Yoga, relaxation and meditation thread

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Yoga, relaxation and meditation thread

#17922

Post by Admin » 6 months ago

Afro_Vacancy wrote:
6 months ago
I went to yoga
I was recently quite surprised to learn that yoga means 'Union with God' in Sanskrit.

How long have you been practicing? Have you already experienced mental, physical or spiritual benefits?
"But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” - Mark 1:25 :christian-cross:

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Yoga, relaxation and meditation thread

#17925

Post by Afro_Vacancy » 6 months ago

Admin wrote:
6 months ago
I was recently quite surprised to learn that yoga means 'Union with God' in Sanskrit.

How long have you been practicing? Have you already experienced mental, physical or spiritual benefits?
I didn't know that. I tend to be less interested in yoga classes that emphasize the spiritual aspects -- I'm not Hindu.

I've also been doing pilates, which is similar, and places greater relative emphasis on core strength and endurance. By core, I means abs, butt, thighs, hips, etc.

I'm finding that I'm getting a lot of physical and mental benefits. It reduces pain, my strength is a little higher, and I tend to leave the studio in a positive and relaxed mood. I also have more body awareness, over time i learn how to make optimal adjustments.

I've been doing yoga on and off for maybe fifteen years. It's been a lot more intense in the past couple months though.

Have you been considering yoga? How's your strength training going?

Edited to add: we're off topic, it might make sense for you to move these posts.
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Yoga, relaxation and meditation thread

#17927

Post by Admin » 6 months ago

Afro_Vacancy wrote:
6 months ago
Have you been considering yoga? How's your strength training going?

Edited to add: we're off topic, it might make sense for you to move these posts.
Yep, I was thinking the same, done!

Well I have been practicing Orthodox Christian meditation for about 3 months now and the benefits have been tremendous, on a spiritual level, unsurprisingly, but it also produced mental and physical changes.

I used to believe that there was no way you couldn't not get hurt by a provocation or verbal abuse, especially for someone as sensitive as me. Boy was I wrong. The more progress I make in my practice of meditation, the more I'm allowed to notice that someone is trying to get a rise of me let's say, but it's like I'm watching it happening from the outside, without it affecting me directly, and making my emotions go haywire like it used to do.

I've felt many tensions in my body release, tensions I wasn't even aware of. In the face, around the core (chest, back, belly). And then there were the spiritual benefits, which I hesitate to describe in details because I guess everyone will be like :eh:. I've felt a heavy weight lifting off my heart, that was always there somehow, travel to my chest, then throat (I felt like I was choking, my therapist thought it was what deep anxiety can do), then my face to finally rest in my nose area. Now I'm walking around with pressure on my nose :lol: .

It's quite common actually:



I guess what's missing from all this practice is what yoga has to offer. I just do my best to release the tension during the session and I'm having deep tissue massages from time to time to heal the tensions, the knots I wouldn't be able to relax with my normal practice.

I've also had nice seemingly self-regulating physical changes, mainly regarding my weight, which has gone down without doing anything about it consciously, I guess I need to eat less and less often somehow. The decreased face puffiness is a nice bonus. I'm still weightlifting but due to a lot of stress in my professional life, I could only go once a week lately. I'm still at the plateau I hit after about 1.5 year of weightlifting but yet another benefit of meditation is that I have now more endurance.

So yeah, I cannot recommend practicing meditation, relaxation or yoga enough. It makes navigating our modern life much easier. At the core, it's really about learning to enjoy doing jack shit, realizing that there are moments for that and there is nothing wrong with it, quite the contrary, it's needed. Reverse your attention towards the fact that you are experiencing this moment right now and try to stay there (basic, you've heard this before, you just need to do it!). Let your ego, your mind throw everything at you ("it's boring! you need to do things! let's think about the past, the future!" until he gets tired and you slowly learn to detach from it.
"But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” - Mark 1:25 :christian-cross:

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Yoga, relaxation and meditation thread

#17932

Post by Afro_Vacancy » 6 months ago

Admin wrote:
6 months ago
Yep, I was thinking the same, done!

Well I have been practicing Orthodox Christian meditation for about 3 months now and the benefits have been tremendous, on a spiritual level, unsurprisingly, but it also produced mental and physical changes.

I used to believe that there was no way you couldn't not get hurt by a provocation or verbal abuse, especially for someone as sensitive as me. Boy was I wrong. The more progress I make in my practice of meditation, the more I'm allowed to notice that someone is trying to get a rise of me let's say, but it's like I'm watching it happening from the outside, without it affecting me directly, and making my emotions go haywire like it used to do.

I've felt many tensions in my body release, tensions I wasn't even aware of. In the face, around the core (chest, back, belly). And then there were the spiritual benefits, which I hesitate to describe in details because I guess everyone will be like :eh:. I've felt a heavy weight lifting off my heart, that was always there somehow, travel to my chest, then throat (I felt like I was choking, my therapist thought it was what deep anxiety can do), then my face to finally rest in my nose area. Now I'm walking around with pressure on my nose :lol: .

It's quite common actually:



I guess what's missing from all this practice is what yoga has to offer. I just do my best to release the tension during the session and I'm having deep tissue massages from time to time to heal the tensions, the knots I wouldn't be able to relax with my normal practice.

I've also had nice seemingly self-regulating physical changes, mainly regarding my weight, which has gone down without doing anything about it consciously, I guess I need to eat less and less often somehow. The decreased face puffiness is a nice bonus. I'm still weightlifting but due to a lot of stress in my professional life, I could only go once a week lately. I'm still at the plateau I hit after about 1.5 year of weightlifting but yet another benefit of meditation is that I have now more endurance.

So yeah, I cannot recommend practicing meditation, relaxation or yoga enough. It makes navigating our modern life much easier. At the core, it's really about learning to enjoy doing jack shit, realizing that there are moments for that and there is nothing wrong with it, quite the contrary, it's needed. Reverse your attention towards the fact that you are experiencing this moment right now and try to stay there (basic, you've heard this before, you just need to do it!). Let your ego, your mind throw everything at you ("it's boring! you need to do things! let's think about the past, the future!" until he gets tired and you slowly learn to detach from it.
There's more to reply to here than I can reply to right now, but for now, I'll ask you something that I've been meaning to ask you for a while. Why did you select the Christian Orthodox Church, rather than the Catholic Church, or a Protestant denomination?

I suspect that meditation is the healthiest thing that I know about and that I'm not doing. That, and possibly spending time in saunas. It's something that I should add ... I think that my overuse of screens has fried my dopamine receptors in recent years, to overuse some pop psychology that may or may not actually be scientific. As an example, I don't read as much as I used to, and I'm even noticing a decline in my writing skills. I've taken to leaving my cell phone at home during the work day, but I think that adding a meditation practice to my life would yield synergistic effects.
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Yoga, relaxation and meditation thread

#17935

Post by Admin » 6 months ago

Afro_Vacancy wrote:
6 months ago
There's more to reply to here than I can reply to right now, but for now, I'll ask you something that I've been meaning to ask you for a while. Why did you select the Christian Orthodox Church, rather than the Catholic Church, or a Protestant denomination?

I suspect that meditation is the healthiest thing that I know about and that I'm not doing. That, and possibly spending time in saunas. It's something that I should add ... I think that my overuse of screens has fried my dopamine receptors in recent years, to overuse some pop psychology that may or may not actually be scientific. As an example, I don't read as much as I used to, and I'm even noticing a decline in my writing skills. I've taken to leaving my cell phone at home during the work day, but I think that adding a meditation practice to my life would yield synergistic effects.
Well it's quite simple, I haven't chosen Orthodox Christianity, it's just that it's objectively the purest form of Christianity. Orthodoxy salvaged the mystical aspects of our religion which have been lost in the West after the Schism of 1054. Western Christianity quickly became a game of logic, reason and science, which has brought us the technological and sociological miracles of the West. Don't get me wrong, one should not spit on them, but we can see what we have lost in this process: the mystical teachings of Christ which allow us to go through deep personal transformation. What would make us able to generate meaning in our lives. Hence the deep meaning crisis that the the West is going through.

I'm still Catholic, and affiliated to the Catholic Church, it's where I'm going to get married and where I go through the Sacraments. It's mostly because well, we're in the West, and it's not that easy to join an active Eastern Church here. There's barely anything inherently wrong with the Catholic Church, it's just that even there you'll hit a wall in your spiritual practice. It hasn't fragmented much though, and we don't have that many LGBT postmodern churches. Protestantism on the other hand is falling apart, and is even further removed from the original teachings of Christ. The number of subgroups and new denominations is spinning out of control. Soon everyone will have their own Church :D . A hierarchical organization is really crucial for the survival of Christianity, or any religion I guess. No you cannot live and maintain Christianity by reading the Bible alone in your bedroom.

Not going on your cell phone or just leaving the things of the world aside for a while becomes much easier once you've practiced meditation for a while. You're really doing the opposite of what our modern life wants us to do, or what we think we should be doing. Always looking at a screen, be up to date, learning about things, mountains of knowledge readily available, always something to do. Now there's nothing wrong with all that when they're at their proper place, but we all need moments to bring our attention back home, and just enjoy the present moment, whether it's meditating on your own or enjoying yourself with other people.
"But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” - Mark 1:25 :christian-cross:

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#18150

Post by blackg » 6 months ago

Masturbation is meditation.
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#18265

Post by EvilLocks » 6 months ago

Admin wrote:
6 months ago
I was recently quite surprised to learn that yoga means 'Union with God' in Sanskrit.

How long have you been practicing? Have you already experienced mental, physical or spiritual benefits?
I practiced yoga for 4 years when I was a teenager but I quit when I fell into my hair loss depression years. I recently started back up doing some pregnant yoga which feels nice. I'm trying to make the breathing right but unfortunately I've become more impatient over the years and it's hard for me to find that 'calm' that I used to before.
Setting the mood with dim lighting, candles and relaxing music helps putting me in the mood :) Yoga is great to calm down your mind and body and also strengthen it.

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Yoga, relaxation and meditation thread

#18536

Post by rclark » 6 months ago

Admin wrote:
6 months ago
I was recently quite surprised to learn that yoga means 'Union with God' in Sanskrit.

How long have you been practicing? Have you already experienced mental, physical or spiritual benefits?
You should study the Hindi culture. I think you would like it, and maybe learn how to speak
Hindi?

It's a lot like Spanish. There are male and female pronunciations of words.

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Yoga, relaxation and meditation thread

#22815

Post by Rudiger » 1 month ago

So now I'm into meditation, on top of my interesting hobbies that are more interesting than yours, like MMA, being on yachts, rescuing dogs, going in to the forest every time...

But really although I may not stick with it (only about 3 weeks so far) I've been trying it on and off for at least a few years, and only began to saw some form of benefit with it. But mainly I was just laying there feeling like I'm fooling myself, or this is basically the nice feeling you get when you know you're drifting off to sleep, but that shouldn't be it at all. In an odd way now, it makes me feel more present and alert, while obviously remaining completely relaxed and calm.

So yeah about 3 weeks for 10-20mins and I've missed like 2 days, and only in the past few days have I really started to engage in real benefits, both during it and generally afterwards.

If you feel weird doing it, try yoga first.
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Yoga, relaxation and meditation thread

#22816

Post by Admin » 1 month ago

Rudiger wrote:
1 month ago
So now I'm into meditation
:pepe-happy:

Meditation definitely feels weird at first, it either takes a while or an aha! moment to get it, and your ego (yeah it's not just a pop psychology term :p) will try to pull you out of it because it will get scared shitless that you're taking steps to try to escape from its control, from what it's telling you about yourself and reality, which if you stick with it should make you realize is mostly an illusion.

For me it started with listening to the guided meditations by Brother Dominick (don't worry, he leaves the Christiancelling out for the majority of his videos :p):



At the beginning, I thought it wasn't especially new, I had read "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle in 2014 and it all flew right over my head. I didn't get it. I tried to meditate again at work back in 2016 but again, all I got was the "nice feeling", the relaxation which would allow me to be more performant, which was already quite nice, but not enough for me to stick with it or to get what meditation was about.

Then one afternoon last summer, I was lying on my bed listening to the guided meditation below:



And... I started having this extremely uncomfortable feeling, this deep anxiety rose up all of a sudden, nearly choking me. Thank God I had learned I had to stay with it, observe it without judging it, and also refrain from running away from it. This is key. It took a long time, possibly more than an hour, but when it passed, I felt this profound feeling of resolution, as if a big weight had been lifted off... no not my shoulders, rather my heart.

I had several similar experiences later, one that I described in a post above. And the highest point happened out of the blue when I was at work, I had to get up from my desk and isolate, then all of a sudden, I felt like an explosion of joy in my heart, I have no better way to describe it. The aftereffects remained with me for a while after that, and I could still feel this deep peace as I was going on job interviews and preparing my wedding.

After that it tapered out, and I stopped making quantum leaps in my practice. Anyway, there's a trap I fell into, and meditation teachers will tell you over and over again that it is common and easy to fall in it: you start chasing those mystical/religious experiences after getting them, which will inevitably hinder your progress, perhaps even lead you to a worse position that you were in before you even started any spiritual practice.

Brother Dominick calls it "developing a spiritual ego". You think you have it figured out, while you're supposed to let go of the jugement of your own experience. One shouldn't be chasing highs, meditation is about letting go of things, not acquiring things, so when you get that idea, you can be sure that it's your ego pulling your strings.

I only started making progress again very recently by focusing on the 'love' (God this word has been ruined in our culture) aspect of meditation. Brother Dominick, like all meditation teachers, goes over this, but unfortunately that part of his teachings didn't get through, and I underestimated how deficient I was in this, how incapable I was of giving love to myself, or rather self-compassion if that sounds too narcissistic. So I'm working on that now, the best guided meditations I've found for me in that regard are the ones of Lisa A. Romano:



Some of it may sound like some "The Secret" BS at first but it really isn't. Anyway, definitely stick with it and don't hesitate to try different approaches, different guided meditations with different teachers to find out what works for you. It's definitely worth it :).
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#22826

Post by Rudiger » 1 month ago

Admin wrote:
1 month ago
:pepe-happy:

Meditation definitely feels weird at first, it either takes a while or an aha! moment to get it, and your ego (yeah it's not just a pop psychology term :p) will try to pull you out of it because it will get scared shitless that you're taking steps to try to escape from its control, from what it's telling you about yourself and reality, which if you stick with it should make you realize is mostly an illusion.

For me it started with listening to the guided meditations by Brother Dominick (don't worry, he leaves the Christiancelling out for the majority of his videos :p):



At the beginning, I thought it wasn't especially new, I had read "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle in 2014 and it all flew right over my head. I didn't get it. I tried to meditate again at work back in 2016 but again, all I got was the "nice feeling", the relaxation which would allow me to be more performant, which was already quite nice, but not enough for me to stick with it or to get what meditation was about.

Then one afternoon last summer, I was lying on my bed listening to the guided meditation below:



And... I started having this extremely uncomfortable feeling, this deep anxiety rose up all of a sudden, nearly choking me. Thank God I had learned I had to stay with it, observe it without judging it, and also refrain from running away from it. This is key. It took a long time, possibly more than an hour, but when it passed, I felt this profound feeling of resolution, as if a big weight had been lifted off... no not my shoulders, rather my heart.

I had several similar experiences later, one that I described in a post above. And the highest point happened out of the blue when I was at work, I had to get up from my desk and isolate, then all of a sudden, I felt like an explosion of joy in my heart, I have no better way to describe it. The aftereffects remained with me for a while after that, and I could still feel this deep peace as I was going on job interviews and preparing my wedding.

After that it tapered out, and I stopped making quantum leaps in my practice. Anyway, there's a trap I fell into, and meditation teachers will tell you over and over again that it is common and easy to fall in it: you start chasing those mystical/religious experiences after getting them, which will inevitably hinder your progress, perhaps even lead you to a worse position that you were in before you even started any spiritual practice.

Brother Dominick calls it "developing a spiritual ego". You think you have it figured out, while you're supposed to let go of the jugement of your own experience. One shouldn't be chasing highs, meditation is about letting go of things, not acquiring things, so when you get that idea, you can be sure that it's your ego pulling your strings.

I only started making progress again very recently by focusing on the 'love' (God this word has been ruined in our culture) aspect of meditation. Brother Dominick, like all meditation teachers, goes over this, but unfortunately that part of his teachings didn't get through, and I underestimated how deficient I was in this, how incapable I was of giving love to myself, or rather self-compassion if that sounds too narcissistic. So I'm working on that now, the best guided meditations I've found for me in that regard are the ones of Lisa A. Romano:



Some of it may sound like some "The Secret" BS at first but it really isn't. Anyway, definitely stick with it and don't hesitate to try different approaches, different guided meditations with different teachers to find out what works for you. It's definitely worth it :).
Moving my new topic in here really fucked with my chakras :x

Thanks for the videos, I listened for a few mins to see what it's like and I'm going to save it for future because for now I'm doing daily meditations from an app called Calm. It's not too expensive over a year but I'm pretty sure you have to pay all up front, which I did and it might be a bit of a hit for something people may not use, but for me I do tend to pay for stuff to ensure I use it, even if there's plenty of free material online. This has worked for me when it comes to guitar magazine subscriptions, paying for workout plans I could probably steal off Reddit etc. The meditations from Calm are not anything special so far (and don't need to be) but the app and updates are packaged perfectly to keep you interested each day, which is essential if you're skeptical and half assed about it. So far it's working, as mentioned I haven't missed many days and I'm on a 6 day streak right now, and it gives you that little dopamine rush of a reminder of this (not really in line with the principle's of meditation but hey it works).

Calm mainly has a similar format for all meditation clips, build up of breathing for 5-7mins to get in a relaxed state, with long pauses of no monologue, which initially confused me and actually left me anxious lol, because some of them would end early, and I kept getting confused whether it ended or not as the app always plays the same background noises of birds chirping etc. But I got over it, and it doesn't matter now if it ends. So I'm sticking with the comfort of that format for now but I realise like with anything I'll have to mix it up eventually, but because your brother Dominic videos are so radically different I'll have to keep them in mind for future. In fact they sounded almost, apocalyptic? Considering that I'm already on edge when trying to get in a meditative state that small things really distract me, I will stick to really calming things for now.

Today I put a 13min meditation for being in the steam room on my wireless waterproof mp3 headphones, and it started out really nice, then these 2 guys come in and start talking so loudly :x and I was trying to gauge "how fucking loud are they actually talking?!" Because I had my headphones playing and I couldn't figure out if they were super loud, or my headphones aren't great at cancelling noise/the YouTube video was too quiet. So then twice I paused my headphones, and they stopped fucking talking by coincidence :x which drove me further to distraction. Then the 3rd time I paused and yes, they were talking unnecessarily loud, sitting 4 feet from each other. Wtf, they were sitting on the other side of the room but they're booming pointless conversation and laughter was drilling right through me.

Anyway I got past it, focussed on breathing, actually meditation is perfect for looking at these things like a challenge and working past them, a few mins later their voices were still present, but I was not acknowledging them directly, and I was amazed that another minute later I realised I was genuinely not irritated anymore (I'm guessing you'll be able to relate in some way?). For some reason getting clarity that they were talking too loud made me get past it as well.

But fucking then :x - a 3rd guy walks in, and sits near me, on my side of the room, actually I seen him earlier on the gym floor doing these ridiculous 40 rep exercises with no range of motion and way too much weight, and then flexing his fat arms in the mirror for 5mins between each shitty set.

Then he, sitting 4 feet from me with both of us in the other corner of the room from the first 2 guys, he picks up on something they're talking about (I don't think he knew them) and he starts booming his voice over to them :x because he's so close there's no avoiding this now, he's louder than the woman's voice in my headphones, and then it's like fuck it, I did well initially, but this episode defeated me, as I knew as well there must be only a minute or two left to try and get in to it.

I did just try your 3rd video, and the time and everything I can imagine being similar to what I'm used to so far. Although the Calm app videos I like because of the long pauses of just birds chirping and wind etc, do you mainly like videos that have talking throughout? Because I like focussing on my breathing a lot, and thinking of nothing about the awareness, for the first time in my life, that this moment is happening and I never felt existence in such a way. But also that I'm neither relevant or irrelevant, it all gives me a sense of tranquility, as someone who was constantly anxious about the future, possible heart ache and loss, disease and pain (in myself or others around me, family especially of course) and the apparent pointlessness of being unsatisfied with 95% of moments in my mundane life, only to go through it all for some tiny moments of joy, and that's overwhelmingly cancelled out by moments of despair and grief. Or just feeling the world and the humans within it a perpetually fucked (this is definitely my thinking in the past, and it's started to become less of focal point of my mentality, meditation is recently definitely helping that).

From reading Lisa A. Romano's comment section I'm not sure how much I'll connect with this video, as fortunately I don't have a lot of resentment towards specific people or their particular actions, as mentioned my attitude is kinda "well what could I expect from this human race" so in an odd way that's worked for me I'm a positive sense of letting things go. But I will still try it, I actually might also load it on my mp3 headphones for the steam room, a whole half hour though :oops:

You mentioned also feeling weird about the process (because this is probably my 5th or so spell of attempting it, I didn't feel that so much at my first effort at returning to it, and a few weeks later I don't feel weird at all) does your wife know you do it? I'm expecting so but just checking. Or do you meditate with her as well? My girlfriend actually got me back in to this, but only by the suggestion as she's also tried it sporadically, and it was a reminder for me to try again which I've been doing more than her. Trying to meditate together was still simply too uncomfortable the 2 times we tried (awkward laughter and gave up), and I don't like her being in the house when I'm trying it, the feeling of her walking in and disrupting my session, while also feeling weird about meditating. She wouldn't walk in if I told her but still, knowing the possibility is there leaves it hard to concentrate (well, I'd imagine so anyway). So for now I'll have to do steam room meditation to keep my streak up if she doesn't leave the house all day (doesn't live here though)

Alone I don't feel weird, but I think if anyone is around I go back to feeling weird. However the steam room is different of course, mainly because a) for some reason the gym is my safe space of giving no fucks, whether looking ridiculous doing certain exercises or grunting loudly or rolling around in exhaustion, and b) others couldn't tell I'm meditating anyway of course, a lot of people lay back and close their eyes and breathe deeply.

But I stay at my parents regularly maybe once or twice a month, and even didn't feel at ease in my own old room (which they'd very rarely need to knock my door or anything) thinking about starting meditation.

Basically for now I still feel weird about it generally or possibly embarrassment, like it's something only the crazies need to do. I wouldn't admit to people generally that I do this, I'm still far from that kind of comfort. It's just also that, in my own mind at least, I probably really don't seem like the type who meditates, there's nothing remotely spiritual or typically hippie about me. Although I've grown a lot in not caring what others thinking generally, no for some reason that would make me feel awkward, like there's this whole other "weird" side to me.

Oh by the way that seems like excellent advice about reaching peaks in meditation and then "chasing the dragon" of sorts in trying to return to that state, so at least I know to expect that feeling and work past it. That seems like the whole point of meditation anyway, don't live just to experiment the ultimate highs, just exist to, exist. Pessimistic people could see that as accepting a pointlessly mundane existence where one moment is no different from the next, so why even carry on? But it's teaching me that yes, technically from a meditative perspective, in that sense each moment is the only moment that exists and therefore is no different from the next, however that definitely doesn't make them mundane, the fact it's happening at all means quite the opposite.

I would liken this feeling to being amazed at the very existence of a new born baby up to being a small toddler, and as you see them opening their eyes, moving in random and uninhibited ways, experiencing the world in a way none of us will remember. But instead of being amazed by their existence and it's beginning, you become somewhat amazed at your own existence, or at least until now your lack of awareness in appreciating it.

Basically I'm amazed by how I'm a god and heal people with my touch. :angel:
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Yoga, relaxation and meditation thread

#22827

Post by Admin » 1 month ago

OK, tell me if I overlook some questions you asked me in that huge post :p.

For Brother Dominick, it depends on the video, yes the guided meditation for healing trauma sounds quite apocalyptic, but I guess he chose the soundtrack quite well since it worked very fast on me. Some of his meditations are better suited for relaxation and awakening this sense of awe about reality, like this one:



I really like that he has a very small number of videos, at least compared to most YouTubers who will poop out tons of content that doesn't have much variation in it. It shows how much he's practicing what he preaches since meditation is supposed to be about simplicity.

My wife has gotten used to me meditating since I started doing it in the summer of 2019. She doesn't find it weird, and she often asks if I'm meditating when she comes to bed. She doesn't practice at all herself and she has no interest in it, because contrary to me, she was born perfect and in a perfect family :pepe-crying:. Seriously though, if you think meditating together is weird, consider the fact that my wife and I have been tiptoeing around praying together for about a year now. We want to do it but... I guess I don't have to explain :p. I'm slowly getting over the awkwardness when I pray before dinner for example, but I can tell my wife is still like *cringe*.

Something you can pick up quite quickly in Brother Dominick's teachings is that meditation can be done anywhere, at all times, even while talking to people, working, driving, anything you're doing, he calls it active meditation, as opposed to the passive meditation that people think about when they hear the word 'meditation'. Active and passive practices feed into one another and at a point, it should become a second nature, you'll automatically remember to recenter your focus on your awareness after you've been lost in thoughts. The hardest moments to apply those teachings are the ones you described, but those moments (like the guys getting on your nerves in the steam room) are a great opportunity to deconstruct the inner mental patterns which lead you to anger.

Your last paragraphs have some great insights. Everyone practicing meditation has their own pace but there stages we go through are all more or less the same. And if you manage to get to the last stage before one experiences enlightenment (of course that word will look suspicious to us Westerners), you'll experience intense fear, the ego is going to tell you something like "if you let go of me now, you die". I've gotten there before a few times and I haven't been able to go past it. Enlightenment is not a permanent state, people who have experienced it describe it as "being one with the reality/the universe" if they're atheists or Buddhists or being one with God if they are believers. I also had this feeling of intense despair for one night, like God had just disappeared, it's common too, it's called "The Dark Night of the Soul", and some people get stuck there for years.

All this to say that a point, making progress is much harder than it looks, and that makes sense, if it was so easy, we'd all be enlightened. None of that needs to be feared though, since the deep fear is an illusion concocted by the ego and even the The Dark Night is not bad in itself. It's just that you get acquainted with this "dead" aspect of reality which I guess is what people refer to when people say that meditation make them feel that it's all pointless and each moment isn't different from the next. Yes, there is this continuity aspect, like a mountain that isn't moved by the cataclysms around it, but it's also true that reality is ever-changing. The key is to learn to appreciate both at the same time in the present moment, to unite those opposites. Easy to say in theory but of course it will take a lot practice, or rather... unpractice since meditation is about unlearning, letting go, detaching from the chatter that your ego uses to control your mind, your reality, your choices, your emotions and your behavior.

To end on a more positive note, I loved your comparison of meditating with the experience of a newborn baby, you actually don't have to go that low, it's about becoming, thinking like a child, which means not thinking much at all. I know the image of the ungrateful brat will pop into your mind :p, but you really have to imagine a child playing, lost in the moment, no thought about anyone judging him, just being, basking in pure joy. It's no wonder that Christ tells us:
King James Bible wrote:Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 18:3
It also reminded me of a quote that Bishop Barron recently posted on social media:
Bishop Barron wrote:Children haven’t yet learned how to look at themselves. Why can a child immerse himself so eagerly and thoroughly in what he is doing? Because he can lose himself; because he is not looking at himself, conscious of the reactions, expectations, and approval of those around him.

The problem is that, from a very early age, we learn not to be ourselves, and this is a function of the sinful human construct of the ego. We convince ourselves that joy will come only when we become like someone else, only when we receive the applause of the crowd, only when we live up to the expectations of our group, family, or society.
Another advice I would give you is to take your time and go at your own pace, slowly, because even though it sounds counterintuitive, you can burn yourself out trying to make progress too fast with meditation. Every time I made progress, I was feeling exhausted for days, even weeks after. After I experienced the inner resolution, there was this knowing that I had healed but also that the healing took a lot of energy.

Also, you'll sometimes be taken aback by what meditation will bring up to the surface. For me recently, it was a shock to learn that I had been living with the thought "I don't have the right to exist" for so long, with all the unconscious irrational defense mechanisms that go with it. When you think "I don't have the right to exist", you don't think your existence is valuable, you will not be kind to yourself, even when it comes to the practice of meditation.

So it was no surprise that I injured myself a few times after I started weightlifting for example, I go too fast, too hard, not respecting my own limits and not setting healthy boundaries for myself. I have spaced out my meditation sessions and I'm learning to self-soothe, it's starting to get better but the latest transformations took quite the toll on me mentally. So, don't forget to be kind to yourself and to take it slow.
"But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” - Mark 1:25 :christian-cross:

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Yoga, relaxation and meditation thread

#22830

Post by Rudiger » 1 month ago

Admin wrote:
1 month ago
OK, tell me if I overlook some questions you asked me in that huge post :p.

For Brother Dominick, it depends on the video, yes the guided meditation for healing trauma sounds quite apocalyptic, but I guess he chose the soundtrack quite well since it worked very fast on me. Some of his meditations are better suited for relaxation and awakening this sense of awe about reality, like this one:



I really like that he has a very small number of videos, at least compared to most YouTubers who will poop out tons of content that doesn't have much variation in it. It shows how much he's practicing what he preaches since meditation is supposed to be about simplicity.

My wife has gotten used to me meditating since I started doing it in the summer of 2019. She doesn't find it weird, and she often asks if I'm meditating when she comes to bed. She doesn't practice at all herself and she has no interest in it, because contrary to me, she was born perfect and in a perfect family :pepe-crying:. Seriously though, if you think meditating together is weird, consider the fact that my wife and I have been tiptoeing around praying together for about a year now. We want to do it but... I guess I don't have to explain :p. I'm slowly getting over the awkwardness when I pray before dinner for example, but I can tell my wife is still like *cringe*.

Something you can pick up quite quickly in Brother Dominick's teachings is that meditation can be done anywhere, at all times, even while talking to people, working, driving, anything you're doing, he calls it active meditation, as opposed to the passive meditation that people think about when they hear the word 'meditation'. Active and passive practices feed into one another and at a point, it should become a second nature, you'll automatically remember to recenter your focus on your awareness after you've been lost in thoughts. The hardest moments to apply those teachings are the ones you described, but those moments (like the guys getting on your nerves in the steam room) are a great opportunity to deconstruct the inner mental patterns which lead you to anger.

Your last paragraphs have some great insights. Everyone practicing meditation has their own pace but there stages we go through are all more or less the same. And if you manage to get to the last stage before one experiences enlightenment (of course that word will look suspicious to us Westerners), you'll experience intense fear, the ego is going to tell you something like "if you let go of me now, you die". I've gotten there before a few times and I haven't been able to go past it. Enlightenment is not a permanent state, people who have experienced it describe it as "being one with the reality/the universe" if they're atheists or Buddhists or being one with God if they are believers. I also had this feeling of intense despair for one night, like God had just disappeared, it's common too, it's called "The Dark Night of the Soul", and some people get stuck there for years.

All this to say that a point, making progress is much harder than it looks, and that makes sense, if it was so easy, we'd all be enlightened. None of that needs to be feared though, since the deep fear is an illusion concocted by the ego and even the The Dark Night is not bad in itself. It's just that you get acquainted with this "dead" aspect of reality which I guess is what people refer to when people say that meditation make them feel that it's all pointless and each moment isn't different from the next. Yes, there is this continuity aspect, like a mountain that isn't moved by the cataclysms around it, but it's also true that reality is ever-changing. The key is to learn to appreciate both at the same time in the present moment, to unite those opposites. Easy to say in theory but of course it will take a lot practice, or rather... unpractice since meditation is about unlearning, letting go, detaching from the chatter that your ego uses to control your mind, your reality, your choices, your emotions and your behavior.

To end on a more positive note, I loved your comparison of meditating with the experience of a newborn baby, you actually don't have to go that low, it's about becoming, thinking like a child, which means not thinking much at all. I know the image of the ungrateful brat will pop into your mind :p, but you really have to imagine a child playing, lost in the moment, no thought about anyone judging him, just being, basking in pure joy. It's no wonder that Christ tells us:



It also reminded me of a quote that Bishop Barron recently posted on social media:



Another advice I would give you is to take your time and go at your own pace, slowly, because even though it sounds counterintuitive, you can burn yourself out trying to make progress too fast with meditation. Every time I made progress, I was feeling exhausted for days, even weeks after. After I experienced the inner resolution, there was this knowing that I had healed but also that the healing took a lot of energy.

Also, you'll sometimes be taken aback by what meditation will bring up to the surface. For me recently, it was a shock to learn that I had been living with the thought "I don't have the right to exist" for so long, with all the unconscious irrational defense mechanisms that go with it. When you think "I don't have the right to exist", you don't think your existence is valuable, you will not be kind to yourself, even when it comes to the practice of meditation.

So it was no surprise that I injured myself a few times after I started weightlifting for example, I go too fast, too hard, not respecting my own limits and not setting healthy boundaries for myself. I have spaced out my meditation sessions and I'm learning to self-soothe, it's starting to get better but the latest transformations took quite the toll on me mentally. So, don't forget to be kind to yourself and to take it slow.
You almost answered all my questions, just that you posted another Dominick video and it also appears to be talking throughout, do you ever use videos with pauses in the monologue or with just sounds/soft music? Because I'd imagine that's ultimately the ideal point to get to.

I was a bit confused with what you said about "I don't have to explain :p" well I guess you do, because I'm not following. She's just not that religious? And my relationship is only a few months in, and as scarily comfortable we are with each other and how fast things are moving, I kinda like that we don't feel so comfortable we can meditate with each other, in a weird way. I guess the fact we even tried it so early on (when neither of us are totally in to it and open about it to others generally) is already representative of how open we are at this early stage.

But yeah with you I also didn't really understand this "Seriously though, if you think meditating together is weird, consider the fact that my wife have been tiptoeing around praying together for about a year now." Is praying together weirder than meditation? Because I wouldn't have thought so, if that's what you mean.

I'm not even sure how meditating with 2 people is supposed to work, just tried doing it as you normally would alone.
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Yoga, relaxation and meditation thread

#22831

Post by Admin » 1 month ago

Rudiger wrote:
1 month ago
You almost answered all my questions, just that you posted another Dominick video and it also appears to be talking throughout, do you ever use videos with pauses in the monologue or with just sounds/soft music? Because I'd imagine that's ultimately the ideal point to get to.

I was a bit confused with what you said about "I don't have to explain :p" well I guess you do, because I'm not following. She's just not that religious? And my relationship is only a few months in, and as scarily comfortable we are with each other and how fast things are moving, I kinda like that we don't feel so comfortable we can meditate with each other, in a weird way. I guess the fact we even tried it so early on (when neither of us are totally in to it and open about it to others generally) is already representative of how open we are at this early stage.

But yeah with you I also didn't really understand this "Seriously though, if you think meditating together is weird, consider the fact that my wife have been tiptoeing around praying together for about a year now." Is praying together weirder than meditation? Because I wouldn't have thought so, if that's what you mean.

I'm not even sure how meditating with 2 people is supposed to work, just tried doing it as you normally would alone.
I either put a guided meditation video or I meditate without anything. I've never tried it with ambient music, "alpha waves" or whatever they call it on those YouTube videos. Maybe it would be a good idea for me to try them out. I prefer the guided meditations before it gives me something to focus on, the music in the background definitely helps me too.

The ideal point for me would be to remain "there", in the present moment as often and as long as possible.

The difference compared to before I started meditating is day and night, but there will be moments where I lose touch in reality, and by that I mean that I will spiral very quickly into high levels of stress and catastrophic thinking, sort of "there is an imminent threat!". In those moments, I know I should just withdraw, go meditate for like 15 minutes and just like that, I'll look back on my previous state and wonder what I was even afraid of, who that person was. But when I'm in that state, it's not easy for me to sit still until it all falls away.

I guess even I think it's weird to pray together, while it's something that's very common and highly recommended in Christian tradition. My wife is as religious as she can be for a modern person. She'll sometimes say things like "I don't think it's actually the body of Christ that's in the bread of the Eucharist" or "what do you mean, Christ is God that entered his own creation, I've never heard of that!". Heresies :pepe-rage:.She often gets stuck that very materialistic, Western worldview and I have trouble deconstructing it too. It's not too dissimilar to meditation, which is also a practice that the West has lost. Most Western people would just think "you're just lying there doing nothing, why would it do anything?!".

I cannot explain why it mediating with another person, or several people would enhance the experience for the people involved, but it definitely does, just like going to Church is definitely not the same as praying in your bedroom, even without the parts of the liturgy (singing, shaking hands, praying out loud) that make you very aware that you're not alone. It's as simple as that sense of community, of doing something together, which will also bring you closer together and make your relationship stronger. Scary uh :p? Prayer is a form of meditation by the way, for one moment, you drop everything and focus on one thing. Man, your posts motivated me to try again with my wife :).
"But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” - Mark 1:25 :christian-cross:

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Yoga, relaxation and meditation thread

#22844

Post by Rudiger » 1 month ago

Admin wrote:
1 month ago
It's as simple as that sense of community, of doing something together, which will also bring you closer together and make your relationship stronger. Scary uh :p?
Yes a little bit, actually :|

Added in 1 minute 50 seconds:

Also have you tried a Shakti mat before? I've been using it about half the time for meditation, I've always used it generally for soreness but combined with meditating it feels incredible.

Not sure if I told you about it before on discord or anything, it's possible, but I did notice in some pics of it people are doing yoga or probably meditating as well.
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