In my ongoing discussion with blogger “knightMare” we had different definitions of meditation – hers including an holistic and ethical lifestyle and mine merely the quietness of the mind.

As commendable as I do consider her other values, I still believe that the clearer a definition is more useful to be used to express oneself clearly; hence there are so many facets in speech.
The reason why I think this is important is not to be a smart-ass, but because I sense that if someone includes other terminologies s/he may not feel obliged to try to sit quiet for 3 minutes daily.

Instead of arguing, I propose the following fun-experiment to you when you have time to spare:

  1. Check the time or press start on a stopwatch
  2. Look up ‘most viewed youtube channels‘ (you choose them yourself)
    • and check a bunch of them out one by one.
  3. Stop your stopwatch or look at the time how long you spent doing that.
  4. Then set yourself a timer of an equal amount of time (if for example you spent half an hour doing that, then set your timer also to half an hour).
  5. Get away from your digital device, start your egg-timer, (preferably look out of your window or into nature)
    • and think about what you actually just saw or what it means to you
  6. And then at a later point in the day (after this tremendous bunch of impressions is settled) you can again set your eggtimer for the same amount of time and just observe what happens in your mind – first the boredom, then the observation of your observation, etc. (it is likely that you have much less patience for that than watching youtube videos, and that is normal, but just give it your best shot and observe how long you could stand it.
  • Step two was the pleasurable distractive monkey-mind-business
  • step five, the quieting contemplation.
  • and step six finally, meditation.

If you disagree, let me know in the comments.

(And btw: This is actually a reason why I like yoga-meditation, because it is a compromise of the total boredom of nothingness to at least doing something repetitative – just as mantras which are used in all religions for example, only in a more potent way.)

15 Replies to “Meditation”

  1. Thank you Thilo for this post. But I never talked about ethics in meditation but more of a super consciousness of life in all its forms that is a meditative state of mind. And it is a constant state.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ok, superconsciousness as in Übermensch ;-)

      Just to let you know: This sitting in stillness is not always similar easy:
      These days I find it tremendously hard to meditate.
      What I notice is that when I don’t do it I am more prone to emotional ups and downs.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Ok, since we are here under the meditation-article, I actually still have one thing which I find not clarified in between us:
      Super consciousness is great and I think even the main goal, but in my eyes that should be called super-consciousness and not be mixed with the world meditation.
      What I meant the entire time is that we seem to mix up our common goal of super consciousness with the method of getting there.
      Meditation in my eyes is a method there but not the consciousness itself.
      Another method (your realm) is Philosophy.
      Yet you would not say that Philosophy as such is super consciousness, right ?

      But most important:
      You seem not to have noticed my profound worship for you (before even having liked this post: in the comment section ;)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When you are in super consciousness and connected to all forms of life, you are meditating. Otherwise, meditation techniques can do good for the brain and mind but I think we are reducing meditation to some sort of exercises. Again, you know the original sanskrit word of meditation and I asked you about its original defintion.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Meditation is beyond contemplation. Contemplation is intellectual while meditation involves senses, intuition, mind etc. The thing is, the word in latin makes a synonym of contemplation. I am sure somewhere in the vedic tradition or in sanskrit is different. Dhyana is slightly different than the latin word of meditation. Thank you for mentioning the philosophy teacher 😊.
            Anyway, if it wasn’t beyond contemplation, then what would be the difference between meditation and philosophy?

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I thought I was teasing you enough (and the danger in the digital world is that people can not see whether we are sarcastic or not – less even that I make even more fun of myself all the time.)
              So this time I gave you the honors.

              Good question about the difference between contemplation and meditation,
              and I think this is exactly where we get closer to the definition of meditation.
              I think it is a certain practice to get our mind beyond contemplation.

              For me the difference is this:
              If I stand on the window vaping and looking outside contemplating I can do that easily for hours and find it pleasant, and would call it “working out” issues.
              And if I sit still, trying to let all thoughts pass by, not feeding them by new ones,
              then I get impatient much sooner but also something in my mind changes, because it is not constantly fed with new thoughts.

              To say it in horsy terms: When contemplating I can ride a horse in a certain directions for hours,
              when meditating I put a fence around a young horse which then becomes wild out of frustration not been let run around freely, but after a while comes down naturally.


                1. I think now it boils down to what I was implying earlier on:
                  What is the motivation to extend the word meditation to something which does not require sitting still?
                  In my opinion this is an example of a desired outcome motivating a redefinition,
                  in this case, you wanting to move the word away from the tedious boring stitting you hate so much, so that you can claim to already cover this so often mentioned spiritual aspect by contemplation.

                  Introspection in my eyes is the same as contemplation – a focussed thinking about something – the only specification in this case is that it implies that the target is oneself.
                  Yet, this still is “playing around with thoughts” which really is so much more fun than the boring sitting.
                  Whilst the sitting is having to endure the boring stillness we horses hate so much.

                  The only reason why I now accept the necessity of that nerve-wrecking boredome, is that as a fire-horse I did suffer more than I gained from being horsy (psychologically and physically), whilst you as an earth-horse reap a lot of horsy benefits, so it is not at all appealing to you to put a break on your dynamics (which I fully understand).


                  1. It is not about personal taste about sitting or not. I am talking in general.
                    So I will ask a different question related to meditation: what is its target?
                    Peace? Ok why not.
                    Awareness and thoughts control? Read the stoic philosopher Seneca and you will get there faster.
                    Enlightenment? What is it exactly?

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Funny you mentioning Seneca as I just listen to an audiobook of him ;-)

                      Ok, I also listen to this incredible versatile Buddhist course where all the mind-sets are explained in great detail – more than I anticipated.

                      I mean to give a concise quick summary for meditation probably would not do the subject justice, so I simply brainstorm away without thinking much what spontaneously jumps to my mind:
                      * To let the billions dualistic entanglements (aversions, preferences, philosophies, worldviews, identifications, conclusions based on experiences, etc…) fade out instead of constantly fueling those axes by counteracting evil with good, right with left, etc…
                      * To find out what you actually are – to find your self. An example would be asking yourself “Who am I?” and then you get millions of answers, like you mentioned in an article of your blog: “French educated, Spanish speaking German reading, Arabic & Lebanese speaking, philosophy teaching, etc….)” A ton of things, but all not your literal “self”. The question would be what your self is.
                      This is a question for half a lifetime and in case you remember the silence video I posted recently, the wise guy said that this question is not meant to be answered but to dissolve the questioner.

                      In this way I could say that meditation is to dissolve all the roles you play or identify with (being a woman, a horse, Lebanese, teacher, pretty (or not), small (or average) whatever….

                      And as I said, this is just a spontaneous brainstorm.


                    2. Thilo, I have a question. As a middle eastern myself, geographically closer to India than you are, dissolving the ego is not of an easy task. So how can a German do this? If the middle eastern has difficulties doing this, how can a westerner like you do this? It is a big cultural conflict.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Ok Maylynn, I took you very serious now and am summing up a speech on meditation from the Buddhist point of view.
                      This turns out to be much more complex than the both of us did anticipate when starting our discussion.

                      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are so right, Maylynn !
    I see myself and the Western culture sitting on a huge mountain of intellectual constructs (education, techology, philosophy, modular thinking – putting everything into boxes, etc….)
    And it seems to me as if I have to dig through that entire mountain until to reach the well of authenticity.

    When I was half my age things did go pretty well, because I was not as locked into cultural dogmas.
    The older I get the more difficult it becomes, which is why I do recommend it to young people even though they think it only is a boring thing old people can do if they don’t have energ for the “real” life anymore.

    Also: I think Indians also have a big ego, else Buddha would not have had to teach them to dissolve it.
    Long story short: By your younger age and eastern heritage you probably could overtake me anytime :-)


    1. And as we were chatting I was listening to this:
      It is not totally about meditation, but is meant to inspire us as to why we should meditate.
      The soundquality is terrible, but maybe you listen a bit into it whilst sitting on the toilet or when you have time anyway.
      This way it is bearable. I also found it interesting that he described that meditation is not necessary the discipline which creates Nirvana but leads to it like a path. (And I am not a Buddhist, btw. – I just listen to this course as if I would listen to a Philosopher talking).


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