Being Meditation — 16 Comments

  1. rachel do you have a facebook contact?? I’ve created a forum against buddhism in italy and maybe I need your help and your knowledge (against buddhism is too much rude… but my volition is that). Can you do something for me?? (consider that in italy is the very first voice against buddhism on internet, while christianity and islam are often cited in a critique way… hinduism and buddhism here enjoy of exotic charm…) tnx

    • There are probably more knowledgeable people “out there” than me. Take a look at this page. There’s also a page from some German researchers (i can’t find a reference to it). Then there’s “Zen at War,” the book, which is very critical of Buddhism. And Stephen Batchelor’s book “Confessions of an Atheist Buddhist” addresses some of the religious overlays as not authentically Buddha’s. Wikipedia has a page on it, too.

      • i know batchelor’s view… is partial… and if you read the pali canon you will see how the BUDDHA’s ancient teachings weren’t so open-minded… batchelor is another of them who want to restore an ancient tradition that for really isn’t the true ancient tradition..(Harris too).All you have to do is read something about ken wilber… he knows best buddha’s teachings (I don’t like him… but he ‘s surely the most competent in this argument : he says that the ancient tradition is tied to a primitive form of world’s and god’s interpretation… so the most modern and complete form are , as a metter of fact, the madhyamika teachings , nagarjuna, not theravada)
        I know stripping the gurus and zen at war… but I don’t need only books… I need faces.
        But if you can’t, thank you for these interesting replies 😀 matteo

        • obviously when I say”god’s interpretation” I mean the abramhic religions that share with theravada buddhism the period of development and not only… (look , for example, gnosticism, bogumilism, etc etc) When i say “world’s interpretation” I mean that jesus was the best, without imperfection, buddha was without desires… etc etc.. In those times people needed men without men’s features…(wilber’s view).
          So…to talk in this way about ancient traditions is useless and risky. sorry for the prolonged intervention!!! ciao 😀

  2. tnx for rapid answer…
    I would like that you, rachel, insert in your blog something against meditation… have you ever reflect about that.?: to concentrate our brain on fitness, running, reading (free our mind with concentration) is like to concentrate our mind on senses…
    the problem with meditation…( I read some about this) is the unconscious… let me put an italian article about this… if you want, translate. Meditation change our mind?? is possible…
    The change is useful?? mmm… sorry… I don’t think so…
    Please… step back. We don’t need meditation…Too many voices say meditation is good… but it is nothing more another addicted way to live… When we say that meditation free us, we have to think how we can set us free from meditation… Is another way to relax ourselves like alcool or drugs (not better not worst)
    U.g. krishnamurti once said “when people talk about the collateral effects of drugs and alcool, they can’t imagine what meditation can do in the brain of the meditators… (not jiddu, but u.g. krishnamurti)” think about this…: meditation is a way of run away from reality … to practice it regularly is like drug ourselves regularly. Tnx

    • I already have posted something on meditation, though i have been reading a lot more about it since i posted that.

      Meditation is a way of focusing our attention. What we pay attention to is our choice. Most of the time, we simply pay attention to whatever is in front of us – the ads, the messages from dominant culture. Those impact us, too. Impact our unconscious. Meditation is not a form of relaxation, so your drug analogy doesn’t hold. It is meant to help us increase our awareness of what we’re paying attention to. In a world where we’re bombarded with messages to do this or that, i don’t think that’s a bad thing.

      • but do you really think that meditation is the only way to focuse our atteniton???? My thought is that if meditation give us the ability to concentrate.. it give us so many problems too… please… look at the site and see what reaserches say about it.

        • No, meditation isn’t the only way to focus attention. Meditation is one way and there are lots of different forms of meditation to choose from, including a guided meditation by Daniel Siegel.

          I looked at a translation of the article you pointed me to. It’s rather superficial, so i looked for publications of the two of the researchers it mentions, Michael Persinger and Oris Leon, because there are so many forms of meditation. They are looking at Transcendental Meditation, which i am not familiar with. I did mention a researcher who looked at TM in my post on meditation.

          Overall, i think meditation is like any other tool: Be careful when you use it and don’t use it if you don’t find it beneficial. And make sure you do your research before embarking on a particular form of meditation.

      • Thanks for this comment, Rachel. I don’t know if it’s because I read a lot of Descartes, but when I hear the word “meditation” my mind immediately jumps to a reflective process, which one can easily engage in without falling back on religion. Meditation/reflection doesn’t have to involve running away from reality. I would think it’s a way to re-conceive reality. For instance, in some of your posts, you examine how our worthiness is typically construed as something we earn by doing-something. However, upon reflection, worthiness is clearly built into the act of be-ing, so if we “let go” of what the voices are telling us we SHOULD be doing, we maintain our self-worth and realize that, regardless of what we accomplish, we deserve love and all of the other benefits that come along with simply existing. Through this reflective process, one learns that the mere act of be-ing constitutes the bulk of our worthiness. Reflection allows one to step back and analyze the validity of the messages and ideas we passively receive on a daily basis and that, many times, end up being internalized. As you mention time and time again, internalizing negative messages can be pretty detrimental, so I see your “being meditation” as a good step in analyzing and confronting what has been internalized.

    • Let me elaborate a bit… I am finding meditation useful, which does not mean that i am now endorsing Buddhism. Although the critique you commented on is from early 2008, i still agree with a lot of it. I am trying to figure out ways to use some of the tools from Buddhism without including the whole package. For example, i meditate to reconsolidate changes in my brain rather than to reach nirvana…

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