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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.


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[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.

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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)

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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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I find myself agreeing with many of the words of foray as well.

I don't know if it counts as "meditation" in the Eastern sense, but I run 3-4 days a week, and I try to use this time to reflect on my own Christianity. I'm not one for siting still as some type of relaxation or meditation; the only time I like to sit still is when I am sitting on the beach, and then I am usually reading a book and/or listening to music and/or drinking a beer, not in a meditative state.

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Old 01-24-2002, 11:30 PM   #31
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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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Old 01-24-2002, 11:39 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray:
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.


foray
First, I have since read everything that has been posted here. I still stand by what I wrote.

Second, where did this discussion of yoga come from? I didn't bring it up, except to say that yogajournal.com had info about meditation.


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Old 01-25-2002, 12:06 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zoomerang96:
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.
Just to clarify, meditation is not escaping. It is anti-escaping. It is being fully conscious of your own thoughts and your own being in the present moment. Like you said, it's all in your mind. Exactly!!!!

And although you may not want to hear it, visualization such as you've described is considered to be a form of meditation.

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Old 01-25-2002, 11:14 AM   #34
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hey Angie, I don't know if you can really call it meditation but I do visualization for swimming, and it works for a lot of other things too. I also could not do it at first because my mind NEVER freakin stops tormenting me, so someone told me to try really slow breathing patterns where you concentrate on your breathing, and you can use imagery like a white cloud that you're supposedly breathing in, and then exhaling all the bad stuff. It's really silly sounding but if you try hard at it, it can be relaxing and slow down your brain a bit. It has helped me to practice imagery that doesn't get interrupted by negative thoughts which I didn't think was possible, so who knows, maybe it would work for you. I'd read up on it and get some clearer ideas on how you wanna do it though..
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Old 01-25-2002, 10:02 PM   #35
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Ok ... not sure if this is really meditation, but its really cool ...

first your computer needs a 3d video card for this to work ...

1. get winamp if you dont already have it: http://www.winamp.com/download/

2. get the milkdrop winamp plug in: http://www.nullsoft.com/free/milkdrop/

3. Play some mp3s in winamp with milk drop set to full screen ... you could play some U2 songs, but I suggest using Trance ... like Max Graham's Transport 4 or Dj Tiesto's In Search of Sunrise or In Search of Sunrise 2 (you can get thease as huge 70+min mp3s from http://www.audiogalaxy.com )
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Old 01-25-2002, 11:36 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by HeartlandGirl:
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.
This is why I thought you didn't read all my posts, as I didn't say this.

Quote:
I think that some people in this thread have the wrong idea of what meditation actually is and who practices it.
Then kindly explain to me what it is I am not 'getting' about meditation (the kind where one empties one's mind, for this is the method I'm disagreeing with). Anyone explain to me, not just HeartlandGirl.

Quote:
And to stereotype those who meditate as all seeking the same thing or all betraying their Western heritage, or whatever, is unfortunate.
Where did I state that? You are clearly referring to me, yes?

To all, I didn't mean for this discussion to turn into an us vs. them thing, or West vs East, or hippie vs. Christianity. It's just a lot of 'hippies' or whatever you wanna call them that I know strike me as pretentious. And I reiterate, I don't deny there may be genuine articles like yourselves.


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Old 01-26-2002, 06:37 AM   #37
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Thanks HG, I'd love to send you an email if you dont mind. And Ant, thanks, I'll be replying very soon, that was one of the most fascinating emails I think I've ever read, hehe.

Sorry again, some of you guys got your backs up and were forced to defend what you all believe in. Joyfulgirl, Heartland Girl, Adam's mistress and fors, thanks for your thoughts and advice etc. Unfortunately people will never all agree on everything spiritual or religious. I hope no takes anything personally, you're all just coming from different places, and diversity is a good thing.
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Old 01-26-2002, 02:08 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem:
Thanks HG, I'd love to send you an email if you dont mind.

That would be great by me! My email is babyswan11@hotmail.com. I look forward to it.

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Old 01-28-2002, 10:33 PM   #39
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Sorry to drag this up again, just a quick thanks to kevm, that site was great

And babyg, I forgot to say thnx before. I tried this visualisation thing earlier today, and now I have a job interview tomorrow! Thankyou!
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