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Do You Need Formal Teaching To Meditate?

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  • Katrina
    Hello All, Please allow me to introduce myself. I am the researcher who posted the study about the effectiveness of meditation survey. In addition to being
    Message 1 of 15 , May 24 12:12 PM
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      Hello All,

      Please allow me to introduce myself. I am the researcher who posted the study about the effectiveness of meditation survey. In addition to being curious about the effects of meditation, I am also curious about how to perform it.

      I have been to my local Kadampa Center which practices in Tibetan Buddhism in the Gelugpa Tradition and have heard mixed opinions on how to begin meditating. Some opinions at the center fully support the idea that one must be in a group or taught formally. While others have told me to "simplify" if you will, and to meditate in a mindful way that is simply acknowledging thoughts as they rise to consciousness.

      My question is if there is a proper way to begin? Can someone with no experience truly grasp the concepts by themselves? Does the kind of technique matter here?

      Any thoughts would be appreciated.

      Katrina
    • BryKiller@aol.com
      Katrina, In my opinion, the short answer is no , formal meditation training isn t necessary. That being said, if someone has been down this particular path
      Message 2 of 15 , May 24 1:47 PM
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        Katrina,
         
        In my opinion, the short answer is "no", formal meditation training isn't necessary. That being said, if someone has been down this particular path and have some insight that they're sharing then it would be silly to ignore it. In all the many traditions, the accumulated wit and wisdom of masters, the books, cd's, dvd's, etc that are out there; if they don't speak to your experience then how can they help you (anyone of us) understand any topic (in this case meditation).
         
        Most of my training (in meditation) if you will, has been trial and error on my own (with a good book.) I've been to a couple of meditation retreats that have helped me grown. What is the Buddha said "don't simply take my word for it, practice it for a while and if it's true in your experience, then it is true." I paraphrased that last quote and I know that I just mangled it. It seems to me that meditation is like sleep, it can't really be taught because each of us have a seemingly separate experience.
         
        So, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
         
        I'll make a suggestion, go to your local library: How to meditate by Lawrence LaShan; the Complete Idiot's Guide to Meditation, The Three Minute Mediator by David Harp, anything by Sharon Salzberg, Thich Nhat Hahn, Dr. Andrew Weil, these are just a few of my favorites (I could drone on and on ...)
         
        Bryan
      • Aideen Mckenna
        Hi Katrina, As Bryan implied, Lawrence LeShan s How to Meditate is extremely useful. It s the one I read first, & it was accompanied by a tape of Dr.
        Message 3 of 15 , May 24 3:37 PM
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          Hi Katrina,

           

          As Bryan implied, Lawrence LeShan’s “How to Meditate” is extremely useful.  It’s the one I read first, & it was accompanied by a tape of Dr. LeShan’s guided meditations.  That was a long time ago, & probably there’s a CD with the book now.  I liked the fact that he emphasized being gentle & kind with yourself.  That’s to say, when your mind drifts off, you want to bring it back gently, never with self-condemnation (some of us are inclined to scold, probably because of early conditioning).

           

          This link provides a good description of what many (maybe most) find is the best way to sit while meditating, if sitting is what you choose to do.

           

          http://www.wikihow.com/Meditate  

           

          There’s a wealth of very good writing out there on the subject.  Like Bryan , I could go on & on.  And ON.  I’m glad I started with Dr. LeShan.

           

          Welcome to the group.

           

          Aideen

           

           

           

          Katrina,

           

          In my opinion, the short answer is "no", formal meditation training isn't necessary. That being said, if someone has been down this particular path and have some insight that they're sharing then it would be silly to ignore it. In all the many traditions, the accumulated wit and wisdom of masters, the books, cd's, dvd's, etc that are out there; if they don't speak to your experience then how can they help you (anyone of us) understand any topic (in this case meditation).

           

          Most of my training (in meditation) if you will, has been trial and error on my own (with a good book.) I've been to a couple of meditation retreats that have helped me grown. What is the Buddha said "don't simply take my word for it, practice it for a while and if it's true in your experience, then it is true." I paraphrased that last quote and I know that I just mangled it. It seems to me that meditation is like sleep, it can't really be taught because each of us have a seemingly separate experience.

           

          So, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

           

          I'll make a suggestion, go to your local library: How to meditate by Lawrence LaShan; the Complete Idiot's Guide to Meditation, The Three Minute Mediator by David Harp, anything by Sharon Salzberg, Thich Nhat Hahn, Dr. Andrew Weil, these are just a few of my favorites (I could drone on and on ...)

           

          Bryan

        • sean tremblay
          20 mins on a motorbike does it for me ALL mind chatter ceases, completely in the moment fixed on the horizon, trees and farms and rivers passing by, I have to
          Message 4 of 15 , May 24 4:23 PM
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            20 mins on a motorbike does it for me ALL mind chatter ceases, completely in the moment fixed on the horizon, trees and farms and rivers passing by, I have to remind myself to go home at some point.

            --- On Mon, 5/24/10, Aideen Mckenna <aideenmck@...> wrote:

            From: Aideen Mckenna <aideenmck@...>
            Subject: RE: [Meditation Society of America] Do You Need Formal Teaching To Meditate?
            To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Monday, May 24, 2010, 6:37 PM

             

            Hi Katrina,

             

            As Bryan implied, Lawrence LeShan’s “How to Meditate” is extremely useful.  It’s the one I read first, & it was accompanied by a tape of Dr. LeShan’s guided meditations.  That was a long time ago, & probably there’s a CD with the book now.  I liked the fact that he emphasized being gentle & kind with yourself.  That’s to say, when your mind drifts off, you want to bring it back gently, never with self-condemnation (some of us are inclined to scold, probably because of early conditioning) .

             

            This link provides a good description of what many (maybe most) find is the best way to sit while meditating, if sitting is what you choose to do.

             

            http://www.wikihow. com/Meditate  

             

            There’s a wealth of very good writing out there on the subject.  Like Bryan , I could go on & on.  And ON.  I’m glad I started with Dr. LeShan.

             

            Welcome to the group.

             

            Aideen

             

             

             

            Katrina,

             

            In my opinion, the short answer is "no", formal meditation training isn't necessary. That being said, if someone has been down this particular path and have some insight that they're sharing then it would be silly to ignore it. In all the many traditions, the accumulated wit and wisdom of masters, the books, cd's, dvd's, etc that are out there; if they don't speak to your experience then how can they help you (anyone of us) understand any topic (in this case meditation).

             

            Most of my training (in meditation) if you will, has been trial and error on my own (with a good book.) I've been to a couple of meditation retreats that have helped me grown. What is the Buddha said "don't simply take my word for it, practice it for a while and if it's true in your experience, then it is true." I paraphrased that last quote and I know that I just mangled it. It seems to me that meditation is like sleep, it can't really be taught because each of us have a seemingly separate experience.

             

            So, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

             

            I'll make a suggestion, go to your local library: How to meditate by Lawrence LaShan; the Complete Idiot's Guide to Meditation, The Three Minute Mediator by David Harp, anything by Sharon Salzberg, Thich Nhat Hahn, Dr. Andrew Weil, these are just a few of my favorites (I could drone on and on ...)

             

            Bryan


          • dan330033
            Hi Katrina - An interesting question. I m interested to see what responses you get. My experience has been that meditation that was instructed, and according
            Message 5 of 15 , May 24 5:30 PM
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              Hi Katrina -

              An interesting question. I'm interested to see what responses you get.

              My experience has been that meditation that was instructed, and according to a prescribed method, didn't help.

              Implosion led to clarity.

              Implosion occurred spontaneously, as the center assumed to be "I" wasn't able to be maintained as the center from which to pursue a regime of meditation.

              As far as what led to implosion (which couldn't have been predicted and wasn't expected), I'd say that understanding that the whole notion of getting from this moment to some other moment that would be better, more secure, more clear, more at peace - seeing that whole notion was founded on a misconception.

              Some people talk about receiving guidance from a non-incarnate being.

              This may be a way of saying that the unknown itself draws one to it, so to speak, without any division involved. And if one is not avoiding this awareness, it inevitably dissolves the basis for maintaining a center in the known, from which to claim an existence or knowledge.

              At this point, my meditation, if you wish to call it that, is simply being aware.

              You could also call it non-meditation, since there isn't a prescription for it, it is natural, and it isn't something special that is done or sought.

              It doesn't depend on a certain position or breathing technique, which doesn't mean that sitting or being aware of breathing aren't beneficial. They are, particularly being aware of breathing. It's just that being aware doesn't depend on these activities, and there aren't any activities that interfere.

              My sense of my life is that assumptions continue to be challenged and to fall away. It seems that life evolves structures in order to facilitate awareness of their dissolution.

              This is very simple, nothing special, and non-volitional, not a matter of choice (or of not choosing, either).

              - D -



              --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Katrina" <blondewithaphd@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hello All,
              >
              > Please allow me to introduce myself. I am the researcher who posted the study about the effectiveness of meditation survey. In addition to being curious about the effects of meditation, I am also curious about how to perform it.
              >
              > I have been to my local Kadampa Center which practices in Tibetan Buddhism in the Gelugpa Tradition and have heard mixed opinions on how to begin meditating. Some opinions at the center fully support the idea that one must be in a group or taught formally. While others have told me to "simplify" if you will, and to meditate in a mindful way that is simply acknowledging thoughts as they rise to consciousness.
              >
              > My question is if there is a proper way to begin? Can someone with no experience truly grasp the concepts by themselves? Does the kind of technique matter here?
              >
              > Any thoughts would be appreciated.
              >
              > Katrina
              >
            • Christopher Boozell
              Hi Katrina,   My question is if there is a proper way to begin? Can someone with no experience truly grasp the concepts by themselves? Does the kind of
              Message 6 of 15 , May 24 6:47 PM
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                Hi Katrina,
                 
                "My question is if there is a proper way to begin? Can someone with no experience truly grasp the concepts by themselves? Does the kind of technique matter here?"  This can be a provocative question and I'm sure you'll hear many thoughts.   The answer to this question is: it depends on your goals.  
                 
                Learning the mechanics of locus, or centering, meditation is the work of about 5 minutes and involves 2 primary skills: 1) placing your attention on some object of your choice, and 2) paying attention to what your mind is doing so you can bring your back to that object when thoughts wander.  In the beginning, the emphasis is on the second skill, but as you develop the habit of attending to one particular object that need will fade a bit. 
                 
                If you are simply looking for a sure-fire way to destress, those two skills will do you just fine, and it won't usually be necessary to connect with a teacher.  This approach is the basis for the popular 'The Relaxation Response', and is very approachable by just about anyone. 
                 
                But if you are interested in using those meditative skills for something more involved, as in spiritual development, a teacher would be very valuable.  There are a number of reasons for this: there are several modes of meditation, and having an experienced spiritual advisor can help you understand how, when and why you might employ each mode.  Also, without an advisor/teacher, our spiritual efforts tend to focus on things we already grok, and avoid the stuff we aren't comfortable with (or haven't even thought to look into), which usually dampens our progress.  A good teacher can make sure you look in all the metaphorical 'dusty corners' that we could otherwise miss.
                 
                Hope this helps!
                 
                Vigilate,
                 
                Chris Boozell
              • Aideen Mckenna
                For me, it s swimming for 20 - 30 minutes. I know what you mean; it s amazing. A. _____ From: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
                Message 7 of 15 , May 24 7:25 PM
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                  For me, it’s swimming for 20 – 30 minutes.  I know what you mean; it’s amazing.  A.

                   


                  From: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com [mailto: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of sean tremblay
                  Sent: May-24-10 4:24 PM
                  To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [Meditation Society of America ] Do You Need Formal Teaching To Meditate?

                   

                   

                  20 mins on a motorbike does it for me ALL mind chatter ceases, completely in the moment fixed on the horizon, trees and farms and rivers passing by, I have to remind myself to go home at some point.

                  --- On Mon, 5/24/10, Aideen Mckenna < aideenmck@telus. net > wrote:


                  From: Aideen Mckenna < aideenmck@telus. net >
                  Subject: RE: [Meditation Society of America ] Do You Need Formal Teaching To Meditate?
                  To: meditationsocietyof america@yahoogro ups.com
                  Date: Monday, May 24, 2010, 6:37 PM

                   

                  Hi Katrina,

                   

                  As Bryan implied, Lawrence LeShan’s “How to Meditate” is extremely useful.  It’s the one I read first, & it was accompanied by a tape of Dr. LeShan’s guided meditations.  That was a long time ago, & probably there’s a CD with the book now.  I liked the fact that he emphasized being gentle & kind with yourself.  That’s to say, when your mind drifts off, you want to bring it back gently, never with self-condemnation (some of us are inclined to scold, probably because of early conditioning) .

                   

                  This link provides a good description of what many (maybe most) find is the best way to sit while meditating, if sitting is what you choose to do.

                   

                  http://www.wikihow. com/Meditate  

                   

                  There’s a wealth of very good writing out there on the subject.  Like Bryan , I could go on & on.  And ON.  I’m glad I started with Dr. LeShan.

                   

                  Welcome to the group.

                   

                  Aideen

                   

                   

                   

                  Katrina,

                   

                  In my opinion, the short answer is "no", formal meditation training isn't necessary. That being said, if someone has been down this particular path and have some insight that they're sharing then it would be silly to ignore it. In all the many traditions, the accumulated wit and wisdom of masters, the books, cd's, dvd's, etc that are out there; if they don't speak to your experience then how can they help you (anyone of us) understand any topic (in this case meditation).

                   

                  Most of my training (in meditation) if you will, has been trial and error on my own (with a good book.) I've been to a couple of meditation retreats that have helped me grown. What is the Buddha said "don't simply take my word for it, practice it for a while and if it's true in your experience, then it is true." I paraphrased that last quote and I know that I just mangled it. It seems to me that meditation is like sleep, it can't really be taught because each of us have a seemingly separate experience.

                   

                  So, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

                   

                  I'll make a suggestion, go to your local library: How to meditate by Lawrence LaShan; the Complete Idiot's Guide to Meditation, The Three Minute Mediator by David Harp, anything by Sharon Salzberg, Thich Nhat Hahn, Dr. Andrew Weil, these are just a few of my favorites (I could drone on and on ...)

                   

                  Bryan

                   

                • Katrina
                  All, Thank you for your thoughts, guidance, and opinions. I believe it all makes sense. I suppose the trouble I am dealing with is starting. Since I am a
                  Message 8 of 15 , May 25 5:14 AM
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                    All,

                    Thank you for your thoughts, guidance, and opinions. I believe it all makes sense. I suppose the trouble I am dealing with is starting. Since I am a researcher and my research involves meditation directly I am exposed to hundreds of studies, books, journal articles, etc., everyday. I know why meditation works, I know how meditation works, and I know what areas of the brain are stimulated through meditation. I've read several Dalai Lama books, Thich Nhat Hanh, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, and other respected teachers. I've written a 150 page dissertation on the subject…

                    Yet I sit down to try it myself and find that I don't even know where to begin. How can I advocate something I can't even do?! Hence I went to the Kadampa Center for guidance and was given a variety of opinions; "You should start with a teacher." "You don't need a teacher." "You're over complicating things."

                    I understand what Chris is saying about simply looking for a way to de-stress and how a teacher may not be necessary based on what one is looking for. I also understand Bryan's feelings on trial and error because what works for one person may not for another.

                    Am I trying too hard? Have I complicated something that should not be so complicated?

                    Katrina


                    --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, Christopher Boozell <cjb@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi Katrina,
                    >  
                    > "My question is if there is a proper way to begin? Can someone with no experience truly grasp the concepts by themselves? Does the kind of technique matter here?"  This can be a provocative question and I'm sure you'll hear many thoughts.   The answer to this question is: it depends on your goals.  
                    >  
                    > Learning the mechanics of locus, or centering, meditation is the work of about 5 minutes and involves 2 primary skills: 1) placing your attention on some object of your choice, and 2) paying attention to what your mind is doing so you can bring your back to that object when thoughts wander.  In the beginning, the emphasis is on the second skill, but as you develop the habit of attending to one particular object that need will fade a bit. 
                    >  
                    > If you are simply looking for a sure-fire way to destress, those two skills will do you just fine, and it won't usually be necessary to connect with a teacher.  This approach is the basis for the popular 'The Relaxation Response', and is very approachable by just about anyone. 
                    >  
                    > But if you are interested in using those meditative skills for something more involved, as in spiritual development, a teacher would be very valuable.  There are a number of reasons for this: there are several modes of meditation, and having an experienced spiritual advisor can help you understand how, when and why you might employ each mode.  Also, without an advisor/teacher, our spiritual efforts tend to focus on things we already grok, and avoid the stuff we aren't comfortable with (or haven't even thought to look into), which usually dampens our progress.  A good teacher can make sure you look in all the metaphorical 'dusty corners' that we could otherwise miss.
                    >  
                    > Hope this helps!
                    >  
                    > Vigilate,
                    >  
                    > Chris Boozell
                    >
                  • Aideen Mckenna
                    Dear Katrina, In short, yes. That s MHO. Listen to Nike & Just Do It. I meditated for some time & then discovered all the books & articles etc. I may well
                    Message 9 of 15 , May 25 8:34 PM
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                      Dear Katrina,

                       

                      In short, yes.  That’s MHO.  Listen to Nike & Just Do It.  I meditated for some time & then discovered all the books & articles etc.  I may well have read hundreds.   I don’t really regret having done that, but I noticed that the more I read about meditation, the less I meditated.   I became anxious.  Should I be doing this rather than that?   Did I leave this until too late in life?  It was like quitting smoking to stop the compulsive reading, which had become a way to avoid the cushion & the concomitant anxiety & doubt.  Ridiculous, because I like to meditate; I’m happier & more peaceful when I practice regularly.  

                      As for the teacher question, I think you don’t need a teacher at first, but later in your practice, you may find that you do.  When/if you need one, you’ll meet one.

                       

                      Aideen   


                      From: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com [mailto: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Katrina
                      Sent: May-25-10 5:14 AM
                      To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [Meditation Society of America ] Re: Do You Need Formal Teaching To Meditate?

                       

                       



                      All,

                      Thank you for your thoughts, guidance, and opinions. I believe it all makes sense. I suppose the trouble I am dealing with is starting. Since I am a researcher and my research involves meditation directly I am exposed to hundreds of studies, books, journal articles, etc., everyday. I know why meditation works, I know how meditation works, and I know what areas of the brain are stimulated through meditation. I've read several Dalai Lama books, Thich Nhat Hanh, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, and other respected teachers. I've written a 150 page dissertation on the subject…

                      Yet I sit down to try it myself and find that I don't even know where to begin. How can I advocate something I can't even do?! Hence I went to the Kadampa Center for guidance and was given a variety of opinions; "You should start with a teacher." "You don't need a teacher." "You're over complicating things."

                      I understand what Chris is saying about simply looking for a way to de-stress and how a teacher may not be necessary based on what one is looking for. I also understand Bryan 's feelings on trial and error because what works for one person may not for another.

                      Am I trying too hard? Have I complicated something that should not be so complicated?

                      Katrina

                      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, Christopher Boozell <cjb@...> wrote:

                      >
                      > Hi Katrina,
                      >  
                      > "My question is if there is a proper way to begin? Can someone with
                      no experience truly grasp the concepts by themselves? Does the kind of technique matter here?"  This can be a provocative question and I'm sure you'll hear many thoughts.   The answer to this question is: it depends on your goals.  
                      >  
                      > Learning the mechanics of locus, or centering, meditation is the work of
                      about 5 minutes and involves 2 primary skills: 1) placing your attention on some object of your choice, and 2) paying attention to what your mind is doing so you can bring your back to that object when thoughts wander.  In the beginning, the emphasis is on the second skill, but as you develop the habit of attending to one particular object that need will fade a bit. 
                      >  
                      > If you are simply looking for a sure-fire way to destress, those two
                      skills will do you just fine, and it won't usually be necessary to connect with a teacher.  This approach is the basis for the popular 'The Relaxation Response', and is very approachable by just about anyone. 
                      >  
                      > But if you are interested in using those meditative skills for something
                      more involved, as in spiritual development, a teacher would be very valuable.  There are a number of reasons for this: there are several modes of meditation, and having an experienced spiritual advisor can help you understand how, when and why you might employ each mode.  Also, without an advisor/teacher, our spiritual efforts tend to focus on things we already grok, and avoid the stuff we aren't comfortable with (or haven't even thought to look into), which usually dampens our progress.  A good teacher can make sure you look in all the metaphorical 'dusty corners' that we could otherwise miss.
                      >  
                      > Hope this helps!
                      >  
                      > Vigilate,
                      >  
                      > Chris Boozell
                      >

                    • sandeep chatterjee
                      Hi Katrina, Greetings and welcome. As you were getting dumped with all guidance(s), felt like giving you a respite by not adding to the pile. You know newbies
                      Message 10 of 15 , May 25 9:37 PM
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                        Hi Katrina,

                        Greetings and welcome.

                        As you were getting dumped with all guidance(s), felt like giving you a respite by not adding to the pile.

                        You know newbies on such Lists is always fresh meat for the salivating "been there-done-that" old geysers.:-)



                        This response from you however is salivating.

                        Few two cents in -between as below.



                        --- On Tue, 5/25/10, Katrina <blondewithaphd@...> wrote:

                        From: Katrina <blondewithaphd@...>
                        Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Do You Need Formal Teaching To Meditate?
                        To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 4:44 PM

                         



                        All,

                        Thank you for your thoughts, guidance, and opinions. I believe it all makes sense. I suppose the trouble I am dealing with is starting.


                        -------

                        Any reason why to move at all away from this start, aka where you are, as you are?

                        --------


                        Since I am a researcher and my research involves meditation directly I am exposed to hundreds of studies, books, journal articles, etc., everyday. I know why meditation works, I know how meditation works, and I know what areas of the brain are stimulated through meditation.

                        -------


                        Yes.

                        All the ingredients which make up this flourishing industry.

                        --------



                        I've read several Dalai Lama books, Thich Nhat Hanh, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, and other respected teachers. I've written a 150 page dissertation on the subject…


                        ---------


                        And yet....

                        :-)

                        -------




                        Yet I sit down to try it myself and find that I don't even know where to begin.


                        ---------

                        While sitting down............simply and just....... sit.

                        When writing a desertion..........simply and just........ write

                        When reading all the plethora of "How to..." by all the famous and infamous.....

                        .....simply and just......... read.



                        The content , nature, shape, manner, hue of the unfolding act...

                        ....whatever that particular act be....

                        .....is immaterial, irrelevant, insignificant.



                        The sense of either a total immersion.....in the unfolding act-in-and-as-the-moment....

                        .....or.....

                        ... the sense of a transcending witnessing.............. of the unfolding  act-in-and-as-the-moment.....


                        ....is........that-which-is.


                        If there is a sense of a strive towards total immersion, or the sense of a strive towards transcendence...

                        invite ....the pondering .............just for whom...........is this sense of strive of relevance?

                        Striving for whatever...the whatever is immaterial...

                        ....for whom is this sense of striving .......which is a thought(maybe a persistent one)....

                        ....who is it .......that took delivery of this thought?


                        In the ponderance......... in the quietude..............is the quality of meditativeness ( to use a mere term).


                        So are the multitude of meditation techniques, whether learnt under a famous/infamous teacher.........wrong?

                        Not all.

                        They all have a benefit, a relevance............at a particular level.


                        ----------



                        How can I advocate something I can't even do?


                        --------

                        Why the need to advocate?

                        For whom, is this need to advocate ........of relevance?

                        Does not the world need a respite for all these teeming advocates anyways?

                        :-)

                        As the infamous UG muttered...........all that the world needs is to be saved from the saviours.

                        ------------



                        ! Hence I went to the Kadampa Center for guidance and was given a variety of opinions; "You should start with a teacher." "You don't need a teacher." "You're over complicating things."



                        I understand what Chris is saying about simply looking for a way to de-stress


                        ---------

                        A way to de-stress is a way to de-stress.

                        And no doubt physical and mental gymnastics  are useful for such an objective........ to be striven for.....

                        .....to replace the stress intrinsic in trying to grasp and hold on to the transient....


                        ...with the stress to reach and hold onto the eternal.


                        ----------




                        and how a teacher may not be necessary based on what one is looking for. I also understand Bryan's feelings on trial and error because what works for one person may not for another.

                        Am I trying too hard? Have I complicated something that should not be so complicated?



                        ---------

                        Meditativeness (using a mere term)............is not conditional, not dependent.

                        Not conditional not dependent to and on time, place, state of mind/emotions/mood......

                        ...... and not a cause-effect phenomenal event of a physical or mental hoopla.


                        So walking down the street, hooping it up in a singles bar, watching a heron plucking a fish from the flowing waters, haggling with a street vendor, screaming at a surly waiter in a restaurant, deep reading of esoteric books of spirituality, meditation or cooking of Indian Tandoori cuisine......


                        .....the totality of immersion ......

                        ....or the totality of witnessing transcendence.



                        Which means that in-and-as-the-moment.............there is only...

                        ...the walking..........but none to walk;

                        .......the hooping....but none which hoops;

                        ...the watching........but none to watch;

                        ...the haggling..........but not the haggler;

                        ....the screaming...........but not the screamer;

                        ..the reading........but no reader.


                        The hilarity is that such is already the defacto case......

                        ......it is not something which has to be created, constricted, practiced, reached, attained or can  experienced.



                        What is attainable must be apriori losable.

                        What is losable...........is not worth much.



                        So have fun..........sitting in zazen, or doing KapalBhati....or chanting OM.......or feeding the rich...opps I mean the poor.....

                        ....or the cessation of all of these and just a-watcher-on-the-hill...

                        ....witnessing ......

                        ....the stream of sensations, impressions, actions both physical and mental and emotional...........the coalesced bundle of which....

                        ... is popularly known as "Katrina".




                        Dooo Beeee Doooo Beeee Dooooo.

                        (A Primal beat to which Shiva dances and got plagiarized by Frank Sinatra)





                        .

                      • sean tremblay
                        Anybody out there in meditation land know anything about Bike!! Zen in the art of Motorcycle Maintenance? More like ARRRGH and the art of motorcycle
                        Message 11 of 15 , May 25 10:32 PM
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Anybody out there in meditation land know anything about Bike!!
                          Zen in the art of Motorcycle Maintenance?
                          More like ARRRGH and the art of motorcycle maintenance!
                          2002 Triumph Bonny
                          rebuilt carb new needle jets
                          new plugs
                          new fuel
                          new oil
                          new air filter
                          and still giving me a hassle, ran great for two days then concked out on my way home, this is really messing with my inner peace?
                          open to suggestions?

                          --- On Wed, 5/26/10, sandeep chatterjee <sandeep1960@...> wrote:

                          From: sandeep chatterjee <sandeep1960@...>
                          Subject: Re: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Do You Need Formal Teaching To Meditate?
                          To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 12:37 AM

                           

                          Hi Katrina,

                          Greetings and welcome.

                          As you were getting dumped with all guidance(s), felt like giving you a respite by not adding to the pile.

                          You know newbies on such Lists is always fresh meat for the salivating "been there-done-that" old geysers.:-)



                          This response from you however is salivating.

                          Few two cents in -between as below.



                          --- On Tue, 5/25/10, Katrina <blondewithaphd@ yahoo.com> wrote:

                          From: Katrina <blondewithaphd@ yahoo.com>
                          Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Do You Need Formal Teaching To Meditate?
                          To: meditationsocietyof america@yahoogro ups.com
                          Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 4:44 PM

                           



                          All,

                          Thank you for your thoughts, guidance, and opinions. I believe it all makes sense. I suppose the trouble I am dealing with is starting.


                          -------

                          Any reason why to move at all away from this start, aka where you are, as you are?

                          --------


                          Since I am a researcher and my research involves meditation directly I am exposed to hundreds of studies, books, journal articles, etc., everyday. I know why meditation works, I know how meditation works, and I know what areas of the brain are stimulated through meditation.

                          -------


                          Yes.

                          All the ingredients which make up this flourishing industry.

                          --------



                          I've read several Dalai Lama books, Thich Nhat Hanh, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, and other respected teachers. I've written a 150 page dissertation on the subject…


                          ---------


                          And yet....

                          :-)

                          -------




                          Yet I sit down to try it myself and find that I don't even know where to begin.


                          ---------

                          While sitting down........ ....simply and just....... sit.

                          When writing a desertion... .......simply and just........ write

                          When reading all the plethora of "How to..." by all the famous and infamous.... .

                          .....simply and just........ . read.



                          The content , nature, shape, manner, hue of the unfolding act...

                          ....whatever that particular act be....

                          .....is immaterial, irrelevant, insignificant.



                          The sense of either a total immersion... ..in the unfolding act-in-and-as- the-moment. ...

                          .....or.....

                          ... the sense of a transcending witnessing.. ......... ... of the unfolding  act-in-and-as- the-moment. ....


                          ....is...... ..that-which- is.


                          If there is a sense of a strive towards total immersion, or the sense of a strive towards transcendence. ..

                          invite ....the pondering ............ .just for whom........ ...is this sense of strive of relevance?

                          Striving for whatever...the whatever is immaterial.. .

                          ....for whom is this sense of striving .......which is a thought(maybe a persistent one)....

                          ....who is it .......that took delivery of this thought?


                          In the ponderance.. ....... in the quietude.... ......... .is the quality of meditativeness ( to use a mere term).


                          So are the multitude of meditation techniques, whether learnt under a famous/infamous teacher..... ....wrong?

                          Not all.

                          They all have a benefit, a relevance... ......... at a particular level.


                          ----------



                          How can I advocate something I can't even do?


                          --------

                          Why the need to advocate?

                          For whom, is this need to advocate ........of relevance?

                          Does not the world need a respite for all these teeming advocates anyways?

                          :-)

                          As the infamous UG muttered.... .......all that the world needs is to be saved from the saviours.

                          ------------



                          ! Hence I went to the Kadampa Center for guidance and was given a variety of opinions; "You should start with a teacher." "You don't need a teacher." "You're over complicating things."



                          I understand what Chris is saying about simply looking for a way to de-stress


                          ---------

                          A way to de-stress is a way to de-stress.

                          And no doubt physical and mental gymnastics  are useful for such an objective... ..... to be striven for.....

                          .....to replace the stress intrinsic in trying to grasp and hold on to the transient... .


                          ...with the stress to reach and hold onto the eternal.


                          ----------




                          and how a teacher may not be necessary based on what one is looking for. I also understand Bryan's feelings on trial and error because what works for one person may not for another.

                          Am I trying too hard? Have I complicated something that should not be so complicated?



                          ---------

                          Meditativeness (using a mere term)....... .....is not conditional, not dependent.

                          Not conditional not dependent to and on time, place, state of mind/emotions/ mood..... .

                          ...... and not a cause-effect phenomenal event of a physical or mental hoopla.


                          So walking down the street, hooping it up in a singles bar, watching a heron plucking a fish from the flowing waters, haggling with a street vendor, screaming at a surly waiter in a restaurant, deep reading of esoteric books of spirituality, meditation or cooking of Indian Tandoori cuisine..... .


                          .....the totality of immersion ......

                          ....or the totality of witnessing transcendence.



                          Which means that in-and-as-the- moment... ......... .there is only...

                          ...the walking..... .....but none to walk;

                          .......the hooping....but none which hoops;

                          ...the watching.... ....but none to watch;

                          ...the haggling.... ......but not the haggler;

                          ....the screaming... ........but not the screamer;

                          ..the reading..... ...but no reader.


                          The hilarity is that such is already the defacto case......

                          ......it is not something which has to be created, constricted, practiced, reached, attained or can  experienced.



                          What is attainable must be apriori losable.

                          What is losable..... ......is not worth much.



                          So have fun......... .sitting in zazen, or doing KapalBhati.. ..or chanting OM.......or feeding the rich...opps I mean the poor.....

                          ....or the cessation of all of these and just a-watcher-on- the-hill. ..

                          ....witnessing ......

                          ....the stream of sensations, impressions, actions both physical and mental and emotional... ........the coalesced bundle of which....

                          ... is popularly known as "Katrina".




                          Dooo Beeee Doooo Beeee Dooooo.

                          (A Primal beat to which Shiva dances and got plagiarized by Frank Sinatra)





                          .


                        • WestWindWood
                          You need to do a little basic trouble shooting. See if you have a spark. Take an old spark plug, put the plug wire on it, tie the plug to metal, give the
                          Message 12 of 15 , May 26 6:54 AM
                          • 0 Attachment

                            You need to do a little basic trouble shooting. See if you have a spark. Take an old spark plug, put the plug wire on it, tie the plug to metal, give the engine a spin and see if you get a spark across the electrode. Be careful if a bike has a magneto, as the spark can be strong enough to be fatal. Battery powered spark just makes you jump real good. I no spark, check points for pitting. Pitting is usually caused by poor electrical connections, usually where the points are. Also check for oil foiling. Does the plug have a black oily deposit on the electrode? If there is a good spark, then check for water in the gas, fuel flow from the tank, plugged float valve if there is no fuel filter on the bike. Smell at the exhaust and see if there is the odor of gasoline. There is also the possibility of a seized piston from lack of oil. That can be expensive because of bearing damage and weakened pistons for excess heat with sudden breakage. About meditation, maybe you can do that while you push your bike to the nearest service station.

                            --- On Tue, 5/25/10, sean tremblay <bethjams9@...> wrote:

                            From: sean tremblay <bethjams9@...>
                            Subject: Re: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Do You Need Formal Teaching To Meditate?
                            To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 10:32 PM

                             
                            Anybody out there in meditation land know anything about Bike!!
                            Zen in the art of Motorcycle Maintenance?
                            More like ARRRGH and the art of motorcycle maintenance!
                            2002 Triumph Bonny
                            rebuilt carb new needle jets
                            new plugs
                            new fuel
                            new oil
                            new air filter
                            and still giving me a hassle, ran great for two days then concked out on my way home, this is really messing with my inner peace?
                            open to suggestions?

                            --- On Wed, 5/26/10, sandeep chatterjee <sandeep1960@ yahoo.com> wrote:

                            From: sandeep chatterjee <sandeep1960@ yahoo.com>
                            Subject: Re: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Do You Need Formal Teaching To Meditate?
                            To: meditationsocietyof america@yahoogro ups.com
                            Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 12:37 AM

                             
                            Hi Katrina,

                            Greetings and welcome.

                            As you were getting dumped with all guidance(s), felt like giving you a respite by not adding to the pile.

                            You know newbies on such Lists is always fresh meat for the salivating "been there-done-that" old geysers.:-)



                            This response from you however is salivating.

                            Few two cents in -between as below.



                            --- On Tue, 5/25/10, Katrina <blondewithaphd@ yahoo.com> wrote:

                            From: Katrina <blondewithaphd@ yahoo.com>
                            Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Do You Need Formal Teaching To Meditate?
                            To: meditationsocietyof america@yahoogro ups.com
                            Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 4:44 PM

                             


                            All,

                            Thank you for your thoughts, guidance, and opinions. I believe it all makes sense. I suppose the trouble I am dealing with is starting.

                            -------
                            Any reason why to move at all away from this start, aka where you are, as you are?
                            --------

                            Since I am a researcher and my research involves meditation directly I am exposed to hundreds of studies, books, journal articles, etc., everyday. I know why meditation works, I know how meditation works, and I know what areas of the brain are stimulated through meditation.
                            -------

                            Yes.
                            All the ingredients which make up this flourishing industry.
                            --------


                            I've read several Dalai Lama books, Thich Nhat Hanh, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, and other respected teachers. I've written a 150 page dissertation on the subject…

                            ---------

                            And yet....
                            :-)
                            -------



                            Yet I sit down to try it myself and find that I don't even know where to begin.

                            ---------
                            While sitting down........ ....simply and just....... sit.
                            When writing a desertion... .......simply and just........ write
                            When reading all the plethora of "How to..." by all the famous and infamous.... .
                            .....simply and just........ . read.


                            The content , nature, shape, manner, hue of the unfolding act...
                            ....whatever that particular act be....
                            .....is immaterial, irrelevant, insignificant.


                            The sense of either a total immersion... ..in the unfolding act-in-and-as- the-moment. ...
                            .....or.....
                            ... the sense of a transcending witnessing.. ......... ... of the unfolding  act-in-and-as- the-moment. ....

                            ....is...... ..that-which- is.

                            If there is a sense of a strive towards total immersion, or the sense of a strive towards transcendence. ..
                            invite ....the pondering ............ .just for whom........ ...is this sense of strive of relevance?
                            Striving for whatever...the whatever is immaterial.. .
                            ....for whom is this sense of striving .......which is a thought(maybe a persistent one)....
                            ....who is it .......that took delivery of this thought?

                            In the ponderance.. ....... in the quietude.... ......... .is the quality of meditativeness ( to use a mere term).

                            So are the multitude of meditation techniques, whether learnt under a famous/infamous teacher..... ....wrong?
                            Not all.
                            They all have a benefit, a relevance... ......... at a particular level.

                            ----------


                            How can I advocate something I can't even do?

                            --------
                            Why the need to advocate?
                            For whom, is this need to advocate ........of relevance?
                            Does not the world need a respite for all these teeming advocates anyways?
                            :-)
                            As the infamous UG muttered.... .......all that the world needs is to be saved from the saviours.
                            ------------


                            ! Hence I went to the Kadampa Center for guidance and was given a variety of opinions; "You should start with a teacher." "You don't need a teacher." "You're over complicating things."


                            I understand what Chris is saying about simply looking for a way to de-stress

                            ---------
                            A way to de-stress is a way to de-stress.
                            And no doubt physical and mental gymnastics  are useful for such an objective... ..... to be striven for.....
                            .....to replace the stress intrinsic in trying to grasp and hold on to the transient... .

                            ...with the stress to reach and hold onto the eternal.

                            ----------



                            and how a teacher may not be necessary based on what one is looking for. I also understand Bryan's feelings on trial and error because what works for one person may not for another.

                            Am I trying too hard? Have I complicated something that should not be so complicated?


                            ---------
                            Meditativeness (using a mere term)....... .....is not conditional, not dependent.
                            Not conditional not dependent to and on time, place, state of mind/emotions/ mood..... .
                            ...... and not a cause-effect phenomenal event of a physical or mental hoopla.

                            So walking down the street, hooping it up in a singles bar, watching a heron plucking a fish from the flowing waters, haggling with a street vendor, screaming at a surly waiter in a restaurant, deep reading of esoteric books of spirituality, meditation or cooking of Indian Tandoori cuisine..... .

                            .....the totality of immersion ......
                            ....or the totality of witnessing transcendence.


                            Which means that in-and-as-the- moment... ......... .there is only...
                            ...the walking..... .....but none to walk;
                            .......the hooping....but none which hoops;
                            ...the watching.... ....but none to watch;
                            ...the haggling.... ......but not the haggler;
                            ....the screaming... ........but not the screamer;
                            ..the reading..... ...but no reader.

                            The hilarity is that such is already the defacto case......
                            ......it is not something which has to be created, constricted, practiced, reached, attained or can  experienced.


                            What is attainable must be apriori losable.
                            What is losable..... ......is not worth much.


                            So have fun......... .sitting in zazen, or doing KapalBhati.. ..or chanting OM.......or feeding the rich...opps I mean the poor.....
                            ....or the cessation of all of these and just a-watcher-on- the-hill. ..
                            ....witnessing ......
                            ....the stream of sensations, impressions, actions both physical and mental and emotional... ........the coalesced bundle of which....
                            ... is popularly known as "Katrina".



                            Dooo Beeee Doooo Beeee Dooooo.
                            (A Primal beat to which Shiva dances and got plagiarized by Frank Sinatra)




                            .



                          • sean tremblay
                            Thanks ... From: WestWindWood Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Repair To:
                            Message 13 of 15 , May 26 7:33 AM
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Thanks

                              --- On Wed, 5/26/10, WestWindWood <westwindwood2003@...> wrote:

                              From: WestWindWood <westwindwood2003@...>
                              Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Repair
                              To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 9:54 AM

                               

                              You need to do a little basic trouble shooting. See if you have a spark. Take an old spark plug, put the plug wire on it, tie the plug to metal, give the engine a spin and see if you get a spark across the electrode. Be careful if a bike has a magneto, as the spark can be strong enough to be fatal. Battery powered spark just makes you jump real good. I no spark, check points for pitting. Pitting is usually caused by poor electrical connections, usually where the points are. Also check for oil foiling. Does the plug have a black oily deposit on the electrode? If there is a good spark, then check for water in the gas, fuel flow from the tank, plugged float valve if there is no fuel filter on the bike. Smell at the exhaust and see if there is the odor of gasoline. There is also the possibility of a seized piston from lack of oil. That can be expensive because of bearing damage and weakened pistons for excess heat with sudden breakage. About meditation, maybe you can do that while you push your bike to the nearest service station.

                              --- On Tue, 5/25/10, sean tremblay <bethjams9@yahoo. com> wrote:


                              From: sean tremblay <bethjams9@yahoo. com>
                              Subject: Re: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Do You Need Formal Teaching To Meditate?
                              To: meditationsocietyof america@yahoogro ups.com
                              Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 10:32 PM

                               
                              Anybody out there in meditation land know anything about Bike!!
                              Zen in the art of Motorcycle Maintenance?
                              More like ARRRGH and the art of motorcycle maintenance!
                              2002 Triumph Bonny
                              rebuilt carb new needle jets
                              new plugs
                              new fuel
                              new oil
                              new air filter
                              and still giving me a hassle, ran great for two days then concked out on my way home, this is really messing with my inner peace?
                              open to suggestions?

                              --- On Wed, 5/26/10, sandeep chatterjee <sandeep1960@ yahoo.com> wrote:

                              From: sandeep chatterjee <sandeep1960@ yahoo.com>
                              Subject: Re: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Do You Need Formal Teaching To Meditate?
                              To: meditationsocietyof america@yahoogro ups.com
                              Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 12:37 AM

                               
                              Hi Katrina,

                              Greetings and welcome.

                              As you were getting dumped with all guidance(s), felt like giving you a respite by not adding to the pile.

                              You know newbies on such Lists is always fresh meat for the salivating "been there-done-that" old geysers.:-)



                              This response from you however is salivating.

                              Few two cents in -between as below.



                              --- On Tue, 5/25/10, Katrina <blondewithaphd@ yahoo.com> wrote:

                              From: Katrina <blondewithaphd@ yahoo.com>
                              Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Do You Need Formal Teaching To Meditate?
                              To: meditationsocietyof america@yahoogro ups.com
                              Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 4:44 PM

                               


                              All,

                              Thank you for your thoughts, guidance, and opinions. I believe it all makes sense. I suppose the trouble I am dealing with is starting.

                              -------
                              Any reason why to move at all away from this start, aka where you are, as you are?
                              --------

                              Since I am a researcher and my research involves meditation directly I am exposed to hundreds of studies, books, journal articles, etc., everyday. I know why meditation works, I know how meditation works, and I know what areas of the brain are stimulated through meditation.
                              -------

                              Yes.
                              All the ingredients which make up this flourishing industry.
                              --------


                              I've read several Dalai Lama books, Thich Nhat Hanh, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, and other respected teachers. I've written a 150 page dissertation on the subject…

                              ---------

                              And yet....
                              :-)
                              -------



                              Yet I sit down to try it myself and find that I don't even know where to begin.

                              ---------
                              While sitting down........ ....simply and just....... sit.
                              When writing a desertion... .......simply and just........ write
                              When reading all the plethora of "How to..." by all the famous and infamous.... .
                              .....simply and just........ . read.


                              The content , nature, shape, manner, hue of the unfolding act...
                              ....whatever that particular act be....
                              .....is immaterial, irrelevant, insignificant.


                              The sense of either a total immersion... ..in the unfolding act-in-and-as- the-moment. ...
                              .....or.....
                              ... the sense of a transcending witnessing.. ......... ... of the unfolding  act-in-and-as- the-moment. ....

                              ....is...... ..that-which- is.

                              If there is a sense of a strive towards total immersion, or the sense of a strive towards transcendence. ..
                              invite ....the pondering ............ .just for whom........ ...is this sense of strive of relevance?
                              Striving for whatever...the whatever is immaterial.. .
                              ....for whom is this sense of striving .......which is a thought(maybe a persistent one)....
                              ....who is it .......that took delivery of this thought?

                              In the ponderance.. ....... in the quietude.... ......... .is the quality of meditativeness ( to use a mere term).

                              So are the multitude of meditation techniques, whether learnt under a famous/infamous teacher..... ....wrong?
                              Not all.
                              They all have a benefit, a relevance... ......... at a particular level.

                              ----------


                              How can I advocate something I can't even do?

                              --------
                              Why the need to advocate?
                              For whom, is this need to advocate ........of relevance?
                              Does not the world need a respite for all these teeming advocates anyways?
                              :-)
                              As the infamous UG muttered.... .......all that the world needs is to be saved from the saviours.
                              ------------


                              ! Hence I went to the Kadampa Center for guidance and was given a variety of opinions; "You should start with a teacher." "You don't need a teacher." "You're over complicating things."


                              I understand what Chris is saying about simply looking for a way to de-stress

                              ---------
                              A way to de-stress is a way to de-stress.
                              And no doubt physical and mental gymnastics  are useful for such an objective... ..... to be striven for.....
                              .....to replace the stress intrinsic in trying to grasp and hold on to the transient... .

                              ...with the stress to reach and hold onto the eternal.

                              ----------



                              and how a teacher may not be necessary based on what one is looking for. I also understand Bryan's feelings on trial and error because what works for one person may not for another.

                              Am I trying too hard? Have I complicated something that should not be so complicated?


                              ---------
                              Meditativeness (using a mere term)....... .....is not conditional, not dependent.
                              Not conditional not dependent to and on time, place, state of mind/emotions/ mood..... .
                              ...... and not a cause-effect phenomenal event of a physical or mental hoopla.

                              So walking down the street, hooping it up in a singles bar, watching a heron plucking a fish from the flowing waters, haggling with a street vendor, screaming at a surly waiter in a restaurant, deep reading of esoteric books of spirituality, meditation or cooking of Indian Tandoori cuisine..... .

                              .....the totality of immersion ......
                              ....or the totality of witnessing transcendence.


                              Which means that in-and-as-the- moment... ......... .there is only...
                              ...the walking..... .....but none to walk;
                              .......the hooping....but none which hoops;
                              ...the watching.... ....but none to watch;
                              ...the haggling.... ......but not the haggler;
                              ....the screaming... ........but not the screamer;
                              ..the reading..... ...but no reader.

                              The hilarity is that such is already the defacto case......
                              ......it is not something which has to be created, constricted, practiced, reached, attained or can  experienced.


                              What is attainable must be apriori losable.
                              What is losable..... ......is not worth much.


                              So have fun......... .sitting in zazen, or doing KapalBhati.. ..or chanting OM.......or feeding the rich...opps I mean the poor.....
                              ....or the cessation of all of these and just a-watcher-on- the-hill. ..
                              ....witnessing ......
                              ....the stream of sensations, impressions, actions both physical and mental and emotional... ........the coalesced bundle of which....
                              ... is popularly known as "Katrina".



                              Dooo Beeee Doooo Beeee Dooooo.
                              (A Primal beat to which Shiva dances and got plagiarized by Frank Sinatra)




                              .




                            • WestWindWood
                              When first starting meditation, the problem is not knowing what is going on with your mind. If you have access to an EEG, that can tell you; however, there are
                              Message 14 of 15 , May 26 8:43 AM
                              • 0 Attachment

                                When first starting meditation, the problem is not knowing what is going on with your mind. If you have access to an EEG, that can tell you; however, there are other simpler ways to know what your mind is doing. Of course the mind is incredibly complex, but for the purpose of learning meditation, lets put enlightenment aside for the moment and first divide the mind into an intellectual part and emotional part. The first step is finding something to concentrate on that the intellectual mind cannot do anything with so that the intellectual mind becomes quiescent. The first time this happened to me was at a Native American sun dance listening to the chanting and drumming. It was a very powerful experience, but I did not know what was happening so I lost a chance to explore further. I thought it was somewhat like a hypnosis experience I had previously, but without the direct experience of another’s direct input of suggestion. Using an EEG, it would be interesting to check on the differences. I suppose you could try hypnosis with a post hypnotic suggestion that you can attain self-hypnosis by some signal of your own. The second time experiencing quiescence was a few years later listening to the wind in the oak trees at my grandmother’s home. This time I knew what I was looking for. I recognized the experience of my intellectual mind not being there. This can be checked by trying to add numbers in your head (no need for an EEG machine), and if you cannot, then the intellectual mind is not there. Quiescence of the intellect can be obtained by a number of methods like watching the breath, a mantra, chanting in a group, watching a clock pendulum, a candle… take your choice of anything that takes your fancy and experiment. Without the intellect jumping around with various analyses, you will be left with your feelings. For instance, if you have noticed that you are uneasy, anxious, but cannot discern the cause; now offer that feeling up and you will be surprised at the cause, what ever it is, but will recognize the response back from your emotional part of the mind as the true source. It will just feel right. However, you can do the exercise again a month later and find you still have exactly the same issue, you just forgot about it. This will be frustrating, like how can I resolve the issue? It’s beyond you. The next step is enlightenment. There are two approaches. The first is to offer up the problem in a devotional way, the will of the Universe be done, let go of your cravings and accept what comes. The second is making the mind blank of the emotional stuff that is welling up, a willingness to accept whatever is and to work towards your betterment. A point to remember is that if the intellect is not involved, the answer will always be consistent and also that the answer will not harm others. Enlightenment can be elusive, but keep trying. Once you discover enlightenment you can work out your problems. This takes maybe two decades, but you will be calmer and happier; and it will be all you can do for each day, and not too much unless you choose a forceful yoga like Kundalini.

                                --- On Tue, 5/25/10, Katrina <blondewithaphd@...> wrote:

                                From: Katrina <blondewithaphd@...>
                                Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Do You Need Formal Teaching To Meditate?
                                To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
                                Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 5:14 AM

                                 


                                All,

                                Thank you for your thoughts, guidance, and opinions. I believe it all makes sense. I suppose the trouble I am dealing with is starting. Since I am a researcher and my research involves meditation directly I am exposed to hundreds of studies, books, journal articles, etc., everyday. I know why meditation works, I know how meditation works, and I know what areas of the brain are stimulated through meditation. I've read several Dalai Lama books, Thich Nhat Hanh, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, and other respected teachers. I've written a 150 page dissertation on the subject…

                                Yet I sit down to try it myself and find that I don't even know where to begin. How can I advocate something I can't even do?! Hence I went to the Kadampa Center for guidance and was given a variety of opinions; "You should start with a teacher." "You don't need a teacher." "You're over complicating things."

                                I understand what Chris is saying about simply looking for a way to de-stress and how a teacher may not be necessary based on what one is looking for. I also understand Bryan's feelings on trial and error because what works for one person may not for another.

                                Am I trying too hard? Have I complicated something that should not be so complicated?

                                Katrina

                                --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, Christopher Boozell <cjb@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Hi Katrina,
                                >  
                                > "My question is if there is a proper way to begin? Can someone with no experience truly grasp the concepts by themselves? Does the kind of technique matter here?"  This can be a provocative question and I'm sure you'll hear many thoughts.   The answer to this question is: it depends on your goals.  
                                >  
                                > Learning the mechanics of locus, or centering, meditation is the work of about 5 minutes and involves 2 primary skills: 1) placing your attention on some object of your choice, and 2) paying attention to what your mind is doing so you can bring your back to that object when thoughts wander.  In the beginning, the emphasis is on the second skill, but as you develop the habit of attending to one particular object that need will fade a bit. 
                                >  
                                > If you are simply looking for a sure-fire way to destress, those two skills will do you just fine, and it won't usually be necessary to connect with a teacher.  This approach is the basis for the popular 'The Relaxation Response', and is very approachable by just about anyone. 
                                >  
                                > But if you are interested in using those meditative skills for something more involved, as in spiritual development, a teacher would be very valuable.  There are a number of reasons for this: there are several modes of meditation, and having an experienced spiritual advisor can help you understand how, when and why you might employ each mode.  Also, without an advisor/teacher, our spiritual efforts tend to focus on things we already grok, and avoid the stuff we aren't comfortable with (or haven't even thought to look into), which usually dampens our progress.  A good teacher can make sure you look in all the metaphorical 'dusty corners' that we could otherwise miss.
                                >  
                                > Hope this helps!
                                >  
                                > Vigilate,
                                >  
                                > Chris Boozell
                                >


                              • Katrina
                                All, I want to thank you for all your words of guidance. It has taken me a while to sort through them all and I will most likely read them over several times.
                                Message 15 of 15 , May 28 6:48 AM
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  All,

                                  I want to thank you for all your words of guidance. It has taken me a while to sort through them all and I will most likely read them over several times.

                                  Aideen,

                                  I liked your response in the sense that I agree there is a certain level of anxiety when you know perhaps "too much"? and focus purely on the technique and not the journey.

                                  I wonder if the best route is to seek a teacher with an open mind and see if that works. If not, perhaps at a later time. Or perhaps the real answer is the truncated form of that...just keep an open mind!


                                  Thanks to all,

                                  Katrina

                                  --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Aideen Mckenna" <aideenmck@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Dear Katrina,
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > In short, yes. That's MHO. Listen to Nike & Just Do It. I meditated for
                                  > some time & then discovered all the books & articles etc. I may well have
                                  > read hundreds. I don't really regret having done that, but I noticed that
                                  > the more I read about meditation, the less I meditated. I became anxious.
                                  > Should I be doing this rather than that? Did I leave this until too late
                                  > in life? It was like quitting smoking to stop the compulsive reading, which
                                  > had become a way to avoid the cushion & the concomitant anxiety & doubt.
                                  > Ridiculous, because I like to meditate; I'm happier & more peaceful when I
                                  > practice regularly.
                                  >
                                  > As for the teacher question, I think you don't need a teacher at first, but
                                  > later in your practice, you may find that you do. When/if you need one,
                                  > you'll meet one.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Aideen
                                  >
                                  > _____
                                  >
                                  > From: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
                                  > [mailto:meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Katrina
                                  > Sent: May-25-10 5:14 AM
                                  > To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Do You Need Formal Teaching To
                                  > Meditate?
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > All,
                                  >
                                  > Thank you for your thoughts, guidance, and opinions. I believe it all makes
                                  > sense. I suppose the trouble I am dealing with is starting. Since I am a
                                  > researcher and my research involves meditation directly I am exposed to
                                  > hundreds of studies, books, journal articles, etc., everyday. I know why
                                  > meditation works, I know how meditation works, and I know what areas of the
                                  > brain are stimulated through meditation. I've read several Dalai Lama books,
                                  > Thich Nhat Hanh, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, and other respected teachers. I've
                                  > written a 150 page dissertation on the subject.
                                  >
                                  > Yet I sit down to try it myself and find that I don't even know where to
                                  > begin. How can I advocate something I can't even do?! Hence I went to the
                                  > Kadampa Center for guidance and was given a variety of opinions; "You should
                                  > start with a teacher." "You don't need a teacher." "You're over complicating
                                  > things."
                                  >
                                  > I understand what Chris is saying about simply looking for a way to
                                  > de-stress and how a teacher may not be necessary based on what one is
                                  > looking for. I also understand Bryan's feelings on trial and error because
                                  > what works for one person may not for another.
                                  >
                                  > Am I trying too hard? Have I complicated something that should not be so
                                  > complicated?
                                  >
                                  > Katrina
                                  >
                                  > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
                                  > <mailto:meditationsocietyofamerica%40yahoogroups.com> , Christopher Boozell
                                  > <cjb@> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > Hi Katrina,
                                  > >
                                  > > "My question is if there is a proper way to begin? Can someone with no
                                  > experience truly grasp the concepts by themselves? Does the kind of
                                  > technique matter here?" This can be a provocative question and I'm sure
                                  > you'll hear many thoughts. The answer to this question is: it depends on
                                  > your goals.
                                  > >
                                  > > Learning the mechanics of locus, or centering, meditation is the work of
                                  > about 5 minutes and involves 2 primary skills: 1) placing your attention on
                                  > some object of your choice, and 2) paying attention to what your mind is
                                  > doing so you can bring your back to that object when thoughts wander. In
                                  > the beginning, the emphasis is on the second skill, but as you develop the
                                  > habit of attending to one particular object that need will fade a bit.
                                  > >
                                  > > If you are simply looking for a sure-fire way to destress, those two
                                  > skills will do you just fine, and it won't usually be necessary to connect
                                  > with a teacher. This approach is the basis for the popular 'The Relaxation
                                  > Response', and is very approachable by just about anyone.
                                  > >
                                  > > But if you are interested in using those meditative skills for something
                                  > more involved, as in spiritual development, a teacher would be very
                                  > valuable. There are a number of reasons for this: there are several modes
                                  > of meditation, and having an experienced spiritual advisor can help you
                                  > understand how, when and why you might employ each mode. Also, without an
                                  > advisor/teacher, our spiritual efforts tend to focus on things we already
                                  > grok, and avoid the stuff we aren't comfortable with (or haven't even
                                  > thought to look into), which usually dampens our progress. A good teacher
                                  > can make sure you look in all the metaphorical 'dusty corners' that we could
                                  > otherwise miss.
                                  > >
                                  > > Hope this helps!
                                  > >
                                  > > Vigilate,
                                  > >
                                  > > Chris Boozell
                                  > >
                                  >
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