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From: Claudine (
Subject: Re: Not Keith (the expert!) ......
Date: March 26, 2006 at 2:27 pm PST

In Reply to: Buddhist traditions-question - and meditation posted by Camilla on March 26, 2006 at 1:40 am:

So I cannot accurately answer your specific questions. But I would say, don't sweat the small stuff! But explore the different styles/options to see what fits you. Read on a style or take a class, try it, if you like it continue.

I went to many Buddhist temples and meditation centers almost a year ago, trying to find the right way, style, approach, answers, etc. What I concluded was there wasn't any! I think the best one is whatever one that works for you and you can stick with. At home I meditate with my eyes closed, but its not what I was taught, the Tibetan way. And sometimes I have some meditation music in the back. Not always for me, but to sedate my guinea pigs!! When I go to the meditation center, I start closed then open them. I really don't think it matters that much, what matters more is that I meditate.

At yoga we do it lying down. And lately (not recommended for most, but my ADHD has gotten really bad) its been standing on my hands, holding a yoga pose like the tree pose for a long time or just trying to be mindful at times! A more active meditation which I have had to resort to lately because actually, I have found that once I lose my focus, my poses callapse so for some reason, my mind really works. During sitting my mind was going out the window lately! At work, instead of listening to music, I work in silence and do a sort of meditation/mindfulness that way which seems to slow my mind down and helps calm it too. No, its not "correct" but its what I can do at this time.

But eventually, once my classes are done or when my yoga class is done, I will go back to the Tibetan Meditation Center and practice their way again. I ran into some people from there going to my yoga class and they miss having me there, and I realized I felt the most comfortable there. Some other places were so bogged up in ritual and fancy religious items and jestures, its not what I think Buddhism is about. I like simplicity! After all, Buddha was elightened just by sitting under a tree. Nothing fancy, no rituals per say. What mattered was he sat! So just sit, you can focus on an item, close your eyes, focus on a pose if your antsy, just look with your eyes half closed a couple feet in front of you, focus on the third eye, take thoughts (clouds) aside from your mind, whatever works! I don't think there is a right way, just sit. I think there are many roads to one goal IMO.

I hope I don't get too criticised for saying this, but this attitude (anti black and white/ right vs. wrong), keeps me doing SOMETHING rather than getting frustrated and doing nothing "until I do it right" attitude. I find perfectionism is paralyzing and pointless. Then when I am ready/able, I will go the next step.

I'm sure Keith will give you a much better answer!! I'm actually a lousy meditator. :-))

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