Health Meditation

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ComicSansHumour

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Headspace is another good, accessible app. I'm not big into guided meditations but they're great for beginners or if you want something a bit more immediate.

I'm going on my first 10-day Vipassana retreat tomorrow and from all reports it's a life-changing experience. 10 days of silent meditation in the country.
how'd it go?
 

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estibador

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I love meditating. Even though I'm very much on the low level of experience one thing I would recommend only through good advice is to avoid any stimulants like coffee and black tea before hand. And obviously avoid drugs for help of relaxation, it will only make it harder when doing it organically.
I've got a book written by a Tibetan Lama and he addressed the drug issue at one point.

He said they can be a useful tool (LSD in this case) for opening up the mind to realise there is another side to life... but once that realisation has been gained they should be dispensed of and replaced by proper practice, because only true practice can bring about lasting change as opposed to the up-and-down, up-and-down cycle of chasing enlightenment through drugs.

Meditating on weed is pretty cool, particularly when combined with the binaural MP3 recordings of rainforests and beaches I acquired for the times when my house was too noisy to meditate in silence. I wouldn't want to do it too regularly though because it can make normal meditation seem a little mundane.
 
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La Dispute

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It was certainly very tough.

I rocked up on the first day and made quite a few friends within the first few hours. Obviously though, once you went into silence you couldn't help ruminating about your conversations and making observations about their behaviour and mannerisms and whatever else you'd spoken about. One of my mates was also my roommate and the whole time there's this strange tension in the room. Like you're awkwardly fighting or something.

The meditation itself was pretty gruelling. Most days you'd wake up at 4, meditate for a few hours, have breakfast, nap, meditate for three hours in blocks, have lunch, nap, meditate for four hours in blocks, have a small dinner (usually a piece of fruit of something) and then you'd get shown a video to galvanise your knowledge.

You focus on breathing for the first three days, then move into feeling the body sensations - observing them and training your mind not to react to them and the pains that slowly manifest in your body over the days. I had shocking pains in my knees for a lot of it and really struggled to maintain a strict posture for the whole sit.

Otherwise though, you get pretty distracted by your own thinking. Because you don't have any stimulus, no new information comes in, meaning you end up pondering deeper and deeper. I had some seriously intense memories arise - some about my childhood, others I'd experienced while on drugs, some about my high school experience. I also had music playing in my head for a lot of the time. Sometimes it was so intense it was almost like having an Ipod on.

The days generally didn't get easier or harder though. It felt like a bit of a loop. That being said at about day 5 and 6 I started becoming more aware of the time and it started to consume me a little bit.

Coming out of silence is just bliss though. You have a whole day to speak to people and you're just in a state of perpetual happiness, compassion and calm. It still hasn't really left me. And then the day after is even more crazy. Driving a car after ten days in silence feels pretty profound. As does listening to music. I don't think it has ever sounded that good actually.

I'd certainly recommend it. Although it's not easy.

The next challenge will be maintaining that practice and continuing to benefit from the technique.
 

estibador

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I'm glad to hear it was a positive experience for you La Dispute.

I remember reading an account on another forum from a fairly experienced meditator (as in, he was up to an hour at a time) who went on a retreat where he was expected to sit for 3 hours at a time. He said he was fine for the first couple of hours, but after that his mind just wouldn't sit still and he ended up leaving the retreat frustrated and agitated, feeling like he'd undone all the good work he'd achieved in his practice up to that point.
 

La Dispute

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I'm glad to hear it was a positive experience for you La Dispute.

I remember reading an account on another forum from a fairly experienced meditator (as in, he was up to an hour at a time) who went on a retreat where he was expected to sit for 3 hours at a time. He said he was fine for the first couple of hours, but after that his mind just wouldn't sit still and he ended up leaving the retreat frustrated and agitated, feeling like he'd undone all the good work he'd achieved in his practice up to that point.
Interesting.

You really have to be patient with meditation, not allowing your expectations or perceptions to intervene in your practice. After all, meditation is all about objective observation. Mind has wandered for an hour? Take note and try again next time.

Maybe that's why I'm so attracted to meditation; that slow-burning improvement that just comes with a bit of persistence. Plus just generally being kind to yourself. That same kindness starts to manifest in others.

There were a few who left this course though. One left on Day 2 after spending most of the sessions sleeping, a bloke bailed at midnight on Day 6. Still haven't heard from him. And another couple on Day 8. The mind can be a wild machine at times.
 

haden1999

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I did my first 10 day silent meditation at the beginning of this year and have since done a couple of 3 dayers. La Dispute I found your account really interesting.

My take on Vipassana is that it has some "cultish" aspects but the technique is absolute gold. It has been life changing for me. I've let go of pain, negativity, trauma, tension at the physical level from this meditation, as in, I can feel it being released from my body.

I did the course because I wanted to learn a good meditation technique, so really listened carefully to the instructions and followed them closely, it was hard work, as La Dispute mentioned, the mind is a wild beast, but the work has delivered results that continue to grow as i continue to meditate.
 

La Dispute

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I did my first 10 day silent meditation at the beginning of this year and have since done a couple of 3 dayers. La Dispute I found your account really interesting.

My take on Vipassana is that it has some "cultish" aspects but the technique is absolute gold. It has been life changing for me. I've let go of pain, negativity, trauma, tension at the physical level from this meditation, as in, I can feel it being released from my body.

I did the course because I wanted to learn a good meditation technique, so really listened carefully to the instructions and followed them closely, it was hard work, as La Dispute mentioned, the mind is a wild beast, but the work has delivered results that continue to grow as i continue to meditate.
I'm so glad to hear you had a good experience.

Meditation really is a magical thing for me. I love being in 'the zone' all day. I like to feel like Scott Pendlebury evading a tackler, blind turning and then delivering a handball inboard while his team-mate is at full tilt.
 

La Dispute

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Doing 10 mins a day through the headspace app. It does start to add a sense of calmness to things through difficult times.
Headspace is great and the whole story behind its inception is cool too.

10 minutes seems to be a good sweet spot I reckon.
 

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nicky

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I'm so glad to hear you had a good experience.

Meditation really is a magical thing for me. I love being in 'the zone' all day. I like to feel like Scott Pendlebury evading a tackler, blind turning and then delivering a handball inboard while his team-mate is at full tilt.


Whether it be books about spirituality, well being, health orientated or friends advice, meditation seems to be the number one thing that people recommend to live a good life. I highly recommend implementing a daily practise, start really small, like 5 minutes in the morning, 5 before you go to bed. Get the habit going then expand on it as you feel the want to.

Of all the meditations i've tried (which have been many, from TM to mindfulness etc), the one I've found to be the most effective is Buddhist insight meditation. I learnt it at a Vipassana centre but you can learn Buddhist meditation from a number of places. That meditation may not be for everyone which doesn't matter as there are so many meditation varieties to choose from.

Even sitting in silence for a few minutes each day is a great start. :)
 

La Dispute

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You're sure you're not bipolar?;)

When I was doing yoga we had meditation at the end of each session. The problem was that I always ended up falling asleep and snoring loudly.
I've always had fluctuating moods but I suppose meditation helps me to savour the good ones for longer. The more I've meditated the less big highs I've had; but I've also had less big lows - it's about equilibrium and not riding your emotions but using them constructively.

Falling asleep is definitely a good sign of relaxation :)



Whether it be books about spirituality, well being, health orientated or friends advice, meditation seems to be the number one thing that people recommend to live a good life. I highly recommend implementing a daily practise, start really small, like 5 minutes in the morning, 5 before you go to bed. Get the habit going then expand on it as you feel the want to.

Of all the meditations i've tried (which have been many, from TM to mindfulness etc), the one I've found to be the most effective is Buddhist insight meditation. I learnt it at a Vipassana centre but you can learn Buddhist meditation from a number of places. That meditation may not be for everyone which doesn't matter as there are so many meditation varieties to choose from.

Even sitting in silence for a few minutes each day is a great start. :)
There's only benefits that can come from meditation in my experience, and taking any amount of time out helps you to grow your awareness, short circuit stress and build your mental resources including your resilience, intuition and concentration.

How did you find your Vipassana experience Nicky?
 
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nicky

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I've always had fluctuating moods but I suppose meditation helps me to savour the good ones for longer. The more I've meditated the less big highs I've had; but I've also had less big lows - it's about equilibrium and not riding your emotions but using them constructively.

Falling asleep is definitely a good sign of relaxation :)



There's only benefits that can come from meditation, in my experience and taking any amount of time out helps you to grow your awareness, short circuit stress and build your mental resources including your resilience, intuition and concentration.

How did you find your Vipassana experience Nicky?
I agree with everything that you're saying :)

I'm fascinated by neuroplasticity and meditation rewires your brain to make you less reactive and calmer. Whereas things may have effected you in the past, you remain untouched when you do alot of meditation. Life becomes so so so so much easier and frankly, more enjoyable. You also attract better people into your life and the ones that are stressful and toxic seem to disappear without any drama.

I've done a few Vipassanas, 2 * 10 days and 2* 3 days (one i served at). I loved them. The first one was mind blowing as i'd never seriously meditated before, so going from that to meditating in silence for 10 hours a day had some profound physiological effects. I felt stress and tension lifting from me, it was painful, in a physical sense, i did not expect this.

The second 10 day i did in the Blue mountains* and it was even better. I went alot deeper than i did the first time. I can't wait to do another 10 dayer. In the last month or two some little things started popping up and I put more focus on meditating and I began to understand it in a way that i didn't previously. I.e. that no external event can make you feel anything that isn't already inside you. Therefore any uncomfortable feelings that i experience i look at as a gift to deal with through meditation. Eg. relationship insecurities, anxiety about work etc - those feelings will keep popping up regardless of how perfect you try and make your life until you actually deal with them, and i don't know a better way than through (insight) meditation....Not sure if that makes any sense.?

*The Blue mountains location is incredible and i'll do my next one there. I didn't get bored at all on my ten days there as the scenery was so beautiful. The one in Healsville is smaller and I felt bored by the grounds after a few days.

What about you La dispute? How's your meditating going? (good by the sounds of it:))
 
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La Dispute

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I've always wondering was the Blue Mountains retreat was like. It sounds like something I'll have to give a go at some point.

Would you say you depth of insight has shifted over the 2? I find these days whenever I get angry (internally) at someone or something it's usually pretty fleeting. You realise people are built exactly like you and have developed over time their own perspectives, likes and dislikes and psychological defilements. That's been one of the biggest ones for me.

Otherwise I try to get at least 20 minutes in a day. I've had a pretty down month in terms of my mental health, but meditation has helped me to stay grounded and not as prone to those emotional hijackings.
 

La Dispute

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Meditating on weed is pretty cool, particularly when combined with the binaural MP3 recordings of rainforests and beaches I acquired for the times when my house was too noisy to meditate in silence. I wouldn't want to do it too regularly though because it can make normal meditation seem a little mundane.
I love meditating while blazed but as you mentioned, it compromises how you feel while sober.

What I feel to be pretty powerful is to just be as present as you can for a few minutes - listen to sounds, look around, feel your body etc. Not a state of deep meditation but more an Eckhart Tolle focus on just being in the moment and out of the constant loop of internal noise and distraction.
 

nicky

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I've always wondering was the Blue Mountains retreat was like. It sounds like something I'll have to give a go at some point.
I highly recommend it. It's like a beautiful retreat.

Would you say you depth of insight has shifted over the 2? I find these days whenever I get angry (internally) at someone or something it's usually pretty fleeting. You realise people are built exactly like you and have developed over time their own perspectives, likes and dislikes and psychological defilements. That's been one of the biggest ones for me.
Yes definitely. I still get annoyed and angry but my rumination time on sh*t lasts a tenth of the time it used to. Also find it easier to ride the waves of life's ups and downs.

Otherwise I try to get at least 20 minutes in a day. I've had a pretty down month in terms of my mental health, but meditation has helped me to stay grounded and not as prone to those emotional hijackings.
I'm sorry to hear that your mental health hasn't been great. This is a bit off topic but I've just finished studying a course in functional medicine/nutrition and because of my interest in health and wellbeing i read alot of books on the topic. I just finished reading a book by a psychiartrist, Dr Kelly brogan (called, a mind of your own). You can buy it on google play/kindle/apple for $13. I highly recommend anyone suffering from any mental health issue to read it as it lifts the lid on what causes mental health issues and how we've been led down the garden path that it's due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. She's Ivy league educated and provides an abundance of research to back up her claims. Her claims are moving into the mainstream anyway.

The other great thing about her book is she provides solutions that are fairly easy to follow. :)
 

nicky

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I love meditating while blazed but as you mentioned, it compromises how you feel while sober.

What I feel to be pretty powerful is to just be as present as you can for a few minutes - listen to sounds, look around, feel your body etc. Not a state of deep meditation but more an Eckhart Tolle focus on just being in the moment and out of the constant loop of internal noise and distraction.
I did this tree planting thing on the weekend and alot of weed was being smoked by a few. I get into a blissful introverted OCD thing when i'm stoned like that. I just want to do my thing in silence, i don't mind hanging with others as long as they're relaxed and gentle energy. Anyway, this girl was planting trees near me and was playing bad psytrance on her phone which quickly became unbearable. I had two trees to plant and then i was finished and could move somewhere away from her, i decided that i couldn't even plant them and had to move as far away as possible from her.

Anyway, stoned with binaural beats is incredible as well. So many varieties of meditation. :)
 

Billy ray

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Hell no
Id love to meditate but my mind just doesnt stop. At all. Even at end of day when head hits pillow and im at my most relaxed (having say nearly fallen asleep watching tv or reading) straight away it starts up again.

Were any of you guys (who meditate now) like this to start with?
 

La Dispute

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Id love to meditate but my mind just doesnt stop. At all. Even at end of day when head hits pillow and im at my most relaxed (having say nearly fallen asleep watching tv or reading) straight away it starts up again.

Were any of you guys (who meditate now) like this to start with?
This is one of the biggest reasons why people don't meditate or find it tough to begin with; the loud, chatty mind always being on. Once you start - and the process is very gradual - you'll slowly notice the improvements.

When I started, I couldn't focus on one single breath before my mind took over but over time I could focus on one, then two, then three. On my Vipassana I could often get to ten. It's all a work in progress.

Try five, or even two minutes and go from there - all meditation is good meditation.
 
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Gigantic

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Id love to meditate but my mind just doesnt stop. At all. Even at end of day when head hits pillow and im at my most relaxed (having say nearly fallen asleep watching tv or reading) straight away it starts up again.

Were any of you guys (who meditate now) like this to start with?
Almost every one is like this when they first start. Just keep at it.
 

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