Is the benefit of meditation real

Is the benefit of meditation to be real?

Is the benefit of meditation  real, and more fundamentally, how do we define or discover what is real?

The ultimate benefit of meditation is self-realization or Unity consciousness, the deep feeling of peace and the physical benefits that attend this feeling are the ‘side effects’ of a regular meditation practice.

 Self-realization is the only way we can define or discover what is real. The external world is an illusion that shifts based on our social conditioning and the way we perceive it in the moment. The practice of meditation is a precise way of calming the mind so that we can attain a state of consciousness that is completely different than the normal waking state. It is a way to explore all the levels of ourselves until we arrive at the center of our consciousness within, which is the place of our truth.   

As he begins his answer to these questions, Lewis Richmond a Buddhist writer and teacher, explains “I often say when I teach meditation, “We meditate not just to be calm, but to be real.”

So, here are Lewis Richmond’s thoughts on discovering what it means to be real…

As meditation is finding its way in the West and looking for authentic cultural roots, we are bound to re-enact Siddhartha’s own search, re-discover his own disappointments and illuminations. As Kalu Rinpoche, one of the young Tibetan teachers (he is in his early 20s) said recently in a public gathering, “Dharma is reality.” I thought this was quite profound, especially coming from one so young. He went on to explain that most religion, including Buddhism, offers an escape from reality, rather than a transforming insight about it. But Dharma is not like that. It is about what is true and real. Buddhist meditation is ultimately a way to discover that truth.

Once a student said to Suzuki Roshi, “My meditation is no good; I’m thinking all the time.” o which Suzuki replied, “What’s wrong with thinking?”

Suzuki meant it as a deep question. What is wrong with thinking? Is all thinking wrong, or just some thinking? Is thinking during meditation a bad thing? The sixth ancestor of Zen, Hui Neng, specifically taught that to empty the mind of all thoughts during meditation is not a Buddhist practice. Thrangu Rinpoche, a living Mahamudra master, once said (in the book “Pointing Out the Dharmakaya”), “sometimes you have a really bad thought when you meditate.” And to stress the point he added, “No I mean a really bad thought!”

When the laughter subsided he went on to say, “No problem. Just keep meditating.”

There is nothing wrong with meditating in order to calm the mind. All of us can use more calmness in the midst of a busy life. In fact, without some calmness in meditation it is impossible to see anything clearly or distinguish what is real from what is illusion. Once we have attained a stable, calm mind, we can then go deeper. We can, as Zen Master Dogen famously said, “study the self.” Who is this person that is meditating? Where do these thoughts and feelings that rise and fall originate, and where do they go when they subside? Why do I suffer? Why do other people suffer? What is the cause of that woe? How can it be convincingly assuaged?

These are the questions that Siddhartha asked as he continued his spiritual quest, continuing to probe deeper, until he was satisfied that he had gotten to the bottom of his inquiry. That is the real treasure that Buddhism has to offer, and it may take us a long time in the West to bring this treasure to full fruition.

It is possible. The Buddha was not a god or a super-being, but an ordinary human being just like us. If he could do it, we can do it. People in every generation have the same opportunity as the Buddha had to see behind the curtain of illusion to the reality beneath.

Each of us can be Buddha, which means being awake to what is real.Original article…

To see ‘behind the curtain of illusion,’ we must learn how to be still and examine what is within ourselves, sometimes found in the silence, but always found in awareness.  

Is the benefit of meditation to be real? If your meditation practice, regardless of the technique, gently awakens you to the different levels of your being, one after another, and you have be authentic with yourself in this process, then you will discover the truth, which is the highest form of reality.  

Please tell me about your journey of self-discovery and exploration of ‘reality.’

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The Benefits of Vipassana Meditation

 

The benefits of Vipassana meditation are that as you practice it you will soon see that your thoughts and feelings are part of you but they are not you. You will be able to watch them, some being short flashes across your mind, others string themselves together to form long trains, still other create pictures in the mind and you are the one observing them all.

The Benefits of Vipassana Meditation

The Benefits of Vipassana Meditation

Vipassana is an awareness meditation; it doesn’t involve concentration on the breath, mantras or mandalas and candle flames. For a novice meditator, like Yvonne Moran, a ten day Vipassana meditation retreat was less like a retreat and a lot more like a marine boot camp, at least in the beginning.

But this experience is best told by the participant…

“The idea of meditating with no contact with the outside world for days on end on the sultry, tropical island of Sri Lanka might sound heavenly – but it proved to be the toughest thing I’d done in years.

No talking, no eye contact with others, no phones, internet, reading or writing: trying to spend all your waking hours during the 10-day course committed to learning Vipassana meditation was difficult enough.

But 10-plus hours spent meditating every day, all the time trying to sit – and remain immobile – in the lotus position, while simultaneously attempting to still the mind, to think of one thing only, and nothing else, was almost torturous.

Several “old students”, or experienced mediators, described their first course as “hell”.

Sweat was pouring off me in the early morning darkness and late into the night. The first few days were spent writhing in extreme discomfort and pain as I attempted to sit crossed-legged and erect on the cushioned floor in the same position for what seemed like interminable periods of time.

Stilling the mind, trying to clear it of everything other than focusing on breathing, for the first four days, then on the body’s sensations for the next six, proved a Herculean task.

Our busy minds run helter-skelter; trying to train the mind to focus on the one task and to have to continually bring it back from its incessant thought wanderings, was a monumental task.

It took many days before I came even close to achieving the recorded instructions. And still the mind wandered, just less often and with quieter thoughts. I had to keep on reminding the mind to focus, focus . . .

A ringing bell at 4am woke the 51 sleeping, mainly Sri Lankan, participants (there were three female and four male foreigners). Those pre-dawn two-hour meditation sessions were the toughest.

The 6.30am breakfast of tea, white rice, spicy vegetables and a banana was served to the segregated sexes in the dining room. Their metal cups and plates washed, meditators returned to the basic dormitories or two-three bedroom cottages to sleep.

Group meditation sessions started at 8am. During these four daily periods, participants were asked to try and remain in one position without moving at all. That meant no leaving the meditation hall for any reason. It was, apparently, a way of gaining strength from everyone undergoing the same process simultaneously.

Meditators could sit against the wall or walk outside for short rest periods if they needed a break during the non-group sessions.

A 10-20 minute break was followed by more meditation. Lunch at 11am usually consisted of rice, perhaps lentils, a good selection of spicy and some boiled vegetables, with something sweet to finish. This was the last meal of the day.

It was then time for showers, washing clothes and resting before the bell summoned us to the 1pm meditation. Group meditation continued through the early afternoon, followed by more meditation until teatime, – four crackers and a banana were the usual offerings.

Then there was another hour of meditation at 6pm. A video talk by lay meditator SN Goenka, who brought the technique from Burma to India, and from where it has spread around the world, followed. The last group meditation of 30 minutes finished at 9pm, followed by bed.

It was so hard; I was counting the days to the end. But slowly I came to realise it would be impossible to learn this form of meditation without undergoing such an intensive course.

The 2,500-year-old Vipassana meditation is universally applicable and non-secular. It teaches through your body’s sensations to see things as they really are.

By neutrally observing the changing nature of body and mind; of observing how the body’s sensations continually change, meditators learn the nature of impermanence, suffering and egolessness.

Eventually, you become more able to note the body’s pleasant and unpleasant sensations (pain or tension from sitting in one position, for example) without craving or aversion – without having to change your position to alleviate the discomfort, realizing that it is temporary and not permanent.

Those meditating become more balanced and learn not to react immediately to everyday life’s perceived pleasant and unpleasant events. It enables them to face life with more equilibrium, knowing that nothing is permanent and that everything passes.

I was exhausted after six months of travel in India and felt that doing something completely different would instill a new enthusiasm. Meditation was something I’d been interested in learning about, and with time to spare, I thought it would be a good idea to attempt it.

I was also exhausted after the course, and thinner, but I felt lighter, more positive and a bit more patient.”

The benefit of Vipassana meditation is from breath awareness insight arises naturally. When all the different kinds of thoughts, feeling, sensations and images arise, we learn to rest in the stillness, allowing the mind to be as it is, without discrimination or judgment.

Insight meditation or Vipassana is, it’s said, to be the type of meditation that the Buddha himself taught. There are a few insight meditation centers in the US, in California and Massachusetts, that offer intensive short term (ten day) and long term (three month) retreats. Click here to visit the original source of this post

A most Uncommon Meditation Benefit

I promise you that this meditation benefit is not one that is discussed in average discourse on the benefits of meditation, which is, being able to comfortably be immersed in freezing cold water for an extended period of time.

A most Uncommon Meditation Benefit

A most Uncommon Meditation Benefit

The first question has to be, why? And the second, can you really learn how to do that by meditating?  In answer to the first question, according to the article, is the belief that the cold strengthens the mind and body. Also there is belief among some that the exposure to the cold may benefit the circulatory system, and lead to a quicker recovery for athletes after training, though these benefits remain controversial.

Regarding the second question, about whether a person can raise their tolerance to cold just by meditating, the quick answer is yes. The focus of this piece, Wim Hof, “may be able to exercise some influence over other body functions considered involuntary,” according to Professor Peter Pickkers of Nijmegen’s Radboud Medical University. And according to Dr. Anders Cohen, of Brooklyn Hospital Centre, it isn’t a surprise, “given the growing body of evidence that Tibetan monks who practice “Tummo” meditation have similar abilities.”ᅠ

“What he has shown is that he can with his meditation, apparently, summon it up that his cortisol rises like that.” He said the next step would be to see whether others using similar techniques can do the same. Cohen found the Nijmegen results

Like I said a most uncommon meditation benefit.

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Boredom – A meditation Benefit?

Meditation as a practice asks paradoxical questions, and here’s one; when is boredom interesting? Jay Michaelson addresses this paradox, reframing the way boredom is perceived, finding the gifts that boredom offers us.

For example as Jay points out, boredom is really restlessness; it’s about what’s happening inside you and not what’s going on around you on the outside. He suggest that the next time you feel bored, take a moment to see how you feel, are you feeling energetic or relaxed?

Meditation in particular is often very boring. It’s not like, when you sit for six weeks, you’re in an altered state, or visiting always with angels. Sometimes those things seem to happen, but a lot of times, you are just like you are now.

Ultimately what make boredom interesting is being present enough to contemplate the ‘gifts’ it offers us. And it’s meditation benefit is really summed up in jay’s simple equation, “boredom plus surrender equals enlightenment.”

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How To Meditate Anywhere-Anytime and Enjoy the Benefits

The questions asked here are, do you need to have quiet place to meditate or if there lots of distractions, does this mean I won’t be able to meditate? In this article Dr. Puff talks about his personal experiences and how he was able to practice his meditation even in noisy situations.

A couple of observations on this topic, first my own experience was very similar to Dr. Puff’s as my meditation practiced developed so did my ability to meditate anywhere. This ability evolves as your practice evolves and it’s not a recommended practice beginning meditators; for most beginners, distractions lead to frustration.

The second observation is that there are different approaches to meditating anywhere at any time, mindfulness approach and deep inner awareness or transcendental meditation.

Mindfulness is about being fully present without judgment and inner awareness is about transcending, going beyond the challenges. Teachers in these wisdom traditions will share with you that these are developed skills, and except in extraordinary circumstances, are developed or long periods of practice.ᅠ

Where can you meditate? Do you need to have a quiet place free from all distractions and noises or can you actually meditate anywhere, anytime, any place?

Dr. Puff offers some advice in this article and some practices that you can apply. I would add, because it is a practice, go ahead and do just that, practice, remembering to be gentle with yourself and letting go of any frustration if it arises. The number one benefit of meditation is stress reduction, so don’t stress if the distractions are too much, relax and wait until you feel you are in a comfortable place, then meditate.

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Meditation is it the New Viagra?

This article is on the benefits of Buddhist meditation and lovemaking, yes, I said lovemaking. It’s taking a bit of literary license in comparing meditation to Viagra; one helps alleviate the symptoms of a medical condition, which was the intent when of Viagra when first came on the market, the other, has traditionally been, to enhance the experience.

Benefits of Buddhist Meditation

Benefits of Buddhist Meditation

The meditation benefit, that’s new to me, is as a way to help with the problem of premature ejaculation (PE).ᅠ

A common concern for most men is how to last longer in bed. You can last longer in bed following these tips. Buddhist meditation technique to last longer in

Practitioners of meditative lovemaking report more responsiveness along with an increased intensity and whole body orgasms. Mindfulness is a way of melding more love into your love making, and frankly I would call that a heck of a nice meditation benefit.

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The Emotionally Unexpected Benefits of Meditation

One of the benefits of meditation may not seem like such a benefit when it first occurs. The benefit I’m talking about is emotional release. In this article, what the author’s experience of his first few days of Vipassana, while they are unique to the individual, they are not unique to the process.

The emotional release that he experienced was, at first, shocking to him. And all the tears, the “powerful surges” of emotion, seemed, to be foreign to what he understood meditation to be.

The realization that meditation is not all “sweetness and light” and that it’s part of the awakening process is facing our shadow energy’s. Enlightenment is the process out ‘lightening up or letting go and that includes all our repressed emotions.

So when would-be practitioners ask about the benefits of meditation, I tend not to give a straight answer. Will it help you be less stressed? Reduce your pain? Make you think more clearly? Stop you from eating too much? Well, maybe it will help with  
The Guardian

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For many people the real meditation benefits occur as the result of an emotional realization; the release of stress and, many times, the relief of physical pain come as the result of a deep seated emotional release.

This is meditation’s gift and it’s challenge, to experience the benefits you must be willing to take the responsibility, not the blame, that is the process of self-realization and emotional freedom.

Easing Irritable Bowel Syndrome-a Meditation Benefit?

Now here’s a meditation benefit that even I was unaware of, well at least until I read this study, done at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This study found that mindfulness meditation helped improve the quality of life and the mental distress that accompanies irritable bowel syndrome.

There was a significant reduction in symptoms in the mindfulness practitioners compared to a control group.   Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic illness will sometimes start at early adolescence, and can range from mild to serious.ᅠ

The study authors also noted that mindful meditation was inexpensive and widely available. One expert praised the research results as original and powerful. “It’s a small sample, but I’m impressed. It’s not so easy to do this with treatments that are

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Even though this was a small sample the researchers involved were “impressed” with the results. Because mindfulness meditation teaches the practitioner how to focus their attention and relax, it “empowers” the sufferer to deal with a difficult to treat illness.

So I have a gut feeling that the benefits of mindfulness meditation are a meditation benefit for the whole mind-body.

Maybe its not a Meditation Benefit but it’s been a long, strange trip for Wavy Gravy

I’m going to step out of the ‘meditation benefits’ mode for a moment and back into history, present and not so long ago.  And for those of us from a certain generation, the survivors of the sixties, it’s a bit of time-tripping.

Ram Dass) in Service to Love

Ram Dass

Wavy Gravy is an iconic figure from latter part of that decade, and the reason I came across this post was his connection to another icon of that decade, Ram Dass. They cofounded with Larry Brilliant the Seva (a Sanskrit word for “service to humankind”) Foundation, which they started with a $10,000 donation from rock promoter Bill Graham.

Ram Dass a teacher, guru to me; his path as always been that of Bhakti (the yoga of love) Yoga, in service to love, through his teacher Maharaj-ji, was in a sense an incarnation of Hanuman, who took an incarnation of a monkey to serve God. One of the ways that Ram Dass has promoted loving service is in supporting conscious care for the dying, something that has been pretty close to home for me lately.

Maharaj-ji and Ram Dass

Maharaj-ji and Ram Dass

It’s a fundraiser for Wavy’s favorite charity, the Seva (a Sanskrit word for “service to humankind”) Foundation, which Wavy cofounded in 1978 with spiritual leader Ram Dass and public health expert Larry Brilliant to fight preventable and curable

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My mother-in-law, affectingly known by all the family as GG, is transitioning, here at home, even as I’m writing this. The conscious, loving care of our hospice practitioners was the result of the Buddhist tradition inspired, Metta Institute, founded by Frank Ostaseski. On the board of the Metta Institute, Ram Dass, so for me it’s come full circle.

When I read about Wavy Gravy, the Hog farm and his life of service, I’m simultaneously transported into the past and made fully present and for that’s a meditation benefit. You can find out more information about Ram Dass and his compassionate community at ramdass.org.

To see with Special Vision a Meditation Benefit

Vipassana meditation is one of the meditation techniques taught by the Buddha and means to ‘see with special vision’ or insight meditation. Training in vipassana begins by focusing and calming the mind, which is accomplished by placing the attention on the breath, following its natural movements.

Vipassana meditation

Vipassana Meditation Benefits

Vipassana retreats are conducted in silence and last anywhere from ten days to three months. Many of the centers, including the Insight Meditation Society offer instruction in other Buddhist practices like, loving kindness or Metta meditation. Sometimes other forms instructions are offered at these centers; include teaching as diverse as Tibetan Lamas, Christian priests or Native American shamans.

With overwhelming enthusiasm, I spent the last couple of weeks learning vipassana meditation at Dharmashring, Budanilkhantha. The literal meaning of ‘Vipassana’ is to see with special vision and is one of the meditation techniques of Siddhartha Gautama

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The meditation benefit and experience of vipassana is a direct and enlightened insight into the impermanent, unsatisfactory, and selfless nature of ordinary existence.