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What does it mean to meditate?

Posted March 15, 2012 by Fallensoul in Open

commented on March 5, 2015
by Silverghost

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17

Please share your knowledge, ideas, experiences, scientific research and experiments on meditation here.

What does it mean to meditate?
What kind of meditation works best for me?
What do I hope to achieve by this meditation?
What are the results that I have obtained thus far through meditation?

Any or all of the above, or anything you wish to contribute, relating to meditation as a means to elevating the consciousness.

  • 17 Comments  
  • Silverghost Mar 05, 2015

    Meditation to me incorporates one to focus on one thought alone dispelling all other thoughts, this also helps to basically defrags the mind, put everything into perspective instead of allowing subjective thinking to permeate our entire thought process.

    I've given scientific evidence in other posts that we truly don't stop thinking while mediating, how would we know if we were thoughtless unless we were aware of being in a thoughtless state? Mediation isn't a true state of thoughtlessness, it's just another conscious state of awareness most of us are unfamiliar with. Psychologically, anything unfamiliar is going to seem like something other than what it is, especially at first.

    It's funny to think a true deep meditative state is wholly objective when it's practiced by so many spiritually aware people, it has no judgement or dissimilarities, there is no separation, emotions play a part only when we come out of a meditative state or if we haven't totally gone into a true deep meditative state. Emotions represent separation and yes judgement, "this state feels better than other states", within this we have separation.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Mar 02, 2015

    "I wrote an article on meditation two years ago, and since then many readers have asked for further guidance on how to practice. As I said in my original post, I generally recommend a method called vipassana in which one cultivates a form of attention widely known as “mindfulness.” There is nothing spooky or irrational about mindfulness, and the literature on its psychological benefits is now substantial. Mindfulness is simply a state of clear, nonjudgmental, and nondiscursive attention to the contents of consciousness, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Developing this quality of mind has been shown to reduce pain, anxiety, and depression; improve cognitive function; and even produce changes in gray matter density in regions of the brain related to learning and memory, emotional regulation, and self-awareness. I will cover the relevant philosophy and science in my next book Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, but in the meantime, I have produced two guided meditations (9 minutes and 26 minutes) for those of you who would like to get started with the practice. Please feel free to share them."

    http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/mindfulness-meditation

  • James Davis Mar 01, 2015

    All the phenomena of life are meditation forms. Meditation arises spontaneously from the hidden side of things; no waking person can escape the glory of it. There are great shocks of communion in children’s faces and in the pages of books. And here it presses itself upon us in the voices of friends and in the sun behind clouds. And when we dutifully set meditation aside as a packaged ritual of image and word, we may find this works also, but for some of us, not as well as life. For me, the artificiality of forms suffocates, and I try to avoid death by improvising. On a good day perhaps directing our gaze is form enough. From that alone we may slip quietly into the great blue sky of the real.

  • James Davis Mar 01, 2015

    About Fallensouls question:
    "Can anyone actually define meditation in an objective way."

    I think we can partly define it more or less objectively, but keeping in mind that in so doing we would verbally take hold of only the body of meditation since meditation is essentially subjective.

    Along that line, I would suggest that meditation is whatever is done, or not done, with the body, emotions, and mind so as to bring these three into concordance with spirit, or soul, or higher self, harmony, or God, or whatever term you prefer to point toward things transcendent.

    I propose that the nature of mind in relation to meditation is paradoxical. Certain types of thought are themselves meditative. For instance, as I said, all that has been contributed above is a type of mental meditation. I suggest that many of the group's good thoughts above are produced by a kind of meditation. In your posts you are all striving toward thought that is of benefit to humanity, and that is spiritual in nature. I think also that the thoughts above about transcending or quieting the mind are correct. At the same time, any unity or alignment we might achieve in meditation only becomes of real service to ourselves or others when we are able to give our meditative insights a body in thought, word, or other means of creative expression.

    On part 2 of fallensouls question:
    " Does it mean intensely focusing ones consciousness on a particular thing or what exactly are you doing when you say, "I'm meditating."

    I think that the right type of focusing consciousness on a particular thing can be a type of meditation, or perhaps more properly, a stage, or a bridge to it. Again, that is what the group has done in this discussion.

    That said, I think mental activity of any kind is not meditation in the deeper sense and can be a block to it. It depends, but the mind can be a door into real meditation, as can the ability to still the mind or observe it from above, so to speak. In that state there are no thoughts until afterward. We might say that we enter the realm that is the archetype of thought, the realm out of which right or illuminated thought is born.

  • James Davis Mar 01, 2015

    Here SUMMARY: A brief summary of what everyone here has said:

    tom describes mediation as listening, observing, thought awareness/thought selection, and emotional catharsis and touched on it as "attuning to the Source within."

    "imagination" suggests pondering on a plan of worthwhile action and an uplifting thought/word.

    AI suggests loosing removing personality by unity, so transcending conflict and abstract mind.

    Denis focuses on joy, feelings, energy, the present moment, and with very little thought.

    rainaby points to meditation as the knowledge that that "you" is not the mind.

    For Parker it is mind relaxation and benefit that might obtain from it, including the learning of what is truly beneficial.

    protectiveangel mentions God.

    slowlygetnthar defines it as re-attuning to energy/universe and body/brain stillness.

    yusheng says its order and improvement of brain and body but hints and soul and profound meanings.

    Fallensoul and dustproduction ask questions.

    =================

    I would like to say, that taken collectively, the group thought on meditation good and is itself a kind of meditation.

  • Anonymous Icon

    TomMCulhane Feb 28, 2015

    I discovered a way to meditate about 20 years ago and it has become a way of life for me. I had explored many things: visualization, breathing techniques, "self hypnosis', relaxation techniques, ... and then I found the meditation technique I now use, which for me is so much more powerful than other things I had tried. Simply put, to meditate is to take notice of.

    To "listen" is to take notice of sounds, to "observe" is to take notice of visual images, ... "Meditation" covers all of our perceptions, including thoughts, emotions, ... You're not arbitrarily focusing on just one area of perception, you are paying attention to your whole situation.

    So I'll meditate here and narrate a bit: ...I'm aware of the sound of the heater nearby, I can feel my back against this chair, ... I feel a sense of calm, ... I see the color of the wood under the screen, ... I hear voices upstairs, ...I feel a slight sense of fear, ... my neck feels stiff and so I move my head and hear slight "adjustments" happens as the bones unlock... I feel my body relaxing...

    In the meditative state, you are not trying to block perceptions. In this state, thoughts that come along tend to slow down. You realize you have a choice whether to think a thought or let it alone. Native teachers say, "You don't have to eat everything you see. You have a choice with thoughts". Again you're not trying to block them. A lot of thoughts serve no good purpose and just waste your energy. Other thoughts are helpful to you. You decide.

    Initially I started meditating in a quiet setting, but you can meditate while walking, dancing, making love, singing spontaneously, attuning to the Source within, ... At first I used to have these really deep relaxation states come, but as time went on, trapped emotions started coming to the surface, I would have these crying spells come, ... and then afterwards feel really good, a cleansing purifying from the inside out. Crying is actually very healing and a lot of people, particularly guys, have a lot of stored trapped emotional patterns they need to release. Find a place no one will hear you and freak out. OMG he's crying. Good luck.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Imagination Jan 27, 2015

    What does it mean to meditate? What topic are you meditating about for ten minutes? A very old example of meditation is the Psalms of David. Today, meditation can be about a daily To Do list and using affirmations along the lines of accomplishing those worthwhile daily tasks (which can be a part of long term strategy). Meditation = pondering an uplifting thought (word) for ten minutes a day like: Divine Love, Peace, Joy, etc.

  • A I Jul 10, 2012

    Best definition of meditation i heard was, removal of the personality, thus expereiencign nondualism or contunity.
    You can meditate in yoga or doing most anything, the decisive factor is abseance of I, and is being one with whatevr is at hand.
    The idea also of no conflict...or the idea of beaing religion of moving with a oneness of energy. MErely subject object disaapears and there is a flow apparent...but non conflict.
    It in the nterjection fo conflict withint he mind that removes one fo meditative state. The interjection fo desire beyond doing itself.
    The idea also of forming a realtionship with relity, rather than existing withing mental abstracitonsim.
    Exicitng sutff.

  • Fallensoul Apr 25, 2012

    rainaby: great post, pls email me adhamere@gmail.com. Why dont you share with us the method you've being taught.

    dustproduction: yes i can say.

    Everyone else: nice contributions. Can anyone actually define meditation in an objective way. Like everyone says "meditation for me", but what does that mean. Does it mean intensely focusing ones consciousness on a particular thing or what exactly are you doing when you say, "I'm meditating"

  • DenisGorceBourge Apr 05, 2012

    Hi everyone,

    For me meditation has less to do with posture and environment than with energy and feelings.
    I can be in the tube and meditate. I can be in my garden, and be just grateful and joyful for being alive. I call this meditation because I am centered on the right feeling and in the NOW with very little flow of thoughts beside what is really happening...

    Denis

  • Anonymous Icon

    rainaby Apr 04, 2012

    meditation mmmm....
    people have different views about it and they take it in different ways but to summarize, we all know that its said that we use only 6-7% of our brain well its a method to do vice - versa the only problem with it is and infact the fun of it is that your mind which i may tell you isn't you, will make you some thing else the whole point of it is to see the difference, to see the thin hair line difference between you and your mind. Its a wonderful and big topic hence difficult for me to put into words but what i would like to mention is, many people who claim to go into a different place and feel peace running through their body, have a great chance of already being deluded, that is the function of mind it will keep you in delusions about everything. There's only one way to get out of it which is better understood by experience than by words (hence i wont write it) but as we say in India the one thing that you should do first before getting into anything serious about yourself and messing up with yourself is to find a person who knows fully about it... so look for one or come to india.... (though there is no garuntee that you will get a genuine guy in the first go) if your are lucky and receptive enough there's a great chance that you will find someone worth talking to here

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Apr 01, 2012

    Can anyone say that neurofeedback will not accomplish the same outcomes as meditation?

  • parker Apr 01, 2012

    Meditation is a form of self-induced mind-relaxation, which may be done simply to experience being mentally relaxed, or it may additionally be purposed to produce any one of unlimited potential non-specific benefits, during this relaxed state of being.

    Diverse levels, or depths of mental relaxation while meditating, are held to have equally diverse impact on the anticipated or potential benefits. It may be a discipline wherein the one meditating, may use this means of mind-relaxing for virtually any purpose he or she perceives is beneficial.

    To learn what is truly the most beneficial knowledge to know, would be the ultimate goal of such a discipline, provided of course, that such meditation does not impede the mind's capacity to learn such things.

  • slowlygetnthar Apr 01, 2012


    For me, meditation is a time of re-attuning with the energy of the universe, calming the body, and quieting the eternal activity in my brain. It is a sort of returning to the well of silence at the seat of the soul and drawing renewal there, in stillness.

    My favorite mudra is the one where I touch my heart with the three long fingers of one hand and hold the other hand out, cupped and upward to receive energy from the universe, channeled into my heart. It is calming, reassuring, and it lets me know that the universe loves me.

  • ProtectiveAngel Mar 29, 2012

    desertrose,

    Sounds like close to my connection. Your right that some don't like God to come up.

  • Anonymous Icon

    yusheng Mar 19, 2012

    for me, not mention the profound meanings, the primary function of meditation is to impove orders of human body: aging is disorder of human body, insanity is another disorder, eating, thinking, focusing on something, concentrating in something are all kinds of disorder, as a drawing is only a picture, if compared with a pure blank sheet on which you can paint any what you want .
    using the brain is different from the using the ability of the brain, conside the Algorithm, themeditation is a way to improve the ability of the brain, or to decreas the entropy of brain physically (the relationshiop between body and brain, the flesh and soul is other topic) , mediation offers the time and space for brain to reconstructure and re-evolve, which can be proved by mathematically anaylysis of the EEG in the states of meditation and no-meditation.
    that is my reply of meditation meaning, hope that is helpful.

  • desertrose Mar 15, 2012

    For me Meditation is a means to obtain a centered state of peace as well as a communion with "Spirit" or whatever name you choose to call your Higher Power. It is the time I look foward to during the day and I do not always have to be alone and still to practice it. I find that it helps me at the most craziests of times. I live in NYC and the commute on the subway can be a challenging one. While others are twiddling away on their blackberry's, ipads etc I quiet my mind and drift away to a calmer and more serene atmosphere. It reminds me of a bubble bath for the soul.
    Mediation for me is an escape to a secret place within my soul- a place where only myself and the Divine dwell.
    I hope I have been of some help to you.
    Namaste
    ~Denyse

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