2009.06.27 01:00 - Relaxation, Shamatha and Singing Bowls

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Scathach Rhiadra. The comments are by Scathach Rhiadra.

    Nymf was already at the pagoda when I arrived, and Yakuzza joined us almost immediately......


    Nymf Hathaway: Good day Scathach :)
    Nymf Hathaway: Hello Yakuzza :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Yakuzza!
    Nymf Hathaway: Need a shower? :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: yeah
    Scathach Rhiadra: How are you both this morning?
    Scathach Rhiadra: or evening:)
    Nymf Hathaway: Doing well thank you and you Scathach?
    Yakuzza Lethecus: Fine, so far i had my first cofee and breakfast
    Scathach Rhiadra: still half asleep:)
    Scathach Rhiadra: just starting coffee, that should help
    Scathach Rhiadra: has anyone a topic they would like to discuss?

    Yakuzza raised the subject of relaxation techniques, and Sophiasharon arrived closely followed by Bertrum.....

    Yakuzza Lethecus: What kind of relaxation techniquest is everyone using maybe ?
    Yakuzza Lethecus: Like breathing, relaxing the tongue
    Scathach Rhiadra: mmm, do you mean meditation or just relaxation Yak?
    Yakuzza Lethecus: Hihi, i made myself fall asleep though meditation cd´s last night :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: =^.^=
    Nymf Hathaway: Hello Sophia :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey sophia
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello SophiaSharon
    Yakuzza Lethecus: And there were techniques like breath the tension out of ur muscles..
    Yakuzza Lethecus: I heard those cd´s before it wasn´t new but it´s always interesting
    Scathach Rhiadra: I think it is a fairly common technique to deal with stress, to take a few deep breaths and then relax the tension while exhaling, breate the tension out as you said
    Scathach Rhiadra: another is to lie flat on your back, and starting from your feet, consciously relax the tension in each body part till you reach the top of your head
    Scathach Rhiadra: it can be astonishing how much tension we have in our faces, without being aware of it:)
    Nymf Hathaway: Hello Bertrum :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: hi Bertrum :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Bertrum:)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: helo bert
    Bertrum Quan: Hi everyone.
    Nymf Hathaway: agrees with Scathach....noticed the tension in her face while trying to relax
    Scathach Rhiadra: Bertrum, we are just talking about some relaxation techniques
    Bertrum Quan: I'll be interested to hear more.
    Scathach Rhiadra: i'll give you a card....
    Scathach Rhiadra: does anybody else have any techniques they would like to share?
    Nymf Hathaway: Pila suggested one to me its a Yoga practize, inhale fully and exhale in small fast pulses.... but I am still getting to learn it... not much of a teacher :(
    Scathach Rhiadra: what effect does it have Nymf?
    Nymf Hathaway: It relaxes for sure... but I am always wondering if I am doing the exercise correct
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Nymf Hathaway: maybe I should search for a rl teacher

    We then moved on to meditation techniques rather than just relaxation......

    SophiaSharon Larnia: is anyone familiar with brain waves states during meditation?
    Yakuzza Lethecus wonders how long it takes until there are sensors for the whole body and there will be wii yoga or something :P
    Yakuzza Lethecus: in the meditation cd´s i listened to she mentioned to kick start alpha brain waves
    Yakuzza Lethecus: or to reduce beta
    Scathach Rhiadra: can you say more Sophia
    SophiaSharon Larnia: because i use white noise instead of cd's/chants, and i think a fam at work triggered a meditative state the other day
    SophiaSharon Larnia: fan*
    SophiaSharon Larnia: that is the only explaination, got used to a trigger to induce alpha
    Scathach Rhiadra: and do you find that you need the white noise or something else to trigger meditation?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes
    Scathach Rhiadra: may I ask, have you tried without it, just sitting with what ever is there with you?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: i have, like many, the mind wanders
    SophiaSharon Larnia: its a bad habit, am working on it :)

    This brought us to Shamatha; 'calm abiding' or 'tranquility' meditation, where the use of an object, following the breath, or a mantra can be used as a support to focus the mind......

    Scathach Rhiadra: no, using a support for meditation is a technique in shamatha meditation
    Bertrum Quan: What techniques do they employ?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes i just founbd this word last week, but what i have been doing is shamatha without vipashyana
    SophiaSharon Larnia: dozing i guess
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: shamatha is calm abiding, or stillness, you can start with supports, like using an object for concentration
    Scathach Rhiadra: or following the breath, counting your reaths
    Scathach Rhiadra: breaths*
    Bertrum Quan: What types of objects are used?
    Scathach Rhiadra: usually something small. could be a pebble, flower, small image or statue.
    Scathach Rhiadra: but not to elaborate, the simpler the better
    Scathach Rhiadra: or you can find yourself getting lost in the object
    Bertrum Quan: So this is a kind out visualization?
    Bertrum Quan: /of
    Scathach Rhiadra: well, the object is real, should be on the floor in front of you
    Scathach Rhiadra: but the idea is to calm down the mind and find some presence with being with the object
    Bertrum Quan: Do you use such an object in your meditative practice?
    Scathach Rhiadra: occasionally, but that is only one phase, so to speak, of shamatha
    Scathach Rhiadra: you can move on to counting the breath, then just being with the breathing, if that makes sense
    Scathach Rhiadra: refinements of present awareness
    Bertrum Quan: Yes, I find the awareness of breathing to be helpful for me. But visualization techniques did not work for me.
    Scathach Rhiadra: I am not much good at visualation either, I sometimes think I have no imagination:)
    Bertrum Quan: I actually attended a RL sanga where their practice included the visualization of Tara. It seemed to work for them! But I found it frankly distracting.
    Bertrum Quan: On the other hand, the chanting did produce a levek of relaxation.
    Bertrum Quan: /level
    Scathach Rhiadra: mmm, chanting seems to make a good background suport
    Scathach Rhiadra: support*
    Bertrum Quan: Its the repititions... it takes you of out of the every-day noise and helps create a way to focus on awareness...
    Scathach Rhiadra nods

    Wol arrived, and Nymf left......

    Wol Euler sneaks in and sits quietly, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Wol:)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey wol
    Bertrum Quan: Hi Wol
    Wol Euler: sorry bert :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Hi Wol
    Wol Euler: hello nymf, bertrum, scath, yakuzza, sophiasharon
    Scathach Rhiadra: and all these techniques are not the meditation, they just help focus the mind as Bertrum said
    Bertrum Quan: For me it's a primer...
    Nymf Hathaway: Hello Wol, was away from my pc, sorry
    Scathach Rhiadra: can you say more
    Bertrum Quan: I agree with what you observed about focus vs meditation. Focus for me is the first step to a meditative state
    Nymf Hathaway: Will be loggng off, Scathach thank you for explaining! wishing everyone a beautiful day or good night :)
    Wol Euler: bye nymf, take care.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: bye nymf
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Nymf

    Bertrum then introduced us to Singing Bowls, which some of us had seen and heard , but never used......

    Bertrum Quan: Do any of you use singing bowls in any way?
    Wol Euler shakes her head
    SophiaSharon Larnia: no but i love them
    Yakuzza Lethecus: what are singing bowls ?
    Scathach Rhiadra: ah, I have a bell that can be used the same way:)
    Bertrum Quan: Yak, singing bowls have the properties of a bell and perhaps even a musical instrument...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: a metallic bowl that rings when a rod is circled around the lip of the bowl
    Scathach Rhiadra: how do you use it Bertrum?
    Wol Euler smiles. I was tryingto think of another word than "singing" for the sound htey make, the best I came up with was "glowing" :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: grins i know what you mean
    Wol Euler is still sleepy
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Bertrum Quan: I have a number of them. I find them beautiful as objects--hand made with the hammer marks and because they're old they have a warm patina. So, I enjoy them as they are. I also play the as Sophia indicated. They also ring for the longest time when their are struck with a mallet.
    Bertrum Quan: /them /they're
    Bertrum Quan: I'm drawn to them because of their simplicity and I love the coomplexity of their wonderful sounds.
    Scathach Rhiadra nods
    Wol Euler nods
    SophiaSharon Larnia: i havent heard them as being stuck only, :))
    SophiaSharon Larnia: struck*
    Bertrum Quan: They can be played by rubbing the mallet around the rim or struck. They sounds produced are actually quite different depending on what technique you use.
    Bertrum Quan: I don't know how true it is with the bowls I have, but authentic singing bowls are supposed to have a special mixture of metals that create the diversity of sounds from bowls of the same size.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: any repetative sound will induce a meditative state to me, but have realized lately is i need intention
    SophiaSharon Larnia: cool bertrum

    SophiaSharon and Bertrum left to get some sleep; it was very late night for both of them.....

    SophiaSharon Larnia: im off to bed all, it is 5 am here :)))
    SophiaSharon Larnia: taek care
    SophiaSharon Larnia: take*
    Yakuzza Lethecus: good night sophia
    Wol Euler: yikes, go back to bed :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: hehe
    Scathach Rhiadra: good night Sophia, sleep well:)
    Wol Euler: enjoy the weekend, ss.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: you 2
    Bertrum Quan: I better get some sleep as well.
    Yakuzza Lethecus: where are you from bert ?
    Yakuzza Lethecus: westcoast ?
    Scathach Rhiadra: good night Bertrum, and thank you:)
    Wol Euler: 'night bertrum, take care
    Scathach Rhiadra: sleep well!
    Yakuzza Lethecus: night bert

    Yakuzza then asked about the workings of the autologger and we spent a short while discussing that before going our separate ways....

    Yakuzza Lethecus: ok, how does everything work her by the way ?
    Yakuzza Lethecus: tlike the recorder ?
    Yakuzza Lethecus: if there is for example an email that somebody can´t make it
    Yakuzza Lethecus: how to start everything her
    Wol Euler: it's automatic. It has a list of guardians, and the starting and ending times, and it turns itself on at the right time if a guardian is here.
    Wol Euler: it doesn't know who is officially GoC, that changes too often
    Wol Euler: so we let people claim the session by clicking on the listener
    Yakuzza Lethecus: and it works now after i am in the guardian group
    Wol Euler: yep, your presence would start a session
    Wol Euler: and it can also be started and stpp
    Wol Euler: *stopped by hand, by clicking on it

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