Is meditation a paradoxical game of ‘trying’ to still your mind, which requires letting go of all ‘trying’ to reach a goal?

12 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    it's about trying to reach nothingness. true peace if you will...

  • Git
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    The fundamental principle of meditation is not just to still the mind; meditation is the focusing of the mind. Stilling of the mind is only one part of the training to achieve focus.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

     Your question does sounds like total gibberish to me zxjq

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  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I consider it as one relationship in subtil area .

    Intense love, profound peace, infinite gladness !

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  • 2 months ago

    No, though it may seem like that at first.  

  • 2 months ago

    That's not exactly how it works.  What you're "letting go of" is trying to "control the mind", and realizing that the thought stream is involuntary, and occurs on it's own.  "Emptying and stilling" the mind is more of a figure of speech, as it is already 'empty and still'.  This is what is meant by the "mind" of 'No Mind' in Zen, that is devoid of content.  Mental chatter and activity is approximately one percent of the Total Mind.

    An analogy would be like watching a movie in a theater or on television, and becoming aware of the "screen", which doesn't move or make a sound.  In meditation, the aim is to practice detracting attention away from the "one percent", and dwelling in the silence and stillness that remains.   Rather than identifying with the "form and content" of the mind, you identify with the 'formless context', out of which content arises.

    It is helpful to disassociate with the mind as "me" or "mine", and recognizing it as an, 'it', that is programmed to operate as it does.  The habitual conditioning of identifying with the mind and it's contents makes the attachment to giving thoughts importance, stronger.  Meditation is a practice that provides a temporary break from being distracted by thoughts, and becomes more permanents with mastery. 

  • 2 months ago

    No, if you are reciting sutras the goal is obviously that you understand the sutra. It's not about stilling your mind, it is about focusing your mind. That is why everything from tea ceremony to karate are a kind of meditation. Zazen is just one variation, and Gregorian chants are in the same league.  Take a look at the guy below, he is focused on his music and suppressing his ego with a basket on his head-nothing empty about it. 

  • j153e
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    The neurophysiology of meditation:  subconscious thoughts, feelings, and memories are allowed to surface, and one regards them without encouraging them or repressing them.  Their interior monologue as a "reactive narrative explaining things" reduces, and there is an increase of peace and calm.  

    "Zen-Brain Horizons;"

    "Quietly Comes the Buddha."

    p.s.  Your question simply asked about the paradox of focusing intention to calmness.  To emend some misconceptions about the process, given in some answers, these conditions and steps:

    1.  The normative human has an ongoing subconscious inner monologue (which btw becomes a major scriptwriter for the same homeostasis process, during lower-source dreams).

    2.  To your question:  unduly-yang intention or focus is misplacing the proper order of the general teaching protocol.

    3.  The first practice ~ = mindfulness--allowing the subconscious physical, emotional, mental, and memory patterns, which arise as ~ eikasia-level naive opinions/narratives, to express as they usually do...but with the key mindfulness technique of not reinforcing them per positive and negative affect, further mentation, etc.

    4.  This non-reinforcement is recorded in various (e.g. fMRI) protocols as a lessening of the normative activity level of neural network processing.  This occurs imho what may be described, in the maths of dynamical systems, as a non-stationary, semi-stochastic/semi-deterministic, non-Markovian processing system.  In metaphor, the wave-like intertwining patterns of neuroarchetectonics move, in some measure, from "ruffled to calmer water."

    5.  It is at this juncture that an (often quite deterministic) function arises (in the "calm water").  If there is pre-mindfulness intentionality, the functor may be quite deterministic, e.g. some types of religious foci, an intent to "play music," etc.

    6.  In the "calm pool," the introduced (and pre-chosen) functor is as a point "arriving" at the "pool," the latter described mathematically as a "state space" (geometrical manifold), and metaphorically as a "pebble tossed into a calm pond."

    7.  At this "point" (of the introduction of a koan, sutra or Scriptural verse, etc.), a novel or "aha" consciousness evolves (elicits a novel or creative clarity).  To your question, while e.g. a "point" or functor may be given at the outset, nevertheless insight meditation, creative playing, etc. are predicated on mindfulness "calming of the normative interior monologue."

    p.p.s.  It is worth remarking that "stillness" is not at all necessarily "emptiness;" mindfulness corrects this conflation.  The normative worldly yang or yin attitude benefits by mindfulness, calmness, stillness, before beginning or applying the focus on e.g. a spirit-containing wording.  If one is interested in the process, a simple praxis sets Love and Truth as the "point suggestions/metrics" after one has mindfully reached a calmer "subconscious homeostasis."

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Only for people who don't know how to stop trying

  • 2 months ago

    What type of meditation are you talking about? In the Christian tradition, meditation is not about trying to reach a goal, it is about making room for God to work and staying silent so He can speak. There is no paradox in trying to get out of God's way.

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