How is mindfulness meditation different than other kinds of meditations – a Quora question I answered

I sometimes participate in Quora, by answering questions. I like to be challenged, it is the spice of life, and I enjoy being forced to think, solve problems, get out of my little box.

I don’t enjoy reading the answers of others, though it gives me a cross section of what so called intellectuals think and teach and live… Sad story.

I thought you would enjoy reading my answer:

Mindfulness meditation is, in fact, an oxymoron of some kind. Meditation’s purpose is to lead you away from the mind. But the reason some people use this expression, because what they want to say “awareness meditation” and they don’t understand that awareness is not a mind-function, awareness is a consciousness function. Awareness is bigger than the mind, and it is also bigger than you.
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Meditation: What is it and why is it useful?

Meditation

I wrote this article a year and a half ago. I never published it, but I will, now. Why? Because I have a lot more insight about meditation I can share, and because I offered a famous marketer to teach him meditation, and he hasn’t even bothered to answer my email.

I write many of my articles as a way to poke the Universe for answers, as a way to force my intelligence into gear.

What is meditation and what is the role of meditation?

Quoting from Wikipedia: Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or as an end in itself

I will examine this question as a non-meditator who has tried to meditate and failed.

I am not against meditation. Meditation as a tool, to allow all knowledge to reach you, past the noise of all there is, distinguished as knowledge beyond your own, is invaluable.

I have been quasi meditating the past day or so… the questions I am meditating over are

1. whether God is a sentient being
2. whether the “law” of attraction, the law that says that you can earn something coming to you
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2 Simple Meditation Techniques to Practice Daily

This is an article I copied from someone’s blog. This article is a great example of how meditation is taught.

Meditation is an ancient technique, and its main purpose was to gain insight into life, into nature, into how the world works through going withing and upwards.

It wasn’t practiced to get healthy, to get exercise, to calm down, to deal with stress. The mindset that you want something and use meditation to get it firmly anchors you in the horizontal plane, where your wants and your likes and dislikes live.

Real meditation is to get you to the vertical plane, where your wants, likes and dislikes are just noise. Where you don’t need anything, because you live in the domain of being, the domain of Human Being.

That doesn’t mean you don’t do, and that doesn’t mean you don’t like or dislike. It only means: you don’t live through those likes and dislikes: you live through being, experiencing the likes and dislikes. No emotional attachment.

This is what I teach, and this is what is possible: a glorious way to live. Now, here is the “borrowed article” you wanted to read. Enjoy.

While it may be next to impossible to find a quiet place for meditation, a constant sense of tranquility is essential to recharge and relax our minds. What follows are simple meditation techniques that you can perform at your own convenience.

Try these two simple meditation techniques that you can do on your own, without the help of a professional or expert.

1. Vipassana: The Art of Conscious Breathing.

Considered the easiest meditation technique, Vipassana simply requires you to be ‘aware of your breathing’. This meditation technique traces its root to Gautama Buddha who follows the philosophy referred to as the “Golden Mean”. He believes that going extreme is not necessary, be it in terms of fasting or in prayer. Vipassana is the perfect type of meditation for the modern man because it can be done anywhere, at any time.

Breathing is among the most natural process in our body that we can easily be aware of. It is also considered to be the sacred link between our body and our soul.

In Vipassana, the rule is simple: just be aware of your breathing process. Do not control it, but feel your breath as the air enters your body and exits. (Vipassana should not be confused with ‘Pranayam’, a breathing exercise taught in yoga which controls breath movements.)

In meditating using the technique of Vipassana, you should simply ‘watch your breath’. Although you can do this anywhere, it is highly advised that you set a specific time and place to undergo this meditation daily.

2. Mantra Meditation: A Process of Positive Reinforcement.

Feeding our minds with optimistic thoughts does eventually lead to positive results. Mantras are words or phrases that you chant, act as the focal point for the meditation. It has been used as early as the time before the popularity and rise of Buddhism. It is considered to be an ancient meditation technique and is also among the most popular because it transcends time, culture and race.

The practice of mantra meditation requires you to repeat a sentence or a set of words. It should have a phonetic significance, something that’s easy to remember.

Similar to Vipassana Meditation, meditating using a mantra can be done anywhere, but it is best done as soon as you wake up. Prepare a set of words that you’ll recite, (out loud or to yourself), the moment you open your eyes. Listen to the sound of each word and internalize.

A good and steady practice of meditation will help you to improve your sense of being. By simply allotting a couple of minutes in your day to meditate, you will experience greater peace and connection to your life’s purpose, and gradually uncover your full human potential.

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Yoga Teachers And The Yoga Alliance

Yoga is fashionable, it is an exercise for most. But yoga used to be a serious spiritual practice.

How and why? Yoga can give you superior control over your attention, over your body. Once you have control over what you can have control over, the next step is to recognize that you are neither your body, nor your thoughts, history, emotions, you are outside of all that: you are the Watcher. And you will recognize that the Watcher doesn’t participate in all the hubbub of the life… the Watcher observes it.

And that was the purpose of yoga, that has been completely dropped out.

But because context is decisive, without that context, none of the yoga practitioners can attain to that higher level of living, the living of a human being. Sad… but not irreversible.

Registering with the Yoga Alliance has many advantages for the yoga professional and offers more credibility to those who teach yoga. Their global registry acknowledges your training and knowledge and your ability as a yoga teacher. Being a member will also help when applying for a job, as being a member of the Yoga Alliance instills confidence and respect in your students. As a member of the Alliance, you will have achieved certain recognized standards, and those students who know of the Alliance respect its work and will seek out members as teachers. By using their designated registry marks – RYT or E-RYT after your name on business correspondence, business cards and advertising, your membership will be instantly recognizable.

The Alliance offers many networking opportunities, as the founders realize that in order to spread the word about the benefits of yoga, their members need to be able to communicate with others on a business level. The Yoga Alliance is very aware that those who run their own studios or those who are independent yoga teachers can become cut off from the main stream. Through their networking opportunities, yoga professionals can learn about opportunities for further education and interact with others on a professional level.

As many aspects of yoga are acknowledged by some in the medical community to help with weight loss, stress, high blood pressure and other medical conditions, having the designated registry mark RYT or E-RYT after your name, means you are more likely to be recommended by another health professional.

If you have a website you use for advertising purposes, those searching for a yoga teacher or studio in their area will also be more attracted to those with bona fide qualifications. By offering a link through to the Yoga Alliance website, the searcher will be given an in depth look at what the Alliance sets out to do, and be given salient information about the many benefits of practicing yoga themselves. It is a good selling point for those who have an established business and for those wishing to build clientele for a new yoga studio.

Registration fees with the Yoga Alliance are low, compared to the many benefits they offer. Schools that offer yoga teacher training can apply under a number of different programs within the Yoga Alliance, as long as a number of criteria are met by the school. The Alliance offers four basic programs: Children’s yoga, pre-natal yoga which is becoming a very popular choice for new mothers, plus either 200-hour or 500-hour certification and can take up to 90 days once the application is received.

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