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  1. #1
    Join Date: Apr 2011
    Location: EARTH
    Posts: 4,662

    Meditation--how & why


    Why Learn to Meditate

    Eventually, we will be able to stay happy all the time, even in the most difficult circumstances.

    The purpose of meditation is to make our mind calm and peaceful. If our mind is peaceful, we will be free from worries and mental discomfort, and so we will experience true happiness; but if our mind is not peaceful, we will find it very difficult to be happy, even if we are living in the very best conditions. If we train in meditation, our mind will gradually become more and more peaceful, and we will experience a purer and purer form of happiness. Eventually, we will be able to stay happy all the time, even in the most difficult circumstances.

    Usually we find it difficult to control our mind. It seems as if our mind is like a balloon in the wind – blown here and there by external circumstances. If things go well, our mind is happy, but if they go badly, it immediately becomes unhappy. For example, if we get what we want, such as a new possession or a new partner, we become excited and cling to them tightly. However, since we cannot have everything we want, and since we will inevitably be separated from the friends and possessions we currently enjoy, this mental stickiness, or attachment, serves only to cause us pain. On the other hand, if we do not get what we want, or if we lose something that we like, we become despondent or irritated. For example, if we are forced to work with a colleague whom we dislike, we will probably become irritated and feel aggrieved, with the result that we will be unable to work with him or her efficiently and our time at work will become stressful and unrewarding.

    By training in meditation, we create an inner space and clarity that enables us to control our mind

    Such fluctuations of mood arise because we are too closely involved in the external situation. We are like a child making a sandcastle who is excited when it is first made, but who becomes upset when it is destroyed by the incoming tide. By training in meditation, we create an inner space and clarity that enables us to control our mind regardless of the external circumstances. Gradually we develop mental equilibrium, a balanced mind that is happy all the time, rather than an unbalanced mind that oscillates between the extremes of excitement and despondency.
    If we train in meditation systematically, eventually we will be able to eradicate from our mind the delusions that are the causes of all our problems and suffering. In this way, we will come to experience a permanent inner peace, known as “liberation” or “nirvana”. Then, day and night in life after life, we will experience only peace and happiness.

    Breathing Meditations

    Generally, the purpose of breathing meditation is to calm the mind and develop inner peace. We can use breathing meditations alone or as a preliminary practice to reduce our distractions before engaging in a Lamrim meditation

    A Simple Breathing Meditation

    The first stage of meditation is to stop distractions and make our mind clearer and more lucid. This can be accomplished by practising a simple breathing meditation. We choose a quiet place to meditate and sit in a comfortable position. We can sit in the traditional cross-legged posture or in any other position that is comfortable. If we wish, we can sit in a chair. The most important thing is to keep our back straight to prevent our mind from becoming sluggish or sleepy.

    The first stage of meditation is to stop distractions and make our mind clearer and more lucid.

    We sit with our eyes partially closed and turn our attention to our breathing. We breathe naturally, preferably through the nostrils, without attempting to control our breath, and we try to become aware of the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. This sensation is our object of meditation. We should try to concentrate on it to the exclusion of everything else.

    At first, our mind will be very busy, and we might even feel that the meditation is making our mind busier; but in reality we are just becoming more aware of how busy our mind actually is. There will be a great temptation to follow the different thoughts as they arise, but we should resist this and remain focused single-pointedly on the sensation of the breath. If we discover that our mind has wandered and is following our thoughts, we should immediately return it to the breath. We should repeat this as many times as necessary until the mind settles on the breath.

    Benefits of Meditation

    If we practise patiently in this way, gradually our distracting thoughts will subside and we will experience a sense of inner peace and relaxation. Our mind will feel lucid and spacious and we will feel refreshed. When the sea is rough, sediment is churned up and the water becomes murky, but when the wind dies down the mud gradually settles and the water becomes clear. In a similar way, when the otherwise incessant flow of our distracting thoughts is calmed through concentrating on the breath, our mind becomes unusually lucid and clear. We should stay with this state of mental calm for a while.
    Even though breathing meditation is only a preliminary stage of meditation, it can be quite powerful. We can see from this practice that it is possible to experience inner peace and contentment just by controlling the mind, without having to depend at all upon external conditions.

    So much of the stress and tension we normally experience comes from our mind

    When the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and our mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment naturally arises from within. This feeling of contentment and well-being helps us to cope with the busyness and difficulties of daily life. So much of the stress and tension we normally experience comes from our mind, and many of the problems we experience, including ill health, are caused or aggravated by this stress. Just by doing breathing meditation for ten or fifteen minutes each day, we will be able to reduce this stress. We will experience a calm, spacious feeling in the mind, and many of our usual problems will fall away. Difficult situations will become easier to deal with, we will naturally feel warm and well disposed towards other people, and our relationships with others will gradually improve.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2011
    Location: EARTH
    Posts: 4,662

    Transforming Meditations

    Meditation is a method for acquainting our mind with virtue. The more familiar our mind is with virtue, the calmer and more peaceful it becomes. When our mind is peaceful we are free from worries and mental discomfort, and we experience true happiness. If we train our mind to become peaceful we shall be happy all the time, even in the most adverse conditions, but if our mind is not peaceful, then even if we have the most pleasant external conditions we shall not be happy. Therefore it is important to train our mind through meditation.

    When our mind is peaceful we are free from worries and mental discomfort, and we experience true happiness.

    There are two types of meditation: analytical meditation and placement meditation. When we contemplate the meaning of a Dharma instruction that we have heard or read we are doing analytical meditation. By deeply contemplating the instruction, eventually we reach a conclusion or cause a specific virtuous state of mind to arise. This is the object of placement meditation. Having found our object through analytical meditation, we then concentrate on it single-pointedly for as long as possible to become deeply acquainted with it. This single-pointed concentration is placement meditation. Often, analytical meditation is called simply `contemplation’, and placement meditation simply `meditation’. Placement meditation depends upon contemplation, and contemplation depends upon listening to or reading Dharma instructions.

    Since most of the problems we experience when we are new to meditation come from overstraining at placement meditation, it is important to be moderate and avoid becoming tense from exerting too much pressure. The effort we apply should be relaxed and steady, and whenever we become tired we should rest.

    Lamrim: The Stages of the Buddhist Path

    In general, any virtuous object can be used as an object of meditation. If we discover that by acquainting our mind with a particular object our mind becomes more peaceful and virtuous, this indicates that for us that object is virtuous. If the opposite happens, for us it is a non-virtuous object. Many objects are neutral and have no particular positive or negative effect on our mind.

    If we appreciate the great potential of this life we shall not waste it

    There are many different virtuous objects of meditation. By relying upon a qualified Spiritual Guide we open the door to practising Dharma. Through the blessings of our Spiritual Guide we generate faith and confidence in our practice, and easily attain all the realizations of the stages of the path. For these reasons we need to meditate on relying upon a Spiritual Guide. We need to meditate on our precious human life to realize that we now have a special opportunity to practise Dharma. If we appreciate the great potential of this life we shall not waste it by engaging in meaningless activities.

    We need to meditate on love, compassion….
    and develop and maintain a good heart towards all living beings.

    We need to meditate on death and impermanence to overcome procrastination, and to ensure that our Dharma practice is pure by overcoming our preoccupation with worldly concerns. If we practise Dharma purely it is not very difficult to attain realizations. By meditating on the danger of lower rebirth, taking refuge sincerely, and avoiding non-virtue and practising virtue, we protect ourself from taking lower rebirth and ensure that life after life we shall obtain a precious human rebirth endowed with all the conditions conducive to the practice of Dharma.
    We need to meditate on the sufferings of humans and gods so that we develop a spontaneous wish to attain permanent liberation, or nirvana. This wish, known as `renunciation’, strongly encourages us to complete the practice of the spiritual paths, which are the actual methods for attaining full liberation.

    We need to meditate on love, compassion, and bodhichitta so that we can overcome our self-cherishing and develop and maintain a good heart towards all living beings. With this good heart we need to meditate on tranquil abiding and superior seeing so that we can eradicate our ignorance and finally become a Buddha by abandoning the two types of obstruction.

    What is the goal of meditation?

    Through analytical meditation we shall perceive our object clearly, then through placement meditation we shall gain deeper levels of experience or realization. The main purpose of all Lamrim meditations is to transform our mind into the path to enlightenment by bringing about the deepest levels of realization. The sign that we have gained perfect realization of any object is that none of our subsequent actions are incompatible with it and that all of them become more meaningful. For example, when we have gained a perfect realization of compassion we are never again capable of willingly inflicting harm upon any other living being and all our subsequent actions are influenced by compassion.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Apr 2011
    Location: EARTH
    Posts: 4,662

    How to Meditate on Lamrim

    By training in meditation eventually we shall be able to maintain a peaceful mind continuously, throughout our life.

    There are five essential stages to successful meditation on Lamrim:

    1. Preparation

    The preparatory practices prepare our mind for successful meditation by purifying hindrances caused by our previous negative actions, empowering our mind with merit, and inspiring it with the blessings of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

    Geshe Kelsang explains that we all have the potential to gain realizations of the twenty-one Lamrim meditations.

    Geshe Kelsang explains that we all have the potential to gain realizations of the twenty-one Lamrim meditations. As he says, these potentials are like seeds in the field of our mind, and our meditation practice is like cultivating these seeds. However, our meditation practice will be successful only if we make good preparations beforehand. If we want to cultivate external crops we begin by making careful preparations. First, we remove from the soil anything that might obstruct their growth, such as stones and weeds. Second, we enrich the soil with compost or fertilizer to give it the strength to sustain growth. Third, we provide warm, moist conditions to enable the seeds to germinate and the plants to grow. In the same way, to cultivate our inner crops of Dharma realizations we must also begin by making careful preparations. First, we must purify our mind to eliminate the negative karma we have accumulated in the past, because if we do not purify this karma it will obstruct the growth of Dharma realizations. Second, we need to give our mind the strength to support the growth of Dharma realizations by accumulating merit. Third, we need to activate and sustain the growth of Dharma realizations by receiving the blessings of the holy beings.

    There are three essential preparations for successful meditation: purifying negativities, accumulating merit, and receiving blessings.

    It is very important to receive blessings. For example, if we are growing outer crops, even if we remove the weeds and fertilize the soil we shall not be able to grow anything if we do not provide warmth and moisture. These germinate the seeds, sustain the growth of the plants, and finally ripen the crop. In the same way, even if we purify our mind and accumulate merit we shall find it difficult to meet with success in our meditations if we do not receive the blessings of the holy beings. Receiving blessings transforms our mind by activating our virtuous potentials, sustaining the growth of our Dharma realizations, and bringing our Dharma practice to completion.

    From this we can see that there are three essential preparations for successful meditation: purifying negativities, accumulating merit, and receiving blessings.

    Prayers For Meditation

    If you like, you can engage in these preparatory practices by reciting the following prayers while contemplating their meaning,
    Going for refuge

    (We imagine ourself and all other living beings going for refuge
    while reciting three times):

    I and all sentient beings, until we achieve enlightenment,
    Go for refuge to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. (3x, 7x, 100x, or more)

    Generating bodhichitta

    Through the virtues I collect by giving and other perfections,
    May I become a Buddha for the benefit of all. (3x)

    Generating the four immeasurables

    May everyone be happy,
    May everyone be free from misery,
    May no one ever be separated from their happiness,
    May everyone have equanimity, free from hatred and attachment.
    Visualizing the Field for Accumulating Merit

    In the space before me is the living Buddha Shakyamuni surrounded
    by all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, like the full moon surrounded by stars.

    Prayer of seven limbs

    With my body, speech, and mind, humbly I prostrate,
    And make offerings both set out and imagined.
    I confess my wrong deeds from all time,
    And rejoice in the virtues of all.
    Please stay until samsara ceases,
    And turn the Wheel of Dharma for us.
    I dedicate all virtues to great enlightenment.

    Offering the mandala

    The ground sprinkled with perfume and spread with flowers,
    The Great Mountain, four lands, sun and moon,
    Seen as a Buddha Land and offered thus,
    May all beings enjoy such Pure Lands.
    I offer without any sense of loss
    The objects that give rise to my attachment, hatred, and confusion,
    My friends, enemies, and strangers, our bodies and enjoyments;
    Please accept these and bless me to be released directly from the three poisons.

    Prayer of the Stages of the Path

    The path begins with strong reliance
    On my kind Teacher, source of all good;
    O Bless me with this understanding
    To follow him with great devotion.

    This human life with all its freedoms,
    Extremely rare, with so much meaning;
    O Bless me with this understanding
    All day and night to seize its essence.

    My body, like a water bubble,
    Decays and dies so very quickly;
    After death come results of karma,
    Just like the shadow of a body.

    With this firm knowledge and remembrance
    Bless me to be extremely cautious,
    Always avoiding harmful actions
    And gathering abundant virtue.

    Samsara’s pleasures are deceptive,
    Give no contentment, only torment;
    So please bless me to strive sincerely
    To gain the bliss of perfect freedom.

    O Bless me so that from this pure thought
    Come mindfulness and greatest caution,
    To keep as my essential practice
    The doctrine’s root, the Pratimoksha.

    Just like myself all my kind mothers
    Are drowning in samsara’s ocean;
    O So that I may soon release them,
    Bless me to train in bodhichitta.

    But I cannot become a Buddha
    By this alone without three ethics;
    So bless me with the strength to practice
    The Bodhisattva’s ordination.

    By pacifying my distractions
    And analyzing perfect meanings,
    Bless me to quickly gain the union
    Of special insight and quiescence.

    When I become a pure container
    Through common paths, bless me to enter
    The essence practice of good fortune,
    The supreme vehicle, Vajrayana.

    The two attainments both depend on
    My sacred vows and my commitments;
    Bless me to understand this clearly
    And keep them at the cost of my life.

    By constant practice in four sessions,
    The way explained by holy Teachers,
    O Bless me to gain both the stages,
    Which are the essence of the Tantras.

    May those who guide me on the good path,
    And my companions all have long lives;
    Bless me to pacify completely
    All obstacles, outer and inner.

    May I always find perfect Teachers,
    And take delight in holy Dharma,
    Accomplish all grounds and paths swiftly,
    And gain the state of Vajradhara.
    Receiving blessings and purifying

    From the hearts of all the holy beings,
    streams of light and nectar flow down,
    granting blessings and purifying.

    (At this point we begin the actual contemplation and meditation. After the meditation we dedicate our merit while reciting the following prayers

  4. #4
    Join Date: Apr 2011
    Location: EARTH
    Posts: 4,662

    Dedication prayers

    Through the virtues I have collected
    By practising the stages of the path,
    May all living beings find the opportunity
    To practise in the same way.
    May everyone experience
    The happiness of humans and gods,
    And quickly attain enlightenment,
    So that samsara is finally extinguished.

    2. Contemplation

    The purpose of contemplation is to bring to mind the object of placement meditation. We do this by considering various lines of reasoning, contemplating analogies, and reflecting on the scriptures. It is helpful to memorize the contemplations given in each section so that we can meditate without having to look at the text. The contemplations given here are intended only as guidelines. We should supplement and enrich them with whatever reasons and examples we find helpful.

    3. Meditation

    When through our contemplations the object appears clearly, we leave our analytical meditation and concentrate on the object single-pointedly. This single-pointed concentration is the third part, the actual meditation.

    When we first start to meditate, our concentration is poor; we are easily distracted and often lose our object of meditation. Therefore, to begin with we shall probably need to alternate between contemplation and placement meditation many times in each session. For example, if we are meditating on compassion we begin by contemplating the various sufferings experienced by living beings until a strong feeling of compassion arises in our heart. When this feeling arises we meditate on it single-pointedly. If the feeling fades, or if our mind wanders to another object, we should return to analytical meditation to bring the feeling back to mind. When the feeling has been restored we once again leave our analytical meditation and hold the feeling with single-pointed concentration.

    Both contemplation and meditation serve to acquaint our mind with virtuous objects. The more familiar we are with such objects, the more peaceful our mind becomes. By training in meditation, and living in accordance with the insights and resolutions developed during meditation, eventually we shall be able to maintain a peaceful mind continuously, throughout our life. More detailed instructions on the contemplations and on meditation in general can be found in Introduction to Buddhism, Joyful Path of Good Fortune, and Universal Compassion.

    4. Dedication

    Dedication directs the merit produced by our meditation towards the attainment of Buddhahood. If merit is not dedicated it can easily be destroyed by anger. By reciting the dedication prayers sincerely at the end of each meditation session we ensure that the merit we created by meditating is not wasted but acts as a cause for enlightenment.

    5. Subsequent Practice

    This consists of advice on how to integrate the meditation into our daily life. It is important to remember that Dharma practice is not confined to our activities during the meditation session; it should permeate our whole life. We should not allow a gulf to develop between our meditation and our daily life, because the success of our meditation depends upon the purity of our conduct outside the meditation session. We should keep a watch over our mind at all times by applying mindfulness, alertness, and conscientiousness; and we should try to abandon whatever bad habits we may have. Deep experience of Dharma is the result of practical training over a long period of time, both in and out of meditation, therefore we should practise steadily and gently, without being in a hurry to see results. To summarize, our mind is like a field. Engaging in the preparatory practices is like preparing the field by removing obstacles caused by past negative actions, making it fertile with merit, and watering it with the blessings of the holy beings. Contemplation and meditation are like sowing good seeds, and dedication and subsequent practice are the methods for ripening our harvest of Dharma realizations.

    Lamrim instructions are not given merely for the sake of intellectual understanding of the path to enlightenment. They are given to help us to gain deep experience, and should therefore be put into practice. If we train our mind in these meditations every day, eventually we shall gain perfect realizations of all the stages of the path. Until we have reached this stage we should not tire of listening to oral teachings on Lamrim or reading authentic Lamrim commentaries, and then contemplating and meditating on these instructions. We need continually to expand our understanding of these essential topics and to use this new understanding to enhance our regular meditation.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jul 2015
    Location: LA
    Posts: 24

    It is very useful thanks for sharing.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2011
    Location: EARTH
    Posts: 4,662

    Glad you found it helpful man.I swear by it.

  7. #7

    Meditation Techniques for Beginners

    Thanks for sharing, it is very helpful to me and i am very interested in meditation.

    And i want to share the Meditation Techniques for Beginners those who want to start meditation.

    I found this topic in "Healthclaps" and i followed at my beginning meditation, it was very helpful to me.

    Starters How to do?

    1. Sit straight
    Sit in a chair or on the floor or on a stool. *If you sit on the floor on a mat will be more comfortable to you. Keep your head straight and sit straightly.

    2. Make your body to relax
    Close your eyes and examine your body, relaxing each body part. Beginning with your toes relax *feet, ankles and continue to make relax your entire body parts. *Don’t forget to relax the common areas for us to hold tension which are neck, shoulders, eyes, face, jaw and tongue.

    3. Be immobile and quiet
    Now be yourself immobile and quiet and don’t concentrate or react to the surrounding sounds and be still. **

    4. Breathing
    Now put a concentration or attention on your breath. Breathe quietly, deeply and fill your lungs. But do not breath forcefully. *Observe how your breath feels in your nose, throat, chest and tummy as it goes in and out.

    5. Follow some mantra
    While you are breathing follow some mantra like god names or slokas silently yourself to avoid the surrounding sounds. *A simple mantra for beginners is to say silently with each breath, I am breathing in, I am breathing out. But, put concentration on breath is very important not on mantra. Calm your mind and Keep doing it.

    6. When and how to end your practice?
    You can do it for periods of time but for beginners do 5 to 10 minutes *And increase your time day by day. When you want to stop your practice, slow down your breath and attention back to your surroundings. Gently twist your fingers and toes, move your hands, feet, arms and legs. And finally open your eyes. *Move slowly and take your time to get up.

    Follow this step and keep going daily. Thus, you can feel more better and cool life.

    Meditation tips for beginners

    1. Start and do less time that is 3-5 minutes or less at beginning. And increase your time day by day, do periods of time.

    2. Understand what is meditation and how to follow. You can avoid stress, anxiety, irritability, or over thinking with meditation.*

    3. Get knowledge on the methods and principles of meditation.

    4. Do meditation your own way by following the meditation steps and techniques.

    5. Avoid thinking of other things.

    6. For better feeling do meditation in a quiet and peaceful nature.

    Know more Meditation methods and techniques in "Healthclaps"
    Last edited by Supergirl; 08-11-2015 at 10:54 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Mar 2015
    Location: London
    Posts: 622

    I can't relax for shit...
    Maybe this help me...I'll give it a try

  9. #9
    Join Date: Apr 2011
    Location: EARTH
    Posts: 4,662

    Thanks for the addition Supergirl.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Apr 2011
    Location: EARTH
    Posts: 4,662

    Frandman,nothing has helped me more than meditation.You hear guys all the time talking about what drugs they get doped up on to relax but with all the wonderful negative sides that go with them,which in many cases are far worse than what they started taking the meds for in the first place.With meditation you get no negative sides,no addiction,no NOTHING but finding ones inner peace.

    The thing is,with meds,you may be doping yourself into relaxing and temporarily forgetting whats causing your anxiety but you're not fixing the problem thats causing it.So once the dope wears off,you're back to square one and most times,worse off than before do the crash you experience when sobered up.With meditation,it helps free your mind up and deal with life's stresses much better.Learning to accept and deal with the stresses of life is a much better,natural and permanent fix.

    Trust me,once you start and stay with it,you become more and more in tune with yourself and will find it easier and easier to go through life without getting upset with the same things that once plagued you.


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