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View Poll Results: How much do you meditate?
I don't meditate.
11
19.30%
I don't meditate, but I tell people I do.
1
1.75%
I meditate occasionally.
8
14.04%
I meditate weekly.
3
5.26%
I meditate a few minutes each day.
23
40.35%
I meditate 30 minutes or more each day.
11
19.30%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

Meditation Habits

Old 09-04-2011, 08:14 AM
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Meditation Habits

At 11 month sober I have kinda run out of things to say about sobriety: "Its great, I am happier than I have been in decades. I highly recommend it..."

My meditation practice is an ongoing source of fascination for me. The amount of benefit I get from meditation is way out of proportion to the amount of effort I put in. I would not be here without it, and I am curious about other SR members meditation practice.
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:37 AM
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Hello. Meditation is a great topic, I've done it, or it's done me for many years, of course, I need to discount all those under the influence, they were just sitting drunk (Sitting quietly buzzed on vodka and vicodin is easy and seemingly pleasant but it is just mindlessness in the wrong sense). My main recovery methods include, but are not limited to, sobriety, diet, exercise, and zazen. In sitting I don't try to do or accomplish anything special, just sitting calmly, breathing, here and nowing. Very nice. I like what Shunryu Suzuki has to say in Not Always So "As long as you are clinging to the idea of self and trying to improve your practice or find something out, or trying to create an improved, better self, your practice has gone astray. You have no time to reach the goal."
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:36 AM
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I try to do self hypnosis at least once a day. I focus on relaxing and picturing things in my life how I want them to be. They more I focus on positive outcomes and happiness the happier and more positive my life has become. It's also a great stress reliever and it takes less than 10-15 minutes to accomplish. I also use self hypnosis nightly to focus on a positive tomorrow and to help me drift off to sleep. I have never had a problem falling asleep since I started using this method.
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:28 PM
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I try really hard, and it seems, well, hard! I have read a few book, and somehow, my mind is often very much racing, like it is too fast to follow.

I find that adding elements of sensory deprivation helps, a lot: a totally dark room, ear-plugs, crawling under the covers. I like to imagine a kind of cocoon.

I tried a flotation/isolation tank once, and that was really quite an amazing experience...after one hour, my body felt less tense than if I had a five one-hour massages, from the world massage master. (whoever that might be!)

I would really like to construct one of these tanks, one day. As it is, I use other means for sensory deprivation, and this helps me meditate, as the noise and sirens and such in the city make me rather jittery, often.
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:31 PM
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HuskyPup sometimes I think my whole life is sensory deprivation
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by recycle View Post
... I am curious about other SR members meditation practice.
I serendipitously discovered ZaZen:

Zazen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by HuskyPup View Post
I tried a flotation/isolation tank once, and that was really quite an amazing experience...after one hour, my body felt less tense than if I had a five one-hour massages, from the world massage master. (whoever that might be!)
During my experimental years, before alcohol was my DOC, I did dozens of flotation-tank sessions. Several Tanning Salons in my area had them. I worked my way up to 8 hour sessions. I hallucinated quite a bit at first but eventually grew so used to it, I ended up sleeping threw them. I guess you could say it stopped working for me. Lucky for me there was no withdrawal from it... LOL!
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Old 09-04-2011, 03:01 PM
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I don't meditate. I read a lot. I think a lot. I ponder. But every time I try meditating, I fall asleep.
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:36 PM
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I do zazen daily, whether I want to or not. Sometimes it really sucks, sometimes it is really cool.
I used to get frustrated because nothing "mystical" was happening, and then I realised I was doing it wrong!
Typical for me, to screw up "just sitting"!
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:04 PM
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I said a few minutes daily but it's probably closer to every other day. I want to do more and longer because I believe I. It, I just always seem to forget until Im dozing off to sleep!
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:37 PM
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I live in a zen buddhist training center. We practice 2-3 hours of zazen every day as a group, and periodically we go into retreat for 2, 4, but usually 7 days where we sit zazen for 10 hours each day
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:54 AM
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Thanks for the comments and poll responses. I have found meditation very important to my recovery:
  • Initially I gained a sense of separation from my thoughts. The notion that "I don't have to believe every thing I think", allowed me to navigate a lot of the early delusional thinking about alcohol (and nearly everything else).
  • I believe meditation helped me regain some concentration skills. I was in pretty rough shape when I first got sober. I could barely read a page of text before I was hopelessly distracted.
  • Right now, I think meditation is helping with gaining a healthy separation from my emotions. By a healthy separation, I mean I don't react to every feeling that comes along. When something annoys me I can see the emotion arise, then decide an appropriate reaction.

Of course I don't have any evidence that meditation helped with any of those things. It could be that my brain is naturally awesome and I would be exactly where I am today with or without meditation, but I doubt it. Given my past history, I don't make consistently healthy choices when left to my own methods...

For those struggling to learn meditation, I highly recommend finding a teacher. Meditation is a skill, and I found great value in having some guidance.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:24 AM
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Along with meditation I chant and do yoga every single day.
After 45 days I'm pretty much on the same boat in regards to "sobriety is great etc."

There's no way I'd be here without yoga or the ability to connect with my higher self.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by HuskyPup View Post

I would really like to construct one of these tanks, one day. As it is, I use other means for sensory deprivation, and this helps me meditate, as the noise and sirens and such in the city make me rather jittery, often.
I live in a noisy city as well. In deep mediation I feel "noises" as colorful vibrations of the universe. Meditation is where I realize I am all with one. In order to wake up from this reality we must all realize this at the same time. That we are one. This is the message I received in meditation yesterday. The guidance received from our higher power are gentle nudges in an attempt to wake us up.

I have visions and hear voices of the Devine in every meditation. I feel so peaceful as I am cradled by the universe.

My husband has not had these experiences and wonders if he ever will. Many of us need a teacher or even a CD for guided visualization. It takes time to get to know the mind and to become familiar with it. Very often it would take meza very long time to relax while I simultaneously thanked and dismissed every thought that approached me. These days, I know right where to go and how to get there. It took time and practice.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:07 AM
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Also, through meditation, my feelings of angst and worry are replaced by feelings of peace and trust. Meditation is very valuable to say the least.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by recycle View Post
Thanks for the comments and poll responses. I have found meditation very important to my recovery:
  • Initially I gained a sense of separation from my thoughts. The notion that "I don't have to believe every thing I think", allowed me to navigate a lot of the early delusional thinking about alcohol (and nearly everything else).
  • I believe meditation helped me regain some concentration skills. I was in pretty rough shape when I first got sober. I could barely read a page of text before I was hopelessly distracted.
  • Right now, I think meditation is helping with gaining a healthy separation from my emotions. By a healthy separation, I mean I don't react to every feeling that comes along. When something annoys me I can see the emotion arise, then decide an appropriate reaction.
I can relate to all of this. I started meditating when I cleaned up a few months ago, and mindfulness meditation in particular seems to conduce more self-awareness, at a distance of sorts. I seem less susceptible to getting hooked by my thoughts and emotions. Like you I have no evidence of anything -- maybe my head is just clearing up -- but my ability to focus seems to be improving.

I've also been practicing that sort of "effortless" mantra meditation rooted in Vedic tradition and popularized by the TM organization. It doesn't seem to do much for mindfulness/self-awareness or concentration, but I do find it sorta refreshing and it seems to clear my head.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:04 PM
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I am excited to be starting a meditation practice at the end of the month.

I have worked a lot of recovery from a variety of angles, but this one has been missing, and I finally feel ready to add it in.

I am doing a course called Mindfullness Based Stress Reduction. Which is an eight week course on meditation etc and how it can help in everyday life.

I am excited to see the impact meditation has had on all of your lives.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:18 PM
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I practice yoga a couple of times a week (meaning the poses), but I try to practice yogic thought and action all day. I frequently notice that I am bringing myself back to the moment, focusing on breathing, observing emotions passing through, observing how different parts of my body feel (tense/relaxed) and where they are in space at any given moment. I do this while walking from one place to another, driving, chores around the house, standing in line at walmart.....
It has helped me alot. I do not practice in the sense of becoming a master yogini by any stretch of the imagination...I simply practice to reduce my suffering
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:48 AM
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For the last five years I have been doing early morning meditations -- 45 minutes before I have coffee. It is now a habit and I just do it without resisting or expecting too much. Some mornings I'm sleepy or distracted, but the cumulative impact this has had on my sober life is tremendous. Lightness and greater awareness, more skill at focusing or calming down.

I use a vipassana technique I learned on retreat, sitting and paying attention to the breath. Simple and it helps me stay connected to my body.
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:10 AM
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I do mind meditations every morning and night, about 20 minutes each to clear my mind. It has really helped me keep my emotions in sync when I start going every place. I also love to meditate to many forms from closing my eyes and listening to George Harrison's My Sweet Lord to the Quran in Arabic. The Quran is so sleep inducing as it is relaxing and rhythmic. But if I stay on top of it, I can meditate to it. Since I don't have any specific religious beliefs I can "pray" to anything that talks to a HP.
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