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Showing posts from February, 2017

A month of meditation

Here's what I'm going to be doing over the next month in the spirit of meditation training. Generally I'll be following this typical meditation sequence every day:

- Scan through the body, relaxing muscles, breathing into tension
- Get the body relaxed and establish awareness of the whole body
- Breathe into the whole body - this is very refreshing
- Join the body, mind and breath together - this means I feel the breath and body in my mind - I'm not thinking about anything else
- Once I've reached this point I feel like I've cleaned out the rubbish and I can relax into the next bit
- If I'm still a bit jazzed, I'll do four elements or body parts for a few cycles
- Next I'll switch to mindfulness of breathing - watching the breath come in and go out again. Just a simple practice
- I'll maybe count my breaths just to ensure I'm not deluding myself  - 1 to 10 then back down again
- I'll do this until it is time to do something else

Also dur…

When meditation becomes training and a discipline

If you've been following what I've been doing this year, you'll know that I've restarted meditation practice from scratch and am working through all the various techiques that have brought some relief from the difficult thing that is me. So far I've been doing practices related to the body.

So, now we come to the point in our lives where we ask ourselves - is meditation just something I do to relax or is it something that I want to take seriously?

Ask yourself that question. Then ask yourself: does your life feel shit?

If it does then your mind is in the wrong place and you can benefit from meditation practice (or you can spend a few years doing therapy). Ultimately, you will find that the change only happens from within yourself and learning to meditate will show you how.

Anyway, let's say you've been doing some meditation for the last month or so. If I was a meditation teacher I'd now be telling you to keep sitting every day no matter what - meditatio…

Four elements meditation

In case you are wondering, I'm going through a progressive set of meditation instructions in a number of different posts that take you to the very essence of your own mind and being. I'm doing the exercises as I go along so it's kind of in real time. We've started with some body meditation and some ideas about mindfulness.

Now we move forward to start investigating the interface between mind, body and concepts (especially in relation to compactness which I will explain later). The launch pad for this type of  investigation is the four elements - earth, wind, fire and water - but let's not get hung about these labels. This meditation is derived from Buddhist meditation practices that were devised thousands of years ago when they hadn't discovered electricity and they hadn't figured out what a quark was - but they did have fire, earth, water and wind. In essence, this practice is nothing to with these elements - it's just a way of looking at experience th…

Investigate the mind and know you are doing it

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The mind has lots of faculties and one of the most interesting of these is its ability to investigate phenomena and see what is going on. People who are new to meditation have something called beginners mind which is a natural curiosity driven by the novelty of what they are doing. Old lags like me, tend to need a bit of effort to regain interest in something they've seen a thousand times before but once we get going the pleasure of seeing stuff soon lights things up.
Anyway, that's not really what I wanted to talk about. What I wanted to say is: investigation is a key mental faculty in meditation. You don't have to believe me, I'm just planting a seed in your mind for later on so that when you realise you are investigating phenomena you'll say something like: 'sheesh kebab, this is investigation and that blogger dude was right - it really is a thing'.
Then you might say, "I'm investigating and I know I'm investigating. This is what knowing is…

The pleasure of breathing in and out

Who would have thought?

You know how it goes:

- notice the energy rush as you breathe in - nice isn't it
- notice the release as you breathe out - lovely

Now rinse and repeat. Like a massage.

Yes, I'm mindful

Are you mindful?

If not, use the body to establish some sort of awareness.

Keep at it until stuff comes and goes. Now, here's where it gets useful. We train ourselves to notice that nothing (absolutely nothing) lasts - then we rest in that place behind the coming and going of experience. No problems in that space. Find this experience.

Once you've got this nailed down tight (maintain it for 10 minutes or so), we are ready to get molecular on our minds.and experiences. Then we can start to express the truth through the twinkle in our eyes and the complete lack of regard for all the nonsense that people call life.

We know it's already happened. Calm down already. Find the space.