Thursday, July 5, 2012

How to Meditate

  1. Make time to meditate. Put aside atleast 10-20 minutes of time aside from your daily routine for meditation. The effects of meditation are evident when you meditate regularly, some like to meditate at the end the day by clearing their mind, and some prefer to find refuge in meditation in the middle of a busy day. Generally, however, the easiest time to meditate is in the morning, before the day tires your body out and gives your mind more to think about.
  2. Find or create a quiet, relaxing environment for meditation. It's especially important, when just begining, to avoid any obstacles to attention. Turn off any TV sets, phone or other noisy appliances. If you play music, make sure it's calm, repetitive and gentle, so as not to break your concentration. Meditating outside can be conducive, as long as you don't sit near a busy roadway or another source of loud noise.
  3. Sit on level ground. Sit on a cushion if the ground is uncomfortable. You don't have to twist your limbs into the half lotus or full lotus position or adopt any unusual postures. The important thing is to keep your back straight, as this will help with breathing later on.
  4. Relax everything, and keep searching for things that aren't relaxed. When you find them, (and you will), relax them. You may find that you can't relax them unless you adjust your posture so that you are better aligned, and that place doesn't need to work anymore. This commonly happens with muscles near your spine. You may also notice that you are twisted a little and need to straighten out. Little muscles in your face often keep getting tense, too.
  5. Let your attention rest on the flow of your breath. Listen to it, follow it, but make no judgments on it (such as "It sounds a little raspy...maybe I'm getting a cold?"). The goal is to allow the "chattering" in your mind to gradually fade away. Find an "anchor" to settle your mind.
  6. Silence your mind. Once you've trained your mind to focus on just one thing at a time, the next step is focus on nothing at all, essentially "clearing" your mind. This requires tremendous discipline but is the pinnacle of meditation. After focusing on a single point as described in the previous step, you can either cast it away, or observe it impartially and let it come and then go, without labeling it as "good" or "bad". Take the same approach to any thoughts which return to your mind until silence perseveres.

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