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Tony
4th January 2014, 18:02
As it's a new year the Meditation Group
is starting from scratch.

Meditation

Meditation is being ordinary.

If we look at the mind, we find it runs all over the place.
The ordinary observer – the awareness – gets distracted,
and we are hardly ever in the present moment.

But who are we?

We are that which is aware of these circling thoughts,
and is distracted by them. If we don't calm down,
we will merely be caught up in this vicious cycle of existence.
So we need to cut through this madness and find our sanity.

This is what meditation is about - calming down, and being
more aware at the same time. The highest meditation is
simply being aware of awareness.

We simply focus on the breath.
Just be aware of the breath - the inhalation and the exhalation.
Thoughts will come. Just let them go.
It's your time to rest in the now
(this is known as using the breath as a support).

Gradually, we become aware that at the end of an exhalation
and before the next inhalation, there is a gap. We become
more aware of the gap. The body is still breathing,
but we become aware of just resting in that space.
All the senses are open. We merely rest in awareness
(this is meditation without support).

This is meditation...more or less!


Tony

Pete
4th January 2014, 18:16
Hi Pie
Thank you for starting this, I am ready to start listening, please accept me as a willing student to explore this and accept your guidance.

pete

Tony
4th January 2014, 18:29
Hi Pie
Thank you for starting this, I am ready to start listening, please accept me as a willing student to explore this and accept your guidance.

pete


Hello Pete,

I'm only passing on what I've been taught and experienced.
You actually teach yourself, intuition is the inner teacher.

Tony

skippy
4th January 2014, 20:16
Hi Tony, I would like to join the meditation group and follow your course.

Skippy :yo:

Tony
4th January 2014, 20:39
Hi Tony, I would like to join the meditation group and follow your course.

Skippy :yo:

Hello Skippy

It's very simple...and you have to do all the work :o !
It's not exactly a "course" - more a generalised introduction
(which is probably common to all traditions).

Meditation is mainly about identifying the feeling of being ill at ease,
and the causes of that feeling. Then we find a method which suits our temperament.
Then we practise that method!

As a result of recognising the point of meditation, actual "doing"
drops away and it becomes effortless recognition.

Does the world change for us then? Well, we still have our karma to work through
(this was created by our past) but our reactions are less severe.
We don't lose the feeling of anger because that has the potential to brighten the mind,
but we lose the aggression, and through this, wisdom is born.

Tony

Ioneo
5th January 2014, 01:17
Tony, maybe you could recommend a simple book that could help people get started.

Meditation is not only 'sitting' meditation but is a way of life. While washing the dishes, if you put your awareness on just the washing then you are doing 'washing' meditation. The same goes for any other activity you do with focused awareness.

GreenGuy
5th January 2014, 01:53
While washing the dishes, if you put your awareness on just the washing then you are doing 'washing' meditation. The same goes for any other activity you do with focused awareness.

Bicycling meditation is one of my favorites. Simply shifting the bulk of your awareness to your breathing while doing other routine things brings a meditative state to almost anything.

MariaDine
5th January 2014, 02:27
Deepak Chopra- Learn How to Meditate


http://dotsub.com/view/b0a3969b-9c7c-46c9-8f06-5ea6db9dccde

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/236x/25/c5/c8/25c5c82acd23a53cd0b10f579c779bd4.jpg

Seven Myths of Meditation

Deepak Chopra, MD is the author of more than 70 books with twenty-one New York Times bestsellers and and the founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing.

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In the past forty years, meditation has entered the mainstream of modern Western culture, prescribed by physicians and practiced by everyone from business executives, artists, and scientists to students, teachers, military personnel, and – on a promising note – politicians. Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan meditates every morning and has become a major advocate of mindfulness and meditation, as he describes in his book, A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit.

Despite the growing popularity of meditation, prevailing misconceptions about the practice are a barrier that prevents many people from trying meditation and receiving its profound benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. Here are seven of the most common meditation myths dispelled.

Myth #1: Meditation is difficult.

Truth: This myth is rooted in the image of meditation as an esoteric practice reserved only for saints, holy men, and spiritual adepts. In reality, when you receive instruction from an experienced, knowledgeable teacher, meditation is easy and fun to learn. The techniques can be as simple as focusing on the breath or silently repeating a mantra. One reason why meditation may seem difficult is that we try too hard to concentrate, we’re overly attached to results, or we’re not sure we are doing it right. In our experience at the Chopra Center, learning meditation from a qualified teacher is the best way to ensure that the process is enjoyable and you get the most from your practice. A teacher will help you understand what you’re experiencing, move past common roadblocks, and create a nourishing daily practice.

Myth #2: You have to quiet your mind in order to have a successful meditation practice.

Truth: This may be the number one myth about meditation and is the cause of many people giving up in frustration. Meditation isn’t about stopping our thoughts or trying to empty our mind – both of these approaches only create stress and more noisy internal chatter. We can’t stop or control our thoughts, but we can decide how much attention to give them. Although we can’t impose quiet on our mind, through meditation we can find the quiet that already exists in the space between our thoughts. Sometimes referred to as “the gap,” this space between thoughts is pure consciousness, pure silence, and pure peace.

When we meditate, we use an object of attention, such as our breath, an image, or a mantra, which allows our mind to relax into this silent stream of awareness. When thoughts arise, as they inevitably will, we don’t need to judge them or try to push them away. Instead, we gently return our attention to our object of attention. In every meditation, there are moments, even if only microseconds, when the mind dips into the gap and experiences the refreshment of pure awareness. As you meditate on a regular basis, you will spend more and more time in this state of expanded awareness and silence.

Be assured that even if it feels like you have been thinking throughout your entire meditation, you are still receiving the benefits of your practice. You haven’t failed or wasted your time. When my friend and colleague David Simon taught meditation, he would often tell students, “The thought I’m having thoughts may be the most important thought you have ever thought, because before you had that thought, you may not have even known you were having thoughts. You probably thought you were your thoughts.” Simply noticing that you are having thoughts is a breakthrough because it begins to shift your internal reference point from ego mind to witnessing awareness. As you become less identified with your thoughts and stories, you experience greater peace and open to new possibilities.

Myth #3: It takes years of dedicated practice to receive any benefits from meditation.

Truth: The benefits of meditation are both immediate and long-term. You can begin to experience benefits the first time you sit down to meditate and in the first few days of daily practice. Many scientific studies provide evidence that meditation has profound effects on the mind-body physiology within just weeks of practice. For example, a landmark study led by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found that as little as eight weeks of meditation not only helped people experience decreased anxiety and greater feelings of calm; it also produced growth in the areas of the brain associated with memory, empathy, sense of self, and stress regulation.

At the Chopra Center, we commonly hear from new meditators who are able to sleep soundly for the first time in years after just a few days of daily meditation practice. Other common benefits of meditation include improved concentration, decreased blood pressure, reduced stress and anxiety, and enhanced immune function. You can learn more about the benefits of meditation in a recent post, Why Meditate? on the Chopra Center blog.

Myth #4: Meditation is escapism.

Truth: The real purpose of meditation isn’t to tune out and get away from it all but to tune in and get in touch with your true Self – that eternal aspect of yourself that goes beyond all the ever-changing, external circumstances of your life. In meditation you dive below the mind’s churning surface, which tends to be filled with repetitive thoughts about the past and worries about the future, into the still point of pure consciousness. In this state of transcendent awareness, you let go of all the stories you’ve been telling yourself about who you are, what is limiting you, and where you fall short – and you experience the truth that your deepest Self is infinite and unbounded.

As you practice on a regular basis, you cleanse the windows of perception and your clarity expands. While some people do try to use meditation as a form of escape – as a way to bypass unresolved emotional issues – this approach runs counter to all of the wisdom teachings about meditation and mindfulness. In fact, there are a variety of meditation techniques specifically developed to identify, mobilize and release stored emotional toxicity. If you are coping with emotional upset or trauma, I recommend that you work with a therapist who can help you safely explore and heal the pain of the past, allowing you to return to your natural state of wholeness and love.

Myth #5: I don’t have enough time to meditate.

Truth: There are busy, productive executives who have not missed a meditation in twenty-five years, and if you make meditation a priority, you will do it. If you feel like your schedule is too full, remember that even just a few minutes of meditation is better than none. We encourage you not to talk yourself out of meditating just because it’s a bit late or you feel too sleepy.
In life’s paradoxical way, when we spend time meditating on a regular basis, we actually have more time. When we meditate, we dip in and out of the timeless, spaceless realm of consciousness . . . the state of pure awareness that is the source of everything that manifests in the universe. Our breathing and heart rate slow down, our blood pressure lowers, and our body decreases the production of stress hormones and other chemicals that speed up the aging process and give us the subjective feeling that we are “running out of time.”

In meditation, we are in a state of restful alertness that is extremely refreshing for the body and mind. As people stick with their meditation ritual, they notice that they are able to accomplish more while doing less. Instead of struggling so hard to achieve goals, they spend more and more time “in the flow” – aligned with universal intelligence that orchestrates everything.

Myth #6: Meditation requires spiritual or religious beliefs.

Truth: Meditation is a practice that takes us beyond the noisy chatter of the mind into stillness and silence. It doesn’t require a specific spiritual belief, and many people of many different religions practice meditation without any conflict with their current religious beliefs. Some meditators have no particular religious beliefs or are atheist or agnostic. They meditate in order to experience inner quiet and the numerous physical and mental health benefits of the practice – including lowered blood pressure, stress reduction, and restful sleep. The original reason that I started meditating was to help myself stop smoking. Meditation helps us to enrich our lives. It enables us to enjoy whatever we do in our lives more fully and happily – whether that is playing sports, taking care of our children, or advancing in our career.

Myth #7: I’m supposed to have transcendent experiences in meditation.

Truth: Some people are disappointed when they don’t experience visions, see colors, levitate, hear a choir of angels, or glimpse enlightenment when they meditate. Although we can have a variety of wonderful experiences when we meditate, including feelings of bliss and oneness, these aren’t the purpose of the practice. The real benefits of meditation are what happens in the other hours of the day when we’re going about our daily lives. When we emerge from our meditation session, we carry some of the stillness and silence of our practice with us, allowing us to be more creative, compassionate, centered, and loving to ourselves and everyone we encounter.


As you begin or continue your meditation journey, here are some other guidelines that may help you on your way:

• Have no expectations. Sometimes the mind is too active to settle down. Sometimes it settles down immediately. Sometimes it goes quiet, but the person doesn't notice. Anything can happen.
• Be easy with yourself. Meditation isn't about getting it right or wrong. It's about letting your mind find its true nature.
• Don't stick with meditation techniques that aren't leading to inner silence. Find a technique that resonates with you. There are many kinds of mantra meditation, including the Primordial Sound Meditation practice taught at the Chopra Center.. Or simply follow the in and out of your breathing, not paying attention to your thoughts at all. The mind wants to find its source in silence. Give it a chance by letting go.
• Make sure you are alone in a quiet place to meditate. Unplug the phone. Make sure no one is going to disturb you.
• Really be there. If your attention is somewhere else, thinking about your next appointment, errand or meal, of course you won't find silence. To meditate, your intention must be clear and free of other obligations.

Tony
5th January 2014, 08:12
Meditation has no characteristics or special culture. We merely tame the mind,
and recognises our true nature. We can learn the basics of meditation to help
calm the mind, and then we have a choice to make. Do we stay on our own,
or find a teacher and follow a system?

If we go our own way, there are many traps into which we can fall. In following
a system, it will be well trodden and there is much guidance
(no, they are not mind controllers...you are!). If one chooses to let go of a system,
or change systems, one is free to do so. If we have choices, then we can change!

Much depends on synchronicity and our own leanings.
Remember - our path is our own confusion, which has to be cleared,
and only we can do that.

Systems have a language, a way of describing some thing.. or no thing.
They tend to use sanskrit words as there is not an English equivalent.
Sanskrit is a spiritual language and is used in mantras.
Interestingly, the Tibetan language is based on Sanskrit.

My leaning is towards Tibetan Buddhism and the Dzogchen tradition, which is similar
to Advaita or Zen (one reason to use these words is so that you may look them up
on the internet and check them out for yourself).

As I am Dzogchen, my writing will have that flavour
– which is empty compassionate awareness. You must follow your heart:
just remember not to argue with another's path,
as they will describe the same thing differently...so be it.
At the end it is all the same, but before that, things can get a bit sticky!

The most important thing is knowing why you meditate. That will sustain you.


Tony

Tony
5th January 2014, 08:27
Tony, maybe you could recommend a simple book that could help people get started.

Meditation is not only 'sitting' meditation but is a way of life. While washing the dishes, if you put your awareness on just the washing then you are doing 'washing' meditation. The same goes for any other activity you do with focused awareness.


Hello Ioneo,

True there is sitting meditation and mingling in daily life meditation.
In fact there is sitting meditation and conduct in daily life…compassionate activity.

Every book has a certain flavour, so it all depends on what you lean towards.
The OP says it all. The Meditation Group can iron out some wrinkles!

If you are Zen orientated stick to Zen, however a glimpse at Dzogchen may help.

You might find this interesting
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umkwCiE1r_k

Tony

skippy
5th January 2014, 14:08
Hi Tony,

Thanks for the videos. At 22:55 in the second video the speaker talks about "logon" (not sure about the spelling) or touching base. In the same video, he speaks about "Mahasandi" being the quickest and simplest path possible. Do you mind to elaborate a bit further on these 2 things in relation to Dzogchen? Many thanks.

Skippy.

Tony
5th January 2014, 14:36
[QUOTE=skippy;780520]Hi Tony,

Thanks for the videos. At 22:55 in the second video the speaker talks about "logon" (not sure about the spelling) or touching base. In the same video, he speaks about "Mahasandi" being the quickest and simplest path possible. Do you mind to elaborate a bit further on these 2 things in relation to Dzogchen? Many thanks.

Skippy.[/QUOTE

Hello Skippy.

In this context 'Lojong' ...touching base is, 'Mahasani' "Mahamudra' "Dzogchen'... remembering to rest is Empty Essence. Different traditions use different words for the same thing. The difference is in the approach to Emptiness, also called 'the view'.

Sometimes is a busy life we coast along in theory, and it's good to pause for a moment...'lojong'. Resting Emptiness covers everything, but here is the full answer:


The Root Text

The original Lojong practice consists of 59 slogans, or aphorisms. These slogans are further organized into seven groupings, called the '7 Points of Lojong.' The categorized slogans are listed below, translated by the Nalanda Translation Committee under the direction of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.[7] It is emphasized that the following is translated from ancient Sanskrit and Tibetan texts, and therefore may vary slightly from other translations. Some slogans may feel esoteric or difficult to comprehend. Many contemporary gurus and experts have written extensive commentaries elucidating the Lojong text and slogans. Some of these works can be found under the 'Notes' section of this article.
Point One: The preliminaries, which are the basis for dharma practice
Slogan 1. First, train in the preliminaries; The four reminders.[8] or alternatively called the Four Thoughts[9]
1. Maintain an awareness of the preciousness of human life.
2. Be aware of the reality that life ends; death comes for everyone; Impermanence.
3. Recall that whatever you do, whether virtuous or not, has a result; Karma.
4. Contemplate that as long as you are too focused on self-importance and too caught up in thinking about how you are good or bad, you will experience suffering. Obsessing about getting what you want and avoiding what you don't want does not result in happiness; Ego.
Point Two: The main practice, which is training in bodhicitta.
Absolute Bodhicitta
Slogan 2. Regard all dharmas as dreams; although experiences may seem solid, they are passing memories.
Slogan 3. Examine the nature of unborn awareness.
Slogan 4. Self-liberate even the antidote.
Slogan 5. Rest in the nature of alaya, the essence, the present moment.
Slogan 6. In postmeditation, be a child of illusion.
Relative Bodhicitta
Slogan 7. Sending and taking should be practiced alternately. These two should ride the breath (aka. practice Tonglen).
Slogan 8. Three objects, three poisons, three roots of virtue -- The 3 objects are friends, enemies and neutrals. The 3 poisons are craving, aversion and indifference. The 3 roots of virtue are the remedies.
Slogan 9. In all activities, train with slogans.
Slogan 10. Begin the sequence of sending and taking with yourself.
Point Three: Transformation of Bad Circumstances into the Way of Enlightenment
Slogan 11. When the world is filled with evil, transform all mishaps into the path of bodhi.
Slogan 12. Drive all blames into one.
Slogan 13. Be grateful to everyone.
Slogan 14. Seeing confusion as the four kayas is unsurpassable shunyata protection.
The kayas are Dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, nirmanakaya, svabhavikakaya. Thoughts have no birthplace, thoughts are unceasing, thoughts are not solid, and these three characteristics are interconnected. Shunyata can be described as "complete openness."
Slogan 15. Four practices are the best of methods.
The four practices are: accumulating merit, laying down evil deeds, offering to the dons, and offering to the dharmapalas.
Slogan 16. Whatever you meet unexpectedly, join with meditation.
Point Four: Showing the Utilization of Practice in One's Whole Life
Slogan 17. Practice the five strengths, the condensed heart instructions.
The 5 strengths are: strong determination, familiarization, the positive seed, reproach, and aspiration.
Slogan 18. The mahayana instruction for ejection of consciousness at death is the five strengths: how you conduct yourself is important.
When you are dying practice the 5 strengths.
Point Five: Evaluation of Mind Training
Slogan 19. All dharma agrees at one point -- All Buddhist teachings are about lessening the ego, lessening one's self-absorption.
Slogan 20. Of the two witnesses, hold the principal one -- You know yourself better than anyone else knows you
Slogan 21. Always maintain only a joyful mind.
Slogan 22. If you can practice even when distracted, you are well trained.
Point Six: Disciplines of Mind Training
Slogan 23. Always abide by the three basic principles -- Dedication to your practice, refraining from outrageous conduct, developing patience.
Slogan 24. Change your attitude, but remain natural.-- Reduce ego clinging, but be yourself.
Slogan 25. Don't talk about injured limbs -- Don't take pleasure contemplating others defects.
Slogan 26. Don't ponder others -- Don't take pleasure contemplating others weaknesses.
Slogan 27. Work with the greatest defilements first -- Work with your greatest obstacles first.
Slogan 28. Abandon any hope of fruition -- Don't get caught up in how you will be in the future, stay in the present moment.
Slogan 29. Abandon poisonous food.
Slogan 30. Don't be so predictable -- Don't hold grudges.
Slogan 31. Don't malign others.
Slogan 32. Don't wait in ambush -- Don't wait for others weaknesses to show to attack them.
Slogan 33. Don't bring things to a painful point -- Don't humiliate others.
Slogan 34. Don't transfer the ox's load to the cow -- Take responsibility for yourself.
Slogan 35. Don't try to be the fastest -- Don't compete with others.
Slogan 36. Don't act with a twist -- Do good deeds without scheming about benefiting yourself.
Slogan 37. Don't turn gods into demons -- Don't use these slogans or your spirituality to increase your self-absorption
Slogan 38. Don't seek others' pain as the limbs of your own happiness.
Point Seven: Guidelines of Mind Training
Slogan 39. All activities should be done with one intention.
Slogan 40. Correct all wrongs with one intention.
Slogan 41. Two activities: one at the beginning, one at the end.
Slogan 42. Whichever of the two occurs, be patient.
Slogan 43. Observe these two, even at the risk of your life.
Slogan 44. Train in the three difficulties.
Slogan 45. Take on the three principal causes: the teacher, the dharma, the sangha.
Slogan 46. Pay heed that the three never wane: gratitude towards one's teacher, appreciation of the dharma (teachings) and correct conduct.
Slogan 47. Keep the three inseparable: body, speech, and mind.
Slogan 48. Train without bias in all areas. It is crucial always to do this pervasively and wholeheartedly.
Slogan 49. Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment.
Slogan 50. Don't be swayed by external circumstances.
Slogan 51. This time, practice the main points: others before self, dharma, and awakening compassion.
Slogan 52. Don't misinterpret.
The six things that may be misinterpreted are patience, yearning, excitement, compassion, priorities and joy. You're patient when you're getting your way, but not when its difficult. You yearn for worldly things, instead of an open heart and mind. You get excited about wealth and entertainment, instead of your potential for enlightenment. You have compassion for those you like, but none for those you don't. Worldly gain is your priority rather than cultivating loving-kindness and compassion. You feel joy when you enemies suffer, and do not rejoice in others' good fortune.[10]
Slogan 53. Don't vacillate (in your practice of LoJong).
Slogan 54. Train wholeheartedly.
Slogan 55. Liberate yourself by examining and analyzing: Know your own mind with honesty and fearlessness.
Slogan 56. Don't wallow in self-pity.
Slogan 57. Don't be jealous.
Slogan 58. Don't be frivolous.
Slogan 59. Don't expect applause.

Tony
5th January 2014, 15:58
This is even better! This the lojong teaching (mind training) given by there Dalai Lama.
The rest is on Youtube.
jU1-0rLlIz4


Tony

Shabd_Mystic
6th January 2014, 18:18
As it's a new year the Meditation Group
is starting from scratch.

Meditation

Meditation is being ordinary.

If we look at the mind, we find it runs all over the place.
The ordinary observer – the awareness – gets distracted,
and we are hardly ever in the present moment.

But who are we?

We are that which is aware of these circling thoughts,
and is distracted by them. If we don't calm down,
we will merely be caught up in this vicious cycle of existence.
So we need to cut through this madness and find our sanity.

This is what meditation is about - calming down, and being
more aware at the same time. The highest meditation is
simply being aware of awareness.

We simply focus on the breath.
Just be aware of the breath - the inhalation and the exhalation.
Thoughts will come. Just let them go.
It's your time to rest in the now
(this is known as using the breath as a support).

Gradually, we become aware that at the end of an exhalation
and before the next inhalation, there is a gap. We become
more aware of the gap. The body is still breathing,
but we become aware of just resting in that space.
All the senses are open. We merely rest in awareness
(this is meditation without support).

This is meditation...more or less!


Tony

Well, it's one form of meditation at least.

Shabd_Mystic
6th January 2014, 18:31
Tony, maybe you could recommend a simple book that could help people get started.

Meditation is not only 'sitting' meditation but is a way of life. While washing the dishes, if you put your awareness on just the washing then you are doing 'washing' meditation. The same goes for any other activity you do with focused awareness.

If you put all your awareness into something you are, in effect, doing what people like Eckhart Tolle expound, which is bringing yourself fully into the present moment or the "now." Some mystical groups do the same thing by chanting or by doing "simran" (repeating a mantra over and over). The idea, though it's never explained as such, is to avoid thinking of the past or future.

Just like concentrating on the breath is just a method with which to focus the attention in order to stop thought. Some repeat a mantra to do the same thing. All that matters is that the attention get fully focused so all "other" thought ceases.

Tony
6th January 2014, 18:44
The meditation group is about basic meditation, a simple foundation.


"Bringing your self into the present moment"...is not the same as
being in the present moment.
One is a duality, the other is not.
Until one has a firm foundation, one will miss the subtleties later on.


Tony

GreenGuy
6th January 2014, 20:18
We love to talk and read about meditation, especially in the West...and yet meditation is neither of those. Meditation is a natural state that ordinary daily stimuli tend to keep us from realizing. Once we're conscious of that boundary it's easy to cross.

Shabd_Mystic
6th January 2014, 22:07
"Bringing your self into the present moment"...is not the same as
being in the present moment.

If you're thinking about the past you aren't in the present moment so you need to "bring yourself into the present moment." It means your attention is in the past when it should be in the present. You certainly understand that so why the semantics games?

Tony
7th January 2014, 09:06
"Bringing your self into the present moment"...is not the same as
being in the present moment.

If you're thinking about the past you aren't in the present moment so you need to "bring yourself into the present moment." It means your attention is in the past when it should be in the present. You certainly understand that so why the semantics games?



Philosophers have been discussing words for centuries.
The thread is about the meditation group and practice.

The meditation group is a quiet place to reflect.
This is different from the main forum, as it is be non confrontational:
just an open harmonious space in which to... well, be!


Tony

loungelizard
7th January 2014, 09:33
Thanks for the OP pie'n'eal: I appreciate the simple explanation of meditation that you have given (sometimes things are made far too complicated :rolleyes: with a lot of words)

And thanks also for the info about the meditation group - I shall go and have a snoop around!

Tony
7th January 2014, 10:53
Doing Better is Impossible

Doing better is impossible. Doing better is judgemental, and is therefore driven by desire and aversion.
In that driven state of mind there is no end to bettering. “I must improve myself, I must improve others.”
If we want to do better,
better to let be.

When recognised, mind and essence are naturally clear. If this was not so, we'd miss our mouth
every time to tried to put food into it! We are this clarity - pure awareness. We do not have to do better:
pure awareness naturally sees. Then, through compassion, and through this mind and body,
pure awareness may act...or not.

When clarity sees the sky it just sees. When it tastes, it just tastes. When it hears, it just hears.
It (we) does not have a problem: when clarity is recognised, there is no doubt.

External and inner appearances are the way they are, due to causes and conditions.
There is no point in trying to change the world. It's far too complicated...impossible!
We are in a collective confusion.

Something, however, is obscuring our natural clarity. “ 'I' want things better.” In this wanting, we subtly
create trouble for ourselves and others around us. We jump in feet first. “Hey 'I' can improve this!”
when all that is actually needed is space - generous compassionate space.
Compassionate communication is a reminder of this space.

This allows those causes and conditions, which are the obscurations, to be seen clearly.
This is meditation.
First, we have to recognise what it is that wants to make things better: compassion or ego.

Ego says,“I experience stillness.”
Pure awareness says, “ ”


Tony

skippy
7th January 2014, 13:07
Pure awareness says, “ ”


Hello Tony, is it really that simple? I'm reminded of the speaker in your 2nd video when he is saying that the path of dzogchen is the quickest and fastest. At 15:19 in the video: "The path of dzogchen is very simple, it's just amazing, it is mind-boggling .. "

My question: Is there really any path or method involved? Aren't the first and last point on the circle one and the same? My mind is asking this question but I suspect the answer to be in the " " ..

:)

greybeard
7th January 2014, 14:26
Adyashanti speaks of a "pathless path" in that you are already enlightened but obstacles need to be remove for your illumined Self to shine forth.
The idea is to get rid of the idea that you are the meditator.
In the quiet still awareness meditation is happening--you are just present.
The moment technique is used then there is an attempt to control that which is a natural state.
Adyashanti had fourteen years of being with a Zen teacher and said he got good very at invoking all kinds of states but that is not "it"
Anything that comes and goes is not what you are--you are eternal--awareness--that is consistent--always there.

Words of course are inadequate to describe the peace that patheth all understanding
In the stillness without mind chatter is found that peace.
Its simple but not easy---it takes "practise" to still the mind for more than a few moments.
Yet you are not practising--just letting what comes be.
A thought arises but you dont have to converse with it.
When you enter into conversation with the thought you energise the mind and more thoughts arise, not responding starves the thought of energy.

Chris

Tony
7th January 2014, 18:25
This thread is about the meditation group, and basic meditation for all:
it was formed after another member requested it.
Before we can get to non-meditation and no meditator, we have to arrive
at a calm, clear mind through the practice of meditation: many people
have found that they benefit from this in their busy, stressful lives.

There are many forms of meditation, but they are all concerned with
the development of focus, stillness and clarity. Once some stability has
been established, then one can go on to finer levels: until then, the idea of
non-meditation and no meditator is merely a concept that is being repeated,
and can create confusion in the minds of others. All of us must be able
to walk before we can run..and here are too many people who are under
the illusion that they are enlightened and therefore don't have to do anything!

The movement from meditator to no meditator, or meditation to non-meditation
is very, very subtle. It's in the moment that the "I" is dissolved and this
can be achieved through meditation itself, or by it being pointed out by the
right person at the right time.

Meditation is learning to do nothing, but be. And that, in itself, is non-meditation.
For some, the conduct in life is merely the continuation of the meditation experience
expressed in compassion. At first, we only get a glimpse of this non-meditation
and no meditator, and it has to be stabilised through practice.

We can use the boat of mindfulness (remembering) to get to the shore of awareness.
Once we arrive at the shore of awareness, the mindfulness boat is no longer needed.
But let's be honest, we forget most of the time, and become involved in mere philosophy!

Unless one's emotions are stabilised, or are seen as wisdoms, one will never understand
non-meditation and no meditator. This will merely remain as a concept, and
to promote distorted views doesn't bode well for the future.

The meditation group is for, among others, total beginners and for anyone who wants support.
It is possible to have good karma, where life is easy and enjoyable, but if we claim that
as being enlightenment, that will turn to bad karma.

In the group, people are free to talk about their experiences in a safe, non-confrontational
atmosphere - we are all there to support one another.

Tony

Tony
7th January 2014, 18:37
Pure awareness says, “ ”


Hello Tony, is it really that simple? I'm reminded of the speaker in your 2nd video when he is saying that the path of dzogchen is the quickest and fastest. At 15:19 in the video: "The path of dzogchen is very simple, it's just amazing, it is mind-boggling .. "

My question: Is there really any path or method involved? Aren't the first and last point on the circle one and the same? My mind is asking this question but I suspect the answer to be in the " " ..

:)

Hello Skippy

Dzogchen is mind blowing! We are Dzogchen.
Dzogchen is empty essence, cognisant nature and unconfined compassion.
Emptiness.

Dzogchen entails the pointing out instruction: it is just recognition.
In fact, my teacher, Tsoknyi Rinpoche will be giving the pointing out instruction
at a retreat in England in the spring. Though the nature of mind is pointed out,
we have to do the work of stabilising it through recognition.
You might call it the Great Disappointment, but also the Great Relief!
That's all there is…nothing more.

I'll PM the details of the retreat to you.

The " " is there all the time, at every moment.
We just don't notice it because we doubt and get distracted all the time.
It is that simple. But not easy.
That is why we need time to sit quietly in regularly meditation sessions
so that we can see what is actually going on in the mind: it's not theory any more.

Incidentally, a lot of our understanding comes from practice we have done
in previous incarnations: for some, just a gesture can be the pointing out instruction.
One of my previous teachers just had tea with his teacher, who, when they parted, announced,
"That's it!" and his mind was totally clear. Some of us have to work a little harder :rolleyes:.

There are also the paths of devotion and compassion - these are very challenging, but also dissolve the "I".

loungelizard
7th January 2014, 18:55
"The gift of learning to meditate
is the greatest gift you can give yourself
in this life.
For it is only through meditation that you
can undertake the journey
to discover your true nature,
and so find the stability and confidence
you will need to live,
and die, well.
Meditation is the road to enlightenment."

The purpose of meditation is to awaken in us the sky-like nature of mind,
and to introduce us to that which we really are, our unchanging pure awareness,
which underlies the whole of life and death.

Meditation is the way to bring us back to ourselves,
where we can really experience and taste our full being,
beyond all habitual patterns. In the stillness and silence of meditation,
we glimpse and return to that deep inner nature
that we have so long ago lost sight of amid the busyness and distraction of our minds.

Sogyal Rinpoche

GreenGuy
8th January 2014, 06:41
Hi Tony, I would like to join the meditation group and follow your course.

Skippy :yo:

Yeah. What he said.

Tony
8th January 2014, 09:50
Self-controlled?

Our-self is controlling us.
Our-self is an academic acquisition that is programmed to react.
Compassion is not an academic subject.

Shabd_Mystic
8th January 2014, 14:35
"Bringing your self into the present moment"...is not the same as
being in the present moment.

If you're thinking about the past you aren't in the present moment so you need to "bring yourself into the present moment." It means your attention is in the past when it should be in the present. You certainly understand that so why the semantics games?



Philosophers have been discussing words for centuries.
The thread is about the meditation group and practice.

The meditation group is a quiet place to reflect.
This is different from the main forum, as it is be non confrontational:
just an open harmonious space in which to... well, be!


Tony

There was nothing even close to "confrontational" about my comment. You chose to assign your own meaning to what I'd said and then tell me I was wrong, lol. Who is the one being "confrontational?"

loungelizard
8th January 2014, 15:15
Just like concentrating on the breath is just a method with which to focus the attention in order to stop thought. Some repeat a mantra to do the same thing. All that matters is that the attention get fully focused so all "other" thought ceases.

I find it's important to be aware of the difference between mindfulness meditation and concentration.

Concentration has a one-pointed quality, where the mind is trained to rest in one place: there is an element of discipline.
Mindfulness meditation is more gentle: it is noted when the attention has wandered.

So concentration is the work of holding the attention steady and free from distraction of thoughts and emotions.
Mindfulness is the noticing aspect: it sees changes but is not fixated on an object such as the breath. It doesn't require willpower but there is gentle effort in the earlier stages.

Concentration is focused on one thing, and everything else is ignored.
Mindfulness is more expansive and watches with a broader focus, noticing when the attention has wandered.

They are partners in the activity of meditation: the trick is to find the balance between them.

pabranno
9th January 2014, 02:31
Pie'n'eal,
Thank you (and all responders) for sharing this. I have wanted for a long time to explore meditation.
I have a question that has kept me tentative about meditating: I am concerned that it opens me (personally) to unhealthy influences from, for lack of a better term, the lower astral.
If I am to be honest,
I actually fear that.. I know, the infernal "F" word...!
Can you or others share some thoughts?

Gratefully,
pamela

Tony
9th January 2014, 08:25
Your Path.

This is a tricky subject.
It is said that, in absolute terms, the path does not exist, and nor does meditation or a meditator.
However, we are not enlightened yet and so, relatively, they do exist.

Once we achieve a degree of calmness and are able to focus, concentrate and be mindful,
we arrive at awareness. From there, we rest in the awareness of awareness...and emptiness.
No path, no meditation, no meditator.

Until then, we need to recognise the path; our path. Much will depend on our previous associations,
education, temperament and capacity. Anyone we talk to about meditation and spirituality will
have their own bias. And here, we get involved in the use of language, which can either clarify or confuse.

Much will depend on synchronicity - what comes up in your life – karma!

It could be based on the Vedanta, Buddhism, Theism, non-Theism etc. It could be a word, a name an
image that attracts you, that leads you onto a path – a system, according to your karmic tendencies.
Even then, within those paths, there are divisions or levels. One may call oneself one thing but display
tendencies of another. Even when meeting people who are following the same system, after the exchange
of a few words, there is a realisation that you are not on the same path.
One may hear people talking about high falluting principles, but they are still actually talking about themselves.

OK...here's the tricky part, and I'll take myself as an example. Whatever system I've entered,
I've experienced aversion to people - “Bonkers, the lot of 'em!” So, my path is aversion. It's an illusion,
but still my path...which exists only in my reactions. The antidote to this is, of course, compassion.

This is where we go deeper. Applying compassion is only a temporary solution, as I will have to keep
re-applying it whenever I meet 'People'. Better to use the reaction itself!

Here I am revealing my own bias to Tibetan Dzogchen training. The very moment a reaction of aversion
arises in the mind, the mind lights up, creating a luminous space – empty essence! The negative emotion
reveals wisdom. If not recognised then - in the second milli-moment - the “I” takes over, creating dislike
or even hatred. In the following moment, there is a reaction to that dislike or hatred, and aggression arises.
The same principle applies to all the emotions.

And this is why the basic meditation of clarity is so important, and should not be dismissed: it is this that
stops the mental, karmic looping.

All our illusory emotions are our path: it is said there are 84.000 of them stemming from the main three:
desire, aversion and ignorance (which, in turn, stem from not recognising one's true nature).
Even though we can repeat words, will still have work to do...everyone – and every alien - knows this!

To illustrate (and here I'm using words that are translated from Tibetan and Sanskrit):
there is Ground, Path and Fruition.

Ground is our true nature.
Path is our confusion about our true nature.
Fruition is recognising that the Path never existed, and that we were the ground all along.

We have to walk before we can run
but we don't have keep walking
when we can run!

Between you and me,
I spent twenty five years walking
when I should have been running.

According to my teacher,
I was stuck in idiot meditation.

I was extremely angry.
Then everything changed!


Tony

Tony
9th January 2014, 09:01
Pie'n'eal,
Thank you (and all responders) for sharing this. I have wanted for a long time to explore meditation.
I have a question that has kept me tentative about meditating: I am concerned that it opens me (personally) to unhealthy influences from, for lack of a better term, the lower astral.
If I am to be honest,
I actually fear that.. I know, the infernal "F" word...!
Can you or others share some thoughts?

Gratefully,
pamela

Dear Pamela

We are not an entity that can be touched, modified or destroyed. We are pure awareness, Uncontaminated space.

Any thing that is in any dimension has no true existence: dimensions have sides, sides have parts and parts of parts –
one can keep breaking down until there is nothing but emptiness. If we obsess about our bodies and minds,
we create fear, and therefore suffer.

Meditation is recognising pure essence, our pure being, which is infinite. Any temporary appearances are allowed to rise:
they come to pass. Anything experienced is recognised in the mind – it is all in the mind! In my mind,
I can jump off a cliff on to spikes, but nothing actually happens because it's in my imagination.

Unfortunately, there is much confused thinking behind “new age language”, which complicates and obscures our understanding.
With awareness in meditation, thoughts and images come and go and have no reality. What is constant is our pure awareness.

The phrase “when we open ourselves up” can be viewed in two ways. The first is on the relative level, where we allow
any idea to take hold in our mind, to distract us. The second is our absolute nature which is experienced in meditation
and sees all arisings as illusory – they come and go and have no permanent reality.

There is no bogey man under the bed! However, in the past, we may have been traumatised by something which creates
a doubt and fear in our mind, and when a situation arises, these fears can come up. This is merely a memory in our
subtle body: it can't hurt us now, but we react to this, and so maintain the fear and tension.

When you sit and meditate, allow anything that arises to come: don't try and stop it, or modify it. Say, “Not now, thank you”,
so permitting it to pass through, like a rainbow image in the sky. It may seem that, when you meditate, things get worse –
they don't, but you are noticing more. All you need is courage, and a firm foundation.



Tony

leavesoftrees
9th January 2014, 10:46
We have to walk before we can run
but we don't have keep walking
when we can run!

Between you and me,
I spent twenty five years walking
when I should have been running.

According to my teacher,
I was stuck in idiot meditation.


Hi Tony can you explain what you were doing that was idiot meditation. What do you do that is running as opposed to walking when it comes to meditating

Milneman
9th January 2014, 11:00
Tony:

I pray the franciscan crown. I pray the traditional rosary. Within 5-10 minutes "I" disappear. It's wonderful.

Is this what you're talking about? Doing and not doing? Being and not being?

Tony
9th January 2014, 14:05
Hi Tony can you explain what you were doing that was idiot meditation.
What do you do that is running as opposed to walking when it comes to meditating

Hello leavesoftrees,

I was told that I was stuck in idiot meditation by a Dzogchen master
\(a Dzogchen master is someone who is authorised to give the pointing out instruction
on directly recognising the nature of mind). Everything depends on context: you wouldn't
say that to a beginner. It felt like being an elastic band, pulled so tightly that it could snap
at one word - and I snapped... Students around me we trying to comfort me,

I found myself doing shamata practice (meditation with and without support) but actually,
I was sitting, waiting, in a state of not knowing. Here, I have to explain the context:
at that time I was practising Mahamudra in the Karma Kagyu Tibetan Buddhist tradition,
where one meditates and hopefully naturally discovers the view - emptiness.
This can take years...and here are stories of yogis who were in shamata meditation so
deeply that when the Chinese invaded Tibet and discovered them sitting in caves, it was
not known whether they were dead or alive - they were stuck in a "state".

So, I wasn't walking. I wasn't running. I wasn't doing anything :o!
The Mahamudra approach did not suit my temperament. In fact, the lama concerned
actually kicked me out of his group after 11 years because the approach was not suiting me:
this was quite a shock...but in the end, I came to realise the motivation was compassion.
Crazy wisdom has to be done to the right person by the right person at the right time,
and can be very painful.

When I received the pointing out instruction, it was such a relief - to see that that was all,
and I knew this when I was four years old. In fact, I'm sure most people feel this way -
it's very ordinary.

By running, I am referring to the direct recognition of the nature of mind.

Tony

PS I'm not talking about enlightenment here, by the way!

¤=[Post Update]=¤




Tony:

I pray the franciscan crown. I pray the traditional rosary. Within 5-10 minutes "I" disappear. It's wonderful.

Is this what you're talking about? Doing and not doing? Being and not being?

Yes. It's devotional practice.

Tony

pabranno
10th January 2014, 03:11
Might I say, Tony, that you have an excellent way of explaining things.......
Thanks for taking the time to reach out and teach.....

pamela

Tony
11th January 2014, 08:34
Thoughts 'r' Us

Where do they come from? Is it mind or essence?

We all have thoughts.
Maybe we think we shouldn't ...wrong!
We merely have to distinguish between clinging reactionary thoughts, and thoughts that
translate experience without clinging.

One set comes from the mind, and the other from essence. Surprised?

When we habitually react, this comes from the conditioned mind. This is consciousness
clinging to concepts stored, judges and reacts. It's a sort of acquired programming,
which we (distracted essence) replay and replay, fixing us as a caricature of conditioned
responses. We then join a world full of programmed responses, walking about the planet
like emotional robots, some with a low self image and some with an inflated self image.
It all depends on into which class you place your self, through pride or inverted pride.
It is all the same...this is the lot of a sentient beings.

However. There are thought responses from essence that are not part of this mechanical
mindset. Here, when we say 'thoughts', we really mean 'pre-thoughts'. Before a thought
fully blossoms into words and images, there is a recognition, a pre-cognition. This is not
necessarily extrasensory perception, but just a knowing. When you see someone from a
distance, by just the stance or outline we recognise that person but haven't given a name
to them yet. It's like that.

This is similar to having focused vision or panoramic vision. Usually when we look through
our eyes, we see this and that in a 3D manner: everything appears solid, and we are hooked.
The attention is constantly distracted.

Here is where we can take a huge leap in meditation. Become aware of your peripheral vision
– everything is seen at once. Nothing is identified. Everything is just seen, and the seeing
is also seen. That 'just seeing', without fabricating or embellishing anything, is essence…
pure awareness. Now, if something is needed, we then focus and identify,
do what is beneficial and return to panoramic vision.

To fine tune this, we merely recognise essence as emptiness, and are merely aware of
awareness. Perception has refined to pure perception. So thoughts arise out of emptiness
for the benefit of others ...compassion.

It is in meditation that we can perceive the difference between thoughts in the mind which
distract us, and thoughts arising out of emptiness expressing itself (essence love).
This is where our own mind becomes the teacher: it teaches us to recognise the difference,
when we are caught and held. Meditation is fine tuning this. Watching videos, reading books,
hearing others cannot do this for you...you have to do it. You have to see.

The mind is for philosopher. Essence is for the Siddhi. Philosophers argue. Siddhis do not.

Incidentally, when essence is recognised as clarity, mind also has clarity, increasing intelligence.
We no longer become bound up in the mundane, but released in the supra-mundane.

If this is difficult to understand, that's okay: we just have to sort the subtle body out.
This is where mantra, chanting, puja and yogic breathing exercises come to work as they
calm the inner wind, settling the subtle body so that we can rest.



Tony

Tony
11th January 2014, 09:53
Notice the inner gaze.

NiLMhzjDdXQ

Tony
12th January 2014, 07:35
I forgot to mention about ordinary circling thoughts.
These are thoughts and concepts we have picked up over time.
In meditation we become like a doorman at a hotel,
we acknowledge the guest as they arrive, but don't follow them in!


Tony

Tony
12th January 2014, 07:53
There is no bad meditation.
Somedays the mind is wild, sleepy, worried, clear, stuffed up with a cold.
Whatever appears essence is always present, just aware.
Meditation is about awareness, and the awareness of awareness.
Essence has no time for an “I”.

skippy
12th January 2014, 09:42
Essence has no time for an “I”.

Nice one! :) Goodmorning everyone. I'm starting the work today. Great to have Internet and to watch these amazing videos as an introduction. Lots of gratitude to discover Dzogchen as another true path.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4aTpmTEgA8