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lateral benefits from meditation / suppression and meditation

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  • Nina
    Sometime recently, someone posted that they believed that practicing meditation allowed one to become better at meditation, but not better at much beyond
    Message 1 of 6 , May 5, 2003
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      Sometime recently, someone posted that they believed that practicing
      meditation allowed one to become better at meditation, but not better
      at much beyond meditation. I may be recalling this incorrectly, but
      just for a moment, let's assume this notion as a workpoint.

      There is a risk in any practice to assume that the skills or benefits
      gained through that practice cannot translate beyond that practice.
      For instance, one learns to play bluegrass at a weekly jam, and
      perhaps assumes that nothing they have learned will translate to
      learning in other areas of their life. This assumption places
      emphasis on the product of what is learned (a bluegrass song), rather
      than recognizing that the real learning has been that of a process
      (musical harmonies and counterpoints, cadence, improvisation, etc.).
      While the products do not easily make the jump, the processes do make
      the jump from one discipline in life to another.

      So, one could very easily see that while holding one's emotions in
      check in a high-stress work environment might look nothing like deep
      meditation, one could understand that the root processes of the two
      disciplines look very much alike.

      Moving on to the second topic of this post, that of suppression in
      meditation, one might point to the above paragraph and say: see,
      suppression. Well, yes. That does appear to be suppression, in that
      one is halting the outward expression of emotions in the context of a
      high-stress work environment, which can breed certain emotions.
      However, what might actually be happening would be the exercise of
      choice between getting swept up and saying 'yes, that is one way of
      responding, but not the way for this moment'.

      This is not to devalue the benefit and sometimes necessity of
      discharging emotions (or whatever). Someone once mentioned to me that
      discharge is an important aspect of keeping the house clean as long
      as the house is continuing to get dirty.

      This brings me to the last piece on suppression. When the house is no
      longer getting dirty (as much, or at all), then discharge is no
      longer necessary (as much, or at all). Or perhaps, the need to
      discharge, as thought of as a movement of energy through and out,
      never leaves us.

      Perhaps balance and steadiness is achieved by constantly letting out
      tiny amounts of steam all along, rather than storing it up and
      honking it out in big bursts. Personally, I have found that
      meditation can serve this function of letting out steam and it has
      the added benefit of not leaving holes in my walls or rifts in my
      relationships.

      How is it that meditation can be seen as suppresssion by some and
      discharge by others? That's an interesting piece. I suspect it has
      more to do with one's attitude towards meditation than with the
      processes of meditation.

      Nina
    • dan330033
      ... practicing ... better ... benefits ... rather ... etc.). ... make ... deep ... a ... that ... no ... out ... I found your observations very worthwhile,
      Message 2 of 6 , May 5, 2003
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        --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
        <murrkis@y...> wrote:
        > Sometime recently, someone posted that they believed that
        practicing
        > meditation allowed one to become better at meditation, but not
        better
        > at much beyond meditation. I may be recalling this incorrectly, but
        > just for a moment, let's assume this notion as a workpoint.
        >
        > There is a risk in any practice to assume that the skills or
        benefits
        > gained through that practice cannot translate beyond that practice.
        > For instance, one learns to play bluegrass at a weekly jam, and
        > perhaps assumes that nothing they have learned will translate to
        > learning in other areas of their life. This assumption places
        > emphasis on the product of what is learned (a bluegrass song),
        rather
        > than recognizing that the real learning has been that of a process
        > (musical harmonies and counterpoints, cadence, improvisation,
        etc.).
        > While the products do not easily make the jump, the processes do
        make
        > the jump from one discipline in life to another.
        >
        > So, one could very easily see that while holding one's emotions in
        > check in a high-stress work environment might look nothing like
        deep
        > meditation, one could understand that the root processes of the two
        > disciplines look very much alike.
        >
        > Moving on to the second topic of this post, that of suppression in
        > meditation, one might point to the above paragraph and say: see,
        > suppression. Well, yes. That does appear to be suppression, in that
        > one is halting the outward expression of emotions in the context of
        a
        > high-stress work environment, which can breed certain emotions.
        > However, what might actually be happening would be the exercise of
        > choice between getting swept up and saying 'yes, that is one way of
        > responding, but not the way for this moment'.
        >
        > This is not to devalue the benefit and sometimes necessity of
        > discharging emotions (or whatever). Someone once mentioned to me
        that
        > discharge is an important aspect of keeping the house clean as long
        > as the house is continuing to get dirty.
        >
        > This brings me to the last piece on suppression. When the house is
        no
        > longer getting dirty (as much, or at all), then discharge is no
        > longer necessary (as much, or at all). Or perhaps, the need to
        > discharge, as thought of as a movement of energy through and out,
        > never leaves us.
        >
        > Perhaps balance and steadiness is achieved by constantly letting
        out
        > tiny amounts of steam all along, rather than storing it up and
        > honking it out in big bursts. Personally, I have found that
        > meditation can serve this function of letting out steam and it has
        > the added benefit of not leaving holes in my walls or rifts in my
        > relationships.
        >
        > How is it that meditation can be seen as suppresssion by some and
        > discharge by others? That's an interesting piece. I suspect it has
        > more to do with one's attitude towards meditation than with the
        > processes of meditation.
        >
        > Nina

        I found your observations very worthwhile, Nina.

        Meditation isn't supression, because it exludes
        nothing -- it has no "other" to be kept out.

        And therefore, it is noncathartic (discharging) -- it has
        no outside into which to get something out, and
        thus has no inside in which to hold.

        Simply totality.

        So, emotional reactivities and manipulative
        thought tendencies
        dissolve in meditation because they have
        no object. They don't get supressed at all.

        Supression is fear -- fear of intrusion, fear of
        what could happen if something unwanted came in.

        Supression generally gets dressed up as peace,
        and calmness. But it's a deadly battle against
        intrusions, and thus has lots of projections
        and hidden frustrations about its enemies.

        Meditation opens to the projecting and frustration
        honestly, without trying to fight off and ignore.
        Thus the deadly battle ceases, intrusions can't
        happen with no outside.

        Meditation has no others to act as its friends or
        enemies, to promote it or deny it.

        That would seem sad and lonely, but those emotions
        can't occur without an other which is being missed.

        In the day to day world of work and relationships,
        meditation may hold emotions in check or release
        them, as you say --
        meditation is the impeccability of nonattached
        responsiveness as this present -- as is. It's impossible
        to say ahead of time what will be the way that
        "openness" as meditation expresses and discloses
        the situation -- there are no criteria ahead of time.

        And in terms of emotions which habitually are carried,
        as if by a carrier -- as you suggest --
        those are likely to be held in
        check when not appropriate to the situation,
        and then discharged when and as appropriate,
        until holding and holder no longer are essential
        to being.

        So, meditation is not out to eliminate emotion, yet emotional
        reactivity discharges, doesn't reaccumulate, and objects
        aren't there to affect that process. As meditation itself
        isn't a process, it releases processes -- including
        emotional processes, intellectual processes, and relational
        processes.

        But meditation is not a process of release. It manifests
        a process of release as appropriate, because it is not
        a process, has no hold on any outcome, has no outside.

        -- Dan
      • freyjartist@aol.com
        Hi Dan, I found this discussion with Nina to be helpful....a few comments below
        Message 3 of 6 , May 6, 2003
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          Hi Dan,

          I found this discussion with Nina
          to be helpful....a few comments below

          <<So, emotional reactivities and manipulative
          thought tendencies
          dissolve in meditation because they have
          no object. They don't get supressed at all.

          Supression is fear -- fear of intrusion, fear of
          what could happen if something unwanted came in.

          Supression generally gets dressed up as peace,
          and calmness. But it's a deadly battle against
          intrusions, and thus has lots of projections
          and hidden frustrations about its enemies.

          Meditation opens to the projecting and frustration
          honestly, without trying to fight off and ignore.
          Thus the deadly battle ceases, intrusions can't
          happen with no outside.

          Meditation has no others to act as its friends or
          enemies, to promote it or deny it.

          That would seem sad and lonely, but those emotions
          can't occur without an other which is being missed.

          In the day to day world of work and relationships,
          meditation may hold emotions in check or release
          them, as you say --
          meditation is the impeccability of nonattached
          responsiveness as this present -- as is. It's impossible
          to say ahead of time what will be the way that
          "openness" as meditation expresses and discloses
          the situation -- there are no criteria ahead of time.>>

          .........As i see it, this is why the sages can
          be seen exhibiting any number of emotions, even
          though identification with subject/object is not there.
          Because there are no criteria ahead of time,  so
          whatever arises is not judged.   As you say,
          it is impossible to say what is the "way' openness
          as meditation manifests.

          So, while things are exactly as they are,
          they may not always be what they seem.

          <<And in terms of emotions which habitually are carried,
          as if by a carrier -- as you suggest --
          those are likely to be held in
          check when not appropriate to the situation,
          and then discharged when and as appropriate,
          until holding and holder no longer are essential
          to being.>>

          ......Yes, a certain discernment stemming from
          a larger picture.   However, this "appropriate to the situation"
          may not always 'appear' as appropriate to all perceptions.

          <<So, meditation is not out to eliminate emotion, yet emotional
          reactivity discharges, doesn't reaccumulate, and objects
          aren't there to affect that process. As meditation itself
          isn't a process, it releases processes -- including
          emotional processes, intellectual processes, and relational
          processes.>>

          .......Manifestations that appear as these processes
          can still come through.

          <<But meditation is not a process of release. It manifests
          a process of release as appropriate, because it is not
          a process, has no hold on any outcome, has no outside.>>

          Nice!

          Freyja

          -- Dan>>





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • judirhodes
          ... ****** Helpful , eh? Hmm, wonder what THAT s all about? :-) ***** Question: You say that central thought of me is the basis of our psychology, yet you
          Message 4 of 6 , May 6, 2003
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            --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, freyjartist@a...
            wrote:
            > Hi Dan,
            >
            > I found this discussion with Nina
            > to be helpful....

            ******
            "Helpful", eh? Hmm, wonder what THAT's all about? :-)

            *****

            Question: You say that central thought of "me" is the basis of our
            psychology, yet you say it goes unexamined. Haven't we actually
            attempted to examine this thought structure through therapy and
            religion?

            Steven: No, we have assumed that it's there. That is the basic
            assumption that psychiatry comes from - that there is a central "me"
            that needs to be cured, helped or consolidated. Who is examining
            whether this "me" actually exists or not? The psychiatric process is
            a theoretical process, an intellectual process. Is there a "me"?
            If so, what is it? Let's find out about that before we start curing
            the "me", helping the "me", making the "me" happier, or giving it
            psychiatric drugs to make it feel better.

            Question: So, then you're saying these therapies support the
            illusions of thought?

            Steven: It's not that therapies support them -- they *are* the
            illusions. If you have the idea of "me", then the "me" by its nature
            is separate and has to be in pain or in difficulty. Then it has to
            find its way to feeling better. To feel better you go to a
            therapist, you go to a priest, you take on a religion, or a
            philosophy. If you're separate, you're in pain.

            Question: And the therapies don't look at that essential aspect of
            the "me"?

            Steven: The therapies look at the manifestations, and once you're in
            that world, you're in an endless world. You go to a therapist and
            you say, "I'm in pain." If the therapist says, "You're in pain
            because you're in separation, and you're in separation because every
            building block of your life is sitting on a false foundation", you
            have to disassemble your life. You have to go through a complete re-
            evaluation. People don't go to therapists for that. They go for a
            fix so that they can maintain their lives. If the therapist is that
            honest, he or she is out of business. If the therapist is out of
            business, the therapist has to look at his or her own life. How many
            are interested in that?


            :-)

            Judi
          • freyjartist
            ... .....Oh God, whatever!! You are a scream. Don t worry, Judes, i am plenty sick of the fraudulence of me (and flatulence,too, especially in the male
            Message 5 of 6 , May 6, 2003
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              --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "judirhodes"
              <judirhodes@z...> wrote:
              > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, freyjartist@a...
              > wrote:
              > > Hi Dan,
              > >
              > > I found this discussion with Nina
              > > to be helpful....
              >
              > ******
              > "Helpful", eh? Hmm, wonder what THAT's all about? :-)
              >
              > *****
              >

              .....Oh God, whatever!!
              You are a scream. Don't worry, Judes,
              i am plenty sick of the fraudulence of "me"
              (and flatulence,too, especially in the male
              population aint too great either)

              Yes, this is good from Steven Harrison

              thanks

              Freyja


              > Question: You say that central thought of "me" is the basis of our
              > psychology, yet you say it goes unexamined. Haven't we actually
              > attempted to examine this thought structure through therapy and
              > religion?
              >
              > Steven: No, we have assumed that it's there. That is the basic
              > assumption that psychiatry comes from - that there is a
              central "me"
              > that needs to be cured, helped or consolidated. Who is examining
              > whether this "me" actually exists or not? The psychiatric process
              is
              > a theoretical process, an intellectual process. Is there a "me"?
              > If so, what is it? Let's find out about that before we start
              curing
              > the "me", helping the "me", making the "me" happier, or giving it
              > psychiatric drugs to make it feel better.
              >
              > Question: So, then you're saying these therapies support the
              > illusions of thought?
              >
              > Steven: It's not that therapies support them -- they *are* the
              > illusions. If you have the idea of "me", then the "me" by its
              nature
              > is separate and has to be in pain or in difficulty. Then it has to
              > find its way to feeling better. To feel better you go to a
              > therapist, you go to a priest, you take on a religion, or a
              > philosophy. If you're separate, you're in pain.
              >
              > Question: And the therapies don't look at that essential aspect of
              > the "me"?
              >
              > Steven: The therapies look at the manifestations, and once you're
              in
              > that world, you're in an endless world. You go to a therapist and
              > you say, "I'm in pain." If the therapist says, "You're in pain
              > because you're in separation, and you're in separation because
              every
              > building block of your life is sitting on a false foundation", you
              > have to disassemble your life. You have to go through a complete
              re-
              > evaluation. People don't go to therapists for that. They go for a
              > fix so that they can maintain their lives. If the therapist is
              that
              > honest, he or she is out of business. If the therapist is out of
              > business, the therapist has to look at his or her own life. How
              many
              > are interested in that?
              >
              >
              > :-)
              >
              > Judi
            • dan330033
              ... central me ... is ... curing ... nature ... in ... every ... re- ... that ... many ... Yeah -- just become homeless, and live from dumpsters, and examine
              Message 6 of 6 , May 6, 2003
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                > Question: You say that central thought of "me" is the basis of our
                > psychology, yet you say it goes unexamined. Haven't we actually
                > attempted to examine this thought structure through therapy and
                > religion?
                >
                > Steven: No, we have assumed that it's there. That is the basic
                > assumption that psychiatry comes from - that there is a
                central "me"
                > that needs to be cured, helped or consolidated. Who is examining
                > whether this "me" actually exists or not? The psychiatric process
                is
                > a theoretical process, an intellectual process. Is there a "me"?
                > If so, what is it? Let's find out about that before we start
                curing
                > the "me", helping the "me", making the "me" happier, or giving it
                > psychiatric drugs to make it feel better.
                >
                > Question: So, then you're saying these therapies support the
                > illusions of thought?
                >
                > Steven: It's not that therapies support them -- they *are* the
                > illusions. If you have the idea of "me", then the "me" by its
                nature
                > is separate and has to be in pain or in difficulty. Then it has to
                > find its way to feeling better. To feel better you go to a
                > therapist, you go to a priest, you take on a religion, or a
                > philosophy. If you're separate, you're in pain.
                >
                > Question: And the therapies don't look at that essential aspect of
                > the "me"?
                >
                > Steven: The therapies look at the manifestations, and once you're
                in
                > that world, you're in an endless world. You go to a therapist and
                > you say, "I'm in pain." If the therapist says, "You're in pain
                > because you're in separation, and you're in separation because
                every
                > building block of your life is sitting on a false foundation", you
                > have to disassemble your life. You have to go through a complete
                re-
                > evaluation. People don't go to therapists for that. They go for a
                > fix so that they can maintain their lives. If the therapist is
                that
                > honest, he or she is out of business. If the therapist is out of
                > business, the therapist has to look at his or her own life. How
                many
                > are interested in that?

                Yeah -- just become homeless, and live from dumpsters,
                and examine myself -- great idea, Steve, why didn't
                I think of that?

                Now, Steve -- why don't you just be honest and
                say "you come to hear someone
                like me talk as if you're going to get something from what
                I say -- but you're not going to get to take anything
                from this talk. So I'm going to shut up and go home."

                Steve, of course, if you were totally honest,
                you'd stop pretending that there
                is something for you to provide to others about how things are,
                and you'd leave the soapbox and look into yourself for wanting
                to talk to people and get their attention.

                Laughing,
                Dan
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