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Old Jul 11th, 2013, 17:04 PM   1
calm
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Anyone interested in Buddhism, Mindfulness, or meditation?


Okay, its not strictly a religion, but I thought I'd better put it here as many would not agree. I would not call myself a Buddhist, but I am increasingly interested in Buddhism, and use it more and more as a reference in my life. It started by being interested in mindfulness, which is now often used in cognitive therapy. From there I started to read more about Buddhism myself. My favourite Buddhists to read or listen to are Thich Nhat Hanh and Pema Chödron.

If anyone is interested we could talk about different points, ask questions, comment on different books, audios or videos... We could even do some collective meditation.



 
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Old Jan 14th, 2014, 20:54 PM   2
Marie000
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this is an old thread, but hopefully you're still around.

Hi!

I am quite interested in Buddhism, meditation and mindfulness. I have been practicing on and off for the last few years. Right now is pretty off, but I really should get back to it.

I started studying and practicing meditation on my own and later joined a meditation group. That helped a lot. It was based on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. I like the approach. Not too "religious-y" I guess. I love the rituals of religion, but I have never been able to have any blind faith.
Unfortunately, soon before I moved away from the city, the group ceased to exist. And right now I live in the country where there is nothing like that available.

I guess I have always had the excuses of being too busy to get back to it. It's a pretty stupid excuse. Meditation only takes minutes and it helps me so much. Before I started meditating, I suffered from anxiety, panic attacks and depression. I found that meditation helped with the panic attacks, and sometimes with the anxiety too. It was difficult though because it sometimes made my anxiety worst in the short run. I used to be extremely anxious about any unexplained bodily sensation. Meditation made me more aware of what was going on in my body, which means I was more aware of bodily sensations and therefore more anxious.

Recently I started reading "The Mindful Way through Depression" and it is so interesting. I still suffer from depression on and off and the mindful approach makes so much sense. Yet I stopped reading it for now. I should get back to it.

On a more positive note, I found that the skills learned through meditation are long lasting. Even if I had stopped practicing for a long time, when I was giving birth to my daughter, I was able to get my mind settled by being mindful of my breathing and observing the pain without judgement. At least it worked for a while. After that I started whining and screaming.

Well, I hope that made some sense. It's nearly bed time and my mind is really fuzzy.



 
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Old Jan 15th, 2014, 05:08 AM   3
calm
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Yah! So glad to read your post! Your path sounds similar to mind with the panic and anxiety. I do agree that at first it can be a bit daunting to meditate when you suffer from panic because we spend a lot of time running away from ourselves and distracting from the fear, its hard to open and observe, but so very healing. I'm always reading some book on either meditation or Buddhism, at the moment I am reading The Art of Meditation. I know what book you mean but haven't read it myself, I read the similar one but for anxiety. I know what you mean about meditation and not finding the time, its like other things like exercise or diet, you know its good for you and you will feel better but its making the commitment and effort to do it, I can be quite bad at that, and often old habits offer immediate comfort, even though they are not the best option. Anyway, really glad to have find you, looking forward to talking about all this with you! XXXX



 
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Old Feb 9th, 2014, 17:28 PM   4
Marie000
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Hi,
Sorry I haven't replied earlier. I have been going through really stressful times, and meditation and mindfulness were the last thing on my mind. I know that meditation helps me with stress, but I also try not to force myself to do it in times when things are rough. I remember in the book about mindfulness and depression they mentioned that during an episode of depression is not the time to undergo their meditation program. So stressing myself about how bad I am for not meditating certainly wouldn't help.
Now I am feeling better, for the most part. I am trying to get into the mindset to get back to doing things that would cheer me up even more, including meditation, yoga, exercise, eating better, etc. Of course, not all at once.

Good news is I will be moving soon, closer to the city. I will be able to find meditation groups. I think having other people around will help me stay on track.

I was thinking about you today when I was looking on coursera for online classes to take soon. Not sure if you are familiar with coursera (coursera.org) but they offer free online classes given by various university around the world. In March, there are two different classes about Buddhism, one is "Buddhism and Modern Psychology" and the other "Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World" Both sound interesting. I might take one, or both.



 
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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 01:26 AM   5
calm
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I seem to have some strange intuition going on lately and found myself thinking about this thread last night and thinking you were going to reply, how bizarre

I never heard of Cousera, it sounds really good, I will have a look!

It sounds like you know your own mind and you are sensible, not forcing meditation to happen.Force doesn't exist in Buddhism, things should be soft and open and kind, force or willpower goes against it all so its good you don't do that, many do! The thing is at first it can be so hard that most people just think "I am not good, I will never do this right" Without realising that everyone will get distracted 1000 times as that it what their brain is used to. I agree that having some sort of meditation group helps a lot, it helps me, I feel close to my sangha. By the way, if you have a tablet try Insight Meditation Timer, you also meditate with people and if you pay for the pro edition it has some great bells (they help me if I have a bell to play each minute to bring me back to the present during meditation). Take good care, lovely to read you XXXX



 
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 13:31 PM   6
Marie000
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Hi there!

I decided to stop by to say hi and then I saw your brand new signature. OH MY!! Huge, huge congratulations!!! TWINS!!??! That is so exciting!

Now I just feel like squeeling with excitement for you (okay... I won't really squeel... my daughter is napping, but I am squeeling internally) and I completely forget what I was going to write.

So how are you feeling?

Things on my end are going okay. We just moved to a new city. I was hoping to find other people interested in mediation, but nothing so far. All I found is a for-profit yoga-pilates-meditation center. I find it a bit expensive, and the for-profit thing kind of turns me off. Maybe I'm just too fussy. Any meditation would do me some good.
Hopefully life with settle to something resembling normalcy soon and I can slowly work meditation back into my routine.

I hope all is well on your end. Congratulations again!



 
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 16:03 PM   7
calm
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Thank you so much! I am over the moon. I am not being very mindful though, the pregnancy with the joys and fears takes me totally out of the present moment. I am reading Mindful Pregnancy though and its a "serious" book. I totally get you with the not wanting the profit thing, and the paying the money in itself isn't even the issue as I gather the same with you. I prefer things that are organised like a sangha of people just wanting to get together and share the mindfulness. Lovely to read you! XXXX



 
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 19:07 PM   8
Marie000
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The meditation place I used to go to (when I was living in the big city) asked a fee for the meditation evenings, but they also never turned down people who couldn't afford it. The money was just to cover their own costs, so that was fine by me. I just don't like places that are set up more like an overpriced gym.

I never read any mindfulness books about pregnancy. I always meant to, but somehow 9 months went by so fast.
Shortly before my daughter was born, I did read "Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood" I really liked it. The author did go a little much into her own life, but she also talked about both motherhood and Zen Buddhism in ways that were very relatable. I remember reading the first chapter where she talked about the myth of the perfect mother and how it really is a myth and I just wanted to cry and hug her.



 
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Old Mar 20th, 2014, 03:45 AM   9
calm
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I know what you mean, as long as its not money to make a business out of it,money is fine. I read momma zen too, and she has another book I liked even better: "Hand Wash Cold" that I really do recommend! XXXX



 
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Old Apr 1st, 2014, 10:48 AM   10
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I saw the "Hand Wash Cold" book and it sounds really good. As soon as I have a little bit of book budget, I will pick it up.

Last weekend I had a really bad episode of depression. It wasn't pleasant, but at least it gave me a little push back to meditation and Buddhism. I put away the "mindful way through depression" book months ago and I haven't started reading again. I know the book makes a lot of sense and I know it could really help me, but it's hard to accept help sometimes, even from a book.
I'm still not ready to pick up the book again. I decided instead to find my books about Buddhism that have been lying in a box for years now. I started reading again and it feels great. It was a relief. I also took out my old mp3 player where I store my guided meditation and tried that again. It felt great.
So I am easing my way back, I guess. Last night I started reading my book again and I just didn't enjoy it. It was a chapter about how it's important to avoid toxins in our lives (from food, violent movies, and so on.). I decided I wasn't in the mood to have anybody tell me what I should and shouldn't do (I get enough of that from myself every day). So I skipped to the next chapter.

So far, it has already helped me feel better and appreciate the little things. Today however is not a good day. I am cranky and keep losing patience. I have some stressful things going on, plus my daughter is going through a phase where she keeps throwing tantrums at every little thing. I spend nearly all my time alone with her and it is wearing me down.

It will get better though. One day at a time.

So how are you feeling? Is the nausea getting any better?
I can't remember when the nausea was at its worst for me, but probably around 9-10 weeks. I just felt constantly sea-sick. The only thing that really worked for me was eating lots of ginger.



 
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