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1

Question for August 13, 2017: Progress
Medivate — 4 days ago — in Question of the Week
What signs have you seen of "progress" in your meditation practice? Do you think it's good to look for them?

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Question for September 15, 2013: Goals
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you have a goal for your meditation practice? What is it?

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Kyletin — 4 years ago — permalink

I think for myself, my goal is to develop some consistency. I have "goals" written in my personal goals, but those are either really quite easy (short-term), or really quite extended goals. 
Before this site, I never really practised meditation. I was considering giving it another shot, but wanted a way to track my progress, such as how you can track things on fitness sites. I found Medivate through a related google search. (So, if you developers are looking for a way to improve the site, maybe add a feature where you can see visual graphs of your meditation habits? I was too lazy to use the feedback screen because it pulls up some sort of Microsoft Outlook thing, which I do not use). 
I am not too strict with my meditation habits. I am currently a student at a university who is volunteering at a hospital, taking quite a few hard science courses, as well as doing research on the side, so I have a very busy schedule that only seems to get busier. However, I've surprised myself with the ground I've covered. 
I think, in terms of "mental" goals, I would just like a bit more skill in meditation. Just to see that something is changing. I'm not out to gain "instant enlightenment" ('just add water!'), and what I am choosing to do now is more than what I was doing before. 

 

Hopefully I didn't ramble too much. That is perhaps in conflict with the minimalist/simplistic nature of meditation. 
Have a nice day, everyone. :D

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
Thanks, Kyle. We definitely appreciate the feedback.
It's good to hear that this site played some role, however small, in helping you give meditation another shot. I definitely understand being too busy to feel like you have time for it. I think your goal of consistency is really the key to a lot of success, whether in meditation or otherwise. Once you establish meditation, or any other habit, as a thing you always do  — rather than just a thing you do when you can — it become so much easier. 
PS: The feedback link is bringing up Outlook because it's your default mail client. The feedback link is just an email.

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Kyletin — 4 years ago — permalink

Thanks for the feedback on my feedback. ;D 

 

I think sites like these are a very good way to support the practise of meditation, and if more people knew about it, I have no doubt they would find it useful. It can help see to show students of meditation their current depth of practise, as well as how it may affect their mind throughout the day (e.g. "Oops, forgot to meditate today. Maybe that's why I'm somewhat unfocused and irritable..." ). 
I'm still working to establish some consistency. Often, I plan to meditate for 0.5 hours before going to sleep, but I end up finally finishing work/studying for classes at like 11:30 and don't feel like ascribing to practise; sleep is very alluring. I'm sure I'm not the only person who falls under these situations. That's life. :)
Gotcha. I'll look into playing with my mail client settings (I usually just go to websites to check my mail, haha! Would it be unwieldy for the feedback submission to take you to another page of the site, with a form (i.e., another page with some sort of built-in feedback entry) for feedback submission? I ask only because I do not know much of that type of coding, and I am sure you are more knowledgeable than I. 
Thanks for the reply!

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
I'm separating out the chain a bit, but yes a form for feedback is definitely possible. I know that at some point in the past we had the plan and it just kind of fell away. You're hardly the only person who uses their web browser for email and who thus doesn't get good results from mailto: links like the one we're using there.
There are some complicating factors with respect to making that into a form, but I think it's a good idea and it's definitely back onto the stack of changes we should make.

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
Yah, we're hoping to really make Medivate into exactly that. It's kind of gotten caught behind other things for the the recent past, unfortunately, but we're really shooting for exactly what you describe: something that helps people track their practice and be more mindful throughout their life.
With respect to being consistent: this is something I have *a lot* of thoughts and opinions about. I don't know if you're looking for any advice, but here are some thoughts I'm feeling like typing up right now:
> It has been hugely helpful for me building positive habits to add a new thing onto a habit that I've already established. Do you always brush your teeth, eat breakfast, or shower at a similar time? Can you move some minor things around to make a 10 or 20 or 30 minute block to meditate around one of those?
> I definitely think that "before bed" is hard. Your energy is typically low, which generally also means your willpower — ability to make yourself do the right thing rather than the easy thing — is also low. And when you do sit down, you may just fall asleep anyway. It's not impossible to work, but it's kind of working twice as hard for the reason you describe.
> With respect to starting to build a habit, no change is too small. Do it even when you don't feel like it, even if you only do it for a minute rather than the 30 you wish you were. Even at that before bed time when you're really tired, it's a powerful thing to talk yourself into three minutes on the cushion rather than to call it a night. Obviously those three minutes have two big advantages: once you're down you may just decide you can do the thirty, and (if not that) doing it everyday for three minutes is (unexpectedly, pleasantly) closer to thirty everyday than thirty every once in a while is.
I don't know if any of those thoughts are helpful. If they aren't, it's not gonna worry me.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I'm really glad you're participating in these (nascent) forums.

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patrick — 4 years ago — permalink
Right or wrong, I like to keep my goal '' open''. It does take discipline to get in a meditation session on the day. I am not a busy person but but, for me, the discipline lies in ''sitting doing nothing''.

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fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
I agree about the discipline piece. I often find that everything "comes before" meditation, even though meditation is really nice when I set down to it.
As for goals for meditation, I'm not sure. It's a tricky question. It certainly helps me in a variety of ways, though.

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
I think my goal, to the extent I'd define one for the whole thing, is to keep doing it. There's some appeal to me in the idea of "attain enlightenment" or similar, but I don't know what such a thing would mean, and I'm even less certain holding it as a goal would help.

5

Just starting out
rachelcotterill — 4 years ago — in We meditate 10 minutes per day
Ten minutes a day feels like a plausible starting amount... I've set myself a goal of doing that for a month, and then will see about increasing the length of time.
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fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
Good luck with the month, Rachel! This really feels like the right way to start.

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Question for January 20, 2013: Advice for Beginners
Medivate — 5 years ago — in Question of the Week
What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in meditation?

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davidbhayes — 5 years ago — permalink
I may get long-winded, so I'll start with a quote from someone smart that kind of gets at my point:
"Somewhere in this process, you will come face to face with the sudden and shocking realization that you are completely crazy. ... No problem. You are not crazier than you were yesterday." —Bhante Gunaratana
The thing I most remember of starting out with meditation was frustration. I would get so frustrated that I couldn't just sit there all "Zen-like and peaceful". I found my mind to be very turbulent and judgemental, and finding that made me more frustrated and turbulent. It was in many ways a frightening and confusing thing to experience, and it did, to a real extent, force me to think seriously about many of the traits I'd previous taken for granted as under my control.
The hardest and greatest thing about meditation—especially by yourself silent on a cushion—is the way in which you're unable to distract yourself. You can't just go back to fantasizing about the future because you've made a commitment to the process and to yourself you're here to be with your breath (or other object of meditation). I remember being quite cheered, too, while I was having these struggles by coming across this line that rang true from Pema Chodron:
What's encouraging about meditation is that even if we shut down, we can no longer shut down in ignorance. We see very clearly that we're closing off. That in itself begins to illuminate the darkness of ignorance.
What was so hard for me about meditating, what caused me to run from the cushion after five or ten minutes, was the way that I couldn't escape the reality of my mental situation. Things I'd been able to not know about myself I had to know now. Things I didn't like to sit with had to be sat with. It was hard and frustrating, but it was also the best thing I think I've ever done.

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sundaresvani — 5 years ago — permalink
feeling particularly crazy today, I wonder if you have a source for the gunaratana quote?

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davidbhayes — 5 years ago — permalink
It's from Mindfulness in Plain English, which you can actually (awesomely) get free in digital form. This quote is from in Chapter 7, about two-thirds of the way through. Here's the paragraph in full:
Somewhere in this process, you will come face-to-face with the sudden and shocking realization that you are completely crazy. Your mind is a shrieking, gibbering madhouse on wheels barreling pell-mell down the hill, utterly out of control and hopeless. No problem. You are not crazier than you were yesterday. It has always been this way, and you just never noticed. You are also no crazier than everybody else around you. The only real difference is that you have confronted the situation; they have not. So they still feel relatively comfortable. That does not mean that they are better off. Ignorance may be bliss, but it does not lead to liberation. So don't let this realization unsettle you. It is a milestone actually, a sigh of real progress. The very fact that you have looked at the problem straight in the eye means that you are on your way up and out of it.

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Shakuhachi — 4 years ago — permalink
Don't expect anything.

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
This is one of those things that's deceptively simple. I have this pet idea that really simple ideas (or cliches) that we think we understand but don't fully grasp are *the* most profound. I wrote a little essay about it a while ago, but that whole area's somewhat off-topic.
About expecting things in meditation: when I started out I remember thinking that I really got meditation. And I remember being hugely frustrated with what it felt like to sit quietly alone in a room by myself. I'd get up and run away after five minutes because it was hard to just be still. I had things to do, thoughts to think, etc. I think a lot of that early frustration really was caused by my covert expectations that I should be kind of good at it, and that it should be a certain way. It wasn't any way and the difference between that and what I expected was hard. Being OK with that gap was really the first, and possibly most important, thing I've learned from meditation.

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fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — permalink
"Please stick with it! It's the best thing you can do for yourself and others."

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davidbhayes — 5 years ago — permalink
Two quotes you reminded me of, both tangential:
  • "All things are difficult before they are easy." -Thomas Fuller
  • "There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind." -Kurt Vonnegut
They're not directly related, but for me they both have a lot to do with why I started practicing. The second quote--about kindness--was really the motivating goal. And it was the certainty that I needed patience (for myself first, and for others too) to be kind that made me stick with meditation through all the difficulty and frustration I hit starting out.

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emmacat — 5 years ago — permalink
Don't take it too seriously, don't conceptualize and don't dismiss it without having tried for a reasonable amount of time. 

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emmacat — 5 years ago — permalink
Also: "Sit. Stay. Heal." (Pema Chodron)

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caitlinlh — 5 years ago — permalink
Recently, I made a comment to someone who was nervous about doing a dathun.  I said 'It's good that you're nervous. It's like going on a first date with yourself for a whole month'.  I really feel meditation is like that - sweet, gritty, exciting, nerve-racking, awkward, possibly boring...  The point is that expecting something very specific out of meditation is not a great idea.  Being open and curious is the best way to be.  Just like on a first date.

1

Question for August 18, 2013: Hands
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
When meditating, what do you do with your hands?

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HandyBendy — 4 years ago — permalink
Check out some meditation Mudras - experiment with them and choose the one you feel most comfortable with. Dhyana Mudra or subtle variations of it is one of the most widely used.   

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fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
Putting them on my thighs feels like the "default." Joining them somehow feels a little more formal--preferable in some ways, I think. I think trying to keep a "Zen hand circle" thing going is too much work, though; it's a weird and not very comfortable shape, at least whenever I've tried it.

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HandyBendy — 4 years ago — permalink
Check out some meditation Mudras - experiment with them and choose the one you feel most comfortable with. Dhyana Mudra or subtle variations of it is one of the most widely used.

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
You know, I'd never heard the term "mudras" before. Very interesting to learn about them.
Do you recommend them because they're comfortable to use, or for spiritual reasons?

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HandyBendy — 4 years ago — permalink
Well I personally find them very comfortable to use. They allow the arm and shoulder muscles to relax more easily (particulary Dhyana Mudra or the similar Buddha Mudra) and help to promote a feeling of serenity & stability. They are also considered to be symbolic spiritual gestures and to influence to flow of pranic energy through the body. 
http://www.kundaliniyoga.org/mudras.html
Another very important aspect of Kundalini yogta mediation techniques is the use of body 'locks' or muscular contractions called Bandhas, applied for the retention and channeling of Prana. 
http://www.kundaliniyoga.org/bhandas.html
Yoga Asanas, Pranayama, Mudras and Bhandas form a complimentary 'suite' of techniques used to achieve profoundly deep states of consciousness and to stimulate the kundalini energy to awaken.

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Kyletin — 4 years ago — permalink

I am perhaps the strange person who finds the Dhyana Mudra strangely uncomfortable! I think I am putting it "on" the wrong part of me, for it will never rest " flatly " on my lap. One foot always moves it up (depending on which which is on top). I apologise if that is explained poorly!

I tend to do something like in what I found in this picture: 

http://www.hathayoga.co.za/yoni_mudra.gif

I wasn't even aware it was something that other people did, but hey. I googled "Yoni Mudra" and got something VERY different also in the google images pictures, so it could be a miss-labelled .gif on that hathayoga.co.za site, but at any rate, I find that a REALLY comfortable hand position. 

Thanks for the information!

1

Question for October 6, 2013: Alternative Reality
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you think your life would be different if you'd never been exposed to meditation? How?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
It's hard for me to separate out one single part of my experience. I've been meditating for about two years now, and things have changed a lot in that time, but it's very hard to say with confidence the bounds of meditation's role in the changes.
I think what's most clear in my mind is that meditation has given me more space around my thoughts, and greater room to question them. This means that I've a better chance of noticing things like impatience and anger before they strike into action. So I think the concrete change it makes sense to talk about is that I've been made much more patient and aware of the true reality of a situation. I imagine I'd find myself randomly having scared or angered someone more if I wasn't exposed to meditation.

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fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
Basically, I shudder to think about this. Meditation (and spirituality/Buddhism more generally) is basically what's given my life a sense of belonging or making some kind of sense.
I'm sure I'd have something else if not for meditation--maybe astrophysics or lawyering--but I just don't think those things could bring the kind of relief that spirituality does, or make me as useful to other people.
Would be fun to know the counterfactual on this one.

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susyn153 — 4 years ago — permalink
I don't think, I know it would be different.  I never would have met my husband, I would be a harpy (cause I was), I never would have realized how my irritation and anger affected other people and myself.  I never would have realized how much I didn't like myself or how harsh and judgemental I was with myself and others.  
I am still all of those things, I just know what is going on and am aware enough to work on it a little bit everyday.  Meditation has allowed me to zoom out and look at myself and others very differently.  We all have value, we all have something to offer, we have all been damaged in some way or another.  The one advantage to coming to meditation later in life is that you have a clear compare and contrast image.  

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
We all have value, we all have something to offer, we have all been damaged in some way or another.
That is exceptionally beautiful and well-stated. Thanks for sharing.

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Kyletin — 4 years ago — permalink
Thank you for sharing with us. I found this a very insightful post. While it doesn't throw out any radical new thinking, it provides somewhat of an anecdote to help others understand how you've benefitted directly from meditation.

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Cell phone app
Chuckg — 3 years ago — in A Better Medivate
I have this computer in my pocket that can do great things but Medivate doesn't work very well on the browser. An app would be more powerful but I don't see anything like it, for the iPhone at least.
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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
Sorry, Chuckg. I'm just now seeing this.
Fred and I definitely agree 100% that a phone app would really make Medivate much more useful to people. It's basically at the top of our "would love to build" list, but we're a bit strapped for time and expertise. For now Medivate doesn't put food on the table, so we're not able to do much more than the bare minimum to keep it going. We definitely don't intend to abandon the project, and will almost certainly have a smartphone app someday. But unfortunately it probably won't be within 12 months of now.

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Chuckg — 3 years ago — permalink
I've been in computers for years and you have my complete sympathies. When GUIs came to my attention in the late 80s, I found them too complicated to work on for myself. Now that I see the work involved in a mobile app, I just laugh and that the stars that I'm retired.

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patricia1958 — 3 years ago — permalink

A phone app is a worthy project, especially because it could bring Dharma to so many. Could you consider using a Gofundme or Kickstarter site to gather the donations to make this happen?

I hope I helped.

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
Yah, that's definitely an idea we've considered before, and maybe should think about again.
Basically we have two constraints re: Medivate right now — time and ability.
And the hard thing about Kickstarter, etc is that that they don't really solve either of those problems, and in a manner of thinking might actually make it worse. At a minimum, you've got to put together and promote the campaign, and in many cases you also have the overhead of creating and fulfilling the "prizes" for your backers. Which is to say nothing of the overhead of managing their demands and expectations before and after the campaign. As I do the balance in my head, I think we'd probably end up with a wash on time on the deal, and it'd have no real impact on our ability to deliver. Maybe I'm wrong and we could easily raise enough to pay back the time of the campaign and a lot more. Speaking for myself, I'm not yet completely comfortable with the wager.
Thanks for the thoughts though. And your vote in support of our doing a thing like that definitely moves the needle in my head a bit about the possibility of bringing that back into our possible roadmaps. We really appreciate your support!

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patricia1958 — 3 years ago — permalink
No worries. I really love Medivate and want it to prosper. May it benefit all beings who come here. :D

1

Question for September 7, 2014: Surprises of Retreat
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever completed a meditation retreat? If so, what part of that experience most surprised you?

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gordon — 3 years ago — permalink
What surprised me the most was the intensity of the feeling or impulse to share a joke and yet knowing I could not, because we are in silence, and finding that quite funny.

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
I think I'd probably really struggle with that silence aspect too. I'm generally a pretty quiet and reserved person, but I think a hard barrier of "always refrain from speaking" would be kind of jarring to me as well.

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Lullabyehaze — 3 years ago — permalink
On two or three occasions, I have done a 2.5-day personal meditation retreat. I reserved a small cabin at a nearby Buddhist retreat center and planned my own time. These are some of the best days that I have spent in terms of relaxation, figuring things out, dealing with crises and re-setting my habits. 
I would plan a tentative schedule for the time beforehand but be open to changes that might need to happen. My schedule includes the following:
Sitting meditation
Walking meditation
Yoga/stretching
Journaling
Coloring mandalas
Reading spiritual or meditative books
Walking/hiking
I think what surprised me was that I would go through a time of feeling bored and questioning why I would spend time and money to do this., after being so excited about it. This was on the first night, I think. By the end, the benefits were clear and I wished for another day!

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patricia1958 — 3 years ago — permalink
I participated in  a 3 month Tsongkhapa retreat recommended by my Gelugpa Teacher.
At the end of this month I will engage in the next segment of my Ganglognma retreat (Manjushri) for ten days. This retreat will last three years three months and an odd number of days, practicing for ten days every other month and collecting seven malas per session. The Ganglongma retreats are much less elaborate than the Tsongkhapa one that I did this past summer. But both are great for removing mental and spiritual obstacles. The thing that surprised me the most was that I was sad that it ended.

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Question for March 2, 2014: Turbulence
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever feel that you mind gets too busy while meditating? How do you deal with that?

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Inderbir — 3 years ago — permalink
I use a mantra inhale I think of I and exhale I think of am. Everytime I start to think of something I return to the I and am.
works great

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
Huh! I've never heard of that technique before, but I think it's pretty cool. A rather similar thing I use pretty regularly is to count — say to 10 and back with each breath, or something like that. I find counting is really nice as a way to settle and collect, I may have to try the "I - am" next time though.

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Inderbir — 3 years ago — permalink
I have found that my meditations are leading me. what I mean is I can feel energy during my mediations when I felt like something didnt feel right I would look at what I was eating or thinking or whatever and through the years changed my lifestyle like I could feel bad from coffee, alcohol, meat, fish, and one for one excluded them from my diet. also changed the way I look at the world. every morning I would wake and be greatful for everything in my life and would ask for what i wanted in life. and i must say I get it. forgiveness for people places and things have made life so great. These changes keep my mind from being too busy.
Meditation gives you insight in your own body. just quiet the mind and listen.
Before i started meditating I felt like my life was on autopilot. now I am the pilot and loving it.
Love and blessings to all.
 Give meditation time and it will wake you up out of this sound sleep called life
Joe

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
I really like the autopilot vs driving analogy, that's not a way I'd ever thought about it, but feels accurate to my experience too. 
I'm not sure I'm reading your correctly, but the idea that your energy is driving down these tangents resonates with me too. For me — I mostly do mindfulness of breath meditation — I find it's a kind of frustrating experience to just wake up to "where was I?" over and over. When I was just starting especially, that would make me get up and walk away. It still happens a lot for me, but I'm getting better and better about recognizing that this falling down a tangent and returning is the whole point of the exercise.
For me it's specifically this consistent little exercise of mental wandering and returning that has lead to all the positive no-longer-on-autopilot changes you call out. It's shocking in its effectiveness and simplicity. Thanks so much for sharing!

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Question for March 15, 2015: First Time
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you remember the very first time you tried meditation? What was it like?

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hanjini — 2 years ago — permalink
I went to a class on vipassana because I was in a lot of emotional pain following my divorce. I remember I was eager for the talk to end so we could begin the actual breathing. I remember being in complete shock to discover that beyond any emotional grief I was feeling,  my entire back was an experience of sharp pain as if knives were stabbing all over it. It was a relevation of how disconnected I was from my body and how my thinking was not exactly accurate about what was going on.

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gustavo.picado — 2 years ago — permalink
I tried to sit on the floor without anything under my feet, and felt too much pain on the side bones of my feet that I coudn't even focus. I started to sweat and realized it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I just came up with a way to sit confortably (still on the floor) and that was it, haha.
The second time I tried is the one that can be called my first time meditating, and I managed to focus a little bit on my breathing, but I found really hard to stop my monkey-mind. It was challenging, instructive, but not very succesful.

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capemaggie — 2 years ago — permalink

i'm no expert, but i think your session was "successful".  the presence of monkey mind does not determine successful vs. unsuccessful; i'm not even certain success and meditation are words that go together.  as soon as we are judging our experience and our performance, we are leaving the non-judgmental mind that is part of meditation.  
i've been meditating off and on for years and i still have incredible monkey mind. every time i notice i've gone off with my thoughts and bring myself back to my breath (compassionately), i'm being mindful.  
i'm glad you mentioned "success" in your post.  it reminds me of the "how did it feel" rating here on Medivate.  i don't use that anymore.  reading Pema Chodron and many others has led me to the realization that how a sitting "feels" is probably no indication of how much i might have gained from it.    those sittings where i'm feeling anxious, upset, whatever - don't feel good but they may teach me so much about how i deal with different emotions.  anyway, i think judging "how it felt" is probably irrelevant at best and misleading or even harmful at worst.   once again, non-judgmentalism. 

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gustavo.picado — 2 years ago — permalink
Hi, thank you for repplying my post. I wasn't expecting that! haha
I am very new to meditation, and I (can't remember where) read about this non-judgmentalism... Until this moment I was always relating how much "focus on the present moment" I was able to get on the meditation session to "how good was it" or to the how it felt rating. But reading your comment made me realize that judging a practice of (amongst other things) non-judging the things around and inside you is extremely contradictory.
Well, i agree with you and I am going to take your advice and try to stop judging my meditation-related things.
And about the monkey mind, isn't one of the "goals" of meditation just observing the thoughts without applying any judgement to it (wasn't a rethorical question, I am a newbie after all haha)? If this is true, perhaps we can say that the monkey mind is a important factor to a "succesful" meditation (succesful always in quotes now!), I would say...
And sorry if I had any grammar mistakes... English is not my native language and I'm actually a little rusty on it. So, feel free to correct me any time :p
See ya!

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Question for February 17, 2013: Not Meditating
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
What's a reason you give for not meditating? Do you have a compelling response?

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Shakuhachi — 4 years ago — permalink
Sometimes I am too sleepy or somthing on TV I would rather watch.
If I put meditation off to do somehting else I may or may not get back too it.
I have many possible distractions, pets & family.
Then if I have a very good meditation followed by not so good I get depressed and discouraged.
Sometimes I am just too impatient to sit there.

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emmacat — 4 years ago — permalink
By the lack of replies to this post, I'm guessing I'm not the only one who found this question uncomfortable to ponder. The first thing that comes up is, rather predictably, I don't have enough time to sit as much as I would want to. But that's an excuse, not a reason. I used to have conversations in my head to justify not meditating, lately I don't even try. When I lie to myself, it kind of defeats the purpose of having a practice in the first place. The truth is, sometimes Idon't have the courage to connect with what's going on in my mind and heart. There are days when Im going through something painful I just can't sit before I go to work because I need to be functioning. I've been meditating for almost a year and I still have bouts of escapism. The thing with meditation is that it leaves me with no place to hide and sometimes I don't have the strength to stay with my feelings. 

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fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
Yeah, I definitely sometimes put off meditation because what's going on in my mind is uncomfortable, even though actually doing it would help hugely.
A more common problem for me is just that even when it's wonderful, meditation isn't necessarily fun. They're two different things, it seems; and fun things seem to be a lot more habit-forming...

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emmacat — 4 years ago — permalink
Hmmm... that's an interesting distinction. I can relate to that, when I have a pleasant meditation session I think: 'I wanna do it more' but I end up sticking to my planned times or even skipping it altogether the very next day. I think its because I can't really count on the next session being as good, but I know I'm going to like the next episode of my favorite show. 

1

Question for August 6, 2017: Be Here Now
Medivate — 2 weeks ago — in Question of the Week
"Be here now" — the best meditation instructions? The worst? In between? Why?

1

Question for October 13, 2013: Meditation Advice
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
When you're looking to learn or hear advice about meditation, what sources do you turn to?

1

Kyletin — 4 years ago — permalink

I love the internet. While of course everyone would suggest you go to a meditation master for introduction, when you're sort of just dipping your feet into the pool, you want not for someone to try to get you to do backstrokes right away, but instead let you feel around a bit for yourself. 
As such, a lot of my sources are online. I find this very inspiring, for I am not trapped into one school of thought as of yet. Eventually, I hope to settle down in a place/practise that I find most suitable for me. 

 

Some of the sites I find the most helpful are: 

 

http://www.viewonbuddhism.org/  — This website appears to be put together by an individual. It's not a leading book on finding your "inner zen" but is almost like a very user-friendly wikipedia article. Of course, as with all information online, take everything with a grain of salt. I  think this site may focus on Tibetan Buddhism/information, but it at LEAST explains the other schools as well. All-in-all, I find reading a page every day or so to be good practise for expanding my knowledge, without feeling like I am adding another 3-credit course on my load. There is information on meditation here, including several styles of meditation as well as "hints" for meditation on certain topics. 

 

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe49/index.htm  — If I feel particularly zealous, I sometimes poke around on this site about Mahayana Buddhism. It's not really about meditation, but for MYSELF, meditation and Buddhism work together.

 

I don't really look for too much advise on meditation. I think if one allows it to get too complicated, it is easy to get trapped in pedagogical fretting. 

 

Good luck! :D

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
Thanks for the resources, Kyle. I'll have to look at them a little closer when I get time. 
I have the same basic sense of you. Meditation studied too closely probably becomes a not-too-helpful head trip.
And I'm more comfortable trawling the internet for resources than busting into a specific center for a specific kind of practice I know little about. That said, I think there's a lot of merit into being the kind of person who just does that. It's bold, and you almost certainly learn the reality of that type or practice in that place quite quickly.
Anyway, thanks for sharing!

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russcpt — 4 years ago — permalink
One important resource for my practice has been this book...http://www.amazon.com/Zen-Mind-Beginners-Shunryu-Suzuki/dp/1590308492/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381883222&sr=8-1&keywords=Zen+beginner%27s+mind

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fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
One of my favorites, too.

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Lullabyehaze — 4 years ago — permalink
This is difficult because I'm not sure who to go to. I turn to the internet, mostly. I wish I had a person to ask, and I am working at finding more of a community of meditators.

1

davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
If you don't mind my asking, are there specific reasons you're interested in mediation? That's a great place to start if you're looking for somewhere to get more information.
For me, I really came into it as an idea because Buddhism as a philosophy (not trying to start any fights) was appealing to me. Thus in a series of fortunate coincidences, I ended up listening to some Buddhist podcasts — I listen to lots of podcasts — that are very regularly giving me interesting ideas and thoughts about meditation. 
I can't really begin to guess what brought you to it but I'd love to help you look for or find resources if that'd be helpful. You could reply, message in Medivate (it's the envelope at the top), or email me at david@medivate.com.

1

Question for May 12, 2013: Non-sitting Meditation
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Have you tried postures other than sitting in meditation? Why? How did they compare?

1

jermur1 — 4 years ago — permalink
I usually lie down as I have way 2 much energy otherwise and I never fall asleep when meditating...well almost never:)

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
That's interesting.
I've tried lying down, but usually for the *terrible* reason that I don't feel I have enough energy to meditate. As you may expect from the prior sentence, the result is usually either that I do in fact fall asleep, or else drift into this low-energy, low-awareness state that definitely isn't quite sleep, but is also definitely not meditation.
I'd be curious to hear more about how it works for you, and how other postures feel too energetic.

1

jermur1 — 4 years ago — permalink
Hey,
Well basically I just lie down on my  yoga mat and I never feel tired:) Its so much easier for me to let go and just focus on my breath. I do try to spend some time sitting though to build up strength as I would like to do a retreat. I feel very restless sitting but maybe its just an excuse as lying is so easy!!
I walk my dog everyday trying to be as mindful as possible easier said then done but getting a little better all the time. Also do Yoga for an hour.
only in last few weeks I've started doing so much. This site is helping keep me focused though.
You been a meditator long?? What kind do you practice

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
Slow to reply, but thanks a lot for sharing.
I do think I understand what you mean about being better able to focus on the breath, whenever I do lie down the sensation of the breath was different in a very interesting way.
I've actually been meditating for almost two years now. We started Medivate a little after that, though not as a result. Meditation's been really interesting, and certainly a fair number of highs and lows. Medivate's helpful for me too, but I don't think we've yet made it the case that's is sufficient to keep people motivated. That's the much harder goal.
I typically do mindfulness of breath meditation. I've tried a few other forms once in a while, but that's what I do 99% of the time. It's still teaching me things and challenging me on a regular basis.

1

Question for November 17, 2013: Stop Meditating
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Is there any single event or change that would make you stop meditating? Why?

1

Lullabyehaze — 4 years ago — permalink
Interesting question. I hope I won't stop, as I'm on a the longest streak of my life right now. But a big change in routine might be the thing that would break it. I'll be traveling soon and staying at my in-laws and I can see that that might interrupt things. I'm glad this question came up so that I can think about how to prevent that. if that happened, though it would probably be hard for me to get back into it because of the "breaking the chain" mentality. meaning once I did not have so many days in a row! the motivation to keep going might not be as strong.
i can't think of anything that would make me stop meditating for good, though. It's just too nice and too helpful to stop doing forever.

1

davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
Yah, I definitely think that you're right about the power of the chain. There's a lot more commitment for me in knowing that I've basically been meditating every day for over a year than there would be if I thought I'd just meditated sometimes.
And I find the disruption of traveling problematic as well. I find that two big things help me with traveling: having a plan and allowing for flexibility. They're almost two sides of the same coin, but by having a plan I mean that I have a rough idea of what it'll be like where I'm staying, and when and how I'll find time to fit sitting in in that situation. I like to brainstorm more times and places than I need, so that at least one theorized times can fall through but I can still make it work.
 
By flexibility, I mean that sometimes you really don't get to sit down on your zafu in a quiet corner and do it like you do at home. You've got to kind of roll with the punches there, and if that means you're meditating while riding the bus, so be it. If that means sitting on a bench in the mall while your traveling companions are shopping, that's OK too.

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Lullabyehaze — 4 years ago — permalink
I'm on my trip, and so far, so good. I adjusted my goal to 15 minutes every day and have mostly done 20. i meditated in the flight and in the car, but I am also in the habit of going upstairs to the terrace after breakfast for 20 minutes of yoga and 20 minutes of sitting. I do the sitting first so that if I am interrupted, at least I'll have met my daily goal. I'm at my in-laws' now, and tomorrow we all leave on a trip for a few days, so I'll need to make a special effort. I think my best bets for alone time are right after waking up or right before bed.

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
That's great to hear! Hope the little trip didn't interfere too much with your ability to keep it up. Sound's like you're really managing it deftly.

1

Question for April 6, 2014: Be Here Now
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
"Be here now" — the best meditation instructions? The worst? In between? Why?

2

Formlessness — 3 years ago — permalink
It captures some of the spirit of meditation. Most of our unhealthy, wandering thoughts are about regretting the past or fearing the future.
But it's pretty vague. I'm here now already. I guess it means focus on the present. That's one type of meditation, but others are more specific: focus on breathing, focus on a mantra, etc. But whatever it is that you are aware of, there is always the awareness itself, underlying all thoughts. All thoughts have that awareness in common. Observe thoughts as they come and go, and the background of awareness will start to jump out at you.

1

fredclaymeyer — 3 years ago — permalink
Really well said--thank you!
What does it feel like to you when the background of awareness jumps out at you? In my experience, I'd say it feels a bit more like realizing everything is submerged in awareness.

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Formlessness — 3 years ago — permalink
"What does it feel like to you when the background of awareness jumps out at you?"
It's difficult to put into words, because while a thought can be like something, the awareness is just the "isness" of things. It's just grasping things as they are.

1

davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
I think you really hit it on the head with the point that it's vague. It's good instruction if you're already really sure of what each word in it means in the context of meditation, but doesn't really work for someone just coming to it. They'd maybe understand it, but only to the level of "so I can't move?" The idea of thoughts and attention and patience and awareness are all not expressed.
I have this idea — it's really becoming a bit on an old saw for me — that everything that's really important to know can be (and is) packed into simple common-sense phrases that everyone knows (a cliche) and just looks past. I wrote an essay (which I don't love) about it a few years ago, but I think this phrase is a potent example of what I meant. For someone who's already familiar and comfortable with the idea of meditation, "be here now" may be a sufficient and potent reminder. But for most people most of the time, the idea just blows past them as something too simple to be worth considering.

1

Question for January 19, 2014: Best Beginner Book
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
What is the best meditation book for someone just getting into meditation? Why?

3

hanjini — 4 years ago — permalink
Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana. This book is clearly and comfortably written, comprehensive and intelligent yet full of simple basics on how to and why meditate.

1

fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
I've had a friend strongly recommend it, as well. I'll try to pick it up...

2

davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
Actually the whole thing is freely available online. I'm pretty sure even with the authors consent. The first Google result is the one I've seen linked most, though the results point to a few other sites offering it as well.

1

Erastoles — 4 years ago — permalink
I ordered it.
Looks like one of the best.
I'll let you know what I thought about it...

1

Question for June 22, 2014: Stuckness in Meditation
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you feel — or have you in the past — felt stuck on a particular obstacle to meditation?

1

davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
Lately I've been feeling a bit dull and bored. I should really go do some research & advice-seeking on it. Anyone have anything to recommend?

2

PurplePotato — 3 years ago — permalink
How do you know that you are bored?

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
Huh. I'll have to hold that question for a bit. Seems like a good one.
To answer immediately, my mind seems to eagerly seek anything novel and not the object (typically my meditation object is the breath) to attach to a be able to play with. As though what it is experiencing isn't sufficient. I'm reading that as boredom.

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PurplePotato — 3 years ago — permalink
How do you know that you are bored?

1

davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
I've been sitting with this question for a few days. It's brought clarity on a few different things.
The most concrete is that a lot of the time when I'm looking for distraction — which I thought was caused by "boredom" — is actually a drive for comfort. I want to adjust my posture to be more comfortable, but I also want a place for my mind to land to keep it comfortably active. I'd not noticed the latter part — grabbing the phone and checking email is typically a seek for the "comfort" of the distraction of email.
The other more broad point I'd not realized was how much the label I give to a bundle of things allows me to safely avoid needing to investigate and be more attentive. This is a thing I feel a bit like I should have known, but it surprised me. The power of this or any question — that at first I was like "what a dumb simple question..." — is that it makes you see more clearly and accurately all that's really there.

1

PurplePotato — 3 years ago — permalink
Good to hear. I was originally going to post something much longer but then had a feeling that that wasn't the best idea, and thought of the simple question. I also wondered whether it would look like too simple a question - I'm glad it worked!
You can use this sort of inquiry on just about anything that comes up: How do I know x is true?

2

Question for March 3, 2013: Benefits of Mediation
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
What beneficial results have you seen from frequent meditation in your life?

2

fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
I am much, much more able to be kind than if I were equipped only with ideas.

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
This is, at the most basic level, the reason I started meditating. I'd feel that I knew the value of being kind, but was regularly disappointed by my (lack of) ability to be so.
For me, the experience of being more kind is really rooted in something that feels more concrete to me, which is a sense of space around my thoughts and emotions. I found myself more able to see and say "angry feelings are rising" and thus respond to the sense that I may be unkind soon. Before, I might randomly find myself shouting without any warning or mental space to correct for the fact that feelings of anger were rising up.

2

undragonslayer7 — 4 years ago — permalink
I am more motivated towards things that are important to me. Working in tandem with that, I am far more able to set my own goals and not feel guilty about disgregarding artificial milestones society and 'authorities' set for me. I am also happier and much more able to love my friends, feeling in tune with their emotions.
The largest benefit by far has been my ability to appreciate things in the present, including the present itself. Whenever I find myself bored now I can just look around me and see the incredible beauty and significance of nature and humanity alike.

3

Shakuhachi — 4 years ago — permalink
Frequent meditation helps me to feel more integrated, more whole, more centered.  Without it I notice I can get to feel out of phase with myself, out of kilter.  I think some people, need it more than others and I am one who needs it.

2

Question for May 26, 2013: Where to Sit
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you have a specific space in your home set aside for meditation? Are there any key objects or traits of such an area?

1

fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
A corner of my room. In general, I think these kinds of spaces should be clean, insulated from noise, and have a good line-of-sight. (Not sure my corner fully qualifies, though...)

2

emmacat — 4 years ago — permalink
A corner of my bedroom is designated for practicing. The main object is, rather obviously, my mat and cushions. Other objects are a framed sacred image with candles and incense that help create the environment for meditation. The main aspect of this space is that it's stable, I don't have to set it up every time I sit which helps keep a regular practice. When I skip a meditation session, I can go over to that space and take a moment to acknowledge the fact that I'm skipping that session. It's a way to connect to my practice and bring it into my life in a concrete way.

1

davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
I definitely agree about the value of a space that's all set to go. (Mine's also just a part of my bedroom.) Preparing your practice area, even if it only takes a few seconds can sometimes be enough to prevent you from doing it.
I think the idea of acknowledging your space when you don't sit is really interesting. Is it mostly the sacred images you acknowledge, or the space itself? Do you think that helps keep you honest, or more likely to maintain your practice? I'd be interested to hear more about that if there's anything you'd be willing to share.

2

emmacat — 4 years ago — permalink
I don't worship the sacred image (it's more of a reminder of our innate enlightened nature, not some kind of saint) so I acknowledge the space as a whole. it is a way to be honest with myself and to keep track of my patterns (when I usually sit, when I don't, why I don't and so on).
Sometimes it works as a little 'trick': once I'm facing my cushion, I might  change my mind and sit, even if for 10 minutes instead of the 30 I regularly sit, which is better than nothing. Other times the acknowledgement gives me the thrust to plan my next session better and make sure I don't skip it. And then there are times when I just feel plain silly about having an intimate relationship with an inanimate object. Whatever comes up, it's a way to get in touch with my practice. 

1

davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
Thanks so much for sharing.
I'd never considered the idea that your meditation space could be engaged with in a way that it encouraged you to practice. Now that you've said it I can think of similar examples from other areas of life---I feel like I've heard people talk about leaving their running shoes by the door, for example---but I'd never thought of it with respect to helping with regular meditation.
I also really like the "Whatever comes up" phrase. Isn't that what life is, a continuous experience of "whatever comes up"?
And I don't know that it matters to you one bit, but I feel like there's a lot to justify your relationship to the space. People have always and rightfully venerated sacred spaces---those that make them feel safe, a part of something greater, more connected---and I think of the place I meditate as such a place.

2

Question for November 24, 2013: Mindfulness Eats the World
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Mindfulness is a bit of a cultural buzzword these days. What do you think of mindful eating, mindful business, etc?

1

rachelcotterill — 4 years ago — permalink
I think anything that reminds and encourages mindfulness in daily life can only be positive.

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
I mostly agree. I do think there may be some way in which these hybrids would degrade or change the concept in the way it's understood in the wider world. That's the biggest risk I can foresee, but I know of no specific examples of that problem.

1

Lullabyehaze — 4 years ago — permalink
I think the reason mindfulness is everywhere these days is that it IS everywhere-- it is a part of almost everything we do, or it should be. Maintaining a healthy weight comes from mindful eating and moving. Having good posture and a healthy back comes from mindful working and sitting. Having good relationships comes from mindful communication. Etc... I can see how people might think it's getting "trendy" or something, and that can be annoying. But I think anything that makes us more mindful of any part of our lives can only be good because it seems to bleed into other parts of life.

1

davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
I think you're right. Mindfulness is getting applied in all these new place because it's applicable in all these places. I literally can't think of problem in my life that mindfulness hasn't or doesn't have the potential to play a role in making better. A very good point.

2

Question for March 9, 2014: Earlier Knowledge
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Is there anything about meditation you feel you now know or understand that you'd have benefitted from learning sooner? What is it?

2

drschilling — 3 years ago — permalink
There are a few things:
1. I moved into a zazen dojo in Tokyo in the 1990's and lived there for two years and immediately found myself in the middle of a "Sangha"! It was a community of people interested in Buddhism and meditation, some with more previous experience and dedication than others, but all very supportive of each other. There were Japanese monks (men & women) and people from Poland, Canada, US, UK, Israel, China, Germany and elsewhere. We cooked and ate together, sat together drinking tea and talking, and even went out together on various excursions that normal people do. We had a little old Japanese lady who would come in sometimes and cook us traditional Japanese meals: Aji no hiraki, natto, raw eggs in rice, etc. So, the benefit was having one of the things Buddha described as part of a three leg stool: "Sangha" a place that gives you physical, psychological and social support and few outside distractions.
2. My sensei in Tokyo was a great man but very simple and in many ways as plain a person as you could imagine but the key was he never wanted anything from us. There was no psychological BS, so we could just do zazen and live. He was dedicated to Buddhism, sitting, lecturing and translating Japanese Buddhist texts to English so we would help him with it. So the environment was nice to let life unfold the way it would. Having a good teacher is a key, someone you inherently like and trust.
3. I studied Soto Shu Buddhism which basically says that sitting itself is enlightenment. Of course, you won't "get there" the first time you sit or the 500th but eventually you may "get there" and when you arrive it will be timeless, like living in eternity and everything you ever knew or thought will evaporate in the face of the most incredible conscious experience you've ever had. But then it fades away and you feel totally human again. Then, you go back and sit some more.
But really, sitting is not about getting somewhere, it is about "being here now." The more you sit, the more your consciousness and sense of self is altered and the more you are able to perceive.
This carries over into the rest of your life and you find yourself very even keeled and sane. It is not necessary to read books, listen to lectures, do koans, chant, or even talk about what you experience when you sit. The experience in and of itself is enough. There is no need to get feedback from the outside about who or where you are. Simple regular meditation will bring you along the path. As you sit daily, and days, weeks and months flow by, you'll begin to notice a complete change in your perception of the world and your place in it. It's a wonderful process but can only be experienced by sitting for months upon months.
My mind used to race all the time, lots of thoughts running through it all the time, making me anxious and worried. Suddenly, I could take an hour train ride and literally not have a thought the whole time. Just serene peace and connectedness with here and now.
4. For books, I like the Three Pillar of Zen and the "Oxherding Pictures." The Oxherding Pictures can show you the journey you'll take, if sitting somehow becomes a part of your life.
5. I think the "progress" that comes with sitting and the changes it brings to your regular conscious life and activities happens on time and for a reason and that you can't really get anywhere sooner. This is not a race, it is not a competition, it is nothing less that the unraveling of the chains that bind your Soul and in order for that to happen, it requires your own totally unique to yourself journey that only you can travel. We all have our own "crosses to bear."

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
What a wealth of interesting and novel information. Thanks so much for sharing!
The thing that most jumped out at me was the Oxherding Pictures, which I'd never heard of. They're a really cool model of the progression of practice. For those who've never seen them, I'll save you some Googling: Wikipedia and a great set of pictures and simple explanations.
I'd heard of Soto (Shu) before, but never really understood how it differed. I really like your explanation of what the school and practice means to you; feel like I understand it at least a little more clearly now. Your experience in Japan sound awesome too, glad to hear about them. Thanks again; I'm really completely blown away by your post.

1

drschilling — 3 years ago — permalink
Thanks for the Oxherding Pictures link. It is important to note the version you provided is from the Buddha Dharma Education Association (Australia) and images and the text accompanying the images are not the original commentary by the creator Guo-an Shi-yuan from the 12th century. 
Much talk about the challenge of translating the Zen or Buddhist experience to the West (Jung). The original version, obviously, has a different feel and look.
Following are some links the Oxherding Pictures" with more original artwork and commentary:
"Three Pillars of Zen" version: http://bit.ly/NGsQ6f
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/weai/exeas/resources/pdf/oxherding.pdf
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/mzb/oxherd.htm
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/weai/exeas/resources/oxherding.html

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Formlessness — 3 years ago — permalink
A few things come to mind. How to sit properly without hurting yourself. What the goal of meditation is. And that meditation is more worthwhile than almost anything you can use as an excuse to procrastinate.

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fredclaymeyer — 3 years ago — permalink
"Meditation is more worthwhile than almost anything you can use as an excuse to procrastinate."
Really, really well said--thanks!

1

Question for July 30, 2017: Where
Medivate — 3 weeks ago — in Question of the Week
Where do you meditate? Why?

2

Question for November 16, 2014: Sitting in Mediation
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
When you sit in meditation, what do you sit on?

2

gordon — 3 years ago — permalink

I sit on just a regular elephant.

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
Uh... we probably have different understandings of the word "regular." But I really want to know what you mean by "regular elephant."

2

davemulls — 3 years ago — permalink
I like to grab two pillows off my bed and stack them together. Creates a nice roll in my hips that allows me to sit cross-legged more comfortably.

2

Lullabyehaze — 3 years ago — permalink
I used to stack up some pillows or blankets. A few months ago, I sprang for a beautiful zafu and zabuton with a beautiful rust-colored removable covers. Even though it is not necessary to have these special cushions, I have to say that I really enjoy sitting on them. They are comfortable and nice-looking, and it feels good to have the "right" equipment. :)

1

Question for December 28, 2014: Learning from Meditation
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
What has meditating taught you?

1

davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
The biggest lesson I feel like I've learned is that there is always space and a fundamental "okay-ness" available. It's down there at the base, waiting to be known. Your mind can run itself into ragged circles of crazy thoughts of desire or discomfort or rage, but that root calm and comfort is still down there, just hard to find. And don't mistake me, it can be VERY hard to find. But it never goes away, and it can't be taken from us.
I wrote a bit of an essay about this, but basically for me it comes back to this: "You're just a guy sitting in a room." I can always go totally crazy, angry, happy, whatever, but I'm just a guy sitting in a room (or a woman standing outside, whatever). I'm a person having experiences, but those experiences don't take away from the the simple wonder, peace, and beauty of being a living human being.
It's such a simple idea, but it's so hard to drop all our stories and find it down there. But you can do it, if you have the patience to "wait until the mud has settled and the mind is clear." And I think that's the most important thing I've learned from meditation.

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Question for July 27, 2014: Supporting Practice
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
What factors — people, ideas, etc — support your meditation practice?

1

davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
  • My desire to always be able to take the action I'll later know is right. This one is huge for me. Mindfulness practice has really clicked for me because I've seen in my life so many times that I did something at the time that seemed right and then later realized it was wrong. I've heard this gap of when one takes an action to when the wiser action is clear as a "refractory period", but whatever you call the idea the point is that I find that as I practice I'm much better able to ask "What's the wisest response in this situation?" before I respond, rather than hours later. And that difference, being seen, feels so powerful and useful that it keeps me practicing.
  • Medivate helps, but in a way I doubt it does for other users. Because I'm a cofounder of the site, I feel pretty dedicated to using it, paying attention to it, and using its log to track how I'm doing. I don't think we've got it sticky enough that it has had the same effect for any other users as well as it does for me, unfortunately.
  • Dharma talks. I've never sought or found a local sangha, but I regularly listen to podcasts, and listening to some specific podcasts of dharma talks is hugely supportive to me. The diversity of perspectives I get from Audio Dharma and Dharma Seed really keeps me interested, and regularly drops a new idea into my practice and life that makes me remember why I'm doing the practice and what my goals are.
I'm quite certain there are other supportive influences, but those immediately came to mind. 

1

How are we doing
Paulmooney — 3 years ago — in Path of Freedom 30-Day Challenge
How are we doing on the 10,000 minutes?
Tags:

1

micahmeditates — 3 years ago — permalink
Good question! I think we are going to make it, but I can't find a total minute count. I am grateful that I am getting a little push to sit everyday though!

1

Question for August 14, 2016: Meditation Pitch
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
You have 20 seconds to convince a skeptic of the value of a mediation practice. What do you tell them?

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tusculum — 12 months ago — permalink
Try it for yourself... or don't. I have no investment in convincing you of anything. If you don't try it for yourself, you'll never know for sure whether meditation is beneficial or not.

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Question for September 8, 2013: Changing the Past
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
If you could go back in time (say: one, five, or ten years), what, if anything, would you change your meditation practice?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
The biggest change I'd make is to have started sooner. There are a number of small mistakes—lapses, unnecessary distractions, added energy that made practice harder than it should be—but sitting for more years than I have feels like the most valuable change I could make.

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Question for March 30, 2014: Where
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Where do you meditate? Why?

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
I typically sit on a kneeling chair or meditation cushion in my room. It's convenient and easy.
Sometimes, especially as it's getting warmer outside here, I'll try to find a nice place outside and either meditate seated on a bench or while walking. I mostly do this for variety.

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Question for April 13, 2014: Progress
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
What signs have you seen of "progress" in your meditation practice? Do you think it's good to look for them?

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
There are so many ways to count progress! On one hand, I feel sometimes like I've even worse than I ever was — more quick to shift focus to novel and interesting phenomena, more prone to seek them out, more likely to float away into some diffuse state of inattention — but I suspect more than a little that this is simply a result of being better at observing it. That behaviors that escaped my attention in the past are coming into focus.
In my daily life — which for me definitely should be scored here — I regularly notice times when I'm pretty sure a past version of me would be quite anxious or angry when I find myself largely unmoved. It's been a while since I found myself suddenly worked up in one state or another, and much more common that I see that I could get worked up in a situation and choose not to.
For me, it's obviously a good idea to look for encouraging signs that result from meditation. Knowing and understanding the benefits of this (or any) behavior is to me one of the best motivations to keep doing it. In noticing the changes in my daily life that I'm pretty sure are related to working with mindfulness in meditation, I'm much more sure and committed to keeping up the practice. 
The one caveat I would make about looking for progress though, is that you must be careful when doing it not to expect too much too soon. It took me many months of sitting regularly before I felt confident of any change having happened. It seems hard to have much awareness of ourselves over time. It seems like a hard thing for us to track, our memories are so malleable, and our memories of mental phenomenon seem like they may be especially so.
I recalling hear an exchange attributed to the (current) Dalai Lama. Someone asked when they would notice changes as a result of regular meditation. He said to "check in" in five years. Then they might notice something. Sustaining the practice if you're not able to be patient with the possibility for changes seems to me it would be very hard. Understanding meditation's slow effectiveness seems essential to having the faith and confidence to keep going and making a point of doing the practice.

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Question for April 27, 2014: Perception of Time
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
When meditating, how does time pass? Too fast, too slow, just like when you're not meditating?

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
It depends a lot on how I'm feeling about the session. Sometimes it really has seemed to fly by. Generally I'd say it feels about the same speed as in the rest of my life. I'd say that's because my mind is at about the same level of engagement as when I'm in the rest of my life, for better or worse. This does make me think I don't pay munch attention to my perception of time.

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Question for May 18, 2014: Uniqueness of meditation
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
For you, how is meditation different from other helpful practices (running, yoga, creative pursuits, etc.)?

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Question for June 15, 2014: Cues to Meditation
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Are there any times, activities, or other objects that remind or cue you to meditate? An alarm? A routine? A feeling?

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
Well for me, meditation is all about routines. Every morning I wake up, have a bowl of cereal, and then sit down to meditate. I don't think about it.
Every day around noon I go for a walk. To fit more time to meditate into my day, I take that as an opportunity to pause everything and stay with my breath as I walk. 

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Question for June 8, 2014: Priority of Meditation
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
What things you do regularly are more important to you than meditating? Which are less? Why?

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
It's interesting. I think that eating, hydrating, and other bodily functions are obviously more important. I don't know about bathing — I think because of its value to others I'd put it before meditation. And I suppose, practically, I also put my job — making money, helping team mates, etc — above meditation. The way in which it contributes to the others — the ability to eat, etc — is the logic there, though I'm not sure it's strictly that simple.
But I would rank meditation as more important to me than exercise, though not by a large margin. I really enjoying finding time to read, and write various things, but those are certainly less important to me than meditation. As are watching TV or movies, listening to music, etc.
Spending time with family and friends is an interesting and hard one for me. Practically I do my best to not have to make that specific trade-off, but if I did I can't say confidently which way I'd decide. I know that I'm better with my family and friends — better able to enjoy their company, better able to deal with potentially hard situations, etc — when I meditate. But I also know that to many of them, in many situations, my bodily presence is more important than my psychological one, and they mostly gloss over the difference. Practically I'd probably have to weigh the importance of my presence to others in a particular situation against how much value I perceive I would get from meditating for that time.

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Question for April 7, 2013: Consistent Practice
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
What makes it difficult for you to meditate regularly?

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fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
Well, busyness. And, more than that, I think a general sense of busyness that I carry around throughout the day?
There's also this feeling that I've trained myself to see meditation as something I "have" to do--even though when I actually sit down to do it it's one of the most pleasurable parts of my day.
Pretty weird...

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Question for November 3, 2013: Meditation and World
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Can meditation change the world? Should it? How?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
Meditation neither could nor should ever take over the world like nuclear war or other extremely affecting and quick changes one can imagine.
That being said, I think it has the power to change the world in some significant (if small) ways. But I think there's also a sort of inherent aggregation in this conversations that's worth addressing: meditation travels with many religions, but is not the same thing as any of those religions. It's conceivable that Jainism or Hinduism or Buddhism takes over the world and brings meditation along with it, but that doesn't seem like it speaks specifically to meditation's role.
Those provisos in place I think meditation has the potential to change the world on a small scale. I've found that meditation really heightens sensitivity: I'm much more aware of a how things feel. It's kind of what Louis CK is saying about kids saying "You're fat" and experiencing the return of that, but much more so. I'm more sensitive to the impact on me of my thoughts, the impact of other things I'd never previously noticed on my thoughts, and the implications of my actions in a way I never was before.
So I think to the extent I'd expect meditation to change the world, it's through a process of individuals experiencing that kind of change in their own life and sharing that with the small world over which they have influence. To the extent meditation is important to living in a sensitive and caring way, individuals sharing and spreading that energy with people will, in small but tangible ways, change the world.
And there's a real potential for a positive domino-effect to come from that process: a caring person sensitive to the value of meditation may well create a cascade of people looking to be more caring and interested in a practicing meditation. I think slowly but surely, the story of mindfulness/Buddhism/meditation coming to the Western world is that story, and it's early days.

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Question for December 29, 2013: Meditative Attention
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
When meditating, where does your attention rest? How does that feel?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
I feel like it moves and changes somewhat throughout a session, but I most frequently find my attention centered at the nostrils. I find it rests there typically because it's the place where for me the sensation of the breath — which is almost always my "object" of meditation — is most strongly felt.

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Question for June 1, 2014: Habit
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Is meditation a "habit" for you? Should it be? Why or why not?

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
For me, like exercise, shaving, teeth brushing, and trimming fingernail, meditation is a habit. And I think it's best that way. 
Why? Because I believe pretty strongly that "you are what you repeatedly do." Stated differently, I think that habits matter more than most anything else. They're so automatic we don't think about them much, but they really shape everything. It nearly goes without saying, but someone in the habit of watching TV all day isn't likely to write the next great novel. Someone who makes a habit of writing everyday just might.
So by having a meditation "habit" I do it regularly. For me anything that I think I should do that doesn't reach the level of "yep I regularly do that and feel weird when I don't" is something i just don't reliably do. It's something I vaguely feel obligated to but never quite accomplish.
I know some people worry about losing some spiritual quality if they make or view meditation as a routine activity. I think there's some merit to that. But I get so much more value out regularly making a point of meditating (especially when there's a lot of resistance and struggle in it) that I wouldn't want it to be more will-based. I just know I'd delay and dally so I never really did it.

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Question for September 29, 2013: First Time
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you remember the very first time you tried meditation? What was it like?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
Obviously "tried" can be a bit of a fuzzy thing. But one "attempt" really caught in my mind.
I'd put together a little stack of somewhat firm pillow to sit on, and I got comfortable. And I sat there. Breath in, breath out. "Huh, I wonder what that thing over there is? …" Return. Breath in, breath out. Gone. … I managed to stay with this cycle for I'd guess five minutes, though I wasn't making any effort to track time or get to some benchmark, and then I thought "I suck at this and it's no fun." And I got up and I left.
That basic story had probably played out at least five different times in slightly different forms for the previous five years. On my own, without any guideline or social pressure, I just kind of "bounced off" meditation because it's kind of hard and frustrating. I'd do it with a group, or a friend, or alone, once and then forget the whole idea. (Most of my life I've been the kind of person who does things that they're naturally good at and runs from almost all other activities. I've gotten better at it, but that's the logic I'm describing here.)
Anyway, this time I'd recognized the cycle and really had some resolve that I'd come back. I left the stack of pillows in the disused corner of a room, and I earnestly intended to try this for at least three times before I'd give up. And so I came back. And it was still really hard and frustrating for me — the disappointment that I couldn't do this "simple" thing of staying with my breathing got to me — but I'd heard enough about the good of meditation, and I'd listened to enough dharma talks that I wasn't under the false illusion that I was the only one this activity could be difficult for.
So I came back the next day. And it was a bit easier, but I still didn't manage five minutes. And then I forgot, and came back the day after. And after a while on intending to do it regularly I hit a consistent five minutes every day. And I thought "Ten minutes would be an eternity, but I should try." And I've pretty much been going like that ever since.

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Question for February 16, 2014: Psychology During Meditation
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
If you had to explain your psychological state while meditating in a sentence or less, what would it be? What does that short description leave out?

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
Huh. Maybe: Present, pleasant, and spacious. Spacious is the word I always come back to, though certainly there are many time when it's more accurate to say things like "lost in thought" or "frustrated".

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Question for June 25, 2017: Moving Meditation
Medivate — 2 months ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever meditated while moving — walking, running, riding in a vehicle? How did you find that experience?

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monkeymind — 2 months ago — permalink
Shown walking meditation on a retreat recently. Barefoot on grass. easy to focus on the sensation of walking and feel of the grass beneath my feet.. compared to the wandering focus on breathing whilst sitting anyway..and no discomfort at all which is sometimes an issue sitting as my bones get older. I found it helpful....better outside than in the house.

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Question for April 19, 2015: Meditation and World
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Can meditation change the world? Should it? How?

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davidbhayes — 2 years ago — permalink
It's a bit of bold and generic question. If everyone meditated regularly (and understood by meditation something approximating what I mean by meditation) then yes, I think the world would slowly change, it'd be a much softer place. But that's a lot of ifs...

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Question for March 8, 2015: Fear
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever experienced fear while meditating? What was it like? Any effective techniques to share?

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Lullabyehaze — 2 years ago — permalink
I don't think I have ever felt actual fear. Anxiety, yes. When that comes up, I try to just sit with it. More often that simply noticing and observing it, I often spent some time poking at it to figure out what it is, where it is coming from, if there is anything that I can do to abate it. For me, this often comes in affirmations to myself-- I am enough. I am strong. I have everything that I need within me.

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Hey there!
RyMoore5 — 3 years ago — in MS 2014-2015 Cohort 11
Just wanted to check-in with everyone regarding how this group is working?  Is is helping to inspire to personal practice, or is it doing the opposite?  Personally, it seems to help me get to the cushion daily.  I appreciate all of you so much and the work that we do!
Yours Truly, 
Ry
Tags:

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hissen — 2 years ago — permalink
I don't mind logging my times, but I don't personally find it motivating.  If it's helpful that I participate I'm happy to continue.  

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Question for June 4, 2017: Best Beginner Book
Medivate — 2 months ago — in Question of the Week
What is the best meditation book for someone just getting into meditation? Why?

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ministerCK — 2 months ago — permalink
Jon Kabat Zin:  Full Catastrophe Living

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Question for March 1, 2015: Goals
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you have a goal for your meditation practice? What is it?

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hanjini — 2 years ago — permalink
i finally decided to meditate every day instead of messing around with it. So far so good. In my mind, meditation needs to be a daily practice. 

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Question for October 23, 2016: Inspiration to Meditate
Medivate — 10 months ago — in Question of the Week
What inspires you to meditate?

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patrick — 10 months ago — permalink
I meditate because I feel that there may be a reality I could be missing in life.

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We All Try
fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — in Compassion Poetry
From Frank Ocean--not strictly poetry, but a beautiful statement of compassion. (More the song than the video...)

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davidbhayes — 5 years ago — permalink
Lyrics written out for the lazy:
I believe Jehovah Jireh
I believe there's heaven,
I believe in war
I believe a woman's temple
Gives her the right to choose but baby don't abort
I believe that marriage isn't
Between a man and woman but between love and love
And I believe you when you say that you've lost all faith
But you must believe in something, something, something
You gotta believe in something, something, something
I still believe in man
A wise one asked me why
Cause I just don't believe we're wicked
I know that we sin but I do believe we try
We all try, the girls try, the boys try
Women try, men try, you and I try, try, we all try
I don't believe in time travel
I don't believe our nation's flag is on the moon
I don't believe our lives are simple
And I don't believe they're short, this is interlude
I don't believe my hands are cleanly
Can't believe that you would let me touch your heart
She didn't believe me when I said that I lost my faith
You must believe in something, something, something
You gotta believe in something, something, something
Try to believe (just try)
I do believe I do believe
Taken from Rap Genuis (which does a cool kind of line by line explainer; taught me what Jovah Jireh is).

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Strange Sensations While Sitting
davidbhayes — 5 years ago — in Meditation Questions
Today, while I was sitting in meditation (with my eyes closed) I felt for a solid five minutes like I was on a roller coaster. That I was being pushed to the left as we went through a turn and then somwhat back as we went up a hill, etc. But I was completely stationary and unmoving. That turn was actually intense enough that I found myself cursing quietly as it "happened".
This wasn't the first time I've had such strange sensations (probably once a month one will come up--I've had my head floating on the ceiling, riding the teacup ride at Disneyland, etc) nor do I think it's a problem. (I've certainly heard more than a little testimony to strange sensations when sitting from other meditators.)
My biggest question is just: any advice? How have you worked with it? What was your experience like? Do I take any meaning from it?

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Shakuhachi — 3 years ago — permalink
This is one of the best treatments of all phases of meditation I haves seen but you have to search through all the highly technical stuff.  it is written by a neuroscientist. Maybe look in the index.
I could not cut and past the link but if you search "elibrary Zen Brain Reflections pdf" you will find it.
I have a hard copy of the older edition "Zen and the Brain".  It is a good resource.

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
I'll check it out. Thanks!

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hanjini — 4 years ago — permalink
Briefly, my understanding of the standard teaching for this sort of experience is to note it, find a word to describe it, and then go back to the breath. That would be if you're doing a "concentration" meditation - i.e., when you have decided to focus on a single object, the breath.  Alternately, if you were doing a "mindfulness" session, you could just go with it, noticing everything about the experience, noticing your thinking about it, such as the thought that you're perfectly aware that you're also sitting quite still. Then you would be noticing the beginning of the feeling, the middle of the sensation, and its fading away.  Overall, I'd say the standard teaching is not to attach any significance to it, don't "get into it," and don't give it any more significance than just noticing it.
What you do with it beyond that, like after you meditate, is up to you. I mean, I'd be wondering what that metaphor's about - what else in my life is like a roller coaster? or explore the associations, like, am I making a tempest in a teacup out of something? But I'd say that's strictly outside of the sitting.

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meditateallday.com — 3 years ago — permalink


Hi!

All your sensations are coming from mind. Meditation is a state of no mind. The only way to meditate is to witness only what happens
, but never make any analysis. If you think about all what happened, you are again in mind games.

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fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — permalink
That's interesting! I haven't had that meditating, although I have in other situations. (I also haven't sat with my eyes closed for a prolonged period very often.) I wonder if part of it is losing spatial orientation from having your eyes closed? 
As you say, it doesn't sound like a problem at all, and also not necessarily like a particularly helpful experience. If it happened to me, I'd probably place it in the "Huh" category unless it got more prominent or seemed to be connected to other experiences. (That's where most things in my meditation go, I'd say.)

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Finally here!
Placebogirl — 3 years ago — in MS 2014-2015 Cohort 11
Hi all,  just wanted you all to know that I am placebogirl. 
-Teema 
Tags:

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hissen — 3 years ago — permalink
I am hissen.
-Monica

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Question for March 29, 2015: Meditation Advice
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
When you're looking to learn or hear advice about meditation, what sources do you turn to?

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hanjini — 2 years ago — permalink
I looked online for a regular podcast. Amazingly, I found a weekly podcast by a former teacher, Peter Carlson, of Orlando Insight Meditation, where I used to live. They're exploring the Anapanassati Sutta - it's been great! I also re-dedicated myself to a local sangha, led by two Sri Lankan monks. It's very good to sit with real people who are studying the dhamma.

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Question for February 14, 2016: Religion
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Is there a religious component to your meditation practice? If so, how do the two intersect?

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tusculum — 2 years ago — permalink
What I take "religion" to mean is "believing what an authority tells you on faith, without requiring evidence or asking uncomfortable questions." I see meditation as a project of exploring one's conscious experience and NOT taking anything on faith but questioning every aspect in order to see clearly what's really going on. Thus, to me meditation seems the exact opposite of religion.

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Question for May 28, 2017: Types of Meditation
Medivate — 3 months ago — in Question of the Week
Are there any meditations you've done that you found interesting or novel? How? Why? What were they?

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beccab — 3 months ago — permalink
Hello, I didn't know this group existed until today, and this post may be completely out of sync, but the question spoke to me, so I wanted to write my experience and a solution that has been enormously helpful to me.
The past few weeks I have struggled to do a basic lovingkindness meditation.  I'm single, childless, and not close with my family.  My "best friend" has avoided spending time with me for the past couple of years, and we are finally talking about her anger that I interrupt and she feels I am judgmental.  So trying to do a lovingkindness meditation has left me in tears, only more aware that I do not have a loving connection with any people right now, and I'm too tired and discouraged to summon lovingkindness toward myself.
So I started doing yoga and I did discover a sense of peace and harmony.  So yesterday, when I was too tired to do yoga I needed to meditate.  I found the place of stillness inside and created this meditation:
May I be grounded in the soil of my ancestors
May I be filled with the light of understanding
May I fly on the wings of my spirit
May I be one with the Earth and the stars
May you be grounded......

It met a need for me, and I share it in hopes that it will help someone else who may be struggling.

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Question for August 11, 2013: Sharing Meditation
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever tried to "convert" a non-meditator? Why or why not?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
I have not. Not really for any hard reason, but I've never been in a position where I thought it made sense to push someone toward doing it.

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Question for May 25, 2014: Busyness
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever feel "too busy" to meditate? How do you deal with that?

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Gameronomist — 3 years ago — permalink
There's a Zen saying that I like for this:
"You should meditate for 10 minutes a day. If you are too busy to meditate for 10 minutes a day, then you should meditate for an hour a day."

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Question for January 25, 2015: Consistent Practice
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
What makes it difficult for you to meditate regularly?

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
It's not something that necessary makes it difficult for me — I just keep going, because I'm quite committed — but I sometimes suffer from a "rote" — dry, just going through the motion, uninspired — period (days or weeks) of meditation. When those things come up, I find it useful to more intentionally seek out inspiring books, dharma talks, etc than I usually do. It doesn't always work, but it's the best way I've found to deal with it.

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Question for July 7, 2013: Religion
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Is there a religious component to your meditation practice? If so, how do the two intersect?

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Shakuhachi — 4 years ago — permalink
Meditation helps to get me beyond my routine consciousness.  In the silence I sometimes touch "something else" where words have no place.  Sacred ground.

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Question for October 27, 2013: One Change
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Of all the changes you've noticed in your life from meditating, which do you think is most important?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
I always struggle with this kind of question. In many situations, I can't think of any change at all that's occurred; they're all quite subtle. It requires me thinking really hard about what my life was like at a day-to-day level a while ago to start to get a sense of what's changed since I started to meditate.
I think the most valuable change for me is that I'm more skeptical of my first reaction to things. This could be stated similarly as an increase in the space I have around my thoughts and emotions. But essentially, I've learned that most emotions and thoughts aren't really meaningful, and don't really arise for a wise reason. For the most part a feeling is just a set of sensations in the body, a thought just a collection of firings of old prejudices.
What this all means, in practice, is that I'm a lot less quick to get angry, or defensive, than I would in the past. It's not all that long ago that someone suggesting that X or Y was a problem would set me back on my heels declaring that it's better the way it is. Now I, at least, pause for a second and measure my gut reaction with a small willingness to consider that this first reaction, which I may indeed share, isn't necessarily trustworthy. This also makes me much less likely to start yelling when I'm angry, though that does still happen from time to time.

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Question for December 22, 2013: Meditation Location
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
What do you consider the most interesting place that you've ever meditated? Why?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
Interesting has so many different connotations. One sessions that sticks in my mind was the Dallas airport in the middle of an unexpected layover because of bad weather. Not especially scenic or special, but memorable and uncommon for me.

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Mr. Rogers in Congress
fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — in Compassion Poetry
I never realized what was going on with Mister Rogers, but he was really quite a guy... The "poetry" bit is a song for children, toward the end.

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fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — permalink
Wow, he was really amazing:

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Question for December 21, 2014: Group Sitting
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever meditate with others? How, if at all, is the experience different for you?

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chenthillrulz — 3 years ago — permalink
While I dont often, I have observed meditation together is unimaginably powerful. It helps everyone to get to deeper states. Sometimes people have got answers for long standing questions and solved long standing problems.
Satsang and group prayers are very very common feature in India. Its often clubbed with singing songs.

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Question for July 23, 2017: The Meditation Routine
Medivate — 4 weeks ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever feel like you meditation practice is a routine chore? Why or why not?

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Welcome, Listservians!
fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — in Listservians
So where's everyone from?
Tags: listserve

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fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
Huh! I'm from Colorado--feels rather drab by comparison

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rachelcotterill — 4 years ago — permalink
England :)

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goldtree — 4 years ago — permalink
Sweden

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daidai — 4 years ago — permalink
brazil, here :)

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Ahmedosman — 4 years ago — permalink
Egypt!

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AndrewXPham — 4 years ago — permalink
Thailand, on the Mekong River

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Question for July 16, 2017: Turbulence
Medivate — 1 month ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever feel that you mind gets too busy while meditating? How do you deal with that?

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Question on logging time
nancymaggie7 — 3 years ago — in MS 2014-2015 Cohort 11
So you have to log your meditation on the day of?  I was so excited to put in my time for the past two days, but seems it has to be the day of meditating only. Is that right?
Tags:

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nancymaggie7 — 3 years ago — permalink
Never mind! I see that you can input the date on the form of which days you sit.

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capemaggie — 3 years ago — permalink
You can enter times for previous days.  Just make sure to reflect the correct date...

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hissen — 3 years ago — permalink

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Question for July 9, 2017: New Meditation Experiences
Medivate — 1 month ago — in Question of the Week
Are there aspects related to meditation — styles, places, structured practice periods, postures — you'd like to try but haven't? What are they, why do they interest you, and what's holding you back?

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Question for December 15, 2013: Head Position
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
When you're meditating, how do you hold your head? Any specific advice about that?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
Huh. No real thoughts, other than: Don't rest it on things if you don't want to fall asleep!
Generally I've never noticed many posture issues around the head. The way that feels most natural to me — mostly upright with the chin tucked slightly in — seems to be optimal.

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fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
Make sure not to let it (your chin especially) jut out, or you'll get a tired neck and shoulders...

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hanjini — 4 years ago — permalink
I just let it be, not move around too much, my chin down a little bit, eyes closed. I sit very still.

2

"Kindness" by Naomi Shihab Nye
davidbhayes — 5 years ago — in Compassion Poetry
I've long loved this one.
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.

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davidbhayes — 5 years ago — permalink
I'm not generally a fan of poetry readings, but this one I've watched a lot and can at least recommend it as the best one I found on YouTube when I looked.

2

Question for January 26, 2014: Your Questions
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
What questions do you have about meditation? Anything you'd like advice or opinions on?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
This may seem a bit silly, but one question I always have in the back of my mind is: "What am I doing wrong?"

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Question for January 29, 2017: Meditation Posture
Medivate — 7 months ago — in Question of the Week
What do you think are the keys to good meditation posture? Any tips about it you wish you'd heard sooner?

1

Zack1995 — 6 months ago — permalink
The back should be straight but comfortably, eyes should not be shut but half lidded or naturally relaxed but open, and chin should be pointing slightly down ward. But above all you should sit in a comfortable position otherwise your mind tends to focus on readjusting instead of the meditation itself.

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How do you use the rating/comment system here?
pinyaka — 5 years ago — in Meditation Questions
I'm not even sure how to rate meditation sessions on a scale of 1-10, much less figure out what to say abou them. What are other people doing?

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davidbhayes — 5 years ago — permalink
First and foremost, I'm of the opinion that just keeping some log of "did or didn't meditate today" is a really valuable thing for keeping yourself honest and doing it regularly. I think everything else Medivate does--track time, let you give it a numerical "feeling" value, say things about it publicly and privately--are just unnecessary but nice bonuses. But if you don't like any of them, I'd not worry to much about not filling them in.
For me, the "how it felt" field is essentially about the balance of positive, neutral, and negative thoughts and feelings during the session. Generally, if a session feels like a struggle throughout, like a chore, etc I'll give it a lower score. And if it feels really pleasant--I'm enjoying my time sitting there and finding the sensations of (for example) the breath quite pleasant, I'll give a higher score. If the session is a mix of those two, or just lacking much of either, I'll generally give it a 5.
For comments, I just put things that occur to me to say about it. Generally they're notes related to the number I gave for "how it felt". Just what kind of things were distracting, what kind of thoughts came up, what sensations were dominant. (And with respect to the public/private divide: anything I wouldn't mind people seeing goes in the public comment.)
All of this bonus data can be interesting to just look back over. (Medivate's tools for this aren't as robust as we might like right now, but they're a start.) There are graphs that utilize the time, but also one of the "how it felt" field which makes it easy for me to identify times when meditation was harder or easier and puzzle at why. There's a basic word-analysis that points out to you words you've used frequently in recent meditation log entries and their occurence in past entries. There's also a basic search engine to find out when you were talking about "back pain" or "fidgetting" and what you said.

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How I'm regaining my practice
hanjini — 4 years ago — in
My very regular practice disintegrated five years ago when I broke up with my partner, moved back to my hometown, witnessed the passing of  my father and an aunt, got a new job and a place to live. Through it all, I could not get myself to sit regularly. I stared longingly at the cushion noticing an unfamiliar and resolute defiance that squelched most efforts to sit there. In an attempt to compensate for this big gap in my practice, I devoted myself to cultivating mindfulness in every other moment of my life. But I missed my sitting practIce and I've been saddened to notice the effects of this absence in my being. 
Recently I met up with a best girlfriend from my high school years. Amazingly over the years she also became a vipassana meditator and told me she had recently made a commitment to sit every day. This inspired me to dedicate myself to sit again and this website is part of my support. I'm working on a two week goal to meditate at least 5 days/wk for 40 minutes each. I'm very determined -viriya! - to reclaim this precious habit. 

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Article: "How to Find Motivation to Meditate"
fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — in Motivation

1

Closing my eyes from time to time
fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — in What works for me
I generally meditate with my eyes open, but I often find that closing my eyes for some amount of time seems to settle my practice. It seems a bit like putting a blanket over a bird's cage: the bird quiets down pretty quickly.
It seems most helpful either: 
  • As a break or change of pace in a generally "scattered" or chaotic session.
  • For a few minutes at the beginning of a session, when I remember to do it.
A caution: do not try this when you're very tired. You'll go right out and probably crack your floor...

1

Qualities of the admirable companion
davidbhayes — 2 years ago — in Dharma Talks
This talk (that's an Overcast link, talk's page on Dharmaseed here) from Akincano Marc Weber really struck me. In it, he talks about how important he has found companionship and community in his practice. There are many beautiful words in the second half. The first bit is a bit iconoclastic, so if you're quite sensitive about Buddhism (or any religion) you may want to give it a wide berth.
The point about the difference between Christian and Buddhism monastic traditions really struck me. Indeed, that Buddhist monastics must beg seems quite more significant in his telling that had ever crossed my mind.
In the last five minutes I loved the statement about not trying to convince people to come to Buddhism. The line "They will know how you feel by the way you open the door, rather than the insights your propound" is especially potent.
Like me, it sounds like he really started out thinking that he was more important than community, and has learned to find a great deal of value in it. For me, the biggest and most important thing I've learned in the last ten years is this specific lesson about the value of relationships. I've heard it so many times, but this one talk really resonated for me.

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How a guy meditated every day for a year
fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — in What works for me
Here's a guy who managed to meditate every day for a year through being accountable to a friend and setting a routine.
There's really a lot in here—it also talks about how his attitude and motivation shifted before making the commitment, and the news article (on meditation and the brain) that inspired the shift.

1

Not sitting for a couple days every month or so
fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — in What works for me
So, this may be bad advice, but I find that I personally sometimes really benefit from taking a couple days off of meditation every month or so.
I don't really plan to do it—it's more like I temporarily exhaust my discipline, which is easier for me to do than I'd like. And there will usually be a period of two days (not more than that) where I don't sit, and get lost in work or time-wasters instead.
I've found a couple of things consistently happen:
1. I start feeling the benefits of the practice quite strongly. I find this bizarre, but it's true. It's almost like the mind I'm cultivating needs a bit of a break from practice before it sinks in fully. The closest analogy I've thought of is that if you'd been training really hard for a marathon, your body might start to feel really good a couple of days after your last training session. I'm sure that analogy's terrible on a bunch of levels, but the experience itself has been pretty consistent for me with meditation.
2. Conversely, I start to get hit really hard with neuroses I don't usually face when I'm meditating regularly. After about two and a half days of not sitting, I'll start to "drift": I notice more and more trouble controlling my emotions (especially fear and irritation) and connecting with what I value and find beautiful in the world. It quickly gets quite terrifying, and I find it really helpful for reminding me just why I meditate.

I'd love to hear thoughts on this. I guess this isn't really advice, just something that I've noticed is helpful, and it's been consistent enough that I thought I'd share it.

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Thanks for the support!
michvisser — 3 years ago — in MS 2014-2015 Cohort 11
Hey Cohort 11 friends,  Thanks for being here to support one another in our effort to develop personal practice.  I hope I can live up to my goals.
Michelle
Tags:

1

Question for March 22, 2015: Alternative Reality
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you think your life would be different if you'd never been exposed to meditation? How?

1

Question for April 5, 2015: Meditation Postures
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
How many different meditation postures do you use? What are they? Why?

1

Question for April 12, 2015: One Change
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Of all the changes you've noticed in your life from meditating, which do you think is most important?

1

Question for April 26, 2015: Pleasant Meditation
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Have you had pleasant meditation experiences? What made them that way?

1

Question for May 3, 2015: Stop Meditating
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Is there any single event or change that would make you stop meditating? Why?

1

Question for May 10, 2015: Mindfulness Eats the World
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Mindfulness is a bit of a cultural buzzword these days. What do you think of mindful eating, mindful business, etc?

1

Question for May 17, 2015: Meditative Awareness
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Is there a specific quality to your awareness when meditating? How would you characterize it? Energetic? Neutral? Something else?

1

Question for May 24, 2015: Easier to Meditate
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Can you think of a single change that would make it much easier for you to meditate as much as you'd like? What is it?

1

Question for May 31, 2015: Head Position
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
When you're meditating, how do you hold your head? Any specific advice about that?

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Article: "Why we find it hard to meditate"
fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — in Motivation
Here's an article that claims to lay out the main reasons we struggle to meditate.
 
I'm not sure I love the article--there's something about its overall tone I'm not crazy about--but I'd be interested to hear whether these are, indeed, the right problems, and the right pieces of advice for working with them.

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Question for June 7, 2015: Meditation Location
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
What do you consider the most interesting place that you've ever meditated? Why?

1

Question for June 14, 2015: Meditation Supplies
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Are there supplies you consider "essential" to meditating? What are they?

1

Question for June 28, 2015: Types of Meditation
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Are there any meditations you've done that you found interesting or novel? How? Why? What were they?

1

Question for July 12, 2015: Your Questions
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
What questions do you have about meditation? Anything you'd like advice or opinions on?

1

Question for July 19, 2015: Meditation Groups
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever been a part of a group or community with a focus on meditation? Which? How was that experience?

1

Question for July 26, 2015: Moving Meditation
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever meditated while moving — walking, running, riding in a vehicle? How did you find that experience?

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Question for August 2, 2015: Psychology During Meditation
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
If you had to explain your psychological state while meditating in a sentence or less, what would it be? What does that short description leave out?

1

Question for August 9, 2015: New Meditation Experiences
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Are there aspects related to meditation — styles, places, structured practice periods, postures — you'd like to try but haven't? What are they, why do they interest you, and what's holding you back?

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Question for August 23, 2015: The Meditation Routine
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever feel like you meditation practice is a routine chore? Why or why not?

1

Question for August 30, 2015: Where
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Where do you meditate? Why?

1

Question for September 6, 2015: Be Here Now
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
"Be here now" — the best meditation instructions? The worst? In between? Why?

1

Question for September 13, 2015: Progress
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
What signs have you seen of "progress" in your meditation practice? Do you think it's good to look for them?

1

Question for September 20, 2015: Attention to the Body
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
When meditating, are your focusing your attention in a specific part of the body? Which? Why?

1

Question for September 27, 2015: Why Meditation?
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Why mediation?
Tags:

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Question for October 4, 2015: Perception of Time
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
When meditating, how does time pass? Too fast, too slow, just like when you're not meditating?

1

Question for October 11, 2015: Meditation teacher
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you have a favorite meditation teacher?

1

Question for October 18, 2015: Obstacles
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
What's the biggest thing that keeps you from meditating? (Boredom? Busyness? Anxiety?...)

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Question for October 25, 2015: Uniqueness of meditation
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
For you, how is meditation different from other helpful practices (running, yoga, creative pursuits, etc.)?

1

Question for November 1, 2015: Busyness
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever feel "too busy" to meditate? How do you deal with that?

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"How has meditation changed your life?"
fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — in What works for me
I found a thread by that title on an online forum called Vipassana Forum—here's a link.
I think it's a pretty good question. For me, the first few answers that come to mind are:
  • I'm not as irritable as I would be otherwise. When I don't sit for a few days, I start saying and doing things I really regret.
  • I don't get overwhelmed by fear, generally.
  • I'm much more compassionate and perceptive than I would have been without a meditation practice.
  • Meditation sort of gives my life "context"—not "meaning," but a sense that I know what I'm doing here and how the whole thing works.
I'm sure there's more, but those seemed like the first few answers that came up.

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Question for November 8, 2015: Benefits of Meditation
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
When was the first time you noticed meditation helping in your life?

1

Question for November 8, 2015: Earlier Knowledge
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Is there anything about meditation you feel you now know or understand that you'd have benefited from learning sooner? What is it?

1

Question for November 15, 2015: Best Advice
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
What's the most helpful piece of advice you ever received about meditation or mindfulness?

1

Question for November 22, 2015: Meditation Books
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
What's the best book you've read about meditation? Why?

1

Question for November 29, 2015: Not Meditating
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
What's a reason you give for not meditating? Do you have a compelling response?

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Question for December 6, 2015: Benefits of Meditation
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
What beneficial results have you seen from frequent meditation in your life?

1

Question for December 13, 2015: Meditation Techniques
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
What do you do when you meditate? What are the specifics of your technique? Does it have a name?

1

Question for December 20, 2015: Meditation Quotes
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you have a favorite meditation quote? What is it? What makes it special to you? PSA: You may know, but Medivate has a rather large meditation quotation database, to which you can easily add your own favorite quotes. You can also get our quotes delivered to you over Twitter, or via email.

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Question for February 2, 2014: Meditation Groups
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever been a part of a group or community with a focus on meditation? Which? How was that experience?

1

Question for December 27, 2015: Others
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Does anyone else in your life meditate? If so, who are they? How, if at all, do you share your practice with them?

1

Question for January 3, 2016: Non-sitting Meditation
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Have you tried postures other than sitting in meditation? Why? How did they compare?

1

Question for January 10, 2016: During Meditation
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
When meditating, is there a specific thing (thought or emotion, for example) that comes up regularly?

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Question for January 17, 2016: Changing Medivate
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
If you could change one thing about Medivate, what would that be?

1

Question for January 24, 2016: Leg Position
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
When seated on a meditation cushion, how do you hold your legs? What are trade-offs of that posture?

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Question for February 28, 2016: Meditation Retreat
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever completed a meditation retreat? What was that experience like?

1

Question for March 6, 2016: Obstacles to Practice
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
What obstacles get between you and the kind of meditation practice you'd like to have?

1

Question for March 13, 2016: Sharing Meditation
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever tried to "convert" a non-meditator? Why or why not?

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Question for March 20, 2016: Hand
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
When meditating, what do you do with your hands?

1

Question for March 27, 2016: Pain in Meditation
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever experience pain while meditating? How do you deal with it?

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Question for April 3, 2016: Changing Your Life
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
Has meditation changed your life in a noticeable way? How?

1

Question for April 10, 2016: Changing the Past
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
If you could go back in time (say: one, five, or ten years), what, if anything, would you change your meditation practice?

1

Question for April 17, 2016: Meditative Attention
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
When meditating, where does your attention rest? How does that feel?

1

Question for April 24, 2016: Earlier Knowledge
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
Is there anything about meditation you feel you now know or understand that you'd have benefitted from learning sooner? What is it?

1

Question for May 1, 2016: Scattered Attention
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever find that you attention has scattered while meditating? How do you deal with that?

1

Question for May 8, 2016: Busyness
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever feel "too busy" to meditate? How do you deal with that?

1

Question for May 15, 2016: Habit
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
Is meditation a "habit" for you? Should it be? Why or why not?

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"Ice Cubes of Bodhi"
fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — in Compassion Poetry
I just found this beautiful and very strange video on bodhicitta by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche:

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Question for May 22, 2016: Priority of Meditation
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
What things you do regularly are more important to you than meditating? Which are less? Why?

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Question for May 29, 2016: Cues to Meditation
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
Are there any times, activities, or other objects that remind or cue you to meditate? An alarm? A routine? A feeling?

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Question for June 5, 2016: Stuckness in Meditation
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
Do you feel — or have you in the past — felt stuck on a particular obstacle to meditation?

1

Question for June 12, 2016: Meditation and Relationships
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever felt that your meditation practice has had an impact on your relationships with other people? How?

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Question for June 19, 2016: Purpose of Meditation
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
For you, what it is the purpose of meditation? Why do you do it?

1

Question for June 26, 2016: Instructing Meditation
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever instructed someone in meditation? Whether you have or not, what do you think is important to emphasize when you do?

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Question for July 3, 2016: Named Meditation Techniques
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
There are many types of meditation. What do you do when you meditate? Does it have a common name you know?

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Question for July 10, 2016: Supporting Practice
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
What factors — people, ideas, etc — support your meditation practice?

1

Question for July 17, 2016: Regularity of Practice
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
Do you meditate as frequently as you'd like? Why or why not?

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Question for July 24, 2016: Positive Impact
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
Have you noticed any positive changes in your life as a result of meditation? If so, what?

1

Question for July 31, 2016: Book Recommendations
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
Which books would you recommend to fellow meditators? Why?

1

Question for August 7, 2016: Religious Component
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
For you, does meditation practice have a religious component? Why? How?

1

Question for August 28, 2016: Meditation Breaks
Medivate — 12 months ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever "take a break" from meditation? What changes? Why?

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Question for September 4, 2016: Meditation Teaching Mediums
Medivate — 11 months ago — in Question of the Week
Through what kind of media - books, live, in-person events, audio recordings, etc - have you learned about meditation? Which were best? Why?

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Question for September 11, 2016: Should Others Practice
Medivate — 11 months ago — in Question of the Week
Do you think more people should be meditators? Why or why not?

1

Question for September 18, 2016: What Would You Change
Medivate — 11 months ago — in Question of the Week
If you could magically change one aspect of your meditation practice, what would it be? Why?

1

Question for September 25, 2016: Progress in Meditation
Medivate — 11 months ago — in Question of the Week
Do you believe that one can meaningful change their experience through and in meditation? How?

1

Question for October 2, 2016: Better Meditation Sessions
Medivate — 10 months ago — in Question of the Week
Do you feel that some meditation sessions are "better" than others? Why or why not?

1

Question for October 9, 2016: Never Again
Medivate — 10 months ago — in Question of the Week
If you were magically unable to ever meditate again, would anything change for you? What? Why?

1

Question for October 16, 2016: Change Your Life
Medivate — 10 months ago — in Question of the Week
Has meditation changed your life? If so, how? If not, could it?

1

Question for October 30, 2016: Changes That Helped
Medivate — 10 months ago — in Question of the Week
Are there any changes you've made in your meditation practice which made it easier or more valuable to you? How did they help?

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Question for November 6, 2016: Meditation Changes
Medivate — 9 months ago — in Question of the Week
Do you notice any difference in how you relate to the world when you do (or don't) meditate?

1

Question for May 4, 2014: Meditation teacher
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you have a favorite meditation teacher?

1

Question for November 20, 2016: Sitting Down
Medivate — 9 months ago — in Question of the Week
When you sit in meditation, what do you sit on?

1

Question for November 27, 2016: Time of Day
Medivate — 9 months ago — in Question of the Week
Is there a time of the day that prefer to meditate? Why?

1

Question for December 4, 2016: First Introduction
Medivate — 8 months ago — in Question of the Week
What first spurred you to meditate? Is it still the reason you do it?

1

Question for December 18, 2016: Group Sitting
Medivate — 8 months ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever meditate with others? How, if at all, is the experience different for you?

1

Question for December 25, 2016: Learning from Meditation
Medivate — 8 months ago — in Question of the Week
What has meditating taught you?

1

Question for January 1, 2017: Meditation Teachers
Medivate — 7 months ago — in Question of the Week
Do you have a favorite meditation teacher? Who? Why?

1

Question for January 8, 2017: Mindful Life
Medivate — 7 months ago — in Question of the Week
What ways have you found to bring a "meditative" mind into your daily life?

1

Question for January 15, 2017: Where to Sit
Medivate — 7 months ago — in Question of the Week
Do you have a specific space in your home set aside for meditation? Are there any key objects or traits of such an area?

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Question for January 22, 2017: Consistent Practice
Medivate — 7 months ago — in Question of the Week
What makes it difficult for you to meditate regularly?

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Question for February 5, 2017: Motivation
Medivate — 6 months ago — in Question of the Week
Can you narrow down your reason for meditating to a single sentence? What's that sentence? What does that sentence leave out?

1

Question for February 12, 2017: Goals
Medivate — 6 months ago — in Question of the Week
Do you have a goal for your meditation practice? What is it?

1

Question for February 19, 2017: Fear
Medivate — 6 months ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever experienced fear while meditating? What was it like? How did you relate to it?

1

Question for February 26, 2017: First Time
Medivate — 6 months ago — in Question of the Week
Do you remember the very first time you tried meditation? What was it like?

1

Question for March 10, 2013: Meditation Techniques
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
What do you do when you meditate? What are the specifics of your technique? Does it have a name?

1

Question for March 5, 2017: Alternative Reality
Medivate — 5 months ago — in Question of the Week
Do you think your life would be different if you'd never been exposed to meditation? How?

1

Question for March 12, 2017: Meditation Advice
Medivate — 5 months ago — in Question of the Week
When you're looking to learn or hear advice about meditation, what sources do you turn to?

1

Question for March 19, 2017: Meditation Postures
Medivate — 5 months ago — in Question of the Week
How many different meditation postures do you use? What are they? Why?

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Day One: We are rockin the meditation group!
kcasavecchia — 3 years ago — in Path of Freedom 30-Day Challenge
Congrats on meeting our goal today! 

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Question for March 24, 2013: Meditation Teachers
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you have a favorite meditation teacher? Who? Why?

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Day One: We are rockin the meditation group!
kcasavecchia — 3 years ago — in Path of Freedom 30-Day Challenge
I'm enjoying the daily 'quotations' too...check those out via the link above that says "Daily Wakeups"

Tags:

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Question for March 26, 2017: One Change
Medivate — 5 months ago — in Question of the Week
Of all the changes you've noticed in your life from meditating, which do you think is most important?

1

Question for April 2, 2017: Meditation and World
Medivate — 5 months ago — in Question of the Week
Can meditation change the world? Should it? How?

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"Kind World"
fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — in Compassion Poetry

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Question for April 9, 2017: Pleasant Meditation
Medivate — 4 months ago — in Question of the Week
Have you had pleasant meditation experiences? What made them that way?

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Question for April 16, 2017: Mindfulness Eats the World
Medivate — 4 months ago — in Question of the Week
Mindfulness is a bit of a cultural buzzword these days. What do you think of mindful eating, mindful business, etc?

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Question for April 23, 2017: Meditative Awareness
Medivate — 4 months ago — in Question of the Week
Is there a specific quality to your awareness when meditating? How would you characterize it? Energetic? Neutral? Something else?

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Question for April 30, 2017: Easier to Meditate
Medivate — 4 months ago — in Question of the Week
Can you think of a single change that would make it much easier for you to meditate as much as you'd like? What is it?

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Question for May 7, 2017: Head Position
Medivate — 3 months ago — in Question of the Week
When you're meditating, how do you hold your head? Any specific advice about that?

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Question for May 14, 2017: Meditation Location
Medivate — 3 months ago — in Question of the Week
What do you consider the most interesting place that you've ever meditated? Why?

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Question for May 21, 2017: Meditation Supplies
Medivate — 3 months ago — in Question of the Week
Are there supplies you consider "essential" to meditating? What are they?

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Question for July 6, 2014: Purpose of Meditation
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
For you, what it is the purpose of meditation? Why do you do it?

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Question for July 13, 2014: Instructing Meditation
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever instructed someone in meditation? Whether you have or not, what do you think is important to emphasize when you do?

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Question for July 20, 2014: Named Meditation Techniques
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
There are many types of meditation. What do you do when you meditate? Does it have a common name you know?

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Question for June 11, 2017: Your Questions
Medivate — 2 months ago — in Question of the Week
What questions do you have about meditation? Anything you'd like advice or opinions on?

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Question for June 18, 2017: Meditation Groups
Medivate — 2 months ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever been a part of a group or community with a focus on meditation? Which? How was that experience?

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Question for August 3, 2014: Regularity of Practice
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you meditate as frequently as you'd like? Why or why not?

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Question for July 2, 2017: Psychology During Meditation
Medivate — 2 months ago — in Question of the Week
If you had to explain your psychological state while meditating in a sentence or less, what would it be? What does that short description leave out?

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Question for August 10, 2014: Positive Impact
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Have you noticed any positive changes in your life as a result of meditation? If so, what?

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Question for May 19, 2013: Motivation
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Can you narrow down your reason for meditating to a single sentence? What's that sentence? What does that sentence leave out?

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Question for September 21, 2014: Meditation Breaks
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever "take a break" from meditation? What changes? Why?

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Question for October 12, 2014: What Would You Change
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
If you could magically change one aspect of your meditation practice, what would it be? Why?

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Question for October 26, 2014: Progress in Meditation
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you believe that one can meaningfully change their experience through and in meditation? How?

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Question for July 14, 2013: Why meditate?
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Why is meditation an activity you (strive to) do regularly?

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Question for July 21, 2013: Meditation Retreat
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever completed a meditation retreat? What was that experience like?

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Question for July 28, 2013: Obstacles to Practice
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
What obstacles get between you and the kind of meditation practice you'd like to have?

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Clarity and Freedom Can Illuminate our Relationships with Others
davidbhayes — 4 years ago — in Dharma Talks
At first I thought this talk from Gregory Kramer (on Dharma Seed) was bold. But as I kept listening it really struck me that not only was it bold, but one of the best, most novel talks I've ever heard. He effortlessly bring into the talk a novel perspective that caught my attention and made me really listen deeply.

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Question for November 23, 2014: Change Your Life
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Has meditation changed your life? If so, how? If not, could it?

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Question for August 4, 2013: Learning from Meditation
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
What has meditating taught you?

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Question for August 25, 2013: Pain in Meditation
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever experience pain while meditating? How do you deal with it?

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Question for January 4, 2015: Meditation Teachers
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you have a favorite meditation teacher? Who? Why?

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More than 30 minutes
patrick — 4 years ago — in We meditate 30 minutes per day
While I may be ''sitting '' longer than 30 minutes, it doesn't mean that I am meditating that length of time. At least I'm aware now, after many years of sitting, what I am trying ( not trying !) to achieve; just to'' come home to myself ''and let go of the ''galloping horses '' of the mind.
Tags: aha

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Question for February 15, 2015: Changes That Helped
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Are there any changes you've made in your meditation practice which made it easier or more valuable to you? How did they help?

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Question for June 23, 2013: Leg Position
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
When seated on a meditation cushion, how do you hold your legs? What are trade-offs of that posture?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
I think this page may be useful for defining how I actually put me legs in relation to named postures.
Essentially, when I started I mostly sat with my legs crossed in a posture a bit like half lotus. I've seen it referred to as "Quarter Lotus", but it's essentially one leg over the other and just a little in (rather than foot fully on top). It's reasonably comfortable, but not that great. I'd find after long sessions I'd have some strange stretched feeling in my "outer ankle" (for lack of a better term) that wouldn't go away over the course of the day. I found a similar problem when I tried just crossing my legs in the way roughly like what I grew up knowing as "Indian style"--both feet under your legs.
So mostly, now, I do Burmese style, where my legs are roughly parallel on the floor in front and don't overlap at all. It ends up being a bit wider than most other styles, but I've yet to notice any strange lingering effects on my legs from it.

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Question for January 27, 2013: Mindful Life
Medivate — 5 years ago — in Question of the Week
What ways have you found to bring a "meditative" mind into your daily life?

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fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — permalink
For me, a big part of meditative mind seems to be gentleness. Over the past years, I've gotten in the habit of seeing how others, and I myself, do everything out of a desire to be happy. ("Happy" may not be quite right--"safe" and "okay" are also words that come up; or you could even say "People are trying their best," and leave it at that.)
The softness this perspective creates seems to help a lot to connect me with the mind I associate with meditation practice.

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Question for April 14, 2013: Meditation Posture
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
What do you think are the keys to good meditation posture? Any tips about it you wish you'd heard sooner?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
One of the things I really struggled with when I started was back pain, and for a long time it seemed like nothing would help. But one day I "discovered" that where I put my hands made a *huge* difference and I felt a bit dumb. 
What I had been doing sort of just dropping my hands in front or beside me, and that really tended to meant they dangled unsupported near my knees or sides. What I discovered if that if I held them in toward my belly button or even on the upper half of the inner-thigh the dull constant back pain was much less noticeable and problematic.

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Question for January 13, 2013: Benefits of Meditation
Medivate — 5 years ago — in Question of the Week
When was the first time you noticed meditation helping in your life?

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davidbhayes — 5 years ago — permalink
I struggle to think of a single time or place that I thought "this is because of meditation." I definitely  remember multiple times being surprised by my ability to stay "controlled" in situations when I would previously have started to become quite reactive or angry. It wasn't as though I found myself able to react wisely, but I first perceived some sense of space around my reaction to events that went different than I'd like. In being able to better see my space around the reaction, I was able to start to change it.
This feels tremendously vague, but the very vagueness of this kind of answer is one of things that I think makes it hard to feel confident that your pracitice is worth continuing to dedicate time to. This is why we created the Daily Life portrait so that vague senses over time can add up to quantifiable progress you can see. It's still not everything we'd like it to be, but I think a new meditator taking it regularly would see good progress over time.

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emmacat — 5 years ago — permalink
I vividly remember doing a 180 on a coworker I was having issues with. The very thought of this person made me nauseated, we were always snapping at each other and it was just unsustainable. Then after I had been practicing for a while (and reading a lot), one day I said hi to her in the morning, smiling. I didn't even realize I was smiling at her until I saw her puzzled look. I just started seeing her as a person and not as that person who got on my nerves. I started wondering about her life, her past, her struggles and realized she was just like me, basically. Still annoying on the job, but I looked at her actions and thought: "she's just trying to do good for herself". She's confused, not evil. And I really thought that, in a non condescending way, I felt for her and I was absolutely shocked. I started looking at people's potential instead of their shortcomings. I'm always amazed at  how meditating gives me the space to empathize with people. 

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davidbhayes — 5 years ago — permalink
I started looking at people's potential instead of their shortcomings.
I really like that way of describing the distinction. It rings true to me, and I've never heard it before.

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Introduction to the site and group.
Inderbir — 3 years ago — in We meditate two (or more) hours per day
Hi everyone,
Just a short introduction to soort of break the ice.
I'm just a simple guy living in Holland Europe. Learned meditation some 15 years ago and never stopped. In the beginning I used it to try to escape the fear I had for fear, all sorts like fear of falling fear of not being liked. Just about everything. During this time I had the dark night of the soul then Around 5 years ago I started feeling beter and increased meditation for a hour a day. What meditation has done for me is I started living in love and fear went away leaving me to see the devine being that I am. We are all the same we just dont see it with the hustle and bussel of our lives.
Joe Vallee
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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
Hi Joe, thanks for introducing yourself. I really couldn't agree more with your statement "We are all the same we just dont see it with the hustle and bussel of our lives." So true.
To tell you a bit about me, I'm a cofounder here at Medivate, and a web developer in my work life. I live in Colorado, which is essentially right in the middle of the United States. I've only been meditating a few years — I guess about three now, time flies — but I really value the extent to which it helps me stay aware and "awake" in my day to day life.
For probably more than a decade I had some vague sense of the basic truth you outline — that we're all just the same — and wished I lived in a way that better fit that model of love and how I wanted to interact with people and be interacted with. It took me a while to come around to it, but meditation is the best (and maybe) only tool I know that's made it easier for me to be present, attentive, skillful, and kind in my daily life.

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Inderbir — 3 years ago — permalink
Thanks David for replying to my post.
I would like to thank you for allowing me to use this program and also giving people around the world a motivating meditation software. I ask myself what kind of world this would be if we were all to meditate! If we could all stop medicating ourselfs everytime we feel bad and start meditating. Our bodys know what we need if we only stop and listen. 
Thanks again keep up the good work for humanity changing the world starts right here by ourselfs.We cant change the world but we can change ourselfs.
Joe Vallee

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fredclaymeyer — 3 years ago — permalink
Wonderful to meet you, Joe!

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Question for June 29, 2014: Meditation and Relationships
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever felt that your meditation practice has had an impact on your relationships with other people? How?

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patricia1958 — 3 years ago — permalink
Yes, definitely. I am calmer, more centered, better able to focus, and I don't yell at people any more :D

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
I'm much more patient with other people. The primary thing I feel like meditation has given me is space. Space between my thoughts and feelings and my vision of what's really happening. This space gives me time to be more deliberate and careful when speaking, and as a result I'm much less prone to shouting in anger or other things I feel I used to do pretty regularly.

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Question for August 17, 2014: Book Recommendations
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Which books would you recommend to fellow meditators? Why?

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patricia1958 — 3 years ago — permalink
Buddha's Map and Breath of Love are my two favorite meditation books. Buddha's Map is easy to understand, and the instructions are simple to follow, and the techniques are effective. Breath of Love is more of a scholarly work but it is a great introduction to the 6 r's mindfulness practice. I use both of these books daily.

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capemaggie — 3 years ago — permalink
thank you, Patricia1958 - so appreciate your recommendations.  

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patricia1958 — 3 years ago — permalink
You are quite welcome

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Question for August 31, 2014: Meditation Pitch
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
You have 20 seconds to convince a skeptic of the value of a mediation practice. What do you tell them?

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patricia1958 — 3 years ago — permalink
My blood pressure dropped by 20 points since I began practicing.

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
Wow. That's not a thing I really ever thought would be an effect, but I totally believe it. Thanks for sharing!

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patricia1958 — 3 years ago — permalink
Yeah it surprised me too. And the doctor as well!

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Question for October 20, 2013: Meditation Postures
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
How many different meditation postures do you use? What are they? Why?

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Lullabyehaze — 4 years ago — permalink
I usually sit cross-legged on a cushion-- just a cushion that I had at home, not a special meditation cushion for the time being. There are times when I sit in a chair if my back or knees hurt. And I really like to meditate outside when I can, so I might sit on a bench or a tree stump.

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
A tree strump, that's one I've never tried.
I think it varies a lot across people and cushions, but for me buying a real actual meditation cushion that had properties it needed was a big help with respect to back strain and other discomfort. I do understand the hesitation to dive into one though: they aren't cheap and if what you has working there's really no reason.
Thanks for sharing!

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Lullabyehaze — 4 years ago — permalink
I'll want to get a real cushion at some point, but wow-- so pricey! For the time being, I added another pillow so that I'm sitting a little higher, nearer to the height of a zafu. This is more comfortable than just one pillow.

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Question for January 11, 2015: Mindful Life
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
What ways have you found to bring a "meditative" mind into your daily life?

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Lullabyehaze — 3 years ago — permalink
The challenge for me is to stay mindful throughout the day at work. When I can, I try to take a little walk around the block. This helps my back and all the muscles that don't like to sit at a computer all day, but it can also revive my mind and help me to look at a situation in a more balanced way without simply getting caught up in my own perspective.

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
I've never tried it with much determination, but I think there's some good advice I've heard about triggering actions you might be interested in. What I mean by "triggering actions" is that you'll pick a specific event — the phone rings, you flip a light switch, you walk through a doorway, etc — and try to just be mindful around that behavior. Use that specific action as your check-in point about mindfulness.
It sounds like you use a walk for that, but if you'd like to be more mindful throughout the day this might be helpful. Actually putting this down has made me think that I really should try to find one for me. One thing that came attached to the advice is that it's good if it's something you do regularly, but not so commonly that you'll be hitting this check-in point every five minutes. Too much and you'll just get overwhelmed. Every hour or so is what I'm thinking I'll try to find for me.

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Lullabyehaze — 3 years ago — permalink
I like this idea! I remember hearing it before, but I forgot. For some people it is waiting at red lights, stuff like that. Someone also suggested putting a small "dot" sticker in a certain place-- on the computer or phone for example-- to remind you to be mindful.

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"What does it mean to meditate?"
fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — in Meditation Questions
So what does it mean? Any particularly helpful definitions?

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meditateallday.com — 3 years ago — permalink


Meditate means being in a state of no mind.

There are different methods leading to this state.

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davidbhayes — 5 years ago — permalink
It's not strictly about meditation, but I've always found really resonant this line from Jon Kabat-Zinn:
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
I think it's sane to say that mindfulness meditation is doing that for a set period of time, with the aid of an object like the breath.

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fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — permalink
I like this quote's pithiness, but I'm not completely sold on the language that "mindfulness is paying attention on purpose." That feels a little different than a lot of (Buddhist) teachings I hear—there's a bit "more to do," or to maintain, than in those teachings.
I wonder if "allowing awareness, which is naturally nonjudgmental, to rest in the present moment" would be a bit closer? Takes some of the "doer" out.
On the other hand, the definition above does seem pretty close as a commonsense description of what my meditation practice is like sometimes, as you said.

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davidbhayes — 5 years ago — permalink
Interesting.
I think your rephrasing makes the "on purpose" bit more forceful that it reads in the original, which may have something to do with why you seem worried by it. In the original "on purpose" is just the coincidental first of the three qualities describing how you pay attention, in your rewriting it's the only adverb describing how you're paying attention. 
How I read it "on purpose" is synonymous with "with intention" and is there primarily to delineate mindfulness from those times that you're coincidently "paying attention in the present moment, non-judgementally" which is certainly something I experienced a few times before I knew anything about the ideas of mindfulness or meditation. That experience is clearly neither meditation nor the kind of intentional mindfulness Kabat-Zinn's talking about, and thus "on purpose" serves a real, useful, and accurate purpose.
(Which is all, by the way, to make no claim about its validity for what you, or any specific tradition, think of as mindfulness, meditation, or worthwhile practice.)

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Just joined
nancymaggie7 — 3 years ago — in MS 2014-2015 Cohort 11
Hi all. I just joined.  Thanks, Ry.  My biggest challenge is avoiding procrastinating until evening when I am very sleepy.  Ry, how are you doing with sleepiness?
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RyMoore5 — 3 years ago — permalink
I have had an ongoing relationship with major sleepiness since the beginning.  I too often put off practice until late night, at which time I  will most likely be sleepy.  I try not to bring too much judgment into it ... and experiment with placing my awareness more on the in-breath and / or keeping my eyes open (unfocused gaze down just in front of me) ... which can help.  Last resort, if I'm really struggling, I'll stand up for the entire practice.   Personally, drowsiness seems to be an unconscious way that I often deal with stress (off the cushion) ... So I try to take that into account too.  We are amazing beings! Thank you all for this supportive practice connection!

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nancymaggie7 — 3 years ago — permalink
Wow, impressed that you will do it standing and nice to hear the non-judgment!   I am really becoming aware of the odd resistance to sitting even though I feel so good afterward.  Also practicing non-judgement of that. Namaste!  And was sad to see i cannot log time in past days, as I actually did sit the past two days and was excited to log it!

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RyMoore5 — 3 years ago — permalink
I wonder why you can't log it? I log in my personal log at it transfers to group.  Also, I rarely sit without some resistance!  Funny thing, isn't it?  For me, this public forum has been the most helpful.  I also committed with another group to sit 108 days straight.  I find I need the open and shared committment to practice to stay with it consistently. Thanks Nancy!

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Where is everybody?
emmacat — 5 years ago — in Boston Shambhala Under-30
It's pretty lonely in this group, can we send out some invitations?
Tags:

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fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — permalink
Hi, Emma!
Maybe we could email out to the Boston Under-30 Google group? It's at bsu30@googlegroups.com. I'm happy to do it, or would you like to?
Cheers!
Fred

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emmacat — 5 years ago — permalink
I didn't even know we had a google group! You should it, it's your website after all ;-)

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fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — permalink
Sounds good!

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Question for March 31, 2013: Sitting Down
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
When you sit in meditation, what do you sit on?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
I have "gomden" which is a firm foam rectangular block. I'm not a huge fan of it, but it still works for me. The concept behind it is that it's more firm and elevated then a something like "zafu", so you can sit in a more western posture. But for me it seems to go too far in the firm and elevated direction. I've been thinking I should get just get a traditional buckwheat zafu and see how I like it. But I haven't done it yet.

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Shakuhachi — 4 years ago — permalink
Either couch or easy chair but with pillows to provide more back support.  As long as my  back is straight and my legs are free so they don't get numb I am ready to go.

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danjunel — 4 years ago — permalink
I used to just sit on a pillow (or two) and thought that back pain was just a normal part of the meditation process. Then I invested in a Gomden/Zabuton combo set from www.samadhicushions.com and I no longer have any back pain when I sit. I did purchase a Zafu before the Gomden/Zabuton, but I still didn't get the back support that I needed.
Even though the price was considerably more than the mere pillow that I formerly used, I felt strongly that I wanted to make an investment in myself and in my practice. I'm really glad that I did!

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Question for December 1, 2013: Meditative Awareness
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Is there a specific quality to your awareness when meditating? How would you characterize it? Energetic? Neutral? Something else?

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hanjini — 4 years ago — permalink
Right now, the main quality I experience during a session, especially towards the last half, is a soft, gentle, physically rhythmic sensation which feels like kindness towards my self. Not a lot of anything else like thoughts. Really relaxing and  soothing.

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
Thats sound really interesting. I'm especially curious about the rhythm. Does it seem related to a physical rhythm in your body — pulse or breath are obvious candidates — or is it something else?
Either way I'm very glad your meditation practice is pleasant for you. Thanks for sharing!

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
I don't know that I can really generalize about my meditative awareness, because it seems to me to be so many thing. For more than a week I've had this question in the back of my head, and every time I think I have an answer I realize it's only a temporary answer reflecting the most recent session.
I have sessions that feel quite jumpy, attention flitting from thing to thing. I have sessions where that basic dynamic being at work feels really grating and there's an agitated quality to the awareness as a result. In other "flitty" session there's a calm sense around the flitty-ness, a sort of patient and encompassing quality. Sometimes my mind on a whole seems pretty calm, and there's a strong but pleasant neutral sense to it all.

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Question for December 14, 2014: Advice for Beginners
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in meditation?

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Lullabyehaze — 3 years ago — permalink
EVERYBODY'S mind wanders. Don't beat yourself up about it.

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
I'd take that and go a bit further: the point isn't to have no thoughts or never find that your mind has wandered off. It's to return when that's happened.

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chenthillrulz — 3 years ago — permalink
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7ZH004OWlo - it is well explained precisely here, I have loved it :) Its the art of witnessing!!

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Question for February 8, 2015: Inspiration to Meditate
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
What inspires you to meditate?

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cliometric — 3 years ago — permalink
To be a better person than I am now :)

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fredclaymeyer — 3 years ago — permalink
Amen :) And for me, it's also "To be what I can be."

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mc1061dm1 — 2 years ago — permalink
to do Zen practice.

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Making meditation a routine
davidbhayes — 5 years ago — in What works for me
One things that I found really helpful in establishing a regular meditation practice is to make a meditation a part of your daily routines. For me, I shower and brush my teeth together everyday, and have no place to rush off to after doing those things. So adding medititation to the end of that chain of routines fit naturally, and made it so I really couldn't forget (or "forget") to meditate.
If I couldn't do it at the time, at a minimum I was forced to engage with myself about why I wasn't doing it, and make an agreement with myself about when I would be doing it.

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New member
fredclaymeyer — 3 years ago — in Path of Freedom 30-Day Challenge
Really excited for this! Hope I didn't join late...
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The Great Turning
davidbhayes — 4 years ago — in Compassion Poetry
Heard this in a fantastic dharma talk from Spring Washam and it really caught my ear. The poem is called The Great Turning, by Christine Fry:
You've asked me to tell you of the Great Turning
Of how we saved the world from disaster.
The answer is both simple and complex.
We turned.
For hundreds of years we had turned away as life on earth grew more precarious
We turned away from the homeless men on the streets, the stench from the river,
The children orphaned in Iraq, the mothers dying of AIDS in Africa
We turned away because that was what we had been taught.
To turn away, from our pain, from the hurt in another's eyes,
From the drunken father, from the friend betrayed.
Always we were told, in actions louder than words, to turn away, turn away.
And so we became a lonely people caught up in a world
Moving too quickly, too mindlessly toward its own demise.
Until it seemed as if there was no safe space to turn.
No place, inside or out, that did not remind us of fear or terror, despair and loss, anger and grief.
Yet, on one of those days, someone did turn.
Turned to face the pain.
Turned to face the stranger.
Turned to look at the smouldering world and the hatred seething in too many eyes.
Turned to face himself, herself.
And then another turned.
And another. And another.
And as they wept, they took each other's hands.
Until whole groups of people were turning.
Young and old, gay and straight.
People of all colours, all nations, all religions.
Turning not only to the pain and hurt but to beauty, gratitude and love.
Turning to one another with forgiveness and a longing for peace in their hearts.
At first, the turning made people dizzy, even silly.
There were people standing to the side, gawking, criticizing, trying to knock the turners down.
But the people turning kept getting up, kept helping one another to their feet.
Their laughter and kindness brought others into the turning circle
Until even the nay-sayers began to smile and sway.
As the people turned, they began to spin
Reweaving the web of life, mending the shocking tears,
Knitting it back together with the colours of the earth,
Sewing on tiny mirrors so the beauty of each person, each creature, each plant, each life
Might be seen and respected.
And as the people turned, as they spun like the earth through the universe,
The web wrapped around them like a soft baby blanket
Making it clear all were loved, nothing separate.
As this love reached into every crack and crevice, the people began to wake and wonder,
To breath and give thanks,
To celebrate together.
And so the world was saved, but only as long as you, too, sweet one, remember to turn

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Question for August 16, 2015: Turbulence
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever feel that you mind gets too busy while meditating? How do you deal with that?

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Forcefully minimizing distractions
emmacat — 5 years ago — in What works for me
My cable box for the tv in my room broke, I got it replaced but I wasn't able to set it up. After being put on hold numerous times by my cable provider, I keep putting off trying again. That was two months ago. I found that I really don't want the intrusion of tv in the same room where I have my cushion. When I prepare to meditate at night, I leave my laptop and all my gadgets downstairs. It may seem pretty nitty gritty, but I mostly respond to drastic measures. 
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Retreats!
fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — in What works for me
I just did a several-day meditation retreat. It was wonderful, and I came out of it completely energized to practice. I would absolutely recommend taking any amount of retreat time you can manage--it's one of the best things you can do for yourself.
I'm back in a fairly stressful situation now, and I can see those stresses gnawing away at my practice. So (for my own benefit and everyone else's) here are a few thoughts on doing a post-retreat correctly:
• When you get out of it, continue to sit twice a day, morning and evening. It's really important to carry forward the practice momentum you've had.
• As a way to keep it a priority in a busy schedule: Notice how you feel during and immediately after a retreat, and think of that as being the result of meditation (which it is!). So, if after the retreat something comes up that threatens to interrupt your practice schedule, ask whether the thing is worth risking the benefits of practice for. Maybe it is, but at least you'll recognize the tradeoff you may be making.
• Don't worry too much about "holding on" to whatever benefits you feel in retreat. Some of these are just temporary excitements that only exist in a retreat environment and are bound to wash away anyway; and the things that really are lasting, valid insights will be difficult to access if you're worried about clinging to (your idea of) them. What you should hold onto is the practice itself.
Hope that's helpful! I better go practice soon...

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Question for August 21, 2016: Surprises of Retreat
Medivate — 12 months ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever completed a meditation retreat? If so, what part of that experience most surprised you?

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New blog post: "Why We Don't Meditate, and What to Do About It"
fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — in A Better Medivate
I recently finished a post at the Medivate blog describing what I think are some of the main challenges for people in maintaining a meditation practice, and how to approach them.
I hope you find it interesting, or helpful, or both! If you have thoughts, I'd love to hear them, here or on the blog itself.

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Question for December 11, 2016: Advice for Beginners
Medivate — 8 months ago — in Question of the Week
What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in meditation?

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Ze Frank's "What's On Your HappyList?"
davidbhayes — 4 years ago — in Compassion Poetry
It's on his site here, but I've also embedded it below:

This isn't really a poem, per se, nor clearly about compassion. But I do think it fits well enough to keep.

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Getting inspired by reading
fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — in What works for me
I struggle regularly with putting off meditation. In general, I'd say turning the feeling that I "should" meditate into actual behavior is an uphill battle.
Recently, I read a bit from a book that's always been a favorite of mine (Illusion's Game, by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche). As I was reading, I found that I wanted to meditate, because of the author's genius and the sense that it came from a lifetime of practice.
So a recommendation is: if you have a favorite book, just try innocently reading a few paragraphs. As you're reading, if you find that you feel inspired to meditate, go do it before the feeling wears off! I'm going to see how this works for me. I'll try to report back.

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Question for June 30, 2013: Mindfulness Opportunities
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you try to practice mindfulness anywhere else but your meditation practice? Are there specific places you most recommend trying to bring mindfulness?

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Sila
ananda — 5 years ago — in What works for me
What works for me?
Well, I think sila (= Pali for virtue, i.e. virtue in regard to what you do the whole day) is very important.
It is very good to do good deeds. It gives you contentment which removes restlessness, during your meditation you will tend to feel "there is nothing else to do than to meditate now."
What are good deeds?
There are infinite ways to work on your sila. Here are some examples:
-Be kind to other people
-Work well in your day job
-Help other people
-Move your body much during the day, a hobby in which you move the body a lot helps
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davidbhayes — 5 years ago — permalink
The phrase "the bliss of blamelessness" has been stuck in my head for a few months now. I think it's got a lot to do with sila, and I think there's a lot to that idea.
One of the things that finally convinced me to do meditation seriously was that I was beginning to see all the ways that I wasn't really doing those virtuous things in your list. Too late I would realize that what I'd said wasn't kind or helpful and I'd regret it. I, especially starting out, I was enamored with the idea of shrinking that time between regrettable action and realizing it; (with the goal that realizing could come before the action). It's still something I think about and work on. And it's still a strong motivation for meditation for me.
Thanks for sharing, it made me think more about this benefit of meditation that I sometimes lose sight of.

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emmacat — 5 years ago — permalink
I had a pretty 'bad' session today, just feeling like I wasn't doing It right or wasn't putting effort into it, probably just because I wasn't feeling good about how I conducted myself during the day. Your comment made me look at my day in a different light, realizing all the times where I was about to snap and instead I just took a breath, left a gap and dropped it. I still could have been better, but I also could have been worse, so all in all I guess I forgot to be gentle with myself to be kind to others. I'm feeling grateful now, so thanks.

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Blessings — 1 year ago — permalink
I love the idea of shrinking the time between regrettable action and realizing it. I find that the more I meditate the less I talk and the more I smile and feel comfortable just being in whatever is being presented in the moment.

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emmacat — 5 years ago — permalink
That is very true, what comes up on the cushion is a reflection of how we go about our day. Meditation itself doesn't make you feel better, but it provides the space to get in touch with ourselves, to see where we're at. Sometimes we get so caught up in the pettiness of daily life that we don't allow any room for virtue. Thanks for reminding me to work on that 

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fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — permalink
I thought this was beautifully said--particularly the part about restlessness. Thank you!

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Question for October 19, 2014: Eyes: Open or Closed?
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
When meditating, are your eyes open or closed? Why?

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
I do both.
Especially when I'm feeling tired, I find it useful to have one more stop before I can accidentally be asleep. But I also find having the eyes open — sort of unfocused in the middle distance — has another aspect of being a little more energetic for me (and making it easier to touch into things like restlessness) than when my eyes are closed.
I do like the aspect of having your eyes closed where it's much easier to be still and peaceful. For me that my eyes can't quite so easily go seeking an interesting thing to rest upon (and then think about...) can be really helpful.

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chenthillrulz — 3 years ago — permalink
Looks like there is a bug. I was able to see the reply, only after following the user. Until before, I never followed anybody and so never knew u had replied :)
Yes, I also at times used get sleep in the past. I have observed that it usually happens when there the mind gets engrossed in thoughts, when a conversation goes on inside. 
I love playing badminton, motorbike ride, running after a good meditation session. Its just so wonderful to witness the activities and how our body performs everything automatically!! Esp. in badminton, get to play some new shots and would get surprised after playing it, would be super awesome!!

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gordon — 3 years ago — permalink
Closed. Because it is comfortable and seems to work.

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Yolanda — 3 years ago — permalink
In our tradition we meditate with our eyes open because what we are trying to cultivate is mindfulness and awareness.  So the meditation session is a way to train yourself in how to be in the world, centered and with an inner peace.

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chenthillrulz — 3 years ago — permalink
closed. Meditation is about dropping the intentions arising in the mind by just staying with 'what is' and allowing the awareness to flow. Doing this is easy when the eyes are closed.
Moreover the mind and body gets in to action mode and move outwards easily, when eyes are opened. Once the staying with 'what is' starts happening with closed eyes, it automatically starts manifesting when eyes are open and when start performing activities such as work, sports etc. Making every act a meditation. This is my observation.

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Question for June 9, 2013: Changing Medivate
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
If you could change one thing about Medivate, what would that be?

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alreadyou — 4 years ago — permalink
It might be a good thing to have the app be more social, perhaps by displaying how much other meditators in the same group have been meditating today, with an option to read their comments, and see general messages from the group. That might encourage people to participate in the groups too.

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alreadyou — 4 years ago — permalink
Great stuff though so far!

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
Sorry I managed to miss your post earlier. (I'm glad my Weekly Update had it or I might have missed it entirely. Some good user feedback in that itself, I suppose.)
I think this is actually really useful and accurate. We've been slowly realizing how useful and central to the experience of what Medivate should be that aspect of community is. We've thought for a while that the group meditation logs were a really useful and untapped aspect of the site that we didn't really know how to make more valuable. I think you're spot on that bringing that stuff into the app would go a long way to making that better.
And I really appreciate that you took the time to add to the thread when you didn't get a response. It's hard to understate the value of this feedback and I feel a little bad I'd not seen it sooner. Thanks for your thoughts.

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Shakuhachi — 4 years ago — permalink
More descriptive "How it felt" ranking

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
That's an interesting idea. What kind of thing are you thinking?
I think we---Fred and I---have typically used the comments as a space to be more descriptive, but I don't think that's a very strong case for it being that way. I'd love to hear more about what you're thinking.

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Shakuhachi — 4 years ago — permalink
Something like:
10 WoW! Beyond anything i could have imagined
 9  One of the best
 8  Better than usual
 7  Better
 6  Good
 5  Not bad, worth the effort
 4  Marginally worth the effort, maybe not                         
 3  Annoying, better not to have done it
 2  Troubling
 1  Disturbing
Why meditation would be troubling or disturbing I do not know.  Mine are usually 5,6, ot 7.                                          I                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
Thanks for the scale--that's really cool! One idea that comes up is to let people define their own scales within the site itself. That way the system could have a personal meaning.
What do you think?

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Shakuhachi — 4 years ago — permalink
Yes, mine was just off the top of my head.  It occurs to me also that few meditations if any will be disturbing. Maybe something morel like like:
5 Great
4 Pretty good
3 About average
2 pretty distracted
1 Very distracted

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emmacat — 4 years ago — permalink
I see we can edit our posts but we still can't delete them. I'll take that as progress.
I would love to see a general message board where people can communicate informally about a wider range of topics rather than something specific as it is in the groups. I guess I could create a group with a 'anything goes' thread (and I realize we can share random thoughts by making a journal entry public), but it would be cool if it could be a permanent fixture on the homepage.
I think it would help create a sense of community (for example, I would be inclined to leave messages like 'Good morning. May you all enjoy the inspiration to practice today'). 

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Question for March 16, 2014: Scattered Attention
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever find that you attention has scattered while meditating? How do you deal with that?

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Formlessness — 3 years ago — permalink
The mind is like the wind. It goes this way and that. Wind is just the movement of air, but the air is everywhere. Your awareness is present in every thought and experience. Become aware of the awareness behind the thought, and the winds will calm.

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capemaggie — 3 years ago — permalink
thank you for that insight.

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
Become aware of the awareness behind the thought, and the winds will calm.
I really like that, though I feel compelled to interject that it's easier to say than to do.
But I definitely think that biggest and most noticeable thing that's changed for me as I've meditated more is the realization that there is really something I have access to that contains all of the thoughts.  It's not a thought itself, but it's a space in which they come. I use the word "spacious" a lot to explain the change, and when I try to explain it in a visual metaphor it really is a feels like a literal space around and distance from my thoughts.
The extent to which I used to tie myself in knots chasing down the "right thought" is something I don't miss. You don't, as they say, have to believe everything you think.

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Question for December 8, 2013: Easier to Meditate
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Can you think of a single change that would make it much easier for you to meditate as much as you'd like? What is it?

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hanjini — 4 years ago — permalink
If I gave up the idea that watching a little tv with a glass of wine is an ideal way to relax after work,  then there would be room for the idea that I'd rather see myself sitting for 45 minutes.  Because I do seem to find time for the former on a regular basis, whereas I complain about not having time enough for the latter. Maybe if I logged that tv time it would be graphically clear where my meditation time is being otherwise spent.

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Lullabyehaze — 4 years ago — permalink
Oooh...good point! It isn't really a matter of time, but priorities. I've been thinking about that off and on for a while now-- not specifically with regard to meditation, but just about how much time is automatically wasted on TV every evening. TV happens to be the easiest thing to do. One thing I thought about trying was starting with just one tv-less night per week, and see how it goes.

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
I like the point about priorities. It seems to me that we all have the same amount of time, and when we say "I don't have time for that" we generally do mean something closer "I have other activities I enjoy more than that", or "I have other activities that I feel a stronger obligation to", or even "I have other activities that I (feel I) have to do".

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Question for January 18, 2015: Where to Sit
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you have a specific space in your home set aside for meditation? Are there any key objects or traits of such an area?

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fredclaymeyer — 3 years ago — permalink
I can't recommend highly enough setting up a shrine room, even a tiny one, in a clean, quiet room. If you've got the space, give it a try!

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Lullabyehaze — 3 years ago — permalink
We have a small fenced patio with a bit of garden space. I created a small platform using a wooden pallet that I sanded a bit and spray-painted. This is a lovely meditation space-- it is fairly quiet, peaceful, and often sunny. But since I tend to meditate in the mornings, right now it's a bit cold to be outside. I usually set up my zafu and zabuton in an area of the living room and then put away the pillows again when I'm finished. Now that you mention it, I may try to think of a different place to set up-- maybe facing a wall or window. My current space is just kind of in the middle of things. I would love to have a little nook where I could keep my cushions set up, maybe add some candles or incense. One day!
For me, the real key is having a place that is quiet, if possible. Everything else is optional...and even the quiet is negotiable! 

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Question for June 2, 2013: During Meditation
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
When meditating, is there a specific thing (thought or emotion, for example) that comes up regularly?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
I don't know that there's really a specific thing that's easy to pin down. Generally, it's some combination of restlessness and distraction (which seem pretty thoroughly related) which come up for me. Whether it manifests as grabbing to play with my phone, fidgeting to get more comfortable, or something else, it always seems related to some desire for a greater sense of comfort through some means of "escape".

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Shakuhachi — 4 years ago — permalink
I come to feel like a simple little child.
That is a good thing.

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Question for April 21, 2013: Others
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Does anyone else in your life meditate? If so, who are they? How, if at all, do you share your practice with them?

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Majjhima_Patipada — 4 years ago — permalink
My Dharma friends meditate with me through my Sanghas. We sometimes meet outside of formal practice for dinner and casual conversation, but the topic of our discussions always seems to come back to meditation. I've learned that sharing one's practice with others is immeasurably rewarding for all who are involved.

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fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
My parents, and a good group of people in my town. It's really helpful and enriching--I think it'd be a lot harder without them.

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Question for December 7, 2014: First Cause
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
What first spurred you to meditate? Is it still the reason you do it?

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
I don't know that my path is all that common: I actually (finally) started meditating because I was acutely aware of the distance between my aspirations about how I'd act in the world, and how I was able to actually act in the world. What is mean is that I didn't want to be the kind of person who yelled at people, or said mean things, etc, but I was painfully aware that I was doing those things.
Essentially, I heard from somewhere some reference to the idea that meditation could help close that gap from the time you encounter a situation and the time when you're able to respond wisely to that situation. I was finding that that period for me was way too long; I'd have already acted before I could find a wise response.
Certainly, in the very short term, noting a difference in your behavior around things like that is hard. I think there's a quote where someone asked the (present) Dalai Lama about progress and he said something like "check in every five years." But even though it's only been about three since I started meditating in earnest I have definitely seen a change. It's not that I never feel a bit out of control or say something I regret, but it's less frequent. And it's far more frequent that I realize "I don't want to say that, I'd regret it later." and find a more skillful thing to say.

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gordon — 3 years ago — permalink

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How do you sit?
Shakuhachi — 3 years ago — in Meditation Questions
Chair? or on the floor with Pillow? No pillow?
I have sat in a chair with pillow behind my back for years because I thought cross legged on the floor uncomfortable. The danger is getting sleepy.  But lately I have bben trying sitting on a pillow on the floor with the legs loosely crossed. It is called Bermese position. Much easier than half lotus and lotus.  I find it keeps me more alert and able to relax more deeply without falling asleep.  I ordered a zafu cushion and am eager to try it.
Tags: position

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
Shakuhachi, this really resonates with my experiences with posture. The more traditional postures, with little in the way of comfort, seem to have a logic other than people have lacked furniture.
At times, for lack of energy or will, I lie down to meditate. And that has exactly the risk I think you've found in a chair, only far worse. Especially because I'm allowing myself to do it because "oh but I'm tired" it seems like I'm virtually certain to fall asleep in that posture if I try to do it for long.
I have a cushion that I've used in the past. It's relatively good and comfortable, but if I sit on it too much — in every posture I've tried — I end up with weird chronic issues with my knee. (Basically, I get "water on the knee", a collection of unknown fluid at the front of my knee.) Lotus and half-lotus seem worse for my knees than Burmese, but even when I've done a Burmese-like posture (I can't say how close I do it the book version) I have the issue.
So what I do a bit more now is a cheap kneeling chair I bought to use for my desk a few years ago but never really took to. It looks rather like what the Wikipedia page for the category describes as "low-cost kneeling chair". For me its big advantage relative to a more traditional backed chair is that I can't really relax and lean on anything, as is the case with most cushion setups, but I never seem to have knee issues from the posture.

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Shakuhachi — 3 years ago — permalink
The kneeling chair would seem ideal.  I have seen them and even sat in one but not to meditate. Maybe  a backless chair or stool also.  As simple as that sounds I don't think I have ever tried one.

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Question for November 9, 2014: Never Again
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
If you were magically unable to ever meditate again, would anything change for you? What? Why?

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adamaero — 3 years ago — permalink
"Formal" meditation is when I sit. "Informal" meditation is brief moments of mindfulness I may experience whenever. If I could not formally meditate, I would try to increase being mindful daily.
Although, I probably would feel more anxious, and not as relaxed/mellow as I usually am. Why? I'm not keeping up a tolerance (or increasing my tolerance) for blasting though everyday snags and hurdles (i.e., lower perseverance). (I think that's what I mean.)

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adamaero — 3 years ago — permalink
Volition would also decrease - same reasoning

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Question for November 13, 2016: Eyes Open or Closed
Medivate — 9 months ago — in Question of the Week
When meditating, are your eyes open or closed? Why?

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Synelg — 9 months ago — permalink
Usually closed, but if I feel sleepy, I will open my eyes for as long as it takes to get rid of the sleepiness or dullness.

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felixleif — 9 months ago — permalink
If nature is all that is in front of me, then I shall look and meditate on its completeness.

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Question for November 10, 2013: Pleasant Meditation
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Have you had pleasant meditation experiences? What made them that way?

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Lullabyehaze — 4 years ago — permalink
The majority of my meditation experiences are pleasant. The ones that have been the most positive have involved nature, such as walking meditation outside, or just sitting outside by the ocean or in a forest. I try to seek out these settings when I can. The other great ones are the longer ones with other people. When I do a half day or day retreat, after a while it's like I'm in another state altogether, and it feels wonderful.

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goldtree — 4 years ago — permalink
I find glimpses of silence pleasant... As a beginner, these are very rare. But I do feel the effect of meditation in my daily life, bringing calmness and more attention, and this is pleasant in itself.

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Health Impact
hissen — 3 years ago — in MS 2014-2015 Cohort 11
I'm not feeling well.  I always try to do at least a short sit to keep the habit in place.  Hoping to be back to a more satisfying sit tomorrow after taking it easy today.
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nancymaggie7 — 3 years ago — permalink
Hope you feel better soon! And nice to hear of keeping the habit.

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hissen — 3 years ago — permalink
I tried, but got sick enough that my brain just wasn't going to cooperate.  I feel like I just got my brain back today, but I'm amazed how quickly that feeling dissipates when I try to use it.  haha!  Taking my brain to work tomorrow, so hopefully another night's rest will help.

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Question for February 9, 2014: Moving Meditation
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever meditated while moving — walking, running, riding in a vehicle? How did you find that experience?

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Gameronomist — 4 years ago — permalink
I've meditated before while exercising. I do a lot of Qi Gong. Besides that, I've also meditated while jumping rope. It's pretty easy to do because of the repetitive nature of it. I highly recommend the "moving meditation" idea. 

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fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
There's a book called "Running With the Mind of Meditation" that is very much about this. I haven't read it (I don't run much), but I think it could really be helpful for people.

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Question for August 24, 2014: Religious Component
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
For you, does meditation practice have a religious component? Why? How?

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widjajanti — 3 years ago — permalink
I don't know. I just feel "I want to do it", not "I must do it".

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Formlessness — 3 years ago — permalink
"Religious" is a difficult word. I would say that meditation has given me insight into the nature of reality, because it has given me insight into the mind which I use to experience and live in reality. All our experiences are interpreted by our mind conceptually. We make connections and distinctions using conceptual structures, which are conditioned by language, behaviour patterns, brain wiring etc. So we see a car, rather than a collection of shapes and colours. Even shapes and colours are concepts; we never see "red" but shades which more or less approximate red. With different conceptual structures, we would experience the world differently. With no conceptual structures, we would experience nothing at all. Through meditation, you can change or even shut off your conceptual mind temporarily. Without a conceptual grounding, reality is "empty", which doesn't mean that reality doesn't exist. It means that no conceptual interpretation is what reality is, though some interpretations are more useful than others.

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Question for September 14, 2014: Stop Meditating
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Is there any single event or change that would make you stop meditating? Why?

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gordon — 3 years ago — permalink

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patricia1958 — 3 years ago — permalink
No. My spiritual contract is non negotiable.

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Question for September 22, 2013: Fear
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever experienced fear while meditating? What was it like? How did you relate to it?

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patrick — 4 years ago — permalink
No, I never experienced fear during meditation, or if I did , I can't remember it.
  Certainly, when I was starting out, I was very anxious ( on top of the anxiety that I already had) about where my meditation was going to take me. Even the act of ''letting go'' disturbed me. I feared some other entity was going to take over my life.
  For me, all that kind of thinking, proved groundless, as I feel that I came closer to my ' true self ' during and after meditation.

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
Yah, I generally would say my experience has been the same, Patrick. Fear isn't something I really remember experiencing on the cushion. But there's been a lot of anxiety. The anxiety I've felt is really more around shock about what my mind is actually like. I actually talk about it as frustration in this post, but it's a similar thing.
I think it's reasonable to say that anxiety is just a form of fear, and the more I think about that the more accurate it feels. For me the anxiety or fear that, as I started to peel back the layers, I saw that I wasn't really who I thought I was. A lot of frustration came out of that, but staying with it and listening to dharma talks slowly made it clear that it wasn't really a problem, I was just seeing clearly what I'd previously misunderstood.

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Hey!
RyMoore5 — 3 years ago — in MS 2014-2015 Cohort 11
So good to be connecting with some of you in this way!  What's happening for you with practice? I've been working with intense sleepiness!
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hissen — 3 years ago — permalink

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hissen — 3 years ago — permalink
I'm happy to not be feeling ill this week.  I actually had to take a couple days off sitting and shortened other sits last week due to just not feeling well.  Just getting back into the routine, mostly working on focus again.

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Question for June 16, 2013: Group Sitting
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever meditate with others? How, if at all, is the experience different for you?

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emmacat — 4 years ago — permalink
For me group meditation is generally helpful, although it can go either way. Usually, I'm more focused because there is a sense of a shared purpose, but sometimes the excitement is a distraction. There can be a lot of contrasting energy in the same room, but it usually feels like I have a support system. Particularly, attending the same group on a regular basis is inspirational. 
In the case of participating in specific meditation program, it reminds me of why I'm on this path and gives me motivation to keep practicing.
I recently went on a four week group retreat and it was very powerful. Especially in the second half of the retreat it felt like we were synchronized into a communal energy. 

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fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
It helps a lot. I'm less inclined to feel like getting up, slouching, etc. Something about it feels more potent, also; I'm not sure why.

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Question for January 12, 2014: Types of Meditation
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Are there any meditations you've done that you found interesting or novel? How? Why? What were they?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
I mostly just do mindfulness/breath meditation, which is nice.
I've sometimes tried to do a metta practice much like this page describes. That was a nice change of pace, but I never really felt like I complete understood it or felt at ease doing it. Well that's probably a good reason for me to try it a few more times, I have to say that I haven't. Maybe I'll make a point of trying it again soon.

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deklanw — 4 years ago — permalink
Metta, definitely. Over time it improves mood, whereas vipassana helps remove negative mindstates/stress.

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Question for September 1, 2013: Changing Your Life
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Has meditation changed your life in a noticeable way? How?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
The single biggest change, I'd say, is awareness. Quite simply, I feel much more aware of all the thoughts, emotions, and physical feelings that are going on in my body at a given time.
That strengthened awareness gives me a sense of space, which allows for the time to work with the experience before reacting to it, which has been such a nice thing. It's hardly the case that I never find myself wondering "why did I just do that?", but it's happening a lot less than it used to.

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goojir — 4 years ago — permalink
Well surely! The effects depends on a lot of things though. At this moment I'm getting huge amounts of anger coming through, probably something I've suppressed for a long time. Mostly disturbing, but I know it's the result of meditation, and I'm glad that the suppression has come to an end.

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Question for February 24, 2013: Eyes Open or Closed
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
When meditating, are your eyes open or closed? Why?

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Shakuhachi — 4 years ago — permalink
Closed, though sometimes I will briefly open them just a little.

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terrormortus — 4 years ago — permalink
Personally I keep them closed. Without all the visual information coming in it helps me to focus on my breathing. 

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Question for March 23, 2014: The Meditation Routine
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you ever feel like you meditation practice is a routine chore? Why or why not?

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
I certainly sometimes feel like I'm dragging myself onto the cushion. I have a strong commitment to sit everyday, and I take it quite seriously, so that means I'm not always eager to meditate when it comes up.
For me, I think it's really valuable to get in the habit of meditating, as that means you both do it regularly and you don't have to "surprise" yourself with it when you occasionally think you should do it. That may just be how it works for me, though. Once I get over that initial hurdle of "yep, you're doing it" though, any sense of obligation melts and I remember why I endeavor to do it regularly.

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Formlessness — 3 years ago — permalink
A chore has a goal or a purpose in mind. Meditation, however, is its own goal. It should be done not for the sake of something else, but for its own sake. In this sense, meditation is more like dancing, or hugging a friend.
People meditate for all sorts of reasons, to become less stressed, or attain spiritual enlightenment. But these goals, when the mind clings to them, distract from the meditation. Meditate anyway, regardless of what goals you have, and it won't be a chore but a joy. If all things in life were done for their own sake, your whole life would be one continuous meditation.

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Ideas: "Sit for your Center," "fridge printout"
Medivate — 5 years ago — in A Better Medivate
Hi everyone,
We'd love your thoughts and feedback on two ideas we're testing:
  1. Sit for your Center, an idea that could help people meditate consistently while raising money for their meditation centers.
  2. What we're calling the "fridge printout idea"—a way to help you keep your motivations to meditate in mind during your daily life.
Click either link to see a demo and more information about the idea. Thank you for your thoughts!

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terrormortus — 5 years ago — permalink
For the "Fridge Printout Idea" why not add a space for a quote near the bottom? That way it not only reminds you about what motivates you to meditate but also reminds you of what inspired you to start as well.

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fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — permalink
I think this is a great idea. We'll plan to do this.
Thanks!

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Question for January 5, 2014: Meditation Supplies
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Are there supplies you consider "essential" to meditating? What are they?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
I struggle to find any supplies I think are required. There are helpful things — a seat that you can keep alert on at the top of my mind — but even that doesn't feel "essential". Your body, your breath, and the ability to pay attention seems to be all of it.

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Lullabyehaze — 4 years ago — permalink
Agreed. That's the beauty of it-- while it might be nice to have a special cushion, a bell, incense, whatever, none of that is really necessary. You just need yourself and your attention.

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Question for May 5, 2013: First Introduction
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
What first spurred you to meditate? Is it still the reason you do it?

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
What made me start meditating was the perception of a gap. I'd learned about Buddhist philosophy, and done a fair amount of reading related to that, and I really liked all that I heard. I thought, "It'd be pretty great to be able to live like this." But when it came down to it, I frequently found myself acting in ways that didn't accord with that desire. I especially remember anger as something I felt (and found myself acting on) completely out of proportion to what made sense.
What I came to realize, and this is where some prodding Fred offered did help, was the meditation was the best possible way to close that gap between how I wanted to move through the world and how I actually did. By increasing my awareness for "practice" periods on the cushion, I find I have more awareness off of it. I find it's much less common that I suddenly go "why am I so angry right now?" and much more common that I sense "I may feel angry soon." I think this distance between when you can usefully use knowledge of an emotion and when you actually have knowledge of an emotion is crucial. Closing that gap gives me a feeling of "space" around my thoughts and emotions that is so so valuable. That's the reason I keep meditating.

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Majjhima_Patipada — 4 years ago — permalink
I was inspired to start meditating regularly after joining a meditation-focused Sangha four years ago. Previously, I had only studied and practiced Buddhism from a wisdom- and ethics-foundation, but adding meditative concentration has had a profoundly transformative impact on my life. This transformation in my understanding of the mind motivates me to continue meditating, to see what else there is to discover.

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Question for February 22, 2015: Motivation Sentence
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Can you narrow down your reason for meditating to a single sentence? What's that sentence? What does that sentence leave out?

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davidbhayes — 2 years ago — permalink
There's a big gap between knowing the best thing to do in a given situation and doing it; meditation is the best way I know to close that gap.

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hanjini — 2 years ago — permalink
After  a lifetime of pursuing whole health interventions, in the form of   behavioral health practices (as a professional), spiritual, physical and emotional practices, I have found vipassana practice to be the most effective for managing negative states, shifting to positive states, and discovering insights into my own psychology. 

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Question for May 11, 2014: Obstacles
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
What's the biggest thing that keeps you from meditating? (Boredom? Busyness? Anxiety?...)

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Lullabyehaze — 3 years ago — permalink
Busyness and restlessness-- this thought that there is something else that I need to do...nothing specific, just when I think of sitting, it makes me feel restless.

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
That's really interesting. Do they both keep you from sitting down to meditate? Is one stronger than the other?
For me it seems like I sit down to meditate and then I get quite restless and "distraction-seeking" (without something to do my brain seems to desperately seek things to find interesting, and I don't have much insight into that flow) but it doesn't occur to me before I sit down as a reason not to sit down. 
Busyness isn't an issue for me really, because I've so built meditation time into my schedule and routines, but I could see it a being a big obstacle to actually getting to the cushion. For me, I know (because I've done it a lot with other things in my life) that if I vaguely intend to do something at an indeterminate time — I'll shave later, I'll floss next time I brush my teeth, I'll exercise this afternoon — and feel overwhelmingly busy, I just don't even make the effort. With meditation, that would be me not even getting to the cushion.

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Question for February 1, 2015: Meditation Posture
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
What do you think are the keys to good meditation posture? Any tips about it you wish you'd heard sooner?

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Lullabyehaze — 3 years ago — permalink
I'd love to hear people's tips on this. I have issues with my back and shoulders, and I readjust my posture every few minutes or so. But here are my tips:
Spend a minute or two at the beginning arranging your legs and bottom so that you'll be comfortable. Don't rush into it.
Think of stacking up the vertebrae on top of each other, building from the bottom to the crown of the head.
Tilt the head down a bit so that the highest point is the crown of the head, not the forehead. This lengthens the back of the neck and points the gaze down.
Try to have a straight and firm posture, but at the same time soft and not rigid. I don't know if this is helpful to anyone else, but I imagine my spine/shoulders as a hanger or coat rack, and my body is the shirt/coat/whatever. There is structure in the middle, but the rest of the body, shoulders, etc. is relaxed.

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fredclaymeyer — 3 years ago — permalink
That all sounds awesome! I guess I'd add:
-For the legs: however you're sitting (cushion or chair), it's helpful if your knees are lower than your hips.
-Relaxed front (like chest and stomach), as part of "straight but not rigid."
-Really relax the muscles in your face (especially eyes, eyebrows, forehead) - I've found this has quite an impact on my own practice.
-Agreed on tilting the head down; would also add that it's a bit of a "gathering" feeling - the head should sit right on top of the shoulders, rather than being forward and pulling down on the shoulders.

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Question for February 21, 2016: Why meditate?
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
Why is meditation an activity you (strive to) do regularly?

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Killah_Whale — 1 year ago — permalink
To be more focused and motivated to achieve my goals.

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tusculum — 1 year ago — permalink
Life is easier and happier when I'm doing it than it is when I'm not.

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Question for September 28, 2014: Meditation Teaching Mediums
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Through what kind of media — books, live, in-person events, audio recordings, etc — have you learned about meditation? Which were best? Why?

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Lullabyehaze — 3 years ago — permalink
I have learned through books, in-person classes and events, YouTube videos, etc. The things that have helped me the most were books by Thich Nhat Hanh and an 8-week course in Mindfulness-Based Stress Management (Jon Kabat-Zinn) which included a few guided meditation tracks to do at home. 
Though, "learned about" all of a sudden seems like not quite the right word for me. Certainly it is important to learn about meditation, but I'm realizing that there is "learning about meditation" and there is "learning meditation." Much as I love to read and research, it is only actually meditating that teaches me meditation. For this, I have to say that what helps me and disciplines me most is meditating in a group. The Mindfulness class was great for that, and there are continuing alumni sessions which I like to attend. In addition, though I don't know a lot about Zen, there is a Zen Center in my area that has multiple sittings each week. I have found these to be excellent for helping me to deepen my practice.

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patricia1958 — 3 years ago — permalink
I hae two teachers, my non sectarian lama and my Gelug Lama. I get teachings frm my non sectarian lama by skype and through the telephone and through email. I get my Gelug teachings from My lama's blog chat as well as teachings from his pastors. The books I read are currently Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones, which is my non sectarian root text, Breath of Loe and Buddha's Map, both are great books that simplify Buddha's teachings on mindfulness. I also read texts that my Gelug lama recommends. Right now I am studying his articles and ideos in order to prepare for Friday's blog chat.

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Question for October 5, 2014: Should Others Practice
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you think more people should be meditators? Why or why not?

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Lullabyehaze — 3 years ago — permalink
Yep. Not that I'm going to be preachy about it, but I think that everyone should meditate. Also, many people say "_______ is my meditation." For example, "running is my meditation." Again, not to judge, but running can be meditative, swimming can be meditative, and I'm sure that there are others...but none of these is the same as stopping your busy motion and sitting still. I think the world would be a more calm and happy place if more people meditated.

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
I think your point about meditative vs meditation is really interesting. I've been on both sides of that debate in my life, and I'm mostly closer to the position you express now. I don't deny you can be mindful anywhere, and you can get better at mindfulness doing anything.
But I appeal to a sports analogy to explain the difference. You can get better at a sport by just participating in active games. Playing basketball or soccer with your friends or in a competitive environment. But for concentrated improvement, you've got to take a break from that kind of environment and really make sure you master all the fundamentals. Deliberate practice is one of the keys to really excelling at something. And in the sport of mindfulness, practicing your ability to head a ball or master your shooting form is done by finding a rather quiet place and being still there, holding your awareness carefully.

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Meditation timer chimes not working on web page
pinyaka — 5 years ago — in A Better Medivate
I use Firefox under Windows 7 and no option that should produce sound does. That is, counting up or down there is no chime at the start, end or every x minutes as set on the timer page. Other pages have no problem playing sounds, so I think it's specific to the timer here.
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fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — permalink
Thanks, pinyaka. We'll definitely look into this--I'll try to have a fix tomorrow.

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fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — permalink
Okay, the timer sounds should work in all browsers now. (Please reply if the problem persists, though, and I'll take another look.) Thanks very much for reporting that bug!

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Question for April 28, 2013: Time of Day
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Is there a time of the day that prefer to meditate? Why?

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kedostuga — 4 years ago — permalink
In the morning, I can just feel and receive all the peace and tranquility that comes from a young sun.

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davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalink
I also like to sit early in the morning, though my reason's more prosaic. I like sitting early because that way I don't have to fight to find the time to do it through the rest of the day.

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Question for July 5, 2015: Best Beginner Book
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
What is the best meditation book for someone just getting into meditation? Why?

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marcin — 2 years ago — permalink
I think that the best book for someone getting into meditation would be With Each and Every Breath (you can find it here: http://www.dhammatalks.org/ebook_index.html) or Mindfulness in Plain English (http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/mindfulness_in_plain_english.php) both are rather easy to comprehend and they aren't long.

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davidbhayes — 2 years ago — permalink
I've never heard of With Each and Every Breath, but it looks really cool. The page there is an embarrassment of riches I'd never seen before. Thanks for the recommendation!
I've read, and can second the recommendation of, Mindfulness in Plain English. Easy, approachable, and free!

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Question for February 3, 2013: Best Advice
Medivate — 5 years ago — in Question of the Week
What's the most helpful piece of advice you ever received about meditation or mindfulness?

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bertry — 5 years ago — permalink
To be gentle with myself. I used to get a little down on myself once I realized that my mind had wandered off into thought. But it happens so often that I used to do alot of self bashing. Now, once the awareness comes back, I welcome it with open arms, so to speak, and move on.

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terrormortus — 5 years ago — permalink
"Don't rush it." I have a habit of doing things too quickly and making mistakes because of it. Since I've started focusing more on meditating well rather then trying to get it done done done I've been getting more out of it.

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Question for November 2, 2014: Better Meditation Sessions
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you feel that some meditation sessions are "better" than others? Why or why not?

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gordon — 3 years ago — permalink
This is a great question. For me, I don't believe that any meditation session is better than another. When I sit it is with a willingness to sit with whatever arises without turning away from it. Yesterday I began my sitting and then the dog started barking incessantly yet I simply made the dog barking the focus of my meditation and allowed the waves of anger to course through me without reacting. Often, with the busyness of school, my sittings are restless and not pleasurable but if I believe that my sitting is supposed to be a certain way than maybe I would stop. As well, we miss seeing that things don't need to go according to plan for it to be acceptable or good. A bad sitting might engender the thought that I should go back and do another 7 day retreat but then I would get into the retreat and be sitting for long periods and then think I wish I were back home with the tv and distractions because this practice is driving me crazy. I hear from a lot of people that their meditations are peaceful and that meditation is something very calm and nice and I have become better at just allowing my practice to be what it is. I have calm meditations but I also have turbulent meditations. It is important to keep meditating even though you may think that you aren't feeling the way you want to feel. We have a good day and we feel great so we don't sit then we have a bad day and we feel awful so we sit for long periods to try to fix it. This misses the point of tuning in to everything without attachment. Meditation isn't just something you do to become calm it is something you do to see how you are at all moments and to be with the experience as it arises.

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Lullabyehaze — 3 years ago — permalink
I like the question, and I really like the reply from gordon. My first thought at reading the question was yes, definitely. I definitely have sessions that are calm and peaceful, and in which I am very present. Sometimes a great idea or solution will come to me during meditation, or I will slowly work through a negative feeling that I am experiencing. 
But other sessions, like gordon says, are full of anger or impatience. Or maybe they are full of positive emotion like excitement about something that is happening later in the day. Sometimes I have sessions where I think, "does that even "count" as meditation?" Maybe that was just thinking or planning. All of this goes to show that I definitely have the tendency to want to evaluate the quality or content of my sessions.
So, sessions are each different from each other, but I agree that the point is just to see what happens. I am working on this non-attached and non-evaluative attitude.

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Question for January 31, 2016: Mindfulness Opportunities
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you try to practice mindfulness anywhere else but your meditation practice? Are there specific places you most recommend trying to bring mindfulness?

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tusculum — 2 years ago — permalink
Every time it comes to mind throughout the day, I bring attention to my body and breath and stay present as long as I can. It's often very refreshing. I have experimented with trying to associate specific triggers with the practice, like coming back to presence each time I see a red light or go through a door or wash my hands or ... whatever. What seems most effective has been just having the intention to come back to presence many times through the day.

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Question for November 30, 2014: Time of Day
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Is there a time of the day that prefer to meditate? Why?

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Elanden — 3 years ago — permalink
I wish I were the sort to be a morning-meditator (just like I wish I were a fan of morning runs), but the truth is I prefer these things at the end of the day. In the morning everything seems difficult and gloomy, and frankly these emotions would possibly taint my perception of meditation. I am more accepting and inquisitive at the end of the day, so I think it is during this time that I am both more available occupationally and spiritually to get something out of meditation, even if the efficiency is variable each time.

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Lullabyehaze — 3 years ago — permalink
Morning is often a good time for me-- on work days, in can fit into my morning routine, and this ensures that I don't forget to do it! At the same time, if I am too sleepy, this can be a problem, and I am clearer-headed later in the day. My issue is that I can't find a routine that works for me so that I can be consistent with it later in the day.

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Question for April 20, 2014: Attention to the Body
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
When meditating, are your focusing your attention in a specific part of the body? Which? Why?

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msanna — 3 years ago — permalink
If I focus on anything it is my spine. It is the support system of my body. When I sit I can feel the muscles around it working to hold it up. 

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
That's really interesting! My spine and the muscles around it never really enter my attention. I've been trying yoga a little lately, and it's really made me aware of how many things like this in my body I don't regularly have much awareness of.

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Question for June 21, 2015: Meditation Changes
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you notice any difference in how you relate to the world when you do (or don't) meditate?

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Question for February 23, 2014: New Meditation Experiences
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Are there aspects related to meditation — styles, places, structured practice periods, postures — you'd like to try but haven't? What are they, why do they interest you, and what's holding you back?

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Noticing and relaxing facial tension
fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — in What works for me
A comment someone made about a recent meditation session reminded me of this: I can really tell a lot about how my mind is by examining the tension in my face, particularly my forehead and eyebrows. (Other people mention the jaw as well, although I wouldn't say I carry any particular tension there.)
Relaxing those areas actually makes me feel better, too; I've found it difficult to be miserable with a calm, relaxed face.
As a sidenote, traditional artwork depicting very advanced meditators tends to draw them with relaxed eyes; and I find that highly awakened people who are actually alive do indeed have those eyes. Here are a few photos--see what you think:
1. Traditional "wisdom eyes" drawing;
2. Buddha statue;
3. Adyashanti (modern spiritual teacher).

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Question for February 10, 2013: Meditation Books
Medivate — 5 years ago — in Question of the Week
What's the best book you've read about meditation? Why?

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terrormortus — 5 years ago — permalink
Mindfulness in Plain English By Ven. Henepola Gunaratana
I found it from another member who reccomended it (interesting enough to answer another question of the week) and after reading it started using Vipassana meditation myself.
It's a very nice little book that is about a hundred pages. It's set up as a very basic guide to get one started practicing meditation. While it is a Buddhist method of meditation the author tries to represent it without requiring the reader to start practicing Buddhism as well. The later chapters make it very obvious of the author's spiritual beliefs but its a very nice book overall.

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fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — permalink
I really love Illusion's Game: The Life and Teaching of Naropa, by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. It's just packed with psychologial insights, and I remember it speaking to me in a way that's really distinct.

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Question for March 17, 2013: Meditation Quotes
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you have a favorite meditation quote? What is it? What makes it special to you?
You may know, but Medivate has a rather large meditation quotation database, to which you can easily add your own favorite quotes. You can also get our quotes delivered to you over Twitter, or via email.

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emmacat — 4 years ago — permalink
"The breath, as we gradually discover, is a whole world. It is easily worth a lifetime of study." Larry Rosenberg, Breath by Breath

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fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
"There is no need to struggle to be free; the absence of struggle is in itself freedom." -Chogyam Trungpa
"But do not ask me where I am going,
as I travel in this limitless world,
where every step I take is my home." -Dogen

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Virtual Zendo on Friday!
kcasavecchia — 3 years ago — in Path of Freedom 30-Day Challenge
Join us 'in person' (via webcam) every Friday at the Virtual Zendo @ noon ET.
We meditate for 20 minutes...drop in any time!
https://mindfulness.adobeconnect.com/_a1020882563/virtualzendo/
(Login as 'guest' and type your name in at the prompt). 
Hope to see you there!

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More than 30 minutes
patrick — 4 years ago — in We meditate 30 minutes per day
While I may be ''sitting '' longer than 30 minutes, it doesn't mean that I am meditating that length of time. At least I'm aware now, after many years of sitting, what I am trying ( not trying !) to achieve; just to'' come home to myself ''and let go of the ''galloping horses '' of the mind.
Tags: aha