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Posts: 15/52
(05-Jan-2009 at 07:12)


Spirituality/Monks/Focus

Everyone's seen the photos of the Monks setting themselves on fire and meditating to protest the Vietnam War. I know they have a higher understanding of spirituality and matters similar to that. They were def. not bothered by the flames and were peacefully meditating.

The monks are able to achieve that b/c theyve practiced it and understood what it takes to achieve that sort of focus to filter out certain things and just concentrate on one thing. However, this is not just confined to spiritual matters. Top athletes do it all the time when they are playing their best, MJ for example or Tiger Woods. This can be applied elsewhere, top poker players have to focus 100% to play their best, it is referred to as being in "The Zone". No matter what you do in life, if you do it enough times eventually it will become second nature. Even something such as welding requires certain skills and complete focus.

My question is, can people practice to hone this skill of being in "The Zone" to multiple activities, some call it "Living in the Moment". Take sex for example, it is better when you apply these ideas, the ladies sure appreciate it if you put in the effort. Now, besides giving up all worldly possesions to become a monk, how difficult/easy is it to try and achieve this. What kind of person does it take? Surely not everyone can reach such a higher plain of "consciousness" i geuss.
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View Public Profile Find more posts by Libra SPYdrZ Add Libra SPYdrZ to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 551/742
(05-Jan-2009 at 16:14)


Practice always slowly leads to expertise or skill. Whether what you call being in the Zone is also a result of practice is more difficult to say. Training creates the expert, but it may be a combination of natural talent and training that creates the master. Experts rely on concentration to do their work, but in many cases you find the master at work doesn't experience it as such. She doesn't really concentrate, as much as she simply finds life achieving perfection through her hands without her doing anything. That's how people often describe that feeling of being in the zone; there's no trying or forcing, everything just happens naturally, completely effortless. There's not even the experience of a person doing, there's just being done, without any I present until after the fact.

But perhaps i'm wrong.

Your brain is unique in the history of the universe. Use it wisely.
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Posts: 1016/1043
Donated $7.44
(05-Jan-2009 at 16:25)


Living with "mindful awareness" is something everybody can (and should) do. It's merely a technique that requires practice. You must exercise and train your mind like you would a muscle on your body. You've been living your whole life without asserting your power over you mind, so you can't expect to tame it quickly and easily.

There are many books on the subject for those who are interested. You don't have to be Zen *shudders* or even Buddhist to practice meditation and mindful awareness, but those interested in living mindfully often find a lot of other useful knowledge in The Buddha.

Masters of meditation and mindfulness, like the flaming monks, practiced their entire lives. They worked hard for their abilities; it wasn't a matter of being born with it.

The less popular Sage
Really...most people forget who I am
But I was here first, damn it!

Willing to sell my soul for a Klondike Bar
#3  
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Posts: 2183/2297
(05-Jan-2009 at 16:38)


Actually, I wouldn't recommend setting yourself on fire even after years of training. It still hurts like fuck, you might just be able to control your physical responses better.

Also, I love flaming monks.

Modern world I'm not pleased to meet you

You just bring me down

Last edited by Caelis666, 05-Jan-2009 at 16:39.
Edit reason: I really am sorry for that pun. I'll go punish myself now.
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Posts: 17/52
(05-Jan-2009 at 17:44)


I read a good book called "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell. Personally i try to live my life with what you called mindful awareness. As for taking the "I" out, youre absolutely right, if you do a task without thinking of the rewards or the future then you will achieve it better. So yes youre right dusk, doing something without being selfish i geuss, will help you accomplish it faster. It is surprising that this subject is not as mainstream or talked about more. I geuss the whole point is living a positive life (love for others, nature etc...) doing your best to appreciate/respect those around you. It makes life a lot more fulfilling, couple that with living in the moment, not the past (worries,failures) not fantazizing about the future and what could/should happen, and i geuss your day to day life will improve vastly.

Repetition is the father of learning.
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View Public Profile Find more posts by Libra SPYdrZ Add Libra SPYdrZ to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 393/464
(05-Jan-2009 at 19:22)


Of course you can. The real trick is being able to use those skills to their fullest extent without thinking about it.

I don't see how taking the 'I' out of something can help at all. I've never gotten good at something by accident. It's always been for me. I would think the only way to be good at something is to make it personal to you...

I am the darkness in your life, I am the light
I am the end of your tunnel, I am the beginning of your future
I am the end, your end. I am the path to your salvation.

Your bane, or your hope. You decide.
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Posts: 1017/1043
Donated $7.44
(05-Jan-2009 at 20:11)


There are two realms of thought on "taking the 'I' out" of your activities.

The first is related to the Hindu concept of dharma. Your Hindu dharma is your role in life, your purpose...and one of the major lessons in the Gita is that you should pursue worthwhile goals for their own inherent worth, not for any reward or fear of punishment. For many of us, our current dharma is to be good students, and we are supposed to excel not for money or fear of poverty, but for the inherent worth of knowledge.

The idea is that focusing on the rewards or punishments of your actions will distract your focus and actually prevent you from reaching full potential. Think of an important job interview, where you're too nervous about the result to focus on the actual present.

Obviously, it's possible to find success with selfish motives. But any success you find is lesser than what you could achieve through pure, unexamined action.

(Of course, I'm not Hindu, and I would take issue with some of that) :P

The Buddhist concept of "emptiness" is a little harder to explain. A Buddhist believes that, while on a PRACTICAL level, "I" certainly exists, in the realm of things that matter, we don't exist as individuals. Everything exists only in its relation to everything else. The dependent origination of all things makes morality rather easy to swallow...trying to harm another human being is like trying to defeat your enemy by throwing hot coals. Even if you hit your target, you're going to burn your own hand...because your own happiness is truly dependent on the happiness of everyone else, because in the most fundamental way, you're not a separate entity from your neighbor.

The less popular Sage
Really...most people forget who I am
But I was here first, damn it!

Willing to sell my soul for a Klondike Bar
#7  
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Posts: 1042/1637
(06-Jan-2009 at 07:55)
A poem says of wild geese flying over a lake, 'The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection, and the water has no mind to retain their image.'

Last edited by Gotterdammerung, 06-Jan-2009 at 07:55.
Edit reason: http://deoxy.org/w_lectur.htm
#8  
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Posts: 42/50
(07-Jun-2009 at 04:01)
It's mind over matter and I'm sure anyone could do it with practice. I've accomplished it.

I'll give a couple of examples:

When i get a headache, toothache, earache, stomach ache etc...I have learnt to block them out. I hate using medication unless absolutely necessary and I'm sure if I had appendicitus I wouldn't be able to block such strong pain out, but minor niggles I certainly can through meditation and/or visualisation.

Also to prove to someone I had conquered mind over matter I held a lighter under my arm for about 2-3 minutes. Skin was bubbling away and I have quite a hefty scar from it. I wouldn't say you don't feel it, just that you don't interpret it as painful.

The thing is though, if you harm yourself in the name of spirituality or religion you're seen as honorable, if you do it to prove a point or other reasons you're just seen as crazy! lol
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