Descartes’ First Meditation

by admin Feb 1, 2006 5 Comments

Benedict Eastaugh from the 9rules philosophy community is running a reading group on selected philosophical excerpts. Descartes’ Meditation is the first reading assignment, this is the first time I have come across this, and here are my thoughts:


Meditation Tip

by admin Jan 17, 2006 Add comment

meditatoin tip

“Now, let us see if we can together feel the importance of meditation, and also perceive the beauty, the implications, the subtleties of it. To begin with, that word “meditation” has a very special significance to you, has it not? You immediately think of sitting in a certain posture, breathing in a certain way, forcing the mind to concentrate on something, and so on. But to me that is not meditation at all. To me meditation is entirely different; and if you and I are to share this inquiry into what is meditation, you will obviously have to put aside your prejudices, your conditioned thinking about meditation. That is true, I think, whether we discuss politics, or a particular system of economics, or our relationship with each other.

If you are given to a particular form of so-called meditation, and the other is not, there can obviously be no sharing. You must let go of your prejudices and experiences, and he must also let go of his, so that both of you can look into the problem and find out together what is meditation.”?

From 1959 8th Public Talk, New Delhi
by Jiddu Krishnamurthi

Brain Calisthenics

by admin Jan 13, 2006 2 Comments

Brain calisthenics, a Time Magazine article, states that performing a 20-minute mental workout, can help you keep your mind strong and sharp.

The sample brain warm up exercices are fun to do, and at the same time, they point out areas that need improvement. Will it make you the smartest person on the planet, I don’t know, but it might just get your mind in shape. I am going to give it a try for 30 days, and post back my thoughts on how it went.

The Million Dollar Project

by admin Dec 5, 2005 2 Comments

I came across Steve Palina’s Million Dollar Project in a post from Alvin at about a week back. At first I was skeptical, but then I started to wonder about the effects of multiple minds working in parallel on a single intention, and whether this leads to some kind of propagation of thought through a medium that is invisible to us, eventually creating a unified mind.

It caught my interest, however, still being skeptical; I decided to wait for a positive sign from Alvin’s own test of the Million Dollar Project before I joined the experiment.The Million Dollar Project The positive sign finally came in a post he made yesterday, and as a result my test starts today, and I am going to give it a try for the next 30 days, and post my progress here.

The project requires one to take at least 60 seconds in a day to think about the following intention:

“In an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way, in its own perfect time, for the highest good of all, I intend $1,000,000 to come into my life and into the lives of everyone who holds this intention.”

I have a feeling more than my far fetched idea of a unified mind, this has got more to do with meditating on a single intention, that the focus of ones mind becomes that intention, and as a result one would unintentionally think of making money on every action they take. Just a thought, let’s see how this turns out.

Meditation reshapes the brain

by admin Dec 1, 2005 Add comment

An article on talks about the results of a study which shows how certain areas of the brain show increased thickness in people who meditate regularly.

Even though the study showed only certain areas of the brain to be affected, like the ones that deal with thought and emotion, it kind of got me wondering if there is more to this. If the brain is a muscle and meditation is the weights to strengthen and build that muscle, then can one through meditation strengthen all parts of grey matter? Kind of like building your body using weights, if you only do dumbbell curls, then you will probably see your biceps build, not your hamstrings.

Another thought that occurred was can that strength gained through meditation pass on to your children, ala evolution? If ones ancestors had a tradition of memorizing and reciting the thousands of verses in the Vedas, could that equate to one being born with a stronger memory? An example that comes to mind is from the movie March of the Penguins, how an emperor penguin remembers where to go, and what to do, it’s a memory that they are born with, because it affects their very survival. It raises an interesting question, can a practice of meditation over generations, trigger some innate rule in us, that decides the strengths gained from this practice now qualifies as a necessity for the survival of the species, and hence will be remembered and passed on from generation to generation?

Finally, isn’t is strange that the exercise of meditation works by doing nothing, or are we doing a lot? By reaching a state of no thought, are we actually working the brain to it’s limits? If a thoughtless mind only affects a certain area of the brain, what would it take to do a full brain workout?!

In the moment

by admin Nov 30, 2005 2 Comments

I was reading one of the other posts about meditation, and I started thinking about what meditation means to me, and why it is important. I think it’s important each day to take some time to clear your mind. It’s akin to the process of taking a sip of wine with your food to clear the palate. Not only do you appreciate the food more, but the taste, the sensation of the wine swirling in your mouth, stimulating your taste buds is a complementary experience in and of itself.
One of my favorite books is Jack Kornfield’s collection of wisdom called Buddha’s Little Instruction Book. That’s where I first came across the saying, “Wherever you go, there you are.” This was a very useful way for me to think about meditation. It helped me to realize that meditation was not about sitting in a room by yourself contemplating your navel. You could enter a meditative state anywhere where you could be along with your thoughts. I found myself entering a meditative state while running (the steady rhythm of my feet hitting the ground was a pleasant catalyst). I also find it relaxing and comforting to meditate while walking around the streets of New York, arguably one of the most chaotic places in which to meditate. As Kornfield suggests in his guide to meditation (which is an appendix to the book), “When you eat, just eat. When you walk, just walk.”

Meditation Tip

by admin Nov 25, 2005 Add comment

meditatoin tipPatanjali states that yoga is the stilling of the changes in citta, which we usually and fairly acceptably translate as “mind”. The first step in meditation is therefore not to make thought occupy itself with any particular image. It is to stop thinking or at least stop what we have hitherto described to ourselves as thinking.

Meditation is not a technique for processing ourselves into some kind of advantage. People who represent it as a technique and want to teach us how to do it may sometimes help to rid an individual of some personal illusion or inhibition, much as a clinical psychologist may do; but , beyond that, we must ourselves be aware of what we are doing and not just be guided by an image in somebody else’s mind.

From Some Thoughts on Meditation
by Hugh Shearman

Meditation Tip

by admin Nov 23, 2005 12 Comments

meditatoin tipTo meditate, one must break away, however briefly, from the world. Turn off your cell phone and pager, disconnect the fax machine, shut down the computer and turn on the answering machine, allow no interruptions during this special time.

read more…

Meditation Tip

by admin Nov 22, 2005 Add comment

meditatoin tipA Yogi must avoid the two extremes of luxury and austerity. He must not fast, nor torture his flesh. He who does, says the Gita, cannot be a Yogi:

He who fasts
He who keeps awake
He who sleeps much
He who works too much
He who does not work
None of these can be a Yogi.

– Swamy Vivekananda

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