10 January 2011

What? Meditate??? Have You Lost Your Mind!!??!

People meditate for many reasons, but most commonly to relax and feel at peace. Your personal peace, harmony, and clear-headedness are a serious threat to most of the powerful special interests in modern society. To the ruling classes, you are simply "a member of the herd," and need to obey orders and respond in a knee-jerk manner to commands from above.

Sometimes we need to "lose our minds" -- at least small parts of them, for brief periods of time. Other times we are able to achieve peace by finding parts of ourselves that we have subconsciously "lost" out of self-protection.

Peace of mind is achievable, but it is not a permanent condition. Wise people take advantage of different strategies for different situations. Only you can determine what kinds of meditation work for you. Here are some that Al Fin uses:

The process of yawning activates multiple neuro-chemical substances, including dopamine, which sets in motion a chain of reaction of other neurochemical substances. The result is that areas of the brain that contribute to improved memory, conscious control, temperature control, joy, sensuality and social activities, is activated.

"Conscious yawning" may take a little practise, but given how contagious yawning seems to be, most persons can bring themselves to yawn reasonably easily.

Stretching and relaxing when accompanied by deep steady breathing, can be as effective as traditional "tensing and letting-go" step-by-step relaxation of the body. Start at your toes and work up.

Movement Meditations

Be totally in the dance, because division can exist only if you are not totally in it. If you are standing aside and looking at your own dance, the division will remain: you are the dancer and you are dancing. Then dancing is just an act, something you are doing; it is not your being. So get involved totally, be merged in it.

Walking Meditation is a wonderful initiation for beginners into the art of Meditation. It is easy to practice, and enhances both physical, mental and spiritual well-being. It is especially effective for those who find it difficult to sit still for long periods of time. Some people enjoy practicing in a beautiful outdoor setting, like a park. Others prefer to practice indoors, due to poor weather, or desire for privacy.

Walking Meditation should generally be practiced for between 15 minutes to 1 hour. A 20 minute walking meditation can also be used as a break between two 20 minute sitting meditations, allowing 1 hour of meditation without placing undue demands on the practitioner.

Tai Chi:
In the early 1970's my Tai Chi Chuan master, Cheng Man-Ch'ing, was asked if he meditated. His answer was that he did Tai Chi Chuan. When pressed if he did seated meditation, he answered that he did not. He stated that Tai Chi Chuan was all the meditation that he ever needed. While I never again heard Professor Cheng mention meditation as such, he would occasionally tell us to keep our minds empty of thought during our practice of Tai Chi Chuan. To keep one's mind empty, you will recall, is by definition, yin meditation.

Conscious Emoting

Breathing is one of the few bodily functions which, within limits, can be controlled both consciously and unconsciously. Conscious attention to breathing is common in many forms of meditation, specifically anapana. In music, breath is used to play wind and brass musical instruments and many aerophones. Laughter, physically, is simply repeated sharp breaths.

If you have ever had a good howling session, you know that once it passes, you feel elated, refreshed and powerful or totally relaxed and calm. While crying is thought to be an experience of pain and discomfort, the release that is felt afterwards actually makes it into a positive. Too often, people are scared of their emotions and will do anything they can to escape the possibility of losing control.
You probably know something that will bring you to tears. A certain song, a particular memory, a photograph, a scene from a book, a letter . . . looking in the mirror ;-)

To develop an attitude of gratitude creates contentment, true happiness and bliss. Gratitude makes us feel good and meditation helps us to a state of deep relaxation and contemplation.
Gratitude is one of the "softening" emotions. Being on-guard all day against a wide range of perceived threats can make us oblivious to much of what is going on around us and inside us. We need to find places where it is safe to let down our guards.

Sentic Cycles were useful cycles of emotional experience discovered by neuroscientist / musician Manfred Clynes. The sentic cycler is to experience the following in sequence, repeating as necessary:
No emotion
Sexual Desire
Tapes and kits are available to assist in practise, but Al Fin discovered that it is possible to experience the benefits of sentic cycles without the tapes or kits, just by internally emoting the cycle as needed. It can even be combined with walking.

The key to the cycles is the early strong experiencing of negative emotion, then easing into an intense grief -- which acts as a very effective "pivot" into the positive emotions.

Actors often go through emoting exercises prior to a performance, which helps them to express themselves more cleanly and persuasively on the stage.

Al Fin's favourite meditation is tantra, with a willing and accomplished partner. But since such partners can be difficult to find, you may want to become good at the underlying practise on your own.
To understand tantra meditation, you need to be aware of three main ingredients for consideration: Mantra, Meditation and full body cosmic orgasms. Mistakenly, many people are under the misconception that deliberation in tantra meditation involves performing a sexual act, but this is usually not the case.

...Through the use of breath work, visualizations, mantras, music and sacred geometry the energy and effectiveness is amplified. It is also believed that performing group tantra meditation sessions increases the effectiveness, as everyone's energy works together as a reflection to unlock the kundalini for the whole group.

Al Fin learned another intriguing form of group meditation, providing more intellectual rewards than emotional or physical payoffs, while visiting the late philosopher, inventor, and author John David Garcia at his home in Oregon. Garcia called his technique "autopoiesis." It is a form of amplification of creative problem - solving which utilises multiple male-female pairs seated opposite, but touching. Using counter-intuitive methods of guided visualisation, it was possible to generate some remarkably creative ideas which would not normally be accessible to the participants. It takes practise, and cooperation among participants.

The number of ways individuals might successfully achieve meditative rejuvenation is almost endless. No religious or quasi-religious paraphernalia is necessary. The ability to consciously let go is generally helpful, although some forms of meditation involve "holding on" as hard as one can until fatigue forces relaxation of the "grip."

Most persons fail to understand how much of their life is lived unconsciously, in a quasi-automatic trance. That is the default state, which few people ever truly escape. The many forms of meditation have evolved -- or been discovered -- to help persons to "wake up" out of the trance, at least for a little while.

The idea is to find one or a few approaches which feel natural to you, and which can be adapted for use at various times and in differenc situations. But do be careful about meditating while driving or operating hazardous machinery . . .

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Blogger kurt9 said...

I appreciate how you present this in a reasonable manner without the usual ooga-booga that often accompanies this. I agree that much of this is good for mental health.

Monday, 10 January, 2011  
Blogger LarryD said...

Kyudo (Japanese Archery) as currently practiced is another movement meditation.

Monday, 10 January, 2011  

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