Meditation

Anybody here practise meditation or "mindfulness" on a regular basis? Have you tried any apps for it? Any specific techniques that work for you, especially if you're the type that can't stay still for long?

I've recently got Sam Harris' "Wake Up" app, since I liked him anyway. Since I've experienced a lot of (mental and emotional) ups and downs this year, I've been putting more effort into physical well-being to keep myself stable. I enjoy his books and conversations so much, I've actually taken to listening to audiobooks since I just don't have time to sit down and read as much anymore. I found the theoretical part just as useful as the practical exercises, especially for emotional and self-awareness. Without having any great epiphany or breakthrough moment, I actually noticed a distinct decrease in my anxiety too. 

Comments

  • For about the past year, I have been sitting in silence with the Quakers at Pendle Hill.  If you had asked me before the pandemic if I thought a meaningful Quaker meeting could be held over Zoom, I would have laughed at you. 

    But in fact it has been more meaningful for me than the in person meetings.

    First of all, as an aspie, I always found the socializing before and after the meeting difficult.

    Second, people who want and find meaning in meeting in silence every day have a level of commitment not seen in the meetings I have attended in person, in the past.  There is much more wisdom and when there are verbal messages, they are for the most part very meaningful. 

    Third. Pendle Hill is located in Pennsylvania. They have had an 8:30 am daily worship there for 90 years. They did not want to give in to the pandemic. With Zoom now, attending the meetings are anywhere from 60 to 160 people from all over the world. England, of course, but also China, Mexico, Honduras, France, Poland; I can't remember them all. And of course, all over the US. 

    Meditation or worshipping in the manner of Friends (not the same, but close) is a practice. Once or twice does not do it. It is a maturation over time. 

    I always want to "go" to meeting. I've only missed when work has required I leave home before the meeting. It is fulfilling.

    With the pandemic restrictions, there has been some concern that they would stop the zoom meetings, but I think they will continue.  We are too scattered. Some people are disabled and can't get out. Some are isolated like me and can't drive to a meeting. Or are too old to drive. Families can come and little ones sit on laps, or color and it is so wonderful to see the little ones. 

    The personal connections, knowing each other just through zoom meetings for worship, is real and deep. The spiritual growth comes along with it. I finally feel like I am practicing Quakerism as it is meant to be.  It is, I think it is something like a Buddhist sanga. 
  • For about the past year, I have been sitting in silence with the Quakers at Pendle Hill.  If you had asked me before the pandemic if I thought a meaningful Quaker meeting could be held over Zoom, I would have laughed at you. 

    But in fact it has been more meaningful for me than the in person meetings.
    ...
    With the pandemic restrictions, there has been some concern that they would stop the zoom meetings, but I think they will continue.  We are too scattered. Some people are disabled and can't get out. Some are isolated like me and can't drive to a meeting. Or are too old to drive. Families can come and little ones sit on laps, or color and it is so wonderful to see the little ones. 

    I've also been sceptical towards the use of technology in some ways and had a few good surprises. I've actually been putting some effort lately into trying things that seem counterintuitive with interesting results. It's good to be reminded how adaptable we actually are.

    I hope you can continue your meetings, in whatever form possible.

    Meditation or worshipping in the manner of Friends (not the same, but close) is a practice. Once or twice does not do it. It is a maturation over time. 
    I'm used to diving full force into things and getting fast or at least measurable progress, but this approach doesn't work with some things. 

    Putting consistent, relatively low-level effort over a long period of time can be problematic for me, not so much due to lack of patience or commitment, as to not feeling able to "measure" or evaluate my methodology and progress: do I make any? should I change my approach? am I wasting my time?

    I've been slowly shifting and the decrease in anxiety has been extremely helpful. Instead of feeling like an old dog trying to learn new tricks, I started enjoying the practice in itself without seeking any other benefits, even if a change has been noticed by others. I'm still adjusting to the idea of doing something that feels good for no practical reasons 😁

    Thank you for sharing, blaze, this must have been so useful to you in many aspects of life. I think such practices can affect you in ways that can't be measured or even perceived consciously, but end up permeating every aspect of your being, from the way you think to the way you act.
  • I quite relate to wanting to see progress in a relatively short period of time. I am constantly evaluating my choices in everything. There’s a great deal of anxiety around these choices.

    I have found that getting older has helped a lot. More data on how things work over time. More patience. Patience actually feels good. A relief. 
  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    I have done guided mindfulness, lying down. Amity has done some including walking mindfulness.
  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    I have also done some biofeedback/neurofeedback some of the techniques without the feedback are simualr to mindfulness, or other form of meditations.
  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor
    I've tried things like this, though it's a little hard to do due to my ADHD, the resulting hyperactivity, and my anxiety levels. They all kind of feed off of each other and make me restless most of the time. Even when I try to just chill normally, my mind is often going 100 miles an hour and I can't hold still at all. 🤔
  • Hylian said:
    I've tried things like this, though it's a little hard to do due to my ADHD, the resulting hyperactivity, and my anxiety levels. They all kind of feed off of each other and make me restless most of the time. Even when I try to just chill normally, my mind is often going 100 miles an hour and I can't hold still at all. 🤔
    I don't have AD(H)D and I'm the same. Generally restless and my mind is racing or spinning most of the time. My difficulties with sleep seem related to the same thing. Most of it seems to be caused by anxiety in my case. I've been reading about how your limbic system gets shaped/wired during infancy based on your environment and experiences: children who didn't feel safe around their caregivers end up having this permanent feeling of alert and danger as their "normal" state.

    Strenuous exercise is the only thing that never fails in slowing down or even quieting my mind and interacting with animals seems to do some good too. Now I'm exploring other techniques with varying degrees of success. 
  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor
    My anxiety and feeling "on guard" all the time makes it hard for me to sleep, too. I don't think I get into deeper stages of sleep as often as I need to, which ironically contributes to my discomfort and anxiety during the day.

    I also don't know if exercise calms me much (I'm hyperactive though so I have endless energy to burn... lol), but anything I can manage to hyperfocus on (video games, drawing, etc.) seems to help a bit more with that.
  • Probably more to your point, Bender (than the Quaker stuff);

    I started meditating as part of a group doing John Bradshaw’s inner child work. He has/had a number of guided meditations that I found useful and powerful. This was some 30 years ago. 

    Later, I did some work with a hypnotherapist. She taught me a way, via her hypnotic training, to enter a meditative-like state in 3 slow seconds. There was a 15 minute session which I started doing 1-2x per day. There was also a 3 minute option. I’d use it to prepare for walking into class when I was teaching.
  • Probably more to your point, Bender (than the Quaker stuff);

    It was very much on point - I'm less interested in methodology as I am in the effects of such practices, so your Quaker related posts have always been very interesting to me 🙂

    Later, I did some work with a hypnotherapist. She taught me a way, via her hypnotic training, to enter a meditative-like state in 3 slow seconds. There was a 15 minute session which I started doing 1-2x per day. There was also a 3 minute option. I’d use it to prepare for walking into class when I was teaching.
    I've heard of this, but never tried it myself. I was tempted when I quit smoking but couldn't find anyone at the time. After several failed attempts, success boiled down (again) to how I approached it mentally.

    As I approach the end of Sam Harris's book Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, I'm realising that I've actually been using certain types of exercise as an effective form of meditation/mindfulness for a while now, as counterintuitive as it might sound. Instead of being an inhabitant or observer living in my own body, I just become my body, free of judgement and existing solely in the moment. I paid more attention during the last few sessions and realised that this "switch" happens by now almost instantly or automatically shortly after I start, along with the way I'm breathing, even during low-level effort. 
  • BTW, tangents are allowed and encouraged, I just forgot to tick the box
  • Buddhism has a practice of, for example, walking meditation. Yoga can be practiced with mindfulness. I had a friend who did t’ai chee and it certainly looked meditative when she did it. 

    So exercise for mindfulness makes sense to me.
Sign In or Register to comment.