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Old 01-23-2002, 02:48 AM   #1
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Anyone here meditate?

I swear sometimes I am so lazy, I could just look this up on the net, but really wanted to know if anyone practices any type of meditation. I know there are many ways someone can do it, and I'm kinda not too keen to do the Hare Krishna style where your heart rate drops to a very low level or anything as I have too low blood pressure as it is. Im wondering more about the home brand no frills sort, where you just take yourself off to a quiet room and let your mind relax etc. The thing I'm wondering about is how to achieve this state. If my mind is all over the place, and ironiclally could do with some meditation, I find this is the hardest way to stop yourself and slow it all down. How do you actually achieve these states? Are there techniques anyone does that might work? Or is it best to get advice from someone who's qualified?

I've seen people in the Lotus pose and thought, it looks almost as good as sleep!

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Old 01-23-2002, 05:20 AM   #2
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Heya Angela Harlem;

Yes, I do meditate on a daily basis for about an hour everyday in the lotus posture you speak of.

Though I still haven't gotten into it as such, I practice what's known as 'Siddha Yoga', which is pretty simple and pretty non-demanding, and you don't have to pay to be a member or anything... so I like what it stands for. I hate to talk about it because I hate sounding preachy and bullshitty, not that I think it is, Siddha Yoga has truly helped my life and saved me loads and loads of times, and I know exactly what you mean when you talk of this 'calm inner state'.

Anyway, just to let you know that I do actually practice it, if you have any qyestions I'd be only too happy to help.

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Old 01-23-2002, 06:37 AM   #3
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Actually Angie, Im thinking seriously of taking yoga classes.
Im pretty flexible ya know hehe

I definitely need something like this to get my mind and body in a better state than they are.
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Old 01-23-2002, 07:00 AM   #4
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Thanks for that Anthony! Would you mind actually posting a little bit more about it? Or emailing if you'd prefer angelaharlem@hotmail.com. And it definately sounds in no way preachy I think it sounds very interesting. Ive been contemplating karate, but think I need either yoga or meditation more.
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Old 01-23-2002, 11:42 AM   #5
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I hope it's not the kind of meditation where you empty your mind in order to glimpse eternity, zen-like. That kind of mumbojumbo pisses me off. I never meditate but if thinking of a single topic for a period of time is your definition of meditation, then I do. Hope you find a great way to relax, Angie...

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Old 01-23-2002, 11:50 AM   #6
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Well, I don't see how you can call it mumbojumbo, let alone be pissed off by it, if you haven't experienced it. I have had amazing experiences.
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Old 01-23-2002, 12:25 PM   #7
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I sort of agree with foray
but that might be because my mind is almost never all over the place

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Old 01-23-2002, 12:30 PM   #8
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Okay then let me elaborate. I am pissed off by people who go into yoga/meditation/hareKrishna/anythingoriental simply because it is oriental and therefore exotic. It's the same feeling Westerners feel when they see Asian people rapping, I guess. It's like these people didn't come from that kind of cultural background but are drawn to it because it is (a) fashionable, and (b) mystic, and (c) ancient therefore 'wise'.

Emptying one's mind completely? Completely? I don't see the fruits of that. God told Joshua to meditate on His Word daily, that meant thinking about God/His teachings/etc; he didn't give us minds to empty them. That is my Christian point of view, you may say.

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Old 01-23-2002, 12:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray:
It's like these people didn't come from that kind of cultural background but are drawn to it because it is (a) fashionable, and (b) mystic, and (c) ancient therefore 'wise'.
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my mistake; I obviously didn't mean to say that rapping is ancient therefore wise, I was talking about the other group of people

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Old 01-23-2002, 12:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray:
Emptying one's mind completely? Completely? I don't see the fruits of that. God told Joshua to meditate on His Word daily, that meant thinking about God/His teachings/etc; he didn't give us minds to empty them.
now I completely agree with foray



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Old 01-23-2002, 12:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray:
Okay then let me elaborate. I am pissed off by people who go into yoga/meditation/hareKrishna/anythingoriental simply because it is oriental and therefore exotic. It's the same feeling Westerners feel when they see Asian people rapping, I guess. It's like these people didn't come from that kind of cultural background but are drawn to it because it is (a) fashionable, and (b) mystic, and (c) ancient therefore 'wise'.

Emptying one's mind completely? Completely? I don't see the fruits of that. God told Joshua to meditate on His Word daily, that meant thinking about God/His teachings/etc; he didn't give us minds to empty them. That is my Christian point of view, you may say.

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Not all Westerners meditate simply because it is exotic or fashionable. Sure, there are dabblers, but that's cool, too--I think everyone looking for something spiritual should dabble away until they find what they're looking for. I meditate because I have had a very deep, transformative experience with it that transcended my experience growing up in the Christian church, which was very empty and dead for me. I love Jesus the Christ, but I view him as a great Master, but one of many, past, present and future. That is my non-Christian perspective.

And meditation is not really about "emptying" the mind--at least not for me--it's about realizing that the Soul and mind are two separate entitites inside us. Meditation helps one to transcend the grips of the mind so that Soul shines more brilliantly as the spark of God within that it is. The goal is not to get rid of the mind, but to transcend it because truth is not to be found within it, but rather only in Soul.

But to each his/her own. I feel that ultimately all spiritual paths lead to God and I don't think one is better or worse than another (although I personally am not a big fan of religions). But I'm glad that so much exists in the world spiritually, that there is something for everyone. If prayer is where it's at for you, then go for it! I never try to convince anyone to do what I do, but rather to do more of whatever it is that works for them.


[This message has been edited by joyfulgirl (edited 01-23-2002).]
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Old 01-23-2002, 01:02 PM   #12
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Many of my Western friends do. Also, seeing that it is only recently that Westerners have become interested in all things oriental, it does seem like it's a craze/fashion/wave. Everyone wants to be a Dharma (the character on tv). So needless to say, it's because of this that I get frustrated, because many of the people I know are in it for the mystic (and I always wondered, what is so enlightening about mystique?, you understand the irony)

I agree with you that there is a need to realise the difference between mind and soul, as Christianity is a faith for all, so it includes the spastic, the less intelligent and so on. One doesn't need to be an intellectual to be saved. Ask a spastic person if he knows what exactly Jesus did when he died on the cross, and he won't be able to explain the metaphysics and logic of it, but he might only say simply that he loves Jesus and that is all he knows.

Anyway, what do you do when you meditate? Is it the sort where you concentrate on your own breathing and that's it?

I don't think all spiritual paths lead to the same end because it is logically impossible. I've had this discussion before, and it is late now, so I'll wait for someone else maybe to bring it up.

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Old 01-23-2002, 01:27 PM   #13
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Let me ask you this...how would you feel if someone said it was silly for Asians to convert to Christianity because it's just so trendy and "Western"? Not that that is happening a lot, but I think we can agree that "trendy" as a reason for pursuing any spiritual practice or religion is not terribly sincere, although even then, if you look deeper, I think all you'll find is someone who is looking for truth and love and disatisfied with whatever it is they've been previously exposed to. However, one's path is one's path, period. It doesn't matter where they live, or where the teaching originated. If you're drawn to it, resonate with it, are enriched by it, then it's the right thing. Your friends who meditate only because it's trendy will either have a short-lived and shallow experience with it, and move on, possibly finding something else along the way that really speaks to them, or they will move into it in a deeper way and be changed by it. In America, it's true that various Eastern teachings are currently very popular, but we're a young country; these other teachings really couldn't have made their way here much faster!

My particular meditation practice involves an esoteric path that, because of the strong Christian presence here, I don't really feel comfortable discussing in detail. But I can tell you that I work with a mantra that is an ancient word for God, and in the repetition of this mantra the soul energies rise through the body and collect at the third eye (I believe in the bible it is referred to as "the tenth door" or the "wicket gate" but I could be wrong, having daydreamed through most of my childhood bible studies). Or that's the goal anyway--I am not always successful. But when I am, there is deep peace, sometimes more. This has been my practice for 9 years, so it is not a passing phase for me.

Some yogas deal with breath control, but the one I practice does not.

As for the "all paths are one" debate, I don't need to have it--been there, done that, I know where it goes!


[This message has been edited by joyfulgirl (edited 01-23-2002).]
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Old 01-23-2002, 11:57 PM   #14
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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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Old 01-24-2002, 12:41 AM   #15
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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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And... so what if those people reject Christianity as being the faith they choose to follow? Is their being from a "hippie background" as you put it, so wrong for them? Is it wrong for someone else to choose to embrace oriental mysticism and not Christianity? It may not be up your alley but you don't really know until you've walked a mile in their shoes. Maybe, despite cashing in on the fad, those "hippies" are finding solace and peace in either dabbling or diving head first into the teachings of Oriental "mysticism." Sure they may reject Christianity because they haven't taken the time to study it, or maybe they are turned off by it because of the few vocal evangelistic Christians who claim that noncoventional/non-Western religions are nothing more than hogwash. There's another side to every story - but I think that slamming someone's spiritual beliefs by calling it a passing fad is quite insulting to those who have found peace in spiritual teachings that aren't based on Judeo-Christianity.

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Old 01-24-2002, 01:05 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, 01:29 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, 01:29 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, 09:45 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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Old 01-24-2002, 11:14 AM   #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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