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Observing the Mantra

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by Ouroboros, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Member

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    After going through Discover Meditation, I think I may be closer to a personal understanding of how to approach the meditative state.

    My last Lifeflow session was one of my most peaceful (I'm on LF10, had it for about a week). Taking advice from Discover Meditation, and various threads I've read on this forum, (Ta-tsu-wa, your Principles of Meditation was an excellent read!) instead of a forced focus on the mantra, I've tried taking a looser more relaxed approach.

    I noticed that as my session went on, the mantra would morph. Sometimes it would become melodic, sometimes many voices would chime in creating a chordal presence...the noise of my mind is an almost constant presence, but I tried to let that just be too. After the session I felt more noticeably relaxed than I have after previous LF10 sessions.

    I know there's not really a right or wrong when it comes to this...but I hope that my approach will one day lead to that quiet mind state I've heard so much about.
     
  2. Panthau

    Panthau Member

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    Sounds good. I too tried and try often to force things, which isnt possible anyway, and causes unpleasant feelings in the end.

    I think the most important thing is, to never give up, whatever may come your way. There are days where it may seem harder to meditate or even impossible, and others where meditation seems like an angel, taking you to higher states. Its just a tool, to look inward and melt the inner world with the outer world, and if we keep on practicing, this melting will gradually take place in our lives.

    Atb,
    Pan
     
  3. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Member

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    Yeah, keeping up the motivation to keep moving forward is going to be the real test, I think.

    I deal with an extremely high amount of "mind-noise," so meditation has never been easy for me. Actually, I think it's not so much mind noise as it is lack of focus. I have a very difficult time concentrating on a single thing for any length of time. For instance, I've tried doing visualization exercises (visualizing a candle flame, or a blue orb of light), and I can't keep a consistent focus or image for more than three seconds.

    Even worse, I've started to notice that as I'm repeating my mantra in my mind, another part of it will wander off into a daydream/thoughtstream. So, the mantra will be repeating in the background while I'm off romping through la-la land, and it becomes a struggle to bring my focus back to the mantra. I'm used to multi-tasking at work, so this may be a result of that.

    I've thought about getting checked for adult ADD, but...I think I'm going to give LifeFlow more of a chance to work on my consciousness before I go haring off after chemical concentration remedies.
     
  4. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Sounds pretty normal to me !

    Actually, you said the S word ;)

    Struggle !

    Whenever you are struggling, you are trying too hard.
    Instead, go with the flow. When you notice you are, as you so humerously said, in La-La land all you have to do is gently focus on your mantra. Is it still there in the background ? PERFECT !

    Do you have to start your mantra over again because you were in la-la land for a longer period of time ? Also PERFECT !

    The practice of meditation ( not the state ) is to notice that you are immersed in thoughts, and go back to the mantra.
    Even if you only manage to maintain focus for 3 seconds ( and how did you notice this ? ) just know that you are practicing meditation right by noticing you are in thoughts again, and gently return to your mantra.

    That's it !

    When you are meditating and thoughts arise that say "When will my mind shut up ?" that is actually the most funny thing.

    That's like a toddler that keeps whining and shouting all the time, and then walk to his mother and ask "Mom, when will I stop crying ?"
    The same mind that is causing the problem pretends it is working on a solution !
     
  5. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Member

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    Hehe, that's a great analogy! And I have had that exact thought come up before during my practice. :p

    I am curious about something else...there are moments where I do seem to hit a kind of "sweet spot" in my focus, where the mantra is the only thing arising - does the mantra fall away naturally as you approach the meditative state, or is there an act of letting go?

    Also...should I wait to move on to LF9 until I experience no-mind in LF10?
     
  6. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Who's asking ? You or your mind ?

    How is this question any different from your last one ? ;)

    Trust me, when you stop thinking, you will know ;)

    until the next thought comes up :cool:
     
  7. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Member

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    Hmm, I see your point. :p

    Nothin' to do but keep practicing, then. :)
     
  8. Still Waters

    Still Waters Member

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    You need to keep practising rather than practicing :)

    To practice implies that there is something to achieve. A goal to reach. Meditation as Edwin pointed out is observing thoughts as they arise that is it :p

    You will look back and see that meditation has made many different to your life, but this is through practising (as a doctor practises his / her profession) as opposed to practicing.

    So keep practising :D
     
  9. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Member

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    Hehe, I'm not sure that linguistic distinction exists in American English, but I do indeed understand your point (the doctor example helped the clarification immensely).

    I'll keep practising then. ;)
     
  10. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Lol that reminds me of a quote from a ( in that time ) controversial comedy from the 70's about a homosexual guy.

    Being a homosexual was ( hopefully only then ) at that time illegal in some states, and he got a visit from a police officer asking him several questions.

    One of them was " Are you a practising homosexual ? "

    and he said " I don't have to practice, I am very good at it "

    :p
     
  11. Still Waters

    Still Waters Member

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    Lol that is one thing I like about this forum - the humour :)
     
  12. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    The humor is pretty good too:p
     
  13. Geoffrey

    Geoffrey Member

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    mantra

    humour is needed. I meditate, and my mantra wanders all over the place, i did not like that. But then one day I decided to follow it, glad I did, amazzing....I just let all thoughts go, even the ones I supress. And it is always a wonderful meditation, I come out of it totally refreshed. So I guess, let your mantra go where it wants to go..It is magic...;)
     
  14. Still Waters

    Still Waters Member

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    You like potato and I like potaeto,
    You like tomato and I like tomaeto;
    Potato, potaeto, tomato, tomaeto!
    Let's call the whole thing off! :D

    I have stopped using mantras as I feel that they personally don't work for me. I prefer to meditate by feeling the energy of the inner body. As Michael points out, mantra is just one technique and there are others if you are more comfortable with them. Of course whatever you try, stick with it for a reasonable length of time - at least a month. Alternatively you could observe your breathing. Whatever you do the most important thing is to observe your thoughts as they arise.

    Chris
     
  15. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Member

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    I've considered trying something other than a mantra, but I'm starting to notice some slight improvements in my meditation sessions, so I'm going to give it at least another month before I try a new technique.

    I like the idea of sitting with the energy body though. I may have to give that a go sometime, if for no other reason than to see what it feels like.
     
  16. Still Waters

    Still Waters Member

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    This is one of Eckhart Tolle's methods of course to bring you in to the present moment. I liked it since I first read about it and tried it out.

    Glad that you are seeing improvements. Keep with it!
     
  17. Anglepen

    Anglepen Member

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    I'm wondering if I can just concentrate on my breathing and not a mantra? I must admit I have done very little meditating whilst thinking of a mantra, I've always used breathing as my focus. Do you think it would be wise to give a mantra an extended try? I always thought the purpose of a mantra was to be said out aloud and as such the constant repetition and the vibration of the words through the body had a physical as well as mental affect on ones meditating?

    I'm not very learned when it comes to any religion but isn't a Buddhist technique the concentration on the breath?
    I do have a family friend who is a Nichiren Buddhist and the vocal chanting of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is the mantra used in prayer and the daily chanting (meditating) and a tutor at the SGI-UK Centre at Taplow Court in the UK (where I attended a wonderful Buddhist wedding) advised me to chant in a deep voice to increase the vibration the words had through the body.

    Your thoughts would be most welcome.

    Kev
     
  18. Anglepen

    Anglepen Member

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    Well despite my recently documented dissapointment at the companies advertrising practices I must admit myt first really proper concentrated meditation tonight using LF10 was very nice, I experienced a state where my body seemed to go to sleep whilst my mind was awake, its was a very lovely state, and not until I finished did my wife comment that throughout my index fingers were rod straight and pointing straight ahead throughout. I had not noticed this and am ok with this.

    What a lovely meditation, could this be the inclusion of Isochronic tones?


    Kev
     
  19. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    The answer to that question could at best only be speculation.
    Of course it could be, or it could not be.

    Were you listening through open speakers ? Or did you listen with headphones ?

    As you can see, the chance that your meditation had benefits from the isochronic beats is bigger when listening through open speakers.

    I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your meditation.
    Over time, it will improve.
    Don't be disappointed if for some period of time your meditation seems to degress in quality. This is normal for meditation. If however this occurs, please report about it on the forum. There are many people here that can help you through that period :)
     
  20. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    It's true that a lot of mantra's need to be said aloud in order to have an additional effect on the body. The universal Aum sound is probably the best known example.

    The mantra as being taught by the free meditation course provided by this website doesn't focus on that aspect of mantra-based meditation.
    The mantra technique is considered the "bulldozer of meditation".
    It is almost fail-safe.
    The only reason why mantra is being taught in this course is because a lot of people who are starting with meditation have more trouble focusing on the breath, then focusing on the mantra.

    Once you have experienced a number of meditations where you were immersed in deep meditation like the one you experienced yesterday, you will start to recognise the state of meditation. Over time the method of reaching that state will become less important, and reaching a meditative state will come more and more naturally.
    There are a number of people in this forum ( myself included ) who rarely use the mantra at all anymore. We simply sit, be still and know.

    This last comment may sound a bit cryptic, but in time you will understand.
    Keep up the good work ! :)
     

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