As the name implies this is all about meditation.
Do you want to get more into meditation? Or reawaken your former meditation practice?
Here is a good start!
Do you want to use meditation to de-stress? Or become more focused and act with more intent and awareness? Or go all in, in the pursuit of the deep states like Jhana and self-liberation?
Then this is so for you!
No matter what the aspiration/intention might be one of the results will most likely be that you discover more about yourself <3
So come join us for an hour of meditation, talking and togetherness.
The structure will be such that the first 10 minutes I will rant a bit about meditation in general, types, kinds and what have you.
Followed by 10 minutes of guided meditation, this might be loving-kindness, body scan, emotional or whatever seems appropriate.
After this we will talk for about 10 minutes(those who want) on how it went and what we felt.
Then I will rant a bit on meditation technique, and we will do a 10-minute breath-meditation and finish it with a short discussion(those who want) on how it felt.
To begin with it will be every Tuesday from 1930 – 2030, @ Bioteket, if there is interest for more a second weekly meditation event might be set up depending on the demand.
Here are some closing smarty-pants-words:
The before is gone and soon might never come, there is only now, every now has its I and each is unique. So don’t take stuff to personally, it will all pass, relax, smile, experience the now and be kind.
Ok I was lying because here are some more…
Meditation in a really squeezed nutshell for those who want to know a bit more(its fair if you don’t, class dismissed ❤️ ):
When having noticed that the intention to keep attention on something previously agreed upon is gone, thank this part that lets you reawaken to the present. Relax, you are actually meditating! Smile! And gently bring back attention… yes that simple, let’s see how easy it is to maintain.
A purpose of meditation in an equally tight nutshell:
Subdue the reactive and doing part of the mind to give room for the perceiving knowing part of the mind. Then let go of anything causing tension like efforting, feeling achievement-stress and anxiety. To let go of the I-like-it/I-don’t-like-it part of the mind. Learn how to stay still in the present by not doing or reacting, resting in an effortless and non-judgmental state in experiencing the present. To relax without aversion or grasping with a non-agitated mind at peace. Then we can just accept what is as it is and enjoy it with joy and equanimity. This leads to more wholesome actions in our life leading to more long-term-niceness stuffs.
For those eager for more info(and its totally fair that you had enough already)…
How I meditate in a coco-nut-shell:
Assuming I’m sitting, I sit as straight as I can in a fashion so that I can maintain the position for as long as needed. I fidget around until it feels symmetrical and pleasant, I often imagine the top of my head being as high towards the sky as possible.
I position my tongue up to the roof of my mouth with the tip just touching the backside of my front teeth and lightly pinch it with my bottom teeth and now I can’t clench my jaw. This helps me remember that I’m meditating and when I bring my attention back to the meditation I reposition my tongue back to this position. It’s kind of a cue for me that I’m going back to meditating.
Sometimes I take between 3 and 10 breaths where I draw air in deeply imagining it going in through my solar plexus. I hold it for a short while, imagining concentrating all un-satisfactoriness/unease/hurt in the solar plexus region and expel it through my mouth or the top of my head slightly forcefully.
When this is done, I decide on what to meditate on, let’s say breath or loving kindness, I attempt to give my subconsciousness an easy instruction set and repeat it 3 times. For example: I want to watch my breath and be quick to discover when I don’t, when I discover that I have forgotten it I want to have a laugh about it. I really try and feel how it feels to follow my breath and how it feels to get distracted and then I “ask” my subconsciousness “if” “we” can have a laugh about how crappy meditators we are in a playful way, and when I get an emotional “yes” response, I say/feel thank you/gratitude.
I can always change my meditation object during a meditation but then I always go through these steps again, it’s basically just starting a new meditation.
So as already mentioned, when noticing i have forgotten what I was meditating on I thank that part of “myself” for the moment of awakening from the daydream I was previously in.
Then I try and note what kind of distraction it was for example planning, fantasizing about future scenarios, reminiscing about the past, or just thinking and so forth. I do this to see how the process that led to it looked like and I try to understand it. “Understand it” here is more than just noticing, it has a component of remembrance, to identify and note the relevant/important parts of it. These are the insights that lead to increased wisdom. With time having more insights for a more detiald statistical analysis when looking for patterns in life. I try to find anything leading to craving or aversion in the distraction and understand it. I don’t spend time or attention on the thought or emotion itself, because I don’t want to feed and empower my distractions. I just look at the craving part and in what emotions it has its roots such as unfulfilled desire, insecurity, abandonment, fear(of what?), loneliness, mistrust, and so forth. I don’t look for events that might have led me to be this way as this is too uncertain to work with for me.
Then I try and notice the feeling of tightness in my mind and/or body when in that state, and how it feels to let it go. There is importance in learning to let it go, to relax because my next step is to bring myself back to the present moment with a lighthearted mood and here I always smile/smirk a bit. What I do to aid this process is to remember that I’m actually meditating and not just talking/thinking about it!
So after having noticed the distraction, thanking the noticing part of me for the noticing, for this gives me the choice to not continue on this path. Only then do I shift my attention gently back to the meditation object again. I usually keep smiling for a while and keep it as pleasant as I can while staying mindful for as long as I can. I only stay aware of the meditation object to the extent needed to maintain mindfulness. Sometimes I do follow some narrow bandwidth meditation object closely and just keep shifting attention back to the object as I soon notice that i lost focus.
Though I “need” to stay relaxed and present, it is not the same as casual mindfulness = kind-of-mindful, alertness is the state to be in, and I try to remember that boredom is the lack of attention.
At times I periodically remind myself that there is a body, or there is breath or seeing or feeling or whatever my meditation object is.
When I forget my meditation object at some point, and this is just a matter of time, I always try and remember that it’s a good thing! for it will also bring a new moment of awakening to the present! I am no longer in a daydream but in a mindful moment! Exactly what I aspire towards.
All this got easier and way more pleasant with less preference to what I would like to happen and more practice obviously.
I attempt to stay with the moment in the moment! and not lean into the next moment by for example watching the in-breath in order to get to the out-breath, and just be here now.
Why do I even meditate at all?:
My meditation practice started as a coping mechanism, after a longer period with stress and anxiety leading to depression leading to addiction, meditation was distilled gold!
With time I noticed it had far more potential than “just” being a coping mechanism, I was discovering that what I thought I was, was not what I was seeing/experiencing. I started reading about meditation and stumbled upon Buddhism(I do not consider myself Buddhist) and they sure do have some tight manuals on how to proceed like for example the Satipatthana Sutta.
So here I will describe how I perceive some of the important parts of Buddhist conduct.
Here is the 8-fold path, lifestyle guidelines with some extras in a pretty tight nutshell:
1) Right View(Right Understanding / Right Perspective).
To get to the right view of the world, one must first understand and follow the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism:
T1… All existence often includes suffering’, ‘anguish’, ‘pain’, and/or ‘un-satisfactoriness’.
T2… The cause of this is craving, in particular it is our tendency to grasp at things or alternatively to push them away(aversion), and this places us fundamentally at odds with the way life really is.
T3… The cessation of this comes with the cessation of craving and aversion. As we are the ultimate cause of our difficulties, we are also the solution. We cannot change the things that happen to us, but we can change our responses.
T4… The 8-fold path leads to the cessation of craving and aversion.
Right View, along with Right Thought constitutes the path to Wisdom.
2) Right Thought(Right Resolve / Right Intention) in simple terms means to free oneself from having ill-will towards anyone or anything by making them/it ones enemy.
This can also be defined as, “Resolve in favor of renunciation of anything conflicting with what is mentioned in this list(s).
3) Right Speech is abstaining from:
and any form of harmful or wrong speech.
Right Speech, along with Right Action and Right Living constitute the path to Virtue.
4) Right Action(Right Conduct). The five precepts of Right Action are to refrain from:
P1… destroying sentient beings and/or making them suffer.
P3… sexual misconduct.
P4… false speech.
P5… intoxicants which lead to heedlessness.
These can be summarized as, “Avoidance of actions that conflict with moral discipline”.
5) Right Living(Right Livelihood) means that one should only take a job or pursue a career in a field that does no harm to sentient beings directly or indirectly.
6) Right Effort(Right Endeavor) is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake in each moment, the effort to overcome laziness and any of the 10 defilements which are basically mental states that cloud the mind and manifest in unwholesome actions and include states of mind such as anxiety, fear, anger, jealousy, desire, depression, craving, aversion etc.:
5… wrong views
And the effort to make each activity of our day meditation by acting with intent and self-awareness. This concept is about pursuing wholesome things that promote a good conscience.
Another definition: Cultivation of what is wholesome and avoidance of what is unwholesome. Such as thoughts and actions that are taken personally and lead to identification such as “this is me or who I am” and/or are in conflict with anything else mentioned in this list(s).
Right Effort, along with Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration constitute the path to erm niceness stuffs. Niceness basically being mindfulness without aversion or grasping with a non-agitated mind. Mindfulness being the non-judgmental non-attached observation of the present (this is not the same as being detached).
7) Right Mindfulness(Right memory) is about remaining attentive/mindful of one’s body, feelings, mind and mental qualities. It’s also about being ardent, aware, and mindful, and supposes that one has already put aside worldly desire such as sugar, cocaine, pornography, gambling and so forth. This also includes the cessation of avoidance of otherwise wholesome states just because they include some pain.
The mind is deliberately kept at the level of bare attention and trained through meditation to remain in the present, open, quiet, and alert, contemplating/experiencing present events.
Another definition: Ongoing mindfulness of body, feelings, thinking, and all objects of the mind.
8) Right Concentration is niceness and has to do with leaving behind sensuality, unwholesome states, as well as pleasure and pain as these are linked. Bodily-pleasure and spiritual-joy are not the same. It is a complex idea for most westerners, but once one has achieved the shedding of worldly sensation one can truly concentrate and find a higher level of awareness.
Another definition: Concentration of mind that finds its highpoint in the four absorptions. These are the aforementioned Jhana’s and the meditation method described here leads to these with enough practice.
If you are still here well done!! Now go meditate! Revisit this text after some practice, you will likely find that some parts make more/different sense than the first time you read it, the 5 hindrances being: sensual desire, ill will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and worry, doubt, these are also very valuable to look into but this text has to have an end <3