What is meditation?

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    Feb 01, 2009 6:02 PM GMT
    I'm pretty highly strung... I like being that way, but it'd be good to chill out sometimes.

    Anyway, what is meditation and how does it work? Any good introductions?

    stressed.bmp
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    Feb 01, 2009 6:26 PM GMT
    Learning how to meditate is a process, and there's no better time to start than right now. However, I'd imagine there aren't many people out there in forums that are capable of getting you on track.

    The best thing to do is to hit a Barnes and Noble and pick up a book on basic meditation techniques.
  • Abe13

    Posts: 155

    Feb 01, 2009 6:55 PM GMT
    The simplest way to meditate is to get into a comfortable position. If sitting, both feet flat on the floor and your back straight. Then quiet your mind and focus on your breathing. Your mind will be busy for the first few times, but eventually you will be able to quiet your mind and just "be." Just focus on your breathing, if any thought enters your mind acknowledge it and let it go. Do not focus on it.
    Practice this for about 15 minutes at a time. You can set a timer if you like. This is a very simple version. There are many great books out there about this subject.
    Christopher Penczak has one that I recommend to any one who wants to learn about meditation. "The Inner Temple of Witchcraft." It is an introduction to the powers of the mind and he has a very good section on meditation. Most of your Wicca/Witchcraft/Magic beginners books have this information. There is even a book called "Meditation for Beginners."
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    Feb 01, 2009 7:02 PM GMT
    The gym and a iPod for meicon_smile.gif
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    Feb 01, 2009 7:46 PM GMT
    Tapper is right... Start out with a book in order to understand and educate yourself on meditation. As he says it is a process and it is highly individualized. Meditation is a very personal and rewarding activity/nonactivity.

    Try looking for meditation groups in your area. Many times there are meditation groups connected with Buddhist temples and groups. I think for me the groups were helpful in learning the process, but once I understood where I needed to go with my meditative practice I realized that I needed to be alone. I also found that once I had developed a solid base for my meditation practice I was able to meditate during yoga or while sitting at a coffee shop. Mind you these brief times while out in public were not as intense or as long as when I meditate at home, but they offer a nice diversion from daily life.

    Best of luck, I hope you find it as rewarding as I do.
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    Feb 01, 2009 11:57 PM GMT
    I am reading 8 minute meditation, which is a great place to start. A friend recommended it to me and it have some basic instruction and steps to help you mediate.
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    Feb 02, 2009 12:17 AM GMT
    If depression is part of what you are wanting to deal with, this is probably the best book ever written on the use of meditation and mindfulness training in psychology:

    http://www.amazon.com/Mindful-Way-through-Depression-Unhappiness/dp/1593851286

    Although it's directed at the problem of depression, it's also broadly useful in dealing with anxiety. It comes with a CD.



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    Feb 02, 2009 2:26 AM GMT
    it is basically running your body's energy. Since energy blockages cause
    dis-ease and di-stress it is very therapeutic. Western sitting type mediation i find is better than sitting types because you want to get the legs in the energy loop to.
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    Feb 02, 2009 3:45 AM GMT
    There are more definitions at this webpage, but I generally agree with these descriptions ..
    http://www.krishnamurtiaustralia.org/articles/meditation 1.htmMeditation is not a search, it's not a seeking, a probing, an exploration. It is an explosion and discovery. It's not the taming of the brain to conform nor is it a self-introspective analysis, it is certainly not the training in concentration which includes, chooses and denies. It's something that comes naturally, when all positive and negative assertions and accomplishments have been understood and drop away easily. It is the total emptiness of the brain. It's the emptiness that is essential, not what's in the emptiness, there is seeing only from emptiness, all virtue, not social morality and respectability, springs from it. It's out of this emptiness love comes, otherwise it's not love. Foundation of righteousness is in this emptiness. It's the end and beginning of all things.


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    Feb 04, 2009 7:42 PM GMT
    Interesting, thanks, looks like it is worth looking into...
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    Feb 04, 2009 8:07 PM GMT
    Sit quietly for five minutes. Focus on nothing but breathing in and out. If your mind starts to wander, catch it and bring it back to breathing.
  • bluefield

    Posts: 4

    Feb 07, 2009 11:21 AM GMT
    Here is a good TED talk on the science of Meditation, no hokus pokus,
    or New Age mumbo-jumbo:

    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/matthieu_ricard_on_the_habits_of_happiness.html
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    Aug 03, 2009 5:23 AM GMT
    Lost_And_Found saidI'm pretty highly strung... I like being that way, but it'd be good to chill out sometimes.

    Anyway, what is meditation and how does it work? Any good introductions?


    For me, meditation is a tool I can use to gain insight about myself, my interactions, or to answer complex questions. It can go any direction you decide to take it.

    I don't believe there is a right way to get to a meditative state, but I am sure there are a lot of tricks which can help you published in literature. As said prior, it is an exploration of your mind, and you should find what works best for you.

    -Find somewhere where you feel at ease and can focus (wherever that may be, I like a breeze)
    -Try to calm or even silence the inner voice (this can be very soothing once you've gotten there)
    -Try visualizations. I use two, but have a much more agreeable time with the second. 1) From a friend as a calming technique- Visual all of the perceived negative energy in your life as a black smoke you exhale through your mouth. Inhale through your nose while imagining a pure white goodness. This doesn't really work for me.
    2) What does work for me is imagining a channel of light originating from my mind which pierces the sky directly above. Concentration on this light broadens and intensifies the light channel, which essentially brings me closer to the heavens, and I get sort of a dizzy tingling feeling. The feeling intensifies until there is a release, and everything is still/tranquil. At this point I can resume the use of my inner voice to ask questions.

    It can be very beneficial, and fun. Try different things out, and don't give up. icon_smile.gif
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Aug 03, 2009 5:25 AM GMT
    Lost_And_Found saidWhat is meditation?


    That's a tough one. We should all retreat give it some thought.
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    Aug 03, 2009 5:32 AM GMT
    danisnotstr8 said
    Lost_And_Found saidWhat is meditation?


    That's a tough one. We should all retreat give it some thought.



    haha icon_razz.gif yes.
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    Aug 03, 2009 5:34 AM GMT
    get the meditation book by Osho. It's easy to follow.
  • jrs1

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    Sep 05, 2009 12:15 AM GMT

    Meditation, for me, is the practice of becoming more aware of the present. I do this by focusing both on my breathing and looking inward concerning my thoughts. I try to find a relationship to the outside world and how I have come to either understand that identity or how I may resolve issues that smolder in the back of my mind. If I feel that I am failing to keep a balance, I step back from just about everything and meditate.
  • swogdog

    Posts: 143

    Sep 05, 2009 1:03 AM GMT
    Meditation is designed to end stress and most meditation systems can be broken down into three components that when converged can allow stress to drop away: some sort of regulation of the body (i.e. finding a conducive posture that allows you to relax and remain aware during the meditation), developing concentration accompanied by relaxation, and developing mindfulness.

    The posture is important only in that it should allow you to remain comfortable and relatively still for the duration of the meditation. As well, the posture should be supportive of relaxation and alertness. One that you fall asleep in won't be ideal, and neither will a painful posture be the best choice.

    Concentration is coupled with relaxation in that the more relaxed you are the more deeply you can become absorbed in an object of focus, and the more focused you are the easier it is to relax. This isn't always true in life, but if you pick the right object of focus it is true. In meditation the ideal is to pick an object of meditation, like the breathing, that both allows you to concentrate and to relax.

    Mindfulness is the ability to be, well, mindful and alert; open in your awareness to what is going on around you and equanimous at the same time - able to see without reaction or judgment. A non-judgmental mind isn't always useful, but it is when you are trying to let go of stress while meditating, and cultivating it in the safety of meditation allows you to learn on a deep level when that non-judgmental awareness is appropriate in the rest of life as well - where a lot of stress can be dissolved as a result.

    There are other forms of meditation, such as the repetition of phrases or self-creating positive feeling-states so that you literally become more likely to be in these states or frames of reference all the time - but to describe them I'd have to write a book and lots of more experienced people have done that already.

    If interested I can point you towards instructions for a non-religious meditation system that works the core components and can relieve stress if done consistently.
  • _gingin

    Posts: 116

    Sep 05, 2009 1:11 AM GMT
    http://www.dhamma.org/

    vipassana meditation - its not just about taking a deep breath

    its about taking many deep breaths for over a course of 10 days to bring you to a state of inner conscious where you do your housekeeping chores. its about clearing out your mind and taking the yoke off your heart, and in the process, feeling enlightened.

    they have different courses, but the 10-day standard getaway (for free):
    tried, tested and very much recommended if you have the time.
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Sep 05, 2009 1:35 AM GMT
    The Barnes and Noble suggestion was the best so far. Seek expert help, from afar. Meditation is an Eastern Asian strategy for dealing with stress. Religious even. Go rent The Last Samurai. Watch that, maybe after smoking some weed to get you into it, then go to Barnes and Noble and search the Personal Improvement section, or whatever they are calling it this week, and find some meditation books. There are many stress reduction tactics. Meditation is one of them, but getting into ancient Japanese cultural ideals is awesome. Maybe if it goes badly, you can slice off someone's head with a sword and not be bummed out about it. Kidding :-) Really, check out the Last Samurai.
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    Sep 11, 2009 1:17 PM GMT
    All about beingness, took some time for me to learn how to tune out and tune into just simply being in one spot and enjoying the moment for what it is.

    Bikram yoga does it for me, even though I'm doing body movement, i'm able to tune everything out and simply exist in my body for an hour with minimal thought.
  • wellwell

    Posts: 2265

    Sep 11, 2009 2:13 PM GMT
    Prayer is an attempt to talk to God. Meditation is the art of listening to him (or his messengers).

    there are some gr8 books to be found at Light.org
    good luck !
  • yogadudeSEATT...

    Posts: 373

    Sep 11, 2009 2:45 PM GMT
    Many have said that meditation is about stilling the mind. That's only partly true. Meditation is not about achieving mental blankness. It's about quieting the mind so we can hear the truth in our heart.
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    Sep 12, 2009 4:25 AM GMT
    cosmicjewboy saidMany have said that meditation is about stilling the mind. That's only partly true. Meditation is not about achieving mental blankness. It's about quieting the mind so we can hear the truth in our heart.


    perfect, the above explanation speaks volumes

    it's all a process, learning to quiet the mind is an artful challenge, but with practice, it can be done... I'm a classic example and what an incredible journey it's put me on. once you've got a glimpse of true inner peace, you open up to your heart,
  • jutha

    Posts: 6

    Oct 16, 2009 12:23 AM GMT
    here's a nice quote from a friend's book.

    Many people are convinced that one of the requirements to practice Meditation is the ability to create at will a state of perfect concentration: this is the final result, not the first step!

    It is normal for the mind to float continuously toward a thousand opposite directions, as if the practitioner’s daily activities were carried on. This is what Meditation will defeat as time goes by.

    Considering that, why feel guilt if concentration seems impossible to grasp in the beginning? A lot of people have followed paths of "personal growth". All of these experiments ended up a mere waste of energy and time; our mind’s effort cannot give us that embrace that comes from eternity and that leads to eternity.

    Putting aside the attempt of "strangling our mind with our mind", by concentrating only on the breath, one day, the real power of "silence" will take possession of our thoughts. Only then will it be possible to define our mind as "inexistent", rather than as a mind having reached success in its concentration effort.