Firstly I would like to say that Horizons first post is excellent.
In reply to the above person, I would say that meditation should be the opposite of self-analysis, in the sense of witnessing and judging parts of oneself, analysing them, creating attachments to them (the thoughts and feelings as they arise).
When you meditate it is important to distinguish between this, and the process of simply letting things come into your mind, and swell up, without attaching to them in any way. This way you are reducing your emotional attachments to memories. Of course, many thoughts are negative and therefore you are helping yourself. But the process of reducing attachment to positive memories aswell, will reduce the intensity of those feelings.
Chris Ginsburg has it spot on when he comments that this can lead to a numb feeling, as you realise that all that comes into your mind can be witnessed, creating a barrier between the witnessing and your thoughts and emotions, the witnessed.
This may be a big problem and it is something to be rectified.
For me, the point of meditation is to become less self-conscious and NOT more. The idea of "being in the now" refers to trusting all the emotions and thoughts and feelings that come into your consciousness, and being able to act on them, safe in the comfort that you are operating from a compassionate, humane and intelligent position. This is the trust that comes from purifying your moral outlook through the use of meditation and self-development.
The point of meditation is to remove the critical monkey, not to become a permanent critical monkey witnessing yourself live your life! It is a subtle but important difference.
I would suggest that when not meditating you forget all about the meditative state. Or at least try and focus 100% on what it is you are doing, and NOT the experience of doing it. This is for me, one of the major goals of meditation (and i say it again) - being completely absorbed in experience and having no self-consciousness at all.
So basically, i would recommend absorbing your mind in things and taking a massive chill pill. When you meditate, focus on relaxing your body or your breath, and not your thoughts and emotions. Just allow the thoughts and emotions to rise but don't judge them, go back to the focus on the body/breath each time. It will feel like you are cleansing your mind and you should feel sharper and more alert and more in tune with yourself, not less.
Hope this helps!
And yeh, go out, have fun, and try focusing on things, anything, other than your self - that picture of yourself you have painted that is negative. You have turned meditation into a massive analysis of yourself, rather than allowing the spontaneous ebb and flow of your consciousness to be trusted and connected with (in my opinion).
It is good to feel, crucial to feel and be passionate. The point of meditation is to reduce the negative emotions and allow yourself to act rationally despite of them, whilst at the same time increasing positive emotions and allowing you to relax and revel in them.
Last edited by Jaiysun4; 12-02-2010 at 06:32 PM.