March 13, 2013 at 1:15 am #6782
I’m a lurker at NBL. I’ve been looking around for good resources on practicing mindfulness and meditation. Do you have any recommendations? I know google is my friend but there is a ton of crap to sift through out there. I’m more interested in practice than scripture. I’ve already got a fairly fleshed out understanding of the world but I also have a wandering, sometimes self destructive thought gusher that I need to get a better handle on.
Also – what is your opinion of UG Krishnamurti? I recently read Mind is a Myth. Not sure how I found it….on one of my random journey’s through cyberspace in search of insight i’m sure.
SuibhneMarch 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm #6786
Hi Suibhne, welcome to this blog.
Thinking about my own quest, the most useful book was The Heart of Buddhist Meditation by Nyanaponika Thera, which I read a very long time ago. For today’s short attention spans and slick writing styles, it’s probably hard going, because it’s written in an old fashioned style with a lot of repetition, so requires some determination. But then, that’s a good thing ! 😉 Cultivate the will to overcome obstacles right from the start, hahahaha
It was the first book with stuff in it that i could apply in my daily life that worked and made sense.
Personally I don’t rate UG Krishnamurti very highly. Not that he’s bad, just not great. The other Krishnamurti I’d say is one of the all time greats, but then doesn’t actually tell you much useful stuff to do in your own daily life.
Look, here’s some gentle advice for you or anyone else, towards gently waking up. Anytime you remember to do it, wherever you happen to be, take in a full breath whilst trying to be as aware as possible of every sense, everything you can possibly feel, hear, taste, touch, etc, at that time, while you breath in and out… You know, I mean everything, inner feelings, posture, the weight of your body on the soles of your feet pressing the ground, the touch of your clothes against your skin… Then let it go. Just sustain huge effort to the max, for that brief time. One ordinary breath, in, pause, and out. Then get on with life. And next time you remember, do it again. And I guarantee you, if you do that just a few times, over 24 hours, for a few days, all of a sudden, after a few days, you’ll get some amazing ‘waking up’ experience.
It’s very simple, very easy, almost effortless. Doesn’t need any books or gurus.March 13, 2013 at 4:49 pm #6788
I found a review of the book hereMarch 14, 2013 at 2:05 am #6795
Thanks. That last part of your first post is the kind of reminder i’m looking for. I picked up the book as well. Should be here by the end of the week. I’ve also read some Ramana Maharshi so i’m not a complete novice in the inquiry arena. I’ve never given it my full attention though.
Now appears to be a good time to do so. I’m 26 and I feel like i’m at the end of my existential rope. I’ve chased fantasy, american football, history, women, self help, political ideology, rhetoric, philosophy, sustainability, among others down the rabbit hole…probably in that order. All I got to show for it was a dusty old copy of The Silmarillion, a few brain rattling concussions, an unfortunate collection of essays by Austrian Economists, a plaster bust of Epicurus, and a half finished permaculture project in the back yard. I did pick up a Brazilian lover along the way who has turned out to be a most faithful companion so it wasn’t all a waste.
Now i’m just staring into the abyss. Not that i’m unhappy about it. It’s a relief in a strange way. My story doesn’t matter much at all to me anymore. It’s even made my indenture as a cubicle dwelling keyboard jockey slightly more tolerable. Only $13,000 more until I break my bondage to the student loan industry. I must exercise some form of mastery less this freedom go to waste.
I listened to some of your finger picking. Enjoyed it.
SuibhneMarch 14, 2013 at 5:56 am #6796
Glad you like my guitar picking. I’m doing a lot of it at the moment. I’m searching for something. I don’t know what it is. It’s got nothing to do with almost any of the music I hear on youtube or, indeed, through most of my life. Nothing to do with music theory. It’s not meant to entertain people. I hear little hints of it now and then, when I play the tracks back, and I think that’s what I want, but when I play I can’t catch it… so I keep on trying 😉
Found this book useful
This is pretty interesting
I want to spend as much time staring into the terrifying abyss of raw reality as I possibly can during the time that I have left of my life. If everybody else thinks I’m crazy, that’s their problem. They live in such a drab, wretched, pitiful, sad culture, and call it ‘normal’…. dear, dear… poor things.April 3, 2013 at 2:40 pm #6985
Aaah, I ought to finish a tiny, tiny piece of academic writing, about MRSA and breaking the chain of infection…, and I cannot get started….feel like having to eat boiled fish liver…
Instead I google articles on “self-discipline”…
Here’s what you do: you pick a task, then set a timer – a tool celebrated previously in this space – for 25 minutes, no exceptions. Cirillo uses a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato, and is Italian, hence “pomodoro”. Work. When it rings, stop for five minutes. Repeat three more times, then take a longer break. That’s just about it.April 3, 2013 at 7:52 pm #6993
There’s these ancient tantric spiritual teachings, said to be four or five thousand years old.
As they are in a book and I have to type them, there’s a lot of them, I’ll not do many at a time.
They are framed as poetry, where the goddess Devi questions the god Shiva. They have this knowledge, but recite it for the benefit of other beings. In a preliterate age, this would be a useful mnemonic format.
They resemble yogic breathing techniques to raise the level of consciousness.
Radiant One, This experience may dawn between two breaths. After breath comes in ( down ) and just before turning up ( out ) – the benificence.
As breath turns from down to up, and again as breath curves from up to down, through both these turns, realise.
Or, whenever inbreath and outbreath fuse, at this instant touch the energyless energy-filled centre.April 3, 2013 at 9:31 pm #6994
A more prosaic route to mindfulness: learn how to walk on eggshellsApril 6, 2013 at 6:23 pm #7031April 6, 2013 at 8:43 pm #7035
“From the bathtub to the bathtub, I have uttered stuff and nonsense” 🙂April 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm #7036April 6, 2013 at 10:40 pm #7038
Go Zen: Drop Deserve and Take ResponsibilityApril 9, 2013 at 6:00 pm #7070April 9, 2013 at 6:01 pm #7071April 9, 2013 at 6:05 pm #7072April 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm #7073April 9, 2013 at 7:49 pm #7078
Tara Brach: Gratitude and generosity
She mentions pastor Greg Boyle and his work with gangs in LA. He set up Homeboy Industries: “nothing stops a bullet like a job”April 10, 2013 at 4:39 am #7079
“…but this is fundamental, you see, to Buddhistic philosophy. The philosophy of change.”
The one remains, the many change and pass,
heaven’s light forever shines, Earth’s shadows fly.
Life, like a dome of many-colored glass,
stains the white radiance of eternity
until death shatters it to fragments.
– ShelleyApril 10, 2013 at 5:29 am #7082
The Private SeaApril 10, 2013 at 8:42 am #7084
On the other hand…
“I am aware of myself. And, of course, the only things that are aware of themselves and conscious of their individuality are irritated eyes, cut fingers, sore teeth. A healthy eye, finger, tooth might as well not even be there. Isn’t it clear that individual consciousness is just sickness?”
― Yevgeny Zamyatin, WeApril 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm #7086
Zamyatin is just being tricky and poetic.April 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm #7087
A team of researchers led by Associate Professor Maria Kozhevnikov from the Department of Psychology at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences showed, for the first time, that it is possible for core body temperature to be controlled by the brain. The scientists found that core body temperature increases can be achieved using certain meditation techniques (g-tummo) which could help in boosting immunity to fight infectious diseases or immunodeficiency.April 11, 2013 at 11:54 am #7101
Meditation. It’s a good word to describe the activity/experience/result but for many is probably an uncomfortable or unfamiliar term. I remain stunned at how powerful meditation is and poof… nothing – nothing really, by way of common knowledge or understanding of this remarkable fact, at least not as much here in the West. Maybe this will help in some way to inspire a few more people to a different way of looking at or feeling about a subject so vital for our future.
One physical proof, most uniquely, of the effects of meditation on humans is that the brain folds more densely (greater gyrification) in the cerebral cortex which was found in studies conducted with a meditating population. Why would the brain fold more tightly? It reminds you of how muscle will grow if forced to through resistance exercise. Resistance, there it is again – and you thought muscles were sexy, a tightly toned brain will not fail to catch your third eye.
Sorry, couldn’t resist. How does meditation correlate with resistance? Meditation is supposed to be this relaxing and very calm and cerebral activity/experience right? Just think of all the images that come to mind of beautiful people sitting crossed legged in Lotus position on a mountain, park, or beach with their hands resting there on their knees while holding their index fingers and thumbs together, blissfully just being. It’s funny that this is generally a very uncomfortable position for most Western adults to sit in for any length of time and subsequently try and relax. Sounds a bit like exercise to my mind, you have to work for it…April 11, 2013 at 5:27 pm #7106April 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm #7181
“In addition, there is a growing appreciation about how different forms of meditation can have therapeutic consequences. Work that integrates body, brain and mind to understand changes in emotion can help us understand how meditation and mindfulness practices can have calming effects.”April 24, 2013 at 3:06 pm #7183
It’s time to take boredom seriously…
Stanford English scholar Saikat Majumdar traces the roots of modern literature to a fascination with the mundane.April 28, 2013 at 4:38 pm #7215April 29, 2013 at 3:38 pm #7235May 1, 2013 at 4:51 pm #7257
Researchers have found karate masters can anticipate where an attack is coming from before their opponent has even movedMay 1, 2013 at 4:55 pm #7258
The word yoga is a cognate of yoke, meaning “to combine, connect, or unify.” What is said to be unified is the personal self and the universal Self. This rarified state is a goal of nearly all esoteric practices. It is also known as achieving a state of illumination, or to be awakened or enlightened. The shift from everyday awareness to an ecstatic form of consciousness gives one direct access to knowledge of unmediated Reality. From that place one finds that personal awareness becomes aligned with or is absorbed into a universal Mind, Divine Consciousness, Great Spirit, God, or a multitude of other names used for the transcendent. It also gives rise to supernormal abilities, with “powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men!” as the narrator from the 1950s TV show Superman used to say.
At least, that’s the story we’ve been told by yogis, sages, and mystics from all cultures for millennia.
The question addressed in this book is how to interpret such fantastic claims in light of the past five centuries of scientific advancement. In the modern era, especially within Western culture, claims of enlightenment or union with a universal Self span a spectrum of belief ranging from awed devotion to exasperation and anger at New Age twaddle. There is a substantial scholarly literature on the formative role of mysticism, miracles, and claims of the supernormal in religion, but most scientists (and surprisingly, most scholars of comparative religion) have been taught to consider supernormal capacities as an embarrassment of medieval times, and as such not worthy of serious attention.
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