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Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?

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Hi all,

Admittedly I am trying to learn more about concentration meditation so that I can use it as a practice that will benefit my life in terms of finances, health, and other endeavors I choose to do.

Basically, my goals are very materialistic and selfish in a way - I do not know if this is the right way about going for achieving them.

What do you guys think?

RE: Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?
Answer
6/20/20 6:10 PM as a reply to Shawn Ryan.
Hello,

I would say, watch out, because it could have exactly the opposite effect that you are looking to get.

Cheers

RE: Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?
Answer
6/20/20 7:55 PM as a reply to Shawn Ryan.
Is not worth, better use your time doing a course on how to manage your finance etc. 

Meditation at best can help yoi to relax and stress out but the time you need to achive solid results maybe is not worth for what you are looking for. 

Anyways the classic daily guided meditation laying on bed can be a good thing to do! 

RE: Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?
Answer
6/20/20 9:29 PM as a reply to Shawn Ryan.
Luangphor Viriyang Sirintharo teaches an entire 6-month course on meditation for laypeople for effectiveness in everyday life, including business administration.

https://www.nationthailand.com/premium/30381841

RE: Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?
Answer
6/20/20 9:56 PM as a reply to Shawn Ryan.
Might work but you could run into an issue called the hindrances. Basically, it is usually taught that effective concentration is hard to achieve if you are caught up in the rat race or persuing hedonistic goals because you will tend to be in mind states that don't lend themselves well to concentration. 

RE: Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?
Answer
6/21/20 12:13 AM as a reply to Shawn Ryan.
Shawn Ryan:
Hi all,

Admittedly I am trying to learn more about concentration meditation so that I can use it as a practice that will benefit my life in terms of finances, health, and other endeavors I choose to do.

Basically, my goals are very materialistic and selfish in a way - I do not know if this is the right way about going for achieving them.

What do you guys think?

You should read the book The Surrender Experiment an autobiography by Michael Singer. He started out only wanting to meditate in the woods and ended up becoming the CEO of a billion dollar company.

Singer is somewhat of an exception because he became involved in businesses out of a desire to help others not to enhance his own situation. Many people who do a lot of meditation drop out of the rat race because they become less materialistic and prefer to lead a life with greater serenity. There are also other risks. Meditation does enhance creativity and may help you to stay focused on a task, but when you try to concentrate in meditation you notice what thoughts arise that distract you. Over time this teaches you quite a lot about your mind. You find out what makes you unhappy and what doesn't. In most cases people discover that it is materialistic and selfish desires that make them unhappy.

Early in life Singer decided to always take the path that life presented to him without regard to his personal likes or dislikes. The result was that he started out meditating in the woods and step by step, trying to help people who came to him, he ended up the CEO of a billion dollar company and the director of a spiritual temple where yoga and meditation were practiced and taught.​​

Singer had bought a parcel of land in the woods in which he planned to mediate in seclusion. After he built a house for himself on his property, someone in his community asked him to do some construction work. That led to more requests from others and Singer eventually formed a construction company. Singer funneled the proceeds into building a temple on his property where people from the community met to practice yoga and meditate.​​

When Singer bought one of the first models of personal computer on the market, he wrote programs for himself until the owner of the store where he bought it asked if he could refer clients to Singer. That eventually led Singer to form a software company. The software company grew and grew and merged and merged until Singer was CEO of a billion dollar company​​

Singer never wanted to be a billionaire, all he ever wanted to do was meditate alone in the woods.

The way Singer would meditate is discussed in another book The Untethered Soul. He did not do concentration meditation to suppress thoughts, he would just watch the activity of his mind and maintain a type of objectivity and distance himself from thoughts and emotions so he would not get carried away by them. He used the example of a lucid dream to explain the technique. In a regular dream you don't know you are dreaming you think the dream is real. In a lucid dream you know you are dreaming. Singer would try to be "lucid" while he was awake. He would try to always be aware that thoughts and emotions were just that: thoughts and emotions, he didn't have to accept them as reality - he didn't have to get carried away by them. For example if something happened that might upset him, he always knew he didn't have get carried away and become upset. He was able to maintain serenity in the face of whatever disturbances life might send his way.


Here is an article containing a brief interview with Singer:
https://www.yogajournal.com/meditation/surrender-experiment

This article is about a similar style of meditation
https://www.lionsroar.com/how-to-meditate-dzogchen-ponlop-rinpoche-on-mahamudra/

RE: Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?
Answer
6/21/20 1:57 AM as a reply to Shawn Ryan.
Shawn Ryan:
Hi all,

Admittedly I am trying to learn more about concentration meditation so that I can use it as a practice that will benefit my life in terms of finances, health, and other endeavors I choose to do.

Basically, my goals are very materialistic and selfish in a way - I do not know if this is the right way about going for achieving them.




Hi Shawn, and welcome to DhO.
What do you guys think?

I think you are a greedy, materialistic [expletive deleted, per DhO forum rules] who has no business in this forum.

love, tim

p.s. I recommend any of the many variants of so-called Christianity, teaching the so-called "Prosperity Gosepl." Use Google to find that, it won't cost you a penny.

here's an interesting angle, also for free: https://parabola.org/2016/04/29/wordly-happiness-buddhist-happiness-mu-soeng/


RE: Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?
Answer
6/21/20 12:56 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Siavash:
He has just asked a genuine and honest question! No harm..!


My friend, I have just given him my genuine and honest answer. No foul

love, tim

RE: Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?
Answer
6/21/20 1:00 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
My friend, I have just given him my genuine and honest answer.


Yes, that's excatly what I thought.

RE: Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?
Answer
6/21/20 6:10 AM as a reply to Shawn Ryan.
Shawn Ryan:
Hi all,

Admittedly I am trying to learn more about concentration meditation so that I can use it as a practice that will benefit my life in terms of finances, health, and other endeavors I choose to do.

Basically, my goals are very materialistic and selfish in a way - I do not know if this is the right way about going for achieving them.

What do you guys think?

First of all welcome to DhO and I think you did come to the right forum!
Many practitioners here have at one stage or the other practiced Qigong, Yoga, Ki breathing, or any other non-awakening based practice and Im sure many here can point you in the right direction.

I too started my meditation journey in a similar fashion of trying to find a way to make my life better. I did not go after my job but after my stress and PTSD coupled with paranoia issues. I cared little about insight, awakening or any of that buddhist stuff. As a matterof fact I did not know much about it at that time anyway.

So I practiced what Aikido practitioners do; Ki-breathing as thought by an aikido master Koichi Tohei.
Already after 6 months of daily 30 minute practice I have noticed my paranoia GONE (and I mean a very bad case of being paranoid for many years) and I even felt more foucused, had lots of energy and alertness without much effort. 

Can concentration practice lead to Jhana states? Yes it can. This might ignite a "wow" effect and curiousity to explore this some more. This will lead to Insight based practice. It happened to me.

That being said, all this depends on where you are right NOW. Did you already pass the A&P Event  in your life? Like having vivd images of the universe, some very vivid dreams, some out of body experiences, etc ... This was my case which means the mind was already in the Insgiht motion of cycling. Nothing can stop this if you have crossed the A&P (Arising and Passing Away of Phenomena stage of insight). But you dont sound like being in this situation as usually people do report that "wow" A&P Event they've expereinced.

In case you did not pass this then 20-30 minutes maximum a day can be rather "safe" to practice and hold you bellow the A&P stage. But this is not full proof. 
If you do this kind of breath concentration then give it several months before seeing results Dont just give up after a couple of months or few weeks emoticon 

Nothing wrong with you trying to improve your life by unifying mind and body. Its a good place to be in. 

RE: Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?
Answer
6/21/20 6:00 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
Shawn Ryan:
Hi all,

Admittedly I am trying to learn more about concentration meditation so that I can use it as a practice that will benefit my life in terms of finances, health, and other endeavors I choose to do.

Basically, my goals are very materialistic and selfish in a way - I do not know if this is the right way about going for achieving them.




Hi Shawn, and welcome to DhO.
What do you guys think?

I think you are a greedy, materialistic [expletive deleted, per DhO forum rules] who has no business in this forum.

love, tim

p.s. I recommend any of the many variants of so-called Christianity, teaching the so-called "Prosperity Gosepl." Use Google to find that, it won't cost you a penny.

here's an interesting angle, also for free: https://parabola.org/2016/04/29/wordly-happiness-buddhist-happiness-mu-soeng/


Well hello there.

Maybe I have no business here, too, but at least I read the boilerplate on the way in.
Avoid abrasiveness, derision, insults and mockery.

Also

No name-calling or ad hominem attacks
I don't usually jump right into others' unpleasantness until I learn to read the room a bit better, but being new, myself, I feel like there's a lot to learn right now about whether it is worth investing any energy into DhO.

Maybe there's something obiviously clever about your message to Shawn that I am not Awakened enough to understand. Or maybe DhO is a community for hypocrites.

Thanks for recommending Christianity. Right now you're not a great poster boy for whatever else.

- Grin


RE: Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?
Answer
6/21/20 11:38 PM as a reply to Shawn Ryan.
Thank you to those who have commented.

Admittedly, I am quite a bit hedonistic and selfish if you will. I'm not enlightened or spiritually fulfilled as some of you are but I am definitely learning. My primary motivation for making this post comes on the back of being in a position in life that I am not fond of nor happy with. I am a single guy in his late 20s who is working a desk job for a modest salary. In other words, I'm not moving the needle of life in any significant way, I'm sort of stuck in a rut. My interest in meditation solely lies in "what can it do for me?" and as some of you pointed out, this is not a good way to approach this practice at all.

I have done meditation for years on and off but never really progressed to any significant point, I don't believe I've ever attained what is referred to as "jhana", but if I will be my own hindrance into accomplishing a goal like attaining jhana for my own benefit, then perhaps it is not wise to pursue this practice if for any other benefit than reducing stress and anxiety.

Thank you.

RE: Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?
Answer
6/22/20 12:34 AM as a reply to Shawn Ryan.
May you be well and happy.

RE: Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?
Answer
6/22/20 1:40 AM as a reply to Shawn Ryan.
Shawn Ryan:
...

I am a single guy in his late 20s who is working a desk job for a modest salary. In other words, I'm not moving the needle of life in any significant way, I'm sort of stuck in a rut. My interest in meditation solely lies in "what can it do for me?" and as some of you pointed out, this is not a good way to approach this practice at all.

I have done meditation for years on and off but never really progressed to any significant point, I don't believe I've ever attained what is referred to as "jhana", but if I will be my own hindrance into accomplishing a goal like attaining jhana for my own benefit, then perhaps it is not wise to pursue this practice if for any other benefit than reducing stress and anxiety.

Thank you.


"What can it do for me?" 

That is similar to my attitude. My attitude is "What can it do for me right now?"

My answer is it can releive stress and help me let go of unpleasant emotions.  I believe it could help you find contentment even though you are in a rut - if that was something you wanted.

You don't need to attain jhana's, you can get this from samatha meditation or from metta meditation.

RE: Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?
Answer
6/22/20 2:45 AM as a reply to Grin Spickett.
Grin Spickett:
Tim Farrington:
Shawn Ryan:
Hi all,

Admittedly I am trying to learn more about concentration meditation so that I can use it as a practice that will benefit my life in terms of finances, health, and other endeavors I choose to do.

Basically, my goals are very materialistic and selfish in a way - I do not know if this is the right way about going for achieving them.




Hi Shawn, and welcome to DhO.
What do you guys think?

I think you are a greedy, materialistic [expletive deleted, per DhO forum rules] who has no business in this forum.

love, tim

p.s. I recommend any of the many variants of so-called Christianity, teaching the so-called "Prosperity Gosepl." Use Google to find that, it won't cost you a penny.

here's an interesting angle, also for free: https://parabola.org/2016/04/29/wordly-happiness-buddhist-happiness-mu-soeng/


Well hello there.

Maybe I have no business here, too, but at least I read the boilerplate on the way in.
Avoid abrasiveness, derision, insults and mockery.

Also

No name-calling or ad hominem attacks
I don't usually jump right into others' unpleasantness until I learn to read the room a bit better, but being new, myself, I feel like there's a lot to learn right now about whether it is worth investing any energy into DhO.

Maybe there's something obiviously clever about your message to Shawn that I am not Awakened enough to understand. Or maybe DhO is a community for hypocrites.

Thanks for recommending Christianity. Right now you're not a great poster boy for whatever else.

- Grin



Hi Grin,

well, what can I say? I'm lucky it was you who called me on my shit here, and not the moderator, with a red card (i've used up my lifetime allowance of yellow cards, as i understand the situation).

Please forgive me for bringing an unacceptable tone of unpleasantness to this honest seeker's authentic questionin g thread, through abrasiveness, derision, insults and mockery, and name-calling ,and ad hominem attacks. It was wrong of me, and I apologize to everyone within earshot.

My behavior is in no way characteristic of the discussions here on the DharmaOverground. Everyone here is, or would be, as horrifed by my outburst as you rightfully are. Give us a chance, don't let this rotten apple prejudice your view of the whole orchard. This is a Buddha orchard.

love, tim

RE: Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?
Answer
6/23/20 6:42 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
Grin Spickett:
Tim Farrington:
Shawn Ryan:
Hi all,

Admittedly I am trying to learn more about concentration meditation so that I can use it as a practice that will benefit my life in terms of finances, health, and other endeavors I choose to do.

Basically, my goals are very materialistic and selfish in a way - I do not know if this is the right way about going for achieving them.




Hi Shawn, and welcome to DhO.
What do you guys think?

I think you are a greedy, materialistic [expletive deleted, per DhO forum rules] who has no business in this forum.

love, tim

p.s. I recommend any of the many variants of so-called Christianity, teaching the so-called "Prosperity Gosepl." Use Google to find that, it won't cost you a penny.

here's an interesting angle, also for free: https://parabola.org/2016/04/29/wordly-happiness-buddhist-happiness-mu-soeng/


Well hello there.

Maybe I have no business here, too, but at least I read the boilerplate on the way in.
Avoid abrasiveness, derision, insults and mockery.

Also

No name-calling or ad hominem attacks
I don't usually jump right into others' unpleasantness until I learn to read the room a bit better, but being new, myself, I feel like there's a lot to learn right now about whether it is worth investing any energy into DhO.

Maybe there's something obiviously clever about your message to Shawn that I am not Awakened enough to understand. Or maybe DhO is a community for hypocrites.

Thanks for recommending Christianity. Right now you're not a great poster boy for whatever else.

- Grin



Hi Grin,

well, what can I say? I'm lucky it was you who called me on my shit here, and not the moderator, with a red card (i've used up my lifetime allowance of yellow cards, as i understand the situation).

Please forgive me for bringing an unacceptable tone of unpleasantness to this honest seeker's authentic questionin g thread, through abrasiveness, derision, insults and mockery, and name-calling ,and ad hominem attacks. It was wrong of me, and I apologize to everyone within earshot.

My behavior is in no way characteristic of the discussions here on the DharmaOverground. Everyone here is, or would be, as horrifed by my outburst as you rightfully are. Give us a chance, don't let this rotten apple prejudice your view of the whole orchard. This is a Buddha orchard.

love, tim

Fair enough, Tim. 

Then with all of the power and authority that I don't have, I issue a pardon. Be blessed.

--

For Shawn, I cannot find the exact reference or quotation that inspires me, but I believe it was in an audiobook called "The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation as Taught By S. N. Goenka." (I have never attended a Goenka-style Vipassana retreat). This served as my first introduction to Buddhist philosophy and thought, and I greatly enjoyed it. Importantly, it does not teach meditation.

Somewhere in that audiobook is the statement that everyone is, by nature, selfish. They initially seek to meditate or find the middle path for selfish reasons. But, in the course of doing so, if done properly, they can free themselves from the selfish motivations and suffering they cause. 

So go ahead and meditate and see if it improves your financial situation. It surely can, if you better understand your clinging behaviors and how it affects your spending habits. And it is worth considering whether you are abiding with a right livelihood.

Maybe it is Buddhism-lite, but here are a couple of Goenka quotes (source) that speak to me as having truth in them:

Isn't this technique self-centered? How can we become active and help others?

Mr. S. N. Goenka: First you have to be self-centered, you have to help yourself. Unless you help yourself, you cannot help others. A weak person cannot help another weak person. You have to become strong yourself, and then use this strength to help others and make others strong also. Vipassana helps one develop this strength to help others.

--

As an industrialist and in business, do you see that Vipassana could ever spread into business?

Mr. S. N. Goenka: Oh certainly. Earning money—just earning money—doesn’t give peace. I have passed through all that so I know having a lot of money is full of misery. But money with Dhamma will give so much peace. And this money will be used for a good cause, which is good for them, good for others.

--

I'm not even slightly Buddhist, and I'm a tremendously novice meditator, so don't take my word for it.

- Grin

RE: Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?
Answer
6/23/20 1:31 PM as a reply to Shawn Ryan.
Shawn Ryan:
Hi all,

Admittedly I am trying to learn more about concentration meditation so that I can use it as a practice that will benefit my life in terms of finances, health, and other endeavors I choose to do.

Basically, my goals are very materialistic and selfish in a way - I do not know if this is the right way about going for achieving them.

What do you guys think?
It is impossible for anyone to start practice without some form of selfish intention.  You can benefit regardless as through proper practice your intention will gradually become more pure.  

As for concentration practice, I don't know if it is possible to 'only' do concentration practice, without at least some understanding (insight) of what that practice is.  Both wisdom, concentration, as well as morality can all help you immensely in your every day life.

There's a story which I can't find now for the life of me, and I will be a fool and try to paraphrase it.  Hopefully someone knows the story and can find a link.  But it goes, something like:

A seeker is drawn into meditation practice with a vision of paradise - if he becomes enlightened he will have many wives, riches, perfect body, yada yada.  He practices well and eventually attains very high realizations and enlightenment.  But, once he achieves enlightenment, he doesn't feel the need for all of the things he thought he wanted, he is already perfectly satisfied.  When someone asks him, 'what about all that money and fame and sex you wanted?'  He replies, "forgotten".

So it's not to say we should have unrealistic expectations of what enlightenment is.  But we also should not have unrealistic expectations about ourselves and our own gradual awakening.

Hope this helps...

RE: Using Concentration Meditation to succeed in life?
Answer
6/23/20 11:23 PM as a reply to John W.
@John W and @Grin Spickett

Thank you for your replies. I actually am strongly considering pursuing a practice again.