Common fears I've felt about / during meditation, especially when I first began the static art of silence...
...will I lose my sense of identity?
...will I still be able to "predict" situations so I can be prepared to react to them?
...he who does not advance, falls behind?
...can I redefine "advance"?
...will I become some kind of "nature boy" and be mocked by the egoists around me?
When these thoughts recurr during my meditaions, I usually envision myself slicing the thoughts yokomenuchi with the sharpest live blade money can't buy.
A little bit of Peking Duck for thought,
Drew "Zazen for Nothing and your Seiza for Free" Gardner
Meditation is a state of being that is attained for the conscious and in the silence, it is the practice of combining harmony of body, mind and spirit to further your life in a positive way that can only be achieved by the indidvidual, it is personal. It is the ability to attune oneself to the finer vibration of the world around us, not to be some sort of weirdo, but, to blend with our surrounding and those that surround us, to create balance and harmony with all and self. To be inconspicuous in the guidance of our fellow man along the pathway to ultimate inner peace.
As I read in an Iaido newsletter: they gave the perfect way to achieve satori.
Sit. Simply Sit.
The people who mock don't do it out of 'ego' they do it out of fear of the unknown, or jealousy because they can't do it themselves.
I began meditation about the same time I began Aikido, though not in any way connected, and have had some very interesting experiences. My biggest problems comes from quieting my conscious mind in order to let my intuitive/instinctive mind come to the fore. I haven't experience any of those questions though. Just a mind full of everyday clutter which, in my current inexperienced state is difficult to shut out!!
In response to Pete's
Don't try to quieten your mind... that just adds more "noise" and pushes the quiet further away.
Just let the stuff that's happening go away on its' own. Listen to your breath. Don't try to "not listen" to the other stuff ... just don't dwell on it and get hung up on it.
Lots of people try to put themselves into a state where everything is "shut down" and is calm or quiet. My zen teacher always called that "putting yourself to sleep while awake."
I think the state we can approach is "alive, awake, aware, and free." When we can really focus and put our attention where we choose, the extraneous stuff just quiets on its own.
Breath and pay attention to what's happening!
I hadn't thought of things in that way!!
And Drew, you are welcome!!
meditation is also deep prayer. In kyra yoga you use breath control to get your body mind and spirit in the state where you and talk to God. we call the talking to god deep prayer. now that is a very simplified way of telling about 1 from of meditation. but I have two of my favoret sayings under my sleves. I did not make these up so i am not wise but here goes nothin.
" Be still and know that I am God." - God from the bible
" It is better to have a prayer with a heart and without words (medition without praying but raidiation love and manifesting good things) than a prayer with words and without a heart ( praying but only wanting and not showing love and not meanign what you say."
having a buddhist background all my life, given by my parents who are buddhist I have some experience with meditation, whilst I don't meditate on a regular basis I feel I know something about meditation.
In meditation we aim to be mindful, mindful of our surroundings, meditation can be done at anytime at anyplace and anything, which is one reason which I love to practice aikido. It is very easy to apply meditation when training, to just be aware and mindful of the movements.
When meditating don't try to quiten your mind or not think....instead just don't dwell on any thoughts, don't force them away just let them pass. If there is a sound, say a car driving....just be aware that it is a sound.....it's hard to explain but I hope you understand what I am trying to say :)
After training here in sydney with my current iwama dojo I hope to maybe get to experience some aikido which is much closer to the spiritual side and I would very much like to gain some experience with zen buddhism, my parents follow tibetan buddhism.
once again just my two cents worth
Shadow - Zen meditation techniques are just as you say - being mindful. Maintaining awareness and stopping the mind. For a long time I repressed thoughts in meditation, and I think many people take this approach, having never been shown anything different. Aikido meditation techniques are excellent for focussing the mind on the breath (also an integral part of Zen), my instructor does alot of chi-gung style meditation with his students as he also teaches Tai Chi and the two sets of meditation strategies work very well together.
My own practice is a mixture of Taoist meditations (standing, chi-gung) and zen style (in seiza.) The techniques are very different but also complimentary - the standing is very good for alowing the mind to clear and relaxing the body so that once you sit you are already in an open and aware state of mind.
Master Moy has often been quoted as saying that Tai Chi is just preparation for meditation and whilst aikido is much more dynamic it is also excellent preparation.
The thing I like especially about these systems is that they aren't connected to some 'higher being' this sort of dualistic visualisation is good, in my opinion, only for clouding the mind and cluttering it with nonsense. Meditation is all about stopping and seeing. As Nick put it. Just sit.
> ...will I lose my sense of identity?
We tend to think of the word "lose" as having negative connotations. Losing one's sense of identity through zazen is equivalent to disseminating one's delusions. Is that so bad?
> ...will I still be able to "predict" situations so I can be prepared to react to them?
True zen practice is clear vision. Prediction without clear vision is based on a conception of how things are, not how it really is.
> ...he who does not advance, falls behind?
Be mindful of such concerns. Ideas of advancing and falling behind are just that -- ideas. Be present and do not be concerned with attainment or loss.
> ...can I redefine "advance"?
Yes. Just be present, and be mindful of when you start to wander.
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