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Focus on breathing or not?

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by J&J, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. J&J

    J&J Member

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    I am really not sure about this. I'v heard that while listening LF you shoud focus on your breathing. I'v used this method. But i'm reading book about medition and it says that you shoud NOT focus on your breathing or anything else. It says that you have to just be there, focus on nothing and just notice your thoughs and emotions and let them go, not to grap them. Are both of them good or bad "methods" or maybe just one of them. I'm sure someone knows better than me, thanks:).
     
  2. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Hi J&J and welcome to the community.

    Where did you hear that you should focus on the breathing whilst using Lifeflow?

    Lifeflow can be used with any sort of meditation, including focusing on the breath, and no there is typically no "bad" meditation techniques. However the "focus on nothing" technique you talk about is typically referred to as mantra based meditation, and is the type of meditation technique you will learn if you download the free "Discover Meditation" course from this site.

    The point of Lifeflow is that it is being used to entrain the brainwaves, and this becomes more effective when the brain is less active. Less active can refer to focusing on a single thing, such as the breath, or when using mantra meditation. Ideally I wouldn't recommend using Lifeflow with guided meditations as this is causing your brain to focus on many different things and causing activity which may inhibit the effectiveness of the brainwave entrainment.

    I personally find that mantra based meditation is a more effective form of meditation technique than others, and it is the one that is taught under many names, including Transcendental Meditation (though TM also includes an "initiation" ceremony, which isn't really needed to do meditation).

    Try downloading the free course and practicing that, and see how you get on.

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  3. J&J

    J&J Member

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    Mantra based meditation sounds good. Yeah i listened that free course, but i have so little time to practice because i'm allways working :( Did i get it right? in mantra based meditation you gently repeat mantra in your mind and the whole time you meditate. Or can you stop repeating it when you get deep enough?



    I think that i was reading it in here, but it could be my imagination :)
     
  4. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Always ? Really always ? Never taking a break except to eat or sleep ?

    I myself have 2 jobs at the moment, working 7 days a week, literally. I have been doing this for more than 6 months now.
    Also working late a lot, and a lot to do around the house since my wife is 7 months pregnant ( yay ).

    I help put the kids to bed every night after dinner, help clean up because my wife is tired and has a painful pelvis/hip due to her pregancy, and since my weekend job is night hours I have to go to bed early every night.

    I have time to meditate for 30 minutes every day.

    How come you don't ? ;)
     
  5. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Ahh! The work conundrum, one of the minds greatest tricks, I want to meditate but I do not have the time. ;)
     
  6. Uplift

    Uplift Guest

    Yipes!

    Yet, meditation, LOA, Mind Movies etc, etc, etc are touted as making our lives much easier and less stressful, freeing up time, much more balanced, dreams realised and so on. This reminds me of the Mind Movies team who on one hand claim the technique will cause easy, miraculous results, yet simultanously talk about their starting the business as the hardest, most stressful, worst time of their lives?

    This stuff really interests me, as I believe that an important part of all aspects of life is egolessly evaluating paths, outcomes and circumstances, whilst not being attached to them, so that we can easily change course at will, thus ensuring different outcomes.

    If the goal is to learn to cope with and accept without question an ever increasing stress load, then the Armed Forces have a pretty transparent and enviable success rate. And they'll actually pay you! Plus your email address won't be sold to all and sundry for a quick buck!

    I hope this isnt rude, but I am serious. Honestly, does anyone question all those...

    URGENT!!!!!! Please act immediately!

    'PPPSSSST, PPPSSSSTTT, I have a very, very, very, very, special, special, special life and planet changing secret that I, Bob Proctor, Bill Harris, John Assaraf, Stuart Lichtman, Joe Vitale, Jack Canfield, etc, etc, etc, urgently want to share just with you (and hundreds of thousands of others), because I love and care about you so much. So, despite Mind Movies and all the other courses supposedly doing the very same thing, you need this one to miraculously, quickly and effortlessly change your life and make your dreams come true. But as a special favour to me, because I pestered him so much, this can only be available to midnight, so, please dont tell anyone and get in now!'

    God's got a good sense of humour! Southpark will never run out of scripts, thats for sure. Thank God for discrimination!
     
  7. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Ha, you got my fingers tingling with excitement, eager to start typing away :)

    This could turn into a fun discussion !

    I am going to answer you bit by bit :)
    Meditation is an age old thing, not something invented by Bill Harris or Michael Mackenzie for that matter. It has passed on from generation to generation for centuries, and most of the time, this was done without charging anyone any money.

    Actually, the meditation course that is being distributed free of charge by this website is similar to that of a meditation organisation that charges around 1500 dollars for the same course.

    Meditation itself won't make your life easyer in the sense that all of the sudden, by miraculous powers, your day will have 28 hours instead of 24, giving you 4 hours of free time.
    Or that no more problems will occur, as if your mailbox doesn't get bills and IRS notes anymore.

    So why that claim that you will be more balanced, have more free time ?

    Most people who claim ( just like you did ) that they don't have 30 minutes a day for meditation, are rushing through life without ever really taking real rest.
    We have been taught from an early age that the best way to unwind is to do some kind of action, an activity that we call "recreation".
    Reading a book, a crossword puzzle, even watching TV is active stimulation of the brain.
    And then there is sports, excercise, gaming...
    No wonder that people have their heads filled with thoughts all the time.

    There is only one way to escape those thoughts for us over-active people, and that is sleep.
    However, in this growing 24/7 society, more and more people are simply not sleeping enough, and some people react to stress with insomnia.

    However, meditation techniques help us achieve peace of mind, literally.
    For 30 minutes up to an hour a day, your brain gets time-off, and still you are consciously there to notice it.
    Over time, after having meditated for some years, the calmness that you have grown used to in meditation will start to leak into your normal life, and you notice that even in times of stress, you still have this calmness inside you, and you feel relaxed, even if the circomstances are very demanding.
    This helps you make the right judgement, make the right choice in how to react to a situation, a choice based not on fear or anger, but on common good sense. Kind of what you are saying below:
    Maybe the Law Of Attraction forum will interest you as well on this site :)
    hehehe. Too old for a career change in that direction, I will stick with meditation :p
    That is why I became active in this community.
    Even tho the site does sell a product or two, it doesn't do "IN YOUR FACE" style advertisements. Just the advertisements on the frontpage, and a monthly newsletter called "the good life" that has some interesting information and only a link to the website at the bottom ( and you can simply un-subscribe to it as well ).
    Aside that, people are left alone by the sales department, and are free to discuss whatever they want in the forum without interference by salespeople.


    I hope you don't mind me asking, but what triggered your post about these agressive sales sites ?
    I only told you how I have a busy life, and still have time to meditate... I don't recall trying to sell you something ?:confused:
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  8. Uplift

    Uplift Guest

    Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard...

    Gidday Edwin. Interesting reply. If you reread my post, you'll see that I never mentioned you or the Project Meditation site trying to sell me anything. I am honestly interested in the results of your meditation and comments though. Can you see also that I never mentioned anything about myself not having enough time to meditate? We all see what we want to.

    Below is a quote from the Project Meditation promotional material.

    "LifeFlow™ is a great product and it has become part of my daily routine... I’m now using Lifleflow 2. Gets better after each level by the way... I have just started my own business. I now see and realize that I have a huge potential success in what I am doing and have time for my wife and daughter. Michael, Thanks for helping me live a much happier life." - Mr Miguel Hinojosa, Nuevo Leon, Mexico'

    Here's another concerning Enlighten Q.

    'Some of the life changing benefits of EnlightenQ:


    •You are amazed how alive you feel and how your appetite for life increases.
    •You feel increasingly optimistic and posses a general lightness in your spirit.
    •You feel general balance and harmony through all aspects of your life.
    •Your increased feelings of prosperity and progress will help you attract even more.
    •Your sense of trust & cooperation increases improving your relationships, work & more.
    •You feel surges of positive life energy making you feel on top of the world.
    •An increased sense of personal empowerment helps you achieve your goals & dreams.
    •Your creative genius awakens and astounds everyone including you.
    •You communicate and express your ideas with courage and confidence.
    •Your intuition & ability to accurately assess future trends and events sky-rockets.
    •A subtle but powerful perception of truth permeates your being and sets you free.
    •Your ability to sympathize and empathize will increase dramatically.
    •New feelings of self-worth and self-esteem transform your outer world.
    •You are amazed how well your imagination explodes in to life.
    •Your ability to see those things that we deem spiritual or subtle awakens.
    •Your compassion for others gives you many choices of friends.
    •Well-being of your emotions and mind transform your happiness levels.
    •You feel love like never before and this love radiates and attracts more to you.
    •You experience light feelings that you haven't felt since being a very young child.
    •You live in the present moment and are free from your past and future fears.
    •You experience amazing feelings of inner bliss & extraordinary physical sensations.
    Look forward to sharing more soon.'

    Your reply to the original poster does honestly prompt me to think of the Mind Movies situation, and the other examples I gave.

    I have Enlighten Q and I see it as another tool to teach focus. Lack of ability to centre the mind and focus is a problem described through the ages, not just in modern times and societies. I lived on a remote island in the Philippines for a while, and mind chatter was just as big an issue in that society as ours.

    I sometimes look at the forum and the focus/don't focus discussions interest me a lot. Emptying the mind requires incredible focus. Total one pointedness, the goal being unwavering focus on the self, the source, not the thoughts and mind.

    I've meditated and visualised for a long time, maybe 35 or so years, and have experimented with visualising a particular outcome, or not having any outcome in mind, other than meditating on the source, the space before thought, which is the same for all of us. I believe a mixture of both is usefull, when someone really is in touch with their truth (don't take that as me saying I am, but I have had times when I know I have been, as I believe many of us have, or are in for periods.) The results are then astounding, as the source has no limit, and knows in a way beyond the mind, the best, true, unique outcome.

    In that state, truth is a characteristic that is clearly, intensely realised. There is no need to make stuff up, or mislead (putting it politely). Its clearly impossible, not remotely in your true best interest in that state. Dont jump to the conclusion that I am saying that you are doing that, but I am certainly saying that the examples I mentioned obviously, blatently are. So, the simple truth is, they aren't remotely in tune with the source, or any truth when acting like that. Why have any faith in what they are selling then? It stands out to me, in the same vein, that the point that you are speaking to the original poster from, isn't in line with the quoted meditation outcomes above, where balance, time, amasing success, miracles, etc, abound.

    It interests me a lot, that you'll accept this, and, as we all tend to do, cling to it tenaciously, rather than try something new.

    Sincerely Edwin, 1 + 1 = 2. If you want 5, it cant be 1 + 1 anymore. A new equation is necessary. I just reckon that God, your true Self, Oneness the Source, whatever we name it, would love to see you with abundant time and resources to share with your family. That's something to get excited about.
     
  9. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    I think we're just getting into one of those terminology shmirminology types of discussions... ;)

    I would say that emptying the mind does not require incredible focus.
    Incredible focus is a facet of the mind, and if you are having to use the mind in that way, then there is no way that the mind will empty.
    I would perhaps phrase it myself as "Stillness of mind comes from increased awareness, letting go of all attachments and focus."

    :)

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  10. Uplift

    Uplift Guest

    Focusology

    Then, all thats left is focus on whatever is behind anything, or God if you like. The ability to hold that focus and awareness when using the mind is the aim.

    Again, look at Enlighten Q, which is created to improve meditation. Its a system of dramatically improving focus.

    My experience and observations are that people get what they are able to focus on and to what degree.

    All the best.
     
  11. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    But isn't whatever is focusing the one that is behind anything?

    Something to ponder :)
     
  12. Uplift

    Uplift Guest

    Ponder, this, or that.

    Exactly! And the more you are able to focus on that, on the real you, the more you realise about your true self, and others. And when it really, actually dawns on you, its unmistakeable. You honestly experience something beyond thought, and Beingness or Oneness is more than thoughts or ideas.

    Its our choice. A paradox, what seems Selfish, Self absorbed or centred, turns out to be considering all, what seems to be focusing inwardly is actually expansion. So, you have the unlimited dimensioned big picture, and the possibilities that entails. So, people like Buddha, Jesus etc, by being so centred and focused on God, on Being don't have to try and love everyone, they automatically do and are. Its a genuine trait.

    Kind of like someone who focuses on say chinups. First they are at one fitness level. In time, depending how much they focus, that changes. They don't have to try and be stronger, or wonder about it, they actually are. They have changed. And, if they lose focus, they change back to what they were, or even may become less fit than before, if that becomes their focus.

    Meditation is focus, thats all. Focus on emptying your mind, you'll get an empty mind. If you dont, you wont. All paths lead to the source. If you are focused enough it will dawn on you sooner or later that the focuser is the important one, and, you can just be, because everything you experience, increases the focus on being. 'See God everywhere.' Another paradox.

    And like chinups and getting fitter, knowing and doing are keys. Technique certainly helps, then you are really focused and getting down to business. Results flow.

    So J&J maybe use your ability to focus, its free. Heres one that might suit. When eating, or any other suitable activity, think of God, Being, Oneness, whatever that means to you, as present in every morsel, every chew, digestion, whatever, then think of God, Being, Oneness as doing the eating. In time, the eater, the eating are the same, it will actually dawn on you, and you will experience it. I actually did this, in a different way and got good at it, and it will effect you for the better.

    All the best anyway.
     
  13. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Reading back our posts it looks like I for some reason misunderstood some of your remarks, Uplift.
    I am sorry for that.

    Your last post is however very clear and I have nothing to add to that.
     
  14. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Hmmm, not sure. I think it's the word "focus" I am interpreting differently.

    To me, "focus" requires action by the mind, whereas "awareness" simply is.
    One cannot focus on the true self as the mind cannot see the true self. Even awareness cannot be aware of the true self, but can only BE the true self.
    In my words, meditation is not about focus, but about non-focus.
     
  15. Uplift

    Uplift Guest

    The lense

    But what about a conciousness, a Being that is able to focus through something much more efficient than the physical senses? Or perhaps even develop the mind to a level beyond comprehension. Or focus in ways far superior to normal thought. Again, eyes have not seen, ears have not heard.

    Whatever you are aware of, you are focused on. If you become aware of the object, the mind, and stay there, focus your attention there, your focus shifts there. Its always a paradox. One pointedness is a term used to describe success in meditation on anything, particularly God. And anyone who realises One pointedness on God, even if for a short time actually realises and understands the One behind the many. The focus actually expands to way beyond the mind. I think its a limited assumption to believe that only minds can focus. To literally say, God, Oneness can't focus without a mind. Oneness can't focus on itself. But the story goes according to anyone who has claimed to have experienced awareness of Oneness, that Oneness is unlimited.

    Eckart Tolle likes the Being, the Isness method. Try it, it takes a lot of concentration, practise and focus, to ignore the thoughts and fix, that is focus the conciousness on the non thoughts. Its about choice, what we choose to focus on, or as some cultures describe it, attachment to Truth, or non attachment to falsehood.

    However my real interest is in results. Thats what prompted my original post. And I believe we should be honest and fearless regarding results promised and results gained. Either the promises are false, or they are true. If we decide they are true, by using discrimination and our whole hearted results honestly arent reflecting that, I believe its time to either alter the technique, or to try another one.
     
  16. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Yep, we're talking about the same thing, but just referring to it differently.

    What you refer to as "focus" I refer to as "awareness". When you have awareness, it doesn't require any focus, hence why I call focus a facet of the mind. "Focus" is limiting; it's saying "I am concentrating on this and not the other", but by placing things as "this" and "other" we are creating duality between things, which I know for myself is not truth. Awareness on the other hand is all encompassing. It is possible to be aware of the mantra during meditation as a part of the whole awareness of everything.

    Perhaps this is why we differ in our explanations. I don't believe in God in the sense that you seem to. I don't believe there is an 'entity' that is seperate from ourselves, and the concept of "One behind the many" is a dualistic concept I cannot comprehend except in terms of the human mind's understanding of everything being individual rather than One.

    Indeed, Oneness is unlimited, and that's the point. "Focus" takes you away from Oneness and seperates it to "this focus" and "this not focus"

    Yes, I've read some of Tolle's books. I like what he writes, though he does have a way of describing it that is too much in the "God" camp for me (and no offence to anyone who does believe in God in that way, we each have our own understanding of these things. Do I believe in god, yes I do, just not in the same way as you ;) )

    Absolutely, people have to understand and use methods they find right for themselves. My method of mantra meditation does not involve focusing on the mantra, it involves inviting the mantra to repeat itself as it will, at a speed it will, at the volumes it will (if you can comrehend a volume in silence hehe!) and come and go as it will. Should I choose to focus on it (and I know from experience) then the mind starts to 'look' at the mantra and try and analyse it, interpret it, manipulate it and then start bringing up thoughts about it. That, to me, defeats the purpose of meditation.

    :)

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  17. Uplift

    Uplift Guest

    terminology shmirminology

    Gidday Giles. Yeh, looks like interpretation revolving around terminology is rearing its head. Which interests me also as this has been in your mind from the outset and I am really interested in LOA, or the mind's effect on our lives.

    Its an assumption to decide my understanding of God. Gods a funny one. What is God? Do you know beyond doubt? And if so, and if you truly believe it and are it, no limits. Some people are/were reported as being much different in limits to most people, and I see in them an extraordinary ability to be able to focus, as a common denominator.

    Learning to control awareness is learning to focus awareness. Otherwise why bother with any particular mantra, or meditation? Why not just let awareness wander anywhere?

    Its like a top athlete. Say a tennis player. The crowd yells. Planes fly over, muscles ache, doubts creep into the mind, etc, etc, etc. The ability to be a part of all this, yet keep awareness primarily focused on their tennis game has a huge, obvious effect on outcomes.

    Again, results. Or, know them by their fruits (dont assume that because I like Jesus's ideas, among others, that I am any particular religion). If someone says to me, here's a way to do chinups that will make you really fit, much fitter than most people, yet they aren't much fitter despite years of practise, I question the validity. Even if they are much fitter, yet thousands are using their chinup method and aren't much fitter, same thing. Perhaps they were born that way with no idea how or why they are.

    I dont think its a coincidence that people who made a huge, lasting impression on our world regarding discovering our true nature all advocate focus. Control of awareness. People inflicted with insanity have no control over awareness and are unable to focus and direct it. Tolle observed this about his own mind. We all are capable of it to various degrees and if left unchecked it derails our direction. How many say, I will meditate every day, yet arent. Or, I will exercise, eat healthily, lead a balanced life, and so on, yet dont. Their awareness wanders at will. Limited focus.
     
  18. olmate

    olmate Member

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    This is an interesting thread. One which seems to touch on challenges that meditators encounter from time to time on their path.

    The work of fourth-century Christian Meditation master being reviewed last night identified a danger he termed pax perniciosa - the pernicious peace. By that he seems to be refering to the point encountered at various points along the path where we say "so far and no further, this will do". Perniciosa means destructive or fatal.

    It seems the types of challenge that presents - even back in the fourth century and earlier - are ideas that we are too busy, too tired, got other priorities or I prefer to do it this way or I can get by by just ... or whatever the creative mind dreams up.

    The interesting thing though when one honestly and openly distills all of the complexity away so the core reveals itself we see the utter simplicity of it all.

    Looking back to the works of the fore fathers, the masters, the teachers ... a couple of simple and clear messages emerge from the fog of day-to-day living... a tradition only becomes real when it is faithfully practiced. Words on a page of century old traditions mean very little unless we add the light of our own faithful experience to read it by. And secondly given the complexity in day to day lives, the challenges and their apparent immensity, it is very difficult for us to believe in anything that is very simple, very straightforward, very clear. It is difficult for us to believe that these teachings could be important and could become effective, even life changing. But it has to be experiential - actually making time to sit and practice.

    And what is that simplicity? All that is of importance is that each of us, as best we can in these earthen vessels, is be as open as we can to the essential truth of our silent and still core. We are invited to be in the "all in all". As far as we can see with our limited insight, the way to the necessary experiential commitment to dwell in this place under the tradition of mantra based meditation is our single, simple word. It is as simple as that.

    Nothing but the best...

    Olmate
     
  19. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    Hi uplift (I like the name) I was just reading this thread, thinking how I simply press play, enjoy and accumulate really noticable benefits in my daily life - it reminded me of the following joke I heard many years ago:-

    Have you heard of the three men who were led to the guillotine? I can't remember it too well except that the first two each took turns at kneeling down to the guillotine, which stuck half way down and so they were allowed to walk away free. The third man was an engineer and just before he put his head in place, looked up, spotted the problem and told his executioners :eek:

    No offence meant here, just a funny thought hehe

    I wish you much peace and joy :) :) :)
     
  20. Uplift

    Uplift Guest

    Irony

    Gidday, Pollyanna, that is a funny one. Ironic though, its only due to some very focused engineers that you can just push play!
     

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