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Do you meditate?

As atheists, do you meditate or do you consider it as a practice of religious origin and avoid it altogether?

Thank you

By tsallinia5
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1

I read a book by Dan Harris called 10% Happier. That led me to my current practice.

7

I practice Zen meditation. Am also a Zen Buddhist, but I don't consider myself at all religious. Mediation has helped me deal with depression and "uncluttered" my mind smile001.gif

Brerrost Level 5 Apr 9, 2019

The depression thing is big.

@Remowill It was for me.. for 3 yrs I had no real emotions.. just got by with faking it. Tried 4 different drugs and grass... nothing worked.. lol.. my brain was determined to F me up. After 3 months of meditation, I spontaneously laughed out loud.. scared myself! A great feeling, reconnecting with ME. .. I thought I would never know joy again. That's been almost 3 yrs.. love how my Sangha loves me!

7

There is nothing religious about trying to make ones mind still.

5

I have practiced Transcendental Meditation since age 18.

In my 20s, I was extremely wound up with graduate school, working as a YMCA program director, dating, hiking, downhill skiing, weightlifting, swimming laps and running. I'm an intense person with high energy.

Lost my peripheral vision. Had to fold eye therapy into my insanely busy schedule, twice a week for four months.

"This is temporary," the eye doctor said. "You have focused so intensely on school, then work, then school... your vision physically narrowed."

Eye therapy was a blast! Jumping on a trampoline, calling out letters as they lit up. Looking straight ahead, turning off lights on a board, wider and wider to the sides. He was right. I got my peripheral vision back and it stayed.

"You have to let some things go," the eye doctor said. Agreed. Then I changed my mantra to "Let go."

Let go of tension, worry, pain, anxiety, emotions, pressure... it's wonderful. After 20 minutes, I "awaken" in my conscious mind, refreshed, centered and calm.

5

I meditate. I've never considered it religious. It's a way of calming my mind, focusing, or relaxing.

Paracosm Level 8 Apr 9, 2019
4

I do meditate. It has been a practice to control my mind, so I can pay more attention to things that matter and more easily dimiss mental clutter.

It has nothing to do with religion.

Athena Level 7 Apr 9, 2019
3

Meditation is great for you, and you don't need any supernatural beliefs in order to do it. I do ten minutes walking and ten minutes sitting in the park, it's good for clearing my head. Meditation has never made me want to believe in a God.

KJThomas Level 6 Apr 10, 2019
3

I did meditate in the past, but at some point, I merged myself with living a thankful life, in every minute, so I do not meditate anymore.

3

Hey all,
Looks like there's alot of misunderstanding about meditation. In essence, it helps you calm your mind by giving you something to focus on (a thought, a sensation: ie your breath, or what your butt feels like in the chair). Being that we can't actually multitask (think of more than one thing at once), this helps focus our mind... and when we find it wandering, in early practicers, you realize your mind has wandered, and you gently bring your attention back to the focus. (Emphasis on gently, or empathetically..as all minds wander). This isnt the same thing as focusing on one's troubles intensely. Or going blank. In this calm, empathetic focus, you are also practicing relaxation... and simply observing thoughts as they come up...not reacting, not holding on to them or pushing away from them. It's like training a dog... repeatedly correcting the mind, gently, to remain focused on what you choose (like feeling your breath, or your but in the chair). So, Each time you find your mind has wandered and you bring it back to the focus of attention, you have done one repetition of a good work out… And that workout is practicing to control what your brain is doing! So when you're not meditating, you are better practiced at keeping your mind on task and thinking about what you choose to think about instead of being at the mercy of your emotions and monkey brain, which swings through the trees, from thought to though, on a neverending cycle of thoughs, good, bad or indifferent. Hope that helps clarify.

Also...activities that create flow states...like pro basketball or long distance running include aspects of meditation...so can be "meditative" but may not see the same benefits of intentional meditation as described.

[mindful.org]

3

Since age 18, I have meditated for 30 minutes/day. Meditation calms, centers and relaxes me.

Biofeedback in my 30's showed while meditating, my heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature drop. So, I lie on the couch, covered with a blanket.

"You're doing it wrong," a medical doctor I met said. He insisted the only way to meditate is sitting up.

"Stop being so critical," I replied. "I can meditate any way I want." Flush.

I use an app called Calm, and they recommend sitting up, but often the suggest laying flat on the floor as well. I figure which ever way I am comfortable is the best way to meditate. Sometimes when I have trouble falling back to sleep I will meditate in the position I normally sleep in. I don't think position matters, I think your doctor was full of himself. I also notice the heart rate drop.

@HippieChick58

Thank you!

@HippieChick58 I use calm too. And I also listen to a guided sleep meditation every night. I've never got past more than 5 mins and I'm zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

@MsDemeanour I need to get back in the habit. I started a new job 5 weeks ago and I'm having trouble fitting everything into my day that I want to get done.

3

I do on occasion but not as much as I age. There is nothing religious about it.

gearl Level 7 Apr 9, 2019
3

Mindfulness meditation is not religious. Just do it for good mental health.

ToolGuy Level 8 Apr 9, 2019
3

I procrastinate.
Meditation is about self. Religion is about groups.
Don't let religion claim meditation as they do morals. If they do, tell 'em they're dreaming.

powder Level 8 Apr 9, 2019
2

Done it. Actually I do it daily, every morning first thing, as I need two double shots from my espresso machine and that means 3 to 4 minutes for meditation before landing on Facebook to discover the world has only changed for the worse! But then the coffee kicks in and...

Francool Level 5 Apr 10, 2019
2

Yes. Has nothing to do with any particular deity and it predates the so-called world religions. Great way to focus and calm yourself.

2

Mindful meditation is a fantastic thing. Nothing to do with religion.

lee_man Level 7 Apr 10, 2019
2

These days I meditate in my sleep. I often wake up to realize that I have been thinking about everything. It's a strange dream. On the morning that I do not wake up I will be a part of all that.

DenoPenno Level 8 Apr 10, 2019
2

I will pause and give thought to something. I will ponder an issue and seek an answer or resolution. But, no, I do not meditate.

Rustee Level 7 Apr 10, 2019
2

Pretty sure I’d find it an annoying reminding of praying...which I wasted a lot of time on

2

Just putting this here for something to think about.

med·i·tate
/ˈmedəˌtāt/
Learn to pronounce
verb
think deeply or focus one's mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.
think deeply or carefully about (something).
"he went off to meditate on the new idea"
synonyms: contemplate, think about, consider, ponder, cogitate, muse; revolve, weigh up; reflect, deliberate, chew over, ruminate, chew the cud, digest, turn over, pore over, brood, mull over; engage in contemplation, be in a thoughtful state, be in a brown study, be lost in thought, debate with oneself, puzzle, speculate; have in mind, intend, purpose, propose, plan, project, design, devise, scheme, plot; informalput on one's thinking cap; rarecerebrate
"he went off to meditate on the idea"
plan mentally; consider.
"they had suffered severely, and they began to meditate retreat"

Antifred Level 7 Apr 9, 2019

That was very helpful. Find the proper meaning and name of a thing is the beginning of wisdom, ancient Greeks used to say

2

Yes, I meditate. I even attend a meditation center to deepen my practice. Its benefits are shown in neuroimaging, as well as all the non-scientific self-reported stuff. It IS possible to disentangle religion and meditation...same as living a christian life, without commandment #1. Some types of meditation bring in dogma and mumbo jumbo.. chakras, transcendental meditation, reincarnation/castes, but that isnt part and parcel to meditation itself. Buddhist philospophy is also pretty rockin, and, like meditation, can be taught in a quite secular form... I suggest the basic philosophy and/or meditation for anyone. No breaking of atheism need be involved in the least.

2

I think you mean "a practice of religious oringes."

Sorry but I couldn't resist.

2

Yes, my mind is always on overdrive and sometimes I need a break from myself

2

Thank you very much for your helpful insights so far.

1

Meditation has nothing to do with religion. Some religions try to demonise the practice for whatever reason. Check out mindfulness and you will see that it is highly regarded as a technique in psychological practice. Studies have been undertaken to ascertain the beneficial health effects.

1

Buddhist meditation is mindfully being aware of what is happening here and now, not losing yourself in thoughts and fantasies. It is the opposite of religion but that hasn't stopped some societies from constructing a religion around it. I meditate, although I rarely call it that because it is such a loaded word (I prefer to call it "sitting" ), but not nearly enough

Gareth Level 7 Apr 11, 2019
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