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Dave Birren June 7th, 2005 05:39 PM

Re: Isn't mindfulness meditation exposure therapy
Jamie Peterson wrote: "the idea that he [Jesus] didn't teach the "god of wrath stuff of the Jews" is rather ludicrous. Almost everything Jesus said (save for his parables) he was quoting from the Hebrew Scriptures (the Jewish Bible - HIS bible). There is no evidence that he was teaching Hindu or Buddhist practice ... "

If you read the Gospel of Matthew, you may find many parallels with Buddhism, especially the Sermon on the Mount, which in my view is straight Buddhism with a slight cultural twist.

I'd like to point out that mindfulness meditation, which has its foundation and most complete instructions, in Buddhist texts, is not a religion, as Jamie seems to suggest. Mindfulness involves working with the mind and requires no beliefs or other religious associations.

Dave Birren

James Spiar July 28th, 2005 01:17 AM

Re: Isn't mindfulness meditation exposure therapy
Mindfulness Meditation takes it's name from the 7th Noble Truth of The Eight Fold Path of the Buddha's teaching. It has been formalized in the Buddhist Tradition of Vipassana, found primarily in Bhurma, but also in Northern India, and now, due to the teachings of Buddhist teachers like Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield who brought over several well known Buddhist teachers, it is not popular in the West.

Clearly, Mindfulness has a Buddhist origin and is part of that religious tradition. However, Buddhism is primarily a practice, and a religion in terms of a way of living. It does not postulate a diety, and therefore differs from the Judeo-Christian tradition. Yet Mindfulness clearly is a Buddhist based practice, and to divorce it from this religion robs the practitioner of much of the practice of mindfulness.

Chate Sivasomboon October 31st, 2005 03:56 AM

Re: Isn't mindfulness meditation exposure therapy
Dear Healer

Are you the same one as "Meditator" who has posted similar themes in this section in past few years? I read it but didn't attempt to reply then. Now I have registered specifically to attempt to reply your questions, but not regarding the aspect of psychotherapy, but in regards to mindfulness meditation practice of the Theravada Buddism as mentioned by Dr. James Spira above.

Congratulation for your meditation achievement which is very unique and few meditators get it, so it is difficult to find those who would understand what you said. Your experience is very important for Mindfullness/Vipassana/Insight meditation of Theravada Buddhism; an important milestone for further spiritual progress. It is a dissociation of awareness from the object of awareness which usually are entangled with each other; the awareness part is very clam and quiet while the object of awareness, which could be various mental states, is separated away, out of the awareness boundary, but still in contact, like water and oil in the same container. It is as if there is another very calm and still observer looking at a mental object beyond his/her self boundary. This experience is similar to that of ordinary people looking at a material object in the surrounding environment but replacing the material object by various mental perceptions such as pain, discomfort or agonized somatic or visceral feelings, or fear, etc.

This state of mind can be achieved in many ways; one way as you have described is by practicing a deep calming meditation (Samatha meditation); the mind remembers this very calming state and when a meditator comes out of this deep calming meditation and continues mindfulness meditation practice immediately, the power of deep calming meditation will enhance their mindfulness practices such that they can discern this body, feeling and various mind states with clarity and with spontaneous acceptance and detachment, which they don’t have to decide or make up their mind to do so; It’s beyond intention. Those who walk this way will achieve what is like another independently floating and glowing mind, persisted all days and nights, amid the chaotic and unruly mind and the very suffering body. It is called “the one who knows”; however this is not the final liberation yet. This method is used mainly by the Forest monk tradition of Thailand and this way of practice is called Samatha-led Vipassana meditation. Those who practice like this are called Samatha-yanik and those who have been liberated by this method are called “Jeto-Vimutta = liberated by mind power.”

This state of mind can also be entered by many other ways such as when mindfulness meditators do it wrong and get stuck and trapped in a very stressful and distressing circumstance such that they suddenly decide to stop doing it, abandoning the strong will or desire to become meditators or to achieve, immediately the compressed mind will spring back forcefully into this state of mind and then “Ureka.” This state might also be aroused by very intense fear or very frustrating and depressing mental states; read the first few pages of “The Now” by Eckhart Tolle.

Another way to develop this mind state is to do direct Vipassana meditation but it must be done properly (it doesn’t mean correctly**) and the mind state akin to what has been described above will occur, but with much weaker intensity and lasting very shortly. It may be called a broadly-open, present-centered, self recollection. This state is beyond intention as well and you have to trick it to occur as frequently as possible in daily life activities, without an intention to do so and might not attempt to hold on to it; the mind will gradually remembers it and it will become stronger in intensity, occurring more frequently and lasting longer; however it might not be comparable to that obtained after the deep calming meditation, but it is enough for usage in developing direct Vipassana meditation. The Pali technical term for this state is “Sati-Sampajanya” and when it arises, the mind state just preceding it may be spontaneously dissolved or coexist in parallel without causing mental agony. However, since it is quite weak, it may not occur in a circumstance with very strong emotional components. It is not the same as the ordinary mindfulness that make people understand their thought contents, or understand what they read, or enjoy movies. It takes times to develop this “sati-Sampajanya” until the mind ceases to entangle with either good or bad mental states. Then further spiritual progression will set in by itself. Those who walk this way is called Vipassana-Yanik and those who have been liberated by this way are called “Panya-Vimutta = liberated by pure wisdom.”

There are various traps or pitfalls in both ways of practices and practitioners of both sides are usually quarrelling with each other as to what is the correct method of practice.

Healer December 29th, 2005 06:40 PM

Re: Isn't mindfulness meditation exposure therapy
Thank you for responding. It's nice to get some validation for my experience. I think that the various traditions have different words for the experience, as well as slightly different expectations for what it "should" be, although I may be wrong. I'm in no way an expert, just a participant. Maybe someone would like to write more about these different states or terms.

I guess I would suggest that anyone interested in understanding whether mindfulness is just exposure therapy go to a few meditation classes with more advanced meditators and listen to them describe their experiences. Usually, in the classes that I have taken, we all describe our experiences in the meditation, and they don't resemble anything that would be considered a reaction to exposure therapy.

Chate Sivasomboon January 30th, 2006 11:26 PM

Re: Isn't mindfulness meditation exposure therapy
Healer wrote “ Maybe someone would like to write more about these different states or terms.” OK, I’ll do it.

Calming meditation VS Mindfulness meditation.

The following writing was from what I have learned from many teachers, who are monks or lay people as well as my own experiences in meditation. It might be wrong and not all Theravada meditation practitioners would agree to what I wrote.

There are two types of meditation in Theravada Buddhism: Calming and Mindfulness, which are diagonally opposite. There are forty techniques for practicing calming meditation; for mindfulness meditation, it is based on the teaching of the four foundations of mindfulness and the teaching of mindfulness breathing.

One example of calmness meditation is loving-kindness meditation. When we think of our lover, the mind latches on to the image projection of our lover, automatically accompanied by multiple resonating mind qualities, which are summarily called love (such as sustained attention, excitement, happiness.) So, we raise up the mental projection of our lover in our mind, and resonating mind qualities automatically follows, causing sustention of these mental complexes within the mind. With skillfulness in calming meditation, we can drop the projection of our lover, while the accompanying mind qualities are still being sustained, and actually resonated stronger, with suppression of other incoming perceptions. At this stage, the perceptions of body projection, body sensation and sound may be vanished; only love permeates the entire sphere of our perception and now we can experience love without a lover! It is a very amazing kind of love; love that is completely devoid of anxiety, doubt, anger, or depression. This is the kind of meditation that was recently studied which showed increase in the energy of the EEG gamma wave spectra, if I remember it correctly. We may choose any loving object instead of our lover. This example is for demonstration of the concept of calming meditation: mental projection object + accompanying mind qualities which causes sustention of the complexes -> effortless sustention of the accompanying mind qualities, without paying intense attention to the primary mental projection -> suppression of the incoming perceptions: body & sound perceptions. It is not that exotic; if we reflect on our ordinary happy or fun activities such as when we are glued to reading an exciting fiction or playing something; it is quite similar in the beginning states. For another example, we can raise an image of a colored glass ball in our mind, and try to sustain this image projection. In order to do so, we must give it a lot of practices, make it fun like playing. The practice session must be accompanied by relaxation and happiness, not stressfulness, anger or frustration. (Think about playing; otherwise, the mental projection is hardly be able to sustain.) After a while, the image projection can be more easily sustained, and we will have a sense that we can control this imagery at our will, with accompanying sustained metal qualities: rapture (fun), happiness and pointedness. Similar to the above, for deeper states of meditation, these accompanying mind qualities are becoming more vibrant and self-sustained at ease without much attention being paid to the primary mental object. When the body projection, sensation and sound perception are vanished, this state is called the first rupa-jhana state. There are four rupa-jhana states and other four higher arupa-jhana states. From the first to fourth rupa-jhana states, various dominant mind qualities are successively dropped, with only pointedness remained in the fourth rupa-jhana states. For arupa-jhana states, it is a progression from the rupa-jhana states, which begin by dropping out the primary mental projection object, and instead paying attention to the vast space, which is surrounding our primary mental object. With further induction of higher meditative states, it will progress up to the vast conciousness state, the great voidedness state, etc.

The primary goal of calming meditation in Theravada Buddhism is to assist mindfulness meditation or it must be followed by insight meditation. (See “Culasunnatta sutta”, which is available in English on the Net; the last part of the sutta is an insight meditation within the calming meditation.) The experiences arising in this kind of meditation are just experiences, nothing more than that, and more important, the real jhana states are very difficult to achieve; it is much easier said than done.

For mindfulness meditation, the practice is based on the four foundations of mindfulness teaching (Mahasatipattatana sutta: The bases of mindfulness work), which is divided into four sections: recollection of the body(Kaya), feeling (Vedana), mental phenomena(Citta), and general phenomena(Dhamma), with many subsections within each section. The first two sections contain both calming and mindfulness meditation techniques, depending on a specific subsection. Those of the last two are of mindfulness type only. To understand mindfulness meditation, I would like to make some analogy. Supposed there was a party within a room which had only a single chair at the center, people continually coming in and going out of the room, taking turn sitting on the chair, or hanging around. In calming meditation, we just fixed someone sitting on the chair in this mind room and just fixedly stared at this one until the perceptions of the rest within the room were vanished, with induction of accompanying mind qualities as described above. But for mindfulness, the mind stance is different; there must be a stepping back quality in the mind or a quality of a noninvolved observer (Healer knows it well), and let people take turn sitting on the chair naturally, not fixed the mind vision only to the chair, but opened broadly to those staying around and those coming in and going out. Briefly, it is the practice aiming to lessen the engagement of the central vision of the mind and open more to peripheral mind visions (or noises.) By this way of practice, the mind will slowly build up the quality that enable it to recognize if it is being entangled or engaged into various mental complexes or not. When the mind recognizes that it is entangled, it can be spontaneously reverted back into the broadly-open, non-fixed-staring mode, without an intention. Then we can begin to neutrally and “simply see” our mind movements without being engulfed into the processes. This practice of “simply see” is not easily mastered either, since we are always engaged or entangled with our mental complexes, and we cannot intend to do “simply see”, otherwise we would fall into a fixed staring mind mode, expecting something to happen to see. Breathing meditation and slow moving meditation can be either calming meditation or mindfulness meditation, depending on the mind stance of the practitioners.

The process of “simply see” by itself is self rewarding; it is light (as opposed to dull, heavy), calming, open up for incoming perceptions, with a feeling of neutrality or calming well-being. The mid-term goal of mindfulness practices is to develop this mind state, and to have it occurs as frequently as possible in daily activities. Further spiritual progression will come by itself as we begin to see that any mind state does not last and we cannot control our mind states at will; we cannot sustain a good mind state forever and we cannot totally prevent bad mind states from happening; what we can do is just “simply see”, without an intention to see.

Some can easily directly observe their own mind and they will be able to practice the Citta mindfulness meditation, by following and observing the varying states of the mind such as happiness, calmness, agitation, anger, stupor, sensual desires, or being occupied by thoughts, etc. It can be done by frequent spot check of our own mind state at each moment without an attached comment. Other may begin by practicing the body section first, by “coupling” the mindfulness state with an open perception of the sensation of the body, sensation of body movement or sensation of breathing, without fixed staring or making a mental imagery of body parts. Frequently coming back to open perception of body sensation, body movement sensation or breathing sensation, the mind will be distracted from an engaged mind state that exists at that moment, and skillfulness will be gradually developed until we can “simply see” our mind movements.

These practices must be done by following observation of what already has happened, not by anticipating. Those who are interested may experience this short-lived, open recollection state repeatedly by simply carry on a vibrating alarm clock that can be set to vibrate every 5 minutes and go on doing normal, non-risky activities as usual, or try going to the movie, or shopping malls, etc. The clock will remind you if you have already plunged into various mind states; mainly if you are fixed staring at something or drowned into a flight of thoughts. But beware, your enjoyment of the activities will be ruined, especially for watching a movie. An example of mindfulness practices: supposed we went into the garden and we saw a beautiful flower, most people would know the flower was beautiful if they were not absent-minded. For those who were well verse in seeing their mind, they might recognize the following accompanying mind states: they were staring at the flower with loss of the open mindfulness state; their attention was fixed to the flower; likeness or attraction was arising in their mind; or they were occupied by thoughts related to the flower. After they recognized these states, the mind would be spontaneously reverted into the open mindfulness state. Those who are progressing well on the path may be able to recognize even small ripples of various mind impulses such as minute degrees of attraction or aversion, before they progress into full blown thought-emotion complexes.

I once enrolled into the course: Dr. Kabat-Zinn’s “Mindfulness-based stress reduction and well-being program”, conducted by a psychologist in SF, almost 10 years ago. It followed the teaching four foundations of mindfulness as described above: from body observation in the first week progressing to the observation of mind phenomena late in the course. But at that time I did not get at the concept of “simply see” or had the experience, and just went through the course. Later I went serendipitously into a deep meditative state a few times, and after coming out, had an experience similar to what Healer described. But the deep calming meditation was and still is very difficult for me to get into, so I reverted to pure mindfulness meditation based on one particular body-based subsection (Sampajanya subsection); it is the technique which “couples” the open mindfulness state with ordinary body movements which occur in the entire daily activities. So movements serve as triggers or reminders of the mindfulness state. However, the experience of a detached observer originated from the deep meditative state, very much helped me understand the mindfulness teaching.

Now we can see that in calming or mindfulness meditation, we do not prime ourselves with positive thoughts, and when we encounter a difficult situation, there could be two ways of response: Firstly, plunge ourselves into a calming state, by induction of a claming (semi-)meditative state, such as by paying attention to a few breaths for those are skillful with breathing-based calming meditation techniques, which will be resulting in automatic suppression or attenuation of the incoming senses of agitation and negative thoughts, or secondly, by spontaneously stepping back from the engaged mental state and just be mindful of the evolving events or “simply see”, being detached without thought processes involved, and the perceived mental complex confronting us may be spontaneously dissolved because we no longer feed it with our thoughts.

The mindfulness state can also occur in a dream, especially when a bad dream or a night terror happens, the mind will be automatically reverted back to calming state similar to when Healer encountered his/her own fear in an elevator. I’m not just kidding; I have had it three times, and I woke up just a moment later with calmness. Later I heard a sermon of my teacher saying that those who practice mindfulness well, bad dreams will no longer happened, since they will be able to recognize this intense emotional state even while dreaming. (I think it is very relevant to the study and induction of “lucid” dreaming.)

Cautions: Calming meditation may have negative side effects if not done well; many schizoid mental phenomena may arise, and if not properly handle, it might be devastating. For mindfulness meditation, it is quite safe to do but the progression is rather slow, and it takes many months in order to appreciate changes. The mindfulness meditation was designed 2,500 years ago in order to instill new positive habits that will gradually replace old deep-seated negative habits ( = Anusaya, in Pali word), so it takes a lot of time and commitment. (It take times for our neurons to make new synapses and forming new neural circuits.) And it may not be done while we are working using thought projections; Artists must beware: their intense emotional creative sessions might be interrupted.

Cesar Bujosa March 4th, 2006 11:40 PM

Re: Isn't mindfulness meditation exposure therapy
I am not terribly surprised that my comment on mindfulness has resulted in so many responses. In 2004 I suggested to the forum that mindfulness functions like exposure therapy which tends to habituate the presence of Anxious Pathology born of core emotional wounds (schema complexes).

The numerous responses were likely due to the exanding awakening that psychology is providing mindfulness meditation new language that can greatly clarify it processes and its efficacy. A relatively simple example:

Common emotional wounds can be thematically profiled as Schema Complexes--to name a few: Abandonment, Defectiveness, Emotional Deprivation, Mistrust, Social Exclusion, Failure, Vulnerability, Entitlement etc.
These complexes are troubling as they form conceptions that can supplant and distort perception.

Schema complexes are not formed solely from enduring misfortunes like not having one's needs met or being deserted. They require the attachment of some type of avoidant coping like having to Look Good, Habitually Seeking to Redeem Honor, Habitual Lying, Getting Over, Getting Back, Aquiring, Being Seductive, Being Judgmental or Chronic Anesthetizing and Burying Thoughts.

It appears to me that mindfulness can function as a replacement for all avoidant coping. This is is how it heals: When the avoidant coping mode is replaced with the adaptive coping mode of mindfulness, it severs the complex. The result is that the old emotional wound gets accepted, reintegrated and you get symptom reduction. Feeling abandoned or feeling emotionally deprived becomes and mere mental event rather than a current reality that must be reacted to. The over emphasis on the emotional wound is diminished as we awake to the understanding that our fear is a mental event with little survival value.

What I have just profiled in psychological terms conceptualizes an emotional healing. However it also provides us a perspective on the nature of mindfulness. A post Freudian-Scienced Based-Western Culture is investigating Mindfulness--and the West is doing an awesome job.

Some of our Western Teachers, secular psychologist and Scientist are fully valid devotees as they are devoted to the pursuit of liberation. New language, new conceptualizations and new blueprints are being developed to map out the path to enlightment.

Today I am asking myself: "Isn't enlightenment breaking through the veil formed from our Schemas and their projected conceptualizations. Aren't I failing to perceive my real circumstance because I am mistaking conception for perception? What does seeing without schema-driven conceptualizing look like? "

Healer March 6th, 2006 03:34 PM

Re: Isn't mindfulness meditation exposure therapy
"Isn't enlightenment breaking through the veil formed from our Schemas and their projected conceptualizations."

Yes. But, all that I write is from my experience of samadhi.

" Aren't I failing to perceive my real circumstance because I am mistaking conception for perception?"

It seems to me that you are doing a very good job of discerning conception from perception. After all, you are asking the question. So, you understand and experience both.

Enlightenment, from my experience, is as much a different emotional/mind state as major depression or PTSD is from an untraumatized state. Very special circumstances in the mind have to occur in order to experience it. However, it's far easier to set yourself up for major depression and PTSD than it is for enlightenment. Many more people suffer from depression and fear than those who have managed to experience enlightenment--I think.

"What does seeing without schema-driven conceptualizing look like? "

Enlightenment, freedom from schemas, is clarity, well being, and knowing. It's first knowing without words, which moves to feeling, and then words to describe the knowing. It's a state the perceives outside of the feelings that schemas create, and allows one to chose from a state of well being how to respond to the feeling that the schema is creating.

Put another way, that enlightened state is a role of well being and clarity, which allows one to chose that role that one will have when observing and feeling a schema. It's experiencing the feeling of a schema without being whipped around by it.

The schema conceptualization (feeling) still exists. There's another mind that is separate from it. This has been my experience.

But, I have a feeling that it's something that can't be captured in words. You have to experience before you can know.

You ask specifically about seeing. Do you "see" when you experience your schemas? People tend to experience their intuitive world with their senses--feeling, seeing, hearing, etc. They use language to describe the way that they intuit their world. "I see what you are saying." "The way I hear it." "I feel that." I tend to default to feeling schemas, but my second strongest intuitive sense is seeing, but I can't imagine seeing a schema.

Chate Sivasomboon March 8th, 2006 08:03 AM

Re: Isn't mindfulness meditation exposure therapy
In my earlier posting, I have avoided mentioning the word enlightenment( Nibana or Niravana) since it may sound too weird for people here, and it is unproven scientifically. It is also beyond the goal of psychotherapy which aims to bring those with mental troubles back to the ordinary normal mind states. Well, it has been mentioned and some questions have been raised, so I write the following just in case that someone might be interested to follow the path of Vipassana for their own liberation, according to Theravada Buddhism.

Actually in Buddhism, all ordinary people are considered psychologically abnormal, living beneath the shroud of one greatest schema: “I & Myself,” which causes every one to hold tightly to the idea that “I must be happy and I must avoid suffering (by all means and forever)” , and constatly devise all schemes to achieve this goal, and get whipped around as a result. The enlightened mind state is actually described as “normal.”

According to Theravada Buddhism’s theory of enlightenment, Healer is exactly right to state that the moment of enlightenment needs a special mind state. In this state, the mind will spontaneously pass into a brief moment of intense concentration (Samadhi) of at least the first rupa-jhana state and then break through the veil of “I & Myself” conceptualization to have the first glimpse of liberation; the state of perception without a perceiver (No I being tagged.) Then the veil will close up to shroud the mind again. The wisdom will occur that “I & Myself” is mere conceptualization, which is called Sakkaya-ditthi. (Ditthi = view, concept; Sakkaya-ditthi assumes that this body and mind are I and Myself.) The platform for this act of severing to occur is the full “Sati-Sampajanya” state: the exact state that Healer has experienced, but the object of awareness at this moment is the mind itself. That is why we need to cultivate the mind state of “Sati-Sampajanya” and to have it occurred as frequently as possible in order to investigate our own mind. This first enlightenment stage will spontaneously occur (but unpredictably when) after strong equanimity has been built up in the mind (the stage of Sankarubekka-yana; Sankara = mental concoction, Ubekka = equanimity, Yana = wisdom; neutrality to good and bad states of the mind.) But even though this conceptualization has been cut through once, strong attachment still remains. Further cutting through of the attachment to the body will occur in the third stage of enlightenment and the cutting through of the attachment to the mind itself will occur at the final fourth stage of enlightenment, which is the stage of complete throwing of the body and mind back to the Universe where they belong (Patinisakka; those who read mindfulness breathing sutta will see this word in the last section.) In one sutta, the last sentence says: the cutting (of wisdom) through (the veil of Ignorance) of me (Buddha) was similar to that of a little chick breaking through its eggshell.

A little more about mindfulness meditation. Recollection of feelings (Vedana) are divided into body feelings, which are roughly categorized as pleasant and unpleasant, and mental feelings which are categorized into pleasant(attachment), neutral and unpleasant(aversion.) When we are angry or depressed, we certainly know that we are angry or depressed and usually we tell ourselves by thinking “ I am angry or I am depressed”, but this is not yet a mindfulness practice. These two mind states are usually associated with aversion towards: 1. The mentally projected contents or objects of thoughts which we “want” to change or get rid of (well, for anger, it is our enemy and for depression, it is ourselves) and 2. The accompanying unwell feelings of the body (somatic and visceral) and the mind which are resulted from the mind state of aversion. When we feel angry or depressed, we usually fixedly stare into these mind states, and even when we recognize that we are thinking about these mind states with resultant cessation of thinking, these states usually would not be spontaneously resolved. There would be lingering unwell feelings remained for some times after the thinking processes have already stopped. If we observe carefully, we will see that we harbor some aversion toward these lingering unwell feelings accompanying these mind states; it is aversion within aversion which must be recognized. Only when we are skillful and can just “simply see or feel ” with neutrality, not harboring this secondary aversion or when we recognize it, only then these confronting mind states would be spontaneously resolved.

For those who are skillful in entering deep calming meditative states, the golden period for observation of their own mind is when they gradually transit back from the deep calming meditative states toward the normal ordinary mind state. Be observant of the progressively emerging mental phenomena during this period; don’t just simply wake up, and walk away. Keep practicing this way, you will be skillful in seeing your mind and you might experience the mind phenomenon similar to that of Healer. According to the texts, the useful calming meditative state is the fourth rupa-jhana state, which comprises of pointedness and equanimity, with happiness being dropped away. The needed mind quality in the deep calming meditation is equanimity (not happiness), of which its power will anchor or enhance the mind position of detachment and neutrality while observing the various emerging mental states during this transition period.

Progression along the path of mindfulness depends on the ordinary psychology of rewarding: a self–relying, harmless happiness or fulfilling contentment of calming well-being substitutes for a transient, harmful happiness which is dependent on other people or surrounding circumstances, and eventually followed by unhappiness. By this way, we can stop pursuing many suffering-generated, happiness hunting schemes. By mindfully investigating our own mind, the state of calming well-being will arise, leading to diligence in mindfulness practices, which will generate more abundance of the calming well-being moments in daily life. And the nature of the sustained state of calming well-being will anchor the mind, leading further into the stage of Samadhi (here, means a firm, unwavering mind state, does not means calming meditation) and Ubekka (equanimity), which is the last frontier of the ordinary mind states before the mind will be spontaneously catapulted into the first enlightenment stage. ( The 7 factors of enlightenment: Sati, Dharma investigation, Diligence, Happiness, Calming and relaxation of the mind, Samadhi, Ubekka.)

Finally I would like to quote a Pali chanting phrase: “Aehipassigo Opanayigo Pujjuttung Vetituppo Vinyuheti” : Come to see and test the teaching by yourself. Bring the teaching into yourself by investigating your own body and mind. You will see the results by yourself and only by your own efforts, no one else can help.

Cesar Bujosa March 17th, 2006 10:19 PM

Re: Isn't mindfulness meditation exposure therapy
Thank you Healer and Chate for your extraordinary contributions to the discussion. I am impressed with how readily Healer adapted to the idea of Schemas. Though I deal with Maladjusted Schema in my work, I recognize that all schemas (mental constructs) form in terms of our needs, drives and desires. Schemas are indeed as Chate suggested :"the veil of “I & Myself” conceptualization."

I have become quite resolved to experience a liberation from "conceptualization." I imagine I have been in this venture for quite a while, yet I am in a rather new phase. I am entering this phase with the question: How much cognitive change can occur with a samadhi/moksha/satori experience? How healing is the single experience devoid of ongoing meditation?

Some 40 years ago I had a startling encounter with an unanticipated reality while experimenting with LSD. The observation of timelessness and the recognition that "I was not what I thought" has indeed left an impression (to say the least about it). Though the experience was meaningful, it failed to save me from regressing into self-delusion and egoism. The schemas support our neurosis. Is the neurosis restructured upon reentry?


Healer March 31st, 2006 01:04 PM

Re: Isn't mindfulness meditation exposure therapy
"How much cognitive change can occur with a samadhi/moksha/satori experience? How healing is the single experience devoid of ongoing meditation?"

I am probably not the one to be answering these question. I only write from my experience, although I have had some wonderful experiences.

From my experience, a single experience with Samadhi was life altering. A few large, and many small. One can meditate for a very long time, if not a lifetime, without ever experiencing Samadhi I think. But from what I have read, even if the benefits from meditation are not life altering, or even obvious, people do seem to experience change from ongoing practice. I am not sure I would say that that is true for me, but I think that the benefits from meditation may be more subtle. It is Samadhi that has altered my life.

As my guru has said, big Samadhi, small Samadhi, meditation, contemplation, it's all part of it.

From my experience, I tend to think that there are some minds that are super-meditators just like there are great pianist and chemists. I'm not one of them. I just got lucky.

"Some 40 years ago I had a startling encounter with an unanticipated reality while experimenting with LSD. The observation of timelessness and the recognition that "I was not what I thought" has indeed left an impression (to say the least about it). Though the experience was meaningful, it failed to save me from regressing into self-delusion and egoism. The schemas support our neurosis. Is the neurosis restructured upon reentry?"

Neurosis is restructured upon re-entry, and sometimes some of the change seems lost over time. That's my experience. But even when it seems lost, I have been left with the memory of the experience that is also life altering. I remember the feeling of tremendous love and well-being. I can practice going back there in meditation. I can develop it in my life. I can play with it in meditation/contemplation and make if more of me, and that is what I do.

I find that meditation does what psychotherapy tries to do, but can't. No one can know from the outside looking in what is happening in another person. Often, it's not obvious to ourselves; Samadhi makes it known. That's the brilliance of the mind in meditation.

The answer is always found within.

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