Question about meditation: a paradox?

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    Jul 25, 2011 11:36 PM GMT
    In reading about meditation techniques, spirituality in general, and in my own experience, I've learned that one we drop all expectations of outcome during meditation it becomes much easier to connect with the Divine (the Source, God, whatever you want to call it).

    Yet if the instruction is "drop all expectation and you will achieve the objective", isn't that setting up an expected outcome?

    All I can figure is that it is a lesson in transcendence: moving beyond the plane of duality and cause-and-effect.

    How can I appreciate this more?

  • wild_sky360

    Posts: 1492

    Jul 26, 2011 4:14 AM GMT
    theantijock saidIntellectualizing an intuitive experience in attempting to utilize gross, concrete logic on subtle concepts can be like picking up water with your fingers to get a closer look.

    The other day I was listening to my GPS instruct me into a brick wall.



    I know exactly what you're saying...

    I think the satellites are screwed upicon_lol.gif
  • zenmonkie

    Posts: 228

    Jul 26, 2011 4:33 AM GMT
    Squarepeg saidIn reading about meditation techniques, spirituality in general, and in my own experience, I've learned that one we drop all expectations of outcome during meditation it becomes much easier to connect with the Divine (the Source, God, whatever you want to call it).

    Yet if the instruction is "drop all expectation and you will achieve the objective", isn't that setting up an expected outcome?

    All I can figure is that it is a lesson in transcendence: moving beyond the plane of duality and cause-and-effect.

    How can I appreciate this more?



    I'd say appreciate it by not thinking about it. Isn't the point to separate your mind from it's own clutter?
  • wild_sky360

    Posts: 1492

    Jul 26, 2011 4:48 PM GMT
    You might explore this to distract you from expected outcomes.

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1599127
    peace
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    Jul 29, 2011 7:47 PM GMT
    Well, I don't think it's really a troubling issue for me during meditation. In fact, I recognize that expectations are usually one of the last things to fall away as I go deeper into stillness.

    I've just always found it somewhat amusing, the möbius-like notion of "do this and you'll get that" as a way to remove yourself from expectations.

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    Jul 30, 2011 5:34 PM GMT
    Squarepeg saidIn reading about meditation techniques, spirituality in general, and in my own experience, I've learned that one we drop all expectations of outcome during meditation it becomes much easier to connect with the Divine (the Source, God, whatever you want to call it).

    Yet if the instruction is "drop all expectation and you will achieve the objective", isn't that setting up an expected outcome?

    All I can figure is that it is a lesson in transcendence: moving beyond the plane of duality and cause-and-effect.

    How can I appreciate this more?



    Lets call this experience you talk about as "It"... Yeah, you can reach that by dropping all expectations... but thats not the only thing

    You may also reach "It" first and drop expectations in response to it

    Expecting an outcome is counter-productive to achieving "It", yes

    Thus, having "It" as your objective puts it out of your reach...

    You are 100% correct....

    By meditating, you may achieve it, or you may not

    By doing other things, the same

    You may reach it on your way, just going about your day

    But not without full self-awareness of what it is you are doing, and where you are going

    Then "It" becomes merely a by-product of your focus

    Thus, it can be achieved anywhere, anytime, it just requires focus on what is... and "It" will follow automatically, unannounced and unexpectedly

    Yet, you have always known "It"


    Finally,....


    Do not fear it, nor love it, nor want it, nor judge it...

    Simply accept all as it comes....

    Only then does "It" become apparent

    And when that happens, you will see that "It" was nothing

    Rather, "It" is the removal of everything your mind creates, emptying yourself

    So that you are free from yourself...

    And nothing is different from you

    All is blank and empty, and in perfect emptiness, it is perfectly full

    I hope I have been clear

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    Jul 30, 2011 5:38 PM GMT
    Squarepeg saidIn reading about meditation techniques, spirituality in general, and in my own experience, I've learned that one we drop all expectations of outcome during meditation it becomes much easier to connect with the Divine (the Source, God, whatever you want to call it).

    Yet if the instruction is "drop all expectation and you will achieve the objective", isn't that setting up an expected outcome?

    All I can figure is that it is a lesson in transcendence: moving beyond the plane of duality and cause-and-effect.

    How can I appreciate this more?


    I think you are very witty. Keep it up.

    Or to take your query more seriously: there is no Divine/Source/God. Thus there's nothing to expect.
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    Jul 30, 2011 5:40 PM GMT
    mickeytopogigio said<

    Or to take your query more seriously: there is no Divine/Source/God. Thus there's nothing to expect.


    This too is correct
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    Jul 30, 2011 5:42 PM GMT
    Add to the above: nothing is also nothing icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 30, 2011 7:39 PM GMT
    Here is the answer:

    Breathe in. Breathe out. That is it.
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    Jul 30, 2011 8:18 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    mickeytopogigio said

    Or to take your query more seriously: there is no Divine/Source/God. Thus there's nothing to expect.


    Why take it seriously? I find it amusing when people idiotically make assertions based on their own limited, personal experience. Either that or from their inability to actually have an experience.


    Wait MMTM... you forget he has an important point to make which is vital: the expectation of "it" makes it impossible to attain it... therefore a belief in god makes it impossible to connect with it..... in order to attain peace of mind.... god as an entity apart from yourself must be let go (like you said: Just. let. go.) and therefore, it must be accepted that there is nothing at all... thus nothing to expect... thus no god... only then can complete acceptance be attained.... Mickeytopogigio is thus 100% correct...

    (Note: I want to make clear that I am not an atheists... atheists tend to believe in a world without a god... i claim to believe in nothing, not even a world without a god)
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    Jul 30, 2011 8:25 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    Gym_bull said Meditations usually cause hallucinations by lack of oxygen, or causing a dream.



    False assertion.

    Meditations do not induce hallucinations by lack of oxygen. The goal of meditations is not to reduce the amount of oxygen that the body uses. If anything, when I meditate I focus on my breathing more and use my diaphragm more deeply thus providing my body with more oxygen than if I were sitting down and watching a television show.


    Ehm, no, I do actually believe Gym_Bull is right as well... the oxygen levels in meditation do actually go down... this has been shown on buddhist monks, and on deep sea divers who often sit in meditation under water for extended periods of time...

    As Gym_bull notes, with time, the body begins to adjust to lower oxygen levels... this reduces anxiety, excess thinking, and calms the mind to perceiving only the bare essentials...

    However I will disagree in part with gym_bull where he claims that hallucinations are caused by this lack of oxygen, I do not remember ever having dreams or any of the like in response to meditation... meditation usually takes my visions away and makes me more aware of the present moment.... Visions can be induced with or without meditation... as you will see in people tripping on shrooms or acid... they may become paranoid and start seeing these things, but when they are instructed to breathe normally and consciously, they return to present-mindedness...

    However if you disagree feel free to say so ^_^
  • DrewT

    Posts: 1327

    Jul 31, 2011 1:11 AM GMT
    Well, appreciate it more by meditating more. The point of meditation isn't to "erase" thinking, but to demolish the false walls of separation that we have built around ourselves. It isn't a state to be reached, necessarily, but a state to be lived. ;)
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    Jul 31, 2011 1:38 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said There are people who come from a medical point of view and claim that people experience hallucinations but that is simply their interpretation of what a person experiences. These people who claim to know what is happening physiologically make no mention of depleted oxygen levels. They simply say that a person is willfully conjuring them up because they want the experience.

    Perhaps Buddhist monks slow their breathing to a point that can create hallucinations. But I'm not a Buddhist monk and meditate about two hours a day. I have more oxygen when I meditate due to the style of my meditation which involves relaxed deep breathing (which is something I tend to not do such as when I'm studying or watching television).



    I contest that this is at all a medical point of view that slow breathing and depleted oxygen leads to hallucinations ... not only have I not seen it in a single medical document, also have I not experienced or heard of others experiencing hallucinations when their oxygen is depleted during a strenuous exercise routine nor when moving into high mountains....

    In order to be sure your oxygen level is increased during your meditation (which I highly doubt, due to the fact that increased amounts of oxygen is poisonous to living tissue and causes cellular tissue damage with free radicals) I would prefer to actually have your levels checked by an actual machine.. im pretty sure your deep breathing exercises include significant slowing of your breathing as compared to the other two activities, which typically entail a much faster rate of breathing, thus a net effect of depleted O2 levels during deep breathing
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    Jul 31, 2011 12:41 PM GMT
    GreenHopper said
    Squarepeg saidIn reading about meditation techniques, spirituality in general, and in my own experience, I've learned that one we drop all expectations of outcome during meditation it becomes much easier to connect with the Divine (the Source, God, whatever you want to call it).

    Yet if the instruction is "drop all expectation and you will achieve the objective", isn't that setting up an expected outcome?

    All I can figure is that it is a lesson in transcendence: moving beyond the plane of duality and cause-and-effect.

    How can I appreciate this more?



    Lets call this experience you talk about as "It"... Yeah, you can reach that by dropping all expectations... but thats not the only thing

    You may also reach "It" first and drop expectations in response to it

    Expecting an outcome is counter-productive to achieving "It", yes

    Thus, having "It" as your objective puts it out of your reach...

    You are 100% correct....

    By meditating, you may achieve it, or you may not

    By doing other things, the same

    You may reach it on your way, just going about your day

    But not without full self-awareness of what it is you are doing, and where you are going

    Then "It" becomes merely a by-product of your focus

    Thus, it can be achieved anywhere, anytime, it just requires focus on what is... and "It" will follow automatically, unannounced and unexpectedly

    Yet, you have always known "It"


    Finally,....


    Do not fear it, nor love it, nor want it, nor judge it...

    Simply accept all as it comes....

    Only then does "It" become apparent

    And when that happens, you Twill see that "It" was nothing

    Rather, "It" is the removal of everything your mind creates, emptying yourself

    So that you are free from yourself...

    And nothing is different from you

    All is blank and empty, and in perfect emptiness, it is perfectly full

    I hope I have been clear




    Absolutely.

    I am everything and I am nothing.




  • Jul 31, 2011 1:12 PM GMT
    ohmmmmm... This is an important topic, so I hope you will excuse the length of my response here. I enjoy the RJ forums - but subjects like this raise the bar of our conversation and deserve our attention. It's a pleasure to share this dialog with handsome and intelligent men who happen to like men.

    Seems to me we need to distinguish two types of meditation, both of which employ similar methods:

    1) What we might call psychic massage : the purely physical/psychological, which is aimed at inducing a more complete personal sensation of peace and well being -- no God or spiritual being need be considered. This type of meditation has no reference to any other being (human or divine). It does not propose to have any particularly spiritual element to it. It's medical effects are relatively well known and clinically proven.

    2) Spiritual meditation uses some similar techniques - at least to initially induce a relaxed state, but has as a primary goal an intimate encounter with God/the Divine Other/the spiritual dimension. It is in effect an opening up of the whole person, body/mind/spirit, to another Presence in an explicitly desired relationship. In effect this is "Quality Time" with God - what we might consider an ultimate level of prayer - contemplation in the traditional sense (not petitionary or thanksgiving or even praise) -- a pure state of "being with"

    The first type of meditation more often than not is more about emptying the mind and preoccupations -- removing ourselves from the annoying stuff of daily life. And this brings a certain level of human peace.

    The second type initially endeavors to quiet our preoccupations -- but for the sake of opening us up to being present to Another. Clear away the clutter so that I can "look at" "be with" HIM. It is ultimately an act of love that is trying to connect me with my most significant Other. It's not a bad metaphor to think of this as those moments with a lover when we shut out all else around us in order to gaze into each other's eyes. We are still aware of all the other stuff - but are not preoccupied by it, and not interested in it right now. HE is all that matters for this moment. It's a way of truly living in the present moment with the one who loves us and who we love.

    So the idea of dropping expectations is really about transcending the ego -- just like love -- so that we can be present to the one who loves us. Both expectations and distractions in general are to be gone beyond -- they are there and will be there - but our effort is to have our total focus on the One we want to be with. If the love is there, if we are open to HIM, then all the other stuff will take second place and have little effect on our encounter and experience of our being together.

    Some might consider it "losing oneself in the Other" Others might say it's more where the two meet and the intensity of the encounter between the two supercedes all the other stimuli.

    The Just Let Go comment from MMTM is a great synopsis. Let Go and Let Him catch you the embrace of His Heart.

    I hope all of you can experience this encounter -- with Him, whoever He might be.
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    Jul 31, 2011 2:22 PM GMT
    Squarepeg saidIn reading about meditation techniques, spirituality in general, and in my own experience, I've learned that one we drop all expectations of outcome during meditation it becomes much easier to connect with the Divine (the Source, God, whatever you want to call it).

    Yet if the instruction is "drop all expectation and you will achieve the objective", isn't that setting up an expected outcome?

    All I can figure is that it is a lesson in transcendence: moving beyond the plane of duality and cause-and-effect.

    How can I appreciate this more?



    The Divine is in the letting go. In the process of detaching from the world, my mind, myself a state of divinity is created. For me, connecting with the Divine isn't an external experience that occurs when I have completed a task correctly (dropped expectations of outcome from meditation) but instead a creation of space which allows me to recognize that which is already internal.
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    Jul 31, 2011 3:40 PM GMT
    JoshTPDX said
    Squarepeg saidIn reading about meditation techniques, spirituality in general, and in my own experience, I've learned that one we drop all expectations of outcome during meditation it becomes much easier to connect with the Divine (the Source, God, whatever you want to call it).

    Yet if the instruction is "drop all expectation and you will achieve the objective", isn't that setting up an expected outcome?

    All I can figure is that it is a lesson in transcendence: moving beyond the plane of duality and cause-and-effect.

    How can I appreciate this more?



    The Divine is in the letting go. In the process of detaching from the world, my mind, myself a state of divinity is created. For me, connecting with the Divine isn't an external experience that occurs when I have completed a task correctly (dropped expectations of outcome from meditation) but instead a creation of space which allows me to recognize that which is already internal.



    Indeed.

    I AM what I am searching for.
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    Jul 31, 2011 4:17 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    JoshTPDX said but instead a creation of space which allows me to recognize that which is already internal.


    Creating something you might interpret as divine would more than likely lead to distortion. I can't create something I will never have a complete and full understanding of. I personally don't believe that as humans we can fully understand what god is. This is partly why, I believe, we have so many religions and conflicting ideas about what god or divinity (whatever you want to call it) is.


    There can never be a full and complete understanding of god since god, like the ever expanding universe, is infinite.

    Your comment suggests separateness rather than oneness. I hadn't picked up on the from you before.

    Wouldn't you think the pursuit of understanding lead to more of it? You aren't suggesting the effort is futile, are you?
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    Jul 31, 2011 4:33 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidTo be more clear hallucinations are not the same as illusions or delusions. Hallucinations are defined as sensory perception in the absence of external stimuli. Although I don't agree entirely with that definition. I think science simply hasn't caught up to what people can experience in the absence of external 'measurable' physical stimuli. Hallucinations are nothing more than perceptions in the absence of measurable stimuli. That doesn't mean that a person is delusional or wrong. It simply means that a person can perceive in a manner that science cannot grasp or yet fully understand.

    And your body cannot function properly to perform strenuous exercise unless it has oxygen in order to do so. Having an elevated heart rate while performing strenuous exercise requires the use of more oxygen. If a person cannot find a way to acquire more oxygen s/he passes out. That is the whole point of breathing heavily during strenuous activity, so that the body can obtain more oxygen in order to maintain the activity and to expel carbon dioxide more efficiently. So yes, your body is depleted of oxygen during exercise, but you're only explaining half of the science to prove your point. Exerted breathing during exercise compensates for the lack of oxygen.

    And sitting in a chair breathing at either a reduced rate or at an increased rate will affect oxygen levels. Decreasing oxygen levels by barely breathing at all or not at all will cause asphyxiation. Breathing more thoroughly will affect the carbon dioxide/oxygen ratio by decreasing CO2. I'm not stating that I induce hyperventilation during meditation. Many people do not breathe using their diaphragm. Most people use their chest and breathe 'thoracically' or shallowly. Sitting in a meditative state and consciously using your diaphragm will provide more oxygen to the body.

    Asserting that higher levels of oxygen will create free radical damage from my example is mildly absurd. Diaphragmatic breathing is a healthier and fuller way to ingest and utilize oxygen. Staying with the point, diaphragmatic breathing doesn't induce hallucinations. Hyperventilating possibly could, along with dizziness, numbness experienced in limbs along with raising blood pH which constrict blood vessels to the brain thus preventing adequate oxygen supply to it.

    And by the way, from my personal experience I can see your so called hallucinations at any given time regardless of my activity. It can occur while I'm riding my bicycle at twenty miles an hour on the road, or while I'm sitting calmly and driving a car, or talking and walking and of course during a meditative state.





    MMTM, open up a medical textbook if you like... I gave you the info as it is stated scientifically.... if you dont believe me, thats ok, then go and look it up elsewhere... you put several inaccurate things on here, i.e. hyperventilating does not lower pH, it raises it because of decrease of blood CO2 causing alkalosis.... only your last paragraph was correct.. one can see halllucinations regardless of O2 levels... which I stated before and you are now nice enough to confirm.... so thank you.... for all the other info, you can do research and if you can confirm the info you put scientifically, come back to me and I will cede my entire scientific argument
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    Jul 31, 2011 4:35 PM GMT
    Funny how everyone is calling it "connecting with the divine"... implying a self vs an other..... a "you" vs a "godhead"...

    all well and good, but isnt it best to drop the barriers that our mind creates between different concepts such as these?
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    Jul 31, 2011 5:34 PM GMT
    GreenHopper saidFunny how everyone is calling it "connecting with the divine"... implying a self vs an other..... a "you" vs a "godhead"...

    all well and good, but isnt it best to drop the barriers that our mind creates between different concepts such as these?


    From my perspective, it's just semantics. Using a broader language and set of descriptions will help me connect with a wider range of people. If I tried to use a more focussed set of descriptions of my experience it may come across as a bunch of gobbledygook, or worse yet, bullshit. The message is always in the receiver, and the receiver may be in a different space and unable to interpret. Sometimes I can read the Tao and have a visceral connect to the words. Other times I'll read the same passage and just go "huh?"

    Ultimately, words and language fail.

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    Jul 31, 2011 5:40 PM GMT
    Squarepeg said
    GreenHopper said isnt it best to drop the barriers that our mind creates between different concepts such as these?



    Ultimately, words and language fail.



    Thats what I said ;)
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    Jul 31, 2011 5:49 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    mickeytopogigio said

    Or to take your query more seriously: there is no Divine/Source/God. Thus there's nothing to expect.


    Why take it seriously? I find it amusing when people idiotically make assertions based on their own limited, personal experience. Either that or from their inability to actually have an experience.


    I find it amusing when someone quotes sentence two to call someone idiotic, clearly ignoring what sentence one had to say about the topic. So, fuck off, jackass. Oh, and good job poking on the hypocrite key on your keyboard.
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    Jul 31, 2011 6:07 PM GMT
    Joseph_Anam_Cara saidohmmmmm... This is an important topic, so I hope you will excuse the length of my response here. I enjoy the RJ forums - but subjects like this raise the bar of our conversation and deserve our attention. It's a pleasure to share this dialog with handsome and intelligent men who happen to like men.

    Seems to me we need to distinguish two types of meditation, both of which employ similar methods:

    1) What we might call psychic massage : the purely physical/psychological, which is aimed at inducing a more complete personal sensation of peace and well being -- no God or spiritual being need be considered. This type of meditation has no reference to any other being (human or divine). It does not propose to have any particularly spiritual element to it. It's medical effects are relatively well known and clinically proven.

    2) Spiritual meditation uses some similar techniques - at least to initially induce a relaxed state, but has as a primary goal an intimate encounter with God/the Divine Other/the spiritual dimension. It is in effect an opening up of the whole person, body/mind/spirit, to another Presence in an explicitly desired relationship. In effect this is "Quality Time" with God - what we might consider an ultimate level of prayer - contemplation in the traditional sense (not petitionary or thanksgiving or even praise) -- a pure state of "being with"

    The first type of meditation more often than not is more about emptying the mind and preoccupations -- removing ourselves from the annoying stuff of daily life. And this brings a certain level of human peace.

    The second type initially endeavors to quiet our preoccupations -- but for the sake of opening us up to being present to Another. Clear away the clutter so that I can "look at" "be with" HIM. It is ultimately an act of love that is trying to connect me with my most significant Other. It's not a bad metaphor to think of this as those moments with a lover when we shut out all else around us in order to gaze into each other's eyes. We are still aware of all the other stuff - but are not preoccupied by it, and not interested in it right now. HE is all that matters for this moment. It's a way of truly living in the present moment with the one who loves us and who we love.

    So the idea of dropping expectations is really about transcending the ego -- just like love -- so that we can be present to the one who loves us. Both expectations and distractions in general are to be gone beyond -- they are there and will be there - but our effort is to have our total focus on the One we want to be with. If the love is there, if we are open to HIM, then all the other stuff will take second place and have little effect on our encounter and experience of our being together.

    Some might consider it "losing oneself in the Other" Others might say it's more where the two meet and the intensity of the encounter between the two supercedes all the other stimuli.

    The Just Let Go comment from MMTM is a great synopsis. Let Go and Let Him catch you the embrace of His Heart.

    I hope all of you can experience this encounter -- with Him, whoever He might be.


    Hmmm, I would have to add a third: meditating for the sake of entering a trance where the outer world is completely shut out...

    Then a fourth: meditation in order to achieve the ability to control non-physical and psychic forces, leading to things such as astral travel into other dimensions, spiritual healings, and receiving messages from the beyond

    Finally a fifth: meditation as a way of over thinking things, then quieting down after having meditated on a question, in order to come up with a solution from the subconscious mind... this may happen in dreams as well

    I guess the one I was talking about was the one in the OP: the breakdown of the rational mind to break down the paradox and to experience "It".... oneness of all things, nirvana, bliss, zen, oneness with god, several words used, but non accurate, because meaning lost when expressed