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Wildmind online meditation course - any good? Other recommendations?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Sasha, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I've been reading a lot about meditation and think it would help me to deal with some of the stresses and strains of being ill. I'm mostly housebound and so need a course I can do at home. I've got myself several very good books but none of them have the, "Day one: do this for this long at 10am and then do this for this long at 4pm and then on Day two do this..." structured approach that I need.

    I've also noticed that, with ME brain, I can't remember sequential instructions and think it would help if I was listening to spoken instructions that would tell me the next step of what to do at the time when I should do it (I mean that I can't remember, "do X then Y then Z" - I have forgotten after X!). :eek:

    I need something that will give me a clear structure, and tell me what to do and when/how often. In other words, I need to do a course, but it needs to be an online or book-based one.

    By googling I found the Wildmind site, which offers a four-week online course, costing US$80.

    Has anyone tried it? Would you recommend it? Can anyone recommend any other online/written/CD based courses that would be suitable for people with my requirements and limitations?
     
  2. Tom

    Tom windows exterminator

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    Hi Sasha ,
    I'm just off to bed but I'll dig out the books and tapes that I have and reply with more details tomorrow .
    Are you sure you need a structured course?
    Personaly I would suggest the opposite as you feel that you have to do this have to do that and it may be stressful sort off like having to wash dishes at 10 am every day . (wash dishes isn't a good analogy).

    I'll give examples of simple meditation in the a.m

    Tom
     
  3. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Hi Tom - I suppose I don't need a "do it at 10am" thing exactly but I need something more structured than what most books seem to provide, which is to mention, interspersed with lots of discussion, various techniques (particular ways of focusing on the breath etc., particular loving-kindness meditations) without telling you in what sequence to do them, how long to do them for when you are a beginner, how often to do them, whether you should get a bit good at the breath stuff before even starting on the loving-kindness stuff, etc.

    The stuff on neuroplasticity that I have been reading suggests that for optimum learning (of anything, such as learning to play the violin, walk the tightrope, whatever) there's a certain optimum frequency and duration of practice, with carefully graded levels of difficulty. I expect that if people go on a meditation retreat or attend a local course, the tutor will provide exactly that structure - but none of the books I've read have anything remotely like that (even the Dummies' Guide, which I really hoped would be a dummies' guide - they over-estimated me!).

    Sleep well! I like your shoes, by the way! :Retro smile:
     
  4. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    I have not read much on Meditation besides that it might be helpful for pain reduction. So I decided to give it a try. I go to a place called Yoga by Donation, and it is a great place. the only structure is basically the start and end time, my "teacher" says that there is basically no wrong way to meditate!

    the practice is for an hour, but even if you only truly meditate for 2 seconds, the benefits should be there. He also says that you should try to practice if only 2 minutes a day is better than an hour once per week. I remember when I first started that I found it very hard to "meditate" because of aches and pains! but I do not let that bother me as much any more, you set yourself up to be as comfortable as possible, and move as you need to stay comfortable!

    We start with about 20 to 25 mins of Shamanta (Sp?) (Concentration) Meditation, then walking meditation for about 10 mins, and recently standing for a few minutes, and then more meditation sitting or etc. I usually lie down then for the rest of the class.

    http://yogabydonation.org/
     
  5. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    I'd be interested in this sort of thing as well - tho not sure modifying my thought processes so I succeed better at graded medation therapy is allowed lol
     
  6. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi Sasha,

    I've explored different meditation techniques in the past, and have found they didn't work "optimally" for me. In a sense, I found them to be a bit "onerous". Developing ME/CFS brought with it a need to simplify my life in all regards, including my approach to spirituality.

    I started a thread recently in which I describe a beneficial contemplation technique I discovered called "Singing HU". I posted a bit on why it works well for me, and also left three separate links that will help familiarize a person with the HU Song and how it can be used.

    Thought I'd pass it along in case you were interested. The price is right: $0.00 :Retro smile: Good luck in finding something that suits you really well.

    Best, Wayne
     
  7. Tom

    Tom windows exterminator

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    Hi Sasha ,
    Glad you like ? the FreeBSD logo , a bit edgier than a penguin.
    I couldn't find this thread this morning but did search through the shelfs . The good books and tapes I gave to my Osteo (Perrin Technique ) to pass on to any that may find a use for them.

    You seem to have been doing some research yourself ,so I'll try to give an overview of how I see meditation and you can see if this could be helpful for you .

    To me , it seems to be to gently lead/go/journey towards a state of no-mind , a state of just being.
    The letting go of thoughts (any kind of thought) , the letting go of emotions (positive and negative ) until your mind is quiet and still.
    People like us do have a structure to our day , we lie down to rest/sleep at least once per day . Meditate then , as a beginning.

    We all have brain waves , beta , alpha , theta and delta.
    Meditation can take you from normal awarenes state of beta , to a crossover alpha/theta state where healing takes place ,and you have full awareness of all outside and inside your body .
    It can also help you have a good sleep.

    A simple meditation to try when you lie down , cover yourself coz you may go to sleep , relax ,close your eyes ,lightly focus on a spot on your forehead ( not a pimple ) and hear the word "one" in your head . Do not use force to maintain this attention focus , but when you become aware of any thoughts or emotions , just " let them go and gently return to the attention focus spot and word.

    The meditative state is close to the hypnotic state and also close to the state where N.L.P/Lightning Process/brainwashing can have an effect.
    Thats the reason why mantra's or words used should not have any connection with what you normally hear and form associations with . The mantra or word should be meaningless to you.

    is this any good to be going on with ?

    Tom
     
  8. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks all (sorry not to be posting more detailed thanks but I'm wiped and taking a day or too off the boards as much as possible!).

    I'm going to give the Wildmind thing a go and will report back. There's a four-week course starting on Tuesday (just in time to calm me down during the XMRV workshop!).
     
  9. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

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    Long before CFS (actually, I might have had CFS then, just not the ME/CFS kind), I was told about a book Full Catastrophe Living which is an actual course, just the book version. I think it takes 6-8wks. and it details what you should do day to day for the most part. I did really follow it exactly and benefited immensely. It's since become my favorite book, my "bible" I call it, and I have worn that original copy down to a nub. It has specific meditation instructions along with the basis of the program and then it goes into all sorts of paradigms of chronic stress, pain, illness. It has sections on different kinds of stresses too, like role stress, people stress, sleep stress, etc. I just think it's got something for everything. I later bought the cd set which has 4 cds, 1 of which guides the yoga exercises (this is yoga for those who are not well, and it's clear about how to judge what to do for yourself). I really like Jon Kabat-Zinn. He's not super famous, he doesn't make any huge promises, he just tries to bring mindfulness to people with health issues in the most basic way possible. He has a few other books, but none that are like FCL, and a couple of other guided cd sets. I think I paid less than $20 for the book and about $20 for the cd set. I got a used copy of the book as well for backup since pages have fallen out of my first copy, and Powells or other places carry used/new copies for less than $10. I think it's a really inexpensive route to try and it's not a lot of hoopla (which some people really like, and others not so much, so to each their own). If you google Jon Kabat Zinn, or look him up on youtube, he has a few really cool trainings/talks that you can watch. He did one for google that is a good quality video and I think encaptures what his writing and perspective are like. I like a person who makes modest claims!

    It's my great wish that someday I will live somewhere where one of MBSR (mindfulness-based stress-reduction) classes is taught. He created the first program of this kind in the US in Massachusetts and it's kind of a quiet movement, but it seems like most cities have a class now.

    Cool thread: I want to check out all of the things mentioned here!
     
  10. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Hi Zoe (I love your avatar picture by the way, is it part of a vintage teacup?!) - amazingly I have the book you mention in my cupboard and haven't even looked at it! It has been lent to me on a long loan by a friend who suffers from severe and chronic pain. I hadn't realised what it was! I will have a proper look!

    Thanks also for suggesting to look at Jon Kabat-Zinn on YouTube. I found a Googletechs talk (they get really good speakers in who give fantastic talks, particularly on meditation and neuroplasticity, which seem to be interests of theirs). Here's one by JK-Z which I 'm going to look at later.
     
  11. kerrilyn

    kerrilyn Senior Member

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    I took a couple classes of mindfulness mediation. It may be something similar to what you will be taking Sasha - I'll have to look it up.

    I did a couple types of mediation and I can't focus on a light or an image, or mantras for long and I get frustrated and my mind wanders in the silence. There are gentle cues spoken in the mindfulness CD I have, a calming voice and it helped me with stress quite a bit. I wore headphones to bed and it would help me fall asleep too when very little else did.

    I'd actually forgotten all about that, thanks for the reminder!! I've been having a hard time sleeping lately, time to pull out that CD and give it another try.
     
  12. sphynx on roundabouts

    sphynx on roundabouts

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    Hello Sasha!

    I was interested in the course you mentioned and aam just wondering how you got on?
    (I have a mental image of you blissed out of it - serenity all over the shop :Retro smile:)

    I hope it was a very worthwhile experience for you anyway but it would be great if you are able to share some information about it sometime.
     
  13. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Hi Sphynx - actually it was/is very good - I had to suspend participation because I fell ill with a couple of acute viral infections in a row early on in the four week course but I had a good first week (where you learn the basic bits of the breathing meditation) and could see from the course materials that the rest was going to be good. The course organiser is very good indeed - you are in an emailbase where you are prompted with questions about how it's going, the students respond and the course organiser comments. I'm trying to pick it up again now but naturally have just come down with another bug and may have to suspend again.

    I was impressed and would recommend it. I have tried to learn from books but find I need someone to tell me what to do and when. Basically, you spend the first week learing the first stages of the breath meditation, for 20 mins/day; the next week learning to add in the later stages of the breath meditation; then you move on to learning the loving kindness meditation and in the final week (I think, haven't read that far) I think you develop that further (by attempting to direct your loving-kindness to particularly horrible people!). They provide a downloadable soundtrack of someone talking you through it, for each of the four meditations - the aim is to use them to learn and eventually to do it yourself without the soundtrack. There is also about 10pp of instructions/orientation each week to read and study. Both the soundtracks and reading material are good, I think.

    You can comment on your experience and any observations or problems at any stage and people will share back and they and the organiser will make suggestions or observations to help you. It's all very no-pressure and very supportive.

    I did feel quite serene during the first week! :Retro smile: Even just remembering how calm I had felt during that morning's meditation was a reminder that I could choose whether to let things wind me up or not. I'm looking forward to getting back into the habit.

    There's a lot of research on how meditation can help with the immune system and with pain as well as with stress (which of course goes with having ME/CFS) so I think it can only be a good thing! :Retro smile::Retro smile::Retro smile:
     
  14. sphynx on roundabouts

    sphynx on roundabouts

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    Oh that is wonderful to hear that you found calmness while using the guidance of the course but it's really hard that you have the bad infections as well. I hope you'll be slathering some of that loving-kindness on yourself too!

    I got a chuckle out of the intention to meet nasty people with loving-kindness as I've mostly taken this approach in life but I've found that nothing inflames the tempers of many cross and cantankerous people more that treating them with gentleness and kindness and then I feel a bit bad for rattling their cage. :oops: :confused:


    (Maybe your next level will be about embracing humiliating grammatical errors ;-))
     
  15. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Ironic!


    No matter how much meditation I do, I doubt I'll ever evolve to that level!
     

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