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#387014 - 03/17/08 11:43 PM The importance of meditation
jkdwarrior Offline

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 341
Loc: belfast, Antrim, Ireland
Here is a nice little video I just found on you tube. It kind of confirms many things I had suspected. You might want to skip to the 3 minute mark.

This stuff really does improve your life. I promise.

Sticks n stones'll break my bones, but if I land the first one, you're in trouble!

#387015 - 03/18/08 01:25 AM Re: The importance of meditation [Re: jkdwarrior]
ButterflyPalm Offline

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia
Let's bring it down to a level we can all understand.

How does "meditation" make you a better, deadlier martial artist, fighter, because this too will change/improve your life.

Or, are there two kinds of meditation, one for what that lady is talking about (as you suspected) and another applied specifically for MA?

Edited by ButterflyPalm (03/18/08 01:27 AM)
I'll rather be happy than right, anytime.

#387016 - 03/18/08 09:32 PM Re: The importance of meditation [Re: jkdwarrior]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
you are sortof a wise-guy aren't you.

#387017 - 03/19/08 10:04 PM Re: The importance of meditation [Re: Ed_Morris]
jkdwarrior Offline

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 341
Loc: belfast, Antrim, Ireland
I see that you wrote wise-guy with a hyphen and not wise guy. I don't try to be a smart arse, I just like to express my views on the world as I see it. None of what I say is absolute fact and is open to interpretation. If I have evidence to back my views, I will give it. If not, then shoot me down for I realise that in many ways, I will always be a fool.

Anyway, meditation (I and many others believe) can improve your MA capability. Essentially it involves becoming aware of the world around you by quieting the voice in your head that you think of as you. You will and should still have thoughts, but you can learn not to become absorbed by them.
Just as an example. Think of a big field.......hedges at the sides...... rabbits in the middle.....sun shining.
Now realise that as you were thinking of this, that you were lost in your own thought processes and weren't aware of whatever is say... to your left. Just like if your looking for a certain technique in fighting, you are more likely to get hit with a punch. If your mind is silent, since you're not thinking, you simply react. The techniques will therefore have to be drillied to such a level that only minimal thinking is required and muscle memory can be relied upon.
When I began meditating, it was purely for MA benefit, but it has become aparent that it affects my whole life in a positive way, and I come to love these benefits even more so, and my life is so much better than I ever thought it could be. And I swear I'm not faking it with an overcompensation of happiness, as I see so many people do, I am genuinely content.
I hope I don't come off as an insufferable know it all, but re-reading the post, I can see how it could be interpretated as such. Forgive me if it does.

Sticks n stones'll break my bones, but if I land the first one, you're in trouble!

#387018 - 03/20/08 02:25 AM Re: The importance of meditation [Re: jkdwarrior]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
what I meant is, the Woman in the video if you read her website, is suggesting non-medicated ways to self-treat various personality and/or mental disorders. Depression being the apparent focus.

Without getting into an argument over whether or not that is necessarily the best game-plan to blindly recommend to people....some people need real medical attention. but I was thinking you posted the video for consideration as if to suggest the people here needed treatment.

but since you are serious, you can ignore my earlier assumption.

In this video, she talks about 'wrong-way' meditation. which I thought the categories were interesting.
"real meditation versus false meditation"


why you may be failing at meditation

false path meditation:

guided visualization
aura meditation
crystal meditation
reiki meditation
chakra meditation
light body
regarding the following :
screen savers, mandalas, art, geometry, idyllic scenery
listening to music
drug induced states of consciousness
ritual magick
any practice solely designed to increase psychic ability

real meditation paths
chi gung
nei gung/nei dan

in my experience, even the 'true' paths are misleading. the aspect of 'healing' isn't so much a function of which method you use, but rather the company you are in. What I mean by this is very simple.

imagine a depressed person feeling down/negative about themselves, iritable and edgy, etc All the symptoms of classic mild depression.
ok, now they get involved with the 'act' of meditation. perhaps thru a how-to book or this Woman's website, or other point of influence.
Do people just pursue that in isolation and not talk about it with anyone? no. they need assurance they are 'doing it right' and making progress in the 'right' direction.

so they perhaps get a communication going with "SFjane" or maybe join a local meditation group. over time, they start to feel better, sortof climb out of their shell and open up. The benefits are real: they feel better at work and subsequently have better performance boosting confidence. they feel better in relationships and being able to express themselves without the eroding self-consciousness that was holding them back and sinking them deeper. etc.

but to really be honest with yourself, it requires identifying the real reason why you started feeling better. A person who only meditates alone, doesn't speak with anyone about it, gets no feedback or assurance - even if they do learn to relax, center their emotions and thoughts and do everything technically correct, will not have nearly the success of those who interactively pursue meditation.

In other words, the gains are psychological, mental and emotional in a sociological sense. people DO feel better about themselves when they are with like-minded people encouraging them, complimenting their progress, be-friending them, CARING about them.

The method is interchangable. which is odd for me to see a 'false meditation list'. People come out of depression using a host of methods. no one is better than the other, unless you want to compare the quality of company they are in.
Thats what old-folk bingo night is for...gets them out to socialize and lifts the depression of sitting at HOME waiting for their number to come up.

Show me a happy group of non-depressed zazenists, and I can show you an equally happy and well-adjusted buddhist chant meditationists group.

there is no 'false' meditation. There is only chosing to be isolated or choosing to join the world for some laughs, joys, stories, interests, conversation, acknowledgements, freindships, and all the stuff that we wouldn't be getting if we stayed home depressed and isolated.

so I'd say, anything that gets you to do THAT, can 'cure' your depression. from playing Bingo to praying to Zeus together.

a little word from our sponsor of depression:

Spirit, hath the actor, but little conscience of the spirit. He believeth always in that wherewith he maketh believe most strongly--in
Tomorrow he hath a new belief, and the day after, one still newer. Sharp perceptions hath he, like the people, and changeable humours.
To upset--that meaneth with him to prove. To drive mad--that meaneth with him to convince. And blood is counted by him as the best of all arguments.

A truth which only glideth into fine ears, he calleth falsehood and trumpery. Verily, he believeth only in Gods that make a great noise in the world!

Full of clattering buffoons is the market-place,--and the people glory in their great men! These are for them the masters of the hour.


#387019 - 03/20/08 02:16 PM Re: The importance of meditation [Re: Ed_Morris]
jkdwarrior Offline

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 341
Loc: belfast, Antrim, Ireland
I never once suggested that this was "the way". There are many ways of achieving the same goal, mindfulness meditation is the one I've used. I'm sure chants and affirmations etc. alike help, and I did them for many years trying to find the way, only to realise that it was right in front of me all the time, life was passing me by whilst I was busy thinking and imagining things that just didn't exist.
Sure even exercise can cure light depression with the same success rates as medication. Going out with friends can also work (I would guess that this may be one of the best ways) to cure depression but unless you have good control of your mind, you can become depressed again. Peace of mind should not be dependent on other people. Sure friends can make you feel happy, but when they go, what then? When I had severe chronic depression, I was still happy around my friends, but when I came home it was a different matter.
Of course I could be completely wrong, but I have dedicated a vast amount of hard work to cultivating a calm mind that I can easily bring on that blissful meditative state even in very stressful conditions. It has however taken me years to achieve this. Don't take my word for it, but try it and come to your own conclusions.

Here are some more bits of information that you may or may not want to read, but the scientific backing for what I'm saying is very strong. I can find you a hundred more studies with the same sort of outcome, and probably some to the contrary.
So I advise you not to listen to me, but at least to try and then to either believe it or completely forget it, and use one of the other methods in the search for well being. I would also advise getting a teacher.
To the lay person, meditation can seem like some airy abstract idea, but to the experienced meditator, it is solid and in front of you.
Again, this is NOT the absolute truth, rather my interpretation of the things I have found. People make themselves miserable and I see it everyday. I realise it because I was the same at one point and it gives me the deepest sympathies for those involved. At the end of the day, if you desire to be happier, then find your own way, this is simply my suggestion of something that profoundly changed my life for the better, and I feel a strong desire to share it. If you try it great, if you don't, then I'll still be happy.
Sticks n stones'll break my bones, but if I land the first one, you're in trouble!

#387020 - 03/20/08 04:04 PM Re: The importance of meditation [Re: jkdwarrior]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I don't doubt meditating in a corner makes you feel whatever it feels. but to older folk, a bingo game with friends and a hottub can be a state of bliss.

btw, how do you determine which meditation technique is better than another? In your opinion, which culture got it right?

#387021 - 03/20/08 06:27 PM Re: The importance of meditation [Re: Ed_Morris]
jkdwarrior Offline

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 341
Loc: belfast, Antrim, Ireland
Yeah, there's not much that makes you feel better than spending quality time with real friends.

The types of meditation I have tried that I can see in the above list include trance, affirmations, hypnosis, guided visualisation, listening to music, er.....drug induced states, zazen, mindfulness, chakra, pranayama and chi gung.
In my opinion they can have different levels of usefulness at certain stages.
In the early stages I believe that some of the techniques can have fast results, namely visualisation, music, affirmations and trance. This may be because the aim of these techniques is to plant seeds in the subconcious which you will automatically do when put into certain situations, much like when an athlete pictures himself winning hundreds of times before a fight. This is the type of meditation I will do for a couple of days before a presentation. I will have rehearsed the situation many times in my head and it seems to do the business.
This is all well and good, but the problem I (and others) find is that the aim of these techniques is to put the person into a trance.
The aim of mindfulness, zazen, chakra etc. is to take the person out of all trances and habitualised patterns of behaviour. After a while trying these methods, I became aware the I and many others live nearly all of our time in trances. I realised that I was thinking about things that happened 10 years ago and still getting angry about them, Imagining things that may happen at some point in the future and behaving in a way that was not true to my nature, simply because I spent all my time on autopilot.
After a long time, I became accustomed to being "mindful" and aware of the world going on around me rather than relying on my biased interpretation of it, and as I began (and am still learning to) live my life in this state, I became happier because if I focus outward, as if I don't exist- "I" being that little voice in my head - then there were no insecurities to worry about, I can be myself in all situations even if others are trying to influence me to act differently. This type of meditation I feel brings longer lasting benefits than the other trance inducing ones but is probably harder to master and takes longer to achieve these results.
In the beginning stages, it is good to focus inwardly until you understand yourself, and when you're happy with who you are, then focus your brilliance outwards and influence everyone else in a positive way. Therefore, I can't really say which is better as one person may get more out of a certain type than another. The same with the culture question. Apparently all these things differ from person to person and I wouldn't want to influence you in either direction but if I absolutely had to choose, I'd pick the more difficult to master techniques of becoming aware of the world.

Finally, I'd like to clarify what we talk about when we outline happiness. Its not the smiley funny happiness in the emotional sense, but contentment is probably a better word, or satisfaction.
You'll realise that the word I is used a lot which may be contrary to what is being said, this is merely to show that there is no regurgitation of the words of some master somewhere, rather the passing of information as is seen by one individual. I am not repeating what I was told by my teacher, but taking his words, and examining them for myself and coming to my own conclusions. And again there was no intended suggestion that you all need help. All it is is that this works for me and others and it may work for you.

Sticks n stones'll break my bones, but if I land the first one, you're in trouble!

#387022 - 03/21/08 07:21 AM Re: The importance of meditation [Re: jkdwarrior]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
glad to hear it.

one form of 'mindful meditation' is identifying why it works for you.

#387023 - 03/23/08 09:33 PM Re: The importance of meditation [Re: Ed_Morris]
jkdwarrior Offline

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 341
Loc: belfast, Antrim, Ireland
That's true. It will have its best effects when life is balanced. Not just with friends either. Work, rest and play I think is the phrase.
In my experience, the day feels most productive if I include these three elements. Play including socialising and spending quality time with my kids, and rest including meditation. It is however, during the meditation and rest periods that I analyse how everything is going and how I can make it even better.
So it works for me because my life is balanced, and it is one of the methods through with I learned and am still learning how to achieve this equilibrium.
So Ed you are of course right, meditation alone is not the key to a content existence and I should have included this in my initial post. It does seem however, to help the individual realise that these other components are usually a requirement for inner satisfaction.
Sticks n stones'll break my bones, but if I land the first one, you're in trouble!


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