Is the mind pictures?

New to the site so a brief hello before I get into it.

heres my issue:

https://browardmeditation.org/what-is-meditation/overview/

Im kind of the person who takes what they see and read seriously in that I tend to think something is true based on the wording, length, confidence they have, or personal anecdotes.

That aside, I’m not sure what to think about what the above says about mind.

Seems to me that on a metaphorical level, it makes some sense:

Historically, one of the biggest obstacles in overcoming problems in life and reaching enlightenment was the fact that the mind could not be precisely defined. This prevented people from discovering who they are and how to become Truth. This meditation defines the human mind as an accumulation of pictures, stored within one's body and mind. These pictures are an accumulation of past experiences which are taken through the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and body. ...

You will discover all the answers to these questions as true wisdom enters into your mind by cleansing the false mind. Through the method of this meditation, you can cleanse your mind. This involves a guided simple step-by-step method that anyone can easily follow. There are seven levels in this meditation. Even after completing just the first level you will get to know that the true mind has come in, and that is the enlightenment.


But then it seems to end in a sales pitch. “Cleansing the false mind” What’s that even mean. If you want to cleanse the “false mind” why not start with critical thinking skills? Then again, why assume your mind is false - when it’s a collection of your accumulated experiences and thoughts? Have you thought about it from that perspective?

Think about this red flag : “These pictures are an accumulation of past experiences which are taken through the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and body.” Isn’t there a bunch more going on inside as we live and process our experiences through those sense?

This may clarify a few of these questions. It is a very entertaining as well as informing presentation of “Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality”

https://www.ted.com/talks/anil_seth_how_your_brain_hallucinates_your_conscious_reality

This doesn’t really answer the questions or claims of the site. Are you saying that our reality isn’t real and that the site is right? That our mind is false?

He’s certainly not saying that reality isn’t real. He’s just saying that our perception of reality is a model put together in our brains based on the input from your senses. We assume that our perception of reality is accurate, but we can sometimes see (in the case of optical illusions, for example) that it isn’t necessarily. It’s just the best model our brains can come up with. And your own existence as a conscious entity is another model your brain puts together from available data.

The people talking about meditation are saying basically the same thing, that your “mind”, or your perception of reality, is based upon ideas in your head which are in turn based upon the input from your senses. Meditation is way of sitting quietly and sorting through all those conflicting perceptions. Nothing more mysterious than that, really.

This seems relevant to this discussion. It’s pretty damned interesting in any event:

"... This week at the BRAIN Initiative meeting in Maryland, Dr. Christof Koch, the president of the Allen Institute of Brain Science based in Seattle, announced the discovery of three neurons with branches that extensively span both hemispheres of the brain.

Incredibly, these neurons sit in the claustrum, a mysterious, thin sheet of cells that Koch believes is the seat of consciousness. Among the three, the largest neuron wrapped around the entire circumference of the mouse brain like a “crown of thorns”—something never seen before.

“A single neuron, projecting across the entire cortex! Absolutely astonishing!” Koch exclaimed during his talk. …"
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Shelly Fan, Mar 09, 2017 https://singularityhub.com/2017/03/09/are-these-giant-neurons-the-seat-of-consciousness-in-the-brain</div>


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whatever ;- /

“The people talking about meditation are saying basically the same thing, that your “mind”, or your perception of reality, is based upon ideas in your head which are in turn based upon the input from your senses. Meditation is way of sitting quietly and sorting through all those conflicting perceptions. Nothing more mysterious than that, really.”

 

That’s actually not what they are saying. They are arguing that those things are not real or true, that it is the false mind. That meditation is to cleanse the false mind and those pictures so that you can become truth (whatever that is). It has nothing to do with what you said since that isn’t what they are arguing. Our ideas aren’t based upon input from the senses but rather the judgment we place upon those inputs (different).

 

Meditation, according to them, isn’t about sorting through them but cleansing them. Kind of like wiping it all away. I know they used a metaphor of pictures full of color, then a blank space, followed by the same pictures without color. This implies some kind of “cleansing” of the false mind (plus a few things about eternal life, saint, peace, I don’t remember it all). It’s far from what you thought it was.

Anyone know how far back in time meditation was used?

"That’s actually not what they are saying. "

Do you have references for this “they” you speak of?

Because I went to the site and saw a few bits of literature. One board talked about releasing all your attachments, along with some other things. Another was about touching “the source” and coming back.

But rest assured it isn’t what Advocatus said

Having spoken more about it the whole thing boiled down to “you are the universe” that the way you view the world through your mind isn’t true. Also that “you aren’t alive”. Which didn’t really make sense. Actually none of it did

“Actually none of it did”

That might be the most helpful thing you’ve said! I assume you mean the browardmeditation site. I’m not sure I’m tracking on this whole thread. That’s not much of a reference AFAICT. It’s like the book I recently read about a kid discovering Pachamama. He includes some stuff on how quantum physics shows how things are changed when we observe them. This is totally wrong, so if I used him as a reference, I’d be passing along wrong information.

It was surreal. It was like every question I asked just made things muddier and muddier. She just repeated the same thing as though it were true and saying you have to “live it” or sign up for the class to know it. Seems off to me

It was surreal. It was like every question I asked just made things muddier and muddier. She just repeated the same thing as though it were true and saying you have to “live it” or sign up for the class to know it. Seems off to me
"Take this class, then you will know". Run, run away. With one hand on your wallet.

 

Kind of makes sense when I told her that meditation hurt rather than helped, it was followed by " i dont know what you did but here its different". Also every time I asked a question we ended up with either her personal experience or how I could come back there. But it always came back to the class. I spoke to actual monks who gave me better answers than “just take it”.

Xian: “It was surreal”

You know Xian, me being a bit of a bleeding heart, dharma bum, leftie, I listened to that meditation advice, like you’re talking about, the cleansing of your mind, quieting all your thoughts. I never took any guru’s seriously (I learned the skeptical eye early on) but the underlying ideas and goals made sense.

I took it as a goal to achieve that mediative state of “clearing the mind” achieving the moment of inner silence, but according to my path. In any event, early in my forties I was with some pals camping at Chestler Park, Canyon Lands NP (google it, it’s a landscape that evokes all the spirituality you got in ya bud.). Amidst a tumultuous period in my life, this was a few days of pure geologic/spiritual experience with good friends.

One day I joined my pals for a hike through the Joint Trail (look it up, it’s mind boggling, one moment you’re on top of the world, next your deep inside the bowels of Earth) and beyond to a prominent outcrop we wanted to get on top of. There was a plastic Honeybear bottle along with ‘black honey’ in it - it happens when adding ground mushrooms, that was passed around. As we were climbing and my cosmic side was kicking in, it seemed like this was a perfect time to try again. I peeled off from my pals and found a splendid little niche under an outcrop with a grand view and started focusing on proper breathing, pushing that little talking man off the stage, mental silence, nothing.

And damned if I didn’t break on through to the other side. Silence and nothing. What the fuk was I thinking! The sensation was like being tossed out of a space capsule naked. If I ever had a “Mr. Wizard” moment that was it, fuk this, its like death, absolute nothing. I came back into the real world with relief and joy to be gazing out at that huge “empty” vista stretching out west and knowing my friends would be walking back down the trail before long and that I would be joining the party.

And so, I touched the great meditation mystery and knew that I wanted nothing more to do with that bit of mental trickery. I was alive, had a healthy body with healthy desires, I had friends and family, and a good life in a most amazing place. I was cured, I learned to my satisfaction what “it” was about and wanted no part of it. I wanted to experience living. Not that I don’t meditate at all any more, but now it’s the breathing and then focusing on sensing my body, happy to be in the here and now.

Xian, listen to others, be curious, learn, but follow your own gut impulse, save your money, and refine who You are. The universe will provide the moments and the teachers if you’re perceptive enough to recognize it. Oh and watch out for the predators, they are everywhere, studying you, looking for weakness and an opportunity to take what they want from you. The glad hand hides a dagger and it comes in many guises.

gee that was fun, thanks Xian ;-

Xain wrote: "Because I went to the site and saw a few bits of literature. One board talked about releasing all your attachments, along with some other things. Another was about touching “the source” and coming back. But rest assured it isn’t what Advocatus said."
All I did was go to the website and read the Overview, and I interpreted what they were saying there from the perspective of the mediation which I have tried. From what you're saying, you delved deeper than that. Based on what you're saying it does sound a bit fishy.

Sam Harris has some great stuff on meditation. Unfortunately I’ve heard it as parts of his podcast here and there, so I don’t know if I can reference it. There was someone he was talking to about going to a meditation retreat. It’s silent, but you get a few minutes with a master each day to talk about how it’s going. He could overhear the guy ahead of him and noted that for the first few days, he wanted to talk about great it was and how he was achieving a state of letting go of his thoughts for several moments, repeatedly. As the retreat went on, he became more honest, admitting he was getting there much less and only for a few seconds before the thoughts came in about an itch on his foot or something he needed to do back at home. I use this to spot a fake. Anyone who claims they can sit for hours and be at one with the universe, with no sense of self, is most likely lying.

Sam recently created a meditation app and I think he has a book.

To respond to you it sounds a lot more like the drugs rather than any experience of what "it"actually is. It sounds to me more like an idea of what "it"actually is. In response to the curious bit, no thanks. Being curious has led me down a LONG line of mental breakdowns and depression reading things I was better off not. The universe doesn’t provide moments or teachers, that’s just humans projecting what isn’t there upon the blank canvas. If it did then the universe has a sick sense of humor or just hates me because it seems to get great pleasure in watching me squirm. Plus following your gut is poor advice as anyone who knows the research behind it can attest. I can too as it causes me nothing but trouble and ignores the more reasoned part of me.

To the matter of this center. Apparently by “you are not alive” they meant that you are not really living or living well if you have all these thoughts in your head (though they could have just said that). One of the reasons I hate buddhism is the not so literal meaning of things. But from what else I gather the “pictures” they refer to might mean our own experience and interpretation of the world. Kind of like how you see a person as what you think they are based on experience when things can change. Or to the point that reality is what it is and not what we think it is. Of course this begs the question of how do you KNOW that the “true” reality you speak of is really true. Seems to me like a case against subjectivity.

They seem to paint the lens that which we view the world (I’m guessing subjectivity) as dark, flawed, dirty, and some other pretty negative terms. That the things we love and pursue in life are our enemies (regardless if you think otherwise). It just seemed like they were trying to paint your current state of affairs as awful and then offer their service. Sounds like too many religions to me. It was capped off by the fact that any further questions would involve paying for an appointment, or becoming a member.