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What is the purpose of meditation?
#1
In the paradoxical decision to attempt to quiet one's mind, in a disciplined way; i.e., on purpose, here's what we discover:

We hear the relentless chatter of our thoughts.
It's a disturbing thing to hear.

Meditation is an idea that if we can bring ourselves to sit in silence; focused on our breath or mantra, or whatever, that we will become aware of the boring and predictable nature of our relentless mental chatter.

That's the big deal of it.
We can suddenly hear how ridiculous our inner chatter is.
We take a moment to listen to our self...and what we hear is not great.

Worse, it's pretty damn predictable. It's universally predictable.
Our mindless thoughts; our relentless inner chatter, is always dedicated to propping up our self-importance.

With any luck, after listening to our mental agenda long enough, we simply get bored with it.
We get past the embarrassment of it, even though it is abysmal...and we begin to simply be bored with our thoughts.
They become shamefully predictable. They are nearly identical to everyone else's relentless mental chatter.

You can ask around about that. Generally, we don't ask our friends about the nature of their inner chatter.
Most of us haven't even acknowledged the fact that our mind talks to us constantly.

Very few of us have experienced even a brief moment of that chatter subsiding.

It sounds insane to suggest that most people have never experienced a single second when their mind wasn't talking to them...but it's true.
Our sub-conscious thought-stream is what holds together the idea of me.

The second it goes quiet is the moment when a person experiences what they actually are.

Sounds like crap, sure...

But who can say that they've actually experienced even a second, wherein their inner dialog simply shut up?

And experienced that in a wakeful state?

How odd that such a simple and obvious thing could be so profound.

You can happily reject what I'm suggesting.

Or, you can ask yourself this question:

Have I ever experienced even a brief waking moment wherein my thought processes weren't engaged?
Wherein I wasn't talking to myself? Propping up the usual and relentless agenda of my self importance, via thoughts?

It's a difficult thing to admit.

The purpose of meditation is to observe our thought process, unrestrained.

With any luck, we get bored shit less at the predictability of our own thoughts.
They are an embarrassment to us when we actually listen to them.

And the moment they finally stop, even for a second, is bliss.

Don't know why that is, but I do know that it is.

And how odd it is that modern humans can live a lifetime without ever experiencing even a full second of the awake quiet mind.

Arguing the point is a more standard dodge than examining the point.

tit's really not something were inclined to do.

If our mind stops talking for even a second, we think we are dying.
That internal dialog is the only thing we have to verify our existence.

I feel confident that this thread will either be ridiculed or ignored.

But if anyone is remotely curious about what I'm spewing?

Glad to converse.
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#2
Does becoming aware that you've been on autopilot for 20 minutes and cant remember a damned thing you were thinking about count? I've 'woken up' in the driveway like that a couple of times.

Trying hard to come up with one of those holy grail moments but it depends on what is termed chatter and what is 'idling'.

The mind is there to constantly monitor our lives, to be aware of surroundings and to make constant assessments of what is around us, even when we're asleep it leaves a watchman to wake us if something unusual happens.

There's nothing more frustrating than trying not to think. .. well, not lately anyway.
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#3
(02-13-2018, 12:03 AM)stanky Wrote:  The purpose of meditation is to observe our thought process, unrestrained.

Works as well as homeopathy - can you say placebo?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/05/meditation-does-not-make-better-person-study-finds/

I may be biased because every person I've known who has been into meditation has been a complete loser, but I don't rate it. I'd rather spend 30 minutes cat-napping.
Love is... that one person whose freshly-warm toilet seat you don't find disgusting.
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#4
It could depend on what you're meditating about. If it's about the spiritual connection between your big toe and the oak tree on the hill then you may as well be asleep while your dreaming.
But if it's spent on some hard honest evaluations of personal motives and the effect they had on some bad outcomes, and putting the past into perspective, then it can be quite liberating.
Sometimes accepting blame is more satisfying than avoiding it.

But does that qualify as meditation these days? Seems everything has to have woo in it.
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#5
Sometimes I sits here and I thinks,

but most of the time I just sits here.
I like it hot and sticky - Di Wundrin
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#6
(02-13-2018, 01:56 AM)The Atheist Wrote:  
(02-13-2018, 12:03 AM)stanky Wrote:  The purpose of meditation is to observe our thought process, unrestrained.

Works as well as homeopathy - can you say placebo?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/05/meditation-does-not-make-better-person-study-finds/

I may be biased because every person I've known who has been into meditation has been a complete loser, but I don't rate it. I'd rather spend 30 minutes cat-napping.

I expected this, of course.

Making this thread was putting myself on the line; possibly worse than promoting a vegan diet.

But you couldn't be more mistaken with the placebo reference.

The loser comment could be true. In some cases, people are driven to meditation because they are a mess.
Much like seeing fat people at the gym.

It doesn't make exercise fake because you see so many fat people at the gym.

seriously, man....

read up on it.

or not.

do it.

or not.
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#7
I've always thought it an interesting notion, and even used to attempt it when I was a lot younger. Couldn't say it helped me, don't believe it hurt me either.

I'm not real sure, and this is why I don't think it helped me, what the point of it actually is. What's really the point of it?

The process of it, as I understand it, is to simply clear your mind of the internal monologue. Do not think. And if by chance, you find yourself thinking, don't get pissed off about it, just stop thinking. Again. Presumably gets easier with practice. Just be aware of yourself being aware...of yourself. Etc.

But, again: What's the point of this exercise? (Oh, look, I finally spelled the word 'exercise' correctly without having to resort to spellchecker!...this makes my day!)

Here's another one for you, not at all sure it's original to me, but here goes: Since we have this internal monologue going, make a small effort to remove all first-person references from same. See how long you can keep that up. Don't try to silence the monologue, just edit it to remove 'I', 'me' and 'mine' from the script. The results are interesting. And yes, you do have to stick with it to be able to go any length of time at all before the first-person references creep back in. It's the "I'm still thinking, but just not about myself as though I were the center of the Cosmos" game.

Do you think that other things will do to quiet the inner monologue? I'm inclined to think good music will do this for you. A good book perhaps? First time I read Stephen Kings The Stand, the only thing that I could think about besides "What will happen next?" was, "How can I continue to read this damned book and take a pee at the same time without wetting myself?" (I had no diapers handy, or would have been deeply tempted to use them)

But I digress. (I learned it from stanky Smile )

I nominate any form of concentration, if it's deep enough, as a way to quiet the inner monologue. But I admit that one is simply substituting one thing for the other, and therefore isn't really what meditation is all about: To be aware of not thinking about shit.

And people insist on claiming that everything had to come from something! Go figure. Smile
You can lead 'em to knowledge, but you can't make 'em think.
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#8
may as well stick my foot in deeper.
there is no shame in reporting in an honest way, about experiences we've had.

i've had my share of intense experiences. I guess that's somewhat believable.

But the most profound one I ever had was when my thoughts stopped for a moment. While fully engaged and aware. On purpose.

I can say that quite happily. It wasn't even a close contest. And I've taken some radically mind altering drugs.
None of them compare to an instant of mental quiet.

My impulse to write this was sudden. Out of the blue. Yet oddly synchronicstic with events that have occurred since then.
Which isn't to suggest magic.
Kind of the opposite.

The 'magic' of being human is our amazing effort at avoiding a single moment in our lives of mental quiet.
This might sound like a bullshit claim...until you examine it. And are honest with yourself.

As Di mentioned, it's fairly common to be driving (or whatever) and completely lose touch with time or the driving experience.
But those events are about being lost in thought.
You're running some dialog through your brain.

Here's a few things I'd like to put out there on the subject of meditation before I never mention it again:
1. No mystical hooplah need be engaged.
2. No guru needs you to suck his cock.
3. No secret mantra need be gained.
4. If any money is involved in one's effort towards a moment of mental quiet, someone has misled you.

One doesn't meditate about anything. It's the opposite of thinking about something. It's about letting thought subside for a moment.

You'd think that would be a very simple thing; dirt common.

Nope.
It seems to require and extremely strenuous effort. The effort of making no effort. There are endless books and workshops and expensive retreats all aimed at this quest...to experience a moment of mental quiet, in full awareness.
I think all of them are basically last minute dodges; a way to postpone that devastating moment.

Maybe i can put it off a bit longer if i just read one more book about it; from an even more 'realzed' master than that other jerk. Swami What's his name.
Maybe a trip to India could help. There's people in the Himalayas you could pay to describe the moment you're avoiding by going to India.

meditation, more than anything i can think of (no pun intended) has become tainted with an enormous amount of horse shit.
It amounts to this:

an odd decision a person makes; analogous to the decision to go to the gym every Tuesday; for the purpose of allowing the thought process to play out during an exercise that is designed for that very purpose.

The goal, of course, is to experience that moment of quiet mind.
But it's something we don't like to mention. And be "We", I mean me.

The idea of a goal, within the framework of letting one's thought processes stop, if only for a second, is completely contrary to that goal.
The goal will simply engage your relentless thought process.

"Oh, look, Mommy! Did you see how close I came just then to experiencing the state of a mind not thinking?!! I was so close!"

and so on.

anyway, it is so utterly bizarre (to me) that we have the tools at our disposal that cost nothing, to experience that which money can not buy.
and no one wants to believe that. We have a lot invested in the concept of anything approaching bliss, costing a shit-ton of money.

Again, the idea is to let one's thoughts run out. And along the way, one is necessarily forced to examine them in a way that normally doesn't happen. Some say it's a means to letting neurosis play itself out in a safe place. I can't argue with that. Yet, the concept of the goal of meditation will really fuck with you. It will illicit thought.

At worst, an asshole that is meditating an hour a day is an asshole that has consciously decided to take himself out of the game of being an asshole for an hour.

We should all be delighted when we see assholes meditating.
What would you rather they were doing? Like, pro-active asshole stuff?

I have no need to convince anyone of anything, much less my honesty.

nevertheless, I'll stand by this statement:

To experience a moment of a quiet mind, in wakefulness, is profound beyond description.
I highly recommend it. Unlike something like dmt, there is nothing frightening about the experiencing of the ultimate drug of nothingness.
No fake bliss is remotely comparable.

(And I'm a guy that has been privy to the purest mdma; very many times; in fabulously beautiful places, in the arms of a woman that was in a state of sexy love; same like me.

It doesn't get much better than the absolutely ideal trip on ecstasy, right?
I've been so blessed in that regard.

How about tossing some acid in with the ecstasy?

Anyone here done that?

We called it 'candy flipping'.
Amazing experience.
I'd say i've candy-flipped 100 times.

But nothing can come remotely close to the experience of being aware of your mind's voice shutting up. Just for an instant.

Yes, sounds crazy. That's ok.

I'm definitely not selling anything.
Not drugs; not books; not the special yoga mat...but I need to be honest.

about what i've experienced in this life.

Nothing would thrill me more if the usual doubters decided to accept my challenge:

Experience a moment of conscious awareness without thought.

and get back to me about it.

But there's no reason to bullshit each other about this or anything else.

I've got other experiences in my bag that are not in the same league as experiencing a moment of wakeful quiet.
Anyone else here done a 21 day fast?
(Hopefully not)

I have. And if someone somewhere claimed the same, and I heard their description of the experience, i could easily tell if they were lying.
Same with taking a milligram of pure lsd on an empty stomach. Who the fuck has done that? Several times?

and, despite all that, can write a coherent sentence?

and I'm saying to you fuckers that there is nothing more profound than experiencing a mere moment of your mental voice going silent.

If you don't believe me, give it a try.
It costs nothing. You don't need to know shit.

there is no religious-type affiliations required. If anything, atheists probably have an advantage.

But it really is shocking to listen to one's thoughts intently.
It's like we had no idea we were such idiots!
Furthermore, we all tend to be extremely similar idiots.

and how odd it is...that the process (or exercise) of examining our own thoughts would be such a radical and fringe thing?

Should anyone want to bust my ass on any of this, i would welcome it greatly.
It will only take a few seconds.

I will know what you are saying; you will understand what I'm describing.

(except T.A., of course. he has investments.)
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#9
Be still.

And know!!
You can lead 'em to knowledge, but you can't make 'em think.
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#10
One tiny glimpse is all that we need to completely fuck with our prior agenda.
To see through the notion of ourselves, for even the briefest moment, is the sort of experience that could cause someone like Sparky, for instance, to re-calculate everything and simply decide to quit his shit job and go sailing, with someone strange; say 'stanky', before they are both totally dead people.




(Sorry, Sparky....that was a terrible meditation joke, with an evil self-serving agenda.)

Actually, I'm delighted to see you in this thread in a way that isn't at all negative.
I sense you've sat in silence a few times.

And that possibly you know of what I spew.
At least the paradox of it.

The wisest human I ever met, when asked about the point of this endeavor suggested this:
There is no point. Even should you uncover your true essence in the process, there.is no survival advantage in it. It won't increase your odds of spreading your dna into the world. If anything, it will become less likely.

I'd add that the experience of examining the nature of thought and mind in fine detail leads to something horrendous to our ego...that we are all the same and nothing special. That said realization is accompanied with a state of pure bliss is something I can't explain.
I could attempt to describe it, though.

But it would likely sound stupid or self-indulgent....or worse, arrogant.
I experienced the state of reality that transcends my personal drama or agenda.
I saw through me. And you. and all that.
And it was like a jolt pf warm orgasmic light flooding every cell of my body; lighting me up; pure bliss; no more me.

what a fantastic thing....and how to translate it?

That what separates us from ecstatic bliss is the very idea of our self that we have driven into our mind from the beginning.
We consciously solidify ourselves, with enormous effort. We spend every waking moment verifying that charade.

Meditation is the act of calling that bluff; examining that process; and possibly cutting through it for a moment.
It can be a wake up call; a chance to remember what exists independent of thought.
It's a blissful thing to realize that we are energy and that our individual self is a construct we've been assembling all along.

Does that realization leave any one in a better place? Will it help you sell mattresses?
I think not.

yet, there are certain types of people that are simply hell bent on unraveling everything; getting to the crux of the matter.
It's fair to imply I'm of that type..

is there another type that would bother to write this stuff?
I feckin' hope not.
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