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October 19, 2020

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Thanks for Hagen's insightful thoughts.

@ With visualization, you actively conjure up images in your mind. In meditation, however,
@ there's no deliberate effort to conjure up anything, or to create any mental phenomena.
@ Plenty of them will bubble up anyway,

I think this is arguable though, There's evidence visualization can
help focus the attention in one channel. Tuning into one channel
will squeeze out the dozens of images bubbling up from others.

A single image helps concentrate the attention. At least initially
when it's most scattered. After deepening, the attention can
withdraw from all imagery and exist in simple mindfulness which
is the goal for most. For others though, the imagery may be
absorbing enough to continue to be useful. Same for repeating
a mantra or listening to sounds within.

The moment you calm down, your thinking changes automatically, however that happened.

The moment your object of thought changes, the moment you break the old chain of thinking, however that happens, your thinking changes. And you are seeing from a different place. You've raised your consciousness.

The moment you find yourself detached from any thought, you find yourself more focused and aware.

That's movement. Natural movement, however it is brought about.

Relaxation can do it. Visualization can do it, mantra can do it, simply focusing on what is around you can do it. Trauma can do it.

What you attend to pulls you from the habitual train of thought.
Prayer can do it.

Many windows, one light. One path to peace and understanding within our biology. Through stillness comes change, but many methods to move steps on that path.

By letting thoughts pass by, becoming detached from them, seeing them for what they are, the mind becomes focused and aware.

By repeating a mantra, the mind is pulled from other distracting thoughts and becomes focused and aware.

It is all about making natural movement with an approach that works for you. The mechanic discovers the engine she works on by working on it.

In stillness the heart moves forward. In focus we become aware, whether you call that attending to the here and now or attending to an ideal.

Whether you focus your mind not to attend to its train of thought or whether you introduce a point of focus, these all accomplish much the same thing. The actual physical effect is nearly identical. Because our physiology is similar.

The athlete focused on their performance becomes hyper aware of every aspect of their immediate surroundings and finds in it joy.

The actor focused on their performance is in touch with every member of the audience, and finds bliss and connection with their role, even performing a tragedy.

These are not oppositional at all. They are different approaches to generating similar results with the same machinery.

Our problem is not that we don't make momentary progress. It is that we are each on our own wheel of 84 thoughts... In truth probably 8 thoughts which we keep cycling through. And when we are pushed by habit and genetics and conditioning to the next, we entirely forget the former. In the depths of these little boxes we forget the others, or believe this box is truly who we are, and superior to the others. Don't get stuck in any of them. But you won't. You are being pushed through each by the same machinery that helps you function, though its programming has become corrupted. . Only one or two of these boxes are liberating, open-ended, inconclusive, incomplete, thinking beyond ourselves, awareness beyond thinking. Love can do that, a high love. But attached love, another box, takes all that away. That one and the rest pull us back into this prison house. It is our fate.

Deep within us lies the desire to escape. Let's stay focused on that a little longer each day.

Moving through hell is not our biggest challenge. Being complicit in hell's daily operations, entangled and fully participating, that is our larger challenge.

There are many different types of meditation in the same way there are many different kinds of physical exercises.

Even so, Hagen’s personal view seems grounded.

This resonates— “ We need to understand that the wanting mind is the antithesis of the mind of meditation. The mind of meditation is a mind not driven by desires and fears and longings.”

Hagen's comments of meditation are right on. The unity of existence and oneness with Reality are a present condition of all life; they are not something to be either attained or achieved, yet are usually unrealized by most people.

People often describe negative experiences with meditation in Q&As.

https://www.insider.com/why-meditation-can-be-bad-2018-3

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