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All posts tagged “getting started”

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Question for May 5, 2013: First Introduction
Medivate — 5 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 — 5 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 — 5 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 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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Question for December 4, 2016: First Introduction
Medivate — 11 months ago — in Question of the Week
What first spurred you to meditate? Is it still the reason you do it?