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Meditation practice

I have a question for the community, how did you learn about meditation? did it come easily for you? how often do you meditate and how do you fit it into your daily lives? I've always have a hard time meditation, my minds always wonders.

Comments

  • I think a lot of us find it a challenge. What kind of meditation are you doing, and have you had any face-to-face instruction?

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Well, everybody's heard of it, but just more peeps are getting 'into it' - even corporations for a long time have used it for their execs. I got serious about it when I started wanting to learn and study up on Buddha and Buddhism. I find it easy for me to practice mindfulness and if what most people think of meditation doesn't come soon after assuming my usual meditation position (lying down due to health issues), I simply continue on with being mindful of the sounds around me. I figure I've put off many things in my life, but getting a taste of what it does for me, I realize the true benefits to doing it. The cool thing is, wondering and/or wandering minds are allowed, which a lot of people wring their hands over, but it's really not a problem. <3

    Nichy
  • NichyNichy Explorer

    @SpinyNorman said:
    I think a lot of us find it a challenge. What kind of meditation are you doing, and have you had any face-to-face instruction?

    no, I haven't had any face-to-face instruction, just pick up from here to there.. and tried the aps out there and it doesn't work that well for me. lol

  • Ajahn Brahm is good, lots of meditation talks on youtube.

    Is there a local Buddhist centre or group you could visit?

  • howhow Veteran
    edited February 2015

    @Nichy

    You are trying to resolve the inertia of a lifetime (or more) of habituated behaviors.
    Meditation is a full Masters program on the deprogramming your own conditioning.
    If it isn't challenging, it is probably not meditation.

    karastiBunks
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    edited February 2015

    how did you learn about meditation? did it come easily for you?

    @Nichy -- I once estimated I read about 500,000 pages about spiritual endeavor and then one day the dime dropped: "Put up or shut up!"

    No, it wasn't easy: Mentally, books were much easier... I knew a lot of way-kool stuff. Physically, I was and remain knock-kneed. And then, for all the stuff I had read, I had to go back and figure out exactly how anyone actually did meditation ... as opposed to knowing everything.

    I got an old milk crate out of the garbage pile outside my apartment block. I put an orange cloth on it and then added a picture and something to burn incense in. And then I tried sitting cross-legged ... at which I sucked. I was plagued by the notion that I couldn't possibly be doing it "right." I was wrong, but I didn't know that at the time.

    Looking back, I rather admire the ignoramus I was ... the one who kept on doing it despite my 'ignorance.' And that's not to say things got any easier: Over the years, the moment one aspect seemed to smooth out, another aspect seemed to get prickly as a rose bush.

    There is nothing virtuous about doing it. It's just a choice. But what the hell -- tonight's television line-up isn't all that great, right?

    Best wishes.

  • @genkaku said: But what the hell -- tonight's television line-up isn't all that great, right?

    Oh, I don't know about that. ;)

  • NichyNichy Explorer

    @SpinyNorman I actually subscribe to his youtube, video, and love his book.

    Although I have found meditation group on Meet.com, haven't found Buddhist center in Tampa (still looking around though)

  • NichyNichy Explorer

    @how I just want to find a way to incorporate meditation in my everyday routine.

    Earthninja
  • NichyNichy Explorer

    @genkaku, thank you for sharing your experience with us, I guess the beauty and hardship about Buddhism is that everyone have to find their on way, there's no right or wrong way, just your way.. lol

    @SpinyNorman , what's on tonight? I don't have cable I mostly stream all the tv show that I watch.

  • @Nichy Not much on TV, but that doesn't stop me when I'm in a lazy mood. I do like a good film though, I'd like to see "Kingdom of Heaven" again.

  • howhow Veteran

    @Nichy said:
    how I just want to find a way to incorporate meditation in my everyday routine.

    The word Meditation is as broadly defined as the word love.
    Telling us if there is one particular meditation or practice that attracts you will help us more directly offer suggestions.

  • NichyNichy Explorer

    @how I didn't know there was different meditation, and still deciding which practice that will suit me. As you can see i'm just a novice and got lot of works to do lol

  • @Nichy said:
    I've always have a hard time meditation, my minds always wonders.

    Hello Nichy =)

    O.o
    Yep, I have a wonderful mind too . . .

    I 'don't-meditate' every day. ;)

    I started by not meditating but doing different concentration exercises. Or I would sit and wonder what sitting and meditating would be like . . .

    Now I sit without trying to meditate . . . so we might call this 'don't-meditate' meditation or just sitting . . .
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shikantaza

    Because the butterfly mind, always flitting about is very prevalent I found early on it was good to fill the mind with butterflies, mantras, tantric visualisation, element meditations, that sort of thing . . .

    Here is my 'nothing on TV meditation' in action . . .

    Hope that helps <3

    Nichy
  • A popular one is mindfulness of breathing, but there are all sorts of different approaches. What have you been doing?

  • NichyNichy Explorer

    @lobster said:
    Yep, I have a wonderful mind too . . .

    I 'don't-meditate' every day. ;)

    Thank you, yes that's help a lot

  • NichyNichy Explorer

    @SpinyNorman , I've been doing to breathing meditation...

  • Well, that's a good one. So how do you approach it? Do you use counting for example?
    Does your mind settle after a while?

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    For me, initially, meditation was like exercise. I simply had to do it to establish the routine. Now it's as natural as showering for me every day, but it doesn't feel like something I have to trudge through (sometimes exercise still feels that way...lol).

    Difficult, yes. I've been meditating for only about 4 years, and I've found that if I give myself permission to miss days, days turn into weeks and then months. I have to do it every day, even if it's only 10 minutes. I started out with just a few minutes, and then added time as my comfort got better. The mind thinks. It wanders. That's what it does. But, you have the choice to not follow it when it wanders :) Just let it wander off and don't follow it and add more thoughts and feelings to the story it tries to start writing. I've found that marking my thoughts makes it easier for me to get out of them. Once I find myself following a thought, I say "thinking" and then let it go. That marker seems to help, an idea I got from Chogyam Trungpa's books. Some days are still rough. Yesterday I think I was telling myself I was thinking every 3 seconds. It's ok. Some days are like that.

    The key to meditation is letting go of having expectations of it. If you expect a certain outcome, certain feeling and you get disappointed, it's harder to return the next day. It just is what it is, let it be and don't attach outcomes and expectations to it. It's like yoga (or other exercise). Some days you are just ON. You feel strong and healthy and have an "I've got this!" attitude. Other days your balance is so bad and you feel so weak you could cry. Sometimes, one week you conquer a practice and the next week it's incredibly difficult. Meditation is the same. There is value in doing it anyways.

  • NichyNichy Explorer

    @SpinyNorman I just let me mind wonder, and till my time is up

  • NichyNichy Explorer

    @karasti thank you...

  • @Nichy said:> SpinyNorman I just let me mind wonder, and till my time is up.

    Again it depends on what approach you're using, but as a samatha practice the idea is to keep gently returning to the breath when thoughts arise so that the mind calms.
    Vipassana would involve close observation of bodily and mental activity.

    But that's only two of many.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Nichy said:
    SpinyNorman I just let me mind wonder, and till my time is up

    It might be worth looking into analytical meditation as well which is popular in the Tibetan tradition.

    I tried just sitting for 30 minutes and it was ok but I much prefer to actually meditate on the teachings.

    Below is a good place to start. I have her audio cd and it's excellent.

    http://thubtenchodron.org/2001/01/gradual-path-instructions/

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    Footnote: In meditation or anything else, a good reminder is, "make a promise, keep a promise."

    And here is a set of instructions of how to practice the zazen, or seated meditation, employed in Zen. It has photos.

    Nichylobster
  • NichyNichy Explorer

    Thank you @genkaku , pictures always help

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Nichy, don't bite my head off (though I wouldn't blame you if you did!) but instead of 'Wonder' do you mean, "Wander"....?

    I kid you not, I think sometimes, we all 'wonder'...! :D

    I think if your mind wanders, you are definitely not alone, and what's more, the fact that you notice this, and feel frustrated, is an improvement - because you are 'aware' of just how much chatter we permit ourselves to entertain during the day.

    Start with 5 minutes at a time.
    I'm serious.
    Never aspire to conquer a 2-hour session... start small, even via one-minute sessions through the day....

    Build up....

    You can also try being Mindful while doing a daily chore, like washing up a few plates and cups.... but don't think to yourself, 'the water is hot, there is soap on the cloth, the plates are clean'.... Just OBSERVE, without commentary, that the water is hot, there is soap on the cloth and that the plates are clean. Look, without thinking....

    BunksEarthninja
  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran
    edited February 2015

    @Nichy said:
    how do you fit it into your daily lives? I've always have a hard time meditation, my minds always wonders.

    Tip use an alarm to remind you to meditate during the day. 5 min is enough to start with.

    Start with metta.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.1.08.amar.html

    lobsterNichy
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @Nichy like federica said. Start with just 5 minutes a day. A week later do 10. Then 15... Etc.

    A few teachers advise to do 2 sessions a day. An early morning one. And an evening one.

    I would start with pick a time everyday that works for you. :) it's like going on am adventure you never know what to expect.
    Sometimes bliss sometimes not so blissful. Either way just accept it for what it is.

    Try different styles of meditation and find what works for you. :)

    My routine is to meditate daily, I do one sitting session and then practice mindfness/zen whenever I can. Eg walking the dogs.

    My sittings can range from 15 minutes to over an hour. Really depends on the day. I do use an alarm because I need to go to work after meditating.

    If I miss a sitting, doesn't matter at all. Remember the point is to not get upset about expectations.

    Enjoy the journey inside! It's well worth it.
    Nichy
  • NichyNichy Explorer

    Thank you @Earthninja and @Victorious for you kind words and encouragement ;)

    Earthninja
  • @Nichy I actually was introduced to meditation through martial arts, I still practice it too. I've been doing meditation for a few years. It's a daily practice for me in the beginning of the day. I started off small like 5 minutes. I always stick to 15-20 minutes. At first, it is very tough. My friends who are new to meditate wonder how I do it lol. My karate teacher told me if a thought comes up, observe it and watch it go, eventually with practice, the mind will be silent.

    Nichy
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