The core problem is that obviously there are people, who benefit from exercises that include focusing upon their breath. But this is just not the case for all people.
I just closed my eyes and started to focus my attention on my breath. I did endure it as long as about ten times breathing. Then I got so bored, that my thoughts were not wondering, they were craving for something more interested to get busy with.
My thoughts were very clearly asking myself, why on earth I attempted to force my attention to such a dull, uninteresting and insignificant trivia as is my breath.
I could not find any rational reply except that I tested my reaction to self-inflicted boredom. So I opened my eyes, and returned to the much more enjoyable task of finishing to write this.
No matter what meditation suggests, I just cannot find my breath in any way interesting. It is my lung's job to do the breathing automatically without bothering my brain about it.
Even after 6 pages you still seem to be missing the same point: it's not the breathing you're trying to follow, that's just a means to an end. The purpose is to free up your attention for internal awareness of your mental operation, physical state, etc. The focus on a steady, mundane action like breathing is to pull your attention away from external thinking until you can latch onto your internal perceptions.
It's not much different than the trickiness of dredging up old memories or trying to figure out what was on the tip of your tongue to say before you lost track of it.
From your own self-descriptions of epicurean v. hedonist, you are a very cerebral person, you don't feel a need for meditation and it doesn't appeal to you. There are some things that people do that I don't get either (BDSM among other things) and there are many convoluted, contradictory explanations on why it's so great, or what the purpose of it is. I've had people give me explanations but I still don't see the appeal. I don't think you are being a "willfully ignorant troll"...you just don't see what is appealing about deep breathing exercises and such. Meditation is an activity that some people like and some don't, just like anything else.
I agree with your summing up of the situation.
By my count, you are the third person in this thread to realise Marulaki either has a differently-wired brain, or is a troll maintaining the troll's wilful ignorance.
I gave up when I realised that all his definitions are (by MM's own claims) self-constructed. It is impossible to rely on words such as 'thinking', 'focus', '(a)perception', 'awareness' , 'consciousness', because the dictionary definitions don't match MM's. Much of your discussion then, is spent discovering and correcting that.
From his most recent reply to you, I suspect 'endure' is a word with an odd definition for some people. Perhaps it refers to an insufficiently medicated ADD symptom I am unaware of, as 10 breaths is an awfully short time in which to become bored with self-reflection. Especially since the opening post to this thread states that pondering and suchlike are pleasant pastimes.
I have maintained subscription to this thread because other people have made interesting and enlightening comments. MM, not so much.
Focusing my attention on my breath is NOT self-reflection!!!!
I can either focus on my breath or on self-reflection, but not on both at the same time. Self-reflection is much more interesting than my breath and I am doing a lot of it.
I am NOT ADD, and I am not under any medication.
I am defining my understanding of words to avoid misunderstandings, because English is not my native language. For example the Enlish word thinking may not mean exactly the same as the German word 'denken'.
And I am female, but that is not important.
People are different, and my brain is not wired to belief in a god and not wired to focus on my breath without feeling bored. I did not join AN to be called a troll.
Es tut mir leid.
Ich kenne Sie nicht - ausser diese Nactrichten. Sicherlich, dein Englische kenntwisse viel, viel besser ist, als mein Deutsche. Es ist beiendruckend: Ich hade nicht erkannt, Englische nicht dein Muttersprache war. Sehr gut gemacht.
Aber so siehen Sie aus.
What you say you are is at odds with how you appear in your messages. What your stated aim is (to understand meditation) is at odds with your ability to side-step, misinterpret and ignore comments intended to help you. Given that meditation practitioners admit it has taken them years to reach a reasonably rewarding level of practice, to abandon your attempts in 10 breaths is very, very shallow. How else are we to take that?
to abandon your attempts in 10 breaths is very, very shallow.
It is not shallow, only realistic. A very unpleasant feeling like boredom is counterproductive to any positive effects. When I feel relaxed, start to focus on my breath, get bored, get tense as a consequence of the unpleasant boredome, focus longer on my breath and get more bored and more tense, then it has a very paradoxical effect.
For example, Jacobson's progressive muscle relaxation to me is a very comprehensible and rational technique. But I need to be tense to feel a need to do it. When I am fully relaxed, starting to do it would make me feel bored in no time and make me tense.
I have taken in the information, that focusing on their breath can be beneficial for some people and I have not doubted this. But it is obviously not the case for all people. I doubt that meditation is suitable for any person, who gets easily bored with any routine chores of any kind.
There are many other ways to self-reflection, self-awareness and self-monitoring, that are as successful as meditation for people, who have a different personality and a differently wired brain.
Whoever claims as a consequence of having personally benefitted, that meditation were good for everybody, projects.
There is no dialogue. Because my own statement, that there are many ways to gain self-awareness, self-reflection, self-monitoring, that are probably as successful as is meditation to some people, is also ignored.
Introspection does not require to get bored by focusing on one's breath.