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More Juvenile or Young at Heart

One shall be watchfully alert and conquer [the] defects of Yoga. - Brahma Purana 1986, Vol. 3, p. 698)

It is done by sattva (and sattvic activities), using one's intellect and being very much watchful, among much else. (Ibid.) And what is sattva? It stands for such as balanced, harmonious, holistic kindness; holistic and positive constructiveness; getting or adhering to what is luminous, peaceful and virtuous. Many of these basic sattvic elements may be combined or intertwined too. To adhere to "sound and virtuous living" will be one recommendation, then. (Also see Wikipedia, "Sattva").

Here are some more hints:

One shall guard one's mind and speech by means of good activity. (Ibid.)

One shall avoid arrogant speech coupled with violence. (Ibid.)

One's splendour increases by meditation (etc.). (Ibid. 699, rendered)

Atman (soul, Spirit) is like a flame that shines free from smoke; it is like the brilliant sun - (Ibid., rendered)

Steadily resort to the Yogic practice. (Ibid.700)

The Yogin is in a position to view a clod of earth, a piece of rock and an ingot [block] of gold impartially. (Ibid. 700)

LoBe allied with some of the best methods in the best ways at hand

mm
The moment we fall asleep we are inside.

You can be as gentle as when laying a feather on a goat's horn - that is, delicately.

LoStick to the method selected, and it should help you to benefit or prosper in time

Two main sessions or diving periods a day can work well if you are all right.

LoTrain your focusing prowess for a spell, then return to daily living

If though meditation we become more lively, very merry and younger-looking, then we could also need to avoid getting caught - just like beautiful ladies who don't want to fall for their attractiveness. Appearances matter a lot.

Summary

IN SUM

  1. Even first-class diving methods may give rise to discomfort. The best practitioners know what to do about such things: Go gently enough.
  2. Lack of exercise is to be met with tact, and frankness may not suit a thing like that.
  3. Let those who know how to conduct mental research apply meditation themselves first, before they recommend it. For first-hand experience might be a boon.

IN NUCE First-class meditation techniques are dependent on first-class handling too. Let tact and frankness go hand in hand, and recommend things that solid research vouches for first of all, for single experiences may not be typical of what most people experience, and so on.

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Brain Waves

Meditation alters the brain waves

Our brains produce electrical impulses that travel throughout our brains. These electrical impulses produce rhythms known as "brain waves," that can be measured and recorded throughout all parts of the brain by an EEG (Electroencephalograph). Awareness can be shifted by altering your brain wave patterns, and there are meditation techniques for it. As a result of using them, you can get more relaxed and think more efficiently, for example.

However, all types of meditation do not produce similar brain wave results, according to a study that was conducted by Fred Travis and Jonathan Shear. They reckon with three categories of meditation:

  1. Focused attention, concentrating on an object or emotion. Examples: Tibetan Buddhist (loving kindness and compassion), Buddhist (Zen and Diamond Way), and Chinese (Qigong)
  2. Open monitoring, which keeps attention involved in the monitoring process, typically in mindful of one's breath or thoughts. Examples: Buddhist (Mindfulness and Zazen), Chinese (Qigong), Vedic (Sahaja Yoga)
  3. Automatic self-transcending, which includes techniques designed to transcend their own activity. Examples: Vedic (Transcendental Meditation), Chinese (Qigong).

Cognitive processing and different states of mind are linked to different brain wave patterns (energy patterns). Five main patterns are delta, theta, alpha, beta and gamma waves.

1. Delta waves range from 1 to 4 Herz (Hz), which means there are 1 to 4 electrical discharges in the brain every second. Such waves occur most regularly in deep sleep. Also, loss of body awareness is accompanied by delta waves.

2. In theta waves (4-7 Hz) occur in dream sleep along with alpha waves. Theta waves indicate readiness to process incoming signals. They are manifested during short term memory tasks, and also commonly linked to enhanced levels of creativity, emotions, and spontaneity. During theta waves we may possibly better recover our long-term memories, repressed memories or repressed emotions.

3. Alpha waves (8-12 Hz) are divided in two variants: Slow alpha, also called alpha 1 (8-10 Hz), and alpha 2 (10-12 Hz), relaxed and alert alpha. Alpha brain waves are associated with meditative states, visualization, and idleness of your optical system. Each time you daydream, relax, or close your eyes, alpha activity increases. Alpha brain waves are commonly observed in the rear parts of our brains, while less common in your frontal parts. When we wake up and open our eyes in the moring, alpha brain waves decrease. Alpha brain waves link the conscious mind with our subconscious.These electromagnetic oscillations are typically produced when we are awake, relaxed and not mentally strained, and nor actively attentive of anything. Alpha waves predominantly originate from the occipital lobe at the back of the brain during wakeful relaxation with closed eyes.

4. Beta waves (12-30 Hz), or beta rhytms, may occur when you concentrate actively, or listens carefully. Beta states are associated with normal waking consciousness - with such as active, busy, or anxious thinking and active concentration. Beta waves are divided into three sections: Low Beta Waves (12-15 Hz), Beta Waves (15-18 Hz), and High Beta Waves (19 Hz and upwards). Beta brain waves are at work when we focus, analyze, perform calculations, or think about your external environment. Too much beta brain wave activity in the right hemisphere of your brain is linked to anxiety, tension, and worry. And beta brain wave increases may be of benefit to you if you are depressed. High beta brain waves are associated with fear, anxiety, excessive thinking, rapid thinking, addiction, and states of peak performance.

5. A gamma wave is a pattern of brain waves with a frequency between 25 to 100 Hz. The gamma wave has a role in attentive focus, also called conscious attention. Gamma brain waves cycling at 40 Hz are associated with problem solving in both adults and children. Gamma brain waves are known to aid you in learning and mental acuity. The 40 Hz rhythm can be observed throughout your entire brain; it is not found in one specific area. The wave seems to originate in the thalamus, and then sweeps the brain from front to back. Experiments on Tibetan Buddhist monks have shown a correlation between transcendental mental states and gamma waves.

In addition to how fast the brain discharges (oscillating waves) are, how strong they are and how well synchronised the brain gets during the time that various wave patterns predominate, counts too, and so do accumulated/developed meditation effects over time.

The study by Travis and Shear confirms that various meditation techniques create different brain wave activity (measured by EEG patterns):

  1. Focused attention, characterized by beta/gamma brain waves, included meditations from Tibetan Buddhist, Buddhist, and Chinese traditions.
  2. Open monitoring, characterized by theta activity, included meditations from Buddhist, Chinese, and Vedic traditions.
  3. Automatic self-transcending, characterized by alpha1 (slow alpha) activity, included meditations from Vedic and Chinese traditions.

The authors note that a single type of meditation might fall into different categories, depending in part on the length of time the subjects had practiced meditation, and how well mastered or automated it gets. It would be a mistake to think all kinds of meditation works in the same way. There are many different techniques of meditation, and different techniques (methods) have different effects on the brain waves, on the mind, and on many other sides to being human too.

A review (and article) of the Travis and Shear study that outlines differences among types of meditation, "Focused attention, open monitoring and automatic self-transcending: Categories to organize meditations from Vedic, Buddhist and Chinese traditions," appears in ScienceDirect, available online from 18 February 2010.

On

Anecdotal Divulge a fair Way (method, techniques) to unfit others and face the consequences: good, bad or sort of middling.

Should the good thing be divulged to friends and mates? Well, discretion is not bad. And as with tanning, a little exposure may be all right, while much of it may harm your skin. Other factors can come into play too.

Good Things May Works Well in the Long Haul Too

Cartoon figure
Figure 1. Consider "front, middle, and end" from the start, if it can be. Events, "things" and persons have a front and a beginning; a middle span of occurrence, and maybe a long run and an end not to ignore wholesale.

Explanation

Figure 1 suggests graphically how something (a phenomenon) may be quite good at first, somewhat good in the middle, but turning bad in the longer run (going below zero, and also giving degeneration, as indicated by the anticlockwise rotation).

It is best that a thing works well in the start, well in the middle stretch, and very well in the long run (in the end too). The ideal, "better and better day by day," is OK too . . . If not we make do with less - till better things come - in the long art of living.

It is good to take the long-run effects of things into account as soon as possible, in order to manage our lives much better.

In the figure the horizontal arrow represents time, and the vertical axis represents various degrees of "good, bien, bon" upwards from the zero of so-so, while derangements and abasements are represented downwards from that ground line; the farther away from the zero line, the more intense it gets, is the idea.

Also, time is somewhat divided into three parts or stretches, attuned to Buddha's teachings: He maintains his teaching (Dharma) is excellent in the front, in the middle, and in the rear. Opposed to such a good thing, many phenomena seem good at first, may be so-so later, and turn destructive in the longer run, at last, as when a bubble bursts: One such example is tentatively (heuristically) illustrated in Figure 1:

The arrow that turns clockwise stands for "good" turns, constructive things. They are boons. A flattened clockwise turn is still good, but not as much as the rounded one. Anti-clockwise turns represent "bad", deranging influences. So, in Figure 1 we are faced with something that works well at first (phase 1), not as well in the middle (phase 2), and works harm or derangement in the long run, or later (phase 3).

The art of living consists in finding and sticking to what works well in the beginning and throughout, or for as long as needed. If not, for the lack of such "items" of living, one has to make switches from time to time in order not to succumb to derangements and nasty sides to living.

When something new appears, there is an event facade, a front. In figure 1 such a facade (represented by the vertical bar in the utter left). It helps not to succumb to it, as with salespersons' fronted arguments. A facade may not tell truly about what it covers, what is behind it, so to speak. The facade may turn into a veneer, and neuroticism may take over. Some struggle with that.

The sad example of Thalidomide

What seems excellent in the beginning, may be true or not really so.

And even though a beginning venture may look good and work well for ten years, and "all the people" think it is something wonderful, consider carefully what happened to pregnant women who got thalidomide around 1960. Thalidomide was a sedative that seemed to be unusually safe, with few side effects and little or no toxicity even at high doses. Further testing revealed that thalidomide was particularly well suited to alleviating nausea and other symptoms associated with morning sickness in pregnant women. The drug went on the market as a treatment for morning sickness in more than 40 countries, beginning in 1958. This was "of the beginning".

The harmful effects on the foetuses of various mammals was not recognized during testing. Thalidomide produced severe malformations and defects in an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 infants. Once these effects became known thalidomide was taken off the market in 1961-62. In other words, the "middle" was not good.

The third phase - the end phase" is one of compensations for damages done, and troubles.

And from this we have seen that the facade and first part of a "thing" - a happening, event, a drug, and so on - may look good, and seem very well tested scientifically, like thalidomide was. However, long-range effects on foetuses and the like, are typically not covered. It seems dangerous to overlook that nice point, both when it comes to new drugs, masters, and a lot else.

Do not overlook or forget to consider middle and end phases too

In the Kalama Sutta it is written that the Blessed One (Buddha), knower of the worlds, "through direct knowledge understood clearly. He set forth the Dharma, good in the beginning, good in the middle, good in the end". [Anguttara Nikaya 3.65. Kalama Sutta]

Bear in mind that if a thing or diving method is truly good, it helps both in the beginning, in the middle, and in the end - has a beneficial long-run effect. We should go for equipment and methods and other things that work like that too, neither overdoing or "underdoing" anything. Most meditation methods that have been explored and subjected to scientific testing, appear to be like thalidomide when it comes to the testing in that very careful long-range studies (longitudinal research) may be completely lacking. In such cases personal testing may be a waste of time, because sporadic evidence from single persons do not count very much in sciences that count on statistical averages of large numbers. There are rules of that "game" to adhere to. It seems far better to grasp the three divisions of things, study the research in that light, and probe into traditional thoughts that may accompany the methods you take a liking to.

Figure 1 serves to divide happenings (events, phenomena) into three parts to get a rough, first grasp of a whole. The first stretch is the beginning of a venture. The other stretches tend to be overlooked. And it may cost a lot to do it. You could benefit a lot from knowing that as well.

Common effects of love

Take at look at how love tends to work in America, for example. It may not end so happily as in a fairy tale, for sure. Forwarned is forearmed.

If you prepare in time for the worst not to happen "along the road", or to minimise losses and stress to come after getting a sweetheart, you could benefit throughout life, through all the three phases (above). You need to know how to deal with love. "First thrive, then wive," is an old proverb-counsel.

If the long-run effects of love hit you like hammer blows later on, don't say I didn't warn you and offered statistically founded odds to gauge. [Some major effects of intimate relationships]

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Bad Mating

- robs affluence. Still, there are many sides to this issue. Some of them:

"Never criticize your spouse's faults; if it weren't for them, your mate might have found someone better than you" (Jay Trachman)

"Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate. (Barnett Brickner)

LoDon't like to force anyone to get calm and keep calm

Cartoon figure
Unwilling to change -

While you are contemplating (diving within the mind), make a point of keeping the spine straight, yet relaxed, and proceed as best you can. Forcing oneself tends to put on brakes deep within the mind: You probably forced yourself for some time if you get tense. Rotate the shoulders, neck, and other parts of your body, stretching and flexing calmly and with ease; that could offer temporary help before and maybe during a sitting.

Getting up and taking a walk could help too, but what about taking a wife or husband? Mating breeds a lot of stress that good mates help one another solve, whereas bad mates do not - to the contrary. Maybe you do not want a bad marriage, or are getting old and set in your ways, unwilling to change and make many compromises. Whatever you do, try to practice gentle awareness of what you are doing.

LoMeditation and recreation both take time

One may easily be undermined. In addition to the regular training, a short sitting (meditation) "whenever" in between other doings may be fit.

LoPractice could deepen

While you meditate, let go of unsustainable roles acquired over months or years.

First advantages of TM (Transcendental Meditation) have been researched, measured, sifted and compared. Many long-run benefits of TM are personal and may or may not be quote be unique, but health benefits over some years have been tested and documented. It should pay to know of the findings. [৺ A Lynch Foundation survey]

And some benefits from TM may be realised quickly, others over months or years - some effect you hear or read of may never come your way anyway for a score of years, so why speculate when you can glide inside (meditate) well?

Note that one secret of success is to be meticulous, careful. You have to get your supplies of things you need in addition, and maybe you should refrain from going often and unnecessarily into unchartered waters so as to save yourself possible trouble "Play safe" is a standard counsel.

Summary

IN SUM

  1. If you force yourself or others to something, maybe you try too hard.
  2. Use the benefits that accrue from sound meditation to promote good living. That is in step with the middle way that Buddha counsels. Enjoy quality time if you get to it.
  3. Contemplation is a developed "fruit" of regular, careful practice. The practice can deepen in time, and there may be ups and downs in perceived effects.

IN NUCE Use of much force may harm, and may lead to only middling benefits of the regular practice. Practice gently and sit straight, yet relaxed.

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The Duck Sound and Waking Up

To cut the matter short: Sanskrit for duck and goose is hamsa, also spelled hangsa (Frederick Pargiter 1904:30n.) Swans, geese and ducks are close relatives.

Duck
"Some move with Duck Sounds to the other side of a tunnel, as you can see."

Many machines derive from tools that were great helps first. First man adapts tool to himself, and in some phases later on humans and human living and living conditions have been adapted to machines and machine works, and also in the process of being controlled by them too. Are we to say thanks for such turnings of the screw? That is a part of the "play", even nowadays.

If great help fits you, most likely you need to improve.

Tantra Cunning

Reflect on what is good in order to accomplish something.

Here is the deal. Instead of laying bare potent ways and methods to all and sundry indiscriminately, and instead of hiding it all to newcomers, as some do and call such teachings esoteric, there is a sort of middle way. Ancient tantra shows it nicely. It consists of much figurative language, where "things may and may not be as they appear", or "things are as they appear, yet also contain deeper meanings".

Tantra practices are likely to be fit for the stifled.

What is fit for the adept is shown in treatises. Tantra plays a significant part in Hinduism and Buddhism, frequently using highly figurative language .

LoFirst-class sounds - better be attuned to them

Begin well. Go gently at the start. Learn to observe as relaxedly as you are up to.

After a session of listening in to Aum while mentally repeating a fit mantra along with it, one may spend a few minutes to return slowly to normal activities.

LoThe good thing has to be much comfortable to yourself and at times no one else. Getting a lot richer than others, or being beautiful, could be much like that, at least for a while

What is done in the private sphere is usually surrounded by a shell of a sort - a house, for example, or garden walls, fences and hedges, or all of it. One could also benefit from being protected by lots of discretio. That granted, maybe half of the marriages break anyway, with none practising duck sounds and much heart-warming love-making.

Blandness and sound privacy in intimate matters is much to keep, also at night, during deep and sound sleep. It should help to go along strict, fair and bland. Make life simple without deterioration if you can. An economic life-style helps many. The short of it: If you stand out, the need for protection tends to grow a lot.

Padma-Sambhava
Guru Rinpoche, also called Padma Sambhava. Detail from traditional picture.

Discretion in intimate matters tends to help. Better be forewarned about it.

It helps to be bulwarked too - even though a big wall, motte, rampart and so on costs - and practical. An OK wall can reduce stress and straining. Be practical about it. A deep hedge may work well in not a few cases.

LoSensitive persons need to practise many forms of art very delicately, for the sensitive ones may suffer unless their doings are sensitive too.

Authentic and artistic people may be over-used, which may be time-consuming if not worse. Now, if you want to meditate or practise other gentle arts, there is a way to record subjectively seen changes as time goes by.

  1. Battering changes that make you sad and gloomy and unwilling to listen to the gist-giver or master in question.
  2. More or less harmful or detrimental experiences may surface and make you feel the effects were much bad;
  3. Mid-field changes that pass as neutral, or are fluidly felt to be fairly insignificant in the start;
  4. Pleasant changes;
  5. Very pleasant changes; you would not be without them, for example.

Being methodical about it shuld be a means to find out about changes. The scale ranges from very bad through better and so on to very good. Tie in with research methods like that. It is called the Likert Scale after the American social scientist Rensis Likert (1903-81), and is useful in research that depends on impressions, feelings, attitudes and the like. It can be used as a means of exploring things in many ways. Put another way, "the Likert Scale . . . offers a means of determining attitudes along a continuum of choices, such as "strongly agree," "agree," and "strongly disagree." A numerical value is assigned to each statement." [EB "Likert, Rensis]

You should seek professional help if you need it - before trying thorough meditation. More than half of the population have stress-related physical diseases, according to medical estimates [Hi 505].

Summary

Stress research documents how kindred souls and minds to be with, may cost much as time goes by. And not finding suitable mates and getting one's own family, may be ruinous. Who knows?

At any rate, very delicate persons need to be with people that are not too different from themselves, or there is a risk of not being understood.

Not to know about things that can help greatly along life's journey and its stages may cost a lot.

Who is ahead of the game may benefit. Great gurus have offered help to meditate and gain in so many ways from life.

Page Summary

Phenomena can have a front (facade), and a first phase, a middle phase, and a final phase. It matters not to be taken in by facades and even great first results.

The good things in life are excellent though the three phases, and can be hard to find, especially by a single person's endeavours. It takes tremendous amounts of experience to be able to discern very well in matters of vital importance to the heart, even today, when great hordes of teenagers dream of being popular and neglect that steady performance on top of being genuine is good too -

It is generally good to keep attuned to gentle nature and bulwark for it.

Figurative expressions allow for being interpreted in different ways and being taken in by surface spectacles.

Contents


Meditation tips, and brain waves research findings, Literature  

Pargiter, Frederick Eden, tr. Markandeya Purana. Calcutta: The Asiatic Society, 1904.

Shastri, J. L., ed. Brahma Purana: Part 3. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1986.

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