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Meditation: Am I Doing It Yet? Part 3 — “yes! maybe, sometimes ;-)

17 Feb
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“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”

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meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 1 – who defines meditation?

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 2 – definitions mechanisms comparisons

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 3 – yes! maybe, sometimes ;-)


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Rowing Past the Walking Bridge

Rowing Past the Walking Bridge

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Part 3

intro thought

i remember, after a particularly vigorous playful rubbing i’d given one of my kitties, of hearing how pets could only take “so much” of a person’s loving, before becoming over-stimulated, unable to endure more -

sometimes just running off with a yell-meow, sometimes taking a nip of me on the skip-out and away, sometimes squirming and turning afraid and unwilling to turn on me but needing release -

are we so different?

from buddhanet’s buddhist studies

“There is no need to meditate for a long time: just remain quietly until you are a little open and able to connect with your heart essence. That is the main point”

we may yearn to be at-one with oneness again, but we are, by definition, only a part of that oneness -

can i splice my 110 volt extension cord onto the main trunk line on the telephone pole out by the road?

no, even though they both run the same juice; the voltage differential is just too severe – my kitty loves me, but a bit at a time ;-) ah yes, the wisdom of animals…

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[1]

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so i asked, at the end of my previous post, part 2 of this short inquiry into meditation, what do i think about meditation, what it is, or means?

i truly do believe it includes both my experiences of, and the writing of, each of my poems, “Cross Country” and “Heart Beats

my readings on meditation, abridged as they are, plus talks from lex at my immersion, and really my own experiences of the moments i tried to describe in those two poems, including the experience i had writing each one, convince me at this point in my life, that, yes, i was in a meditative state in all those instances…

i’m enough of an individual, and ornery enough ;-) to want that to be the end of it

but i’m also enough of a social creature, with a memory of many an inadvertent mistake, to gladly take some respected third party re-inforcement ;-)

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three respected third party re-inforcements

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1)

in the quote below from Buddhist Meditation in the Theravada tradition, i find a strong compliment to my way of thinking of meditation

“meditation is inherently experiential. It is not theoretical. In the practice of mediation you become sensitive to the actual experience of living, to how things feel. You do not sit around developing subtle and aesthetic thoughts about living. You live. Vipassana meditation more than anything else is learning to live”

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2)

and the following quote is scientific back-up for the existence of true benefits for practicing meditation

“The gamma activity in some of the long-term practitioners was the highest ever recorded in healthy human beings…This type of research is helpful to both practitioners of meditation and to the scientific community…

“It is helpful to meditators because it gives us an idea of what is happening to our brains as we progress in our practice. It provides some independent evidence that our practice does actually make a difference. And this can lead to greater conviction, which is always welcome in a meditation practice…

“Uncertainty is one of the biggest obstacles to continued progress.”

the Himalayan Institute is of courses a widely respected organization and movement

two additional points come out here:

a) the idea is that of “practicing” meditation, it is a practice, not a set thing; again relating back to the idea of meditation being experiential, as the buddhist quote above points out

and,

b) “uncertainty” is a genuine obstacle, a point i will refer to again in the mid-future when i do a small post on the chakras

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3)

i’ll end my external third-party rah-rah for myself ;-)  with this quote, from a speech last month, by the dalai lama

“a quote of the Buddha: ‘A follower of mine should not accept my teaching out of faith or devotion but rather out of investigation on the subject matter, seeing its meaning and then reproducing it into practice.'”

and no  ;-)  i don’t follow the dalai, or am very familiar with his work or speeches, i was led to this speech via a link on the himalayan institute, to the mind & life website

but i must say i was impressed with the humanity and non-authoritarianism of the text of the speech

and there were some interesting perspectives from the dalai lama regarding the failure, so far, of any spiritual teachings to create a lasting peace on our earth; this is strong stuff from a guy who’s in a spiritual-historical lineage, so i’d recommend a peak at his speech anyways

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Flowers Rising Flowers Ready

my conclusions on the question of “meditation, am i doing it yet”

meditation is experiential

meditation has been explained, diced and labeled, promoted enough to qualify as a huge ego trip, yet, obviously, has merit ;-)

meditation involves concentration, imagination, and an almost emotional union of mind to body to observation that eventually excludes nothing:  neither our thoughts our yearnings our hopes our recognitions our union with god or other souls, and especially, our conscious awareness of all the myriad facets of life

being here now, as the old-new-age saying goes….

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[2]

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postscript

RPE – Rate of Perceived Exertion

do we need something like i proposed, half jokingly, for asanas, RPEy, “Range of Pose Explored, Yoga” an adapted version of the RPE used in most fitness routines?

maybe,

RPEm = “Recognition of Personal Enlightenment, Meditation

an RPE for meditation?

…why not  ;-)

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in the near future, i’ll do a post or two on my meditation experiences during my recent immersion with lex gillan – i’m still processing much of it ;-)

in the meantime, i plan to finally look into a book i bought at that time, “guided meditations, Explorations, and healings” by stephen levine

namaste – con dios – god be with you


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footnotes:

[1] “rowing past the walking bridge” is a 24 x 24 oil on canvas painting i did ’bout 5 years ago in austin

the setting is in the beginning of barton springs off of lady bird lake; if you go back underneath the walking bridge and paddle round the bend to the right, you’re looking smack at downtown austin, beautiful

i use water based oils, but that’ll be a story for another time ;-)

[2] this tiny beauty is a beauty ’cause of the equally tiny flowers i was fortunate enough to catch before the last few weeks’ mid-20’s weather here

mid-20’s weather here in galveston is like above 100º further north, not built for it

but the it’s warmer now, and the flowers are again, “rising…ready….”

- end of 3 part series

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meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 1 – who defines meditation?

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 2 – definitions mechanisms comparisons

meditation: “am i doing it yet?” part 3 – yes! maybe, sometimes ;-)


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