Meditation: Theory and Practice Reflections Term Paper

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Meditation: Theory & Practice

Reflections of the practices and concepts learned in class

The practice and belief in the art of Meditation is as old as the sayings of ancient sages and yet in its' antiquity the practice of meditation from a holistic view still remains one of validity and possibly even more so than in earlier days of man's existence garnered by the fact that meditation has stood the test of time and trial throughout the history of mankind to remain even yet that which has within its' essence that which through transcendental means the power to refresh the heart, mind and soul of man and as well to draw the persecuted flesh near to relief and refreshing through a spiritual and inner door.

Breath

Although most of the time it is something we do quite unconsciously, to breathe, or our breathing is the essence of life as well as a link between our body and the outside world. Breathing is a biological function and is foundational in the means of human existence as well as being associated with our spirit and min. There is a Japanese letter that stands for breath and represents "the mind of self." Breath has many characteristics that are inseparable from the state of mind; for example our breath becomes shorter when we are tense or afraid but a slow deep breath relaxes and calms our mind. When following the breath, we are balancing our body and mind. Following the breath results in our creation of inner harmony and thus we find we are exploring the living frontier where body, mind, and spirit meet.

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Term Paper on Meditation: Theory & Practice Reflections of the Assignment

Upon the realization of the meaning and significance of these things, I always return again to the breath. The times when I find myself distracted or lacking in awareness I return to the breath and to the place of meeting and of meditation. Within this process of regaining composure breath is made to be the objective of meditation. The process is through stating within my own mind the word "in" which provides a reminder of the inhaling of breath and "out" for the exhaling of breath as a reminder of incoming and outgoing breath. As this process occurs and the present is gradually returned to then comes the following of my breath with focus on the tip of my nose. The art in meditation I realize is the enjoying of each breath appreciating that I am in the "here and now." Breath, because it is always available, is a useful object for not only meditation but also in daily life for concentration and coming back to the present as a method in relaxing and quieting the mind.

There are four mindfulness components:

Mindfulness of body;

Feeling;

Mind; and Dynamic of mind

In mindfulness meditation, I start focusing on my breath as I noticing coolness and warmness through my nostrils, smoothness, speed, length, and other descriptive sensations involved in mindless meditation. I gradually expand my awareness to the entirety of body sensations. Next, I open my gate to thoughts, feelings, and emotions that come and go and then, without making judgment or discrimination, quite simply I observe them with the explorer's frame of mind full of spacious possibilities, as if watching the waves of ocean in its' coming and going or the ebb and flow of my thoughts and mind. One practicing meditation is expected and generally required to have a flexible mind that is able to open to the possibilities of whatever should arise or present itself. Although staying mindful for long period of time requires continuous awareness, I try applying the method as often as possible in everyday life. For instance, I focus on my foot stepping in at the moment of entering a door; I pay attention to the fragrance and the sensation on my face when lathering facial soap; I return to my breath when hearing my PC messenger as it makes the sound indicating receipt of incoming email. Upon the return to the 'present' I try in those moments to retain in my memory as long as possible. The basic attitudes within mindfulness should comprise "being relaxed, being open, being here and now, enjoying the process, and having fun for what I'm doing."

III. Drunken Monkey:

The Monkey, the scattered mind, comes out any time from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep. From thoughts to memories and images to emotions, the monkey jumps around in one's mind without being noticed. While in class, I may start daydreaming or during a conversation, it is possible to lose myself in thoughts and memories and even when riding with my boyfriend in a car there may be some music which will occupy my mind until he points out my fingers tapping indicating that he knows that I am once again in a visual meditation and I am playing the piano in my head. By learning to be aware of my mind, I found myself becoming better in catching the moment when monkey appears, and capable of keeping myself grounded in the present moment. Instead of being controlled by my thoughts or my emotions I am able to track them step-by-step following where they go.

Practices incorporated in my life and their impact on my life

IV. Mindful eating

Using four pillars of mindfulness, I pay attention to body, feeling, mind and dynamics of mind before, after and during eating my meal and when I begin to feel hungry I then listen to the appeals of my body through signals it sends to me to make me aware of such type of physical feelings as deprivation of food or the feelings associated with the body's symptoms of hunger in the stomachs' growling. I check my 'hungry-mind' and make plans for that which I plan to eat and then upon losing my concentration as well as my focus, as I am easily distracted I feel anxious and irritable as well as an unexplainable moodiness

During a meal, I increase awareness of the sensation in my mouth for the temperature, the texture, the rush of juice, the distinction of flavor, as well as sound of chewing and smells of food. Social and situational stimuli affect my mind during the meal. I tend to loose myself in conversation and become mindless when eating with someone. Whether I am with my boyfriend or alone with myself, I am nevertheless relaxed and able to enjoy the food and the moment. My 'full-mind' is content and happy, and holds more awareness which serves to elevate my mood and thoughts bringing me into focused and infusing me with energy and soothing my mind as well. I feel more energized but feel calm inside.

I have realized that certain food at a certain time of a day has a tendency to gives me uncomfortable sensation such as nausea. As practicing mindfulness of dynamic mind, making the commitment to write a log on mindfulness keeps me focused of what is occurring in the course of a day through the recording of those events in a daily log and as well before, during and after meals.

V. Calligraphy:

Japanese people say that handwriting reflects a person's mind. As writing has been an important part of culture in Japan, calligraphy contests are common event throughout one's school days. They are competitions as to how well one writes kanji letter(s). One-hour calligraphy classes in total silence remains fairly fresh in my mind as an integral part of my childhood memory. Sitting in front of a white thin paper, I quiet my mind. I gradually reach the writing brush, dip it in the ink, and adjust the amount with care. Because the paper is so thin like the one used in classic shoji slides, to use too much ink will cause the paper to be easily soaked and wet with ink making it become blurrier than the one I had the intentions to draw. I set my focus upon the point where I'm going to start a first stroke. With a little tension, and hoping it comes out well, I place my brush, and not too strong or too weak, I remain attentive to the pressure and the movement of my hand. That which results or the work mirrors the state of my mind at the moment the stroke was made upon the paper.

Paper after paper, I practiced the same letter(s) over and over again until I felt content with my quality of my work and then I gained permission from an instructor to move to a more advanced level. Interestingly, when I tried very hard to make it perfect, I got my work returned with a lot of corrections. The satisfactory results often came out when I was concentrated but with a relaxed mind. In retrospect, each of my calligraphy classes was a first 'mindfulness' practice in my life.

VI. Opening my heart:

Although I am proud of myself for how… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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