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Meditation Made Easy

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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29 December 2017 10:28
 

“If you want to pass through easily and directly right now, just let your body and mind become thoroughly empty, so it is vacant and silent yet aware and luminous.  Inwardly, forget all your conceptions of self, and outwardly, cut off all sensory defilements.”  -  Zen master Yuanwu

(quoted from the book ZEN LETTERS - Teachings of Yuanwu  -  translated by J.C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary

https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Letters-Teachings-J-C-Cleary/dp/1570627037

A customer review from this Amazon site:

Mark Cianciolo
5.0 out of 5 stars - Yuanwu Has Become Daily Reading.
April 23, 2014

“Yuanwu follows in the tradition of Huang-po and Lin-chi. But you want to begin with Yuanwu. For the modern reader he is more readily accessible and understandable than the other two great Zen/Chan masters of China. They’re all saying the same thing, but you will ground yourself most solidly by reading Yuanwu at the outset. Yuanwu also is a wonderful introduction to Eastern thought and religion in general. The key to it all is dhyana. That is the Indian word for meditation. The Chinese translation of dhyana is chan or ch’an. The Japanese is Zen. Think of Yoga in its purest form meaning the stilling of the mind.  Patanjali’s original formula is three words: citta vritti nirodha. Meaning yoga is “the cessation of the whirlings of the mind.”  Try reading Yuanwu in the morning. Read one or two chapters (they’re short) and meditate on them.”

 
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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Cheshire Cat
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29 December 2017 13:51
 

I’ve asked you this question once before, Unsmoked, and you didn’t give me a reply, which, in your Zen way, may have been the reply.

But here goes again: Do you have any formal Zen training?

You seem particularly focused on Zen as opposed to Vipassana or Dzogchen meditation.

Just wondering.

 
 
burt
 
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burt
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29 December 2017 21:27
 

“In the wind of the mind arises the turbulence called I.”

The Roses scent upon the breeze is sweet
But hungry folk need something more to eat.
When beggars are starving
They don’t care who’s carving.
We’ve caught the scent, now let’s go find the meat.

 
jdrnd
 
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jdrnd
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30 December 2017 11:37
 
burt - 29 December 2017 09:27 PM

“In the wind of the mind arises the turbulence called I.”

The Roses scent upon the breeze is sweet
But hungry folk need something more to eat.
When beggars are starving
They don’t care who’s carving.
We’ve caught the scent, now let’s go find the meat.

When you say meat, are you talking a specific type, such as beef,
or do you mean any animal flesh.
If the latter, do insects count?

I know I know you are talking about the meaning of life, not variations on Actomyosin.

Well for the sake of transparency
Meditation is merely glorified daydreaming                      ...said in a professorial manner

 
Cheshire Cat
 
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30 December 2017 14:18
 

ac·to·my·o·sin
/?akt??m??s?n/
noun
1. a complex of actin and myosin of which the contractile protein filaments of muscle tissue are composed.

Great word.

Was it just me, or was Burt possibly referring to cannibalism in his poem, either literally, or metaphorically? Something like the downtrodden rising up and eating the rich, perhaps?

No, meditation is the exact opposite of daydreaming.

I have heard the sound of one hand clapping from Unsmoked.

 
 
jdrnd
 
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30 December 2017 14:46
 
Cheshire Cat - 30 December 2017 02:18 PM

ac·to·my·o·sin
/?akt??m??s?n/
noun
1. a complex of actin and myosin of which the contractile protein filaments of muscle tissue are composed.

Great word.

You think that’s a great word?

Try this

“CREPUSCULAR”

 
jdrnd
 
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30 December 2017 14:58
 
Cheshire Cat - 30 December 2017 02:18 PM

No, meditation is the exact opposite of daydreaming.

Night dreaming?

 
Cheshire Cat
 
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30 December 2017 15:00
 
jdrnd - 30 December 2017 02:46 PM

You think that’s a great word?

Try this

“CREPUSCULAR”

cre·pus·cu·lar
/kr??p?sky?l?r/

adjective

  1. of, resembling, or relating to twilight.

Nice one.

Have you heard of this one: Concupiscent

I was once thumbing through a dictionary and found it. I describes what I’ve been experiencing most of my life, especially when I was young.

 
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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Cheshire Cat
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30 December 2017 15:05
 
jdrnd - 30 December 2017 02:58 PM
Cheshire Cat - 30 December 2017 02:18 PM

No, meditation is the exact opposite of daydreaming.

Night dreaming?

Ha.
But no.
If you are daydreaming then you aren’t meditating. Meditation involves seeing those sorts of thoughts and fantasies and turning your mind away from them back to the object of your focus, usually the breath. You are focusing your mind in a relaxed way, not letting it run amok. (There’s another term I like: run amok).

 
 
jdrnd
 
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30 December 2017 15:07
 
Cheshire Cat - 30 December 2017 03:00 PM
jdrnd - 30 December 2017 02:46 PM

You think that’s a great word?

Try this

“CREPUSCULAR”

cre·pus·cu·lar
/kr??p?sky?l?r/

adjective

  1. of, resembling, or relating to twilight.

Nice one.

Have you heard of this one: Concupiscent

I was once thumbing through a dictionary and found it. I describes what I’ve been experiencing most of my life, especially when I was young.

I can’t wait to use it in a formal conversation.
...or while I meditate.

[ Edited: 31 December 2017 06:22 by jdrnd]
 
sojourner
 
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30 December 2017 20:34
 
jdrnd - 30 December 2017 11:37 AM

Meditation is merely glorified daydreaming                      ...said in a professorial manner


All we see or seem… (To be fair, I’m not 100% sure what the point of meditation is either, but then, I’m also not 100% sure what the point of exercise is. They’re both just good for you, for whatever reason. It improves my focus and gives me the occasional lucid dream about flying around in Barre. I’ll take it. The flying is fun and the focus is relatively useful.)


To the OP, this reminds me of Harris’s quip that the instructions to both meditation and walking a tightrope are incredibly simply, which does nothing to make the execution any easier, ha ha!

 
 
jdrnd
 
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31 December 2017 06:24
 
NL. - 30 December 2017 08:34 PM

.... The flying is fun and the focus is relatively useful.)

You don’t think the flying is useful?

 
jdrnd
 
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jdrnd
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31 December 2017 08:19
 

The article below points out that there is little evidence that meditation is beneficial.
Note that this is not a review article, but rather an article about an article.
This is not the first time on this forum that the evidence for the benfits of meditation have been questioned.

As there is little evidence (Pro or con), it is certainly possible that there are benefits.
Saying “well it can’t hurt” is not a reason to meditate.

Personal testimonials are not evidence.

As I (and others) have asked the theists to provide evidence that God exists,
I would suggest that the meditation enthusiasts provide evidence that Meditation is benficial.


https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-meditation-overrated/

 
jdrnd
 
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31 December 2017 08:20
 

I don’t even know if meditation is a thing.

 
sojourner
 
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31 December 2017 09:01
 
jdrnd - 31 December 2017 06:24 AM
NL. - 30 December 2017 08:34 PM

.... The flying is fun and the focus is relatively useful.)

You don’t think the flying is useful?


It’s more like gravity-free jumping, btw, but for the sake of brevity I said ‘flying’. And I guess it depends on your definition of ‘useful’. Do you find your dreams useful? I guess I never really thought it about. They probably are, in some sense.

 
 
sojourner
 
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31 December 2017 09:15
 
jdrnd - 31 December 2017 08:19 AM

The article below points out that there is little evidence that meditation is beneficial.
Note that this is not a review article, but rather an article about an article.
This is not the first time on this forum that the evidence for the benfits of meditation have been questioned.

As there is little evidence (Pro or con), it is certainly possible that there are benefits.
Saying “well it can’t hurt” is not a reason to meditate.

Personal testimonials are not evidence.

As I (and others) have asked the theists to provide evidence that God exists,
I would suggest that the meditation enthusiasts provide evidence that Meditation is benficial.


https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-meditation-overrated/


I have noticed this is a new pattern in meditation non-enthusiasts. Quote an article that has a click-bait ‘negative’ headline but then does, in fact, say that research shows meditation is beneficial. I’m not sure what this is about - just wariness about jumping on a bandwagon too quickly, resistance to change, or some other, non-verbalized intuition that makes people suspicious of meditation, but it doesn’t seem to be about actual research. This is from the article you linked:

Describing their results in January in JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers found moderate evidence that mindfulness meditation alleviates pain, anxiety and depression—the latter two to a similar degree as antidepressant drug therapy. Mindfulness meditation, the most widely researched approach, requires focusing one’s attention on experiencing the present moment. The scientists did not have enough data to assess other common claims of its benefits, including that it improves mood or attention, or other forms of meditation, such as mantra-based practices.


I think there are other reasons to be skeptical of mindfulness, for example, the extreme political pacifism one sees in some Buddhist-majority countries could arguably be said to have done more harm than good in the long run. It is possible that being ‘too nice’ is a recipe for removing barriers to letting the less scrupulous take over, that being ‘too content’ is a recipe for letting the external world fall into neglect because you aren’t concerned with it (I believe there are studies showing a correlation between mindfulness and altruism / conscientious, so this probably isn’t true, again, on the ‘nice’ side, but it may be true on the ‘defend and protect’ side.) But those are concerns based on the idea that it actually does ‘do’ something.

 
 
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