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InvisiblePacks
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Is it a bad idea to meditate while lying down vs sitting?.
    #3957972 - 03/23/05 06:21 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Under the circumstance your not sleepy, thx in advance.


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Offlinea_h_w
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Re: Is it a bad idea to meditate while lying down vs sitting?. [Re: Packs]
    #3957991 - 03/23/05 06:49 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

if you can remain awake it is perfectly ok.


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InvisibleCJay
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Re: Is it a bad idea to meditate while lying down vs sitting?. [Re: a_h_w]
    #3957995 - 03/23/05 07:01 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

However it is much easier to end up drifting off since there is no posture to hold and therein maintain attention


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Is it a bad idea to meditate while lying down vs sitting?. [Re: CJay]
    #3958087 - 03/23/05 08:28 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

The posture is a mudra, or expression of spirit.
You can use it to feed your meditation with strength, like a resonance from physical body attitude.

any mudra or posture is fine.

I do prefer reclining poses, especially for middle of the night meditation. Sometimes that is quite spontaneous;

Fussing about posture is something you don't want too much time wasted on. - Meditation should not be dependent on other issues.


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Re: Is it a bad idea to meditate while lying down vs sitting?. [Re: redgreenvines]
    #3958206 - 03/23/05 09:54 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

yes true - life should be your meditation

All things should be the meditation

All activity

mindfulness

I'm not proposing fussing about posture. One can meditate in any posture, all I said was that it is easier to drift off while laying down, which is definitely true.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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a koan [Re: CJay]
    #3958237 - 03/23/05 10:04 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

what is drifting off?


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Re: a koan [Re: redgreenvines]
    #3958250 - 03/23/05 10:07 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I always find this koan uselful:

What is the sound of one hand clapping?


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Invisibleniteowl
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Re: a koan [Re: redgreenvines]
    #3958331 - 03/23/05 10:37 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
what is drifting off?





I think he meant falling asleep.


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Re: a koan [Re: niteowl]
    #3958369 - 03/23/05 10:51 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

what?


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Re: a koan [Re: redgreenvines]
    #3958371 - 03/23/05 10:51 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

what is drifting off?




The usual form of meditation is to focus oneself on either the breath or a mantra/koan or somesuch. When attention falls from this, the moment one realises one then brings oneself back to the focus of attention. Once one begins to meditate one faces 5 'enemies': Doubt, Attachment/Aversion, Sloth, Sensual Desire & Restlessness. All will come to visit the meditator in various guises and the meditator must remain aware and focused in order to maintain/reclaim the meditave space.

When thoughts arise, as I said the meditator must gently bring the focus of attention back to the focus that was decided at the outset. The thought should be inspected for intrinsic value/revelation and left as one comes back to the focus. Back to the thig that keeps one in the present moment, in my case the breath. The 'enemies' will continually rise up to drag one away from ones centre of focus in the moment and away from the meditation, exercising mindfulness catches these tricks of the mind/ego and brings one back to the purpose. If one looses all mindfulness these 'enemies' can even drive one right out of the meditation and the posture/activity one decided to persue (whateve that might be).

During the meditation if something occurs that demands attention (for instance pain through holding a posture, or a deep revelation) one must put the attention there until one can come back to the original focus. During this shift of attention one must make sure mindfulness dominates the proceedings and one does not use it as an excuse to slip into one of the 'enemies' and to go off daydreaming and escape the meditation.

Eventually the oscillations of the mind slow to the point where thoughts can be intercepted before they form fully as the mindfulness becomes so acute; and the serene space filled with one pointed consciousness in the moment becomes very strong. The purpose of meditation is to bring one to this place where the mind can then become the tool of the watcher, rather than the other way around. Conditioning can then be overcome since one can think clearly and use the thinking entity as ones tool.

Of course as I said in a previous post mindfulness can and should be exercised as much as possible and in all situations. That includes lying down, and so lying down can form a glorious part of ones meditation and life. All things are meditation to the meditator, meditation is a way of approaching life.

In order to exercise mindfulness (as in training - like an athlete does; in the athlete's case for the body); to practice so that one finds meditation easier to achieve in all, and at all, times one must do just that - practice. Now when one practices something one must create a structured circumstance. If you take the budhist monks of south east asia for example you will find that though they make their lives their meditation and that all things become the meditation, when they practice they usually do so by means of sitting meditation or by walking, and not by lying down. This is because the activities they choose to make into their practice naturally demand attention, if attention falters they will fall out of the activity and the practice will be ended. For example if they are attempting an all night sitting meditation and they begin to fall asleep because sloth visits to take them from the purpose they have chosen they will fall forward and that will snap them back into wakefulness and bring them back to the meditation. If they were to attempt an all night lying down meditation when sloth arrives to test the meditator and the meditator lapses into daydreams and then sleep....no safeguard of necessary attention will bring the meditator back. The meditator will not achieve the all night meditation they set out to achieve.

The same goes for a day meditation session. Now of course there is nothing wrong with falling off the course of the meditation, but the purpose of practice is to try not to for as long as possible and therin strengthen ones mindfulness.

Of course if one wants to lie down and watch the breath (or whatever one chooses as one's point of focus in the moment) that is fine - I am not trying to say don't :cool: However if one is going to meditate as a practice and to do so for an extended period then it is probably best to choose a posture that demands wakefulness.

On top of all I have said lying down is a posture that we as humans are conditioned into associating with rest and sleep from the day we are born - this can also be an extra weight that is not necessary to take into the practice as one will face enough as it is, and it can easily become a trap for the meditator. During practice it is usually best to set ones circumstances up so there are as few traps and diversions as possible.

If one is lying down anyway and not in practice - of course then make it your meditation.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: a koan [Re: CJay] * 1
    #3958704 - 03/23/05 12:28 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

When I was in my teens and twenties, full lotus was very good.
maybe required.
in my twenties and thirties, half lotus and walking was adequate.
in my forties lying down was possible.
as one ages, sleep comes and goes with a different pace/urgency.
posture becomes more of an optional expression than a requirement for mental disposition (that is the practice, no? - mental posture - attitude...)
now at 53, I look forward to bed, and to entering meditative state long after my mate has finished with me.
the phone does not ring. no interruptions. the body does what it needs.


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Re: a koan [Re: redgreenvines]
    #3958899 - 03/23/05 01:11 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Fair enough - I am not trying to tell anyone what to do or how they must do it. The meditation fits into your life in the way it must for you, and that is good.

Often it can be argued - why practice at all? Why not just do it for real. Well that could be said of any activity, and I think we all know why we practice at anything.

In some way like you; some practice is under my belt and I am happy in the main to be the living meditation as it is. I do at times though, without charging myself with the process, find myself sitting.

You see the practice in itself can become a stick with which one beats oneself, and that can be foolish. One must be aware of oneself and remember the cornerstone of frank introspection at all times; whatever that leads to.


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Re: a koan [Re: CJay]
    #3958913 - 03/23/05 01:14 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

i love to watch while people beat themselves


of course
sitting is best
engines must get started
where did I leave my keys...


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InvisibleCJay
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Re: a koan [Re: redgreenvines]
    #3958961 - 03/23/05 01:27 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

hehe - yeh writing all that stuff made me think I should find my keys too!


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Re: a koan [Re: CJay]
    #3959136 - 03/23/05 01:59 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

found the mouse


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Re: a koan [Re: redgreenvines]
    #3960806 - 03/23/05 06:52 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Traditional meditation posture helps maintain alertness without encouraging mental excitement. Lying down will more than likely cause you to become dull minded and you may fall asleep. Ideally, we are in a state of equipoise all of time, whether we are sitting or lying down. We cannot acheive that until we have become familiar with meditative equipoise. The sitting posture is the best posture to achieve that familiarity.


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