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Switch to Forum Live View meditation problems.
6 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2008 - 10:36AM #11
spiritalk
Posts: 1,165
As we go into sleep state, we go through the alpha state of consciousness.  This is also the same state we use for meditation.  The fact is meditation is about altering our consciousness to feel peaceful, at the same time as being alert to what the thoughts are doing.

Be comfortable, darkened room, straight chair (lying down would precipitate sleep for sure) and do whatever exercises quiet your physical body - some use breathing technique and there is also the technique of apply pressure and releasing to each of your body parts starting at feet and moving up to head. 

The scene is produced by visualization - a mind technique.  Visualize a peaceful place - one you know of or one of your creation.  When the mind has something to concentrate (think) upon it will remain at peace doing just that for a time.

Some people are not visual.  Try something auditory - peaceful music or maybe a mantra that goes through the mind, rather than a picture.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 19, 2008 - 3:18PM #12
CLHazz
Posts: 94
Thank you for the suggestions and for the reality check on to not expect anything strange to happen. I will try again.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 21, 2008 - 1:48PM #13
tandava
Posts: 1
I recently have been working on some tips on how to meditate.  Hopefully this will help some of you out there.

1. Do not expect results:

This is actually a meditation technique in itself!!!  Actually, one of the biggest hurdles to keeping consistent with a meditation routine is going into the meditation expecting that something will happen.  The funniest thing is that when you actually expect something to happen, it actually decreases the effectiveness of the meditation itself, because expectation is not congruent with being in the moment.

As a beginner to meditation, the expectations one has are usually very far away from what the experiences will be.  We hear so many things from so many people about what meditation can offer - peace, love, insight, intuition, God, bliss, etc....  I can say that I did not know really what these words even meant until I experienced these things.  So, our idea of these expectations are different from the reality of experiencing them.  Our incorrect assumption of what these emotions/experiences can actually negatively impact our ability to experience them.

The more you are able to stop expecting results, the more effective your meditation sessions will be.

2. Don't try to convince yourself to start a session - you will argue against it with yourself and win, ie. not meditate.

This is a very important point.  I learned that the only way to actually, regularly meditate, was to simply "just do it".  Sometimes I would not feel like doing it.  There is always something else you can do, TV to watch, books to read, internet to browse, etc. etc. Sometimes when I did not feel like meditating, I would try to convince myself of the positives of meditation, but no matter how hard I tried to convince myself that I should meditate, I came up with some reason why I should skip it.  My desire to not sit with myself would always win.  I was able to start meditating regularly when I stopped arguing with myself about it.  I would simply say to myself - I'm going to do it.  If some other thought comes into the head, I disciplined myself to simply say no to it.  This takes some time, and some courage to do, but it is possible.  Of course, at some point positive things will happen while meditation or due to meditation that will inspire you, but you cannot depend on these events to push you to meditate. You have to push yourself.   It will become easier over time, and you may start seeing yourself looking forward to meditation.  At that point, it becomes a joyful doing rather than an uncomfortable chore.  This leads to enjoying the path rather than torturing yourself to be on the path.  Enjoying the path is the first real indication that you are really on the path!

3. If you do miss a day, or two, or more... It's OK!!!

There is no meditation police that is going to chase you down because you missed your meditation.  The only police is your head which will surely find a way to make you feel guilty!  But I'm here to say... it is perfectly OK to miss a day, or two, or a week, and start up again.  I'm not suggesting that you meditate only once a week - it is definitely recommended to have a daily practice and it will be much more effective if you do have a daily practice - BUT if you do happen to miss, the worst thing you can do to your future meditation practice is to feel bad for stopping.  Even if you stop for months, you can start again, and sometimes the break can actually be good for your practice.  It is definitely possible to get into ruts in your practice, and taking a break from it can be beneficial.  But, to start with, to get off the ground, at least 3 weeks of daily practice is highly recommended.

3. Remember that each meditation session is unique.

We tend to compare each meditation session with our previous one.  We think we are doing the same thing, so the results should be similar.

First of all, the very idea of results need to be examined.  Thinking of results contradicts the very practice of meditation.  It brings a thought process into us about something in the future, that does not exist in the present.  When we think of a result, we imagine a feeling or idea that may exist in the future, and this feeling is inherently distorted from reality.  For example, if you imagine how you felt happy during a get-together with your friends, this imagination of how you felt happy is not the same feeling as the happiness you had experienced.  It is more of a reference - you remember the fact that you were happy - you do not experience the happiness itself.  In the same way, while meditating, whenever you imagine a result, a feeling, a state of mind, it is NOT the same as *experiencing* that state of mind.  Also, when the desire is created to experience a previous state of mind, disappointment is the result of not achieving the desired imagination, and this totally gets in the way of meditation.

There was a Buddhist teacher named Ajaan Fuang who had a student who asked him "Why wasn't today's session as good as yesterday's?"

He answered: "Meditating is like wearing clothes. Today you wear white, tomorrow red, yellow, blue, whatever. You have to keep changing. You can't wear the same set of clothes all the time. So whatever color you're wearing, just be aware of it. Don't get depressed or excited about it."

4. Stay confident.

It's very normal to have difficult meditation sessions, where you feel, after the session, that "nothing happened".  Remember that just sitting there for your designated time and watching your mind is a major accomplishment - it does not matter what actually happens.  The goal should be regular practice, not results.  The results will happen on their own, and as long as you are practicing a time tested technique, things will happen properly.



5. Ignore others' lofty experiences.

It is very exciting when something interesting happens during meditation, and people do like discussing it. Unfortunately, along with their excitement of having had this experience, you may find yourself envious or disappointed that you haven't had that experience.  People may discuss spectacular things, like visions they had, out of body experiences, all kinds of things.  Remember that all these experiences are not necessary to be a "successful" meditator.  In fact, many times, these experiences can be a serious hindrance to progress due to the fact that we start to get disappointed by not repeating these results.

6. Pay attention to the instructions of the meditation technique.

Meditation techniques that are given sometimes sound extremely simple.  Sometimes very few pointers are given.  This is good because you don't want preconceived ideas of how things "should" go, or experiences that "should" happen.  The thing to remember with a simple instruction is that all the points in the simple instruction should be reviewed carefully.  A simple instruction such as "sit straight" is really very important.  Try to stay as true to the technique's instructions as possible.  You may find yourself going away from it at times, which is OK - experimentation is healthy, but when you remember that you are getting slouched (for example), try to respond by improving your posture, rather than thinking of an excuse like "sitting straight really isn't that important".

7. Do not judge what goes on in your head.

Many, many, many..... MANY things pop up in the head while trying to meditate.  You may be very surprised to see what thoughts are lurking there.  Try not to judge yourself for what happens in the mind.  Simply registering your thoughts will itself reorient your mind.  The awareness of your mind itself adjusts the mind.  It is a lack of awareness of what is going on in your head that perpetuates ignorance, and unconscious behavior. You may struggle with defeatist thoughts or any thought, but accepting your thoughts as simply thoughts is key.  Accepting yourself as you are is perhaps the greatest gift you can give yourself and your meditation practice.

8. Try different techniques, but try to give each technique that you try at least 3 weeks.

Regularly practicing a technique for at least 3 weeks is recommended because it requires consistency and time for a technique to reveal itself to you.  It takes many tries to get somewhat settled into a technique, and each day builds on the last.  You may find that most of the meditation sessions in the initial sittings are somewhat stormy, but as time goes by, you will see that a greater portion of your setting is of higher quality.  The depth of the meditation also increases over time.  As with most of my previous tips - whether or not "improvement" happens or not - just continue practicing.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2008 - 11:04AM #14
monumental
Posts: 138
HI Tandava,
Read your post with interest. I have read all the tip on meditation, also tried, and i still find it hard. Like you stated sometimes you get something other times you don,t. I try sitting as straight as i can, but i do have neck and back problems, so sometimes i find it difficult. I also have tried meditation lying down as that on some days is best for me, i do not go to sleep though. But  thank you for your input i find it interesting and true of the way i get and feel.

Love, light and peace.

Monica
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 23, 2008 - 10:02AM #15
spiritalk
Posts: 1,165
Its your mind, use what works for you.  Techniques and suggestIons are only that - not a blueprint.  Each must find what works for self.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 24, 2008 - 12:36AM #16
kilgoretrout2006
Posts: 202
"Its your mind, use what works for you.  Techniques and suggestIons are only that - not a blueprint.  Each must find what works for self."


That's absolutely true. Everyone has to find their own path. At the same time though meditation is like anything else; there are basic rules that apply. And you can take most of the suggestions above [Reasonable expectations, steady consistent practice, attention to detail.] and apply them to anything: yoga, weight lifting, learning to drive a car, anything. I think that sometimes people think that because a lot of what happens during meditation is internal it's somehow different from the way the rest of life works but the truth is that it's really hard (If your meditation feels effortless you're probably not getting much benefit from it.), it takes work, and success and change tend to come in small increments.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 24, 2008 - 7:02AM #17
monumental
Posts: 138
Hello All

I have recently written about meditation and the problems i have. WELL! This morning i lay in bed and i put on a really relaxing piece of music also used some incense for the room. I lay there and  all  i got was different colours, violets, purples, yellow tinged with brown, also at  other times i have had pinks and greens, all sorts in fact. So i thought in the end because i was not getting anything else i would give up the meditation and just lie and listen to the music. Guess what? i had a vision. I was still seeing colours but then everything turned bluish, grey blue, white mixed in with the blue. The vision being the opposite of a ship/boat sinking  and just seeing the tip, this was the tip coming up - a boat/ship turning into just that , with children or adults waving and cheering, all in  the colour blue.  I was pleased with that. But have no idea what it would mean.

Love, light and peace

Monica
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 24, 2008 - 7:12AM #18
Moontreader
Posts: 276
Hi all
This is my first visit to the meditation forum.
I also was listening to music this morning after meditating.
Suddenly of all things I was opening the dishwasher in my mind. The draw that is usually used for cups and glasses was full with clean sparkling cutlery, large numbers of knives forks and spoons. I started to remove them when I thought "hang on what am I doing" and it all ended.
Anyone know what this means symbolically? I don't have a clue?
Love and light
Al
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 24, 2008 - 7:45AM #19
Beth228
Posts: 7
I think a CD would be helpful.  It was really helpful to me and told exactly how to begin.  I would recommend Brian Weiss, M.D.  "Meditation to inner peace, love and joy.  I think you could find it about anywhere but I got mine on Amazon.com.  There are also other good ones that could help, this one is just my favorite.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 21, 2008 - 10:42PM #20
Sfltracey
Posts: 283
I never thought I could meditate. For many years it was suggested and now I meditate at least an hour a day.

The way I clear my mind and enjoy it is I do a mind scan of my body to increase awareness of how my body feels. I start at one of my feet and go from there. Should I have trouble concentrating I "say" the word in my head for each body part. When I am done I do guided imagery. I picture flowers and trees at my feet to be grounded. Then I work on my chakras, visualizing each one with their colors and spinning clockwise. By the time I am at the crown I am deeply relaxed. I play music and use aromatherapy as well. However, at least once or twice a week I will sit with no music or aromatherapy so I don't rely on it.
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