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Offline mobius

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Meditation
« on: July 20, 2018, 12:46:11 am »
EDIT: don't do what I do here. If you've never meditated, I recommend starting with something called "Shamatha" or something similar which is paying attention to your breath. https://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php?page=2
The best thing to do is research or talk to an experienced mediator yourself. Meditation is powerful but takes a long time to do anything. Done incorrectly can give you severe problems.


As some of you know, I've began practicing meditation recently, on a regular basis. You may feel free to present your own practices or opinions on it here. I plan to detail my own 'adventures' into meditation, as a total newbie to this.

Meditation has a wide variety of types and applications. As far as I know, it has only health benefits and no risks. I could talk quite a bit more about this but I'll forgo details atm. If anyone would like me to, I can elaborate.

The point of this post is to detail my own journey on this. Like (I suspect) most people on this forum I'm a scientifically minded person. I need proof to believe in great claims. Great claims have been made about meditation and since this is something super simple I can test myself; this is just what I will do.

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The type I've been doing is mainly a simple Buddhist meditation for about 15-20 minutes per day;

this is sometimes called Focused attention meditation.

I don't think it matters when you do it; but time of day may have an impact on the effects. Also note that everything, time, setting, the things around you while meditating as well as past and future events, may very well have a impact on the effects.

-sit cross legged on a hard surface, in a comfortable place, as free from distraction as possible, preferably alone and not in a very bright room and close your eyes. It's not strictly necessary that you sit cross legged but I do this because I'm also exercising; I have poor posture and I'm trying to improve it. You may sit on a chair or even lay down. You should be comfortable. If you're in severe pain that may distract you from the meditation.
The Key is that you are comfortable enough to be without pain (which is distraction) but not so comfortable that you can easily fall asleep. If you begin to feel very sleepy; this is not meditation.

-Whatever your position, try to remain as still as possible. Things obviously sometimes get in the way; like an itch and you should scratch the itch, even if it distracts you. You want to remain still but also free from pain and distractions or movement as possible.

-Focus on something; some methods have you listen to music or hum or chant yourself but I've sat in quiet. You can even think a series of words, poems etc. Or focus on something simple like you're breathing. You should be focused on one thing but not letting your mind wonder. You want to avoid distractions; (anything like a knock at the door will likely pull you out of it). The focus should be on something that doesn't require much though. If you're thinking things like "am I meditating well right now?" you're not doing it correctly.
Note: that it may take  practice to be able to do this effectively. Some of us, especially depending on our current life situation have very active minds. If you are very stressed or worried over something going on, thoughts will bubble up to distract you more often than otherwise. This only means it may take you longer or more practice to get it.


Another type I call "fixed point meditation"

-this is very similar but instead of closing your eyes, keep them open and stare at a particular thing. You should start by having your head level, looking straight ahead, then lower it slightly to a comfortable position so you're looking at the floor or near it. Find something to stare at (doesn't matter what it is) and focus on it and don't look away from it. You may blink, but you may noticed the meditation resetting every time you blink severely.
-As the above; music and mantras (whether spoken aloud or not) may help.


How do I know if it's working?

1) For simple or basic meditation, all that needs to happen is you feel relaxed and forget about whatever's troubling/worrying you or preoccupying your mind. The goal here should be simply to feel better all around. Your mind may feel clearer. You may feel more positive and may have reduced stress. This in turn may lead to an improvement in thinking or your ability to solve problems (maybe a particular problem that's worrying you).

2) For deeper meditation; you'll know immediately when it's working.
-You're breathing will slow and become quieter.
-Your body will begin to feel incredibly still like a statue.
-Your heart rate my decrease and your body temperature may decrease.
-You'll begin to have a very weird, indescribably feeling.
-Afterward you may be filled with a profound calmness and peaceful feeling.

If it's your first time and it disturbs you; keep in mind all you need to do is turn, look away or get up and the feeling will pass immediately. None of this should stick with you to a large degree long after meditation. If it does; seek medical help. I've not yet read of anyone experiencing this problem.

And lastly; don't be afraid. As I've stated numerous times in this blog; I've not yet read of anyone experiencing negative physical or mental health problems directly due to meditation.

---------
After a few weeks of this type of meditation I can report a few things;

-It most definitely helps me feel relaxed and less stressed. I always do it when I get home from work and after showering. Before I started meditating, I often felt exhausted after work and would spend a while either sitting in front of the TV or PC and just watching a video, reluctant to get to work on anything productive or creative (my actual passions in life). Since I've started this new routine, I feel more alert afterwards and more motivated to do the things I want. And more generally I've found I just waste less time after settling down after getting home.

-After a few days when I actually started 'getting the gist of it' so to speak;
Within a minute or two of meditating in this way I could become aware or define a distinct state in my mind, separate from my ordinary state (doing anything else like typing at the PC or talking to a person, that is). And this state is also definitely different in a subtle way from just 'day dreaming' or closing my eyes to rest and/or go to sleep. Beyond that I cannot describe it.

-After several minutes of this type of meditation I sometime will see images in my mind, coming seemingly from nowhere. The images have been simple and vague. Often blurry shapes, usually flying by at fast speeds or things just so incoherent I couldn't describe them at all. Rarely it's been large sweeping colors of images but very blurry and unable to discern. If I try to focus or think about these things they go away immediately; causing me to wonder if it ever happened at all.

-------
Now the weird part:
The past few days I've tried a slightly different technique:

-I will sit and do the above but only for a minute or so to calm myself and get me into a relaxed state.
-Then I open my eyes and now focus on a single object. I don't think it matters what the object is. The key is to look straight at this and nothing else. Keep your body and eyes perfectly still.
(I think this works better for me (for the below purpose at least) because I have a very active mind. And when I close my eyes it easily wonders)

-On demand, if I do this correctly, something bizarre clearly beings to happen to me.
Within just a few minutes, my visual perception changes in a way that is very difficult to describe. I can only explain here, a sort of "approximation" of what is happening, so please keep that in mind when reading this;
-I'm sitting in my room, on the floor and my carpet is brown. The room is lit but dimly; its sunny but the shades are drawn.
-I'm staring at a box of pencils (this is the object I'm using for this demonstration. Specifically; a tiny sticker on the box). I can see of course; the floor and my bed etc, even though I'm focused on the box.
-The floor changes color, or looses it's color. It seems to move, sort of grow larger then it fades away, like it's disappearing. Everything else but the pencil box becomes strange and fades.
-First time a strange whiteness surrounded my field of vision in a circle and felt in a way, like it was closing in on me. Second time it was a black darkness doing the same.
-I became aware or at least it felt like my pupils became dilated. Or I could somehow feel myself staring in a weird way.
I could go on but as I said, these are only approximations. Describing this scenario is super difficult.
-As you might expect; this was a little frightening. The last time my heart literally started beating heavily. So I stopped. The 'feeling my eyes' thing actually was the scariest part. As soon as I look away from the pencil box; everything goes back to normal instantly and I'm okay. I feel fine, alert, not harmed or distressed emotionally in any way. My floor is just the way it should be and my eyes feel fine and normal...

But now, needless to say, I'm feeling very unsure how to feel about this. I questioned my own sanity. Am I really okay? is this normal? ....Well apparently it is... to some extent. If you read up on meditation you'll find a lot of bizarre and at times unbelievable things. Since then I've become much less afraid, though I'll admit it is still a bit unnerving at times.

So now I must admit that I went into this as a skeptic thinking that there was little to this or meditation was merely a way to relax and help you think clearer, but nothing more. I can honestly say there is obviously more to it than that! I want to keep doing it but I'm honestly now nervous about it. I am determined to keep trying however, I will do it a little bit at a time, doing longer/deeper every time. And I will be sure to report back here on what I find.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2018, 10:22:38 pm by mobius »
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakwin Rinzai

"Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man"
-the Dude


Offline mobius

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2018, 09:38:03 pm »
I failed to mention one more oddity that happens if I close my eyes in this method;

An intense stillness came over me then I felt my eyes moving rapidly around when I had them closed. This was uncomfortable to me so I would stop.

after doing a little bit of (more) research I believe I enter a REM-like state. This is also apparently normal; or at least some-what common.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapid_eye_movement_sleep#cite_ref-8

https://www.quora.com/Is-REM-and-trembling-during-meditation-normal   

Also; here are some quick elaborations on the benefits to meditation. No idea if this is well documented however;
https://www.quora.com/topic/Meditation-Practices
   
   
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakwin Rinzai

"Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man"
-the Dude


Offline ccexplore

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2018, 12:56:30 am »
No personal experiences to speak of, but kind of wondering if the bizarre thing with visual perception might perhaps just be a side effect of having less or no blinking of eyes while you are staring at the object of focus.  I seem to recall reading that physiologically, the rods and cones in your retina will gradually adapt when the same amount of light continues to hit them over prolonged duration.  This could perhaps result in some of those strange experience you reported where things in your field of vision start to fade or disappear.  When you're in a more awake state the unconscious blinking of your eyes (together with you generally not staring at one thing for very long) may have made it a lot less likely for the rods and cones in your eye to reach the point where they start adapting to their stimuli.

Offline mobius

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2018, 02:37:56 am »
This sounds reasonable, and it may be part of it. But I believe there is more to it. Partly because there is much more feeling here that is sadly impossible to describe in words.

After several times now it's getting easier to do. And getting into this 'state' (as it can clearly be defined as a state different from ordinary state) happens quicker now. I still chickened out twice and didn't do it for very long so I'm not giving a very qualitative account as of yet.

Everytime though I can feel it coming on and it's weird because in a way, it's familiar. I think whenever we stare at anything for even a brief period you get a slight feeling; just a feeling of distinctness, let's say. "staring at one object and ignoring other stuff". During this meditation, this feeling is amplified to a large degree. I think I may be being misleading with this.

Most recent time it was as follows;
first time, a blurry greyness surrounded my field of view and close in on me.

second time, only minutes later, but pretty differently; the floor expanded away from me and I began to feel like I was rising up. But it's important to note: distinctly not like I was physically rising in the space of my room. But sort of like I was rising up inside my head.

Interestingly enough though, after these two sessions tonight my worry melted away and I feel much more confident now. I want to try it for longer. I'd like to try listening to music during sometime.

As a person who is reluctant to believe in things like this myself; I assure anyone reading; this is very real and all you have to do is try it yourself to see. Don't be discouraged if all this doesn't happen right away. I've been doing this for several weeks now and it's only recently this started happening like this.
Here I always thought meditation just meant sitting calmly and thinking deep thoughts or relaxing... there's a whole other world that's worth investigation here.

----------

more info:
One theory about the mind I've read is that our brains work in "layers". And meditation in this manner (or taking certain drugs) dissolves or turns off the upper or more complex layers so your mind reverts to a lower layer, more primitive, simpler state. Ultimately this leads to such bizarre feelings and possibly the healing effects as routines and structures in your mind may get re-arranged.

It is well documented in any case that what is known as the "default mode network" in the brain slows or shuts down completely during these activities. Brain scans of experienced mediators and people on LSD have demonstrated this. The Default mode network is not a specific area of the brain per say, rather a routine of common connections of different parts. It is believed this network is responsible for daydreaming, self reflection, theory of mind, whenever you are not focused on solving a specific problem etc, this activates, thus "default mode". When studying people on hallucinatory drugs they expected to see lots of brain activity since those drugs are supposedly such a spectacle and intense. Yet what they found was much less activity. For further reading I recommend looking up "Johns-Hopkins psilocybin studies". It is really fascinating.
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakwin Rinzai

"Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man"
-the Dude


Offline mobius

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2018, 01:46:51 am »
I altered my first post to clarify some things (for the benefit of anyone reading this who's never done this and might try it themselves and hasn't read much about it.

------

After going one day without meditation, it immediately became slightly more difficult to do so the following day. It seems repetition/routine really matters here.

I meditated 3 times today (to make up for avoiding it yesterday due to silly anxiety, which I believe I am getting over). First time I started shortly after waking up, with eyes open. It wasn't as intense but afterward I felt noticeably colder almost to the point of shivering then before. This may have been due to it previously being humid and I sweated then my body temperature dropped slightly.
Next I did it at my usual time (late afternoon) for about 10-15 minutes, (actually sticking with it) with eyes closed.  I experienced what I will describe in detail below. I tried again a little later with eyes open and got somewhere a little bit but kept getting distracted and lost.
It seems if I move significantly; (example: to scratch my face) the effect is lost and it must be started over. Even things like gulping and breathing too heavily losses progress a little bit.

------
Since scientifically; little is understood of this, and these experiences appear to be very subjective for now I'm going to call some things by arbitrary names I chose, just to make this blog easier to understand.
------

So far, my experiences while as I already stated seem to be reliant on routine and practice, they also seem to be somewhat random*.

For now I have a few somewhat definable states. The first I will call expansion.
This may happen with eyes closed or open, but seems easier to induce with eyes closed.
This may be my proprioception being altered#
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sense#Proprioception

When this happens (as usual it happens gradually and slowly) my arms and legs but also the floor and things around me (which suggests it *doesn't* have anything to do with proprioception) feel like they are farther away from me then they should be. This happened to me several times with eyes closed; only once with eyes open. My hands (whether I look at them or move them) feel like they are becoming small and far away.
Then, the opposite happens and my hands and floor feel like they are very close to me and large.
Another way to put it is it feels like my mind or my mental image is growing smaller or somehow removed from my environment, then bigger and closer to it.
I moved my hands around in front of my face slowly a little during this. During the early stage my hands felt distant and tiny, unrealistically so. During the latter stage they suddenly felt very close; closer then they should be and extremely large.
It's also important to note that not only my arms and legs or any actual physical object; but my imagination is effected as well. If I imagine to myself, an apple for instance, it seems to large and unrealistic and neither close nor far away from me. I don't seem to have a full control over how I imagine things in my mind at this point.
The initial transition as I said was gradual, but the transition from the first part to the latter part seemed sudden. It didn't seem really such as a transition of one feeling to another but a more extreme form of the same thing but somehow having sort of the opposite effect. The latter effect is certainty more powerful then the beginning.

The following is with eyes closed. I've not gotten this far with eyes open. And the further along the more difficult it is to describe.
As it gets more powerful it feels overwhelming and scary. The only reason I feel remotely comfortable with this is because I've experienced it several times now and am learning to deal with it.
As the feeling grows further still it feels like I'm falling or being enveloped into something else. Like something is taking over my mind, which again is not exactly pleasant.
Further still my mind feels like nothing is there anymore. At least nothing recognizable. With my eyes closed under non-meditative conditions I can imagine my room as it really is as I would be sitting in it. Under this condition it seems my room is gone. But not like I left to some other place. A better way to state it might be like I've shrunken down so small I no longer recognize the place where I once was.
---
Recently I went pretty deep again and can describe it a little differently;
While everything in my mind still feels totally out of whack in size and location, there begins an intense pulling sensation mixed with falling and lifting sensation. It feels like my body or mind is both falling down and rising up or being pulled apart or stretched by both ends.
Each stage is scary especially for the first few times. The early stages I'm not as afraid of anymore now that I've experienced those several times, though I still find it unnerving even to begin meditating now.

I also would not describe this as the so often talked about "out of body experience". Yet anyways, since I've never had one of these, maybe this is it and I just don't realize it yet.

This feeling is vaguely reminiscent of lightheartedness, but it's definitely different. Lightheartedness may be happening along side it as well.


The next feeling I'm calling colorization.

This only happens with eyes open. This also may actually be in reality the same thing as above just feels different because my eyes are open and I'm seeing.
Using the fixed point method-- Whatever I'm looking at stays in focus while everything else begins to out of focus but not in the usual way, when looking around, wide awake. In the usual way whatever is out of focus gets blurry. Under this condition instead the out of focus (And eventually what's in focus) changes color and texture. If my eyes move in the slightest way the movement feels unnatural. Once, while perfectly still patterns emerged and rotated around on my carpet floor by themselves (like looking at rippling water or better: looking at something through a mesh screen) even though there was no actual movement that I was aware of. Sometimes my vision gets blurry or like a grey fog is shrouding my vision.


*Yes, I remember my recent blog post (which I discontinued) stating I believe "random" essentially means there are actual causes but I am ignorant of them. That is still what I believe. Thus I am presently ignorant of the reasons for my different experiences.

#In short proprioception refers to our ability to sense where our arms and legs are, even with our eyes closed.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2018, 01:02:00 am by mobius »
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakwin Rinzai

"Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man"
-the Dude


Offline mobius

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2018, 12:30:26 am »
Today I meditated closed-eyed.
After a while, once I entered the 'zone' there were/was a large spot in front of my eyelids, pulsating and burning like the sun. Then my body felt like it was spinning counterclockwise horizontally at a constant speed. I had REM as well, thought this isn't bothering me as much now. As before if I opened my eyes the feeling instantly goes away.
The feeling was sort of magical and (like before) kind of filled me with delight.

Idk if this is a coincidence or not but I've noticed the past week since I've been meditating like this I've been extremely tired in the late evening. (I was often though since long before I've meditated. But this specific fatigue it seems to come and go for weeks at a time.
I fell asleep in front of the TV after this tonight and when I woke up an hour later forgetting where I was, when, what time it was or day it was. I got paranoid for a moment thinking I slept through a whole night or something. I felt very weird. Again, I think this was mostly just my own fear overacting.

----

I want to reiterate my earlier warnings;
If you decide to meditate yourself; read up on it or have a guide. And take it slowly and carefully. Watch your reactions to each session closely.
This is a serious thing;  the ultimate goal is you're taking a more direct control over your brain. It's like mental exercise. And like physical exercise; it is not without pain, and if done incorrectly you can do more harm than good.
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakwin Rinzai

"Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man"
-the Dude


Offline mobius

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2018, 01:19:02 am »
After learning a bit more I've made some better notes for someone who's maybe never done it and thinking of trying;
This is all based on various articles and forums I've read and my own experience. Please keep in mind, I'm rather new to it myself. I've only been following simple guides I've read about. I'm not religious.

Reasons for meditating: Meditation can help you rest, relax and reduce stress in your life, not just for one particular occasion, but make you permanently learn to deal with stress better. It can help you learn about yourself. It can help you become more disciplined. It's important to note however, that meditation isn't some kind of  pill that will magically make you a better person. It takes hard work and thought otherwise as well, to really


tips for beginners:

-If you've never meditated before; you may feel silly the first time doing it. Put this emotion aside; it's not useful to you. If it keeps coming back, keeping pushing it aside.
-Do it alone, in a room where you cannot be disturbed. Turn your phone off or the volume down. Set aside 10-20 minutes for this. Remember that everything in the world can wait until this is over. This is your time; your physical and mental problems are now on hold. They will still be there when you're done. You will not think about them during meditation.
-Where comfortable clothing. Uncomfortable clothing can provide a distraction. Also be at a comfortable room temperature if possible.
-Be in a place that is not too bright or too dark. Be in a reasonably quiet place (but it doesn't have to be totally silent).
-The stereotypical posture for meditation is sitting cross legged. This can be beneficial but is not necessary. Your position should be as such:
 -You must be comfortable enough to avoid distractive pain, but not so comfortable that you may easily fall asleep.
 -You may simply sit in a chair.
 -I don't recommend lying down, though I've read some people do this.
 -If you have trouble falling asleep; try a posture that requires more attention to maintain (less comfortable).
 -I personally like the cross legged position because of this; I have a little discomfort and don't fall asleep but not so much that it distracts me. If you do this use a cushion or something to sit on. It helps if your butt is raised slightly above your feet; this will force your back into a more healthy position. If your ankles hurt on a hard floor have something soft under them as well.
-During the meditation if you experience minor discomforts like a very small itch. Try to ignore it. You may find that after a while these feelings will go away on their own. If it is something like a strong itch that will not go away, scratch. A strong distraction like this  will break your focus.
-What time of day you do it will most likely have an effect on your meditation. Sleep, food and whatever you've been doing recently has an effect as well. You may notice having an easier time meditating at certain times than others. You may have an easier time doing it before or after certain events like sleep or doing something strenuous.


TYPES OF MEDITATION

There are possibly hundreds or more types of meditation and they have many different purposes. Many of them however, from what I read seem to be very similar or are trying to achieve the same thing. I think the differences come down to how much it's done and how deep the meditation is. By 'deep' I'm referring to altering your mind/consciousness. A 'deep' meditation is difficult to achieve but noticeable immediately has more profound effects.

Some common types are;
so-called "Mindfulness" this article explains it well; https://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/
This is a simple form of meditation that I would recommend, it's close to what I do. The goals of this are mainly to become more aware of yourself and develop more control over yourself in every aspect of your life.

Another different type called "Loving-Kindness"
https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/loving_kindness_meditation
Basically the goal of this meditation is to become a more loving and happy person, and to treat others with love.

--------------


When I began I used a technique called "focused attention" where I focused on my breathing.

Basically what you do is this;
1. Get into your position, whatever it is. Take a moment to get comfortable. Plan to spend about 10-20 minutes for this. You may do it longer if you wish but most people recommend starting with brief sessions then going longer as you get better at it.
2. Close your eyes then think about your breathing. Think about each breath, inhale and exhale. Don't breath heavily or slowly just breath as normal but focus on it, on the feeling in your lungs as well as the movement of your body during each breath.
   An alternative to focus on breath is to repeat (either internally or vocally) a mantra to yourself. This can be anything really, the point is it's merely sort of hypnotizing you. One I sometimes follow is; "I am not this body, I am not even this mind." over and over again. Then of course there's the Buddhist "Ommmm..." chant. I've not tried that.
   Another alternative is to listen to music. Calm, classical, new age or ambient type of music is best for this.
3. As you do this, naturally thoughts will pop into your head. Whether or not you're new to this or having a stress filled day. Do not become angry at your thoughts and try to drive them out. Just leave them alone, try to pay them as little attention as possible. Don't let them distract you. When thoughts arise simple ignore them and refocus on your breath.
   You may find, especially in the beginning, that you end up spending several minutes thinking, being carried away by a thought until you realize it and return to your breathing. This is normal. After much time and practice this will happen less.

   
Now when I begin I only focus on breath for a few minutes, then switch to doing the following:
   
1. As you get good at 'letting go' of your thoughts and feelings of your body it will become easier. You may be able to begin to develop a better understanding of your thoughts and how your mind works. Now try to not even focus on your breathing; but focus on nothing. You'll know it is working if you begin to feel comfortable with a stillness or darkness (I don't mean that in any bad connotation) in your head. Pay no attention to what's going on in your mind, just let it happen.
2. Sit as still as possible, not moving a muscle. Even gulping may break your focus. You may begin to feel differently in regards to your body. Don't worry about it, embrace it. Don't dwell on it too much, take delight in the new feeling.
3. If you enter this state for even a brief period it should make you feel immensely calm. When opening your eyes it may feel even as though you just took a nap. Don't try overly hard to get to this point. It likely won't work if you do. As of now I really do not understand what enables me to achieve it or not. I think you must be in a right state of mind, which may depend on many factors. Getting better at the first stage of meditation first may help.


Things to keep in mind, if you begin practicing like this regularly:

-However you do it; practice regularly. As I said it takes practice and you'll find it getting easier and more beneficial if it is done on a regular basis.

-In the beginning it may be difficult, more so than you expected even. Don't get discouraged; just keep trying. It takes practice; some people meditated for years before reaching "progress".

-Meditation can make you tired. This is because during the day our bodies use adrenaline to keep us alert when we may actually need rest. Meditation can break you out of this state and let you know how tired your body really is. If you feel very sleepy after such a meditation; get some sleep.

some physical things to be aware of
-you may experience REM (rapid eye movement). This just means your eyes vibrate back and forth. It may be disturbing at first but I'm getting used to it. It does not always happen. It may lower your heart rate and blood pressure, and body temperature a little bit. Your legs and/or arms may fall asleep (thus become tingly). I've read that some people even experience tremors or shaking.

-Deep meditation may bring thoughts or emotions to the surface that you had buried or were repressed. For me these have often come out hours later. Your dreams likely may change as well. IMHO, from my reading, I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, but rather an indication that bad things are going on in our life that need dealing with, that we may have been neglecting. But this can be an obstacle to overcome. It may make you think that meditation is doing you harm, but I don't think it is.

-A very deep meditation brings your mind to an altered state of consciousness. Not a lot of people (Especially in the Western world) experience this or are familiar with it. In fact, science has only recently been investigating it and it's not well understood. But in simple terms, during a successful deep meditation like I described above, a part of your brain is actually shutting down (temporarily). It is not harmful (in fact can be amazingly helpful) but it can be very weird and alarming and thus, seem to be harmful to you at first. If you experience anything like I have; you'll understand why I may have seemed vague in some of my posts. Some of the feelings are really beyond words to describe.

-If you meditate deeply; when finished, ease slowly back into whatever you plan on doing afterwards. Don't immediately drive or operate machinery for example (this is likely not a big deal, but better safe than sorry I always say). You may feel weird for a little bit afterwards.

-This is re-arranging brain cells and in the long run may have a profound effect on yourself. You can stop any time you want. Don't feel forced or pressure to meditate. You should do it if you feel it's helping you.

more helpful tips for beginners: https://www.verywellmind.com/meditation-made-simple-meditation-for-beginners-3144773
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakwin Rinzai

"Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man"
-the Dude


Offline mobius

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2018, 12:18:37 am »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_in_Wonderland_syndrome

^^ I finally found it! This is exactly what I've experienced! all of the symptoms fit my scenario almost exactly. I had it as a child. And the rare times it happens by itself are near sleep as it says. It seems now that I can bring this on demand through meditation! This may explain why it doesn't *always* happen during meditation, it's not supposed to!

I finally solved a mystery from 20+ years ago! :D :D :D
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakwin Rinzai

"Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man"
-the Dude


Offline mobius

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2019, 01:56:03 am »
After developing a practice/habit of meditating every day for about six months now I can say a few things a bout it:

My long term memory seems to be improving. I can remember old memories from my childhood more clearly and vividly. Very often sounds or smells remind me of old times. I didn't used to think about my past very much..

I can remember my dreams far more often then before.

While I can't (yet) say that I am in more control of my emotions/get less angry less often etc; I can definitely say I'm more aware of this issue and what I need to work on. I often become aware more quickly than before of when I'm getting carried away, getting unnecessarily  angry or upset. And I can cool down quicker, realizing what is going on and what I'm doing.

One of the biggest goals of meditation is awareness. You become more aware of everything and yourself. Getting lost in thought; which is a big problem for me, something I didn't even realize was this much of a problem until now.

A lot of the physical things I talked about before are a side point. They may be important, they may not. I meditate now in a way that's comfortable for me (which means I don't often have any of these 'symptoms' anymore).

Here are good videos explaining a lot of things useful for people who've never meditated before;

why meditate? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOHH6pxYi8A
guided meditation: https://youtu.be/5GSeWdjyr1c
Zen meditation and postures/further advice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_djWyC1-_4&list=PLB5E9F159C9FEF42E
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakwin Rinzai

"Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man"
-the Dude


Offline grams88

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2019, 09:52:42 am »
Hi Mobius, Hi everyone

Thanks for sharing Mobius, this will be helpful to a lot of people. :)

I'm glad to hear that the meditation has helped. :thumbsup: My doctor or therapist recommended I try mindfulness to tackle the ocd, one of the things I remember mostly was a task where my therapist was saying to stick a message somewhere in my room where each morning I wake up I see the message and it reminds me that I'm not my thoughts. If I remember correctly I think the message was (You are not your thoughts). I felt that this message did help me as I was still struggling with the intrusive thoughts.

One thing that does come to mind when I think of mindfulness is when it comes to eating food is being mindful when you are eating. If we can apply this technique to lots of areas in our life I think this can only be a positive approach if done properly.

That is cool that you are remembering your dreams more. :)