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Old 02-12-2011, 04:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Vipassana meditation can change your life. My experience!

I think meditation is very helpful for learning to handle anxiety and to learn to separate yourself from your unwanted thoughts. Negative thoughts are a habit pattern of the mind and I really believe that meditation helps to change those habits over time. I see meditation (specifically vipassana meditation) as very similar to what most professional therapy tries to do.

Here is a great example. These are tips I got from a professional anxiety
psychologist on the back of her business card.

1)Learn to observe your anxious thoughts as though they were spam on a computer.
Fighting them can make them worse.
2)Divert your attention from "What if..?" to "what is." Stay in the present.
3)Success is facing and tolerating your fear rather than having no fear at all.

Also, the idea of an anxiety hierarchy is to learn to face and tolerate your
fears gradually without avoiding them in small steps. Meditation teaches you to do the same thing and more.

I found out many insights as well, including the fact that my mind was addicted to fear and depression, and I have been doing everything possible not to feel it and repressing a lot since this was a long standing habit.

My 4 Vipassana Retreats Experience
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQpt-fTdbiQ

Some similar ideas well spoken and related to meditation
Freedom from Stress, Pain and Suffering
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAd6t...eature=related

How to Heal Worry, Stress, Anxiety, & Fear
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvSCu...eature=related

Here is the link to the free 10 day retreat that I went to:
http://www.dhamma.org/en/schedules/schpakasa.shtml

What are your thoughts on this and has anyone tried this?
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I've never done Vipassana but it seems a lot like Kundalini Yoga which has helped me a lot.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I agree, meditation does help. Although I dont do Vipassana, but I do meditate 20min twice a day, I just started a few days ago.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I dont really know much about that. I was going to ask a while back if anyone here was into Transcendental Meditation. Id like to learn more about it. I just could never get involved with anything that has any kind of religious basis. Thats why Im interested in TM
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Otherglove,

I never did TM, because you gotta pay to be "taught". But I did research what it was all about so that I could do it for free, and its pretty simple.

1. Pick a mantra
2. Meditate twice a day for 20 min
3. Sit or lie down and recite the mantra until the time is up...
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eek a mouse View Post
Otherglove,

I never did TM, because you gotta pay to be "taught". But I did research what it was all about so that I could do it for free, and its pretty simple.

1. Pick a mantra
2. Meditate twice a day for 20 min
3. Sit or lie down and recite the mantra until the time is up...
That is exactly what I didnt like. It could be a useful thing that you have to pay for, but it could also be b.s. that you pay for. I always wondered if someone payed Howard Stern to talk about TM as much as he does. But so many people claim that it changed their life.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Oh god! My boss goes on about this as a surefire cure for depression. I appreciate his concern, but religious stuff doesn't really jive with me.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
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Oh god! My boss goes on about this as a surefire cure for depression. I appreciate his concern, but religious stuff doesn't really jive with me.
Thats how I felt, but not all meditation is religious. If it helps, it helps. Doesnt mean you have to convert
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I just got a book the other day that I really like, Deep Meditation: Pathway to Personal Freedom.

Despite the somewhat overblown sounding title, I like its approach in that it doesn't go into any particular belief system, nor does it smack of any requirements to join in anything. it simply states a method of meditation for daily practice. it describes at length how to handle intrusive thoughts as they come up, and it describes the benefits in mental well being that can be had.
It is basic and doesn't preach much. I appreciate the author's streamlined approach. I'm two days in and it's hard going even though all that's requried is 20 minutes of sitting, but I hope i stick with it long enough to really determine if it's helping or not..
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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lol I used to listen to Howard Stern and I dont think he got paid by it but who knows. So paying for TM just to learn these easy steps is major BS, although they do make it seem a lot more mystical. The best way is to try it out, do it for a month and see if you wanna do it.

I decided to do it because I am using it as a life long reminder to live outside my head. Im also not religious at all but the mantra I chose says "I bow to Shiva".....and I dont believe in Shiva....so you can get the religion out of whatever..
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eek a mouse View Post
lol I used to listen to Howard Stern and I dont think he got paid by it but who knows. So paying for TM just to learn these easy steps is major BS, although they do make it seem a lot more mystical. The best way is to try it out, do it for a month and see if you wanna do it.

I decided to do it because I am using it as a life long reminder to live outside my head. Im also not religious at all but the mantra I chose says "I bow to Shiva".....and I dont believe in Shiva....so you can get the religion out of whatever..
I was half joking, just because of they way they did advertisements on that show. But where did you learn about it. Im guessing either a book or a website??
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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actually it was from listening to Howard Stern...so I decided to look it up on the web and see how to do TM for free, and also realized (in my opinion) that it seems to work but the price tag is a scam and it does have a cult like feel to it.

I also downloaded a bunch of torrents for meditation and 90% of it was crap, but I found a recording with the hindu chant and I use that to get used to meditating every day, because it can be very hard(boring) so at least in the beginning I use the audio to help me get some consistency.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eek a mouse View Post
Otherglove,

I never did TM, because you gotta pay to be "taught". But I did research what it was all about so that I could do it for free, and its pretty simple.

1. Pick a mantra
2. Meditate twice a day for 20 min
3. Sit or lie down and recite the mantra until the time is up...
Quote:
Originally Posted by leonardess View Post
I'm two days in and it's hard going even though all that's requried is 20 minutes of sitting, but I hope i stick with it long enough to really determine if it's helping or not..
I think I'll try this tonight. It's Saturday night, and I don't have something happening tomorrow to worry about, so maybe I could actually stick with it for 20 minutes.

I like the idea of just repeating a mantra - that sounds easier than trying to empty your mind of all thought, which I've tried before (and failed).
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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I think the key to meditation is focusing on your breathing because nothing else you do is so jointly controlled by the unconscious and conscious mind. You can't consciously control your heart rate or a bunch of other things but you can control your breath, within limits. So its something jointly controlled. Anyway I think focusing on your breathing helps to connect the conscious and unconscious mind and thats what you need to get over the past.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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I just wanted to chime in and clarify some misconceptions. The technique I learned does not preach buddhism or use any mantras and it is a very secular practice. I am Jewish myself and we had people from all faiths there. There is no charge at all for these courses. They go off donations. I was skeptical at first about all these things, and wondered what the catch was, but there was none. I have never meditated in my life before doing this either. What attracted me was the fact that you are not allowed to talk for 9 days to anyone, allowed to ignore people on purpose, get food, good and private place to sleep and think, and most of these retreats are located in beautiful quiet places, no distractions from the outside world, did I also mention that it was free. I had no money and this was the perfect poor-man's vacation, but it was also hard mental work.

I just know it has helped a lot. I spoke to others there on the last day as well and most people clearly come to a retreat because of problems (Anxiety, etc) and it was of great help to them too, but like anything I need to constantly practice the meditation to get better at it. I am not following any buddhist philosophies either, just practicing the technique of observing my breath and sensations.

Good video about the basics of the technique, but it really requires a 10 day retreat to get your mind to start changing its habits and understand properly how to do the mediation correctly. I gaurantee that trying to learn this on your own will be a disservice to yourself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNmxx...1&feature=fvwp

There are a few talks by the person (SN Goenka) who helped spread the technique it available here where he answers a lot of the basic questions you guys may have.

http://pariyatti.org/Resources/Podca...8/Default.aspx

Just download any podcast because they are all basically the same. He repeates the same thing at every location and answers questions for people who have never tried meditation. This was from his United States speaking tour a few years ago. He also describes his own background as being Hindi.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:09 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LALoner View Post
I think the key to meditation is focusing on your breathing because nothing else you do is so jointly controlled by the unconscious and conscious mind. You can't consciously control your heart rate or a bunch of other things but you can control your breath, within limits. So its something jointly controlled. Anyway I think focusing on your breathing helps to connect the conscious and unconscious mind and thats what you need to get over the past.
Agreed-- this is a big part of learning this technique and at the beginning, we spent 3 days just on this alone in order to get the mind clear and sharp enough to start noticing bodily sensations.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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I've never done Vipassana but it seems a lot like Kundalini Yoga which has helped me a lot.

He also talks about Kundalini Yoga and how it is similar.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:20 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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I just found this thread as well on here.

http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...r-peace-97902/
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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A Reply by someone who oevrcame their anxiety and left this forum a while back. I really suggest looking at posts by username yeah_yeah_yeah
This was exactly my thoughts on SA and why mindfulness is important.

"Hi overlynice

SA is the product of many years of repeating the same set of behaviours and thoughts over and over, and getting and responding to a particular reaction from the world. Its like a feedback loop that strengthens itself. You know as well as I do that the brain is a learning tool. Imagine it like water running down a hill, every time your brain has that reaction and kicks off the same behaviours, it cuts deep valleys into your mind. Just like a river that carves out its own path in the rock and is then destined to follow that path for millenia, every time you are placed in a similar situation, your subconscious mind will flow down those same valleys that have already been created.

Because of this, and unfortunately, you cant just do one technique and have the whole thing be magically better. God knows everyone here wants that - but the truth of the matter is that there is no quick way to change the way your mind is landscaped.

CBT and mindfulness work well because they allow the higher functions of your mind - your conscious , thinking brain - to begin to control the automatic reactions of the subconscious mind and gradually change how you respond and react to the world. CBT and mindfulness are NOT 'positive thinking', they are not 'lying to yourself' and they are NOT simply learning rapport or social techniques. They are about making a deep, fundamental change in what you focus on, your understanding of what life's events truly mean and WHAT YOU CHOOSE TO DO - instead of being forced to by anxiety. You GRADUALLY begin to reshape the valleys and rivers of thoughts, reactions and behaviours - and just like the rain would have to work for a long time to change the course of an estuary, so must you work hard to overcome the deeply entrenched waterways that lead you to experience anxiety.

Most people are put off when they hear this. They want relief, they want it quickly. Hell I WANT IT QUICKLY - but it doesnt work that way. When you are depressed it is harder to motivate yourself to make a start. But that is no one's fault - it is just reality. It sucks that we have this condition, it sucks that its even harder for us to recover. Thats why we have to start as soon as possible, making the tiny steps, the ones we ARE capable of, every day. Find the programme that suits you and stick to it. Allow yourself a timescale of MONTHS. You will have slip ups. You will have moments where you feel that everything is a waste of time. But eventually things begin to change - and when you have taken time to make the changes, just like a river, the new course you have carved out is far more permanent.

Think of this: You want a solution now for your anxiety because it is very painful. No one would ever criticise you for feeling that way, and I have felt it myself many times. In this thread are tried and proven - though often maligned and criticised on this board - methods for overcoming anxiety, but that require long and diligent work. This is the part that so often makes it fail for those that try them - the results are not as quick as desired and so the approach is discarded. But the approach INCLUDES the time it takes.

Will you choose to keep on searching for the 'quick fix' - which so far has failed to materialise (except in the form of meds which work only as long as you take them), or will you choose to begin now, knowing that in a few months time you are likley to see the beginnings of progress? If you carry on waiting for the quick fix you could wait 6 months, 8 months, a year ... and still be no better off. Or you could have invested that 8 months in long term, gradual improvement.

Its taken you years to get to the point where you now have SA. It will take time to begin to change that - but it CAN change. SA makes us concentrate on only the evidence that we are unlikeable, boring, worthless. That is how the illness functions, especially alongiside depression. We block out the neutral and positive parts of life and see only the black. And soon enough that becomes our reality as we create it around ourselves. Beginning to accept yourself as worthwhile and deserving of love, simply because you are a living, breathing human being, and dropping any need to rate yourself or hold yourself up to a standard, is the start. Whether you honestly beileve you are scum, destined to be discarded by humaity or not - one thing I know is that when you start to respect yourself whether you think you deserve it or not, the rest of the world starts to notice too.

Ross"
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:18 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostPancake View Post
I think I'll try this tonight. It's Saturday night, and I don't have something happening tomorrow to worry about, so maybe I could actually stick with it for 20 minutes.

I like the idea of just repeating a mantra - that sounds easier than trying to empty your mind of all thought, which I've tried before (and failed).
just finished this morning's 20. yeah, i agree, particularly if you're a beginner, it's very difficult if not impossible to just empty one's mind completely. the mantra the book gives which is simply "I am" helps quite a bit and for some reason i find it easier to use than "Om". and all the yogi says in the book is that thoughts are fine, it will happen. If you find yourself drifting, just gently bring your mind back to the mantra, and don't beat yourself up about it or try and bend your will to discipline.

I spent a lot of time reading about all the buddhist methods, chop wood carry water, the three six or seven pillars of whatever and I did learn a lot (I particularly like the questions like what is Mu? and all that) but I don't care for the more technical aspects as I dislike subscribing or claiming any group so much, which is why I like this Deep Meditation book. It's simple and doesn't go into anything more than managing one's own feeling.
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