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#1
Lately been practicing Zen meditation and really have found inspiration with guys like Gil Fronsdal, Shohaku Okumura, Shoryu Bradley.

Some tidbits of info that have really improved how I approach it.

"Zazen is like art only perfect art.  This is expression.  Pure expression."

"Zazen is returning home and sitting in peace"

The practice I do is one of just sitting.  I just sit, I don't do any visulations or have a meditation object or work with the breath.  I just sit.  Superificial stuff is present sometimes, deep stuff is present sometimes, weird mind states, ordinary mind states, busy mind, quiet mind, etc.  It's a journey of learning who I am and what this life is about.

I am planning to check out Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery and maybe deepen the practice a bit.

What about others here, do any meditation or found any certain things that really help or deepen and or improve ones life?
#2
i should actually try to do more meditation.

it's definitely helped a bit when i did try it. problem is i can never seem to find the time for it.

in the morning before work is too risky. i've nearly fallen asleep and would have ended up being late for/missing work.

i think i'm too high strung to be able to bring myself to do it willingly.
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#3
I'm not sure spiritual means much of anything anymore, but I've been to a couple of sessions at the local Buddhist centre lately. They follow a different kind (Theravada I believe) so there's only so far I can take it there. The standard there however is the focus-on-breath method, though they have a few others.

That said I don't meditate much. I find my own enjoyment and mixed-equivalent in going out and photographing things. Not sure if my practice is in any way "zen" but it takes a lot of influence from principles derived from Japanese aesthetics.
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#4
I have been meditating more recently, and its been helping my mental state. I need to do it more regularly

I practice breathing exercises whenever I get anxious, it really helps and has been my goto technique for managing my anxiety for a few years now. It helps by bringing my heart rate down, and clears my head of anxiety and thoughts of worry

I find music to be my meditation too, as pretentious as that sounds. Listening to songs, focusing on the individual instruments in turn, distracts the consciousness of my mind. It shuts up the inner monologue which so often turns sour. Playing music does the same

 Recently I have taken to going for walks into the fields, sitting in the grass, and meditating. Just allowing all my thoughts to drift into the wind, to listen to the sounds of nature. Honestly I know how douchey and pretentious I sound, but I really do start to feel connected to nature after a while, and that makes me really happy and calm. When I'm stressed out there's nothing better for me
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#5
Something about white westerners talking to me about zen and trendy Buddhism aggravates me
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#6
Quote by Dreadnought
Something about white westerners talking to me about zen and trendy Buddhism aggravates me

Yeah I tend to avoid talking around this area of stuff because my mind inevitably conjures up the sort of people who drop acid and decree themselves the next buddha
Quote by EndTheRapture51
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#7
Quote by Banjocal
Yeah I tend to avoid talking around this area of stuff because my mind inevitably conjures up the sort of people who drop acid and decree themselves the next buddha


query:

Jamaicans who sell weed at the park and give you life advice before giving you the weed, better, worse, or the same?

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#9
I've found a relationship with God.  He's actually healed me after hours of a VERY bad headache.  My wife prayed over me and the headache was instantly gone.
#11
one time

i prayed to God that my dad wouldn't see the porn in the browser history after Internet Explorer updated and i didn't know how to clear the history anymore.

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#12
did somebody say meditation?
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#13
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#14
I'll meditate occasionally but I don't like the weird spiritual nonsense that gets attached to it.
#15
Quote by jakesmellspoo
query:

Jamaicans who sell weed at the park and give you life advice before giving you the weed, better, worse, or the same?


I think that's just good practice, like in an RPG when you talk to a shopkeep and they give you flavour text about the world you're in

anyway I'm going to look at Soto once the heavy work period dies down. I'll probably read from Dogen first, though, to get a more fleshed-out understanding of it. As far as my research has taken me he was a lot more phenomenalist than a lot of other forms of the religion so it shouldn't have any of the fluffy bullshit.
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Last edited by Banjocal at Jul 13, 2017,
#16
I've meditated before but I've always found the sort of fetishization of Eastern religion a little silly. Meditation is basically found in every major religion; in the Abrahamic religions it takes the form of prayer. 

Like just because the form it takes is a little unusual doesn't mean that Buddhist meditation is any more fundamentally spiritual than western religious forms. I kind of take umbridge to the idea that any one group of people on the planet would be 'right' in their study of god/the divine. That's why I like the idea of Hermeticism, which is basically the idea that there is a 'prisca theologia', essentially that there is a strand of truth in all religions but the forms of their respective cultures effects the eventual form of the religion.

I've always been interested in the more Occult stuff so I've been doing a fair amount of reading around Aleister Crowley, Gerald Gardner and Eliphas Levi. Its more of an academic curiosity at this point but I do feel that some of the things they talk about make a lot of sense to me so I don't know whether curiosity will become dabbling and so on etc.
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Last edited by rich.bendall at Jul 13, 2017,
#17
I did some meditating when I was diagnosed with mild anxiety, it does help a lot....I should probably get back into it.
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#18
I love LSD and it has helped me transition from an apathetic atheism to an awe-inspiring attention of the present world and all its beauty; i guess you can call that spirituality.
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#19
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#20
Anyone spiritual?


*pokes*

Nope, still corporeal. Will (hopefully) stay that way for a bit.
#21
Quote by Freezonex1

"Zazen is returning home and sitting in peace"

The practice I do is one of just sitting.  I just sit, I don't do any visulations or have a meditation object or work with the breath.  I just sit.  


So THAT's your justification for the barcalounger.

My grandfather evidently did "Zazen" all of his life. Came home and disappeared into that barcalounger. A hand would rise out of the thing with a remote and the TV would change and then the hand would disappear. My grandmother got curious one day when the hand didn't rise out of the thing with the remote for a very long time. That's how we knew he'd "transitioned" and become completely spiritual.

He'd apparently pooped his pants when he was still corporeal, however, and that meant the barcalounger went to the dump after the coroner left.
#22
Highly recommend Dan Harris' 10% Happier app. One of the guys he speaks to is Joseph Goldstein and he's an absolute boss.

Haven't tried Headspace yet.

Sam Harris has a 12 and 20+ minute guided meditation also which i've used a few times with good results. He's also releasing his own app soon.
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#23
i didn't used to be but then after a broken heart i became spiritualised
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#24
I sit or lay on the couch and listen to music almost every morning. Sometimes for 10 minutes, sometimes for an hour. I don't really think of it as meditation but I guess it could be considered as such. I either just let my mind wander, or focus in on the music.


I used to meditate and listen to guided meditations with the intention of becoming more "spiritual," but that in and of itself kind of defeats the purpose imo.
#27
Quote by gonzaw
Yeah, meditation and "zen" practices aren't spiritual. It's wrong to conflate both, it's like saying "Doing good deeds for people" is religious because religions say you should do so.

It's all philosophy and physiology, or a mixture of both


This a dumb post

Spirituality means different things to different people and is an ambiguous term. Meditation and "zen practices" can be used as tools to help aid personal growth, which makes it spiritual
Eat your pheasant
Drink your wine
Your days are numbered, bourgeois swine!
#28
Quote by stratkat
It can be useful to sit and think, don't overdo it, you can cause psychosis through meditation if you're good enough at it. 


The point of meditation is to not think for a while
Eat your pheasant
Drink your wine
Your days are numbered, bourgeois swine!
#29
Quote by Bladez22
This a dumb post

Spirituality means different things to different people and is an ambiguous term. Meditation and "zen practices" can be used as tools to help aid personal growth, which makes it spiritual


Meditation is not spirtuality. Again, just because spirituality necessitates (or often does) meditation, it does not mean meditation is solely confined to spirituality. I can practice meditation and "zen practices" without getting in contact with anything regarding spirituality (which I'd say is not just personal growth, but requires belief in the supernatural in some way).
Just like I can help people and do good deeds without being religious. A -> B but not B -> A
#30
spirituality means different things to different people. Stop being a pleb
Eat your pheasant
Drink your wine
Your days are numbered, bourgeois swine!
#31
Quote by Bladez22
The point of meditation is to not think for a while

It can differ, and sometimes kind of be the opposite. Meditation takes many forms, but those referred to in Western discourses (so mostly Chan and Chinese-derived Buddhism) puts a huge focus on paying attention to things, not just "not thinking". The idea is typically to reach sunyata, which from a Western perspective might be best thought of as a fully phenomenalistic perspective, whereby one "sees" the world on a 1:1 basis (as much as humanly possible), shutting off the constant stream of background chatter that whirls about in your head and developing a deeper udnerstanding of the nature of things. It's sometimes called "pre-lingual" because what results from that is experience without conceptualisation: when one sees an object, they experience the object in and of itself, or appear to do so, but what it sometimes gets called is a "flat language". It's why more traditional haikus are usually so, well, descriptive and devoid of metaphor; it's flat language. The method for that is usually focusing on an internal process until one experiences it, but it's not just to "not think", but allow one's thoughts to mirror one's perception. There are also schools of soto that would literally say they sit just to sit.

And I mean I would say, I draw quite heavily on some of this stuff (my creative work over the last year has basically been one long stream of working with mono no aware) and at no point does it move into anything metaphysical. Putting that aside, there are areas of Buddhism that are positively non-spiritual and basically secular, though they're quite modernist in nature.

Also I hate to admit it but we're kind of ruining what could be a nice thread with being pernickity should we take this to Religion & Philo or Life on Barthes?
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#32
Quote by Banjocal

Also I hate to admit it but we're kind of ruining what could be a nice thread with being pernickity should we take this to Religion & Philo or Life on Barthes?


Yeah the negativity is dampening my aura, which is already filthy and needs a good cleanse
Eat your pheasant
Drink your wine
Your days are numbered, bourgeois swine!
#33
Quote by Bladez22
spirituality means different things to different people


I'm not denying it. However, like I said, I believe it does have to dwelve into some belief of the "supernatural" (or metaphysics, like Banj said).

I believe that conflation is insidious in how society views these activities. I would love for everybody to know the benefits of meditation, mindfulness, and everything good that can come out of having clear thinking and understanding; understanding and control of your emotions and thoughts; as well as heightened perception, in many shapes and forms. However, I don't want all of that to be bundled together with (IMO a priori unjustified) beliefs of the supernatural, or certain metaphysical elements that are not believed because of their own substance (e.g if they are actually real or not), but because they came in that same bundle and thus you are somewhat forced to believe in them. I also don't want people that look at those metaphysical claims, reject them, and because of that also reject meditation and the like. That conflation has problems in both ways.

Let's take the same idea with religion. Many people still claim "You can't be a good person without religion", and that is what I'm trying to fight here. You can be a good person without religion, you can even be a much better person than any religious person you know. Morality is not contained inside religion, so you should not be forced into religion just because of morality. You should not be forced into spirituality (and any other tangential belief, which like you said "means different things for different people") because of meditation/zen practices.

At the very least believing this is not dumb or "being a pleb"
#34
Bladez22 

Or to be conscious of thoughts and the process of how easy it is to think something without really being in control of said process.

In a nutshell, just be mindful of your thoughts. 
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#35
gonzaw

I see what you're saying now and agree, and have been saying that irl for awhile now. What bothered me was the "meditation is not spiritual", when it is for some people. You are not the arbiter of spirituality
Eat your pheasant
Drink your wine
Your days are numbered, bourgeois swine!
#36
Quote by Bladez22
gonzaw

I see what you're saying now and agree, and have been saying that irl for awhile now. What bothered me was the "meditation is not spiritual", when it is for some people. You are not the arbiter of spirituality


Agreed.
I do think we can do a little bit more effort in separating all the independent components. Like in this thread alone, OP asks "Are you spiritual" but also asks "What about others here, do any meditation or found any certain things that really help or deepen and or improve ones life?". We should make it clear those two are independent questions, in the sense that if you ask the 1st one you necessarily ask the 2nd one, but you can ask the 2nd one without ever asking the 1st.

Also, I guess it doesn't help that I reject "spirituality"
#37
Quote by gonzaw
Agreed.
I do think we can do a little bit more effort in separating all the independent components. Like in this thread alone, OP asks "Are you spiritual" but also asks "What about others here, do any meditation or found any certain things that really help or deepen and or improve ones life?". We should make it clear those two are independent questions, in the sense that if you ask the 1st one you necessarily ask the 2nd one, but you can ask the 2nd one without ever asking the 1st.

Also, I guess it doesn't help that I reject "spirituality"


Yeah I get that, and I also took issue with the op for that reason too. I didn't address it though because lazy

I don't know if I reject it or not, I guess I don't. Like I half believe in spirits/auras/life forces. I know they're not actually real, and that my body and brain are a collection of cells and my existence is purely a physical one, but I find "spirits" to be a helpful way to see my mental state/wellbeing
Eat your pheasant
Drink your wine
Your days are numbered, bourgeois swine!
#38
I have been practicing mindfullness meditation for like twelve years now. One of the greatest decisions (if there is such a thing) I've ever made.
#39


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