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Old 09-09-2017, 08:19 AM
 
Location: God's Country
3,917 posts, read 2,347,501 times
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The practitioners insist that it can ease mental distress and even lessen physical pain.


For one thing, when you're awake and refreshed, it's hard to keep away all conscious thought while focusing only on your breathing pattern. Some have said that people who pray the Rosary are doing a form of meditation, even if they aren't focusing on breathing. If true, then I'm meditating in a sense when exercising on a stepper. I can count the number of steps well into the thousands without any other thoughts. The mind is more-or-less blank.


And when finished, I feel better mentally but that can probably be attributed to the fact that the daily exercise chore is done for the day, and I suppose that the effort releases some endorphins and enkephalins. But those good feelings derived from the secretions are short-lived and probably more a function of the exercise effort per se.


So I guess that the only real benefit I get from blocking all thoughts and focusing on ideal breathing is at bedtime when I'm fatigued to begin with. It often aids in getting to sleep, but that's not the primary intent of meditation according to the practitioners as they're awake when indulging.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
13,437 posts, read 5,317,090 times
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Which brings up the question, why do you want to meditate?

People who are doing it for religious reasons want to fundamentally change their own consciousness, and must devote YEARS to achieving this. It's HARD. If that is your goal, then try asking your question in the R&S forum. There is more than one way to meditate, maybe you just need a different approach.

But since you're posting this in the H&W forum, I'm assuming that for you, it's more a question of relaxation and stress release, so you needn't necessarily be as rigorous as someone who is pushing hard to achieve samadhi/nirvana/oneness. In that case, almost any repetitive activity can work. For me, yoga has always worked well, you might try taking a few classes. All the teachers I've ever had include a brief - 10 minutes or so - relaxation sequence at the end of class, and once you get the hang of it, it is a lot easier to practice it on your own.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
2,358 posts, read 1,181,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvert Hall '62 View Post
The practitioners insist that it can ease mental distress and even lessen physical pain.


For one thing, when you're awake and refreshed, it's hard to keep away all conscious thought while focusing only on your breathing pattern. Some have said that people who pray the Rosary are doing a form of meditation, even if they aren't focusing on breathing. If true, then I'm meditating in a sense when exercising on a stepper. I can count the number of steps well into the thousands without any other thoughts. The mind is more-or-less blank.


And when finished, I feel better mentally but that can probably be attributed to the fact that the daily exercise chore is done for the day, and I suppose that the effort releases some endorphins and enkephalins. But those good feelings derived from the secretions are short-lived and probably more a function of the exercise effort per se.


So I guess that the only real benefit I get from blocking all thoughts and focusing on ideal breathing is at bedtime when I'm fatigued to begin with. It often aids in getting to sleep, but that's not the primary intent of meditation according to the practitioners as they're awake when indulging.
I do better with mindfulness or guided meditation (using a CD). You might try those and see if they work for you. Guided meditations geared towards lessening anxiety definitely have worked for me, even during some very trying times.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:06 AM
 
Location: MID ATLANTIC
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Meditation is unique to each individual. For several years, I had limited success with breathing techniques with and without mp3 aids. But one thing was a constant, it was a chore to block all thought........until recently, and an accidental discovery.

I have always reached for my phone when sitting in line or waiting for service. But I noticed early in the year I found myself playing solitaire at those times. It was months and a coincidental doctor's appointment that I had a lightbulb go off (but is no doubt a duh moment for many), but that simple diversion of playing solitaire was actually accomplishing what my (serious) attempts at meditation tried to do. Those opportunities actually cleared my mind of all thought, except red/black and simple sequential order.

But isn't this what hobbies are for? Yes, but those activities bring stressors of their own. Do I have the right equipment, can you get a tee time, is traffic terrible to get to the gym? Meditation is to clear the mind of all conscious thought any time, any place. I am sure many/most of the serious meditators will poo poo my realization, but it's no longer a chore. And I really gave meditation a serious go with multiple classes, books, biofeedback, and even self hypnosis (This was over a 5+ year attempt).

When I realized my angst was driven by my lack of desire, along with lack of results of successful mediation, I stopped trying. It's been a happy coincidence to realize I found my meditation replacement. YMMV
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Santa Monica, CA
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Many I've heard meditate right after waking up, even for only 10-15 minutes. It does Power Up The Mind.

Anytime during the day, just go to a quiet place and DO IT. Silent meditation works for me, I don't fall asleep, which defeats it all. Sit or even lay down...it's ok.

Mind starts to wander, bring it back to zero.

Mom prayed all her life and used her rosary which is a form of meditation and not even knowing it. She could have gone crazy with her marriage but the prayers and rosary got her thru I'm certain.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:39 AM
 
Location: rural DE
1,262 posts, read 338,914 times
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Realizing that those repetitive things (cards, steps, breaths) focus your mind on them and away from your stresses is the beginning of being successful at meditation. Your mind doesn't turn off, so you have to learn to let go of thoughts that cause you stress and anxiety. You will have those thoughts, but if you can let them go and not be distressed by them, then you have that break your mind needs to be healthy. You can learn to stay in that peaceful mindspace for longer periods of time and more at will. Classes or directed meditation are good suggestions because you give up more control by following along.
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:52 AM
 
22,021 posts, read 23,796,717 times
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Just keep doing it and stop overthinking it. It's working even when you don't think it is.

If it keeps you motivated, I highly recommend reading 10% Happier by Dan Harris.


https://www.amazon.com/10-Happier-Se...=10%25+happier
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Old 09-10-2017, 04:32 AM
 
5,115 posts, read 4,021,948 times
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Watch this link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/0...ate-animation/

It reassures you that the practice of meditation is the continual refocusing of your thoughts.

Do NOT expect to simply let your mind go blank - that's not at all how it works!

As the above video shows, follow these simple steps: 1) Sit up straight 2) concentrate on your breathing 3) focus on a single part of your body, 4) then focus and refocus and refocus your mind. It is the continual refocusing that exercises your brain!

As an older adult, I found out that a technique to put myself to sleep at night that I had figured out for myself as a young child (focusing on feeling what my feet are feeling at a given moment) is actually meditation!
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Santa Monica, CA
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I believe some really get into meditation and many "think" they do. And not really serious about it.
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Columbia MO
1,108 posts, read 1,551,831 times
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I had a hard time sticking with a meditation practice until my wife bought me a Muse biofeedback headband a month ago. The headband wraps around my forehead and gently hooks around my ears. After it calibrates, the sensors "listen" to my brainwaves, giving me real-time feedback of whether the waves are active, neutral, or calm. Obviously, calm is better. When it's calm, the aural feedback is soft (several listening options- I prefer "ambient music," which isn't really music at all, but the sounds are better matched to what's going on than the other sounds). I've "learned" to calm the sounds down for a couple of minutes at a time, and I'm quietly pleased at being "good" at it, although the program reassures me not to measure my performance too much, or at least not worry when my mind's too active.

It's the perfect gift- something I like that I never would have bought myself.
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