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Old 08-03-2011
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I deleted my long thread about meditation and am going to make it a bit shorter , simple to understand.

Anxiety, worries, stress, fears.. they all come from thoughts , accumulations in our subconscious influences our thoughts.

So basically if you feel bad it's probably because a thought has arisen and you got involved in it , once you learn how to not get involved with arising thoughts , all worries are nonexistent .

Mindfulness is the key , mindfulness is just a fancy word for awareness , being aware of what is going on in the present moment, right now , from moment to moment . As soon as you get lost in a thought you start living in an imaginative world , you are no longer aware of the present moment.

To be mindful is to simply know that there is a thought that has arisen , know that i am walking , know that i am feeling tingling in my stomach , know that for a moment i have got lost in a thought , then became aware again of the present moment etc , being a simple observer that doesn't get involved.

By being mindful , Fear , anxiety , stress , and any states brought by the thinking mind , will have no opportunity to appear. The getting involved part , is just like putting wood in the fireplace , when you stop , the fire stops. In the present moment , the reality , there is no existing fear or anxiety , until you get involved in those imaginative scary thoughts , they are like a movie , most of the time people live within their own horror movies.

It only takes a brief moment to get involved in a thought and feel the physical symptoms of , anxiety for example , and feel shakey , weak and miserable. The key is to be quickly mindful of the sensations on the body as soon as they appear, just observe sensations for sensations , not judging or labeling anything , the key is to break the habit pattern of the mind , of liking and not liking , equanimity , seeing the sensations for what they really are , just sensations , they are not your sensations , they are just there and they will pass away , just observe , don't get involved.

It can be hard and this is where seated meditation comes in , seated meditation is like going to the gym to build the mind muscle , gain control and develop sharp awareness and equanimity. You can do a quick Google search on "Anapana" meditation for a very simple technique.

Just be mindful of anything that you are doing right now , this is a simple meditation that can be done anywhere at anytime , all the time , there is not a single moment that you should not be mindful.

So sit from time to time to practice Anapana meditation , and the rest of the day , be mindful ! This is the universal cure to all suffering.

May all of you be happy !

Last edited by Blabla..; 05-04-2012 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 08-03-2011
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I practice meditation every day using a combination of breathing exercises and inner visualization techniques. I did not believe in it before I tried, but for me it worked really well from the first time I practiced it. I become totally relaxed and my mind empty's as if I had no thoughts or worries only serenity and bliss. It's a really good way to cope with stress and anxiety and I recommend everyone to try it.
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Old 08-03-2011
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Very nice upndwn , i remember when i first found out about it , it cured my insomnia instantly , it used to take me hours to fall asleep .
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Old 08-03-2011
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there's other threads with meditation techniques/walkthroughs but this one is exceptional =) Key is it takes PRACTICE no matter how much you read/learn/different methods. And consistent practice. Something I struggle with

Need to get back into Meditation.
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Very nice upndwn , i remember when i first found out about it , it cured my insomnia instantly , it used to take me hours to fall asleep .
Yeah, it has helped my insomnia a lot as well. It is easy to learn how to meditate, but it may take a while to master.
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Old 08-03-2011
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One truly great thing about Social Phobia: it tends to bring people towards Meditation and Spirituality and the journey inwards to the true peaceful self.
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Old 08-03-2011
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I try my best to meditate but there's always some kind of thought that invades my mind when it tries to be empty. I plan to continue with these practices and I sincerely hope I get somewhere with meditation. It sounds very beneficial. People say: "Focus on your breathing while meditating and that will help." It helps for a short while but then numerous thoughts pop into my head again. Ahhh...
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Old 08-03-2011
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I began meditating daily when I was first diagnosed with insomnia at 15.
After years of practice and use of different techniques, I had gotten fairly comfortable and was able to really reach a place I was happy with.

My mental breakdown 2 years ago proved to be a real bump in the road and I've been unable to meditate since. I've given up for now.
Some day I'll be at peace with myself enough to be able to get into it again but for now I don't have a snowball's chance in hell at shutting my brain off long enough to go through a session of meditation without panicking and backing out and feeling stupid for trying.
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Old 08-03-2011
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Originally Posted by Quiet Angel View Post
I try my best to meditate but there's always some kind of thought that invades my mind when it tries to be empty. I plan to continue with these practices and I sincerely hope I get somewhere with meditation. It sounds very beneficial. People say: "Focus on your breathing while meditating and that will help." It helps for a short while but then numerous thoughts pop into my head again. Ahhh...
It takes some practice. Make sure you are in a place you feel safe and you are in a comfortable position and that there are no distractions (music, tv etc.) nearby. Breathe carefully in through your nose and out through your mouth until you feel calm, then you can relax your breathing a bit more. Try to let go of all tension in your body by focusing on one part of the body at the time, starting from the top of your head down to your toes. It helps to focus on something positive; a good memory, a dish you really like, a place you love to be or a dream you want to fulfill. Many think it helps to count. I usually visualize going up (or down) ten steps while counting as part of my meditation process.

Another technique I find that works (at least for me) is to imagine a tasty fruit being sliced into thin pieces. As they are sliced try to visualize how they taste and smell. When you have "eaten" all of the pieces, imagine that the fruit is being put back together one slice at a time.
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Not to sound dumb, but I have a question about meditation. I get that you are working towards achieving a state of stillness and relaxation, but after you reach this state is there anything that can be accomplished? I mean is the whole point just about relaxing, or can you actively work out emotional or psychological problems once you reach this meditated state?
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Old 08-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowlight View Post
Not to sound dumb, but I have a question about meditation. I get that you are working towards achieving a state of stillness and relaxation, but after you reach this state is there anything that can be accomplished? I mean is the whole point just about relaxing, or can you actively work out emotional or psychological problems once you reach this meditated state?
there's different thoughts on different forms of meditation - but relax the body, relax the mind, and open yourself to such experiences. I don't think it will solve all your internal issues but it is about inner insight and mindfulness and all that.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowlight View Post
Not to sound dumb, but I have a question about meditation. I get that you are working towards achieving a state of stillness and relaxation, but after you reach this state is there anything that can be accomplished? I mean is the whole point just about relaxing, or can you actively work out emotional or psychological problems once you reach this meditated state?
Hi, welcome to the forums Lowlight

While I use meditation mainly as a tool to relax (to ease tension and stress and help in sleeping), you can also meditate to improve your cognitive capabilities, increase your self-esteem and any manner of different mental exercises. It's actually quite a useful tool when studying for an exam for example as meditation clears your mind and keeps you focused.
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Old 08-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowlight View Post
Not to sound dumb, but I have a question about meditation. I get that you are working towards achieving a state of stillness and relaxation, but after you reach this state is there anything that can be accomplished? I mean is the whole point just about relaxing, or can you actively work out emotional or psychological problems once you reach this meditated state?

Good question ,

the goal of Samatha meditations are to calm and tame the mind , while you may benefit from them they are not going to free you of your problems . They are a prerequisite to more advanced techniques.

It is not by simply observing the breath that you are going to liberate yourself from suffering , Vipassana is a technique that will take you to the final goal of happiness. This technique will help you see what is really happening within , by making you observe deeper and deeper .

Everything can be understood by observation , but one cannot observe with a wild , agitated mind .

Last edited by Blabla..; 08-19-2011 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 08-03-2011
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I was having a horribly anxious day yesterday, so I decided to try to meditate for 5 mins. I made it 4 mins before I got a phone call about of all things a rattlesnake my elderly neighbor wanted someone to shoot for her(I would never shoot an animal)and I tried to go back to meditating and she found someone else to shoot it so there was about 5-6 shots going off then another phone call from a family member on his way to visit for a week so needlesstosay I couldn't find that peaceful state again. I was very happy about the 4 mins though for which I struggled with my thoughts to shut them off and did and felt blissful. I am going to keep it up. I think the benefits are amazing. Probably one of the best things for anyone with anxiety to master.
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Old 08-03-2011
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It is very hard to start meditating on your own , the best way to start things is to attend to a meditation retreat , of at least 10 days. You won't regret it , and its free. It was the best thing i have ever done for myself.

Vipassana Meditation Courses By Alphabetical List
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Old 08-04-2011
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One of the reasons meditation helps is because..
when we are anxious our body thinks danger is around and sends out hormones (adrenalin and cortisol) to prepare to fight/flight.
If we are anxious all the time, we have lots of these hormones in our bloodstream.

If danger was around and we fought or ran away we would have used up the stress hormones but if it was only anxiety and you did neither (fight or run) then the hormones are still there. So then next time you are anxious, you get even more stress chemicals in your blood.

Meditation/relaxation turns off the stress hormone production and brings the level of these chemicals in your blood down. This means that when you are next anxious, the hormones are not adding to others already present in your blood.

After a while you can learn to do mini meditation techniques which minimise the levels of stress hormones being released when you get anxious.

I have been meditating mostly for the last 2 years and can't believe the difference it has made. I didn't even realise how anxious I was, because that was how I had always been.

Also I need to listen to guided meditations, focusing on the breath, letting go of thoughts. Unless I am doing a quick few minutes meditation I always listen to a guided meditation.

A long time ago I bought a couple of tapes but didn't like the person's style or voice. I now mainly listen to this guy
Gil Fronsdal Audio Dharma - Guided Meditations

He is a buddhist (but as buddhism has no god I am not sure why anyone would really classify it as a religion) ..and you can download the meditations for free (or give a donation)
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One of the reasons meditation helps is because..
when we are anxious our body thinks danger is around and sends out hormones (adrenalin and cortisol) to prepare to fight/flight.
If we are anxious all the time, we have lots of these hormones in our bloodstream.

If danger was around and we fought or ran away we would have used up the stress hormones but if it was only anxiety and you did neither (fight or run) then the hormones are still there. So then next time you are anxious, you get even more stress chemicals in your blood.

Meditation/relaxation turns off the stress hormone production and brings down the level of these chemicals in your blood. This means that when you are next anxious, the hormones are not adding to others already present in your blood and so the anxiety is not as bad.

After a while you can learn to do mini meditation techniques which minimise the levels of stress hormones being released when you get anxious.

I have been meditating mostly for the last 2 years and can't believe the difference it has made. I didn't even realise how anxious I had been, because that was how I was.

Also I need to listen to guided meditations, focusing on the breath, letting go of thoughts.... I always listen to a guided meditation.

A long time ago I bought a couple of tapes but didn't like the person's style or voice. I now mainly listen to this guy
Gil Fronsdal Audio Dharma - Guided Meditations

He is a buddhist (but buddhism has no god I am not sure why anyone would really classify it as a religion - it is more a philosophy) ... and you can download the meditations for free (or give a donation)
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Old 11-01-2011
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The more neuroscientists study meditation, the more benefits they uncover.

It enlarges the prefrontal cortex, improves concentration, prevents rumination, dampens worry, and gives you a peaceful state of mind.

It really is an amazing thing.
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Old 11-14-2011
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Very helpful thread thanks! I forget about the breathing part but it's really important. As for thoughts, I let them go by, like a train going by me, not judging, not controlling, eventually they kind of peter out. I've used techniques that get you to focus and imagine and work on inner archetypes. This has worked well for me and I've been able to solve many issues in my life by meditating. I've gotten to learn about myself that way and have been able to overcome some of my social issues, to be able to function better around people.
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Old 11-14-2011
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Oh Gil Fronsdal is the bomb. His voice is so soothing, just listening to him puts me in the right space.

For me, CBT and mediation go hand in hand. I can sit with my emotions without being controlled by them. I can feel afraid without acting afraid or being an afraid person. It gives me the distance to decide what I want to do. My fear doesn't make the decision for me.

^As for thoughts, I see them as birds crossing the sky, which may be why I like Kiwong's avatar so much.
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