Hi Tom. On meditation:I've found asking my higher self for an early-morning wake up call actually WORKS (I'm still surprised when I wake up, feeling alert at these times).
I tried to find your loose definition on meditation/concentration, but no luck. From what I recall, it was that meditation enables us to receive more information, while the effects of concentration practice allow us to best use that information. Is that correct? I recall your words being something I have been after for awhile. Why look at the light? Why listen to the sound? It is clear they make me feel good, but until now I wasn't clear why.
I have a question on sound meditation. What is the best way to seek the source? At the moment, sounds appear one by one, pitch and loudness gradually increasing. I have been told that seeking the highest pitch/loudest sound should be the goal. It is taking some time. I believe one of the most important things I should be doing now is clearly defining my motives (to my self). Is this correct also?
You are on a right track. Seeking The Light is the only truly safe and truly satisfying direction (have you seen "How Safe is Out of Body" topic ?)
Going anywhere else is like exploring the garbage tip.
I also experience 'early morning wakeups' just like what damien has mentioned. And while at work , at different times I feel some 'shakes'. I believe that I'm on the right track too.
Is it normal NOT to attain silent state of the mind everytime during meditation? If I have to do something important after meditation and I have to budget my time for even an hour, I have a feeling of discomfort and fail to attain that state. But if I'm free I reach it much easier and I enjoy it as long as my time permits. I can keep it as long as 1 1/2 hours if I want to. Is it alright to meditate once a day at my best time? But my 'shakes' make me think I have to do it as usual, which is at early morning and at 10:00 at night.
Your 'shakes' or 'reminders' seem to come from a very knowledgable source. Many good teachers INSIST that the best time for meditation is early morning (4-6am). In order to PREPARE for the early morning meditation, it is essential to purge the mind at the end of each day, which is about 10pm. This evening meditation enables a deeper rest during sleep.
It is quite normal to have different degree of success, depending on circumstances.
I have a question about meditation. I am a student and I feel I don't get enough sleep every night (I go to sleep about 12 am) Now, even if I ask my higher-self to 'wake me up' at about 4 or 5 in the morning + a few alarm clocks with that, I still end up going back to sleep. Nothing works. The overwhelming feeling is that of wanting to go back to sleep. Does anyone have anything else that may work in providing me with an effective 'alertness' to enable me to actually remain awake?
Have you tried to meditate for 15-20 minutes immediately BEFORE going to bed? Evening meditation enables a deeper rest during sleep and prepares you for the early morning session (see above).
I have a book written by some american psychologist who has been in conversations with Dalai Lama (Tensin Gyatso), and in the end of that book there is a meditation exercise of 'finding the natural state of mind,' which involves silencing your mind of everything, holding focus on nothing, no use of mantras or anything. Dalai Lama says that when having practised for some time, you will notice what he calls a 'clearity, a light(metaphor).' Is this the state I would want to aim for?
Yes. However, obtaining a silence of the mind is just the first step. Periods of meditation should be alternated with periods of concentration.
How do I know if I'm realy meditating?In The Freedom you talk about some images appearing during meditation, and you mention we should pay attention to that. I have trouble with this because I don't know if the images that appear are product of my unruly mind, so I don't know if I should try to ignore them as they come (and keep trying to keep the mind silent) or pay attention to them. I've had a hard time trying to learn meditation.
You can CHOOSE to pay attention to or ignore images, thoughts and other experiences that appear when you aim to meditate.
One of the consequences of achieving a quiet mind is your increased sensitivity. This sensitivity helps you perceive thoughts of other people. Some of these "foreign thoughts" may be pleasant and some may be disturbing.
Wise ancient teachers clearly advise "not to chase" images that appear during meditation and FOCUS ON THE SILENCE OF THE MIND. Personally, I switch from meditation to concentration ONLY when the thought seems fascinating and hence irresistible.
Dear Tom, I have just been re-reading TFOC. On page 68 where you talk about meditation you say in part (3) â€œ do not continue the kaleidoscopeâ€ What do you mean by this?
I refer to "kaleidoscope of thoughts". Typically one thought follows another - more or less continuously. The aim of meditation is to stop this process.
Dear Tom, When you focus on nothing and acheive a quiet mind, is that not concentration? I have to focus my mind to obtain silence so is'nt that concentration on silence? Then if you meditate, you are really concentrating on clearing your mind and when you concentrate, you just meditate.
The AIM of meditation is the absence of thoughts. You only need to take action if you become aware that you have a thought (i.e. do not meditate). The required action is to disregard the thought.