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Old 06-13-2017, 06:07 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
128 posts, read 73,826 times
Reputation: 139

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In War, all things are simple, but even simple things are difficult.
Clausewitz, On War


Is meditation and meditation practice different? I believe they are. Meditation implies a finished state, whereas meditation practice implies that it is a work in progress.

Anapanasati, Mindfulness of the Breath, sounds so simple. But, Like the quote from Clausewitz, even simple things can be difficult.

One of my early meditation teachers said just feel the breath as it flows in and out of your nose. Be aware but do not control your breath. So you sit down on your cushion or straight backed chair and breathe. The first thing that you think of is what to fix for dinner. And so it goes.

My Abbess at the Ch'an Buddhist monastery where I attend calls these intrusive thoughts to be monkey thoughts. Every time one does meditation practice, the breath is lost and your mind in engaging in monkey thoughts. In Psychiatry this is called tangential ideation, or in extreme cases, flight of ideas. This is very common in Bipolar disorder. But in a milder state this is what we do all the time. This is sometimes called the Default Mode Network.

So you are sitting on your cushion and your mind wanders. You must pull it back from monkey thoughts and re-engage the focus of the breath.

I like to do meditation practice about four times a day. This is what works for me. There is no set time, but somewhere around 30 minutes per meditation practice seems optimal.

So, what does meditation practice accomplish? On a personal level I feel more calm and more focused. I am able to control my borderline hypertension with meditation practice. I am able to reduce my diastolic blood pressure by 10 points. This is real, and evidence based.

The Insight Meditation people talk about being able to scan your body. This is true. Sometimes, when I do meditation practice I can feel an old L5/S1 back injury. It feels like a hot point.

Bhikkhu Nanamoli, author of The Life of the Buddha, says the purpose of meditation is to short circuit discursive thought. He believes this develops samadhi.

I am not really interested in jhanas or theological eel wriggling but what does meditation do for the individual. MRI and C-T scans have shown that meditation practice can have profound effects over time.

So, what do you gain from meditation?
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:03 PM
 
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If you mediate for gain, you do not meditate at all.
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:06 PM
 
14,890 posts, read 21,059,124 times
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What you describe - as results - is yoga. The path of the will. You know that Gautam abandoned the path of will, right? If you were to consider Him as etalon.
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Old 07-22-2017, 12:12 AM
 
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Meditation improves willpower skills, attention, focus, stress management, impulse control , vision and self-awareness. It changes both the function and structure of the brain to support self-control. Meditation is very important for me I always do it keep my body fit and young (urbanbuddha.in).
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