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Why I meditate (and why you should too)


Ceaseless Change
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Overall, I'm not convinced that there are great benefits for me.

 

I'm alright with my consciousness as it is.

 

As for being happy as you are, you're a lucky person indeed. Although, you don't know what you don't know - if you had some experience of meditation and what is possible with it, you might well feel differently - you might recognise that "happy as I am" is settling for a lot less than you are capable of.

 

And that was exactly the same pitch I heard when accosted by a bunch of scientologists (?) in Oxford St. in London.

 

You opened this thread that this was a cause dear to your heart , I understand you are sold on it (along with Oprah) but I would be curious to learn if you also have a financial interest in say courses on meditation ?

 

I was involved some years ago in running various courses for businesses and maybe your pitch rang a few bells.

Edited by paswt
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And that was exactly the same pitch I heard when accosted by a bunch of scietologosts (?) in Oxford St. in London.

 

You opened this thread that this was a cause dear to your heart , I understand you are sold on it (along with Oprah) but I would be curious to learn if you also have a financial interest in say courses on meditation ?

 

I was involved some years ago in running various courses for businesses and maybe your pitch rang a few bells.

A fair question, and no, no financial interest at all. I have never and do not earn any money from meditation. I am not a teacher and never have been. I'm just a meditator.

 

I have done a number of retreats in the UK, at a centre which is 100% donation funded - you can do a 10 day meditation retreat there and walk away without contributing a penny if you want. Something like 25% of attendees do exactly that, and I have done myself on one occasion.

 

So the contrast with scientology could not be more different. Or with Transcendental Meditation for that matter.

 

And of course quite apart from the financial larceny of scientology, they ask you to believe some absolutely outlandish shit. Meditation doesn't require you to believe anything at all - it's simply a process of exploring your own mind by yourself.

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It is not too surprising that learning to ignore worries is going to help with these things.

Oh! What made you say that? That's a huge misunderstanding of what mindfulness meditation does.

 

I wanted to come back to this, because it's at the core of why mindfulness works. You do NOT ignore anything, that is actually the point, the entire method in a sense.

 

Let's say you are feeling embarrassed. You can deal with that in 3 broad ways:

 

1) You can act on it, which might mean getting out of the situation, or making excuses, or lashing out... some action. If that happens because the feeling got intolerable, then you are essentially losing control momentarily, reacting to it without any thought.

 

2) You can ignore it, suppress it - bury yourself in something distracting, mentally steel yourself and push it aside, etc. There is a common misunderstanding that meditation does this. It's not entirely unjustified because with concentration meditation that is really what you are doing, e.g. focusing on your breathing so that you dont have to be aware of the embarrassment.

 

3) You can be aware of it WITHOUT reacting. That includes reacting internally, i.e. mentally berating yourself, internally struggling to lose the feeling, etc - you just let yourself feel it, properly feel all of it, and accept it. This is mindfulness meditation.

 

And it is mindfulness meditation that has all the evidence showing real benefit to e.g. depression and anxiety.

 

Because when you systematically go through a process of teaching yourself to be present with difficult emotions and not fight them, but also not act on them or rile them up or make them more intense, what you find is they get weaker and weaker until they die away. You are actually (literally, I think) re-training the habit pattern of the mind so that situations and thoughts that previously made you lash out, or withdraw, or get nervous or whatever, no longer do, because you are literally going through those emotions internally and reacting differently. The brain plasticity means that over time you are literally changing the way your brain handles these situations, potentially permanently.

 

This means being aware of what you are experiencing - in the case of embarrassment a lot of physical unpleasantness and emotional tension etc - and just letting it be, remaining aware of it until it fades. The next time it comes up, you won't react quite as intensely, even if you aren't meditating at the time.

 

And bit by bit, you are retraining your mind to your benefit.

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But if you don't react to the embarrassment then you end up just standing there, in the middle of M&S with your todger hanging out.

This is about how you handle it internally - you can still put your todger away.... probably a good idea. The point is, because you are handling it better, you just calmly put your todger away - you don't lamp the guy in front of you out of sheer mortification and do a runner in to the arms of the nearest security guard.

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F'kinell, Ceaseless Change, knock it off will yer' ? You've become the most boring poster on this forum in the last few months, and I find your posts unreadable. You never actually ever provide proof of anything real; just waffly tangents, superior conceits and your own 'enlightened' beliefs. I've known a few people who meditated and they were among the most deluded, neurotic, narcissists I've ever met.

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F'kinell, Ceaseless Change, knock it off will yer' ? You've become the most boring poster on this forum in the last few months, and I find your posts unreadable. You never actually ever provide proof of anything real; just waffly tangents, superior conceits and your own 'enlightened' beliefs. I've known a few people who meditated and they were among the most deluded, neurotic, narcissists I've ever met.

 

Thanks for stopping by. I always enjoy your unpleasant contributions. I'm not sure I've read anything by you ever that wasn't dripping with venom.

 

Proof: All the many links to research papers I provided. Oh, but you can't digest clear writing. Oh well.

 

Tangents: Don't see any, care to explain?

 

Conceits: Look in the mirror.

 

Beliefs: You really must not have read anything I've written here, because I've gone to great pains to point out the total lack of any requirement to believe anything at all when it comes to mindfulness meditation, often referred to as "secular" meditation precisely for that reason......

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Just try selling your meditation bollocks to the sort of people who didn't have a lovely Christmas; who struggle to feed and clothe the kids, work all hours on minimum wage to get by, have no free time or luxuries, and who can't afford to heat their homes. Good luck with that....

 

I had a horrible christmas, thanks for asking. My mum died recently. And I've had to cancel two days of my holiday to go in to work. How was yours?

 

If it weren't for my meditation practice, it would have been even worse, though, so there is that.

 

Luckily for people struggling for cash, some meditation centres won't charge you a penny. Not bad eh?

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Just try selling your meditation bollocks to the sort of people who didn't have a lovely Christmas; who struggle to feed and clothe the kids, work all hours on minimum wage to get by, have no free time or luxuries, and who can't afford to heat their homes. Good luck with that....

 

Meditation is not "bollocks". Breathing exercises for relaxation and stress relief are a form of meditation. People who are on minimum wage and working all hours could stand to benefit the most from such exercises to calm them down after a long day and help their sleep routine as well as lowering stress which accompanies poverty and job insecurity. You don't need to pay anyone to learn how to meditate; there are literally thousands of websites and Youtube videos on the subject. Just type "how to meditate" in Google or Youtube. Not everybody is out to make money out of you. Also, meditation is not some new fangled new age thing from the east. Meditation has a long tradition in the west.

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