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What is the goal? Input appreciated

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by subtlemagnetism, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. subtlemagnetism

    subtlemagnetism Member

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    Hi all,

    I've been practicing meditation since July of this year, so 5+ months. I suppose you could say I have a knack for shutting thoughts out of my mind, because this has never been hard for me. My goal, when beginning this path, was to clear my mind enough to get back in touch with my gut instincts and move forward into a life, career and pursuits that are more in line with my real beliefs.

    I attended several classes and retreats at the Cambridge Meditation Insight Center, and discovered that a lot of the time spent on instruction is dedicated to teaching students to let go of their thoughts and achieve a relaxed state and less attachment to moment to moment thoughts, memories and emotions.

    However for me, from the first moment I sat down to meditate I discovered I have a switch in my mind that simply turns off all thoughts, music soundtracks and emotional prompts and provides me with nothing but blank slate. I don't need instruction about what to do with random thoughts, because I don't struggle with them when I choose to turn them off. However, far from being a benefit to me, it leaves me all the more confused about the goal of meditation.

    For 5 months now I've dedicated between 15-30 minutes per day to sitting in place, mind blank. I'm not bored, I'm not uncomfortable, I'm not struggling. It's akin to the feeling you might get when "spacing out" and staring blankly at a cereal box or something and a friend might wave their hand in front of your face to snap you out of it. I just enter this state at will and leave it when I'm done. Can't identify a single thought or emotion associated with it. Just blank.

    However I don't really understand what comes next. When I ask instructors at the above mentioned CIMS, they either use jargon that means very little to me (loving awareness, mindfulness, etc) or that my blank slate will lead to enlightenment. This means very little to me, as I do sit faithfully with blank mind and so far cannot see a change in my mind, heart, or ability to connect with my own instincts. I don't know how a blank mind leads to awareness, or to "mindfulness", or to enlightenment. My own blank mind carries no information or emotion, so there is no awareness of anything at all. When I end my meditation sessions, it takes about 5 minutes for thoughts to reenter my mind, then it becomes mental and emotional business as usual for me.

    Can anyone help me understand what my goal should be? Surely there is more to be gained than sitting with a blank board in front of me? Is there something I am missing that I should be doing instead?

    Thanks so much in advance..
     
  2. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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  3. subtlemagnetism

    subtlemagnetism Member

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    Yes that was very helpful about several things - thank you. Apparently I fall into one of the 4 categories of people who believe they are meditating but perhaps not actually finding that state.

    I feel like I know a lot more now about what it the goal is not, however still do not know what the goal is.

    Meditation, as has been said previously, is a special state of consciousness. Among its characteristics, meditation increases and expands awareness, whereas simple relaxation in fact diffuses awareness.

    This sentence was the closest I found to an explanation of what one would ideally be aiming for, but I'm still not sure how it arises. I feel like I'm now well informed about how to set the stage for meditation, and what might ideally come of successful meditation, but the middle piece - what I would actually be doing that would qualify as meditation - is still a mystery.

    Any specifics about this would be much appreciated.
     
  4. subtlemagnetism

    subtlemagnetism Member

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    Can anyone point me toward a simple explanation of what the goal is (rather than what it is not)?

    It would be very much appreciated.
     
  5. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Not sure there's a simple answer, and it can depend on an individual's beliefs.

    For those who believe in it, they would likely say that the goal is enlightenment, but then of course you would have to understand or be able to define what enlightenment is.

    Others may say that the goal is to find their true Self. Again, this takes an understanding of what is meant by the true Self.

    For those who aren't putting beliefs behind it, they may just say that the goal is to improve their lives (and perhaps the lives of others) in whatever way they can.

    So, it sounds from your original post like you can quite easily achieve a state of mind that is not interrupted by distracting thoughts, at will, and that's great. But... you recognise that when you are not meditating there are thoughts there going on. So I guess your aim now is to be able to incorporate that state of non-distracting thoughts into your daily life e.g. when you are doing something is your awareness completely on the task at hand or do you get distracted? when you're driving down the road do find yourself getting along the road and not remembering driving the last mile/km of it because you were day dreaming? etc.

    This is more akin to the philosophy of living in the present moment or as Eckhart Tolle is famously known to call it, living in the Now. Being in the present moment allows us to not only get tasks done to the best of our ability (not everything can be achieved, but as long as we've done our best, so it's not wrong for something to fail if the best was being done), but also allows us to complete them more quickly and avoid procrastination etc. It's a whole topic/course/book etc. to fully understand and describe these things, but that's the general gist of it.

    Is that any help?

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  6. olmate

    olmate Member

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    I am not sure that meditation has a goal. It is a practice. People set goals and meditation for some is a pathway to that goal and often beyond.

    Your goals - whatever you choose them to be, may be manifested through mediatation practice as well as other life practices.

    I know posts of this nature can be limiting as a form of open communication, however my sense from your posts is that you describe your practice in a very mechanistic way. Shutting out thoughts is a very different thing than communing with silence and stillness.

    Perhaps a course of action may be to adopt a curious mind and sit and try to see. Again, my sense is you may be standing facing a wall. Contrast this with gazing into the clear night sky in complete darkness. See.

    Nothing but the best...

    Olmate
     
  7. Panthau

    Panthau Member

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    For me its easy... the goal is to loose the need for goals. That means, learn to stay in the now - where there are no goals. Goals depend on thoughts, depend on future events. :)
     
  8. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Meditation is not for everyone....otherwise there would be no meditation.

    some people are able to switch thoughts off, but it's sorting the wheat from the Chaff thats important. Most of us consistently have thoughts running full tilt, we cannot chose what thought stream to follow. Meditation allows you to slow the stream and watch the flow. To sit blankly staring in to space is of no benefit.
    Try body scanning or other mindfulness exercises, these are daily practices that keep your mind focused but not blank.

    Peace :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  9. I am sorry but it's importent

    Hi
    I send three days ago a thread and it is still
    Not in the forum,why is that?
    I have to say I am not feeling at my peak after the use
    Of lifeflow10 for almost a week,now I have trouble remembering and focusing and
    I have really strange and scary dreams during the night
    Is it normal? like it's a phase that passes after continues use because I am really feeling discoureged and afraid of continuing this program
    As anyone felt this symptoms
    Hope to see my thread here and hope for Reply
    Sorry that it's not connected to this thread

    Tankyo
    Oded
     
  10. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    I've answered on your own thread where you posted this.
     

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