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Chaosmonger
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:59 pm
Posts: 978
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:14 am 
 

I'm your typical depressed atheist music fan but have been wondering lately if I should try meditation or something that focuses on something other than the ego. I've always liked the part of religion about being able to surrender your burdens to something else but can't get behind all the other bullshit attached to it.

Just feeling the void of the typical 8-5 every weekday existence and was wondering if anyone else has any experience or recommendations in this realm. It's nothing I've ever tried before and I'm wary of new-agey stuff and just wanted to hear some thoughts from people who I assume are not that different from me. I don't even know where I should start or if I should even start or what.

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into_the_pit
Veteran

Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 7:40 pm
Posts: 2618
Location: Hedonist Occupation Government
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:30 am 
 

I know a few people for whom mindfulness has worked quite well in their everyday life. some have found it important and advantageous that it's quite removed from stereotypical "new-agey stuff". just google it, there's lots about this on the internet.
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BeholdtheNicktopus
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:26 pm
Posts: 340
Location: Chicago
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:46 am 
 

Good book, easy to find free online, is Gunaratana's "Mindfulness in Plain English". There are a lot of ways to approach this sort of thing, a lot of different groups and traditions saying the same or slightly different things. Just dive in and get practicing, don't get sucked into reading too much about it. It definitely works.
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TheJizzHammer
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 10:47 pm
Posts: 1041
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:55 am 
 

The counseling that I attend every week incorporates a 20-minute guided meditation session that actually seems to be quite helpful despite the simplistic approach we take to it. You can just straight up search '20 minute guided meditation' on YouBoob and it'll pull up a slew of videos you can try out.

As far as I'm concerned right now - this approach is merely a good start rather than a long term approach, but you need just that for the time being - a start. Sift through all the stuff you like and don't like and go from there. I plan on pursuing this further even after I've finished my counseling, and expanding beyond the guided-video realm. But for now, as a newbie - they really seem to help. A lot of it has to do with acceptance of things as they are and being at peace with 'the now', which may sound cheesy or cliche, but you're a metalhead so you should be used to that shit. It's still pretty important to do that day-to-day, anyway.

Let me know if you do this and if it works out for you as a start. As I said, I'm a newbie myself, but so far I'm optimistic about being able to expand my horizons.
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Chaosmonger
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:59 pm
Posts: 978
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:14 pm 
 

thanks for the suggestions!

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FirebathDan
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 2:32 pm
Posts: 1014
Location: Greensboro, NC, US
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:51 pm 
 

When I last lived in New Jersey (circa 2014), I was heavily into Hatha yoga, which-at least at the studio i practiced at-was 40 minutes of relaxing light yoga practice and 20 minutes of guided meditation. I feel like this was the best version of me Ive ever experienced; my weight was under control, my body felt great, and I was more easily able to manage stress and keep my mind right. This was the best I’ve ever felt, and with no chemical enhancement to boot.

I’ve since moved to North Carolina and that’s all gone to hell. None of the yoga studios in my area teach this method. It’s all exercise based, no mental aspects whatsoever.

Maybe it’s a mental block on my end, but I haven’t been able to get near what I considered my peak in 2014.

Long winded, but I’d highly recommend that yoga style with the guided meditation. It was a life changer for me.
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DecemberSoul
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 822
Location: Switzerland
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:22 pm 
 

FirebathDan wrote:
When I last lived in New Jersey (circa 2014), I was heavily into Hatha yoga, which-at least at the studio i practiced at-was 40 minutes of relaxing light yoga practice and 20 minutes of guided meditation. I feel like this was the best version of me Ive ever experienced; my weight was under control, my body felt great, and I was more easily able to manage stress and keep my mind right. This was the best I’ve ever felt, and with no chemical enhancement to boot.

I’ve since moved to North Carolina and that’s all gone to hell. None of the yoga studios in my area teach this method. It’s all exercise based, no mental aspects whatsoever.

Maybe it’s a mental block on my end, but I haven’t been able to get near what I considered my peak in 2014.

Long winded, but I’d highly recommend that yoga style with the guided meditation. It was a life changer for me.


But...why the dependency on others' guidance if you are already familiar with its methods and practices? Not trolling you, it's a serious question.
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FirebathDan
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 2:32 pm
Posts: 1014
Location: Greensboro, NC, US
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:52 am 
 

DecemberSoul wrote:
But...why the dependency on others' guidance if you are already familiar with its methods and practices? Not trolling you, it's a serious question.


In terms of the yoga, I do what I can at home with the info I’ve retained but the environment in my house is far more chaotic (pets/wife/general lack of quiet and privacy) than the controlled environment of the old yoga studio. Plus, I’m sure it’s a degree of lack of knowledge/confidence. I’ve already admitted there’s a mental block there.

In terms of the guided meditation, I’ve tried but can’t “guide” myself in the sense that if I start focusing on the guidance dialogue, I don’t concentrate enough to get deep into it. When an instructor was guiding me, I could let go way easier and just allow myself to follow along. It’s hard to explain. Yes, I am aware of YouTube videos and the like, I again don’t feel like my home environment is conducive to it. Again, mental block.

At this point, I’m not expecting any instruction methodology to be exact to what I was familiar with, but I’d be happy with something that’s at least in the ballpark.
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Wyrmbane
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:30 am
Posts: 187
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:02 pm 
 

To each their own form of meditation, you need to experiment and find what works for you.
You don't need to become an ascetic to profit (somewhat) from their practices - I think you could try a generic Indian type of meditation where solitude, silence, darkness, coolness and nakedness are recommended. Also I would advise, contrary to what you said, to concentrate on your ego at first. This is because, when you try to extinguish outside stimuli, the ego is what remains.
This is nothing new under the sun - people have tried to meditate first on the self and then on the void, but those who have tried the latter will know how impossibly difficult that is when you are faced with your own never-ending stream of consciousness.
Use either the pan-Indian lotus position with a basic finger gesture (chin mudra) or a standing posture (kayotsarga) together with steady deep breathing.
Or if you don't do stationary, vigorous exercise always works wonders.
I have also heard of 2 types of black metal meditation (!), listening to droning hypnotizing black metal on earphones at night : in winter alone in a forest or while going to sleep to try to conjure up some type of dream magic.

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~Guest 226319
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 6572
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:39 pm 
 

I've found that worshiping Satan has improved my life and staved off nihilism by allowing me to focus on hIS eternal quest to conquer the universe for darkness and evil. It's ok for an atheist like myself, too, because Satan technically isn't a "god" so it's ok to believe hE exists.

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Chaosmonger
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:59 pm
Posts: 978
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:04 pm 
 

I worship Satan when listening to metal, especially Dodheimsgard's 'Monumental Possession'

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Napero
GedankenPanzer

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 8638
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:51 am 
 

Chaosmonger wrote:
I'm your typical depressed atheist music fan but have been wondering lately if I should try meditation or something that focuses on something other than the ego. I've always liked the part of religion about being able to surrender your burdens to something else but can't get behind all the other bullshit attached to it.

This is an interesting point, by the way. A year or two ago, I listened to two highly intelligent people with heavily religious family backgrounds discussing their relationships with religion, Christianity in particular, over a bunch of red wine bottles. They had both ended up with similar ideas: while they could not accept the supernatural aspects and other bullcrap their childhood faith carried with it, they both agreed that the main positive and fundamental aspect of Christian teachings is the idea that you do not need to be perfect in any sense to be good enough. Everybody is flawed, and that can offer a stressed and doubtful mind some welcoming solace. Now, I do not need religion or spirituality to accept the flaws in my life, character, and whatever you mean by "soul", but I do see the point in finding that a positive thing even after losing your faith: if we were created flawed, nobody can expect us to be perfect.

Personally I find my own atheism a positive thing in my life, and I cannot understand combining it with being depressed. It's a particularly simple and guiltless worldview, and in my experience, gives me more reason to live my life as well as I can than any Sky Daddy watching me or eternal damnation awaiting. For me, there is no need for spirituality, yet I do recognize the value of silence and solitude within my own head occasionally, which I guess is at least one of the main points of meditation. However, I find that in suitable physical labour, especially chopping firewood. It takes a bit of effort and concentration, in order to not kill myself, but at the same time, with my experience with the axe and the repetitive nature of the work, the subconscious and a part of my conscious mind can work on different things. If there's something that bothers me in my personal life, or there's something exceptionally complicated at work, two hours of ax-wielding rituals with three cans of beer can solve a lot of issues. The same goes for three hours of mushroom hunting, or generally just being alone in the woods, or even shoveling snow.

Everybody has, or at least ought to have, his own way of finding that meditative state. It's good for you.
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Napero
GedankenPanzer

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 8638
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:57 am 
 

John_Sunlight wrote:
I've found that worshiping Satan has improved my life and staved off nihilism by allowing me to focus on hIS eternal quest to conquer the universe for darkness and evil. It's ok for an atheist like myself, too, because Satan technically isn't a "god" so it's ok to believe hE exists.

Thank you, John_Sunlight. Your impeccable sense of comedy in a thread where people actually try to discuss things is once again appreciated. You sure know how to spread your special brand of bringing more valuable fodder for the mind to the table from the FFA to the other parts of the board. We obviously need it, we just do not understand it yet. Keep up the good work. You sure are a special and amusing guy. I'd even call you the most usefullest mammal on this website. Your mom must be proud.
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Thiestru
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:18 am
Posts: 1936
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:54 pm 
 

The thing is, we weren't created flawed. That's the whole point.

I find the whole 'I'm spiritual but not religious' thinking monumentally stupid, and quite meaningless.
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If you're interested in hearing my music, it can be found here: http://thiestru.bandcamp.com. Wassail.

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Napero
GedankenPanzer

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 8638
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:11 pm 
 

Thiestru wrote:
The thing is, we weren't created flawed. That's the whole point.

Wrong. Mankind was not flawed in the beginning, but every individual born since the Wormlike Thingy & Apple Incident is stained with the original sin and therefore flawed. That's why you may be merciful to yourself, you never had a chance, and you could find that comforting. I must admit, though, that all this is already so far removed from Christianity that the God of the Gaps starts to seem like a mighty fellow.

Thiestru wrote:
I find the whole 'I'm spiritual but not religious' thinking monumentally stupid, and quite meaningless.

You got this one right.
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Thiestru
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:18 am
Posts: 1936
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:44 pm 
 

Yeah, you're right about 'we' as in 'we who are in the world today'; I meant 'we' as in 'the human race'. Humans weren't originally created flawed. I have returned to Christianity after about 15 years of skepticism and doubt, but I'm not yet ready to debate matters of faith with much rigor.
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Anything but undying, eternal praise for Awaken the Guardian is completely wrong and a disgrace to you, your band, family, and Facebook friends list.


If you're interested in hearing my music, it can be found here: http://thiestru.bandcamp.com. Wassail.

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Gunslinger21
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:11 am
Posts: 154
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:54 am 
 

I have tried meditation at Bhuddist Temples a few times now and I can tell you that it does actually work to calm you down and help you feel better. At least it did for me. It doesn't work as well when I am at home by myself, but meditation is still a great habit to get into if you want to let go a bit and clear your mind.

Find a temple if you can, they might offer meditation classes. Also, I haven't tried yoga but I have heard it is also excellent (and surprisingly hard).

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zonfar
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:13 pm
Posts: 27
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:17 pm 
 

I used to be a depressed atheist as well. Not depressed in the way in where I was sad, but depressed in the way I wasn't excited, or really looking forward to anything. I was just existing, but not enjoying life.

After some big self-discoveries I became very spiritual, and got into meditation. My mindset on EVERYTHING changed very rapidly, and I became less depressed, got excited at doing and trying new things. I now eat much healthier than I did before, I exercise regularly, I am a hell of a lot more creative and inspired to do what I want to do (which is to make awesome music). I took a leap and left a job that was not very fulfilling and entered a job where I am much more happy. I also realize life is a life long journey and I can't wait to improve myself even more.

You don't need to believe in anything specifically, but just opening up your mind to how spiritual people view energy, and how things work can definitely help. Although I definitely understand not wanting to listen to stuff that is too far out there. I still sometimes have an issue listening to people's views when they seem too far out, but i'll still listen nonetheless. Just because someone has a viewpoint, doesn't mean I have to agree or believe in it, but being more open and realizing it may be real to some people is pretty neat on it's own!

As for meditation, there are ton's of meditations on youtube, or you can download an app on your phone called "Headspace: Meditation & Mindfulness".

You made this post for a reason, you want a perspective change on life because you are tired of the way you feel and view things. Don't do anything for anyone else but yourself. Do yourself a favor, and keep researching this topic, try some meditations. It can and will improve your life, but you are the one who has to be open to it!

Good luck, I wish you the best on your journey :)

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AuldAnxiety
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 177
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:18 pm 
 

The Headspace app is helpful for keeping meditation momentum.

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TheConqueror1
With a 120kbps bitrate!

Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:05 am
Posts: 650
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:39 pm 
 

I'm not really a spiritual person but when I listen to Pharaoh Sanders or John Coltrane I definitely feel a "connection' sometimes. Alice Coltrane and Sun Ra also have a certain truth in their music too.
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TheConqueror1
With a 120kbps bitrate!

Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:05 am
Posts: 650
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:29 pm 
 

Napero wrote:
John_Sunlight wrote:
I've found that worshiping Satan has improved my life and staved off nihilism by allowing me to focus on hIS eternal quest to conquer the universe for darkness and evil. It's ok for an atheist like myself, too, because Satan technically isn't a "god" so it's ok to believe hE exists.

Thank you, John_Sunlight. Your impeccable sense of comedy in a thread where people actually try to discuss things is once again appreciated. You sure know how to spread your special brand of bringing more valuable fodder for the mind to the table from the FFA to the other parts of the board. We obviously need it, we just do not understand it yet. Keep up the good work. You sure are a special and amusing guy. I'd even call you the most usefullest mammal on this website. Your mom must be proud.


You need to ignore dumbasses like that, man.
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Dungeon_Vic
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:00 am
Posts: 781
Location: Greece
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:08 pm 
 

Thiestru wrote:
Yeah, you're right about 'we' as in 'we who are in the world today'; I meant 'we' as in 'the human race'. Humans weren't originally created flawed. I have returned to Christianity after about 15 years of skepticism and doubt, but I'm not yet ready to debate matters of faith with much rigor.


Original Sin (what it is and what it means) is the heart of the difference between Eastern (Orthodox) and Western Christianity. I am just saying that because I recall you were interested in Orthodoxy. I cannot recommend enough reading Fr. Romanides' article on the subject (or his entire book on the subject). The site is terrible set up by an older student of his in the ancient days of the internet but the content is stellar (not editorially spea

Meditation is a part of Orthodox prayer (hesychasm) but it is very different in nature. Orthodox hesychasts generally regard Indian and far eastern versions of meditation as potentially dangerous, esp. when people delve into spiritual meditation. As opposed to "just" solitude, silence and "stillness of the soul", which is both beneficial and necessary for prayer but in essence is just the preparation stage. Many people have their own private way of practicing that and it may differ from person to person. Napero's example of wood chopping is ideal and actually typically recommended for hesychasts; work, simple and repetitive (not robotic). I think all people should have something like that in their life.

Fr. Sophrony of Essex (Russian who founded the first Orthodox monastery in the UK) wrote a book on St. Silhouan, his spiritual father in Mt. Athos and talks with detail about precisely these things and there is a section where he talks about his experiences with eastern meditation, since he practiced that before becoming a Christian and a monk. That book is magnificent but also quite heavy. I think you would appreciate it though.

Sorry to derail this a bit.
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Meditari
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:12 pm
Posts: 196
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:46 pm 
 

Well, I'm a fan as you might be able to tell from my name here heh.

From reading some of the replies I think it's very unfortunate how meditation has become almost synonymous with "spiritual" or "religious" ways of thinking. I think this is in part because religions have been at the forefront of mediation practices for a long time, but honestly I have yet to see an example of meditation that wasn't beneficial in purely psychological ways (there's a reason why meditation tends to be very specialized from individual to individual). So much of the new age and religious wordings that come along with meditation from gurus and the like can be completely filtered out but have the same benefits in my experience, and I hope to see a future where meditation isn't so wrapped up in having to believe anything other than what it can psychologically do for us so that testing and real science can be done on a more serious scale than it it is at the moment as I really do think it's extremely beneficial.

I'm also a depressed atheist by the way, but I've been depressed since I was a child for reasons that have nothing to do with my lack of certain beliefs. Meditation, without any of the baggage, has been extremely helpful for me among other things. There's really no need to believe anything supernatural about it if you already don't.

For example:
Youtube: show

This is a part of what I started out with a long time ago. A book called Autobiography of a Yogi lead me to many meditations inspired from the subject of the book among others inside of it. I use to be a bit more open to the spiritual side of it at that time, but now that I'm not I still find great benefits in these guided meditations. You don't have to believe the extra things that they are saying, all you have to do is just get your meditation posture down, follow the instructions, don't worry about beliefs or disbeliefs, and go along for the ride. If you start to be converted to some extra way of thinking than I think you already had a tendency to believe these things and it becomes a different topic about who you personally are.

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InnesI
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:19 pm
Posts: 1090
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:08 pm 
 

Thiestru wrote:
Yeah, you're right about 'we' as in 'we who are in the world today'; I meant 'we' as in 'the human race'. Humans weren't originally created flawed. I have returned to Christianity after about 15 years of skepticism and doubt, but I'm not yet ready to debate matters of faith with much rigor.


Well, I'd argue that the point about original sin is that there was a flaw before the fall that worsened in that the flaw causing humans to eat from the tree of knowledge was made hereditary in original sin. This seems to be a very Christian reading of the Torah however as they in Judaism tends to have a more positive view on humans. With Christianity humans are seen as having a tendency towards evil (but of course can do good). In Judaism the view is generally that humans have about equal aspects of good and evil from birth. In Islam they view each human as good from the start (but of course with a potential for evil). An interesting difference between the three Abrahamitic faiths.

zonfar wrote:
I used to be a depressed atheist as well. Not depressed in the way in where I was sad, but depressed in the way I wasn't excited, or really looking forward to anything. I was just existing, but not enjoying life.

After some big self-discoveries I became very spiritual, and got into meditation.


What kind of spiritual teachings did you come into contact with?

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colin040
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:00 pm
Posts: 5265
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:01 pm 
 

Been trying meditation on and off. I don't really notice any benefits from it, but I like the idea of sitting quiet for a few minutes each day so I'll probably keep doing it for a while. Having that said, I agree with Napero that everyone should find his/her own meditative state. Personally exercise really helps for me, too.

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