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Thread: Meditation experience and understanding

  1. #1

    Meditation experience and understanding

    Dear friends,

    Do you meditate? If so, what has been your most significant meditation experience, if any ?

    In general, do you feel that you have benefited from your practice - or are you having difficulties? ?

    (Please mention the type of meditation that you practice).


    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Previous Member
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    Yes, I do and have for many years though there have been periods when my mediation practice has been informal and irregular, but I ‘sit’ most evenings.

    My ‘regular’ mediation practice is shikantaza, often using the breath to ‘settle’. If I use the breath, I don’t count, except on occasion when I count “one, one, one”; otherwise I get attached to counting.

    I sometimes (rarely) use mantras, have ‘sat’ with koans (when I began sitting I used “Mu”), and have practiced “jhana meditation”. I’ve tried 'noting' (too busy for me), scanning (I’m awful at this), and visualizations (I can’t).

    I don’t know what has been my “most significant meditation experience”. I have experienced the jhanas (but those are not awakening) and many ‘small’ insights, but no anuttara-samyak-sambodhi (unexcelled perfect awakening).

    Perhaps the “most significant meditation experience” was my first. I was in my early 20’s and was struggling with a self-inflicted torment, an ‘inner dissatisfaction’ which I didn’t understand. The issue seemed to be that I didn’t know who or what I was – I didn’t know the ‘real me’. And I didn’t know how to resolve this. Philosophy and psychology didn’t seem to hold the answer, and I didn’t know anyone I felt comfortable talking to about what I was experiencing. So I sat alone with it – night after night, for weeks, and then months. I couldn’t ignore it; I was like a dog chasing its tail, but I was trying to “grasp my mind”. Then one night I experienced a breakthrough – a sudden stillness, a quietness; it was as if I had stepped off the tormenting round of thoughts and onto an unmoving center point. And I experienced profound relief.

  3. #3
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    I practice Zazen and I am developing a peaceful mind.


  4. #4
    Forums Member Thinker's Avatar
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    I use basic breath meditation, normally take four deeper breaths then I enter gently and watch thought come and go,have been trying metta and I think it a lovely practice:

    https://youtu.be/246SybftLZs

  5. #5
    Forums Member Laura lou's Avatar
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    When I did a yahoo search for “types of meditation,” I came up with a very basic group of types which I guess you could say is in laymen’s terms, for people like me ( there must be others out there). They are mindfulness, spiritual, focused, movement, mantra, transcendental, progressive relaxation, lovingkindness, and visualization. I will try to share the link. I would love a link to something teaching the different types in not so laymen terms, as well, if anyone would be willing to share.

    Thank you for the meditation, Thinker. It motivated me to meditate, which I haven’t in many months. My mind was quite all over the place!

    I enjoy focused meditation, in which I’m focused on sounds around me that I just sort of fall into one with, and I have no thoughts, just the oneness with everything. These are my most awesome meditation experiences. I also appreciate movement meditation, like while doing yoga. Not so much walking meditation. I like the use of visualization, and Guided Loving kindness meditation always feels great!


    http://healthline.com Search “meditation” and then click on “9 types”
    Last edited by Laura lou; 27 Oct 20 at 22:50.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Laura Lou
    When I did a yahoo search for “types of meditation,” I came up with a very basic group of types ....
    Hi Laura Lou, thank you for your interest and for your post. Not all types of meditation are considered to be Buddhist meditation - and that's what we focus on here at BWB, so therefore its best for us to look for resources at reliable Buddhist websites or in books by Buddhist teachers.

    Could everyone also have a look at the pinned guidelines for this particular forum, please.

    We do have a couple of links at the beginning of the topic list here, which are "Beginners to Buddhist Meditation"-a series of short 5 minute videos on YouTube and "Meditation Primer - Mindfulness of Breathing" a guided audio meditation.

    In Tibetan Buddhism and in Theravada Buddhism, when people learn to meditate at an offline Buddhist centre or monastery, they usually start with basic Samatha meditation. That's been my own experience over a number of years, but I'm not sure about other Buddhist schools/traditions.



  7. #7
    Forums Member Laura lou's Avatar
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    Sorry...I wasn’t thinking.

  8. #8
    Technical Administrator woodscooter's Avatar
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    Thinker - Thank you for that link to Bhikkhu Analayo's guided Metta meditation. I shall go back to it from time to time.

  9. #9
    Forums Member JadeRabbit's Avatar
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    About 5 years ago, I sat with a Soto Zen group, who taught 'shikantaza', and realised that is the practice I've been doing for the past 15 years, despite trying other types of meditation such as 'samatha' or 'vipassana'. If anyone asks now, I say I just sit Zazen.

    It's helped my practice to let go of searching for significant experiences and strip meditation back to just sitting.

    I've not had any special experiences or sudden awakenings while sitting. Any insight I've gained has been off the cushion, and has happened at completely random times - not when especially quiet or walking in nature, for instance. However, they have been very significant and personal to me such as knowing and understanding exactly why my best friend committed suicide when he was 21.

  10. #10
    Global Moderator
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    I tried out many different types of meditation as an experiment before I took up Buddhism. The worst experience was trying to contact past selves (this was a lo.....ng time ago and didn't end well). The best was after I started going to the Buddhist centre and went retreat with them. I was working on mindfulness of breathing when suddenly felt that I was no longer the one doing the breathing and I became more of a conduit for the breath. Best because it was the first of a number of 'interesting' meditation experience in the good sense of the word, and encouraged me to stay with a couple of basic meditations for a while: Mindfulness of Breathing and Metta Bhavana.

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