April, 2011

Apr 11

Meditation Goals: Three Categories

I am still trying to answer that question I asked a month ago: What are some ways that you can measure progress with meditation?

So far, I have my overall goal: Remove as much delusion as I can by studying my mental activities.

I also have a few guidelines to follow in order to have the right attitude while meditating:

  1. Don’t expect anything.
  2. Don’t force anything.
  3. Don’t cling to anything.
  4. Don’t reject anything.
  5. Don’t think.

But my overall goal is too abstract for practical measurements. And while my attitudinal guidelines can be measured, trying to achieve them alone will not get me to my end goal.

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Apr 11

Your Attitude While Meditating

I am sticking with Mindfulness in Plain English this week.

We are on Chapter 4, if you are following along at home. From what I can tell, the website contains all the information the book has, but there are some formatting problems and misspellings.

I suggest that you buy the book. I have read a lot of meditation/mindfulness books. This one is the best I have come across. And if you are interested in this blog, you will be interested in the book.

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Apr 11

A Rational Goal from Mindfulness in Plain English

For the past 4 weeks, I have been mediating once a day. At the end of that post, I asked if there are ways to measure progress within meditation.

In order to see progress, I need to know what I am progressing towards. This means that I need some sort of goal or set of goals that I am trying to achieve with meditating.

At first, I thought that having goals with meditating was antithetical to the mindfulness philosophy. But as I said in that previous post, during meditation, thoughts need to be let go. But having a goal in practicing meditation in general is all right.

Henepola Gunaratana says something similar in Mindfulness in Plain English:

“As meditators, we all must have a goal, for if we do not have a goal, we will simply be groping in the dark blindly following somebody’s instructions on meditation.”

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Apr 11

Consistent Frameworks of Thought

I try to base my decisions on consistent frameworks of thought.

In other words, when I am faced with a choice, I immediately try to find similarities between my current situation and previous situations. Then, I try to recall if there were rules that governed my choices in the previous situations. If there were, I try to apply the same rules to the current situation. I make my choice based off the outcome of those rules.

But this methodology fails quite often. Various reasons apply:

  • I completely forget to use the method.
  • I forget about situations that are similar to the one that I am in.
  • I misinterpret rules I previously used.
  • I apply rules to the current situation differently than when I applied them previously.

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