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Old 01-24-2002, 02:05 AM   #16
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Where I reside and have observed these things, there's no denying that oriental mysticism is a fad. I'm not slamming it, I am stating a fact. Yes, it is true that there are sincere seekers, but the ones I have seen don't strike me as such.

I am sore about them rejecting Christianity not because I want to shove it down their throats, and I'm sorry I gave you that impression. I'm not that kind of evangelist. I tell people about my religion like I tell people about a good movie I saw.

Why am I sore? Because they not only reject Christianity, they insult it. To my face. Am I the only person who thinks Christians get more crap than people from other religions? I know why this is so (answer: because fanatics give us bad press), but doesn't mean it's ok to slam Christianity.

These are the people I am slamming.

About the hippies, yes, it is true that I don't really respect the hippie beliefs because most times, they are uninformed. Take the hippies who are fighting against Genetically Modified food. I've interviewed lots of them and they basically don't know what they are protesting against. It's like they are craving for a cause in their lives so they grab hold of anything that comes by. That is my general impression of hippies. Why, are you a hippie?


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Old 01-24-2002, 02:29 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray:
Where I reside and have observed these things, there's no denying that oriental mysticism is a fad. I'm not slamming it, I am stating a fact. Yes, it is true that there are sincere seekers, but the ones I have seen don't strike me as such.

I am sore about them rejecting Christianity not because I want to shove it down their throats, and I'm sorry I gave you that impression. I'm not that kind of evangelist. I tell people about my religion like I tell people about a good movie I saw.

Why am I sore? Because they not only reject Christianity, they insult it. To my face. Am I the only person who thinks Christians get more crap than people from other religions? I know why this is so (answer: because fanatics give us bad press), but doesn't mean it's ok to slam Christianity.

These are the people I am slamming.

About the hippies, yes, it is true that I don't really respect the hippie beliefs because most times, they are uninformed. Take the hippies who are fighting against Genetically Modified food. I've interviewed lots of them and they basically don't know what they are protesting against. It's like they are craving for a cause in their lives so they grab hold of anything that comes by. That is my general impression of hippies. Why, are you a hippie?


foray
Do I sense a bit of sarcasm in your post?

It may not seem like I understand, but I do. It is what I strive for, to understand the intentions of Christians because I have enough people close to me and in my family who have embraced Christianity. It is my hope to strive to understand other people's motives, and the root causes of their actions. I cannot apologize for the people that slam Christianity or any faith for that matter, because I refuse to apologize for other people's ignorance. To slam any faith is wrong, especially if that faith is good intended and allows for someone to find ultimate peace and solace. I will apologize though, for the brashness of my previous statement. I wasn't inferring that you're trying to shove your religion down anyone's throat, and my statement wasn't directed at you pesonally.

Yes, I am considered a hippie. By conservative standards of course. I am left of the spectrum but I care not to get into it because this forum tends to breed a lot of contempt for liberal ideas. It is not likely I will change any minds here and that certainly isn't my intention anyway because what's for me isn't necessarily right for you or anyone else. Nor is it likely my mind will be changed - but as I've found in my life that almost every side to an argument has a foundation, it has a purpose and even if I don't agree I can at least try to see where they are coming rom.

But since you asked so nicely and there wasn't a hint of sarcasm in your tone :: I thought I'd respond. Now before you start calling me a tree hugging liberal who obviously latches onto whichever cause is hip and liberal at the moment, let me say something. If being a hippe entails finding any old cause to wave a white flag for, then perhaps I'm not adopting that term correctly. It is unfortunate that the hippies you know latch on to causes they know nothing about, it gives level headed but liberal minded people a bad name. Much like evangelical Christians that smite other faiths give the majority of good intentioned and peaceful Christians a bad name. You get my drift? Or as hippies say, Can you dig it?

Really though. I think you know where you stand and you are solid in your beliefs, as I am in mine. I don't need to protest for a fad cause to know where I stand in my life and in my spirituality, and I'm sure you don't either. I can easily agree with you that Christianity is one of the most slammed religions out there - but on the same page liberal minded people are slammed as uninformed hippies when you know full well that the vocal few don't necessarily represent the majority.

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Old 01-24-2002, 02:29 AM   #18
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Furry, sorry to start a religious debate here, my question wasn't based on religious enlightenment or anything like that. I wanted to know about any type of meditation simply for relaxation purposes.

But after reading some of the things you brought up, I'm curious. Do you mean that any person from the West, shouldn't undertake something that is oriental in conception? Your list of a, b and c didnt include those who want to try it simply because it works for the Asian cultures and therefore want to see if it works for themselves. It sounded like you feel that any Westerner should keep away as it insults you. Which is fair enough I spose. Actually, I'm trying to be nice here, I dont agree with it. If what you believe is that it should be limited to those of an Asian background simply because its an Oriental practice, then I'm not so sure. Obviously, if you mean the 1000+ years of history and the culture surrounding that, then sure, many Westerners are not going to have a clue, and it would appear very chic to be adopting any of the ancient forms many Asian cultures have exclusively as their own. Feng Shui, Chinese alternative (to us only) medicines, and so on. But simply as a relaxation/meditation tool? To adopt the exercises, and the methods that have obviosuly worked for so long, is that an insult to you? I have to admit, I'd be a little bit saddened to hear that is the case. I feel that borders on cultural exclusivity (is that even a word? you get my point though).

Hmm, anyways dude, I'll leave it at that, and with my tongue firmly in my cheek, will go check out a typically Aussie practice of Roo Shooting. I've heard its great fun (could be therapeutic), and we Aussies invented that ya know?
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Old 01-24-2002, 10:45 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray:
I forgot to mention that the people who go into all the mystic stuff reject Christianity utterly. And this is not because they have been down the Christianity path and decided it's not for them. I've asked around and they don't know much about the faith anyway as they mostly came from hippie backgrounds. Basically I'm saying that a lot of Westerners these days are quick to reject Christianity but embrace oriental mysticism without knowing much about it.

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You are doing exactly the thing that makes you angry when other people do it. Look in the mirror.
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Old 01-24-2002, 12:14 PM   #20
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Angie: I recognise there are two kinds of these Westerners. One is the kind who seeks out this 'oriental mysticism' because it is beneficial. For instance, I think it's great that Westerners are seeking 'alternative' medicine cos some modern medicines aren't as effective. It's great that Westerners are being open to chinese acupuncture, ginseng and even some geomancy (most geomancy is fake). The other kind of Westerner decorates his house with anything Asian, and hangs Tibetan prayer sheets over his dining table not because of spiritual reasons but because it's chic. And so on, so forth.

Westerners have only recently become interested in the East and this has been helped by the media. Because this is a new thing, of course it's reasonable for me to think that all this is a passing fad. Just like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon has fueled interest in Kung Fu and Shao Lin. Give this a few more decades, maybe, and I won't call it a passing fad. You see where I'm coming from now, I hope? I don't mean to come across a cultural bigot. I'd gladly share my oriental recipes to you guys <g>. And no, I am not insulted by the 2nd kind of Westerners I talked about.

joyfulgirl: I'm sorry that I came across like that to you. You don't know the Westerners (maybe I should stop using that term as it sounds maybe condescending when I use it?) that I know. I am not like the people I talk about because I always ask questions about my faith, Christianity, and do not seek it because it is mysterious therefore I am drawn to it -- which is the attitude that they have. With regards to your other question ('how would you feel if someone said it was silly for Asians to convert to Christianity because it's just so trendy and "Western"?') , I don't know how to answer that because I can't imagine Christianity being fashionable; it is so not fashionable in today's world.

adam's mistress: No, I wasn't being sarcastic as that would have been disrespectful. As for hippies being slammed as much as Christians, I didn't know that because I wasn't brought up in such a culture. I always thought that the world thinks hippies=cool, Christians=uncool, because that's the case where I am.

Finally, to all here: This whole discussion started because I was against the type of meditation where one empty's one's mind in order to strive towards some sort of enlightenment. And I was only trying to caution Angela Harlem from that kind of meditation because personally I feel that it is not edifying, as I elaborated earlier. Some of you, namely joyfulgirl I suppose, say this is not the kind of meditation that you do. Very well, but let me just say that the 'emptying of mind' exercise was told to me by a friend who practises it.

If I had wanted to relax, I'd go jogging or exercise.

Oh yeah, about the 'hippies' who don't know what they're talking about, of course there are some who do know their stuff. Just that recently some GM-protesters raided a GM lab and ruined three year's worth of research. What they didn't realise was that this lab was looking at natural ways to improve the GM method, so no Franken-Food was being produced at the lab. And so, because of the ignorance of these protesters, much valuable research which was in fact in their favour was gone down the drain.

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Old 01-24-2002, 12:32 PM   #21
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foray--I agree with you that oriental influences in decor is a current fashion trend much like that of the American Southwest was a few years ago. Many people who are not serious Buddhists, for example, have statues of the Buddha in their homes. I personally see nothing wrong with it. I once had Buddha, Jesus, and pictures of several other great teachers in my home for inspiration.

However, various meditation and yoga practices as either serious spiritual practices or something that benefits the physical body have been around in the West for decades and I would not call them fads. It is just more in the public eye through the media now, but people have been quietly meditating and doing yoga in this country since the 60's, and to a lesser degree, even earlier than that.
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Old 01-24-2002, 12:52 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl:
I personally see nothing wrong with it. I once had Buddha, Jesus, and pictures of several other great teachers in my home for inspiration.
That is reasonable, but I was talking about those who also get into the spiritual stuff naively. I see what you're thinking.

Quote:
However, various meditation and yoga practices as either serious spiritual practices or something that benefits the physical body have been around in the West for decades and I would not call them fads. It is just more in the public eye through the media now, but people have been quietly meditating and doing yoga in this country since the 60's, and to a lesser degree, even earlier than that.
The history of meditation and yoga practice in America during the hippie era is, for me, painted with images of people protesting against everything under the sun, images of the beatles getting conned by the maharishi, etc. Once again, there must have been some genuine articles like yourself, but generally that is the impression I got.


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[This message has been edited by foray (edited 01-24-2002).]
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Old 01-24-2002, 02:08 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray:
The history of meditation and yoga practice in America during the hippie era is, for me, painted with images of people protesting against everything under the sun, images of the beatles getting conned by the maharishi, etc. Once again, there must have been some genuine articles like yourself, but generally that is the impression I got.


foray

[This message has been edited by foray (edited 01-24-2002).]
I can see why your impression might be colored by that, but consider, for example, George Harrison's involvement with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi--he was a lifetime devotee of that practice. While fans at the time may have jumped on the bandwagon and off just as quickly, for him and many, many thousands of others it became their sacred path. Believe me, I have friends today who are older than me, who began meditation and yoga in the 60's and are still at it today. They are extraordinary people, for the most part. It was exciting to discover that there were spiritual options beyond the Judeo-Christian teachings. I was very young, but I remember it well. The hippie era, in my opinion, was one of the most important things that ever happened in this country because despite all the drugs, protests and general craziness that surrounded it, what was at the heart of that movement was that many people were tired of living their lives according to other people's traditions and rules, and there was a great sense of emerging individuality and independence. It was chaotic and crazy, but America was changed for the better as a result, in my opinion.

But don't get me wrong--I do not embrace every yogic and meditation practice as being pure and leading to the highest states of consciousness possible. But I am glad that each and every one of them exists for people to explore while they are seeking a spiritual path or religion that nourishes them. There are many dangerous cults out there, too, and people have to be careful and discriminating about what they align themselves with, but many of these yogic practices are very beautiful and benefit a lot of people, whether short term or long term. It is my belief that God is big enough, loving enough, and universal enough to present Itself in many different ways, with many faces, to many different cultures at once, and that is the beauty of it all.
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Old 01-24-2002, 04:08 PM   #24
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Um, I didn't have the time or patience to read the entire argument going on here. But I do have a few things to say:

Angela Harlem: I meditate for various different reasons, and someone recommended the following book to me--"Wherever You Go, There You Are; Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I've already read it once, and am going through it again. It was written by a doctor who teaches sufferers of chronic pain to meditate. (It says he is the founder and director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and UMass.) He knows what he's talking about, and if you want to learn about meditation and how to go about it, I would get the book at a library or buy it. Also, yogajournal.com has interesting articles and info on meditation.

Second, it alarms me that people are getting so up in arms about meditation. Meditation may have Eastern roots, but it is by no means limited to Eastern religions or schools of thought. I think that some people in this thread have the wrong idea of what meditation actually is and who practices it.

In the book I just mentioned, it says this about meditation: "[It] will not conflict with any beliefs or traditions--religious or for that matter scientific--nor is it trying to sell you anything, especially not a new belief system or ideology. It is simply a practical way to be more in touch with the fullness of your being through a systematic process of self-observation, self-inquiry, and mindful action."

Also, there is no right or wrong way to meditate. For some, the goal is to clear the mind by eliminating distracting thoughts. For others, it is an opportunity to sit still and listen to their own thoughts for a little while. For some, it can be a way to achieve oneness with the universe, as corny or Eastern as that may sound. For others, it can be therapeutic. For me, I can meditate walking to my car from my office. Others meditate sitting in lotus pose on a cushion. Again, there is no one way to meditate.

And to stereotype those who meditate as all seeking the same thing or all betraying their Western heritage, or whatever, is unfortunate. Meditation has taught me to accept things as they are. If someone wants to meditate, who am I to question their motives?

Anyway, Angela Harlem, I encourage you to check it out. It is a challenging undertaking which I have enjoyed practicing.

I leave you with this thought:

"I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content." --Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass

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Old 01-24-2002, 04:10 PM   #25
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And by the way, AH, if you want to e-mail me, it's babyswan11@hotmail.com. I'd love to discuss meditation or try to answer questions or whatever.

Viva U2!



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Old 01-24-2002, 04:13 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray:
my mistake; I obviously didn't mean to say that rapping is ancient therefore wise, I was talking about the other group of people

foray

Oh What a Load of BS... I happen to have a very grimy quality of Confucius spitting rhymes to 'Rappers Delight', with Shaolin RZA providing the backing vocals. Hahaha.. (Insert non confrontational smiley face here)

L. Unplugged

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Old 01-24-2002, 04:32 PM   #27
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Very good perspective, HG. And my apologies to Angela for glossing over your main point, which was about meditation for relaxation purposes. I got stuck on defending it as part of a spiritual practice, but it seems that others may be able to help you with your specific question better than I. Good luck!

adam's_mistress--you rock, you hippie you. Always a pleasure to read your posts.

[This message has been edited by joyfulgirl (edited 01-24-2002).]
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Old 01-24-2002, 07:16 PM   #28
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Hey Angela, I'll send you some more stuff about it as soon as I can get in my hotmail account, obviously some people in this board are pretty 'touchy' about this sort of thing, and I don't really blame them.

Anyway, talk to you later.

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Old 01-24-2002, 11:23 PM   #29
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i dont meditate and i dont do yoga or whatever.

what do i do to relax and "escape?"

i really dont like the idea of escaping, because its dangerous, but i will lie in my bed before i sleep and pretend myself flying about 400 feet above a valley, with rather heavy snow falling and me just coasting over everything, slow or fast.

i also sometimes think back to the farm. wide open, in the middle of NOWHERE. noone can see me. i cant see them. i love it. isolation is bliss. then, i walk down the road and slowly turn it into a run. i run as fast as a i can and feel the wind against my face, and i always happen to run west for some reason. eventually i take off flying into the sunset, from running so fast.

thats my idea of escaping. its all in my mind.

this may sound corny, and foray may hate this coming from me, but i really have to agree with just about everything she said above. particularly about the hippies=cool, christianity = boo.
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Old 01-24-2002, 11:30 PM   #30
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HeartlandGirl, I guess you said what you said because you did not read the entire dialogue.

Also, let me make it clear that I'm not against yoga, only that type of meditation that I specified.


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