How Do YOU Meditate?


#1

I’ve been trying to meditate at least 10 minutes everyday for the past couple weeks to be more relaxed and overall boost my mood but I don’t know if I’m making any headway with it. Maybe I’m doing it wrong or maybe I just need some advice so anything you guys would like to share would really be appreciated. Why or how did you get started, what do you do, and what works for you?


#2

[QUOTE=yestoday;49131]I’ve been trying to meditate at least 10 minutes everyday for the past couple weeks to be more relaxed and overall boost my mood but I don’t know if I’m making any headway with it. Maybe I’m doing it wrong or maybe I just need some advice so anything you guys would like to share would really be appreciated. Why or how did you get started, what do you do, and what works for you?[/QUOTE]

I’d recommend 20-30min, 2x-3x/day for at least a month to get the new meditation habit embedded.
Oh, & get some kind of mindfulness technique for when you’re running around with your eyes open, that will help keep your mind present during the day. Keeping the mind in the present moment and not off on random thought streams REALLY helps to reduce incoming accumulated stress through the day & your evening meditations will be much nicer.


#3

I think 10 minutes is a great start! Even 5 minutes a day is better than none at all. When I sit down to meditate I do it for 20 minutes. Sometimes I do it within my yoga practice (either before or after) and sometimes I do it by itself.

Don’t worry about “making headway.” As long as you are sitting with the intent to do nothing but breathe, you are meditating. Don’t judge yourself for having thoughts. Even advanced meditators can still have thoughts during a meditation session. The fact is that you are observing and witnessing whatever is happening, whether it is a distracting noise in your environment, a distracting thought in your head, or just watching your breath. Just be, and you are meditating.

I got started by just sitting for 20 minutes a day every day right before dinner, and after my daily hike. It helps to do some physical activity first so your body has released some of the excess physical energy that can make meditation difficult.

And if you are interested in reading about meditation there are many good books out there. Jack Kornfield is one that I like.


#4

I love meditation and practice several methods.

My introduction was with guided yoga nidra. I bought a CD off itunes. There is also a free meditation ‘course’ on itunes. (I’d post specifics on what I’ve used but I don’t remember if it’s allowed on this site or not - I need to go back and reread the rules.)

There are so many ways to meditate and none are the best. The best is the one that works for you. For example with me…I find I respond better to guided meditations. And within guided meditations, I do better with female voices.

Just keep experimenting and you’ll hit on the best method for you.


#5

Have you tried anything in the form of a moving meditation? Stillness has always been a problem for me, and is still something I am constantly working on, but I have found great peace in moving meditations. The movements don’t have to be large or extreme just something you enjoy that allows you to free your mind.

2 of my favorite ways to do this are balancing and inversions. The great thing about each of these to me is there are many different ways to accomplish them. For balancing you can do things as basic as standing on one foot, doing yoga poses like tree, standing on safe objects that present a balance challenge, or walking on a slackline.

Inversions are great also because there are many different options for them as well. If you are new to inversions its good to start out with Viparita Karani and shoulder stand, then move to headstand or handstand when you become more comfortable. Holding an inversion allows your body to reset itself.

These have worked for me especially putting on relaxing music before i start my meditation and I hope they can be useful to you as well!


#6

One is extremely fortunate if meditation is where one’s spiritual practice can begin. Ordinarily, to be able to meditate is an ability achieved after working on several fronts:

  1. Steady posture: to be able to sit in a body posture long enough and to be able to achive stillness that allows suspension of body awareness
  2. Steady mind: to be able to slow down thinking at will and not respond to sensory input
  3. Concentration: to be able to sustain willful engagement progressively with an object, an image and breath
  4. Non-attachment: to be able to close eyes, as well as close mind’s involvement in thought-making to bring about a smooth and natural disconnect with the sensory world.

Then one can enter a truly meditative state. If one remains aware of a count of 10 minutes, it is not meditation. “You are meditating when you are not.” Yogi Arvind.


#7

[QUOTE=Indra Deva;49178]I’d recommend 20-30min, 2x-3x/day for at least a month to get the new meditation habit embedded.
Oh, & get some kind of mindfulness technique for when you’re running around with your eyes open, that will help keep your mind present during the day. Keeping the mind in the present moment and not off on random thought streams REALLY helps to reduce incoming accumulated stress through the day & your evening meditations will be much nicer.[/QUOTE]

I think that 20-30 minutes is really hard for beginners. I am a beginner and I find myself bored within minutes. :stuck_out_tongue:
I can’t focus either. I can practise yoga for hours but I just can’t sit for meditation for more than 5 minutes unless it is a guided meditation.
I can’t do it on my own, and I usually choose to do yoga instead.


#8

[QUOTE=kineticvigilantes;49204]Have you tried anything in the form of a moving meditation? Stillness has always been a problem for me, and is still something I am constantly working on, but I have found great peace in moving meditations. The movements don’t have to be large or extreme just something you enjoy that allows you to free your mind.

2 of my favorite ways to do this are balancing and inversions. The great thing about each of these to me is there are many different ways to accomplish them. For balancing you can do things as basic as standing on one foot, doing yoga poses like tree, standing on safe objects that present a balance challenge, or walking on a slackline.

Inversions are great also because there are many different options for them as well. If you are new to inversions its good to start out with Viparita Karani and shoulder stand, then move to headstand or handstand when you become more comfortable. Holding an inversion allows your body to reset itself.

These have worked for me especially putting on relaxing music before i start my meditation and I hope they can be useful to you as well![/QUOTE]

This sounds very good! I think it might even solve my problem with meditation!
Thank you!


#9

[QUOTE=Suhas Tambe;49225]One is extremely fortunate if meditation is where one’s spiritual practice can begin. Ordinarily, to be able to meditate is an ability achieved after working on several fronts:

  1. Steady posture: to be able to sit in a body posture long enough and to be able to achive stillness that allows suspension of body awareness
  2. Steady mind: to be able to slow down thinking at will and not respond to sensory input
  3. Concentration: to be able to sustain willful engagement progressively with an object, an image and breath
  4. Non-attachment: to be able to close eyes, as well as close mind’s involvement in thought-making to bring about a smooth and natural disconnect with the sensory world.

Then one can enter a truly meditative state. If one remains aware of a count of 10 minutes, it is not meditation. “You are meditating when you are not.” Yogi Arvind.[/QUOTE]
Wonderful answer! :slight_smile:


#10

I bracket my day with meditation. I used to be Buddhist, and in Buddhism the word for meditation in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition is ‘gom’, which means ‘to become familiar’. I ‘meditate’ first thing in the morning while running. I remind myself, and become familiar of my goals and why they are important. I think about why I want to stay in the best shape I can, why I want to train as hard as I can, why I need to eat well everyday, why I need to develop my social abilities, and career, I think about removing limitations from myself… I do this every morning, and it helps me stay strong and focused on my goals, and why they are important… in the evening, I do light Yoga and mobility exercises, and sit in a meditation posture, and focus on my breath, and relax my mind before sleep. This seems to work for me.


#11

yestoday,

“Maybe I’m doing it wrong or maybe I just need some advice so anything you guys would like to share would really be appreciated. Why or how did you get started, what do you do, and what works for you?”

There are various psychological obstacles which are like barriers for meditation, which if one does not dissolve them, can make meditation very difficult. But it is not that meditation is difficult, it is in fact the most simple thing imaginable. That is in itself a problem. Awareness itself is not something that can be done as a conscious act, it is like the blood flowing through ones veins, or one’s own heartbeat. All that one is doing in “meditation” is not meditation, but creating a certain space where meditation can arise by itself.

But, if one’s system is not prepared for it, meditation is almost impossible. All of the various methods of yoga, the asanas, pranayama, kriyas, bandhas, mudras, are simply for this, to purify and prepare one’s system for the next phase of work which is meditation. Not everybody is capable of sitting immediately for meditation, some groundwork is needed. The mind is coming with a huge history of programming behind it, it simply wants to follow it’s tendencies. It will rebel against any transformation at almost any cost. You can try sitting for meditation immediately, there is no problem. That is what the Buddhists have done. But, you will find that there will be several obstacles to overcome before you come to the experience of meditation. So in the yogic sciences, the approach has been to first deal with the body as a way to influence the mind. There is no sharp dividing line between the mind and the body, and any change that happens on one level creates a change on another. So you can use purification of the body as a tool to purify the mind, and once you have prepared both mind and body, then meditation will be found to be much more fluid and friendly.

If you do not do the necessary work for preparation and start immediately, the only then that I can tell you is to first find the proper method and stick to it. If you want to find the proper method which is suitable for your character, it may be useful to seek the help of a master. But if you are practicing anapanasati, practice that and nothing else. Once you have found the proper method, practice with consistency. Even if you are practicing and you are finding that nothing is happening, continue.


#12

[QUOTE=kidvisions;49305]I think that 20-30 minutes is really hard for beginners. I am a beginner and I find myself bored within minutes. :stuck_out_tongue:
I can’t focus either. I can practise yoga for hours but I just can’t sit for meditation for more than 5 minutes unless it is a guided meditation.
I can’t do it on my own, and I usually choose to do yoga instead.[/QUOTE]

I’ve taught meditation for over a decade and 20-30mins, two or three times a day is exactly what I teach. No one has a problem with it.
& your boredom really has nothing to do with it, it’s just another thought. You should observe and then ignore it.


#13

[QUOTE=Indra Deva;49366]I’ve taught meditation for over a decade and 20-30mins, two or three times a day is exactly what I teach. No one has a problem with it.
& your boredom really has nothing to do with it, it’s just another thought. You should observe and then ignore it.[/QUOTE]
Very helpful advice! :slight_smile:


#14

[QUOTE=kidvisions;49387]Very helpful advice! :)[/QUOTE]

Sometimes we think certain thoughts are special, like if you think that you should get up and call your mother in the middle of your 20min meditation,“I don’t call her enough as it is,” etc etc. Even that is just a thought.
Of course, please be prudent. A thought such as “I hear a smoke alarm & smell something burning, maybe the house is on fire” should probably be heeded.
Live to meditate another day! :smiley:


#15

Suhas it is not good fortune but ones own effort that leads to development.

“good fortune” to me at least implies that this process is somehow out of your own hands and borders on ‘supersition’

Achievement of stable meditation arises by practice of the art.


#16

How do I meditate?

I just sit

[QUOTE=yestoday;49131]I’ve been trying to meditate at least 10 minutes everyday for the past couple weeks to be more relaxed and overall boost my mood but I don’t know if I’m making any headway with it. Maybe I’m doing it wrong or maybe I just need some advice so anything you guys would like to share would really be appreciated. Why or how did you get started, what do you do, and what works for you?[/QUOTE]

10 minutes a day for a couple weeks is not long enough to tell anything really.

Be patient and it will all come int time, there are no shortcuts


#17

You could practice some minutes of Anuloma Viloma or Nadi Shoddhana pranayama (alternate nostril breathing) before meditation, as it’s mind calming and focusing.

Congratulations for your decision


#18

I’ve been doing and teaching Vipassana meditation now for years. It is much easier for the beginner. Allowing thoughts to arise and as they do, put no meaning to them. Allow them to come and go and just be aware. 20 minutes can go by in the blink of an eye. There is much more to it (I gave a simplified version) and there are many good books on Vipassana (or Insight) meditation. A good one is by Goldstein. You can even google it and quite a bit of good information.

Recently I’ve been introduced to Zazen and found that, for me, it was the most comfortable and peaceful meditation I’ve done. At the Zen Center, they do a 30 minute Zazen meditation followed by a 15 minute walking meditation and they end with another 30 minute one. I really enjoyed it.

But for me, meditation was more of a challenge until about a year ago. Things began to change and it became much easier for whatever reason. Who am I to question that!


#19

I’ve been doing a little Sri Vidya


#20

Since getting a more regular yoga practice going from last summer, I find it easier to sit. I think creating a dedicated space for yoga and meditation helps me a lot. For years and years I would just, sort of…try to remember to “be present” - kind of like what Eckhart Tolle recommends, or even G.I. Gurdjieff’s “self-remembering”.

But I think that has been a bit too “haphazard” for me, and like most forms of “practice” - you get more out of it the more you put into it. Some of you may agree with this when it comes to getting onto the mat or into the dojo.

During the 80s and 90s when I encountered the more “active” meditations developed by Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh), I really enjoyed doing them–Nadabrahma, Mandala, Dynamic, but especially Kundalini. You can find descriptions and demos for most of these on YouTube and various Osho sites. Anyone who feels “active” meditation might work better for them may wish to check those out.

Years ago I learned the Yang short-form of Tai Chi Chuan, and really enjoyed it when I was taking a class, but like my earlier years of yoga classes, I never got an outside-the-class practice happening with Tai Chi. I think it would be beautiful to explore that again. Maybe those of you who practice this can weigh in on its benefits for you as meditation.

When I sit, I usually take a Tibetan approach. I keep my eyes open, focused on the floor at some point around 6 feet in front of me, and I watch my breathing…trying to really be present with it. When I notice myself lost in a thought, I take note of it before returning my attention to the breathing. Sometimes there are a lot of distracting thoughts, and other times, very few. Either way, I don’t get bored with it. The “problem” that can occur is when I sit longer than 30 minutes–then one of my legs starts to fall asleep. But I think asana practice will help with this.