Mind Over Matter: The Meditation Club

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by Gauri03, Feb 14, 2018 at 12:29 AM.

  1. HappyBunny

    HappyBunny Bronze IL'ite

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    Great thread! :thumbup:
    I have been meditating on and off for the past decade hoping that the practice will help calm down my overactive amygdala. The fact that I had minimal success is thanks only to my inconsistency.
    I am a HeadSpace user too, I subscribed last year. I used it regularly until a couple of months ago when I fell off the bandwagon. I will log my meditation here.
     
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  2. kaniths

    kaniths Finest Post Winner

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    There is a mosque across my street and I wake up to their morning prayer call every day. For those short few minutes of the prayer duration I close my eyes, get into some Zen mood, try to calm the monkey nerves a bit but otherwise am not much of a dedicated practitioner. Friends recommend, family insist and I pretend it's the last thing on my to-do list any day. With the Headspace App, I usually tend to give up within 3mins. :innocent: This space sounds nice, I’ll watch for all the information and maybe for some inspiration too, to start the habit finally. :blush:

    Kudos to the initiative and your commitment to stay mindful. :thumbsup:
     
  3. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear @Gauri03,

    lovely initiative. More about what I practice as we progress. For now, it is running. I do not listen to music or talk while running and it is strange how mind stays blank quite often and on days of difficult runs, my mantra is "just keep running, just keep running" literally. Helps me tremendously. More later!
     
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  4. HappyBunny

    HappyBunny Bronze IL'ite

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    I was reading the book 'Miracle of Mindfulness' by Thich Nhat Hanh and loved this passage: (I hope it is okay to reproduce here)

    --------------------------------------------
    'There are two ways to wash the dishes. The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second is to wash the dishes in order to wash the dishes.'
    .................
    'If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not "washing the dishes to wash the dishes." What's more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes. In fact we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink. If we can't wash the dishes, the chances are we won't be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked away into the future -and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life'

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

    Since reading that, I have been making a conscious effort to turn the mundane task of dish washing into a mindfulness exercise. Feeling the textures of the dishes, watching the running water… the soap bubbles… Did you ever see a bubble that is not perfect? Gleaming, smiling, and swirling with colors… Perfect one moment and gone the next. Ethereal. They are the favorite part of my once dreaded task.

    Though I have to admit I only indulge in this when I am up very early. To be able to do this while busy and rushing through the morning is still a dream.

    I am a fool:tearsofjoy:
     
  5. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear @HappyBunny,

    We are all! fools I mean. I am realizing those 'moments' of being present is all we can sneak in now! Keep at it. In my case, I do dishes because I have to, enough of clutter and hence becomes zen like because I know I can look forward to that lean counter.....the problem is letting the clutter till there is a need to clean up! Thank you for sharing this.

    @kkrish, remember our conversations from oh so long ago? Just to assure you even with a new sink, it still is not my favorite activity. This and library books continue to play havoc. One day....

     
  6. kkrish

    kkrish Finest Post Winner

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    I don't remember @Srama, because I never forgot! :) Every time I wash a vessel you are there in my mind, which is many times a day. :)
    And I pass the library and the "Y" everyday to work - so except for weekends you are there again 5 days of the week.
     
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  7. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Awww!! That is so sweet Kamala! Thank you :biggrin:
     
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  8. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Finest Post Winner

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    Will reply to posts later at night. Just an FYI for those looking for a mindfulness app to try. The Calm app is offering a free 8 month trial; no CC required. I've used calm and it is a pretty good app for getting started with mindfulness. Calm - Trial

    2/13: 15 minutes morning, 5 minutes bedtime
    2/14: 15 minutes morning

    Today's meditation:

    “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” -Viktor Frankl

    This statement is the essence of meditation to me. Mindfulness helps us find, then widen, the space between our thoughts and emotions. With sufficient practice the meditator learns not to react to every errant thought that crosses his/her mind. When presented with unpleasant stimuli, say, being cut off on the highway, or having a rude exchange with a cashier at a store, our minds are flooded with negative emotions. Mindfulness allows us to slow down and take this sequence apart. Instead of reacting instantaneously, we are able to dispassionately observe our emotions and craft an appropriate response. Maybe the cashier was having a bad day, maybe you misread her cues, or maybe she simply was an awful person. Irrespective of her reasons, the only thing within our control is our response. Mindfulness empowers us to choose. Instead of getting carried away by our emotions, we have the choice to acknowledge them and let them go without disturbing our inner calm.

    Here is Andy Puddicombe explaining the idea of thoughts as traffic in the mind.

     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018 at 1:41 AM
  9. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    @Gauri03,

    Thank you for sharing wonderful insight into Mindfulness. I don't like to call it meditation as it is differently defined in the Scriptures. Meditative State (Dhyana) is achieved under Raja Yoga only when one reaches a steady state and become neutral to the world. Equanimity, withdrawal, solidarity, desirelessness, non-attachment, etc. are signs of Meditative state of mind. Only step left after that is to transcend from 3 Gunas to the fourth called Turya. For lack of better term, we can call it as Mindfulness exercise.

    I divide my daily routines as Receipt, Reaction and Response. I get to choose what to receive and when someone is abusive, I can choose not to receive it. But it happens in an environment where we spend most of the time, then, we need to focus on Reaction. To my understanding, in an average, we spend 80% to 85% of our time in Reaction. When something shakes us up badly, our mind keeps brooding over it for a long time. Our ego looks at it as a missed opportunity to respond. We need to train our mind to reduce this reaction time and wherever possible, eliminate reaction unless it warrants review. That frees up more time for the mind to engage in activities that is fulfilling in our lives. The last one is response. Even after receipt and reaction become inevitable, we can moderate our response. Frankly, it is not what others said that affects us more than our own reaction to it. Even after response, the pain continues in the mind. We need to train our mind to find a closure to each such chatter very quickly.

    When someone cuts us on a highway, the receipt is your need to break rapidly and reaction is to shout at the guy or stare at the driver or even do hand gestures and response could be drive calmly away from the scene. But in the same situation, if we come to know that he was trying to reach the nearest hospital to save his loved-ones life, the receipt changes resulting in different reaction and response filled with compassion.

    More later.

    Viswa
     
  10. kaniths

    kaniths Finest Post Winner

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    I sometimes switch to Pacifica App, works good for me to log CBT + mindfulness combo sessions. :relaxed:
     
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