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from religion to meditation

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by brozen, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. thevision

    thevision Member

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    A Christian meditator here...

    I meditate daily and live a meditative lifestyle and facilitate guided meditations in my coaching practice. Your concern actually speaks to a larger issue that what some call religion is actually not the practices of Christ who went away often alone to meditate AND pray. That's how the individual cares for themselves and generates wholeness or Holiness.

    David in the old testament made it practice to meditate in the morning. Joshua received instruction to meditate or mutter on the what was universally true to rid himself of fear and Solomon meditated deeply and would prove to have wisdom beyond his years.

    Its not a conversion conversation it is a convergence of truth paradigm.

    Religion is a system. Does not matter what the label is or faith or denomination; its a system or a construct. Systems require repeat consumption where as self care - meditation is a cycle of giving or Christ. In order for the system to function properly, ideally the system "should" serve individuals who are whole inwardly to come into community outwardly in celebration of wholeness ( holiness = Alignment with God, Alignment with self, Alignment with community)

    Your experience does not need justification it just what it is and as the results are demonstrated through your internal peace, your love and oneness with others they will ask how and then the teacher - not teller - is revealed to the student.

    : ) Blessings

    Tina Michelle


     
  2. brozen

    brozen Member

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    Is there a way of being 'angry'
    without forming emotional anger?

    I want to be able to hold negative stances towards things that bring suffering, but I don't know another way of describing it without the ego's description of feelings and reactions ie. anger.

    Can you 'hate' with love?

    Or is this all a problem of language.
    Confusing.
     
  3. Mr Monkey

    Mr Monkey Member

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    Hi Brozen,

    Not really. Anger can be bundled in with thoughts as things that are observable by self. Next time you feel angry, go and sit down and watch your thoughts and feel/watch what’s going on in your emotions/body. You'll feel sensations that you normally give the general label ‘anger’ and no doubt have thoughts about how you can ‘right the wrong’ of the person/situation that triggered it off. Anger (along with a lot of other emotional stuff) is a good indicator that the ego is involved; either being reinforced in either a positive or negative sense.

    Maybe your trying to create a 'drive/purpose' though anger that you feel you 'should' have, which you just don't naturally have? Just a thought that passed though my mind whilst writing this.

    In relation to above, I would urge you to try and reflect on this often.

    Your mind is pulling you all over the place at the moment, I get this a lot too :eek: :eek: – a few things for it to mull over :D:
    • What would happen if you didn’t hold a negative stance towards things that bring suffering, you just dropped this idea totally?
    • What is you couldn’t alleviate the suffering others? Does this mean you’re a failure or not ‘good’?
    • Does your ego like the idea that you become a champion for alleviating suffering? Perhaps this has a strong link to a desired self-identity?
    • Suffering is subjective, what I consider suffering is something you may think is insignificant etc.
    • Why on earth would you want to hold a negative stance on something? If say its negative, somewhere you recognise it’s not positive which is normally a reasonable sign that it’s not a constructive approach.

    Nope. You can though, accept others along with all there ‘faults’, with love.
    Why do you need to hate at all?
    Positive change can be made without the need for hate; in fact forgiveness can bring about huge positive change for all involved. I’ve never liked the word hate; it’s always seemed quite cold, unforgiving and blinded by its own ideas.

    A rather lame example....
    A person sees another human being drowning so naturally they dive into the water and save them :). When they get out they start talking and the first person says “Thank you for saving me, I’m Mr Smith”, the lifesaver says “My family have had a long running feud with the Smiths, I hate you!” and throws in back in the water! :eek: :eek: :eek:.

    This is just an illustration of how a human being can be turned into a label, and not only that but a label that blinds someone into making an emotional reaction that stops them seeing the human being. All this is done by the mind, saying what is right/wrong and how things ‘should be’.

    This is normally a positive sign, shows that your mind is being given some good food for thought.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  4. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    As Karmoh picked up, the television cannot create anger, as per my car analogy.

    You can't BE angry. If you are observing the anger, you can't be it. How can you be something that you are observing? Anger can only exist as the dualistic concept of something 'else' that is not truly You. Anger is a creation of the mind/ego, and you are attaching to that anger and believing it is you, but in truth it is not. Whatever you observe, you cannot BE.

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  5. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    In a way, everybody in this world has thinks that an emotion, being it anger, or fear, or being irritated or annoyed by something, automatically means that you have to react to that.

    But in reality, we don't always do that.

    Sometimes someone can get you so angry that you could kill that person, but thankfully, people have some kind of mechanism that stops you from doing that.
    But still, even tho this is proof that we are able to not react to it, we think that we have to set things in motion because of our e-motion.
    However, an emotion can change faster than the weather, just a normal discussion where someone offers you a different point of view can be enough to change your emotion 180 degrees.

    So, emotions are very strong triggers, but in it's basics rather unfounded, and not to be trusted. Before acting upon an emotion, find out if the emotion can be trusted.

    You asked "can you hate with love", and the answer is of course no.

    Can you act out of love, yes. If you have love and compassion towards everybody, both the one causing the injustice you see, and the one who is subjected to that injustice, you can make a change.
    Because from that love, a different frame of mind helps you to see both sides, and you are able to adress the issue without causing more hate.
    I don't have to hate my child if he beats another child, but can be very clear in making him understand what he is doing wrong.
    If I would have to hate my child to do that, I would have to threaten him to not do it again or I will beat the crap out of him. But he will only learn to make sure to only beat a kid if dad won't be able to find out, instead of learn why hurting another child is wrong.

    I hope you get my drift...

    Mr Monkey said something earlyer:

    "Your mind is pulling you all over the place at the moment"

    One of the first things meditation helps us understand, is that not every thought and emotion has to be followed. This is not just about during meditation, but a lesson for the rest of your life :) Once you learn discrimination towards thoughts and emotions, you can act out of love, and not act because you think you have no choice.
     
  6. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    I think Ghandi's words "Be the change you want to see in the world" speak volumes. I think the following quote is also very true and appropriate to this interesting thread:-

    “Acquire inner peace and a multitude will find their salvation near you.”
    Catherine de Hueck Doherty

    If you have read yesterdays issue of the Good Life from Michael, you will find it is very appropriate with this thread as he explains brilliantly about anger/negative emotions and how to accept and observe them to enable them to dissolve. He also gave a couple of links to Eckhart Tolle. If you only watch the last 30 minutes of the following link, you will gain a great deal of not only how to help yourself but also how to help others. It's quite mind blowing stuff.

    http://www.project-meditation.org/c...ower-not-knowing-eckhart-tolle.html#post24298

    I'd love to hear some of your views if you take the time to read what Michael has said and watch the above link

    I wish you much peace and joy :) :) :)
     
  7. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Face emotions like anger directly for what they are—energy movements within your body, making a self out of what is arising just strengthens the ego. When you see emotion in this way, you realise that emotions are simply letting you know that your thoughts are self-centered. So watch the corresponding story in your head when emotions arise in the body. It is a story all about you, and how you are not getting what you want, or how you do not want what you have.

    Jill Bolte Taylor in her book My Stroke of Insight, mentions that the chemical reaction (for example anger) last 90 secs, then dissipates. Use this knowledge. feel the awareness of the reaction in the body. Once the anger reaction is on the wane the ego/mind kicks in, the story of anger begins. See the make-up of a psychological loop that feeds on itself, always and only concerned with its own self-definition and separation.


    Peace :)
     
  8. olmate

    olmate Member

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    The discussion on anger bought up recollections of Monty Python's take on life.

    All Things Dull And Ugly
    from Monty Python’s Contractual Obligations Album

    As a 20th century reaction against All things bright and beautiful,the Monty Python team challenged people to bring a sense of awe and wonder even to things that are not so bright and not so beautiful.

    "All things dull and ugly, All creatures, short and squat, All things rude and nasty, The Lord God made the lot.

    Each little snake that poisons, Each little wasp that stings, He made their prudish venom, He made their horrid wings. All things sick and cancerous, All evil great and small, All things foul and dangerous, The Lord God made them all.

    Each nasty little hornet, Each beastly little squid, Who made the spiky urchin? Who made the sharks? He did! All things scant and ulcerous, All pox both great and small, Putrid, foul and gangrenous, The Lord God made them all."

    Its all about perspective...

    Olmate
     
  9. Bryan555

    Bryan555 Member

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    You are, of course, correct about anger itself, Karmoh. The 90-second thing is a very useful reminder. But I think Brozen is actually talking about resentment, rather than anger: the long-lasting, seething resentment which, yes, television can and does create.

    There is really no comparison between TV and a car. Cars don't speak nonsense. Cars don't spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours to distort the world and purvey hidden agendas. Cars don't influence elections, governments...our belief system itself. So, in that sense, television is very, very far from being inanimate.

    I think that is precisely what bothers Brozen. I also think it should concern him deeply...because it "concerns" all of us.

    What we do about it, of course, is another question entirely. Giles has made some excellent points along those lines. But I don't think, Karmoh, that the effects of the Fox News channel (or the News of the World, in England) are going to evaporate in 90 seconds.

    PS -- By the way, to TheVision: No one else seems to have commented on your post. I just wanted to say that I found it very interesting, and thanks for bringing the perspective of "a Christian meditator" to this discussion. Hope you will keep posting.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  10. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Hi Bryan,

    I used anger as word only. It could have been fear, sex, envy etc. it seems I may have gone off thread a little, I thought the thread had moved on to Anger. I stand corrected. :)

    TV sets are inanimate objects from an everyday human perspective. It’s the content we chose that causes the conflict, simple...supply & demand. Oil, Drugs, Fast Food, Prostitution, the list is endless.

    How you interpret the TV signal is subjective.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  11. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    This thread is a very interesting weave of thought and emotion. To add another perspective you might consider..this post from
    The alchemy of suffering

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You can think of it as breaking down an emotion. An emotion is made up of energy and thoughts. If you are angry it is made up of a lot of energy and thoughts about what you are angry about. If you separate the energy from the thoughts you are left with energy in the body (felt as sensation, energetic movement, strength, willfulness) and the thoughts about the anger. When you think about it the energy can be the same and depending on the thoughts that accompany it the emotional state will differ. Happy has energy and happy thoughts. Sad has less energy and sad thoughts. Exuberance has a lot of energy and action thoughts.


    Using meditation as practice to be mindful, you can become aware of the separation of emotional thought from its energy and then redirect or steer the energy in the direction of your choosing.

    The trick is to notice you are not mindful, which is usually due to wanting something or resisting something. Name the emotional state. Ask yourself what am I resisting? Separate the energy from the thoughts about it. And immediately redirect your actions to the opposite of what the resistance is about. Yes, it takes strength and free will to be able to redirect your actions. However, the longer you wait the more the resistance will fester and the more you will become lost in that detour (and the longer to find your way out and back to mindfulness).

    It’s all about energy. Sense contacts bring up desire. Desire brings up energy. We have the free will to develop and use that energy as we choose. If you are stuck on how to direct the energy and your actions you can try one of the four heavenly abodes compassion, loving kindness, sympathetic joy and equanimity. With any one of these the redirected energy will also shift your thoughts as you are now steering in the direction of happiness and mindfulness.


    Michael
     
  12. Bryan555

    Bryan555 Member

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    Karmoh: Yes, of course, the actual TV set is an inanimate object. And if Brozen was angry at his set, for some technical reason, the parallel with a car would apply. (As would the 90-second rule.)

    In this case, however, Brozen is clearly concerned with television as a medium. That's what makes him angry, resentful, whatever. And the media are not inanimate, in any sense whatsoever. Indeed, few things in life are more fully "animate".

    My point -- and Brozen's, I think -- is that television can be a deceitful, manipulative, even malevolent influence on society. He is seeking advice, or input, on how best to cope with that problem.

    That, at least, is my understanding.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  13. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    ok, we seem to be on a different train of thought, so we'll leave it there.
     
  14. brozen

    brozen Member

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    Hi all.
    A lot of good input so far, and very interesting to see the differences in perspectives each of us hold. We obviously all come from different backgrounds/upbringings and it shows in our responses. In saying that, I think I may have caused some confusion with the word 'anger' as it has vast differences in meaning to each of us. I personally see anger as merely a negative response to a non-ideal, rather than purely a cause of negative emotions and reactions.

    In this way I regard it as almost a guiding force. If love is acceptance, the converse is nonacceptance which I would say is expressed as 'anger'.

    And the reason I may seem to want to hold on to the notion of anger is because I feel nonacceptance may have a place in the world.
    As Monkey suggested
    It's true, the drive is what I have in mind. It may be that being new to meditation and this new state of mind, I find it hard to understand how all varieties of emotions can be substituted with love.

    Are there situations where we can accept our emotion's for something that may be beneficial to us in the physical realm, after all that's how they developed (according to evolution).

    For example where would we be without fear?
    Between the
    how do we deal with
    (given that staying alive and healthy is the ideal situation)

    [or to address Edwin's more specific point. He suggests, we don't have to hate our child for beating another child. I agree. But don't we have to hate the act of beating?]

    I guess what I am suggesting is, that perhaps anger does have its positives in that it can serve as a guiding force for 'good'. I feel Michael D's post showing the "alchemy of suffering" has shown it's possible benefits. From my interpretation it shows an ability to use negative emotions and the energy they create, for the purposes of good.
    It certainly also comes down to the origin of the anger. Some cases will prove to show that anger is unfounded. In others, would it be wrong to think that anger towards suffering is a well-founded response?

    If this brings up the question of "What is good/bad?", then I QUIT! haha

    All of my concerns would probably be defused if I fully understood the guiding force of the four immeasurables, IF it is true that they provide a full support system in all possible situations. (in that case I think I found my new understanding of God)

    As this thread has progressed, we seem to be finding issues within issues, slowly heading towards the root of the original 'issue'. It's so exciting delving into the mind.

    PS. I hope this post has made sense. I'm not sure how it will sound, but good luck to any who attempt to read it.

    PPS. I HOPE I have correctly taken in the information everyone has provided and that I addressed it in some way. Otherwise sorry for missing it.

    Pollyanna - I'm not sure where to find Michael's Good Life post? Couldn't find it in the search bar but I'm looking forward to watching the Echkart Tolle link RIGHT NOW (I'm sure it would've been smart to have watched it before writing all this, lol) PPPPPPPPPPPPS. I just started reading The Power of Now, the same day you suggested that link. Cool Coincidence.'

    Thanks again everyone.
     
  15. Mr Monkey

    Mr Monkey Member

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    Hi Bryan/Brozen,

    Bryan, I can appreciate the distinction you’re making and its one I had originally missed, but after reflection I still come back to things previously discussed in this thread.

    This is again quite subjective; would you complain if it was biased towards what you believe? Making a big deal out of the benefits of something you believed in? or driving an agenda that you wanted implemented?

    Having said that I agree with the general point, the media and the way it is used (and as Karmoh mentioned, what is pumped through it) can be very poor. I flipped the thought to try and see an alternative perspective. When I did this I found it could also be argued that the media highlights suffering, enables campaigns for good, increases knowledge/understanding, unearths malpractice (eg in UK the MPs expenses), exposes human rights abuses etc.

    So for me…. is all media coverage/usage good? No, is all coverage/usage bad? No.

    I think the media is used by different people for different ends, it is purely a means of getting a message to many different people, but different people will want to get different messages across for different reasons, impacting different people in different ways.

    Why hold onto seething resentment? It is only you that can hold it in yourself, so aren’t you spiting yourself? As you’re the only person that can hold on to your resentment are you not the author of you own pain in this instance?

    From my perspective the best way for Brozen to cope would be accepting that there is a wide range of behaviour shown on and driven by/through the media. Simply accept the fact that it’s that way because it’s what sells papers and gets people watching TV. If you had the power to change it and did so overnight I would expect an uproar, because people don’t want the change and aren’t ready for the change.

    I would consider the best way to cope would be to follow some of the suggestions in this thread. Investigate yourself to help find your own inner peace, how can you expect to spread peace when you are not at peace yourself? You need to be able to watch your thoughts and emotions which are the ego’s controlling puppet strings, so that the choices you make are not ego driven in nature.

    So after all that, I hope you can see why I still consider these points very valid:

    Once you have a quiet centre yourself, then this nice quote can hopefully ring true :):

    I guess you’ve got quite a bit to digest Brozen ;), thanks for kicking off an interesting topic for discussion.

    Be well all :)
    Paul

    PS: Olmate that was an awesome extract :D, funny and very true.
    PPS: Hello theVision, welcome to the community :)
     
  16. brozen

    brozen Member

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    Thanks for the post Paul. It actually cleared up (i think) an issue I was having distinguishing the differences between Karmoh and Bryan's views. Both are valid and relative, yet different.
    I would say Bryan is in line with my thinking in talking of the physical-emotional combined world.
    However this:
    I think has helped me understand where Karmoh is coming from.

    @Karmoh
    Were you talking from the dualistic perspective?
    As in about Anger in its complete form. Disconnected from the physical-emotional combination world? (sorry for my weird terminology but I don't have a very good understanding of dualism)
    In that case it is a level of thinking I can't relate to but am very interested in it's application to the "physical-emotional combo world"

    I hope i haven't confused the issue further?
    PS. However I did read a post by you about social anxiety (libyan guy) which I could relate to, found it very helpful. But with this issue I am already too confused to be able to cope with the extra confusion of dualism.

    @Monkey, I see you posted MINUTES after me, so just a heads up that u may have missed my posting above yours (has happened to me a few times)
     
  17. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    Hi Brozen

    You have raised an interesting question in looking for a postitive side to anger. And certainly taking the energy that is an integral part of the anger and redirecting it for good is a positive use of that energy (even that derived from anger).

    I would question the intentional development of anger in order to then turn its energy to good use.

    We may start out our day at peace and a benevolent heart with or without meditation. In the course of our routine daily lives we come into contact with many differering emotions. When and if the emotion of anger comes up (and realize that I am no longer at peace and benevolent) that would be a time to consider the question, "how can I return to peace and benevolence, so that I can meet this moment with the most appropriate response (in accordance with my core values)."

    By then seeing the separation between the thoughts of anger and its more universal energetic component you might decide to just let go of the angry thoughts (and choose to return to thoughts of peace and benevolence). While both the thoughts and the energy of anger are mixed together any response at that time is more likely to be a reaction based on the heat of the moment and less likely to be resonant with your true core values.

    One of the detriments to anger is its effect on the health of the body. Part of the body's response to anger is the release of cortisol which causes an imbalance of the adrenal glands and leads to additional health problems.

    Somewhere the saying that hatred can only cease by love comes to mind.

    Michael:)
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  18. sagehoney3

    sagehoney3 Member

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    Hello - Sagehoney3 here.....my thoughts on your post is that people who are Christian or any religion for that matter can use LifeFlow during their prayer time. It can just be integrated in that quiet and rejuvenating time for them. It's not like you are trying to convert them out of their religion but perhaps helping them to connect to a deeper level of connection to God and/or better states of health in body and mind. What do you think?
     
  19. Bryan555

    Bryan555 Member

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    Well, this is turning into a very interesting thread. For me, I think it took quite an important turn when Brozen wrote: "I personally see anger as merely a negative response to a non-ideal, rather than purely a cause of negative emotions and reactions."

    Yes, it is all about the different definitions of "anger" which are held -- quite strongly held -- by various posters here.

    One school of thought (expressed by Michael just above) is that all anger must ultimately be conquered by love. Others (such as Brozen and myself) see anger not as some 90-second bout of high blood-pressure and wrath, but a very necessary opposition to negative forces.

    We don't live in a theoretical world. We live in a place where a leading British tabloid, for example, taps the phones of anguished familes....just to boost its circulation. What is the "healthy" reaction to that kind of stuff? I would say outrage. I would say "public outrage" is not only justified, but an absolutely essential response. There are times when malevolent forces must be given a resounding rebuff.

    We don't just have a right to oppose that behavior; it is our duty. We don't have to get "angry", in the 90-second sense. But we do need to be part of the "public outrage" which utterly refuses to countenance such conduct.

    This, of course, is a forum on meditation...and therefore not actually part of the real world . (OK, I'm joking, but you get the point). Here, we can hone our definitions at leisure, and count angels on heads of pins. But when we sign off PM, somebody has to go out and fight the good fight vs. the dastardly evil-doers.

    I nominate Mr. Brozen for the task.
     
  20. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    Hi Bryan

    I agree that malevolent forces need to be stopped. And if I understand your post you agree that you do not have to get angry (in the 90 second sense) in order to have a "healthy" response to those forces.

    I hope you would agree that if your child, that you love, needs to be disciplined you do not stop loving your child to have a healthy response to his or her improper or even malevolent actions.

    An early premise of this thread was that anger was not just the immediate response to a particular event but that it continued to be willfully held in consciousness while the response to that event was put into action.

    The intention of my posts were to review the choice that we can choose to take action from our core values when we are consciously aware of them. That one method of returning to our core values when we are knocked out of them by "being" angry is to separate the thoughts from the energy.

    While holding love in consciousness (as with the image of the child above) we can then take whatever appropriate action that is needed. The actions may be the same (on the surface) as if we were still holding anger but they are coming from a core of opening rather than shutting out. And healthier to the person taking the action.

    In my post I wrote that hatred (not anger) can only cease by love. Although this may seem like a small change of one word there is more to it. Anger as we have been discussing it is an emotion. Hatred connotates a response to something.

    Bryan, in order to keep my post as brief as possible I have been much more direct than usual (for me) however these words have been writen with an open heart and I hope they are received in that manner.

    Michael:)
     

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