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Andy Buttafuoco
13th November 2004, 18:51
I try to sit 2 hours a day. Once in the morning and once at night. I am curious to know what some other techniques people use to meditate are.

rurouni69
20th November 2004, 16:57
Me I meditate in seiza with incense for 1 hour a day, like you, 30 min in the morning and 30 minutes at night.:D

Andy Buttafuoco
20th November 2004, 17:26
Thanks Aaron, I was just curious. I am trying to learn how to do it properly. I inflate my stomach rather than my lungs and breathing out and in through my nose. I am having difficulty keeping my mind set clear. Do you have a particular technique you use to keep your mind clear?

Chrono
20th November 2004, 18:21
Originally posted by Andy Buttafuoco
Do you have a particular technique you use to keep your mind clear?

I know you didn't ask me, but I've heard that counting the breaths can help keep your mind clear. It seems to kind of work when I last tried it.

Andy Buttafuoco
20th November 2004, 18:31
Cool, that's what I've been doing and your right it does seem to work some. Thanks for the reply.

Chuck.Gordon
20th November 2004, 19:30
Depends.

Wha kind of meditation are you trying to do? What's the discipline, the methodology?

There are several ...

The meditation we teach in our sytem is very simple It's just sitting and breathing. Nothing more.

Other modalities I've explored over the years include everything foorm zennish sitting to chanting to walking mazes.

There's no One True Way to meditate.

Like doing good budo, doing good meditation can be greatly enhanced by having a good teacher, one who teaches a system you find to be 'sympatico' ...

And doing 'meditation' without a framework and guidance can result in some, um, interesting results.

And meditation and budo, by the way, don't necessarily have anything to do with each other.

As with many budo questions, I'd say: 'Ask your teacher ...'

Chuck

rurouni69
21st November 2004, 05:04
Actually, what I do is concentrating on LISTENING to my breathing rather than counting it. To me, counting just gets me confused. :rolleyes: I also found some rather helpful sites on meditation.

www.meditationcenter.com/
www.learningmeditation.com/

Hopefully these will help you with your meditation. Good luck with your meditation!:D :D

Misogi-No-Gyo
21st November 2004, 08:10
When I once asked a great master about meditation, he told me some key things to consider.

While there are many paths and types of meditation:

1. Don't meditate until you understand how to meditate.

2. You won't understand how to meditate until you find a master who will show you how to meditate.

3. There is an initiation process where the master brings you across a point, and introduces you to either your next level, or the highest level which you would be able to survive.

4. Meditation without a guide is more than just dangerous; it is stupid, may cost you your sanity and can be deadly.

5. Meditation which is not is not inherently dangerous is not really meditation. It may however be somewhat helpful at some level, or a complete waste of time.

While I am quoting someone else above, having spent over thirty years pursuing this path, I would have to agree from what I have been able to absorb from that which I have been fortunate enough to experience.

...for what its worth.

Chrono
22nd November 2004, 01:11
Originally posted by Misogi-No-Gyo
2. You won't understand how to meditate until you find a master who will show you how to meditate.

I think with Andy is that he doesn't have access to a master to teach him how to meditate. Which is why he came here.

Misogi-No-Gyo
22nd November 2004, 04:56
Originally posted by Chrono
I think with Andy is that he doesn't have access to a master to teach him how to meditate. Which is why he came here.


Jonathan,

I am not sure this is, in fact, the case, as Andy never mentions anything about a teacher. I think that if you look at the basic guidelines I outlined in my last post, you may realize two things. The first is that many people have no idea what they are doing, or even why they are doing it. The second is that they continue to do it anyway.

I don't have an answer for him, as I am not sure of his the goals he seeks, for which meditation is the path. If the goal does not come any closer via meditation, nor is meditation the best path which he should be following to achieve his goals, then he should stop what he is doing immediately, regardless of the fact that he has no guide to begin with.

As for keeping the mind clear, which he indicates he is trying to do for some reason, I am not sure what he hopes to achieve. Of course, empty-headed is often what people are actually trying to achieve, and this has nothing to do with being clear-headed. Look around, those whom we consider empty headed don't usually sit high on our list... He also mentions breathing in and out of the nose, but does not mention why he is doing it in that manner.

Personally, I think meditating without the express guidance of a master is akin to wandering into a pharmacy and dipping into the stock to alleviate depression due to jock itch. You may in fact need to simply wash a bit more, but instead take a pill which kills you due to an unknown allergic reaction. Sure medicine can be a cure, but it can also kill, just like anything else of power, which meditation certainly is.

Without really understanding Andy's background, mentality, condition or intentions, advising him to meditate, continue meditating or how to meditate is simply irresponsible at best, spiritually negligent next, and possibly criminal depending on the context in which the referral is made.

Themís just my thoughts, but it is really up to Andy to understand this for himself.

Andy Buttafuoco
22nd November 2004, 15:49
Thank you all for your replies. Shaun, you hit it right on the head, you touched on some really good points. I have been traiing budo for serveral years now and it's principles are very new to me. I trained with an Okinawan karate master on Long Island and we didn't sit before and after class or even discuss meditation. I now train in Arizona under some great teachers and they have showed me how prepare for practice. I want to use this technique when I am out of the dojo and I was just curious what others were doing.
I don't make it a habit to participate in something if I don't know how or why I was doing it. I was simply curious what others have learned, which is why I prompted this discussion. thank you for your honest insight.

Misogi-No-Gyo
22nd November 2004, 17:03
Originally posted by Andy Buttafuoco
Thank you all for your replies. Shaun, you hit it right on the head, you touched on some really good points. I have been traiing budo for serveral years now and it's principles are very new to me. I trained with an Okinawan karate master on Long Island and we didn't sit before and after class or even discuss meditation. I now train in Arizona under some great teachers and they have showed me how prepare for practice. I want to use this technique when I am out of the dojo and I was just curious what others were doing.
I don't make it a habit to participate in something if I don't know how or why I was doing it. I was simply curious what others have learned, which is why I prompted this discussion. thank you for your honest insight.

Hi Andy,

Thanks for the reply and private e-mail. I sent you a reply to your private e-mail address. In your original post, you seem to be asking questions regarding breathing, specifically. Is that more of what you are focusing on. Or rather is it about integrating meditation practice, as a whole into Aikido practice and training?

Andy Buttafuoco
22nd November 2004, 17:29
My answer is (D) all of the above. I want to keep Aikido training in my everyday life, in and out of the dojo. Thanks again.

Chrono
23rd November 2004, 03:42
Originally posted by Misogi-No-Gyo
I think that if you look at the basic guidelines I outlined in my last post, you may realize two things. The first is that many people have no idea what they are doing, or even why they are doing it. The second is that they continue to do it anyway.

Oh, of course, I was guilty of those two things before, myself. But, I stopped because I said to myself that I didn't know what I was doing. I knew why I wanted to do it, but I had no idea how to do it.

Goro
23rd November 2004, 20:34
***The Ten Rules for Meditation




Internal Meditation is a scientific system to receive information. When the wise submerges into meditation, he searches for information.



Scientific Meditation has ten basic fundamental rules. Without them, emancipation and liberation from the mortifying shackles of the mind is impossible.

1st Rule - To be completely conscious of the psychological mood in which we are situated, before the arising of any thought.

2nd Rule - Psycho-Analysis: To investigate the root and origin of each thought, remembrance, affection, emotion, feeling, resentment, etc. while they emerge from within the mind.

3rd Rule - To serenely observe our own mind; to put perfect attention on all mental forms which appear on the screen of the intellect.

4th Rule - To remember and recall the "Sensation of Contemplation" from moment to moment during the common and current course of daily life.

5th Rule - The intellect must assume a psychological, receptive, integral, uni-total, complete, tranquil and profound state.

6th Rule - A continuity of purpose, tenacity, firmness, constancy and insistence must exist in the technique of Meditation.

7th Rule - To assist any time we can in the Meditation Rooms of the Gnostic Lumisials is affable.

8th Rule - It is peremptory, urgent and necessary to convert ourselves into watchers of our own mind during any agitated or revolving activity, to stop at least for an instant in order to observe it.

9th Rule - It is indispensable and necessary to always practice with closed eyes, with the goal of avoiding the external sensorial perceptions.

10th Rule - Absolute relaxation of the entire body and the wise combination of meditation with drowsiness. *********



Andy, don't let anyone attempt to scare you off from practising , you'll find more than enough info on the exact science of internal meditation here at these links. Good luck, :)

http://www.gnosis-usa.com/medit%20topic.html

Also, if you have any questions feel free to ask in the forum section entitled meditation.

http://www.gnosis-usa.com/forums/index.php

take care,

Andy Buttafuoco
23rd November 2004, 20:49
Thanks Jason,
No, I wont get scared off. I value the opinions of others, that's why I love this forum site. People have different ways of training and until I find mine, I was just asking for a little guidence. Thanks for the post. :D

Misogi-No-Gyo
23rd November 2004, 21:11
Originally posted by Goro
***The Ten Rules for Meditation

Internal Meditation is a scientific system to receive information. When the wise submerges into meditation, he searches for information.

Another interesting view... I am sure that Goro was simply interested in providing a few points to balance out the thread to his satisfaction. However, I think it might be prudent to ask a few questions like...

"...and whose "rules" are these?"
"What information is it that one is waiting for?"
"Who is it from?"
"How do you know it isn't the devil trying to deceive you - should there be such a thing....?"

Öand to provoke some deeper consideration on the matter, let's consider another question somewhat important on the list of things to find wonder or amusement with...

"What makes you think that anything that is good for you ( you being anyone making such a recommendation...) will more assuredly be good for another person, when you (same individual making said recommendation) has absolutely no idea what is going on with the individual to which you are prescribing meditation as some information-lacking, problem-related alleviating agent?"



Andy, don't let anyone attempt to scare you off from practicing...

While at the same time, don't follow someone down a path until you are sure where they are going and that you want to travel with them there.

kokumo
23rd November 2004, 21:17
Originally posted by Misogi-No-Gyo
Personally, I think meditating without the express guidance of a master is akin to wandering into a pharmacy and dipping into the stock to alleviate depression due to jock itch. You may in fact need to simply wash a bit more, but instead take a pill which kills you due to an unknown allergic reaction. Sure medicine can be a cure, but it can also kill, just like anything else of power, which meditation certainly is.

Without really understanding Andy's background, mentality, condition or intentions, advising him to meditate, continue meditating or how to meditate is simply irresponsible at best, spiritually negligent next, and possibly criminal depending on the context in which the referral is made.

Themís just my thoughts, but it is really up to Andy to understand this for himself.

I disagree with Shaun so rarely that I'll hype the points on which we disagree here after I get past the points on which we do agree.

With reference to just about any kind of esoteric practices, whether Shinto, Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, or shamanic nativism of one kind or another, I think that Shaun's caution is very much to the point.

And in some cases, I would argue the same about Vipassana meditation practices.

The thing is, each practice is part of a tradition, traditions are maintained by groups, and groups are made up of people. So pointing anyone to a particular practice amounts to pointing them to the people doing that practice in their area.

Me? I don't usually make introductions unless I have a clear sense of both parties from personal experience; whenever I have, it was a mistake.

That said, basic shamatha practice, which emphasizes simply sitting, breathing, and paying attention is relatively innocuous in most cases. Yeah, stuff comes up and the mind chases it. Good stuff, bad stuff, attractive stuff, ugly stuff, sexy stuff, scary stuff. It's not important. Don't chase it. You will resolve not to chase it. Then you'll chase it anyway. Don't guilt out. Come back to the breath and let the stuff go. Don't push it away. Just follow the breath. If you can't sit for 40 minutes, sit for 20. If you can't sit for 20 minutes, sit for 10. If you can't sit for 10 minutes, sit for 5. If you can't sit for 5 minutes, sit for three. Extend as time, space, and practice allow.

My sense is that this advice is closer to "drink plenty of fluids, get enough rest, exercise regularly, and eat well," than to rifling the shelves in the pharmacy. But......much past this and I fully agree with everything Shaun said -- especially when the subject is "you can't miss with this" blind advice from proseletyzing groups with shaky history and unknown agendas.

Hope this helps,

Fred Little

Misogi-No-Gyo
23rd November 2004, 22:43
Originally posted by kokumo
I disagree with Shaun so rarely that I'll hype the points on which we disagree here after I get past the points on which we do agree.

Fred-san,
I read your post, and agree with you entirely, as usual. Given that, I am not sure where we disagree, but would like to flush out a point about which we do agree, but certainly could be misconstrued otherwise. Simply speaking I, too, find merely "sitting" innocuous. Merely sitting is a challenge, as you have also indicated. However, my point is that typically, this is not all one tries to do. There are other poorly thought out notions, often adopted because they were offered by well meaning beginners who typically don't really know what they are talking about or even doing, that can either get in the way of sitting, or contribute to some of the more damaging things to which you, Chuck Gordon and I have already alluded.


Me? I don't usually make introductions unless I have a clear sense of both parties from personal experience; whenever I have, it was a mistake.

echo. Echo. ECHO!


My hope is that people can avoid some of the pitfalls that may, indeed, change their life for the worse, or even worse, rob them of it altogether. I speak from person experience, one that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I am not in any way trying to discourage anyone from meditating. I am encouraging them to do it responsibly, if that is really what the next step is for them in their training.

kokumo
23rd November 2004, 23:04
Originally posted by Misogi-No-Gyo
Fred-san,
I read your post, and agree with you entirely, as usual. Given that, I am not sure where we disagree, but would like to flush out a point about which we do agree, but certainly could be misconstrued otherwise. Simply speaking I, too, find merely "sitting" innocuous. Merely sitting is a challenge, as you have also indicated. However, my point is that typically, this is not all one tries to do. There are other poorly thought out notions, often adopted because they were offered by well meaning beginners who typically don't really know what they are talking about or even doing, that can either get in the way of sitting, or contribute to some of the more damaging things to which you, Chuck Gordon and I have already alluded.


Shaun-san:

I figured you'd say something like that which is why I used the word "hype the difference" or some such, as in "overstate an apparent disagreement that doesn't amount to much."

Your remarks could have been misread rather broadly by some of those same beginners, so I took a different tack.

There are some folks who really want to sit, don't have access to a teacher, and are ready to get to it.

For them, I recommend Bhante G's "Mindfulness in Plain English."

When looking at groups, the question is less the apparent qualities of the teacher than the ways they rub off on the students.

Of course, that's true when looking at dojo, schools, work situations, and so forth......

Best,

Fred

Goro
24th November 2004, 02:35
Another interesting view... I am sure that Goro was simply interested in providing a few points to balance out the thread to his satisfaction.

Far from the point Misogi, my intent clearly was to introduce Andy to the practices of meditation. How can you be sure ?



"...and whose "rules" are these?"


The Master Samael Aun Weor who is revered in advanced circles the world over. Research Him.


"Who is it from?"


The Innermost, as it would surely be impossible to conjure the images and insights garnered on ones own. The 'devil' does'nt influence people to love themselves and others.




"What makes you think that anything that is good for you ( you being anyone making such a recommendation...) will more assuredly be good for another person, when you (same individual making said recommendation) has absolutely no idea what is going on with the individual to which you are prescribing meditation as some information-lacking, problem-related alleviating agent?"[/QUOTE

Quite simply, everyone is suffering from the same undesirable defects, to one degree or another such as arrogance, lust, envy, jealousy, pride, self-importance anger etc..

Therefore, as an exact science, gnosis teaches the direct path in order to dissolve the aggregates that are the origin of suffering.


[QUOTE]There are other poorly thought out notions, often adopted because they were offered by well meaning beginners who typically don't really know what they are talking about or even doing,

Your posts so far are saturated with ego, towards me and you don't even know me or my intent; If I was a beginner I would think twice about heeding your advice for the obvious.

"You can't criticize what you don't understand"--Bob Dylan

Misogi-No-Gyo
24th November 2004, 03:42
Originally posted by Goro
Far from the point Misogi, my intent clearly was to introduce Andy to the practices of meditation. How can you be sure ?

The Master Samael Aun Weor who is revered in advanced circles the world over. Research Him.

The Innermost, as it would surely be impossible to conjure the images and insights garnered on ones own. The 'devil' doesn't influence people to love themselves and others.

Your posts so far are saturated with ego, towards me and you don't even know me or my intent; If I was a beginner I would think twice about heeding your advice for the obvious.

Okay. You're right. You win.


"You can't criticize what you don't understand"--Bob Dylan

Okay! Let's all use Bob Dylanís lyrics as evidence to prove our own point. As it so happens, many years ago I used to do advanced trainings in the Santa Monica Mountains with Bob Dylanís Ex. She didn't think he had all the answers, what makes you think he does?

You say, in the first line, above, what your intent was. It was fairly obvious from your initial, back-biting post. Then you accuse me of being saturated with ego, and tell me I have no clue what you meant. This, even after you have gone so far as to tell me straight out. So, according to you, I am so ego-ridden as to be beyond clueless. I guess I should just accept your pronouncement on me as the truth because you can quote chapter and verse the rules or teachings of some dead mystic. (No offense to the Mystic or his teachings is meant by any previous comments I have or any potential future comments I might make.)

I may not be sure of anything Mr. Whalen. However, one thing is for sure, and that is that you don't take your own poorly thought out advice. Therefore, why should anyone else?

When you climb down off of that high horse of yours and would like to have a meaningful conversation with the rest of us without trying to spoon-feed out some mystical salvation that you think you have cornered the market on, one that we seem to have been doing fine without for tens of thousands of years, give us all a little jingle. Until then, mellow out pointing a finger in the face of someone, whether that be passive aggressively, like in your first post in this thread, or ineffectively, as in your most previous one. It doesn't do much in the way of having anyone like you any better than they already do which is entirely too little. No worries, though. With all of your egoless-ness, apparently important in your training but not in your words or actions, you probably are just above it all.

Lest there be no mistaking it, short of a girl I used to date, Astrid Young, (oh and her brother Neil's music...) I donít really like Canadians all that much, especially the French ones. I am open to changing that opinion, though. Anyone else typically feel similar?

Saburo
24th November 2004, 08:57
I was almost going to agree that Misogi-no-gyo's advice was a bit tense until Goro wrote:


The Master Samael Aun Weor who is revered in advanced circles the world over. Research Him.

I started to look Goro-san and so far it's like a Soviet May Day parade from my little viewpoint. So far there isn't too much objective information out there.

Mushin Ronin
24th November 2004, 20:43
I would be hesitant to take advice from either Misogi or Goro. Not that they don't have insight and experience with meditation. I don't know them...but they don't seem to act how I would think someone who is versed in meditative ways would act. I am refering to the arguing between them. They have let their ego's get in the way. But that's my opinnion only. Search elsewhere friend.


John

Misogi-No-Gyo
25th November 2004, 00:14
Originally posted by Mushin Ronin
I would be hesitant to take advice from either Misogi or Goro.

Of course, that is your prerogative.


...but they don't seem to act how I would think someone who is versed in meditative ways would act.

Here it is again, folks. Someone pretending to know something admonishing others for (gasp!) prenting to know something? Is there a contradiction there? I do believe they call that hypocrisy.


They have let their ego's get in the way.

...in the way? In the way of what? There is the tell-tale sign of misunderstanding. Ego in and of itself is not a good or bad thing. Ego just is. When you can let go of wanting to try and rid yourself of it, you have moved one step closer to moving beyond it. However, moving beyond ego is not ridding yourself of it. Enlightenment does not lay on the other side of Ego. If that were the case, and all it took was to remove the dreaded ego from our existence, dead people would quickly corner the market on enlightenment. You see, dead people have no ego. Although they may have found enlightenment, and there are some pretenders out there who think they know and try to sell us versions of what lies beyond, you, Mr. Ronin, our friend Goro, and yes, even I, will never know that until it is, sadly too late. Do you think that Musashi, Tokugawa, Stephen Hawking or even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had no ego, or that their ego got in the way of their message? That is not a rhetorical question. However, the thread is merely about providing some information for Andy.

I never claimed in this public forum to be a teacher of meditation. I don't do so privately, either. I recommended for people to find a recognized teacher to help advise them if meditation was right for them, and if it was how best to proceed based upon their path and their goals. If that is egotistical, then it is. So when you say, "...better look elsewhere..." you have, in essence merely repeated what I initially said in my first post. If it is egotistical to say that, "everyone doesn't need meditation," than I guess you would be saying that everyone is inherently "broken" at some level. Thinking that you have some understanding of the way things are or people work or what the path to enlightenment is - that sounds at least as egotistical on its face, wouldn't you say? You might want to be a bit more careful there, Ronin. You wouldn't want to appear to be saying the same things or being as "Egotistical" as an "Egotistical" person, would you. It might go towards damaging your credibility

If you are going to chime in, claiming to know something, at least provide something for the original poster. I did that. Even Mr. Goro did that, albeit while attacking me in a passive aggressive manner.

...as an aside
If defending oneself from the attacks of another has become passť for you, perhaps you should question yourself as to your participation in a martial arts forum.

No need to respond.

...or is there?

Mushin Ronin
25th November 2004, 02:15
Why are you so defensive Mr. Misogi? To me...it seems that each time someone has said anything contradicting to what you say...you become aggitated? I get aggitated at things also...but I don't recall ever saying I meditated or knew anything about the subject. On the contrary. I was just looking in here for some information myself. My comments were really an after thought. I found it interesting that someone who supposedly meditates and has for some time...which I assumed you did, would be more in control of themselves. Instead of taking a jibe back at Mr. Goro...I would have thought you would have allowed him his comments without the disdain there seemed to be in your reply to them. Apparently, this is not the place for the information I seek.

Good day to you Sir.

John

cguzik
25th November 2004, 15:10
Andy,

You will get better direction from your aikido teacher about this subject than you will from many of the posts herein. He has direct experience with zen meditation and I am sure can provide you some guidance, if that is the kind of sitting you are interested in.

Shaun's cautions are worthy of careful consideration. Certain meditative practices can be dangerous if not practiced under the guidance of a teacher. The very question of why you are doing it will get you into trouble, and you could very easily go down a destructive path.

That said, here is a link to a site that describes the form of practice in the Soto Zen school:

http://www.sotozen-net.or.jp/kokusai/howtodozazen01.htm

Be well.

Chris

Rogier
25th November 2004, 16:40
go running....

Why do people always have the strange idea that you can only meditate by sitting down in strange positions with all kinds of tools (incense)??

Go out and do some long distance running in the forest, dunes of some other place where you won't run into too many people. Start running and concentrate on the running, breathing or whatever.

It's by far the easiest way to meditate...

valoczy
8th December 2004, 00:50
Originally posted by Rogier
go running....

Why do people always have the strange idea that you can only meditate by sitting down in strange positions with all kinds of tools (incense)??

Go out and do some long distance running in the forest, dunes of some other place where you won't run into too many people. Start running and concentrate on the running, breathing or whatever.

It's by far the easiest way to meditate...

I remember reading something a few years back about some Buddhist monk or whatever being taken to a rave, and that after he managed to get himself past the awful music, he made the observation that those dancing were meditating in a way...

But yes I do agree with Rogier here. Physical activity can also be meditative. When I'm playing football, it gets to the point sometimes when the only thing I'm conscious of is the locations of the goalposts, the ball, and myself, and even then, it's more a half-conscious thing. I've noticed that when I'm in this 'state', I play much better than when I'm trying to watch the ball and the players and deliberately try to anticipate what's going to happen, also interesting: when I'm playing with my mind in the way I first described, I dive for the ball, leap up to punch it, whatever, without realising it, yet if I'm actively thinking about "ok, if the ball goes to the side, I'll dive for it", then I end up not moving and letting the ball in the net...

I'm not certain if others would classify this as meditation, but certainly after a good game, when my mind is that way I described above (me, ball, posts), then after the 90 minutes, I feel in a way refreshed, as opposed to feeling tired, like after 90 minutes of conscious effort...

My point is, I think, any sort of physical activity - football, running, swimming, hockey, whatever - where you just do it without actively thinking about it, can be what is imo meditative.

Brian Owens
12th December 2004, 09:29
Originally posted by Andy Buttafuoco
I try to sit 2 hours a day. Once in the morning and once at night. I am curious to know what some other techniques people use to meditate are.

...I am having difficulty keeping my mind set clear. Do you have a particular technique you use to keep your mind clear?
Greetings. This is my first visit to the Meditation forum; I found the path this thread took to be "interesting."

I'll just reply to the original question.

There are many types of meditation, of course. One easy to practice form that has, IMO, more benefits than risks is "just sitting."

Some have mentioned counting breaths, but here is more specifically the manner of counting that I use for an introduction to sitting.

1) Find a posture that is comfortable and well balanced. If you grew up in the orient or have training in yoga or martial arts this may be the "Lotus Position" or something similar.

For many Westerners it may be better to sit on a straight-backed chair with the rear legs propped on a 2X4 to tilt the seat slightly forward, and then sit on the forward third of the seat.

The main point is that you should be able to sit for 30 minutes to an hour without giving undue attention to holding yourself upright.

Set a kitchen timer or something similar for the period you have set aside for your session, so you won't have to think about time.

2) Begin by slowly counting your breaths (mentally, not orally); a long slow "ooooooone" on inhaling, "twooooooo" on exhaling, then "threeeeeee" on inhaling, etc.

Here's the "trick": when you reach ten, on the next inhalation go back to one and start over. Continue repeating these one-to-ten segments for as long as your session lasts.

In almost all cases, before long you will suddenly realize that you have just counted "thirteen" or something. This means that your mind has wandered from the task at hand. Go back to "one" with the next inhalation after your realization, and continue until your session ends.

Over time you will find that the instances where you "lose count" decrease in frequency.

I find that this type of meditation helps me in my daily life to concentrate on the tasks at hand without being distracted by the myriad other things going on around me. And taking the time to just sit also has physical and mental benefits in "de-stressing" my life.

As for "keeping the mind clear" -- I don't do that. Instead I try to always think of one thing. In the beginning it was counting breaths, at other times it has been other things.

And when distracting thoughts have occurred, as they tend to do, I remember an old proverb:

'though the clouds touch the mountain
they do not move it

HTH

sunny
2nd January 2005, 05:27
an interesting thread.
i appreciated what Rogier,Valoczy and Brian Owens have brought to the conversation.
personally i practice iaido, and strive to gain that meditative mind during iai. then i see how much of that mindstate i can bring to my iaijutsu\kumitachi.
i have a long way to go!

best regards
sunny prosser