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Old 06-26-2013, 08:48 PM   #59
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 10,767

Chris Harris

Originally Posted by bombquixote View Post
There's Buddhist theory, and there's Buddhist meditation. Like any religion, there are countless interpretations of Buddhism, but most put the practice of meditation before theory. (Buddhism is sort of like an anti-religion that way. Instead of faith, Buddhism at its core is based on the experiential.) Really, most of the theory is a way of talking about what you come to understand if you meditate a lot, so it's pointless really to talk about it without meditating. To answer your question, being in the moment takes practice, and that practice is meditation. Through a friend, I was lucky to find Vipassana meditation. Vipassana focuses very specifically on body sensation, and the meditation begins with paying attention to the breath. As you do it, you begin to experience your own thoughts (for example) as just another sensation. Thoughts happen. We usually identify ourselves with our thoughts, but they happen with or without us. They have a sensation you can observe. They are part of the moment, but not its totality. Same with anxiety, since we're on the topic. Anxiety is just a word. What's the sensation? My chest feels hot, my lungs feel tight, my heart is's just part of the moment. So, rather than BEING anxious, it's more like, 'Anxiety is happening. Observe the sensation.'

Long post, sorry. That answer your question?
No that wasn't long. No problem. When I was really digging in and trying to learn as much about "anxiety" as I could, of course I came across all different methods of dealing with it. Some of them share many principals but some have some different aspects altogether. For example, the Lindon Method is all about understanding ALL of the different ways anxiety manifests itself and so you learn to identity all the various ways. But he also is heavy on diversion. He explains all the sensations but then when you feel them, he's heavy on diverting attention to something else. Where I've seen others say embrace that feeling and listen to it and, as best you can, accept it and try to feel what's going on. That's a far stretch from just trying to divert your attention. It seems there are really 2 basic forms of dealing with it. One is the diversion where you don't want to acknowledge it and just try to move on while the other is to dig deeper trying to get a better understanding as to why it's happening.

But I really dig that part where you mention that thoughts themselves can be a sensation. Do you recommend any material on this Vipassana meditation?
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