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accepting what is

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by headless hoppo, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. headless hoppo

    headless hoppo Member

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    a month or two ago i was struggling with my meditation.i was on lf9 at the time.towards the end of lf9 i start to find my focus again.it helped with some good advice from this forum.it helped to remind me to accept whatever happens during my sit.i started lf8 a week ago and my practise has suddenley deepened again.when your sitting is difficult you sometimes feel it will never improve.but it does.

    i just wanted to say to anyone stuggleing with there practise at the moment(and there will be a few)just sit it out.it will get easier.it fluctuates.the sooner you accept whats there good or bad,the sooner it will start to deepen for you again:)
     
  2. Panthau

    Panthau Member

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    Yup! And remember to not identify with feelings or thoughts, just observe them like an alien that visits your body :)
     
  3. headless hoppo

    headless hoppo Member

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    observe them definitely,but accept them mabye(feelings).perhaps alienating them is a little strong.i wouldnt suggest to anyone to cut off from there feelings.thoughts can be treated with a little more disbelief:)
     
  4. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Interesting!

    So would you rather be associated with your feelings e.g. "this anger is mine and I accept it" or would you rather be free of that association e.g. "this anger is not me and I choose to let it go"?
     
  5. headless hoppo

    headless hoppo Member

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    i agree not to identify with these feelings(thus turning them into thought forms).but accepting them is something different,i think.to accept these feelings,just to watch,is to transcend them mabye?
     
  6. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Actually, I think it is impossible to not accept these feelings as "what is" if there is no identification with them.
    Not identifying with feelings means that you don't attach a "me" to the feelings you experience. There are feelings, but they are not "mine". They occur within my attention, but I am not the feeling, I am the one observing them. There is a "space" between me and the feelings.
    You don't turn them into thoughtforms like you said, instead, you just accept them as something that happens to occur at this time. No resistance. Just acceptance.

    Treat it, just like Panthau said, as "an alien that visits your body" ( LOL That has got to be the most interesting way of seeing feelings Pan, but I certainly see what you mean ;) ).
     
  7. Jeff3028

    Jeff3028 Member

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    Thats the biggest thing im working on now is acceptance.My natural tendency is to control.I never knew anything else until recently.the concept of letting things be and happen as they will was tottaly alien.through meditation and practice i am slowly learning.
     
  8. Panthau

    Panthau Member

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    Things are only big if you judge them to be big! Drop all your thoughts about what you are doing right now! :)

    @Edwin: If i (?) ask myself "who is the thinker" then the one who asks is my mind, still the intention to ask comes from my self. So the mind must be an plastic-alien through which the self expresses! lol
     
  9. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    hehehe, or more simply, you are starting to use your mind instead of it using you.

    @Headless Hoppo and Jeff3028:

    Our whole society is based on the principle of "control".
    I am making the bold statement that even when you think you do, you have no control.
    You can't control what thought or feeling is going to come up. When reacting to that thought or feeling, you are not reacting, your uncontrollable thoughts and emotions are reacting. Nothing that you have done comes from you. All movement in your universe comes up from your body and mind without being able to control it.

    You can't do anything but simply observe all these thoughts and emotions.
     
  10. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Ooo, can I make a bold statement (or a few) too as this is an interesting point of discussion. :D

    First, consider where thoughts come from...

    When we are born, we are in complete awareness. You may think... "how can we know this?" Well, we know that we have awareness now and that this awareness doesn't come and go, but is always there, yet we have no memory of the earliest time of our physical life, and memory is created by an association of the sensory inputs, of which we have millions every day. As we experience sensory inputs; visual, auditory and kinesthetic; the associations between things starts to develop, and the more we experience the same or similar patterns of inputs, the stronger that association becomes... we are "learning".

    But how does the association take place?

    Each time we have sensory input, this creates a "pattern" (for want of a better word) and this pattern is matched against our memory. If the pattern were to be an exact match for what we have experienced in the past then it would match exactly a memory we have, but as we all know, with so many variations of everything in the world, getting the exact same sensory input pattern would be nigh on impossible. Instead the pattern is matched with whatever memories are closest and an association is made between the current pattern and the pattern in the memory.

    As an example, In a simplistic sense, say we already have a memory of "Smooth, Round, Green, and the word Apple" and then we come across some sensory input that gives us "Smooth, Round, Red, and the word Apple". This new sensory input is not found in the memory, but does closely match the green apple we have, so an assocation is created between the two things and we learn that something Smooth, Round and called Apple could be Green or Red.

    So, where the thoughts in all of this?

    This pattern passing to the memory is a trigger. The memory itself is just a store of patterns and doesn't do any of the matching process itself (a bit like computer memory has no processing power, that's left to the CPU), so it is actually the unconscious mind that takes the input trigger and trawls through memories to find things that match so that an association can be made. In bringing back various memories, some have a stronger match than others. These memories being brought up by the unconscious mind are the thoughts arising. The stronger the match, the more energy the thought has and the more prominent it becomes such that it raises up into the conscious mind.

    (You can see how some patterns of sensory input could easily create feelings of deja vu, as well as simply being used for recognition/knowledge)

    As these unconscious thoughts arise, even if they do not have enough energy to come up to the conscious mind, they will still have an effect on our physical self as they are reflected back to the senses that created them in the first place. e.g. the sight of a spider could bring up a long stored memory of a spider and the reaction that someone else had to that spider, causing your own body to react in the same way. This is why we have learnt responses, fears, phobias and the like.

    This is also why the EFT statement says that the Cause of all negative emotions (and emotions are just a physical reaction) is a disruption of the body's energy system (the retrieval of stored patterns of memories).

    With EFT and other therapies of that nature (Accupuncture, Accupressure etc.) they refer to the meridian system (or energy meridians). This is the ancient Eastern understanding of how energy flows around the body and the meridians are layed out in channels with various key points along them.

    So, with this understanding of memory, thoughts and reactions, what about our ability to control thoughts?

    Well, through recognition of what the thoughts are and the fact that we can observe them, so we cannot therefore Be them, we can simply have determination to observe them for what they are rather than attach ourselves to them. When we attach ourselves to them, we believe they are us and simply recycle the thought through our senses, strengthening the association. If we simply observe them and recognise them for what they are, what we are doing is allowing the thoughts to arise, letting them come out to our senses and associating positive acceptance (or whatever you want to call it) or a positive pattern of energy with that thought, which in turn get's stored in the memory. This can serve to lessen, or even remove, the negative effects that these thoughts have when they next arise.

    Meditation is just one method that allows us to still the mind enough so that we can be in a place to observe thoughts and lessen the negative thoughts.

    EFT or other meridian therapies, similarly work, by deliberately bringing up the negative patterns and then effectively manipulating the pattern of energy in the body to assocate a balanced energy system with the previous memories, thus changing the associations. So, whilst the memory itself is not lost, the associations with the senses that create "negativity" are broken and "positive" sensory feelings are associated in their place.

    In summary then, we cannot control the thoughts arising, but we can change the associations between senses stored as memory to the extent, if we choose, of completely dis-associating from any negativity. We can then find that, during meditation, there are fewer things that will be assosiated with the sensory triggers around us and therefore fewer thoughts arising.

    Well, that's my take on it... ;)

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  11. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    I agree with everything you say Giles, except for the concepts of "negative" emotions.

    Emotions are there to help us. When we experience them as unpleasant, as is the case with fear, jalousy, anger, to name but a few, we think they are negative.

    Accepting these emotions as "that which arises" in this moment, we don't have to "do" anything with them. Until it is recognised that these emotions are temporal and don't need to be adressed, they will be resisted, and resisting emotions will store them for later. They will come back and keep coming back until you resist no more. This is where systems like EFT and the other systems you described are needed.

    Even tho the emotions are still not negative, storing them in the body will release hormones in our body that on the long term are harmful. If you would experience them, and let them be, allow them to be there by accepting them, they will move on and for this short period, they are not that harmful for the body.

    However when keeping them stored in memory, the body will have a certain amount of what is known as "stress".

    Some emotions have been stored with us for so long that we don't even recognise them anymore. And this is where systems like Giles described can be a life-saver, literally.

    Just look at the story of Lester Levinson's life.

    So maybe "negative emotions" are the ones we don't accept, the ones we fight, the emotions we resist.
    It makes no sense to try to have "positive" emotions only, without allowing the "negative" in your life. Accepting all emotions turns on this amazing deep feeling of love, unity within. This is stronger than all other emotions.

    And that is the secret of living a deeply fulfilling life.
     
  12. headless hoppo

    headless hoppo Member

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    yeah! thats what i was sayin!!...i think...
     
  13. headless hoppo

    headless hoppo Member

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    last post to giles:)
     
  14. Suchitra Ray

    Suchitra Ray New Member

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    I Am A New Joiner

    Respescted Senior Meditators,

    I am a new joiner. So, before I make a start, I would request you kindly to let me know :-
    1. what is the best time to practice meditation - morning, afternoon, evening or night?
    2. should Meditation be done in empty stomach or, after taking light food?
    3. Any other simple advices - so that I make least mistakes and improve fast.

    With kind regards,


    - Suchitra.
     
  15. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Hence why I put the word "negative" in quotes, because it's purely subjective i.e. a concept created by the mind itself. So, yes, we agree. ;)

    Precisely. The moment you label anything, you are attaching to it. Attachment is the connection between the true Self (unchanging Observer) and the Mind, creating ego (which as we know from other discussion is not necessary a bad thing but is often construed that way)

    A secret that is not a secret. Simply something that people have to be wanting to achieve, hence they must first have the trigger that let's them go beyond the mind that is preventing them from wanting that in the first place. ;)

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  16. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    LOL! Ok, I know I can get quite detailed in my responses. Hopefully it makes sense. :D
     
  17. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Hi Suchitra and welcome to the community,

    No offence intended, but usually if you have a question that doesn't relate to the topic of conversation (thread) then it's best to start your own thread. I'm guessing you are new to using forums, so it's an easy mistake to make. ;) Maybe the moderators can move your post to a new thread of it's own.

    In answer to your questions:

    1. Whenever suits your lifestyle. The typical recommendation is to meditate for at least 20 minutes, twice a day. For most people that would mean first thing in the morning and then again in the evening.

    2. It is recommended that you do not meditate for an hour or so after eating, as the body is in the process of digesting food and a) meditation can cause the metabolism to slow down and thus cause digestion problems and b) the digestion process can sometimes be a distraction during meditation as we are often not at our most comfortable straight after eating. Eating some light food (a piece of fruit, a couple of biscuits, whatever) shortly before meditating shouldn't really be a problem, it's really just after main meals should be avoided.

    3.
    i) Leave at least 1 hour after meditating before going to sleep, but if you fall asleep during meditation (which can be common, especially when you first start out) this isn't a problem.
    ii) Meditate sitting in a comfortable position. Avoid lying down to meditate as this is conducive to sleep as far as the body is concerned and you are more likely to fall asleep this way. Have your back supported if necessary, but avoid having the head supported as you sit to meditate as this too can offer too much comfort and be conducive to sleep.
    iii) Avoid having expectations about what you believe you should experience with meditation. Whatever happens will happen. There is not really a wrong way to meditate, but some meditations will work out more satisfactory than others. Just accept that.
    iv) When thoughts arise during meditation (and they will), simply recognise that they are thoughts, accept they are there and choose to come back to your mantra. Use the thoughts as a trigger to recognise that you need to return to the mantra. Eventually, with practice, the thoughts will lessen.

    I'm sure other members will come up with other suggestions for you too. ;)

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  18. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Actually, I knew that. I knew that you knew that I knew, you know ? :p

    But elaborating might help someone. Feel free to do the same with anything I write. :) But I guess you allready knew that as well :p

    just this once, since it is almost christmas, hugs back ;)
     

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