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Meditation
Old 08-23-2009, 02:21 AM   #1
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Meditation

It seems I hear a lot of benefits to meditation.

My Mom cut out an article on it that was in I think Woman's World that a lady claimed to have cured her chron's disease my meditating every day.

Another thing that got me interested is one of my family members is very deeply religious and prays for probably at least an hour a day...which is like meditation I think. And he is one of the calmest people that I know.

I have days that I can get pretty stressed out running one of my businesses and I would like to be able to calm down at the end of the day or just be calm to begin with!

So I got interested it a little bit.

I can do the deep breathing....I started doing that a long time ago to try to fall asleep.

But I just can't seem to turn off my thoughts....I just have a rough time trying to meditate.

I looked online at some videos on meditation and I don't know some of these people seem pretty wacky to me and I had trouble following along with them.

Anyway I just wanted to see if anyone meditates on here or has tried it and if it helped them or not?

Thanks

Jim
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:03 AM   #2
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I have tried several times including taking yoga, but I get nowhere, my mind races most of the time. So I'll watch this thread to see if someone knows how a type A like me can reach that meditative state.
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summer2007 View Post
It seems I hear a lot of benefits to meditation.

My Mom cut out an article on it that was in I think Woman's World that a lady claimed to have cured her chron's disease my meditating every day.

Another thing that got me interested is one of my family members is very deeply religious and prays for probably at least an hour a day...which is like meditation I think. And he is one of the calmest people that I know.

I have days that I can get pretty stressed out running one of my businesses and I would like to be able to calm down at the end of the day or just be calm to begin with!

So I got interested it a little bit.

I can do the deep breathing....I started doing that a long time ago to try to fall asleep.

But I just can't seem to turn off my thoughts....I just have a rough time trying to meditate.

I looked online at some videos on meditation and I don't know some of these people seem pretty wacky to me and I had trouble following along with them.

Anyway I just wanted to see if anyone meditates on here or has tried it and if it helped them or not?
I'm reading/listening to an audio book - How To See Yourself As You Really Are. In it, the Dalai Lama explains that it is impossible to turn off your thoughts. This is where the mantra comes into play. Found a link that might explain this.

I do not mediate, but feel many of us would benefit from it.
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:05 AM   #4
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I've tried to meditate but just can't seem to clear out my mind. However with yoga I do feel that I get much closer because I have something physical I can concentrate my thoughts on - even as simple as lying flat on your back at the end of a session and concentrating on relaxing your muscles starting with your feet and moving slowly up your body.

I like to do yoga at a class or in front of a CD as having an instructor's calm steady voice helps me concentrate.

P.S. I am pretty useless at the actual yoga positions, but that's irrelevant IMHO.
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:39 AM   #5
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Emptying your mind of thoughts is a lifetime's effort.

Try to observe your breathing - not control it, just pay attention to it. Your mind & focus will wander, but gently bring it back to the breathing without berating yourself. Like everything else, it takes practice.

I find it works well for me, though frequently, I fall asleep
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:51 PM   #6
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I have explored it but do not do it in any regular way.

When I've visited temples, the monks say to simply listen to your breathing - you can keep your eyes open and stare at a spot on the floor or close them. When a thought crosses your mind you can acknowledge it and let it go.

There are also simple mantras you can say that help you focus on the breathing/positive thoughts vs the stuff in your head.

Thich Naht Hanh has some nice simple ones like... "breathing in I am calm, breathing out I let go...then you simplify to "in - calm, out- let go..."

I also feel strongly you should try to find mantras in your own language. I know some people feel it is more authentic to do them in other languages, but I hope they are studying the meaning to get any affect from them!

You can do them for short periods of time and still get some refreshing/calming effect from it. Do it for 3 minutes if that is all you can, then try for 4 etc. etc.
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:35 PM   #7
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Back in the 70s I got interested in meditation when I read about research documenting beneficial effects. At the time, there was a mystique about it and claims that you needed to get the right "personal mantra" from a yogi who could tune into your specific vibes. All, of course, very costly. Then I heard about "The Relaxation Response," a book by a Harvard scholar who studied it, concluded that there were real benefits, and outlined a few easy steps to achieve it. They have a web site up that tells you what to do -- kind of an open source approach to meditation.

Here are the steps for anyone to follow:

1.
Sit quietly in a comfortable position.


2.
Close your eyes.


3.
Deeply relax all your muscles,
beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face.
Keep them relaxed.


4.
Breathe through your nose.
Become aware of your breathing.
As you breathe out, say the word, "one"*,
silently to yourself. For example,
breathe in ... out, "one",- in .. out, "one", etc.
Breathe easily and naturally.


5.
Continue for 10 to 20 minutes.
You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm.
When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes,
at first with your eyes closed and later with your eyes opened.
Do not stand up for a few minutes.


6.
Do not worry about whether you are successful
in achieving a deep level of relaxation.
Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace.
When distracting thoughts occur,
try to ignore them by not dwelling upon them
and return to repeating "one."


With practice, the response should come with little effort.
Practice the technique once or twice daily,
but not within two hours after any meal,
since the digestive processes seem to interfere with
the elicitation of the Relaxation Response.
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I have tried several times including taking yoga, but I get nowhere, my mind races most of the time. So I'll watch this thread to see if someone knows how a type A like me can reach that meditative state.
At your service...
When I was in college and handling a pretty heavy courseload as well as w*rkstudy, I used to calm myself down by lighting a single taper candle and just looking into it.
I didn't clear my mind on purpose or think about breathing. By concentrating only on the beauty of the flame in front of me, I could forget how many calc and physics problems were due the next day or how many papers I had to grade before I went to sleep. By doing this for about 15 minutes, I could get myself mentally cleared out.
I haven't done that in ages.
Give it a try.
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:24 PM   #9
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I also feel strongly you should try to find mantras in your own language.
This week my mantra is "21 weeks, 21 weeks, 21 weeks...."

Next week my mantra will be "20 weeks, 20 weeks, 20 weeks...."

A few months ago I mentioned this idea to a colleague at work after a particularly stressful period, and she said, "repeating 22 years just doesn't do it for me"
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:04 PM   #10
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I think you can also achieve the "clear head" thru other activities. For example, exercise has a similar effect - if you purposefully only focus on the exercise, versus your life, job etc...focus on your muscles, breathing, etc...it can be very meditative that way...funny enough, I've found karaoke to be this way - just sing the lyrics, breath deeply and don't think about anything else! hehehe
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:12 PM   #11
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....and prays for probably at least an hour a day...which is like meditation I think. And he is one of the calmest people that I know.
Maybe it is not cause/effect? Maybe he is a calm person and therefore he is able to sit quietly for an hour?

-ERD50
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:08 PM   #12
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I disconnect at 5 PM. I will wade through fire on the clock, but my time is my time.
This was learned through experience, including the Army, so my experience may not be much help.

I have heard that a doobie after hours is very helpful, but that is only second-hand.

OK, disregard that.

Leave work on time (your call). Then go exercise for half an hour. The hard part is scheduling it.

Cheers
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:52 AM   #13
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I think you can also achieve the "clear head" thru other activities. ... I've found karaoke to be this way - just sing the lyrics, breath deeply and don't think about anything else! hehehe
Don't the Scientologists have a device made from tin cans that gets you a "clear" head?
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:05 PM   #14
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Find a wellness center in your area....they usually offer a group meditation class. Also, any CD's by the Kripalu Institute are awesome and it is a guided meditation which helps a lot.
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:43 AM   #15
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At your service...
When I was in college and handling a pretty heavy courseload as well as w*rkstudy, I used to calm myself down by lighting a single taper candle and just looking into it.
I used to light a single tapered thing too, didn't just look at it, very relaxing.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:49 AM   #16
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When the stress of my job gets the best of me I used to try to meditate. I've got the cd's, candles, mats, ect. I guess it works if you stick with it but who has the time to close a door, turn on relaxing music and stare at a candle everyday. I don't....

So I discovered a new method of relaxing that really works. It's always been important to me to find the time to run/bike/walk most days of the week. I use to fill up my IPod with upbeat music. You know, the kind that gets you pumped up. I realized one day, after a run, that I was more stressed out after the run than I was before. The next day, I was listening to the radio and someone had the idea of using relaxation music while working out. My initial thought was that I would become tired and unmotivated if I listened the to the 'Sounds of Water' soundtrack while jogging. But I decided to give it a try and it is awesome....

I now look forward to my daily exercise because it's not just exercise anymore, it's my time to get away from everything and relax my mind and body. It's even a good way to tune out the world while walking the dog. It has also helped my running because I get less muscle strains and injuries. Now I combine two daily rituals that help my health and reduce my stress.

I buy the cd's BB&Beyond. There is usually a little kiosk full of relaxation music. I think you can find music online, for free, on ITunes but a lot of ITunes relaxation music includes people talking through it.

Anyway, it's been a game changer for me and I can truly say my overall stress level has been reduced although the corporate world keeps me in check.
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:26 PM   #17
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Years ago I took a stress reduction course and it taught me how to relax and bio feed back . I bought a few relaxation tapes and would listen to them . They really worked . I would end up falling asleep and waking refreshed and stress free .
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:44 PM   #18
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Just a reminder for those with digital cable service...in the channel 700+ range on my cable service, there are all sorts of excellent music channels. I usually put on classical or soft instrumental when I am here all day reading or surfing. Zones me right out...
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:11 PM   #19
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The other element tied closely to meditation is mindfulness.

Monks have a lot of rituals they perform when they wake up, walk to the sink, how they brush their teeth etc, that teaches them to be mindful of everything - your breath, how you are feeling etc.

It blows my busy working mom multi-tasking mind - but is good practice and I also think effective at dealing with cloudy heads, depression etc.

I've developed a habit of "noticing" beautiful things - like the way the light hits a tree, the sunset, etc etc which keeps the flow of energy to positive, good things going...It's a good habit to develop in our fast pace maddening world!
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:12 AM   #20
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Back in the early '80's I was stressed, in every sense of the word. I was working rotating shift work, had to routinely "play the float" to make the house payment on time, among other financial concerns. I didn't know what was wrong in my life.

As an elective, one of the classes I took was "Controlling Stress and Tension" and one of the techniques was progressive muscle relaxation, a variation of donheff's technique.

None of it helped.

But a divorce worked wonders.
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