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I am a little confused about meditation


DanielKotzer
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I am a little confused about meditation. There are so many ways and technique on the market and I would like to make an educated choice. I practice meditation and see the benefits, but I would like to also understand what it is all about. I would like to share some of my insights and hear your opinion about them.

First, the definition of meditation:

I think mediation is about taking your awareness/attention from the conscious mind to the unconscious mind, because the unconscious mind contains a lot of information in the form of intuition.

Thoughts are the conscious mind, and intuition is the unconscious mind.

There are 2 ways that lead to truth and knowledge. One is through the mind, using critical thought to distinguish between true and false/good and bad. The other one is through intuition/sensitivity/empathy -- trough the senses. I see intuition as type of sense - the sixth sense - because it is generating sensations.

So in order to move your awareness from thoughts to sensations, you start by putting your awareness on a signal you get from your senses, until you pick upon more delicate sensations, that originate from higher levels of yourself, eventually you'll find your way to intuition.

Your sensations are your real experience. You can think about external things, but you can only feel your inner sensations.

Meditation is about totally submitting yourself to your experience without reacting to it. Reaction is the result of thought/conscious mind. In meditation you want to keep your awareness on the unconscious mind.

So in general, all forms of meditations are the same. You keep your awareness on a sensation, starting with a constant signal generated by one of the 5 senses, hoping to climb higher to sensations generated by your intuition.

I don't see any exception to that definition of meditation. Even mantra meditation, which is defined as a spiritual meditation object, is really a sound, you imagine in your mind or chatter in your mind.

I don't see any exception to that definition of meditation. Even mantra meditation, which is defined as a spiritual meditation object, is really a sound you imagine in your mind or chatter in your mind.

Since putting your attention on the third eye is also activating it, wouldn't it be best to use the breath as a meditation object, as you quiet your mind on one had, and activate your third eye at the same time?

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Energylz
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Hi Daniel, glad you made it here ok. 😉

I'll come back to your questions as soon as I can, or maybe someone else will answer in the meantime.

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Tashanie
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I often use the breath as the focus for meditation.....and indeed sometimes use focus on the breath when taking clients into trance during hypnotherapy. So I don't think it matters so long as you use something that works for you.

I see tai chi as a type of meditation.....

I don't believe there is any one 'right way' to meditate. What matters is the result.

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jnani
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I am a little confused about meditation. There are so many ways and technique on the market and I would like to make an educated choice. I practice meditation and see the benefits, but I would like to also understand what it is all about. I would like to share some of my insights and hear your opinion about them.

First, the definition of meditation:

I think mediation is about taking your awareness/attention from the conscious mind to the unconscious mind, because the unconscious mind contains a lot of information in the form of intuition.

Thoughts are the conscious mind, and intuition is the unconscious mind.

There are 2 ways that lead to truth and knowledge. One is through the mind, using critical thought to distinguish between true and false/good and bad. The other one is through intuition/sensitivity/empathy -- trough the senses. I see intuition as type of sense - the sixth sense - because it is generating sensations.

So in order to move your awareness from thoughts to sensations, you start by putting your awareness on a signal you get from your senses, until you pick upon more delicate sensations, that originate from higher levels of yourself, eventually you'll find your way to intuition.

Your sensations are your real experience. You can think about external things, but you can only feel your inner sensations.

Meditation is about totally submitting yourself to your experience without reacting to it. Reaction is the result of thought/conscious mind. In meditation you want to keep your awareness on the unconscious mind.

So in general, all forms of meditations are the same. You keep your awareness on a sensation, starting with a constant signal generated by one of the 5 senses, hoping to climb higher to sensations generated by your intuition.

I don't see any exception to that definition of meditation. Even mantra meditation, which is defined as a spiritual meditation object, is really a sound, you imagine in your mind or chatter in your mind.

I don't see any exception to that definition of meditation. Even mantra meditation, which is defined as a spiritual meditation object, is really a sound you imagine in your mind or chatter in your mind.

Since putting your attention on the third eye is also activating it, wouldn't it be best to use the breath as a meditation object, as you quiet your mind on one had, and activate your third eye at the same time?

Meditation is a most confused something that people nowadays do...
Meditation and all things spiritual are all the rage.

Before you venture to do anything about it. I suggest investigate the urge that asks you to seek. What is that you ultimately seek....and don't just ask it once and head off to some meditation class, teacher or book. Let that urge stay, become unbearable, let it make you restless to the point that neither will it let you live, nor will it let you die....let this urge lead the way. Don't be on the forefronts of it. Stay behind the urge.
Most are doing the meditation business the other way round. " I Don't know what is the reason but I want peace and I hear meditation is good thing to do for peace and love etc etc." that is how meditation ends up a bigger trap for mind to fall. Spiritual ego, waffling on spiritual jargon.....people are rushing into things. We are rushed off our feet with all that others are doing around us. For meditation to arise in life, a certain settledness, depth and preparation must take place.

After all said and done, purpose of mediation is to empty oneself. In a rushed and keeping-up-with the spiritual climate of the times we live in, more layers are added on. Most become full of what they know, do, feel spiritually....rather than becoming empty. So it can be a double edged sword.

One must investigate their own seeking deeply, very very deeply and long enough. Let that fire burn before one begins to quench it. Let the thirst arise in its enormity, that the very seeking becomes the finding.

Mediatjation has become like aerobics. Learn a few things, a few tricks and then ready to teach others and so on....mediation is not a trick that can bring peace.

The only trick to Truth is surrender....whichever way you go about it, no one can bypass complete and utter surrender. Unless that happens there is no possibility of truth.
So ultimately the only purpose of mediation ( if there is any indeed), is to dissolve personal will to the will of the Whole.

Don't rush. Stay with you, that is mediation. A shower taken with abandon is mediation. A cuppa enjoyed fully is mediation, a deep smile is mediation, a hug, a joke, a hearty laugh, a good cry, a mad fit of anger....everything done without the other polarity is transcendental mediation.

And yet sitting in meditation eyes shut for 2 hours is not meditation, if as a result mind becomes smug, full of its own glory. I am a meditator for 20 years thank you! Kind of smugness.
Let it find you rather than the other way round

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DanielKotzer
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It might sound strange, but I started looking into meditation because I wanted to have an out of body experience. I wanted to explore the region of the collective unconscious.

When I started doing meditation, I've found out that meditation has so many other benefits. All of a sudden I felt enormous bliss. So that's where I am holding now. I can draw bliss out of meditation, but am still waiting for an OBE, and looking for ways to free my awareness from the body.

Don't try to convince me that OBE is not the main purpose of meditation, it is my main purpose.

I'm trying to refine my method of meditation to achive that goal, therefore I need to know what I'm doing, not just do it and enjoy the result. Why enjoy a small result when there is more I can gain, if I do things better?

My question is very specific, it is known in many spiritual disciplines, that attention, if it is focused on a Chakra, is activating it. We can't stop the mind from thinking, but when we take our attention away from thoughts, the flow of thoughts becomes less intensive. Some say if you put your attention on a thought long enough, it manifests. So, if attention is an activation power, our meditation object should be something we want to activate, not just something that will distract our attention/awareness from thoughts?

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Tashanie
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I am curious. What do you think an OBE would give you?

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Crowan
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What do you consider the connection to be between an OBE and the "collective unconscious" (even assuming that this existed outside the mind of Jung)?

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Paul Crick
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You will find what you are looking for within you, we do not try and separate self in order to connect with the oneness, we have to connect with the fullness of self and become whole, then we become one with the oneness of consciousness. 😉

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DanielKotzer
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I don't know what an OBE would give me until I'll experience it, but it is certainly a very special experience. I can only guess that separating my awareness from the location of my body, would be a full realization that I'm not the body or the mind.

I'm sure I still don't know how to completely surrender my ego to the experience of the moment, and be one with my inner consciousness, but every abstract goal, needs a method of practice to achieve it. If you tell someone what he should be, without giving him in addition, a practice which will lead him there, you don't really help him.

That's why I ask a very technical question regarding the practice: Gazing at a candle flame is taking your awareness away from thought, to the experience of the moment, but isn't it a waste of Prana, to focus on a candle flame, when you could focus your attention on one of the chakras and activate it?

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Paul Crick
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When we focus from a place of separation, then we see separateness, to become whole requires acceptance of all that we are within the current moment of time which is an illusion, or the Now. Trying to let go of one aspect of self to become more aware of another aspect of self, is a fruitless gesture, all that does is create separateness within self, when what we are looking for is wholeness.

Do you want to become whole or a flame? yes focusing upon a flame will distract you from your thoughts, but your thoughts are what you are, embrace them and accept them unconditionally and non judgmentally and they will become still, remove the inner divisional conflict/argument which create the chatter and we become still, we can then just observe and become aware of what is within the fullness of self and the oneness. 🙂

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Tashanie
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I'm sure I still don't know how to completely surrender my ego to the experience of the moment, and be one with my inner consciousness, but every abstract goal, needs a method of practice to achieve it. If you tell someone what he should be, without giving him in addition, a practice which will lead him there, you don't really help him.

That's why I ask a very technical question regarding the practice: Gazing at a candle flame is taking your awareness away from thought, to the experience of the moment, but isn't it a waste of Prana, to focus on a candle flame, when you could focus your attention on one of the chakras and activate it?

Neither do I.....I am not 'good' at meditation - I doubt many people could do that. But I do not believe you NEED to do that to get some benefit from meditation.

Why do you think gazing at anything wastes prana?

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DanielKotzer
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In the field of meditation some say it doesn't matter what you are meditating on. I was just trying to question that. I guess I don't explain myself properly. Never mind, thanks Paul, I'll think about what you said.

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DanielKotzer
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My understanding of meditation was that it is about shifting your attention from thought to the experience of the now. If I understood you correctly Paul, you are saying that meditation is NOT about shifting your attention direction. You don't prefer giving your attention to one thing over another, because preferring is judgmental, preferring is duality, not holism.

According to what you are saying meditation is about shifting your approach/perception/attitude. You approach everything as an experience of the now, including thoughts. You don't judge/think about things, you just experience them. You are saying that focusing in meditation is not to reduce your field of view on to one specific thing, it is focusing yourself to be awake and aware, which expands your field of view.

Very interesting, I'll try to implement that.

But why do you say that the Now is an illusion? I thought the past and the future are illusions, but the Now is all we really have...

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Paul Crick
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Hi Daniel

Yes, the now is the life experience as it unfolds around us, it is driven and perceived through the awareness of consciousness which is thought, to my understanding everything begins and ends with a thought, the oneness of consciousness, is thought, so everything is thought, so why would we want to limit the very thing that we are trying to experience, just open up, accept and allow yourself to be.

I did not say that the now moment of reality is an illusion, I said the now moment of time as a separation of one moment to the next is an illusion, the now is a singular whole experience, it is the judgments that we place upon our life experience that divides them, the experience itself is one life experience that we perceive in one now, all is one. 🙂

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NICE_1
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I don't know what an OBE would give me until I'll experience it, but it is certainly a very special experience. I can only guess that separating my awareness from the location of my body, would be a full realization that I'm not the body or the mind.

Hi Daniel .

I remember for myself I felt on cloud nine for a while when I first started to OBE . The novelty of the experience soon wears off though, well it did for me . The realization is that one's awareness is not limited or restricted to the physical location but the realization I would say is not that one is not the mind / body .

x daz x

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DanielKotzer
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Hi Paul,

I know it is a very general question, and maybe no one really knows the answer for it, but I just wonder, how can something so simple, as experiencing the present moment, have such a profound influence on us? any ideas? suggestions? what's the secret here?

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Tashanie
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Hi Paul,

I know it is a very general question, and maybe no one really knows the answer for it, but I just wonder, how can something so simple, as experiencing the present moment, have such a profound influence on us? any ideas? suggestions? what's the secret here?

Experiencing the present moment means we are not being haunted by the past or worrying about the future.....at least thats how I see it.

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DanielKotzer
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Hi Tashanie,

What you are saying is more of a definition of what "being in the present" means, but I wish I could get an explanation for how such a trivial thing, takes you so far. What is going on once you are experiencing the Now?

The shamans of America and Lapland and Africa where using a constant drum beat, to generate a flow of experience to keep them in the present moment, until they reach a state of trance. In that state they could draw information from other realms – to solve problems, predict the future, find cures... all of that because of a drum? In the slave colonies of American, slaves were not allowed to use a drum, because they thought it was witchcraft. It sounds ridiculous! Give the drum a break, for god sake! The drum is only a trigger, but a trigger for what? I'm curious to know how this works. What happens to the human consciousness when it is experiencing the Now for long enough and why?

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Paul Crick
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Hi Daniel

Life is simply an experience, we can choose to be our life experience, or we can judge it and ourselves, so we become distracted. By allowing ourselves to simply be, rather than trying to be or do whatever, we let go of the things that distract us from fully experiencing our life experiences as it unfolds in the now, we are free to choose how we wish to react within the flow of our life experience and how we wish to shape it so that we can experience different things.

All experience is valid and neutral, an experience is neither good or bad, right or wrong, it is simply something that gives us an experience, without going through an experience, we cannot fully understand what it is, imagination pales into insignificance when compared to a real life experience as it unfolds.

Beyond the illusion of self as an isolated being, there is the oneness of consciousness, when we accept self in an open and non-judgmental way and allow our self to simply be, then we start to become aware of the fullness of self and through that we become aware that all is one, we do not need an out of body experience to experience this, we are all an integral part of the oneness all of the time, acceptance is the key. 😉

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Crowan
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The shamans of America and Lapland and Africa where using a constant drum beat, to generate a flow of experience to keep them in the present moment, until they reach a state of trance. In that state they could draw information from other realms – to solve problems, predict the future, find cures... all of that because of a drum? In the slave colonies of American, slaves were not allowed to use a drum, because they thought it was witchcraft. It sounds ridiculous! Give the drum a break, for god sake! The drum is only a trigger, but a trigger for what? I'm curious to know how this works. What happens to the human consciousness when it is experiencing the Now for long enough and why?

First of all – there are many other places where the drum is used to enter the spirit worlds. Second – why the past tense?
Okay. I think you are misunderstanding what the drum does here. The sound (and it can be other than a drum – rattles are often used and, in Scandinavia particularly, song is journeyed on) which is not only continuous but also monotonous helps to shift consciousness but does not do it alone. The intention to do so has to be there. Consciousness can start to shift before the drumming starts. It is possible to listen to the most perfect drumming and not shift consciousness but, conversely, it is possible to journey easily on very poor (by which I mean extremely uneven) drumming. The intention is important. The drum does not “keep them in the present moment until they reach a state of trance”, it is a spirit in its own right that carries the shaman – in Siberia the drum is called “the shaman’s horse”.
The other thing the drum (or rattle, or song etc.) does is create (along with the intention) the boundaries around the journey.
I suspect slaves were not allowed to drum because it made them less docile. Owning a drum was a capital offence in much of the USSR, and in Finland. You cannot control a people if they can go straight to the spirits for power. Shamans have been persecuted by most invaders, because their power and authority is spiritual, not temporal. The drum, like the staff, is a badge of office.
However, shamanic journeying is not meditation. Nor is it OBE. And, most importantly, it is not done simply for the experience (this is a “trip”, not a journey). The entire purpose of shamanic journeying is to converse, negotiate and learn from the spirits.
From what I have read, it can take much practice to reach a deep meditative state, yet many people manage a deep clear journey on their first attempt with 15 minutes drumming.

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DanielKotzer
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Thanks for all of your replies, they're greatly appreciated

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DanielKotzer
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The bottom line in every meditation is to go beyond the mind, and tap into spirit/intuition/oneness. The way to do it is not by distracting yourself from thought, as I've come to learn from Paul. The way to do it is by tuning to the present moment experience. If you are in the present moment, the mind stops thinking, that's a fact (I have a theory why). If you try to do it by distracting yourself from thought, you are still thinking... thinking about thought.

So really all the helpers we use for meditation, like the breath, candle gazing, mantra, drum bit, life-flow sound, should NOT be used as a means for distracting ourselves from thought (as I thought before), they are generating a constant flow of experience, to keep us in the present. Some meditators don't need them at all, they can just be... and except any experience that comes.

This forum was very helpful to me.
Thank you very much Paul.

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Crowan
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I've never come across the drum beat being used for meditation. Does anyone do this?

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jnani
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I've never come across the drum beat being used for meditation. Does anyone do this?

It is a common method of meditation in india.

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Crowan
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It is a common method of meditation in india.

Okay. Thanks.

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Paul Crick
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The bottom line in every meditation is to go beyond the mind, and tap into spirit/intuition/oneness. The way to do it is not by distracting yourself from thought, as I've come to learn from Paul. The way to do it is by tuning to the present moment experience. If you are in the present moment, the mind stops thinking, that's a fact (I have a theory why). If you try to do it by distracting yourself from thought, you are still thinking... thinking about thought.

So really all the helpers we use for meditation, like the breath, candle gazing, mantra, drum bit, life-flow sound, should NOT be used as a means for distracting ourselves from thought (as I thought before), they are generating a constant flow of experience, to keep us in the present. Some meditators don't need them at all, they can just be... and except any experience that comes.

This forum was very helpful to me.
Thank you very much Paul.

I am happy that you understand this approach to focusing self. 🙂

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Anne Mary
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Have a look at Acem meditation Daniel (if you're still reading after all this time!).
It is not religious, no complications or traditions, other than what has been tried and tested, scientifically. I've done it for ten years and it has done wonders for me. I have not really looked into the background, I just did it and it worked, but there should be many interesting articles for you on the website: .
Love, AW.

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