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GOLD! 60 Days of 60 Minutes of Meditation - Let's Not Do Anything Together

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Having 2 poor nights sleep in a row made the session mediocre. I still maintained focus better than 2 weeks ago under similar conditions, but I still have a long way to go.

Yeah "bad" days don't really go away with practice, or at least not at our current stage. But even if they're bad, they're probably still way better than several weeks/months before where, at least I, could spend 90-95% of the session distracted and have just very brief periods of heightened focus.
 

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Day 68
Having 2 poor nights sleep in a row made the session mediocre. I still maintained focus better than 2 weeks ago under similar conditions, but I still have a long way to go.

Those are the most impactful. There is no better time to practice.

I think that focusing on how much time you can meditate is just another ego game. Ultimately, meditation is a tool. Would you rather learn how to be able to keep digging a hole with your shovel for 4 hours with no breaks or just dig the hole in the most efficient way possible?

That most efficient way is using meditation as practice for everyday life. The most important work is in everyday life, not in retreating from it by meditating more and more. If you enjoy hiking, you can prepare yourself physically by doing some exercises at home. But a few years from now, you don't want to spend more time exercising at home than actually hiking. Hiking is what you want, not the exercises.

Completely agree with you on this.

The main goal is a state of presence and mindfulness in everyday life.

I have been struggling immensely to extend both during the day.

I am much better than when I started few weeks ago. When I work out and on certain walks I stay present. It's also improved with my son and when I read.

Outside of that, it takes a whole lot to remember to stay present...
 

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The main goal is a state of presence and mindfulness in everyday life.

I just listened to Michael A. Singer's lecture from his incredible series Going Deeper and he said something very powerful (and very simple at the same time):

Yes, meditation is good. So that you're present. Yoga is good. So you're present. Mantra is good. So you're present. Be present, then notice the process that's going on. Don't touch it. Don't try to fix it. Relax. Just keep relaxing all the time. There's never anything that can come in that you shouldn't be relaxing. That's your first impulse at all times, is relax. Let go where it's connected. Don't fight with it, don't rationalize, don't think about it. The worst thing you can do is if the mind is causing you trouble because it's attached to the outside, try to use the mind to think your way out of it. You're just creating more and more mess, more and more ripples. The answer is always let go. You just relax and release.
 

simplymoto

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As far as I know, the breathing meditation that you're doing now is fine. Naval referred to meditation that involves something more complex, like, say, three seconds in, five seconds out, etc. and counting that.

Also, note this:

If thoughts come, thoughts come. I’m not going to fight them. I’m not going to embrace them. I’m not going to think harder about them. I’m not going to reject them. I’m just going to sit here for an hour with my eyes closed, and I’m going to do nothing.

So it's not about sitting there and thinking whatever. You try to be a passive observer. You don't entertain the thoughts, you don't fight them, you don't follow them. Just sit and observe in whatever way works best for you.

At least that's how I understand it and plan to approach it.

Also, here's an excerpt from Naval's interview with Tim Ferriss that may explain it better (I put in bold the key piece of advice):

Which is you sit there for 60 minutes. So unfortunately not less than an hour at a time, because it takes 30 to 40 minutes to sink in past the initial chattering. So you get to the good part or the so-called runner’s high equivalent. And you sit for 60 minutes every day and you do it for at least 60 days. And you do it first thing in the morning. When your mind is clear and you’re alert and you’ve had a good night’s sleep.

And you sit up with your back straight and you can use cushions, or you can use a chair or whatever. There’s no magic position. And just whatever happens, happens, whatever your mind wants to do, you just let it do. If it wants to talk, you let it talk. If he wants to fight, you let it fight. If it wants to be quiet, you let it be quiet. If it wants to chant the mantra or pay attention to breathing, you can do that, but you don’t force anything.

You just kind of let it happen. And so you don’t fight it. You don’t resist it. You don’t argue with it. You don’t double down on it. You just kind of let things happen. And when you do that for at least 60 days, my experience has been that you kind of clear out your mental inbox and all the craziness that was going on. All the chattering will come out. Some problems will get resolved. You will have some epiphanies. You will make changes to your life.
As far as I know, the breathing meditation that you're doing now is fine. Naval referred to meditation that involves something more complex, like, say, three seconds in, five seconds out, etc. and counting that.

Also, note this:

If thoughts come, thoughts come. I’m not going to fight them. I’m not going to embrace them. I’m not going to think harder about them. I’m not going to reject them. I’m just going to sit here for an hour with my eyes closed, and I’m going to do nothing.

So it's not about sitting there and thinking whatever. You try to be a passive observer. You don't entertain the thoughts, you don't fight them, you don't follow them. Just sit and observe in whatever way works best for you.

At least that's how I understand it and plan to approach it.

Also, here's an excerpt from Naval's interview with Tim Ferriss that may explain it better (I put in bold the key piece of advice):

Which is you sit there for 60 minutes. So unfortunately not less than an hour at a time, because it takes 30 to 40 minutes to sink in past the initial chattering. So you get to the good part or the so-called runner’s high equivalent. And you sit for 60 minutes every day and you do it for at least 60 days. And you do it first thing in the morning. When your mind is clear and you’re alert and you’ve had a good night’s sleep.

And you sit up with your back straight and you can use cushions, or you can use a chair or whatever. There’s no magic position. And just whatever happens, happens, whatever your mind wants to do, you just let it do. If it wants to talk, you let it talk. If he wants to fight, you let it fight. If it wants to be quiet, you let it be quiet. If it wants to chant the mantra or pay attention to breathing, you can do that, but you don’t force anything.

You just kind of let it happen. And so you don’t fight it. You don’t resist it. You don’t argue with it. You don’t double down on it. You just kind of let things happen. And when you do that for at least 60 days, my experience has been that you kind of clear out your mental inbox and all the craziness that was going on. All the chattering will come out. Some problems will get resolved. You will have some epiphanies. You will make changes to your life.
I like ur runners high analogy.
 

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Day 30

Poor session.
 

MTF

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This part from Michael A. Singer's recent talk (just posting the link to the most recent two, this one was from 4/4/2021 but soon it'll be replaced by newer talks) is so incredibly deep:

People wonder why they don’t like meditation. Because they struggle. If there’s one period of time that there should be no struggle, it’s meditation. Because what it’s trying to teach you to do is be okay regardless of what’s going on.

“Well, what if I sit down and meditate and my mind doesn’t shut up?” Good. Say “good.” “Well, what if I sit there and do my entire 15 minute meditation and my mind doesn’t stop for one minute?” Good, great meditation.

That’s what you need to do. There needs to be this time in your life where you’re not struggling, where you’re not fighting with everything, fighting with the world, fighting with yourself and so on.

The purpose of it is: am I able to sit here and see what’s going on in front of me? And in this case because my eyes are closed, what’s going on in front of me is my mind and my heart. Am I able to see this and just relax through it, be comfortable with it? Because if you can be comfortable with it when it’s going on in meditation, you can be comfortable with it in the real world.

So it’s really a practice. Meditation is a practice. It’s not a way to achieve another state of consciousness. Your states of consciousness should be natural. And once you have them they should never leave. They’re not satoris, the little experiences you have. They’re permanent states because you changed yourself sufficiently inside to where you don’t have to do anything to achieve that state, maintain that state. It is your state of consciousness, your state of being. Isn’t that nicer?

So it’s not a matter of fighting your way through something. It’s a matter of releasing yourself, letting go of the things that are getting you all caught up inside.
 

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Day 31

A nice bit of calm away from the joys of visiting family.
 

Bora.s

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This part from Michael A. Singer's recent talk (just posting the link to the most recent two, this one was from 4/4/2021 but soon it'll be replaced by newer talks) is so incredibly deep:
Thank you for posting the talk, I didn't see/find it on the site.

Day 65
Insights so far:

The combination of meditation and dealing with Michael Singer's book "The Untethered Soul" has changed my life for the better. I understand the concept behind meditating better, until now I have felt the power of meditation more than understood it.

I managed to separate my business from my life. For 5 years my life and my company have been one. If my company was doing badly, I have suffered too. Most of the time I slept badly, almost every night I woke up thinking about company problems and couldn't go back to sleep. At the moment I have more neutral and healthier relationship with my company. Now when I wake up at night, I perceive my issue (it's still my business ;)) but I can let it go better and go back to sleep faster.

Meditation - I have experienced my most intense meditations together with others. I can only recommend to give it a try.
 

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Day 32

Good session again.
 

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Day 33, 34, 35

Missed the updates but did the sessions. Particularly enjoyed today's session with an open window and sounds of rain.
 

Andreas

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So lately I have been reading books to calm my mind before doing any work and I started reading a short book called 'Concentration and Meditation' by Swami Paramananda. I cam across the following passage in the book and I was wondering what he means by that. I've heard a similar thing from a few other people, but they never explained it to me. It sounds too vague.
That must be the purpose of all our spiritual practice. When the mind becomes fixed on the Supreme Being, when through meditation we are united with that Power, then we have fullness of vision. This is called the superconscious state or Samadhi. As we concentrate on That which is All-Light, the darkness of mind and body will vanish; for what we constantly think upon, that we become. There is only one Power, one Intelligence, one Mind, which is God, and our mind is nothing but a reflex of that Universal Mind.
 

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So lately I have been reading books to calm my mind before doing any work and I started reading a short book called 'Concentration and Meditation' by Swami Paramananda. I cam across the following passage in the book and I was wondering what he means by that. I've heard a similar thing from a few other people, but they never explained it to me. It sounds too vague.

Michael A. Singer is all about this. In short, Paramananda talks about connecting with the self. Our natural state is exactly this (full of love, joy, peace - in essence, "God" is us, the awareness that we are, NOT the made-up human minds) but the mind distracts us from this state.

Michael A. Singer:

If you have blinds, and they are closed, it is not true you have to beg and pray to the blinds to please let some light in, they're the giver of light. No, they're the blocker of light. Your ego and your way of wanting things are blocking you from feeling love all the time. When the mind gets what it wants, it will open. Then you can feel the nature of your being. So when you feel love, that is who you are. But you won't do it because your mind won't let you, because you're busy protecting yourself. So you need to be willing to to say "I'm gonna let down these shields, I'm gonna take the blinds off the windows so I don't have to pay them to open." Because the light is the natural state.
 

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For everyone here who starts meditating and strong negative feelings/thoughts come up, it may be useful to be aware that you may be dealing with some past trauma resurfacing. In such cases if the negative feelings and thoughts start overwhelming you despite your best attempts to remain centered, it may be useful to take a more gradual approach to meditation, or even consider professional therapy.

One thread here that may be helpful for those who deal with deeper seated issues is this: https://www.thefastlaneforum.com/co...of-life-christmas-present-to-the-forum.98212/

The technique presented is compatible with mindfulness, in fact, an extension of it if you read the paper I’ve attached at the bottom. But it is actually useful to “rewrite” those automatic troubling negative thoughts/feelings rather than just detach from them every single time. I found it very useful, it’s super powerful!
 

Andreas

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Michael A. Singer is all about this. In short, Paramananda talks about connecting with the self. Our natural state is exactly this (full of love, joy, peace - in essence, "God" is us, the awareness that we are, NOT the made-up human minds) but the mind distracts us from this state.

Michael A. Singer:

So what does this really mean to meditate on God? Where does Swami put his focus while meditating, or rather was meditating? A lot of people say focus on your breath, count numbers, watch sensations and feelings go by. Those are things that you can feel or at least visualize. I read further down the book, but he doesn't elaborate further on this.
 

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So what does this really mean to meditate on God? Where does Swami put his focus while meditating, or rather was meditating? A lot of people say focus on your breath, count numbers, watch sensations and feelings go by. Those are things that you can feel or at least visualize. I read further down the book, but he doesn't elaborate further on this.

I think you're putting the cart before the horse. What he's talking about is some extremely high level of awareness.

As Michael A. Singer frequently says, you have to die to be reborn. Here are the three deaths, or three levels of spiritual growth:

The first death is: the outside world is not the way the ego wants it to be.
The second death is: the ego is not who you are, you're just watching that thing.
The third death is: I'm watching the shakti, I'm feeling all this joy, I'm not being drawn down, and there's a pull from behind, I know there's something back behind me. Do you want to know what's back behind you? The whole universe.

That third death is what you're thinking about now (the nature of your being). But that's very far in the future.

As for the specifics on what to focus in meditation, I quoted Michael A. Singer in one of my previous posts:

People wonder why they don’t like meditation. Because they struggle. If there’s one period of time that there should be no struggle, it’s meditation. Because what it’s trying to teach you to do is be okay regardless of what’s going on.

“Well, what if I sit down and meditate and my mind doesn’t shut up?” Good. Say “good.” “Well, what if I sit there and do my entire 15 minute meditation and my mind doesn’t stop for one minute?” Good, great meditation.

That’s what you need to do. There needs to be this time in your life where you’re not struggling, where you’re not fighting with everything, fighting with the world, fighting with yourself and so on.

The purpose of it is: am I able to sit here and see what’s going on in front of me? And in this case because my eyes are closed, what’s going on in front of me is my mind and my heart. Am I able to see this and just relax through it, be comfortable with it? Because if you can be comfortable with it when it’s going on in meditation, you can be comfortable with it in the real world.

So it’s really a practice. Meditation is a practice. It’s not a way to achieve another state of consciousness. Your states of consciousness should be natural. And once you have them they should never leave. They’re not satoris, the little experiences you have. They’re permanent states because you changed yourself sufficiently inside to where you don’t have to do anything to achieve that state, maintain that state. It is your state of consciousness, your state of being. Isn’t that nicer?

So it’s not a matter of fighting your way through something. It’s a matter of releasing yourself, letting go of the things that are getting you all caught up inside.

Meditation is a practice in which you watch your mind and your heart (emotions) and learn how to stay okay despite disturbances. Then in your everyday life you become more aware, too. Ultimately, through years and decades of such practices, you chip away at all the mind/heart stuff and are left with what Swami calls "God."

There isn't anything holy in particular you focus on during meditation to meditate on God. Because YOU (the awareness) are God/consciousness/a tiny part of the universe. So it's never about ADDING something to your meditative practice, it's about REMOVING human stuff (not paying attention to the mind and the heart). What you're left with is what you want to focus on.

Imagine watching a fascinating TV show. You're so absorbed you don't even know you're sitting on a sofa in a room watching it. If you want to stop being absorbed in it and feel like yourself again (and not like the characters you're watching), you just stop watching it. You don't have to focus on the image of you sitting on a sofa to feel like yourself again. You just stop watching and you're back to being a guy sitting on a sofa in a room watching a TV show.

Also, while it's good to talk about these things, there are certain things (or actually, many things) in spirituality that you can't understand with your rational mind. I talked with some people practicing spirituality for decades and they said that you can't understand everything. What you can do, though, is EXPERIENCE it. That comes as a result of everyday practices, even when you aren't exactly sure if you're doing it "right." And the most important practice is letting go (meditation is a tool that helps you let go in everyday life).

So, just to add one more Michael A. Singer quote (why not?), I'll leave you with this:

The more you let go, the more it will become lucid, fluid, open. Little by little, you'll start to feel this joy, happiness, upliftment, coming inside. It starts that way. It doesn't start as feeling spiritual flows of energy. It starts because you're happier than you used to be. You're lighter than you used to be. Because you unburdened yourself with having to hold this whole thing together. And then you unburdened yourself from having the Earth, the world around you, to be a certain way because you're not holding yourself a certain way. So there's this freedom, this liberation, that takes place as you die to self.
 

Andreas

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I think you're putting the cart before the horse. What he's talking about is some extremely high level of awareness.
So basically, I need more practice. Most people refer to samadhi as a state of intense but effortless attention that can be turned on and off at will. I will stick to that and then see about the spiritual stuff.
 

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So basically, I need more practice. Most people refer to samadhi as a state of intense but effortless attention that can be turned on and off at will. I will stick to that and then see about the spiritual stuff.

This process takes years, if not decades. The key is to focus on the fundamentals and just keep practicing no matter what. I assume that along the way you'll have various experiences but they won't be entirely logical experiences.

For example, I sometimes get joyful for no particular reason. Or I'm amused by a bad driver while previously I would be swearing at them. I can't explain this logically. It's just that the process works and I don't need to fully understand why.
 

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Day 36

Poor sleep, poor session.
 

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Day 37

The gyms are finally open so I did a session after thai boxing - very peaceful and satisfying
 

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Two things about meditation:

1- Here in Los Angeles there is the Self Realization Center, founded by Yogi Pranamananda (the author of Autobiography of a Yogi).

I have been doing meditation for two years, every day 20 minutes in the morning and in the evening. Sometimes I go deeper sometimes not. It's a good experience. It cleanses the day when done at night, and prepares it when done in the morning.

Once I went to the Self Realization Center and they had a free 30 minutes meditation in one of their little houses (call it sanctuary if you want but it was really clean without any poster or candles or things like that). Just a few rows of chairs. Probably hosts a max of 50 people.

It was a guided meditation by one of the guys there. A man around his 40s from India. Dressed in dark blue pants, a shirt, and a dark blue jacket. Clean.

It was a simple meditation. Nothing extraordinary. Sit comfortably on the chair, close your eyes, follow the breath, say ohm, focus on the third eye (between the eyebrows). He just kept focusing our attention on those points.

After the mediation, I felt as relaxed as I never felt before in my life. I wanted to keep feeling that way for all my life. Especially my eyes felt different. Relaxed and present.

It was a physical experience. Difficult to explain. The most similar things I can think of are alcohol, tranquilizers, probably other drugs for focus that I never tried. But at the same time, I was totally awake.

My catch is the following: we are energy. We are vibrations. It is difficult to change our vibrations. Alcohol and drugs change them partially. With alcohol, you need a blackout in order to "change" all your vibrations.

There are two reasons that meditation caused that change, in my opinion:
a- the energy present in the room (they say it accumulates over the years)
b- the fact that we did a meditation with other people

It may sound like new a age thing or something like that, But I never experienced something similar.

If you are in LA and they are still open due to covid, I recommend you to give it a try.
 
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MTF

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@claudek the problem with guided meditation and 10-day retreats is that they're temporary in their nature. As Michael A. Singer said (and in his younger days, he did ALL of this stuff for years):

I don't want to experience a single thing I can't keep. I want whatever state of consciousness is my permanent state, that's what I want to work on. I don't want temporary spiritual experiences that you talk about what happened to me five years ago.
 

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@claudek the problem with guided meditation and 10-day retreats is that they're temporary in their nature. As Michael A. Singer said (and in his younger days, he did ALL of this stuff for years):

I'd say they are only a problem if that's the extent of your effort or something you cling to. If you combine them with his teachings and a daily practice then they could become a valuable addition.

Michael Singer holds weekly group meditations and talks himself. By this logic, would they not be worth attending ? He also talked in the surrender experiment about how all these experiences helped in bringing him to where he is today. So I don't think they should be discounted, rather treated as just part of the process.

Overall, I'd say they are valuable tool in the toolbox, but shouldn't become your primary method or goal. Similar to compound interest in the fastlane strategy lol.
 

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I'd say they are only a problem if that's the extent of your effort or something you cling to. If you combine them with his teachings and a daily practice then they could become a valuable addition.
You're right, that's a good clarification.
 

Andreas

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I am doing self hypnosis sessions and this works wonders for my ADHD tendencies and the tightness in my body. I don't know about the others, but a relaxed face and body, makes my mind feel much emptier which brings more bliss into my life.
 

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