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To Mantra or not?!?! Or....?????

Discussion in 'START HERE: Registration & Introductions' started by Verdehorn, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Verdehorn

    Verdehorn Member

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    Hi Everyone! I'm Joseph, originally from California presently living in Beijing, China. I'm 52, new to all of this(meditation, forums, etc...) so bear with me, please, if my questions seem naive. :)

    Recently started LF10 and yes, I first listened to the 4 DM cd's(downloaded version). I chose a mantra, as suggested. I'm a little confused about something though. If a meditative state is, ideally, a quieting of the mind, isn't a mantra yet another thought that you are focusing on and by so doing, simply replacing what might be "taken up" by other thoughts??? I have found though...and assume this is due to my lack of experience...that without using a mantra it seems random thoughts just never stop. I embrace Michael's suggestion of thinking of them as passing clouds and just to observe them. But the parade never stops and am constantly telling myself to "let it go, let it go." I've tried focusing on the audio itself, which is very enjoyable, but then I'm simply "listening to the audio" and I thought Michael said that doing so is simply not enough.

    So please, what and how should I be doing this?????:confused:

    Thank you so much!

    p.s. How does one(and at which point) incorporate "positive affirmations" into this process?
     
  2. Bryan555

    Bryan555 Member

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    Hmmmm. It is so natural to have so many questions at the beginning. And to have the random thoughts, the frustration...all of it. I think everyone at this forum can remember feeling exactly that way, at some early point in their journey.

    So, first, don't worry. Everything you describe is totally normal. I seldom use a mantra myself. But if you do, yes, it's just "one more thing to think about"...until it is NOT.

    Eventually, the mantra is supposed to bring you to a true "meditative state". (I know, I know...what's THAT, exactly?) And when it does, the mantra will have served its purpose, and will just stop, all by itself. At least that's my own experience.

    Because, at that point, a mantra will be about the LAST thing you'll be need. In fact, everything will seem like the last thing you'll need. Because you will be exactly where you want to be.

    In practical terms, right now, the advice you have heard is correct: Just observe your thoughts, as passing clouds. Of course they seem endless and disorganized, because they have been romping through your head, unimpeded, for 52 years. You can't expect to tame them in a day.

    One great piece of advice someone gave here was to begin noticing the small spaces between those passing thoughts. The little bits of quiet...which slowly begin to grow, until they rival, then outnumber, the thoughts themselves. I do think that's an effective way to start getting a handle on things.

    Anyway, welcome to the forum, and the journey. Have fun with it...and please share your experiences.
     
  3. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Hi Verdehorn and welcome to the Project Meditation community,

    Bryan is spot on.

    The mantra is a tool to assist you in reaching the meditative state (i.e. it's the meditation practice), it is not the meditative state itself.

    When people initially start meditation practice they put all their focus on the mantra and worry they're doing it "wrong" if they lose the mantra. In fact there's nothing wrong in that at all. Start by introducing the mantra in mind and following it, then when it goes, that's perfect. If you become aware of thoughts arising use those as a trigger to invite the mantra back and get yourself back on track with the meditation practice, but let the mantra come back in it's own way, at it's own speed and volume etc.

    The mantra is there to assist in taking the focus away from the thoughts, not to get attached to itself.

    You're doing just fine.

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  4. Anglepen

    Anglepen Member

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    With regards to thoughts invading your meditation, Its not a bad thing to have thoughts arise, or sensations, colours etc this is your brain doing what it must do, the problem arises when you 'engage' or 'interact' with the thoughts.

    i.e

    A Passing thought; that car was loud, someone slammed a door, a police siren etc, these are thoughts you notice but do not need to engage with

    Interactive thoughts; What shall I have for dinner, Dave was angry at work today, have I any milk in the fridge for a cup of tea later? etc, these are thoughts that require you to interact, these are counterproductive.

    Plus, a good tip is not to try too hard, thoughts have to come up and its a good thing at the start, your mind is a naughty monkey that eventually will learn his place :)


    Be happy
    Kev
     
  5. Verdehorn

    Verdehorn Member

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    Thank you All....certainly appreciate the advice and encouragement! :) Does anyone use positive affirmations in their meditative process??? I'm wondering where and how best to include those. Hope I don't seem a boggart on getting info...just wanna make sure I don't do something counterproductive so early on.
     
  6. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    Hi Verdehorn and welcome to the community :)
    If you click on the following link, you will find some great information which will give you a great understanding of both meditation and entrainment:-


    http://www.project-meditation.org/c...nciples-meditation-entrainment.html#post12298


    Maybe you could do your affirmations directly after your meditation session. This way, your mind will be most receptive to your affirmations. Another way would be to simply relax, play LifeFlow or Creative Flow (one of the brilliant bonus tracks) while you repeat your affirmations.

    Here is a piece from a recent email from Michael:-

    Even though LifeFlow was originally designed to facilitate the practise of meditation, listening while simply relaxing has many benefits of it’s own. It can improve your experience of relaxation, which in turn can improve your sense of well-being, diminish stress, enhance immune system function and invoke a multitude of other benefits. Many scientific reports have proven that your brainwaves affect your mental and emotional states, and by changing your state, you can improve the quality and experience of your entire life.

    When life is busy and stressful, higher frequencies of brainwaves are produced, intensifying feelings of stress and anxiety. This causes the body to greatly overproduce stress hormones, such as adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol. Overproduction of the stress hormones, or exposure to them for excessive periods of time sets up a vicious circle of events. The more stress hormones we produce, the more stress and anxiety we feel, and the more of these we feel, the more of the stress hormones we produce.

    All of us experience concerns and frustrations in the course of our normal, day-to-day life. You’ve probably felt a few of these today; things like a busy commute to work; making it to our destination on time; the skyrocketing cost of living; job security; health challenges; relationships, both in the home and at work; random acts of rudeness or even violence. These are all rather negative things and are obvious sources of stress.

    But not all the sources of stress in our lives come from negative events. They come equally well from positive ones, such as getting a promotion at work; buying that new car or home; the birth of a child or grandchild; going out on that first date with a special someone; or how about those wedding plans? Did you know that even something intended to be rejuvenating can be a source of stress? For instance, all the planning and the eventual execution of that vacation or holiday can be very stressful. All of these things are positive events, and yet they can promote the production and release of stress hormones just as effectively as negative events do.

    It is important to understand that our stress hormones serve a vital purpose, which is to prepare our bodies to fight or flee, often referred to as the “fight or flight” state. However, this state was only intended to last for brief periods. After the immediate situation was resolved or the danger passed, the hormones should be used up and our physiological and mental/emotional state should return to normal. Things slow down again.

    But in our modern age we are subjected to various stress situations on a near constant basis. We don’t have to fight or run from the occasional cave bear or sabre-toothed tiger to protect ourselves anymore, but we do have to deal with watching the price of our stock portfolio plummet and our retirement savings disappear. Because our list of stressors is so long in the modern world, our bodies rarely get an opportunity to stop producing stress hormones, leaving us in a state of perpetual fight or flight.

    A good analogy is to think of the accelerator and brake pedals of a car. When we need to go faster, we press the accelerator. When it’s time to slow down we take our foot off the accelerator and we press the brake. We speed up, and slow down, speed up, and slow down. This is just how our stress hormones should work as well. When there is an urgent need, we produce them. When the need has passed, we stop producing them and instead, we produce the hormones that bring back peace and calm.

    Because we live in a world of constant bombardment by stressors, most of us experience only the “accelerator” phase, without ever touching the brake. At best, if we are aware that we’re becoming too stressed out, we try to self-talk ourselves into calming down. Even as we make the attempt, life’s little stressors are still pushing us to produce more and more stress hormones. It is as if we were driving our car and pushing on both the accelerator and brake pedals at the same time. This constant state of conflict between the two only further exacerbates our stress and anxiety.

    Is there a solution? How do we take our foot off the accelerator and apply the brake? It turns out that the answer lies in learning how to directly influence our brainwave states. Although you cannot simply alter the nature of modern life, you can counteract the effects of stress and evoke your own very powerful healing hormones and resources by resting a little in the peace and tranquillity of extremely beneficial, lower brainwave states.
    When you are calm and relaxed, slower frequencies of brainwaves are produced. Within specific brainwave frequencies the brain releases great quantities of healing hormones, including human growth hormones (HGH) which increases longevity. Another way to put it is that these healing hormones are your “brakes”.
    So how do you train your brainwaves to naturally slow down in these stressful times? How do you regulate your healing hormones?
    One very simple solution is to just relax or meditate a little time each day while you play LifeFlow quietly in the background. Each entrainment track has been specifically designed using extremely precise frequencies that resonate and affect the body and brain at a cellular level.
    With regular practice you will become more and more proficient at entering these states which can then be reached more and more quickly, within a few moments.
    In the beginning, you may experience the peace and tranquillity for only seconds, or it may last for many minutes. Even just a few moments in this state carries with it tremendous benefits. As you progress, this feeling of peacefulness will follow you throughout your normal daily activities for longer and longer periods of time. Whatever the duration of time you remained in tranquillity, your mind and nervous system were afforded some much needed rest. Your body will have shut down its production of stress hormones, allowing those already present in your system to dissipate. Peace and calm will begin to assert themselves in your life. In short, you will reap rewards on every level of your being, and these rewards will carry with you out into your daily life.
    Each LifeFlow level incorporates a different beneficial brainwave frequency to greatly enhance your happiness, well-being, learning abilities and much more…

    Hope this is of help to you and look forward to hearing how you progress.

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

    meryem Member

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    Mantras are used to clear ones mind from any impurities it might be having to help a human being to get attuned spiritually in a meditative state of mind. But it do take some time and practice to get through what you are targeting exactly. To sum the things up it is just a helping element to attain meditative state of mind easily.
     
  8. peaceandkarma

    peaceandkarma Member

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    I'm always changing my meditation techniques as this works best for me, sometimes I use mantra's, visualisations and breaths. You should find which techniques work best for you, or do what I do and use all of them.
     
  9. master meditation

    master meditation New Member

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    Sound advice indeed!

    Sound words of advice well given. Meditation is a personal thing for everyone and this is clear a simple advice for all that is well written in a friendly manner. Certainly noticing the gaps between thoughts was a great starting point for me when I first began delving into meditation. :)
     
  10. Bryan555

    Bryan555 Member

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    I'm just smiling. I had forgotten that post...written back in June. You know, I have received so much from this forum. So much really excellent advice. So many pointers into areas where I was totally ignorant.

    That's why it makes me smile, to realize that I also gave back some little bit of help.

    Thanks, Mr. Master Meditation. I appreciate it...:)
     

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