Do you meditate?

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gasdoc
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by gasdoc » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:51 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:42 pm
OP,

Be mindful and aware while doing a routine.

For example, while taking a daily walk, instead of wearing a headphone and shut yourself off, feel and aware of your movement. Be mindful of your surrounding. Ditto on cycling and so on. Integrate mindfulness and focus on what you are doing at the moment. Be present, aware, feel the surrounding.

KlangFool
KlangFool,
Got it. Agree. Those of in the medical profession have always been so into preparing for the future....

gasdoc

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gasdoc
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by gasdoc » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:54 pm

chabil wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:48 pm
Rupert wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:50 am
Yoga, yes, twice a week. I have ankylosing spondylitis, and yoga is a necessity. There's simply nothing better for fighting the stiffness in my back and neck. I have a hard time with meditation though. My mind tends to wander even during the brief rest time at the end of yoga class. So I just let it. The most random thoughts pop into my head. But perhaps that's a form of meditation?
I find focusing on a body part - the big toe, knee, tip of nose, wherever, helps check the wandering. Maybe it works like an anchor.

Many people use a "mantra," a word or phrase repeated over and over silently. I prefer to focus on my breathing, noting the air going in and out of the nostril. If my mind starts to wander, or drowsiness sets in, I change it up by focusing on the changes the act of breathing causes on other parts of the body.

gasdoc

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gasdoc
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by gasdoc » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:55 pm

J295 wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:35 pm
Yes. One of many prayer forms in the Catholic tradition.
Or you can do a short prayer in the beginning of the meditation....

gasdoc

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Fletch
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by Fletch » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:38 pm

Yes, randomly and frequently. Martin Luther described the Christian spiritual life as consisting of three things: Oratio, Meditatio, and Tentatio – Prayer, Meditation, and Struggle. The first two are disciplines I can fool myself into thinking I somewhat do on my own terms. The third is the gift that keeps on giving.
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by ClevrChico » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:55 pm

Riding a bike is my form of meditation. Nothing clears my mind like a bike ride.

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by gotester2000 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:32 am

gasdoc,

Try meditating in early morning after a bath by using a mantra like "OM" in a peaceful place which will allow you to concentrate in the present moment. Do not worry about breathing- just relax and the breathing will automatically be deep and relaxing. The key is to be natural, grateful for everything and understanding that you basically have control over nothing in life. You will feel the benefits soon.

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by carolinaman » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:57 am

At one point in my career, I developed anxiety from all the work pressures I was experiencing. It led to insomnia which I realized I had to do something about. I saw a counselor through my job and she recommended meditation. I am probably the last person who would try meditation, but I was desperate and took a meditation course at a local university. It really helped me to relax and get my mind off my work pressures. I did it a couple of times a day for several months and would do a mini version of it if I was getting stressed at work. It took me several months to get back to normal and I soon stopped doing meditation. It is a great stress reliever and I recommend it to anyone who has a lot of stress in their lives.

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by Ron » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:35 am

No, but I do medicate :mrgreen: ...

- Ron

dewey
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by dewey » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:54 am

I do, and always enjoy it. I don’t do it daily which I want to commit to. I just downloaded Headspace app. Thanks for that suggestion.
“The only freedom that is of enduring importance is freedom of intelligence…”

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by WhyNotUs » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:51 am

Yes, 38 years, 20 mins. I grew up in an angry world and am no longer angry.
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by GoldenFinch » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:15 pm

I don’t meditate, but I exercise (mostly running) six days a week early in the morning for over an hour. I do wear head phones and I do listen to Led Zeppelin radio on Pandora, but I’m thinking the whole time and always feel great afterward. I look forward to this time of day and I think it has the same effect as meditation both physically (super low resting heart rate) and mentally (feel peaceful).

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by pamplemousse » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:38 pm

TedSwippet wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:12 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:51 am
Any suggestions for starting out. I could use some calm in my life. A bit more serenity.
I took Coursera's De-Mystifying Mindfulness online course some time last year, and really enjoyed it. It runs regularly, and starts again on Nov 20. It is entirely free of charge:
About this course: Interest in meditation, mindfulness, and contemplation has grown exponentially in recent years. Rather than being seen as mystical practices from ancient Buddhism or esoteric philosophy, they are increasingly seen as technologies rooted in evidence from psychology and neuroscience. Mindfulness has become the basis for numerous therapeutic interventions, both as a treatment in healthcare and as a means of enhancing well-being and happiness. For millions around the world, mindfulness has become a life-style choice, enhancing and enriching everyday experience. Mindfulness is big business.

But, what actually is mindfulness? Is it really good for you? Can anyone learn it? How can you recognize charlatans? Would you want to live in a mindful society, and would it smell like sandalwood? What does it feel like to be mindful? Are you mindful already, and how would you know?

Evolving from the popular Honours Academy course at Leiden University, this innovative course combines conventional scholarly inquiry from multiple disciplines (ranging from psychology, through philosophy, to politics) with experiential learning (including specially designed ‘meditation labs,’ in which you’ll get chance to practice and analyze mindfulness on yourself). In the end, the course aims to provide a responsible, comprehensive, and inclusive education about (and in) mindfulness as a contemporary phenomenon.
Thank you for this! I used to meditate regularly when I was in high school and mostly throughout college and then I let life get in the way once I started working fulltime and got married, I am going to try and get back into it through this course offering :)

sksbog
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by sksbog » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:59 pm

Interesting read on mindfulness.
Book: The Mindfulness Edge
Author : Matt Tenney

https://www.amazon.in/Mindfulness-Edge- ... 1119183189

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gasdoc
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by gasdoc » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:00 pm

Thanks, everyone for the comments. I am reading them all.

gasdoc

goldendad
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by goldendad » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:07 pm

No. I read the Bible (every day) and spend time in prayer. I do take time to consider the meaning of what I have read - sometimes using commentaries.

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by msj16 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:35 pm

Meditation is the gift that keeps on giving. I learned TM as a teen and found that in college it gave me great mental clarity.

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by a » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:50 pm

Although I’d been made aware of it for a long time,
I only recently (~May 2017) truly began doing it.
Stress was savaging me.
I expect to start yoga someday.

My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor was illuminating.

HerbRight
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by HerbRight » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:51 pm

Just began a couple of months ago and it is a great tool for inner knowledge and peace.

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by Dead Man Walking » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:56 am

KlingKlang wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:51 am
Does the time I spend curled up under the covers between when I wake up and when I actually get out of bed count?
+1

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gasdoc
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by gasdoc » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:23 am

goldendad wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:07 pm
No. I read the Bible (every day) and spend time in prayer. I do take time to consider the meaning of what I have read - sometimes using commentaries.
goldendad, It sounds like it would not be much of a reach to go from time in prayer to adding time for exclusive attention to a focal point, whether it is a yoga stretch, a mantra, or an aspect of your breath. It will train your mind and put you closer to whomever you consider to be the center of your universe.

gasdoc

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gasdoc
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by gasdoc » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:25 am

a wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:50 pm
Although I’d been made aware of it for a long time,
I only recently (~May 2017) truly began doing it.
Stress was savaging me.
I expect to start yoga someday.

My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor was illuminating.
The American Meditation Insight promotes their programs for those that are experiencing burnout in their careers, in addition to as something for primary care physicians to teach their patients .

gasdoc

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by a » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:19 am

“How much time per day? Have you noticed any benefits?”
I meditate about 5 days a week, ~30 minutes each time.

I am able to pull myself back from ruminating while
driving a couple times each drive. Occasionally when playing
with the kids. I am more aware of when I am getting
stressed out. When I notice a stress wave I have a choice to
step away to a quiet
room. This has enabled me/us to
cease 70% of the arguments with my wife (my wife has
also started meditating once a week for an hour),
and saved my kids some yelling/pushing.
There’s been a 20% decrease in my stress/depression
level (dizziness, anger, hot face, desire to
surf the web i.e. do nothing/escape, naps,
no joy on looking into my baby's eyes,
burnt brain) and the improvement will
continue.
Other components:
eliminating stress sources in life, Daily Mood Log (D.Burns),
getting enough sleep, exercise, psychiatry & therapy,
my primary care doctor, allergist

I now understand the saying “Wait for the green light.”
(As well as “Of making many books there is no end, and much
study wearies the body.”)

“burnout in their careers”: You recognize me.

I have bought The Mind Illuminated. Thank you.

hightower
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by hightower » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:38 am

Pete12 wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:13 am
I've tried it on and off over the years but have never seemed to be able to get to grips with it. All it seems to achieve for me is that I get very sleepy! There's got to be a Boglehead way to do it - i.e. a simple method with which you can stay the course... would love to hear any practical tips you folks have.
That's a sign that it's working:) LOL, this typically happens to people who are baseline anxious and sleep deprived.
I've used meditation before, but I'm not consistently doing it every day, though I believe I should. I struggle with anxiety and difficulty sleeping at times and I do believe it can help significantly. I'm just bad with actually doing it when I need it. I do a lot of "informal" mindfulness meditation though throughout the day which is basically like a little check up of paying attention to where I'm at and what I'm doing and getting in touch with my body and surroundings as I go about my day. It can be done while driving or walking. Simply paying attention to my breathing and how tense my muscles are, etc. It can help bring you back down to the present moment and relief built up tension, etc.

I have a friend who meditates extensively every day to help with his anxiety, insomnia, and for creative reasons (he's a professional artist). He swears by it and I have seen it help him tremendously. Before he started meditating he was hooked on Ambien and absolutely couldn't sleep without it. It was pretty miserable. He's completely off it now and remains off it thanks to meditation.

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gasdoc
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by gasdoc » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:44 am

a wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:19 am
“How much time per day? Have you noticed any benefits?”
I meditate about 5 days a week, ~30 minutes each time.

I am able to pull myself back from ruminating while
driving a couple times each drive. Occasionally when playing
with the kids. I am more aware of when I am getting
stressed out. When I notice a stress wave I have a choice to
step away to a quiet
room. This has enabled me/us to
cease 70% of the arguments with my wife (my wife has
also started meditating once a week for an hour),
and saved my kids some yelling/pushing.
There’s been a 20% decrease in my stress/depression
level (dizziness, anger, hot face, desire to
surf the web i.e. do nothing/escape, naps,
no joy on looking into my baby's eyes,
burnt brain) and the improvement will
continue.
Other components:
eliminating stress sources in life, Daily Mood Log (D.Burns),
getting enough sleep, exercise, psychiatry & therapy,
my primary care doctor, allergist

I now understand the saying “Wait for the green light.”
(As well as “Of making many books there is no end, and much
study wearies the body.”)

“burnout in their careers”: You recognize me.

I have bought The Mind Illuminated. Thank you.
I am actually reading "The Mind Illuminated," a second time now. The first time was on my kindle, making it difficult to go back to read sections. As you know, it is written by a neuro type PhD, instead of an eastern yogi, so it seems a bit more practical than some of the other things you might read. Good luck!

gasdoc

gasdoc
Last edited by gasdoc on Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Artful Dodger
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by Artful Dodger » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:32 pm

Yes, but not as often as I should. My wife teaches yoga, and I've done yoga for 20 years. Now, I mostly do a 30 minute daily stretching routine mixed with some yoga poses. When doing this, I'll often listen to a dharma talk from Gil Fronsdal (Insight Meditation Center). He has a lot of free talks on their website, including several multi-part talks on introducing mindfulness meditation. You can listen to his "lecture", meditate with his class, then listen in on people's questions and his answers. After my stretch / yoga, my wife and I will meditate 15-20 minutes. Wife is daily, plus during her yoga class: I end up doing 2 to 4 times a week. We are going to a meditation retreat the second weekend of December. Looking forward to it.

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gasdoc
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by gasdoc » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:40 pm

Artful Dodger wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:32 pm
Yes, but not as often as I should. My wife teaches yoga, and I've done yoga for 20 years. Now, I mostly do a 30 minute daily stretching routine mixed with some yoga poses. When doing this, I'll often listen to a dharma talk from Gil Fronsdal (Insight Meditation Center). He has a lot of free talks on their website, including several multi-part talks on introducing mindfulness meditation. You can listen to his "lecture", meditate with his class, then listen in on people's questions and his answers. After my stretch / yoga, my wife and I will meditate 15-20 minutes. Wife is daily, plus during her yoga class: I end up doing 2 to 4 times a week. We are going to a meditation retreat the second weekend of December. Looking forward to it.
Artful Dodger, please check back in and let us know how the retreat goes, and maybe let us know where it was held.

gasdoc

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by Caduceus » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:04 pm

I used to when I was younger, but stopped because I never got the sense of inner peace that people said I would get. Instead, I used to get this intense tingling in my forehead, like pins and needles, and a sense that I was about to float away.

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by nervouscorps » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:38 pm

How wonderful to see other meditators here :)

I have been meditating for 13 years. I am a theravada buddhist. My practice is one of the most important things in my life.

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Re: Do you meditate?

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by azurekep » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:23 pm

I've tried meditation once or twice out of curiosity.

What kept me from going further is that some of the common "tools" of meditation -- saying "OM", focusing on one's breathing and looking at a mandala -- are not things that provide a positive feeling in me. In particular, I have a specific dislike of the sound "OM". Is there a commonly used alternative?

Comparing what little I know of meditation to just relaxing, I'd say nature sounds (lapping water, chirping birds, wind in trees) would generate a better feeling than chanting "OM". Concentrating on the feeling of warmth from the sun on one's back would generate a better feeling than focusing on breathing. And looking at a natural vista would have a more positive effect than looking at a mandala.

But I understand meditation has actual measurable effects on the body that apparently last beyond the meditation session, and are still in effect when you re-enter the rat race. I'm not sure enjoying nature for a while has similar longevity when re-entering said rat race.

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by Longtermgrowth » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:51 am

I pray, but do not meditate. I view the two as polar opposites. Since discussion of religion or anything spiritual isn't appropriate on a financial forum, I can't elaborate.

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by TedSwippet » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:23 am

azurekep wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:23 pm
In particular, I have a specific dislike of the sound "OM".
Yeah, I have a similar ambivalence towards it. To me, "OM" always seemed cryptic and metaphysical rather than scientific. Something more closely associated with astrology than psychology.

What softened my resistance somewhat was finding this study that creeps partially towards a conclusion that the low-frequency vibration you experience in your head from chanting "OM" promotes vagus nerve stimulation, deactivating the limbic system and so reducing stress. The people involved in this study probably had a predicted outcome in mind, so it's unlikely to have been a completely impartial study. But even so, maybe there really is a science to it, and perhaps it's not entirely mystical after all.

And yet personally, even knowing the above I still generally resist or completely omit it. :-)

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by AlohaJoe » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:37 am

azurekep wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:23 pm
I've tried meditation once or twice out of curiosity.

What kept me from going further is that some of the common "tools" of meditation -- saying "OM", focusing on one's breathing and looking at a mandala -- are not things that provide a positive feeling in me. In particular, I have a specific dislike of the sound "OM". Is there a commonly used alternative?
I've never once said OM, or anything else, while meditating. (I also have no idea what a mandala is.) I'm sure a Google search would turn up lots of alternatives. I read 8 Minute Meditation years ago and each chapter introduced a different technique with the goal of finding the one that works best for you.

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by gasdoc » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:23 am

Longtermgrowth wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:51 am
I pray, but do not meditate. I view the two as polar opposites. Since discussion of religion or anything spiritual isn't appropriate on a financial forum, I can't elaborate.
Longtermgrowth, I will just respectfully disagree with that statement. They can be very compatible. The American Medication Institute actually has a recommended list of mantra's. They are all religious in nature.

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by gasdoc » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:27 am

AlohaJoe wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:37 am
azurekep wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:23 pm
I've tried meditation once or twice out of curiosity.

What kept me from going further is that some of the common "tools" of meditation -- saying "OM", focusing on one's breathing and looking at a mandala -- are not things that provide a positive feeling in me. In particular, I have a specific dislike of the sound "OM". Is there a commonly used alternative?
I've never once said OM, or anything else, while meditating. (I also have no idea what a mandala is.) I'm sure a Google search would turn up lots of alternatives. I read 8 Minute Meditation years ago and each chapter introduced a different technique with the goal of finding the one that works best for you.
Mantras recommended by The American Meditaiton Institute are religious in nature, specific to whatever religion you consider yourself, and are words or phrases that have a certain frequency of vibration to them. The word "Jesus" is one of the examples from the Christian religion, but there are many others that they list in a table in the book they have out. Or, as I do, you can just focus on the sensation of the air leaving and entering your nose. It just has to be a single point of focus.

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by gasdoc » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:32 am

azurekep wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:23 pm
I've tried meditation once or twice out of curiosity.

What kept me from going further is that some of the common "tools" of meditation -- saying "OM", focusing on one's breathing and looking at a mandala -- are not things that provide a positive feeling in me. In particular, I have a specific dislike of the sound "OM". Is there a commonly used alternative?

Comparing what little I know of meditation to just relaxing, I'd say nature sounds (lapping water, chirping birds, wind in trees) would generate a better feeling than chanting "OM". Concentrating on the feeling of warmth from the sun on one's back would generate a better feeling than focusing on breathing. And looking at a natural vista would have a more positive effect than looking at a mandala.

But I understand meditation has actual measurable effects on the body that apparently last beyond the meditation session, and are still in effect when you re-enter the rat race. I'm not sure enjoying nature for a while has similar longevity when re-entering said rat race.
azurekep, what you are describing is an aspect of "mindfulness," which is basically a reminder to live in the present rather than worrying about the past or the future. There is certainly an element of mindfulness in meditation, but there is much more. In meditation, one learns to control the mind, and this is easily translatable to "re-entering the rat race."

gasdoc

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by Small Law Survivor » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:59 am

Hmmm ... interesting topic.

I'm 66, and have been doing yoga on/off since I was a teenager. Have always enjoyed it, although I can't do some positions now that I was able to do in the past. I really see my flexibility and strength in the context of yoga declining with age.

However, I don't view yoga and meditation as the same thing - I suppose one can meditate while doing yoga (or running or biking or swimming), but I don't consider that meditation.

There are many schools of meditation - it is actually quite a complex topic, which I think can easily discourage people from trying it. Which school of meditation is "right"? Why do they almost all have Indian names, which add to the confusion?

Some practices use a mantra ("TM", or transcendental meditation), some use breath, some use body scans (focus on bodily sensation), some use loving kindness, some use nothing at all ... just watching your thoughts. Some seem to suggest that meditation is part of a religion such as Buddhism, others are secular.

I struggle with meditation, and I've spoken with many friends and acquaintances who do as well. Some people seem to take to it easily, for others its torture. For me it's extremely difficult.

My daughter has done a number of 10 day "sits" at Vipassanna. However, this word alone shows how confusing the world of meditation can be. Vipassana can refer to either a mode of meditation or an organization with centers all over the world where people do "sits" of various lengths.

My daughter persuaded me to do a 10 day sit at a Vipassana center in December 2016. I found it extremely difficult, and left on day 6. Many people report finding a ten day Vipassana sit to be one of the most difficult undertakings of their life. You meditate at least 3-4 hours a day. You agree to bring no reading materials/no computers. The first 9 days are silent. You are completely alone with yourself 24 hours a day.

It is very challenging!

There are many smartphone apps that help with guided meditation and are good for
"beginners". I really like them, and they tend to make meditation easier. I tried Headspace (mentioned here), but wasn't very impressed with it - and, it is costly.

However, new meditation apps seem to appear often. One that I started using recently is called simply Oak, developed by Kevin Rose. It is free, and seems every bit as good as Headspace. It is free, and hopefully will stay that way. You can read about it here:

https://medium.com/@kevinrose/oak-medit ... 8478d9fc00

There are many excellent books on meditation. If I had to recommend one author, it would be Pema Chodron.

Good luck!

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by Small Law Survivor » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:28 am

gasdoc wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:27 am
Mantras recommended by The American Meditation Institute are religious in nature, specific to whatever religion you consider yourself, and are words or phrases that have a certain frequency of vibration to them. The word "Jesus" is one of the examples from the Christian religion, but there are many others that they list in a table in the book they have out. Or, as I do, you can just focus on the sensation of the air leaving and entering your nose. It just has to be a single point of focus.
I haven't seen this list, but I discovered many years ago that a short phrase from a religious text that was meaningful to me was an excellent "mantra" for purposes of meditation. I coordinated it with my in/out breathes. I never had any concern that I was creating my own "mantra". Hope I wasn't cheating :)

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:32 am

Yes. I meditate. And teach meditation and mindfulness.
It is often said here, "ignore the noise".

And so it is with meditation. The mental training wheels may take the form of "groups of words" that some call prayer, affirmations, or mantras, etc. - or sounds such as "Om", waterfalls, ocean waves, etc. -- or a combination of physiological/mental inputs: IE: yoga postures, positions, tai chi dynamic motions, and visual and auditory or imaginative visualizations combined with physical feedback, breath, etc. (whatever is dear to us, whatever is meaningful, whatever we best personally relate to, and if not that -- something esoteric).

All with the purpose of engaging oneself or immersing oneself so completely as to "ignore the noise" that is the naturally occurring and self-reinforcing chaos around and inside ourselves. Initial result -- in the purity of the moment the experience of our Self instead of being by our self (sans ego).

So there's no formal "meditation" or "mindfulness" per se. As a discipline, it is a tool. No more no less. Both path and objective. One does it occasionally throughout life without training or disciplines, some more or less, or completely unaware. And from this purity of thought comes inspiration, flashes of brilliance, glimpses of things "out of the box", out of one's comfort zone, out of one's self accepted and reinforced narrow paradigms.

So why pursue: the "Om", the "prayer words", the postures, the affirmations, the breath counting, the peaceful solitude of repotting an orchid plant?

To "ignore the noise". :D

(what happens when one no longer needs "training wheels", when the "noise" falls away, is another long missive: but the benefits are great and entirely actionable and perhaps related to investment finance and early retirement per forum guidelines)

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pezblanco
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by pezblanco » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:46 am

I should state that I'm by no means an expert on any of this but I've been meditating on and off for a decade .... I'm not an accomplished meditator by any stretch. The following is just my take on what I think is a fascinating subject:

There has been for quite a time now a philosophical movement denominated "secular Buddhism". Basically, it tries to take the beneficial aspects of mindfulness and meditation and make it accessible to a Western audience. It has none of the religious or supernatural aspects that inhabit SOME but definitely not all Buddhist traditions (such as karma, reincarnation, etc etc).

The recent book "Why Buddhism Is True" by Robert Wright (mentioned in this thread) is very much in line with this philosophical trend. He likens the decision to mediate in a mindful way to the decision faced by Neo in the Matrix: to keep living a delusion or wake up to reality ... the red pill? or the blue pill? Current scientific views in neuroscience evidently match up very well with Buddhist philosophy. Wright touches on some of this science. Sam Harris (a neuroscientist) in his book "Waking Up" also explains a iength how current science is finally validating a 2500 year old view of the nature of the human mind. Earlier books in this secular Buddhist vein are anything by Jon Kabatt-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) which has had great clinical success in the treatment of stress related disease. JKZ basically was a practicant of Zen Buddhism who very carefully secularized standard Zen teachings and made them available to the non-Buddhist public. Another westerner that has clearly delineated this new western secular Buddhism is Stephen Batchelor ... his most well know book is "Buddhism Without Beliefs".

I think that there is a lot of benefit to most people to find out what these ideas are about ... no need to change or alter your religion since religion is most definitely not part of any of it. We all really do have the same decision as Neo did ... take the red pill? or the the blue?

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Sandtrap
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:07 am

pezblanco wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:46 am
I should state that I'm by no means an expert on any of this but I've been meditating on and off for a decade .... I'm not an accomplished meditator by any stretch. The following is just my take on what I think is a fascinating subject:

There has been for quite a time now a philosophical movement denominated "secular Buddhism". Basically, it tries to take the beneficial aspects of mindfulness and meditation and make it accessible to a Western audience. It has none of the religious or supernatural aspects that inhabit SOME but definitely not all Buddhist traditions (such as karma, reincarnation, etc etc).

The recent book "Why Buddhism Is True" by Robert Wright (mentioned in this thread) is very much in line with this philosophical trend. He likens the decision to mediate in a mindful way to the decision faced by Neo in the Matrix: to keep living a delusion or wake up to reality ... the red pill? or the blue pill? Current scientific views in neuroscience evidently match up very well with Buddhist philosophy. Wright touches on some of this science. Sam Harris (a neuroscientist) in his book "Waking Up" also explains a iength how current science is finally validating a 2500 year old view of the nature of the human mind. Earlier books in this secular Buddhist vein are anything by Jon Kabatt-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) which has had great clinical success in the treatment of stress related disease. JKZ basically was a practicant of Zen Buddhism who very carefully secularized standard Zen teachings and made them available to the non-Buddhist public. Another westerner that has clearly delineated this new western secular Buddhism is Stephen Batchelor ... his most well know book is "Buddhism Without Beliefs".

I think that there is a lot of benefit to most people to find out what these ideas are about ... no need to change or alter your religion since religion is most definitely not part of any of it. We all really do have the same decision as Neo did ... take the red pill? or the the blue?
Well said, interesting, but complex. The idea of "reverse engineering" seems to be what you're addressing.
Simplistically, take a tool, or discipline, practiced to gain clarity, to dissolve ego, etc, -- that has a very far date of origin (upanishads, etc), and spread it all over the world where it integrates with local culture and religious beliefs and philosophies (shinto-zen, tao -chan, hindu-budhism, etc. . as well as a zillion other elements) then evolve and branch that out further and further. And, the result is what is seen today. Like reverse engineering a "Boglehead Spreadsheet?" back to money earned and bills paid out of the cookie jar?
Paradoxically, the full benefits of meditation are often not achieved without full understanding and immersion into the cultural and philosophical aspects. Reverse Engineering it or overanalyzing it seems to take out the most valuable essence of it. I'm not sure if this is inherently a Western/scientific/cultural tendency or just a modern overthink tendency.
Reminds me of that movie: "The Last Samurai" with Tom Cruise where the little boy helps him with his Kendo skills and says to Tom Cruise, "Too many mind".
Ignore the noise.

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by azurekep » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:06 pm

TedSwippet wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:23 am
azurekep wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:23 pm
In particular, I have a specific dislike of the sound "OM".
Yeah, I have a similar ambivalence towards it. To me, "OM" always seemed cryptic and metaphysical rather than scientific. Something more closely associated with astrology than psychology.

What softened my resistance somewhat was finding this study that creeps partially towards a conclusion that the low-frequency vibration you experience in your head from chanting "OM" promotes vagus nerve stimulation, deactivating the limbic system and so reducing stress. The people involved in this study probably had a predicted outcome in mind, so it's unlikely to have been a completely impartial study. But even so, maybe there really is a science to it, and perhaps it's not entirely mystical after all.
For me, it's not any perceived association with mysticism or pseudoscience but merely the fact that I'm sensitive to low-frequency vibration. So the mere fact of saying "OM" elicits bad vibes...literally.

But I lack the imagination to think of an alternative. I guess it would have to be a word or sound that brings up good feelings, or more specifically good vibes. But that sort of thing is not easy to think of since one's visceral response to words and sounds tends to go on beneath one's consciousness.
And yet personally, even knowing the above I still generally resist or completely omit it. :-)
That's a possibility, but if I were to do meditation, I'd like to get the full effect -- using the three (or however many) senses.

In any case, meditation is not something I need to do -- I'm pretty chill most of the time... Except when I'm hyped up on coffee. :)

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by pezblanco » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:49 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:07 am
pezblanco wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:46 am
I should state that I'm by no means an expert on any of this but I've been meditating on and off for a decade .... I'm not an accomplished meditator by any stretch. The following is just my take on what I think is a fascinating subject:

There has been for quite a time now a philosophical movement denominated "secular Buddhism". Basically, it tries to take the beneficial aspects of mindfulness and meditation and make it accessible to a Western audience. It has none of the religious or supernatural aspects that inhabit SOME but definitely not all Buddhist traditions (such as karma, reincarnation, etc etc).

The recent book "Why Buddhism Is True" by Robert Wright (mentioned in this thread) is very much in line with this philosophical trend. He likens the decision to mediate in a mindful way to the decision faced by Neo in the Matrix: to keep living a delusion or wake up to reality ... the red pill? or the blue pill? Current scientific views in neuroscience evidently match up very well with Buddhist philosophy. Wright touches on some of this science. Sam Harris (a neuroscientist) in his book "Waking Up" also explains a iength how current science is finally validating a 2500 year old view of the nature of the human mind. Earlier books in this secular Buddhist vein are anything by Jon Kabatt-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) which has had great clinical success in the treatment of stress related disease. JKZ basically was a practicant of Zen Buddhism who very carefully secularized standard Zen teachings and made them available to the non-Buddhist public. Another westerner that has clearly delineated this new western secular Buddhism is Stephen Batchelor ... his most well know book is "Buddhism Without Beliefs".

I think that there is a lot of benefit to most people to find out what these ideas are about ... no need to change or alter your religion since religion is most definitely not part of any of it. We all really do have the same decision as Neo did ... take the red pill? or the the blue?
Well said, interesting, but complex. The idea of "reverse engineering" seems to be what you're addressing.
Simplistically, take a tool, or discipline, practiced to gain clarity, to dissolve ego, etc, -- that has a very far date of origin (upanishads, etc), and spread it all over the world where it integrates with local culture and religious beliefs and philosophies (shinto-zen, tao -chan, hindu-budhism, etc. . as well as a zillion other elements) then evolve and branch that out further and further. And, the result is what is seen today. Like reverse engineering a "Boglehead Spreadsheet?" back to money earned and bills paid out of the cookie jar?
Paradoxically, the full benefits of meditation are often not achieved without full understanding and immersion into the cultural and philosophical aspects. Reverse Engineering it or overanalyzing it seems to take out the most valuable essence of it. I'm not sure if this is inherently a Western/scientific/cultural tendency or just a modern overthink tendency.
Reminds me of that movie: "The Last Samurai" with Tom Cruise where the little boy helps him with his Kendo skills and says to Tom Cruise, "Too many mind".
Ignore the noise.
Yes, in a way reverse engineering but I don't think it a very difficult reverse engineering. Vipassana meditation for example basically just concentrates on the oldest (my words: "least evolved") philosophical teachings of the Theravada school of Buddhism. We now have several different sources for how this "secular" reverse engineering can be done: Jon Kabatt-Zinn and the MBSR, The Vipassana Meditation of the Insight Meditation Society, Sam Harris and his neuroscientific viewpoints of core Buddhist ideas such as no-self and emptiness, etc. etc. I suspect that most of these non-secular Buddhists might argue with you about losing the full benefits of meditation without the cultural/religious trappings ... I'm certainly not the one to refute you as you have much greater experience and credentials in this field than I do.

On Bogleheads, we can't go into any detail about the religious trappings that Buddhism took on during its long peregrination from its origins in India to the East. However,I have read that in several sources that the Buddha said repeatedly that he was neither a god nor a prophet and that what he had accomplished in learning about our true self and our self propensity to make ourselves miserable was something that was in the grasp of any man (or woman). In other words, his teachings are available to anyone without the need for divine intervention or mediation. That in my mind at least means that in it's fundamental canon, Buddhism is a philosophy (partly validated now by modern neuroscience) and basically says nothing or has anything to do with one's religious beliefs.

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:03 pm

pezblanco wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:49 pm
Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:07 am
pezblanco wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:46 am
I should state that I'm by no means an expert on any of this but I've been meditating on and off for a decade .... I'm not an accomplished meditator by any stretch. The following is just my take on what I think is a fascinating subject:

There has been for quite a time now a philosophical movement denominated "secular Buddhism". Basically, it tries to take the beneficial aspects of mindfulness and meditation and make it accessible to a Western audience. It has none of the religious or supernatural aspects that inhabit SOME but definitely not all Buddhist traditions (such as karma, reincarnation, etc etc).

The recent book "Why Buddhism Is True" by Robert Wright (mentioned in this thread) is very much in line with this philosophical trend. He likens the decision to mediate in a mindful way to the decision faced by Neo in the Matrix: to keep living a delusion or wake up to reality ... the red pill? or the blue pill? Current scientific views in neuroscience evidently match up very well with Buddhist philosophy. Wright touches on some of this science. Sam Harris (a neuroscientist) in his book "Waking Up" also explains a iength how current science is finally validating a 2500 year old view of the nature of the human mind. Earlier books in this secular Buddhist vein are anything by Jon Kabatt-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) which has had great clinical success in the treatment of stress related disease. JKZ basically was a practicant of Zen Buddhism who very carefully secularized standard Zen teachings and made them available to the non-Buddhist public. Another westerner that has clearly delineated this new western secular Buddhism is Stephen Batchelor ... his most well know book is "Buddhism Without Beliefs".

I think that there is a lot of benefit to most people to find out what these ideas are about ... no need to change or alter your religion since religion is most definitely not part of any of it. We all really do have the same decision as Neo did ... take the red pill? or the the blue?
Well said, interesting, but complex. The idea of "reverse engineering" seems to be what you're addressing.
Simplistically, take a tool, or discipline, practiced to gain clarity, to dissolve ego, etc, -- that has a very far date of origin (upanishads, etc), and spread it all over the world where it integrates with local culture and religious beliefs and philosophies (shinto-zen, tao -chan, hindu-budhism, etc. . as well as a zillion other elements) then evolve and branch that out further and further. And, the result is what is seen today. Like reverse engineering a "Boglehead Spreadsheet?" back to money earned and bills paid out of the cookie jar?
Paradoxically, the full benefits of meditation are often not achieved without full understanding and immersion into the cultural and philosophical aspects. Reverse Engineering it or overanalyzing it seems to take out the most valuable essence of it. I'm not sure if this is inherently a Western/scientific/cultural tendency or just a modern overthink tendency.
Reminds me of that movie: "The Last Samurai" with Tom Cruise where the little boy helps him with his Kendo skills and says to Tom Cruise, "Too many mind".
Ignore the noise.
Yes, in a way reverse engineering but I don't think it a very difficult reverse engineering. Vipassana meditation for example basically just concentrates on the oldest (my words: "least evolved") philosophical teachings of the Theravada school of Buddhism. We now have several different sources for how this "secular" reverse engineering can be done: Jon Kabatt-Zinn and the MBSR, The Vipassana Meditation of the Insight Meditation Society, Sam Harris and his neuroscientific viewpoints of core Buddhist ideas such as no-self and emptiness, etc. etc. I suspect that most of these non-secular Buddhists might argue with you about losing the full benefits of meditation without the cultural/religious trappings ... I'm certainly not the one to refute you as you have much greater experience and credentials in this field than I do.

On Bogleheads, we can't go into any detail about the religious trappings that Buddhism took on during its long peregrination from its origins in India to the East. However,I have read that in several sources that the Buddha said repeatedly that he was neither a god nor a prophet and that what he had accomplished in learning about our true self and our self propensity to make ourselves miserable was something that was in the grasp of any man (or woman). In other words, his teachings are available to anyone without the need for divine intervention or mediation. That in my mind at least means that in it's fundamental canon, Buddhism is a philosophy (partly validated now by modern neuroscience) and basically says nothing or has anything to do with one's religious beliefs.
Outstanding! Wise and well thought out.
thanks.
J :D

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Pete12
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by Pete12 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:42 pm

hightower wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:38 am
That's a sign that it's working:) LOL, this typically happens to people who are baseline anxious and sleep deprived.
This is very interesting. So are you saying that you basically have to keep going and accept that you may get sleepy or even fall fully asleep in the early days of meditating? If that is to be expected then I can see myself trying on a more regular basis and hopefully working through it.

As an analogy I started working out on a regular basis a couple of years ago, I was very tired in the first few weeks but as time went on I got less and less tired. These days I usually feel pretty good after working out.

Thanks,
Pete

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by heartwood » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:15 pm

Small Law Survivor wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:59 am

There are many smartphone apps that help with guided meditation and are good for
"beginners". I really like them, and they tend to make meditation easier. I tried Headspace (mentioned here), but wasn't very impressed with it - and, it is costly.

However, new meditation apps seem to appear often. One that I started using recently is called simply Oak, developed by Kevin Rose. It is free, and seems every bit as good as Headspace. It is free, and hopefully will stay that way. You can read about it here:

https://medium.com/@kevinrose/oak-medit ... 8478d9fc00

There are many excellent books on meditation. If I had to recommend one author, it would be Pema Chodron.

Good luck!
Thanks for the link. It seems it's currently IOS only.

I just finished day 4 of Headspace and would like to try something else after seeing the ongoing costs.

Any other recommends for android apps?

Small Law Survivor
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by Small Law Survivor » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:28 pm

heartwood wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:15 pm
Thanks for the link. It seems it's currently IOS only.

I just finished day 4 of Headspace and would like to try something else after seeing the ongoing costs.

Any other recommends for android apps?
Yes, I do have another recommendation, although it's a bit more work. Tara Brach posts 1 or 2 podcasts a week. I believe these are live recording of talks and guided meditations she does in the D.C. area. Some of the podcasts are spiritual talks, but about half are guided meditations. You can tell which is which by the title "Meditation: ....". These are quite good (both content/quality), and if you find a couple you like you can stick with these.

Good luck!

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by TedSwippet » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:48 am

azurekep wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:06 pm
For me, it's not any perceived association with mysticism or pseudoscience but merely the fact that I'm sensitive to low-frequency vibration. ... But I lack the imagination to think of an alternative. I guess it would have to be a word or sound that brings up good feelings, or more specifically good vibes. But that sort of thing is not easy to think of since one's visceral response to words and sounds tends to go on beneath one's consciousness.
The whole idea of a mantra can seem arcane, but at the most prosaic level it's just something you repeat, either vocally or just inside your own head, to occupy your consciousness so that your own inner monologue doesn't distract you away from meditating.

Given this function, you could just pick almost anything that you find either positively meaningful or entirely neutral. My own regular route to inner silence is a simple repeated subvocal 'inhale' and then 'exhale'. That's it. Nothing more elaborate.

benway
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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by benway » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:00 pm

heartwood wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:15 pm
Small Law Survivor wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:59 am

There are many smartphone apps that help with guided meditation and are good for
"beginners". I really like them, and they tend to make meditation easier. I tried Headspace (mentioned here), but wasn't very impressed with it - and, it is costly.

However, new meditation apps seem to appear often. One that I started using recently is called simply Oak, developed by Kevin Rose. It is free, and seems every bit as good as Headspace. It is free, and hopefully will stay that way. You can read about it here:

https://medium.com/@kevinrose/oak-medit ... 8478d9fc00

There are many excellent books on meditation. If I had to recommend one author, it would be Pema Chodron.

Good luck!
Thanks for the link. It seems it's currently IOS only.

I just finished day 4 of Headspace and would like to try something else after seeing the ongoing costs.

Any other recommends for android apps?
I recommend Insight Timer.

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Re: Do you meditate?

Post by Bulldawg » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:10 pm

Longtermgrowth wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:51 am
I pray, but do not meditate. I view the two as polar opposites. Since discussion of religion or anything spiritual isn't appropriate on a financial forum, I can't elaborate.
+1
" IN GOD WE TRUST " ( official motto of the United States )

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