Mind Over Matter: The Meditation Club

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by Gauri03, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Do we need to attempt these in order or can one work on them simultaneously? I have read about these before and wondered if we need to master one before we move on to the next. I know meditation is best practiced after yoga and pranayama and often I do try to follow that sequence, but it is not always possible.
     
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  2. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Frankly, I don't know the answer to this question. However, in one of my spiritual sessions, I learned that yearning and discipline are two important factors in reaching the summit of Self, the very same steps you explained when you responded to @Laks09 in her thread. (That is why I read all of your comments about hiking and your being in the present moment during those hikes with keen interest.) Even though the scriptures describe them as 8 different gates, I feel the master key is yearning and discipline that open all 8 gates.

    In my personal experience, I found a lot of resistence in the first two gates and when one conquers those two, the rest of them increases our curiosity to the treasure of blissfulness. In the veil of Maya, I found the first two gates are the strongest. Only thing I can say with confidence is the efforts made to breach the gates are never wasted even if the life ends.

    To answer your specific question, I guess one can work on all of them simultaneously if they have the master key.
     
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  3. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Wise words Viswa. Takes most folks a lifetime to understand that all we can do is strive and in striving we succeed. If you will forgive yet another hiking analogy — the destination is simply something to aspire to. In the end the journey is the goal.
     
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  4. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Dear @Gauri03,

    and V sir @Viswamitra with your permission let me attempt to explain what I understand. A very lay man understanding, for sure.

    The eight gates that V sir @Viswamitra explained are the 8 limbs of patanjali's ashatanga yoga. Just for understaning, they are further classified as -

    1. Yamas (observances) - ahimsa (non violence), sathya (truthfullness), Astheya ( non-stealing), brahmacharya, aparigraha (non possessiveness)

    2. Niyamas (disciplines/rules)- Saucha (cleanliness), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (discipline), Svadhyaya (self study), Isvara Pranidhana (surrendering to a higher power)

    3. asana (postures) - physical postures....geeting the body ready to sit for longer periods of meditation (sthirasukham asanam)

    4. Pranayama (breath control) - as the name suggests, it is about regulating the life force (??), prana

    5. pratyahara (sense control) - gaining mastery over external influences (that happen through the senses)

    6. Dharana (concentration) - learning to bring the mind back to focus, either keeping an object or watching the breath or even chanting

    7. Dhyana (meditation) - staying focused (with awareness) as long as one wants

    8. Samadhi (bliss) - I have even heard some tell that samadhi is the tool toward moksha. Samadhi ofcourse gets classified further as samprajnata (savikalpa - with mind, sabija - with seed) that is mind remains identified and asamprajnata (nirvikalpa - no mind identification, nirbaja - no seed of karma) - i sone with the divine.

    Different practioners/authors offer different interpretations and talk about orders differently. Patanajali doesnot refer to God in the sutras other than just a couple of times I believe! Anyways, it is assumed that mastery is gained step by step in the eight limbs and may need more than one life time! While many believe that, there are many others who do not do any asana practice or pranayama practice at all and can sit in dhyana. This is where all the interesting aspects of spritutal growth that has happened over lifetimes and all that come to life :)

    Most people assume that most who take this path have at least crossed the first two limbs. Hence arbitrary order after that till we come to dhyana. While asana prepares a person for meditation, it need not be necessary at all - physical wellbeing is needed to further the practice is the reason behind asana practice. Asana itself can also have other benefits (like opening of nadis, bandhas etc) which can also be obtained through pranayama or other practices also. So there are many who completely skip asanas and others who use asana to prepare for dhyana.

    As long as we can bring mind back to one pointed focus, we are in dharana stage and I believe many would possibly be at this stage. It is going beyond that to dhyana and finally samadhi that gets hard.
     
  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you Sabitha for the detailed description of eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga. I would consider Samadhi (Self-realization) as union with divine.
     
  6. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Dear @Gauri03 and others who follow this space,

    I came across this video and decided to share here. First though I do want to say that I am way behind in catching up with what's happening in the virtual world. Though my family watches a lot of youtube, are on instagram or twitter (perhaps!!), they have never been a draw to me. I am setting the stage so to say, only because I am afraid some of you or all of you may be aware of this video already. Personally, the video was okay for me and I think it popped up only because with the continuous monitoring of my activities, google has decided I could use/watch this and I did!

    Two or three take aways for me form the video were -

    1. Meditation for a 1000 days!
    2. Don't have expectations. Start every day like it is your first day - this is a principle that has helped me with yoga. Over the years my body has taught me that it has a mind of its own (not to speak of the mind driving it also) and I have never been able to take it for granted. I always step on my mat, no matter where or when, as if I am doing yoga for the first time and allow it to flow through me, simply surrendering every single time. There are days I can barely do three sun salutations and others when an hour and half yoga feels like a piece of cake.

    And oh @Gauri03 , they use headspace and had even some promotions going (video came my way a tad bit, nah a month or so too late) and that reminded me to share it here. I know there are many who follow this space. So without more talking from my side, here is the video - certainly worth a listen but if I have learnt one thing, it is simply subscribing to "just do it" - especially for things that bring some kind of inner stability.

    So please do watch the video and may your journey begin right away!


    PS: I am tempted to see if anyone wants to join on something like this - 1000 days of meditation @Gauri03 , @Viswamitra, anyone else . God knows, I could use some help with meditation. I sit in chanting as in shloka recitation and have no issues and that has helped me tremedously but sitting quietly with myself :hushed: ?? Neverthless, just wanted to share.
     
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  7. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sabitha,

    Sahasra is a measure used often in Vedic period and medival period. I feel meditating 1000 times over 1000 days would become a habit that would stay and make us want to be in that blissful state as often as possible. It is a great goal to attempt. This journey by all of us would be a good learning experience for all of us to learn from each other, if we post our experiences in this thread. You have planted the seed in the minds of many of us and we should let that seed to grow into a tree that delivers bliss.
     
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  8. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for sharing the video @Srama. 1000 days straight is impressive! That kind of consistency at anything is commendable. His insights seemed a tad generic considering the duration. I think I was expecting something more profound after 1000 days of sitting with one’s internal monologue; I suppose that says more about me than the person in the video. It’s a slow process, shedding the goal-oriented mindset and learning “to be”, sans expectations.

    Did you mean a 1000 or a 100 days? :sweatsmile: Either way, count me in!
     
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  9. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Dear V sir, @Viswamitra , now that you put it that way - sahasrara and all that, it makes sense and is even appealing :)

    Dear @Gauri03 , I agree with you - I already declared that the video was ok at a personal level. So you are not alone. I would have also expected more depth than what was presented and was disappointed that it all came down to some commercialization - again didnt want to be judegmental. But the idea of 1000 days, yes 1000 and not 100 was quite appealing to me ....never done anything volunatarily like that. Perhaps we can start with a 100 and keep adding by 100s :) But then when I think of my parents and grandparents, this was their life style - how fortunate and easy it seemed to them. Now I understand their personal struggles and beliefs.

    Thank you for assuring that you would be game to start.
     
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  10. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sabitha,

    I like the idea of 100 days to start with and 1,000 days as a goal. I am definitely in. Let us start today, the auspicious Guru Purnima.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
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