The Real Point of Meditation

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    2008.08.30 19:00 - The Real Point of Meditation 

    Stim and Doug discussed a common bias, which reduces meditation to a trivial version of “be here now” in a way that ignores larger issues.


    doug Sosa: I read a book once, saying that zen was attractive to the authorities because with its “be here now” approach, Political revolt was impossible.
    Stim Morane: Well, this is more than a bit muddled.
    Stim Morane: Meaningful revolt has to be based on more direct and real-istic connections to one’s actual situation in life.
    doug Sosa: ok, but what i hear in the reports of many of the meditaors is a removal from “realistic connections” and one’s “actual situation” is in dispute.
    Stim Morane: If meditation takes one element out of a scheme, namely posited local ones, in favor of some larger posited collection, then it would indeed be biased and partial.
    Stim Morane: But that’s not the point.
    Stim Morane: Both the posited local and the posited whole are just that–posited.
    Stim Morane: The real point of meditation is to wake up to what is Actual beyond these constructions.
    Stim Morane: This is both intensely present and also meaningfully inclusive of all beings.
    doug Sosa: nothing, being, the flow… but if real conditions (ah!) are downplayed, or ignored..
    Stim Morane: No, real conditions should never be downplayed or ignored.
    Stim Morane: So I would say that the phenomenon you mention is common. But it is not indicative of what meditation is properly about.

    doug Sosa: so back to my experience. I see people avoiding soical issues because “they are not real”.
    Stim Morane: Avoiding social issues would be wrong. Seeing that they are not the whole story might be right.
    doug Sosa: whereas i am trying most of the day to understand “the game” and how it could be changed.
    Stim Morane: Yes, but if understanding it means staying inside its constructions, then you are captured by some things that really are less than fully Actual.
    Stim Morane: I think there is a way to reconcile the point you want to make with the practice of true meditation.
    doug Sosa: Let me ask, how to reconcile them? The retort is common: they are not real. Only we here now are real.
    Stim Morane: Meditation is just being more awake.
    Stim Morane: The retort you mention is simply mistaken. This is a common problem.
    doug Sosa: There is a bridge from me here to big being without going through the suburbs of life’s complexities.
    Stim Morane: the complexities are important too. And they too can be seen even better based on the awakeness offered by meditation.
    Stim Morane: Also, meditation can inspire and even require action. Action is usually hampered by attachment to selfishness, habits, sloth etc. These constrictions are exploded by meditation.
    doug Sosa: Yes, that is my personal experience. I think I’ve just lacked the confidence to be at home in my own thinking.
    Stim Morane: The fact that many people are trivializing meditation should not put you off entirely. I think part of the problem is that the word meditation seems very narrow. Many many things count.

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