, especially in the beginning.

 

I agree with joeblast here. If she was taught ‘following the breath’, then she wouldn’t feel so discouraged perhaps.

 

I think proper meditation isn’t appropriate for most people. A lot of the sitting practices are great for most people :)

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2 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

I guess I die repeatedly on my cushion then :)  

 

This is a common understanding.. 

 

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6 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

I guess I die repeatedly on my cushion then :)  

 

Which is perfectly fine as long as you aren´t using your mind to force the dying.  What you´ve got to do is set up the conditions which allow death to happen naturally.

 

Or at least that´s what I read somewhere.

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Posted (edited)

Here is a description on Rigpa from the book Dzogchen Practice of Contemplation.

 

It is a little long and is from the section describing Shine without Object.

 

Learning in this way to remain in relaxed presence,

at a certain moment you find yourself in a state in

which even though more or less thoughts continue to

arise they do not disturb your presence and they vanish

by themselves. That is, they self- liberate, because this

state is not conditioned by the habitual continuity of

judgement.

 

Particularly evident in this state is pure presence,

called rigpa, non-dual awareness.

 

Discernible within it, are three distinct fundamental

elements ( ne-gyu- rig):

 

1) nepa, the calm state, like a still sheet of water;

2) gyuwa, the movement of thoughts, like a wave;

3) rigpa, the recognition of the presence of this wave.

 

These three elements, however, are all present

simultaneously in the same condition. Only by being

in the state of Shine can you ascertain this concretely.

 

In this state there is nothing to seek and nothing to

relinquish.

 

Typically, beginners think that the calm state of

Shine is something to pursue, and that, conversely, the

arising of thoughts is an obstacle that can disturb the

calm state, which must thus be avoided. However, once

you finally find yourself in the state of union of ne-gyurig

and continue in this presence then you understand

that this is the authentic state of Shine.

 

In this way you discover that quietude, nepa, and

the arising of thoughts, gyuwa, are both present.

 

https://www.thedaobums.com/topic/43943-rigpa/

Edited by Jonesboy
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2 minutes ago, Sebastian said:

Wait.... are you guys saying that meditation is basically suicide ?? :)

 

Wait until rideforever gets going on this! 

 

 

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