Author Topic: How Can Meditative Stablisation Help Us in our Daily Jobs and Careers?  (Read 7740 times)

icy

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In the first place, it is quite difficult to have an experience of Meditative Stablisation. But once you do have that experience, it can be extremely beneficial in dealing with your day to day life, your job, and your career. This is because that kind of experience will give you the ability to prevent yourself from being overwhelmed by circumstances, good or bad. You will not fall into extreme states of mind: you will not get over-excited or depressed. Your attitude towards circumstances and events will be as if you were someone observing the mind, without being drawn away by circumstances.
For example, when you see a reflection of a form in a mirror, the reflection appears within the mirror but it is not projected from within. In the same way, when you confront the situations of life, or deal with others, your attitude too will be mirror-like.
Also, when a reflection appears in the mirror, the mirror does not have to go after the object that is reflected: it simply reflects, spontaneously, on the surface. The same with you: since there is no attachment or agitation at having these 'reflections' in your mind, you will feel tremendous ease and relief. You are not preoccupied by what arises in the mind, nor does it cause you any distress. You are free from conceptuality or any form of objectifying. And so it really does help you, in allowing you to be free from being caught up in the play of emotions like hatred, attachment, and the like.

dondrup

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Well said Icy.

Upon the meeting of the correct causes and conditions, our karma will ripen and manifests as our experience.  Unless we remain stable, calmed and focused, our minds are easily distracted by its countless manifestations.  Everything that manifests is the play of our mind.  If we can develop our concentration, we can move on to develop our wisdom.  With wisdom we are then able to manage our reactions towards objects that are the manifestations of our minds.  A well-developed concentration can observe any object that appears. With wisdom, we understand the nature of these objects.  With the application of concentration and wisdom, we can control our attachments, aversion and neutral reactions towards objects in our daily life.

ratanasutra

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In our life, we come across with many things that challenging and difficulties in our jobs daily either with bosses, colleagues. We have to face with harsh speed, un-presence actions, blame, complain, excuses etc. It quite hard for people who mind untrained to deal and facing it without losing our composure and inner peace.with it.

The stable mind with wisdom from the practice will help us to endure and overcome these conflicts and obstacles we encounter in our life. We will see things in reality, have clear and correct understanding of impermanence and deal it without the delusion.

Apart from that our mind will be more focus, mindful and more aware from from the meditate which help us to make decision and planning as well.
 

dsiluvu

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Quote
In the first place, it is quite difficult to have an experience of Meditative Stablisation. But once you do have that experience, it can be extremely beneficial in dealing with your day to day life, your job, and your career. This is because that kind of experience will give you the ability to prevent yourself from being overwhelmed by circumstances, good or bad. You will not fall into extreme states of mind: you will not get over-excited or depressed. Your attitude towards circumstances and events will be as if you were someone observing the mind, without being drawn away by circumstances.

QUESTION:
1) HOW DO YOU DO THIS MEDITATION? IS IT BY FOCUSING ON A PARTICULAR YIDAM? OR BREATH? OR WHAT?

2) IF IT IS A YIDAM - THEN WHICH YIDAM WOULD U RECOMMEND? TSONGKHAPA/TARA/MAJUSHRI? ANYONE? and HOW DO U MEDITATE ON THEM... VISUALIZE HOW/WHAT?

3) Ok so your attitude/perspective towards circumstances/events will be observed more objectively... is this what u mean by observed? If this is so would you then become a recluse like person? Drawn in? Or become even cold? How would you or could u ensure that, that does not happened to you as we all know that the mind very tricky and often we tend to trick ourselves from "feeling" anything because perhaps deep down inside it "hurts" too much? So yeah how do u achieve this is more what I would like to hear and know... then all the rest of the stuff as mentioned dondrup i believe will then follow.

So can anyone please clarify please - the basics as it will help many who are reading this thread and probably very new and probably too shy to ask :)

Manjushri

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What is Meditative Stabilisation?
Meditative Stabilisation is a virtuous, one-pointed state of mind that stays fixed on its object of meditation, without distraction to other things.

I belive that having strong meditative stabilisation will help us in our daily jobs and functioning because training in meditative stabilization brings along with it mindfulness and awareness. Training in meditative stabilisation allows us to hold our mind to focus on one object during meditation. In the process it gradually minimizes our tendency to have a "monkey mind", train us to train our mind to dispel laziness and our concentration power which is developed will surely be beneficial to one in their daily lives. One will be able to see their emotions arising before it actually arises, hence able to stop it. One will be aware of their surroundings thus act in accordance and with most benefit to the situation. One is more mindful and alert, and most importantly, one's mind would be stable, not affected by any circumstances whatsoever.

I have read many stories of retreatants going into meditative retreats, and in the process, gaining attainments. Buddha Shakyamuni stayed in meditation despite being attacked by maras, Naropa stayed in meditation in a cave and received direct visions and transmissions from Vajrayogini.

I would like to share some parts I extracted of a transcript from a teaching on “Training in calm abiding in order to perfect meditative stabilization”. given by Ven. Thubten Chodron:

"Meditative stabilization is the far-reaching attitude, and we train in calm abiding in order to perfect it. There are the mental factors that we need to develop, particularly those for cultivating calm abiding and concentrating our mind. If we can understand this material well, then when we sit down to meditate, we will be able to do it quite effectively.

The mental factors point out different aspects of our own mind. When we hear the teachings, we gain a
kind of intellectual understanding. But the key is to find these mental factors in our own mind when we sit
and meditate, and try and develop some concentration. For example, when it talks about excitement, we
check: “What does excitement look like in me? When excitement arises in my mind, what does it feel
like? What’s going on? And what is mindfulness? When I am mindful, what is my mind doing? What is it
that is mindful? When I have introspective alertness, what does it mean? What is my mind doing?” If we
learn all these things, and then apply them in our meditation, then it gives us a lot of tools and skills that
help us concentrate.

“Samatha” is the Sanskrit term (for calm abiding). The Tibetan term is “zhi-nay”. “Zhi” means calm or peace and “nay” means to abide, to stay, to rest or to remain. The mind is abiding on an internal object of observation, for example, the image of the Buddha or the breath. An internal object is an object of the mental consciousness. The mind is not directed outside towards something. It’s not abiding on chocolate cake. It’s abiding on an internal object of meditation.

The internal object is an object of mental consciousness. We do not develop calm abiding by staring at a candle. For example, if we use the image of the Buddha as the object of meditation, we might look at a picture of the Buddha for quite a long time to learn the details of the Buddha’s appearance. But just staring at the picture is not how we’re going to get calm abiding. What we have to do is lower the eyes and be able to recreate that image in our mind and hold our mind on the internal object. The mind is ‘calm’ because it is calmed down from running to external objects. When you sit and do thebreathing meditation, you will find that your mind is “traveling” – it is at work; it is at home; it is in Tahiti; it is everywhere else. It is not calm.

[Audience:] What is the difference between using the Buddha image and using other objects as our object of meditation, since they are all empty (of inherent existence) anyway?

When you think of chocolate cake, what effect does it have on your mind? When you think of the Buddha, what is the effect on your mind? Different images have different effects on the mind. If we imagine the figure of the Buddha in our mind’s eye, it has a psychological effect of calming the mind down and generating a lot of faith. Like when we are all crazy and going bananas, and we see the Buddha is just sitting there, his long, narrow, compassionate eyes completely still.

On the other hand, the image of chocolate cake in our mind is going to generate a whole lot of energy to get off the meditation cushion and go get it! It is also going to be hard to concentrate on the image of chocolate cake, isn’t it? But if you use the figure of the Buddha, the object is very pleasing, and the more you look at it, the more you want to look at it. It is refreshing to sit and concentrate on the Buddha. To generate calm abiding, it is important to have conducive external and internal conditions during the beginning, the middle and the end of our practice. If you have these conditions, then developing calm abiding becomes quite easy. Some people say you can even do it within six months. On the other hand, if we do not have these conditions, then even if we try and meditate for years, it is going to be difficult to gain the realizations.

In our normally busy life, it is virtually impossible to have all of the conditions for developing calm abiding, even just the external conditions. For this kind of practice to reach its completion, we need to practice it in a retreat situation, not just in a session before you go to work and a session when you come home. But still, we can do something. There are nine stages you go through before you attain full calm abiding. What we can do, is we can work on the first few of these nine stages. We can work on them even if we are living in the city and have a busy life. We can make progress on these. This is quite valuable. Our mind starts getting calmer and more concentrated. Also later, when we are able to get all the conditions together and go into a retreat, it will be easier as we have had some previous training.

Here is the definition of calm abiding from Lamrim Chenmo: It is a samadhi accompanied by a joy of mental and physical pliancy in which the mind abides naturally without effort for as long as one wishes, without fluctuation, on whichever virtuous object it has been placed.

“Samadhi” is sometimes translated as “concentration”. We usually think of samadhi as being in a state of single-pointed concentration so that even if a canon goes off beside you, you remain undisturbed. Actually, samadhi is one mental factor that we have right now in us. The ability to concentrate. It’s not very well-developed in us right now. But we have samadhi now and what we want to do is develop, enrich, and strengthen it till we enter into the state of calm abiding, and even beyond. There are other stages of concentration beyond calm abiding.

Calm abiding is a type of meditation and it can be a prerequisite for other types of meditation, and they can all be done in combination. For example, after you have calm abiding and you meditate on love with calm abiding, then your meditation on love becomes very powerful. Your mind has the ability to stay on the virtuous object for as long as it wants to.

When you use your calm abiding to meditate on emptiness, you will be able to stay on the object of emptiness. When you turn your mind of calm abiding to the relative nature of the mind, the clearknowing quality of mind, it is able to remain there. Calm abiding is like a talent or a skill that you can use in many, many different ways. You can use it together with many different things.

Calm abiding is something that is also found in non-Buddhist traditions. In other words, it is not a quality or an ability that only the Buddhists have. I think the Hindus practice it. I think some Christians also achieve it. Anybody can have it as long as they have the method and the technique to develop it. In fact, in the Buddhist scriptures, it is mentioned that many Hindu sages developed very strong calm abiding, but they mistook that for liberation from cyclic existence. In Buddhism, it has been made very clear that calm abiding alone is not what liberates one. We need to conjoin it with the wisdom that realizes emptiness. Otherwise we can’t get liberated. But so many people mistake calm abiding for liberation, because it is so blissful when you develop calm abiding.

Calm abiding is something done in common with non-Buddhist traditions, but there is still a difference when a Buddhist does it and when a non-Buddhist does it. When a Buddhist does this practice, it is conjoined with refuge in the Triple Gem. It is conjoined with the determination to free ourselves from cyclic existence. When somebody on the Mahayana path practices it, it is conjoined with the wish to become a Buddha for the benefit of others. If you have firm refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and you develop calm abiding, you’re going to do something completely different with it than if you don’t have refuge.

The same happens if you have the determination to be free while developing calm abiding. The determination to be free also gives you the strength of mind to do the meditation to develop calm abiding. It is going to be much easier to get yourself to the cushion to meditate if you have it than if you don’t have it.

It is the same with bodhicitta. If we have at least some feeling for bodhicitta, this motivation is going to help us attain calm abiding more easily. After we have attained calm abiding, we will use it in accordance with the motivation of bodhicitta. It is going to be used in a different way than if we do not have the bodhicitta motivation. It is actually quite interesting, and it is an important difference. It is like two people who both have credit cards, but depending upon each person’s motivation, the credit card will be used very differently."


Extracted from: http://www.thubtenchodron.org/GradualPathToEnlightenment/LR_107_MS_7Feb94.pdf

Manjushri

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Also, I would like to point out that meditation is important in one's spiritual path. In the Lamrim, Liberation in the Palm of Your Hands, taught by the great Je Pabhongkha Rinpoche and edited by Trijang Rinpoche, there is a whole day taught on meditation. In the discourse for the forth day, Pabhongkha Rinpoche taught the correct meditative postures for the body, the offerings needed to be laid out, the visualizations that needs to be done. Alone, this goes to show how beneficial meditation is, when done correctly and with correct motivation.

Here's an outline on the topics covered in the Lamrim towards practising of calm abiding:

a. Arranging proper circumstances for calm abiding meditation

    1. Live in a proper and conducive place
    2. Have few desires and attachments
    3. Be content
    4. Avoid distractions and extraneous activities
    5. Maintain pure ethical conduct
    6. Abandon preconceptions about sense objects

b. Actual way to practice calm abiding

    1. Five deterrents to calm abiding
        a. Laziness
        b. Forgetting the object of meditation
        c. Laxity and agitation
        d. Not applying antidotes to the deterrents
        e. Applying antidotes when they are not needed
    2. Eight antidotes
        a. Confidence or faith in the benefits of calm abiding
        b. Aspiration
        c. Joyous effort
        d.Pliancy, serviceability of body and mind
        e. Mindfulness
        f. Introspective alertness
        g. Application of appropriate antidotes
        h. Equanimity
    3. Nine stages in practicing calm abiding
        a. Setting (placing) the mind
        b. Continuous setting
        c. Resetting
        d. Close setting
        e. Taming
        f. Pacification
        g. Thorough pacification
        h. Single pointedness
        i. Setting in equipoise
    4. Six mental powers to attain these stages
        a. Hearing
        b. Thinking
        c. Mindfulness
        d. Introspective alertness
        e. Effort
        f. Familiarity
    5. Four engagements to employ to do this
        a. Painstaking (forceful)
        b. Repeated (interrupted)
        c. Uninterrupted
        d. Effortless (spontaneous)
    6. Way to develop actual calm abiding from this

http://www.thubtenchodron.org/GradualPathToEnlightenment/O_TrainingInCalmAbiding.html

dsiluvu

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Thanks Manjushri for your effort in answer my question but very very long! If I am new... I'd still would not know where to begin haha... but thanks for ur honest effort. However, I did a little home work on my own and I found  this from the bottom of the whole long story page and it is perfect... answers every thing in just one paragraph! x
 
It is by His Holiness the Dalai Lama... and in just a few lines He sums is all perfectly...

Quote
There are many types of meditative stabilisation, but let us explain calm abiding (samatha) here. The nature of calm abiding is the one-pointed abiding on any object without distraction of a mind conjoined with a bliss of physical and mental pliancy. If it is supplemented with taking refuge, it is a Buddhist practice; and if it is supplemented with an aspiration to highest enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings, it is a Mahayana practice. Its merits are that, if one has achieved calm abiding, one's mind and body are pervaded by joy and bliss; one can--through the power of its mental and physical pliancy--set the mind on any virtuous object one chooses; and many special qualities such as clairvoyance and emanations are attained.


http://viewonbuddhism.org/dharma-quotes-quotations-buddhist/calm-abiding.htm

Cup with this... I am now positive that what MY GURU prescribed, the Yidam practices is but exactly to achieve this. Hence... follow thy GURU's prescriptions always :) We're the patient, they are the Doctors x

Klein

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Meditation is very beneficial and can definitely help us in our daily jobs and careers and all aspects of our life. There are even corporate training companies that provide meditation courses. According to a training company in London, they wrote the following in their website:

"In this current economic climate, in which also your company operates, many employees are now under pressure to perform with limited resources. UK businesses lose approximately £ 530 million a year due to stress-related illnesses, according to the Health and Safety Executive.

With Europe in the grip of a major recession, there has never been a better time to help your employees become more emotionally and mentally resilient and prevent burn-out."

Physiological Benefits of meditation are:

Leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation.
Good for people with high blood pressure.
Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate.
Decreases muscle tension
Helps in chronic diseases like allergies, arthritis etc.
Reduces Pre-menstrual Syndrome symptoms.
Helps in post-operative healing.
Enhances the immune system.
Reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress
Enhances energy, strength and vigour.
Helps with weight loss
Reduction of free radicals, less tissue damage
Higher skin resistance
Drop in cholesterol levels, lowers risk of cardiovascular disease.

Psychological Benefits are:

Builds self-confidence.
Increases serotonin level, influences mood and behaviour.
Resolve phobias & fears
Helps control own thoughts
Helps with focus & concentration
Increase creativity
Improved learning ability and memory.
Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation.
Increased emotional stability.
Improved relationships
Easier to remove bad habits
Increased Productivity
Improved relations at home & at work
Able to see the larger picture in a given situation
Helps ignore petty issues
Increased ability to solve complex problems

biggyboy

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No doubt, meditation is definitely beneficial to anyone mainly towards our daily living and jobs too. In every aspect of our daily activities or tasks, everything that we do can be meditation.  One needs to be mindful, focus and aware of things on hand and surrounding always.  Aren't these are some of the important ingredients to have in having a successful and productive daily jobs or career?

This will again falls on the persons attitude and ethics whether he or she is compassionate enough not to harm others in whatever ways. Compassionate enough to consider the feelings and needs of others as well as those of oneself.  When there's no feeling of compassion for others how then, can a person achieve mental stabilisation or calmness and clarity? 

Example: It reflects in one's work performance, if one would say they are doing their job but yet there are mistakes and faults and selectiveness in performing then there's no compassion on the part of the person nor the ethics.  On another note, if one does not have the warmth, friendliness and care for the needs and feelings of others how would the person be successful in doing their job right and not burdening others?

All in all, if the person has the fervent wish to improve and become better, he would strive to have the rightful skills and knowledge to do it right as all these can be changed and not restricted.  It all boils down to the person whether he would want to improve on his work and assume responsibilities on all aspects of his life.

icy

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There are many forms of meditation. Some involve mantra recitation, some staring at an outside object such as a Buddha/Deity, some involve directing your awareness in a formulated manner.  Meditation of calm abiding stated here is quite different to these other forms of meditation. The practice stated here is simply "SIT, BREATHE, RELAX" is designed to bring your body and mind into full  harmony, to quieten the mind naturally over time, through repeated practice and not using any kind of force, and to improve and deepen your level of concentration.   This form of meditation is for any one who seek to become less stressful in the modern day lifestyle and to help them accomplish more in their daily jobs and careers without the need to identify with any brand of "ism".


It is the gate through which you gain the solid basis of a calm, stable, concentrated bodymind able to further investigate the reality in which you live (internally and externally).

Once seated in a quiet place, upright and comfortable take a few deep breaths to centre yourself and start quieting yourself.  The core of the practice are:

i)   Breathing and Relaxing.
ii)  Let thoughts be.  Let them pass.  Do not cling.
iii) Always return to the sensations in the body as you breathe and calming the body as you breathe.
iv) How much you benefit from this practice is deeply correlated to the time you invest in it.

Summary of the practice:

Sit comfortably: spine erect but comfortable, a sense of being awake and aware.
Breathe in and out naturally: paying attention to your bodily sensations and calming bodily tensions.
Let thoughts be: without following them and without suppressing them.
When you find you have got caught on the "thought-train" return awareness to bodily sensations and calming the body: do so without guilt.
Remain aware and awake: if you feel sleepy it is often because your body posture has leant forward and your breathing become shallow.
Try and find as much time in the day as you can practically find to undertake this practice and undertake the practice on a daily basis.

Science researched that the practice has a solid foundation identified in neuro-physiology.  Neuro-Physiology is at work behind the scenes.  Scientific research has begun to document these quite widely:

"In this modern world we are trained from an early age to identify with our intellect and thinking. We all, to a greater or lesser extent, "live in our heads". The furniture we use, the ways we use it and the habits of body and mind we accumulate add to this imbalance.  This practice of paying attention to bodily sensations as we breathe in and out, and calming the body as we do so, whilst learning not to identify with thoughts has a strong backing in Neuro-Physiology.

One of the most important features and reasons for the success of the practice is that it re-embodies us: that is to say that it reconnects our body and mind - our bodymind.

The brain has twelve pairs of nerves that enter directly into the brainstem bypassing the spinal cord. Most of these nerves serve functions in the head and face: smell, hearing, sight, etc. The tenth "Cranial" nerve, the Vagus nerve or "wanderer", exits the skull through the Jugular foramen, a hole in the base of the skull. It is one of only two of these pairs of Cranial nerves that enters the body.
The Vagus nerve has branches that connect to the ears and larynx and it plays a significant role in speech and language comprehension through these. It then travels down the neck inside the back of the throat and enters the chest cavity. It provides feedback to the brain from the lungs and heart including blood pressure, oxygen and carbon dioxide content of the blood (via the Aortic receptors). The Vagus also provides feedback to the brain from all the internal bodily organs in our abdomen and plays a pivotal role in controlling the stomach and the pancreas. It has strong links to all of the main nerve plexuses (groups of nerves like mini-brains) in the body.

It is clear to see that with connections to language and thinking (through the branches to the ears and larynx), breathing and heart (including bodily stress-levels) through the branches to the lungs, heart and Aortic receptors, emotions and feelings which actually arise in the body when we become aware (through the strong links to abdominal organs and especially stomach - hence the expressions such as "gut feelings"), that the Vagus nerve is the information super-highway that links body and mind into one: bodymind, that links the physical to the intellectual through it's expression of feeling, animal instinct and involvement of language.

This practice revitalises and fully activates the Vagus nerve in a very direct manner. It is the principal Neuro-Physiological mechanism through which the practice works due to the nerve's connections to the functions the practice changes: bodily and mental stress levels (or level of calm), thinking, awareness of the bodymind as one connected entity - as opposed to the sense of the body being separate from the mind. Additionally, and over time, many other positive changes will occur to brain function and Neuro-Chemistry as a result of this practice."  :)

pgdharma

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In the chaos and complexity of today's world and the stressful life-style, it is not a surprise that people are attracted to meditation. Having meditative stabilization is the most practical way to solve man's problems -- personal, social, or global.

Listed below are some of the advantages that can be immediately experienced in meditation practice.

    1. Meditation increases awareness of inner potentialities and helps us to be more positive in life.

    2. Meditation helps to fortify will power and increase self-confidence.

    3. Meditation provides mental calm and tranquillity and frees the mind from restlessness, agitation, fear, and worry.

    4. Because meditation promotes mental health, it can positively influence physical health. People who are free from worry and mental turmoil, whose minds are calm and serene, usually enjoy comparatively good health.

    5. By helping the mind to concentrate and become better organized, meditation can help increase efficiency in day-to-day work and in the performance of duties and responsibilities.

    6. Meditation promotes virtuous qualities like compassion, good will, confidence (saddha), wisdom, energy, perseverance, determination, etc.

    7. Meditation helps to purify the mind of defilements (kilesa) such as greed, selfishness, hatred, and jealousy, and frees it from the preconceptions and delusions that normally prevent proper insight into reality. A meditator is therefore capable of seeing things the way they really are and can better deal with the life experience.


   These benefits can be applied to personal and interpersonal use depending on circumstances and the ability of the meditators. If one practice well, it will help the mind to concentrate and become better organized thus increasing the efficiency in day to day work as well as boost up self-confidence, which will be a big help to our jobs and careers.