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  1. #1
    ReflecTcelfeR
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    Default The Opposite of Meditation.

    I was thinking about what meditation does to your body, the focus inward in finding an answer and calming and becoming one with everything. All of these descriptions lead me to believe that this helps focus almost all introverted functions as it should because it requires focus on oneself. This is not what I wonder though, I wonder what would be considered the opposite of meditation, what action(s) would require, or help you to focus all of your extraverted functions, or does meditation encompass the extraverted functions as well?

  2. #2
    Ginkgo
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    No, it's not necessarily that meditation calls upon introversion. I meditate almost every day now, and when I first started practicing, it was difficult for me to focus because I kept recollecting things or examining other inner-things that served as no more than distractions. In fact, one common form of meditation technique is to focus on your breathing, which takes place outside of your more subjective mind (extraverted focusing).

    As long as you shut out peripheral distractions, you'll be able to meditate deeply. That's why they developed mantras and artistic activities that demand focus without too much clutching strain.

  3. #3
    ReflecTcelfeR
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    But isn't the goal of meditation to be intune with yourself, which in Jungian terms hints towards introversion? Not arguing, just trying to grasp.

  4. #4
    Ginkgo
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReflecttcelfeR View Post
    But isn't the goal of meditation to be intune with yourself, which in Jungian terms hints towards introversion? Not arguing, just trying to grasp.
    It depends on what your purposes are for. I initially started meditating to subside my headaches. To prevent headaches, I had to consciously be in tune with my body and my mind, bridging the gap. So yes, in that way you are correct. It may even be considered a form of individuation. All I know is that I'm hardly ever out of control when I'm focusing, and Jung considered the subconscious to be obstructing and pulling the strings of the consciousness.

    It's all about balance and control.

  5. #5
    Ginkgo
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    EDIT: Yeah, now that I think about it, you may be on to something.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReflecttcelfeR View Post
    But isn't the goal of meditation to be intune with yourself, which in Jungian terms hints towards introversion? Not arguing, just trying to grasp.
    The only goal all forms of Eastern meditation have in common is to be "intune". That is awake, aware and attentive (the word "focus" implies the consciousness doing something, when it's really more just being conscious).

    It can be intune with yourself, intune with the world around you etc. Anything you want. Visualisations, Mantras, Koans, Kinhin, Contemplation, dream meditation, deep mediation etcetera all have this element at their core.

    The opposite of meditation is relaxation. Since relaxation involves the mind being asleep (even if the body is awake). Stress is sometimes said to be the opposite, but stress usually awakens consciousness somewhat, rather than putting it to sleep. Stress mainly contradicts meditation in that it causes and embraces pain and tension, and the attentiveness it causes is not very effective for most goals outside of physical exercise. The only thing relaxation shares with meditation is stress-relief, but it does not reduce stress in the long-term like meditation does.

  7. #7
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    As far as I can see, the opposite of meditation is full wakefulness in possession of all our critical faculties.

    While meditation is turning off some of our critical faculties for a time.

    And which critical faculties we turn off determines the type of meditation.

    Yes, there is a typology of meditation.

  8. #8
    ReflecTcelfeR
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    The only goal all forms of Eastern meditation have in common is to be "intune". That is awake, aware and attentive (the word "focus" implies the consciousness doing something, when it's really more just being conscious).

    It can be intune with yourself, intune with the world around you etc. Anything you want. Visualisations, Mantras, Koans, Kinhin, Contemplation, dream meditation, deep mediation etcetera all have this element at their core.

    The opposite of meditation is relaxation. Since relaxation involves the mind being asleep (even if the body is awake). Stress is sometimes said to be the opposite, but stress usually awakens consciousness somewhat, rather than putting it to sleep. Stress mainly contradicts meditation in that it causes and embraces pain and tension, and the attentiveness it causes is not very effective for most goals outside of physical exercise. The only thing relaxation shares with meditation is stress-relief, but it does not reduce stress in the long-term like meditation does.
    Not saying you are wrong, but it seems counter-intuitive that relaxation be the opposite of meditation, but bringing that up does make a kind of sense that I hadn't thought about so thank you! It seems though that relaxation might only be the opposite of certain types of meditation, or as Victor put it "typology of meditation". What do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    It's all about balance and control.
    Balance should be the ultimate goal no matter what! This I can argree with whole-heartedly!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Functions aside I'd say that the opposite of meditation would be reckless ego-based actions. As opposed to careful selfless pondering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReflecttcelfeR View Post
    Not saying you are wrong, but it seems counter-intuitive that relaxation be the opposite of meditation, but bringing that up does make a kind of sense that I hadn't thought about so thank you! It seems though that relaxation might only be the opposite of certain types of meditation, or as Victor put it "typology of meditation". What do you think?
    Well I struggle to think of a variation of meditation that does not involve the very opposite of relaxing the mind. I'm sure, since meditation is not a very regulated word, there are all kinds of definitions out there. I'm referring to the big, widely practised, taught and honed forms.

    In those types the body certainly can get very relaxed, but, as Shaolin monks will demonstrate, meditation of this kind can be done whilst huge stress is placed on the body. The mind can be stressed without hindering the meditative process too, and it can become very peaceful (AKA being quiet), but it cannot be relaxed. Relaxing the mind during meditation is wildly considered the number one mistake made by beginners entering the practice. Little progress will be made treating meditation as such, and the deeper forms are all together inaccessible, as one tends to fall asleep if both the mind and body are relaxed together.

    I can't imagine much benefit comes from meditation that involves relaxing the mind, beyond short-term stress relief and some interesting hallucinations.

    I'm sorry if that's not clear. It's a hard point to describe without directly experiencing it. Let's just say the benefits of an alert mind are truly amazing, and terms like "relax" can be very misleading in the process to attain it.

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