September 23, 2011 By IntegrityAdmin Leave a Comment If you haven’t experienced the peace and tranquility that comes from meditation, consider starting a practice. By submitting this form, you agree to the Privacy Policy and certify that you are at least 18 years of age. Meditation allows us to tap into an inner peace that comes from going inward and connecting with a higher source. The main thing to do in meditation is to relax and clear the mind by sitting, focusing and breathing. If you’re just starting meditation and want to make it a habit, consider teaming up with a “buddy” who will keep you motivated in your practice. If you want more stability, peace, and harmony, a meditation practice can change you from the inside out.
There are many great benefits in having the power of two (or more) people engaged in the same goal.
There are numerous techniques and the goal is not to be perfect, but to simply practice breathing and clearing your mind. You don’t need to meditate together; rather it’s helpful to support each other in an ongoing practice. With practice, you’re continuously clearing your mind of negativity and allowing a stronger connection to the Universe and all of its gifts. In my book, Just Give Your Head a Shake, I describe how to practice Buddhist Vipissana meditation. How long until I see some results?That is actually a very good question, and one that many people have. There are four essential points about how to make meditation a permanent part of your life.(1) JUST START.
Make any small changes you need to make to your schedule and lifestyle, so that this habit is encouraged and has its place.
For example, setting up an alarm clock for the meditation time, or preparing a cushion and corner of the room for the practice. Check out the post on how to practice meditation according to different techniques.(2) HAVE NO EXPECTATIONS. If you learn to do meditation for meditation’s sake, its wonderful benefits will come to you in time (not in one week though). Other results come in a few months – actually research shows that with daily meditation, even after 8 weeks you already have some noticeable results.
Don’t worry about this until you have already built in the habit, otherwise you might end up being discouraged or building expectation. But, in general, depth means to have the attitude, during the meditation session, that the object of meditation is the most important thing in your life. At that moment, have the attitude that it’s the only thing that exists in the universe – your whole life.
Meditate as if your head was on fire – that would get your full attention wouldn’t it? Do this for 20 weeks, and mindfulness will have impregnated your life.Finally, if you like to build motivation around your practice, consider going through the value discovery process . I personally started meditating at night, and after a few years moved into the morning, which I now prefer.All things being equal, however, meditating in the morning is better.
Leaving it for the night can be a sure recipe for postponement.On the other hand meditating at night does help you have a better sleep. Also, if you are a night person, you may find yourself more alert for practicing at night.Where to meditateShould I always meditate in the same place?Meditating always in the same place and time is a good help in focusing the mind.
There is less distraction involved.I usually find it easier to focus when I meditate in my preferred spot. However, in any case, don’t meditate longer than your motivation – or you may get tired of the practice.
Just taking a couple of mindful breaths during your day can make a big difference.Remember that consistency is the most important. The posture you take can help concentration, or can act as a distraction.The ideal position to meditate is seated down, without leaning your spine.
You can sit on a cushion on the floor or, if that is too hard, on a chair. By time, however, I would encourage you to use seated positions. Especially if you are in your first weeks of practice, or if you are doing guided meditations, I would not worry much about doing it laying down. Should I stick to one or try many?There are several types of meditation, some quite different from each other (learn more here).
Most of these techniques you can learn for free (through the internet or in a center).In the beginning it is a good idea to go and try all the ones you feel attracted to, but make sure to practice each of the ones you like for a few days at least, to have a real taste for it.


Once you’ve found one that matches you well, then you will grow more by sticking to it, instead of jumping around to other practices.
That being said, some types of meditation will give certain types of results better than others. By time you may also change practice, as your needs change.Meditation tips for starting the sessionAny tips to start off my session on the right foot?What I have found that works is having a very clear start in your practice, with a strong intention. I now make it part of my routine that, when I sit down, I have three very long breaths, where I breathe in through the nose (filling my lungs to the brim) and out through the mouth (emptying them fully). Once you get used to having diaphragmatic breathing your default breathing pattern (for your whole day, not only meditation session!), if you then try to do “chest breathing” again, you will see the big difference it makes.Image from Wikipedia article.
More information on diaphragmatic breathing, see this video, this article and hthis also.Both abdominal breathing and diaphragmatic breathing (which are not the same thing) are better than breathing through your upper chest.
So when we try to meditate, the mind tries to either get distracted, or fall asleep.If that is the case, then stick to it. It will strengthen your will power, and eventually you will not have this problem anymore.Falling asleep can also happen if your sessions are too long. If that is the case, then diminish the length to what is natural to you. You should not force them to be longer than you are motivated to do.
But those who are temperate in eating and sleeping, work and recreation, will come to the end of sorrow through meditation.
Then guide your attention back to your meditation object.One of the beautiful gifts of meditation is training not to react. Without being pulled away in thoughts and analysis about them?I can think of basically two approaches.
Or as if the effort to keep the attention on its object is like the effort needed to keep yourself from falling, when hanging from a tree branch. This means that the attention is exercised second-after-second, moment after moment, like a pulse. This is by no means easy, but I found that having this attitude in mind deepens meditation considerably.Keep practicing seeing everything as a simple temporary movement in your consciousness.
After you have sat for a few weeks, your body will likely find the right posture more quickly, and will feel more comfortable to stay with it.Nose runningIf your nose is running during meditation do you wipe it or let it run?It can be an interesting practice to just observe the feeling. It can be a good idea, in these circumstances, to have some tissues near you, so if you do need to wipe your nose, you do so mindfully, and with the least amount of movement.How much do you wanderWhat percentage of the time does your mind wander during meditation?
I know it’s hard, because we always want to know “how well we are doing”, to then either feel proud, or bad about ourselves. Any ideas for an asthmatic girl?[Disclaimer: I’m not a health professional and I’m not giving you any medical advice. Just some thoughts from a fellow meditator.]A study made by neuroscientists of the University of Wisconsin-Madison points out that mindfulness techniques were more effective in relieving asthma than other activities that promote well-being, such as exercise and music therapy.
So this is very good news for you.It is not easy to observe the breathing without changing its rhythm. You may find this to be a deeply liberating experience, where your breathing is allowed to be whatever it is, and it doesn’t affect your mind much.
You remain as the observer of the breathing and of any discomfort it produces.(2) Alternatively, you can pick another object of meditation. Instead of focusing on your breathing you could focus on a mantra or a chakra (see other meditation techniques here). Site even when you are busy, tired, angry, or messed up — actually, especially in those cases. Have it in your mind that meditation everyday is not an option, it’s just an essential part of your day. Think of meditation like taking a shower, or sleeping.
This is the way to iron will, and it will serve you greatly in other aspects of your life as well.Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.
Because with your body exhausted you may fall asleep during meditation.Otherwise, I feel it is better to exercise first, then meditate. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to calm down the breathing and heart rate after the exercise, so your body is more relaxed and calm.Meditation while at workAny tips for integrating meditation while at work?Try to bringing tiny mindful moments to your day. You can set an alarm beep or notification on your phone, and meditate one minute every hour. That will probably give you more results than 10 minutes of meditation once a day (although both are good and necessary).If you work in front of a computer, for example, nobody will even noticed if you stop for one minute and bring your awareness to your body and breath. Or write them down?Having a like-minded friend or partner on the same journey can be empowering. These insights are deeply “personal”.4) OTHER PRACTICESMeditation and visualizationIs meditating and guided visualization the same thing?No, they are not the same thing. But in terms of benefits they are like the little sister of meditation.In guided visualizations you are keeping quiet in body and mind and focusing only on one thing.


So in this sense it is similar.The difference is that instead of focusing on something that naturally exists in you (like your breath), you are focusing on something that is directing you from outside. But I encourage you to move to meditation practice when you feel ready.Learn more about Guided Meditations here.Meditation and affirmationsIs it ok to combine meditation with an affirmation exercise? Or should I keep them separate?I would definitely keep them separate, as they are different exercises and have different purposes. Is taking extra time in the shower a form of meditation?This is a fairly common question, and can be tackled from different angles. When you are do bungee jumping, for example, during those few seconds your mind is definitely not paying attention to anything else, and you are in the present moment. Meditation also brings you to the present moment, but takes you deeper.When you are doing something (for example, running), and you are completely focused on that activity, in the present moment, not wondering in your mind but aware of what’s going on in your body and senses, this is part of what the Buddha called Right Attention. This is also a state of flow, but deeper.We can say that being in the present moment is one of the main effects of meditation in your daily activities. And also one of the main practices you can have, along your day, to help maintain and deepen the meditation “state”. Meditation helps you be in the present moment for your other activities, and striving to be in the present moment in your other activities also helps meditation.
You need them both.By time, as your practice becomes deeper and wider, the separation between “meditation” and “other activities” start to become thinner and thinner. But these activities can indeed help meditation by relaxing and cleaning your body.5) FOR THE MORE ADVANCEDPlateaus in practiceI feel I’ve reached a plateau in my practice. I’m stuck and can’t seem to go forward.You are in a plateau when you just keep sitting every day but there is not much intention or intensity in the practice. And, still, meditation is beneficial even in those conditions.From here, if you give up or stop, that is decay.
That new fire can come through a new book you read, a person you meet, an inspiring movie you watch, a visit to a spiritual center, anything.
Or it can also come when life pulls the carpet under our feet and suffering knocks at our door.Ending my compulsionsMeditation helped me get perspective on one of my biggest compulsions. Now how do I end it entirely?[Disclaimer: I’m not a psychiatrist and this is not medical advice. Simply sharing my personal learnings as an experienced meditator.]I’m happy to hear that meditation is helping you get perspective on your compulsions. Since you have been practicing meditation for a while, you know the “feeling” of it, you know how different the mind is during meditation. So, during your day, when compulsion appears, bring in that meditation feeling. Then watch the difference in your body and mind before bringing the meditation and after it.On the flip side, practice bringing your compulsion triggers inside your formal meditation practice. And observe how there is a space between you and the feeling – and the ability to choose to identify with it or not. The power to deal with your compulsion from a state of clarity, of sanity, of calmness.Learn to find the space between the trigger for the compulsion and the compulsion itself. Simply sharing my experience and insight as an experienced meditator.]This is a very important question, because you need to take your meditation into your daily life. It is not meant to stay on the cushion.Once you are in meditation, bring in, mentally, all the triggers for your aggression.
You are experiencing everything from a neutral space, without reacting.Now notice how you are the observer of all this.
And then I would allow this image to subside and just go back to my breathing. I did this with fear, attachment, sadness, and other negative emotions. I must say that, as a result of this meditation exercise, they never again had the same power over me.This may not be advisable for beginners, or if you have a strong trauma to work through. In this case, stabilize yourself in your practice for a while, before you start gradually bringing in strong emotions. Inside your self there is ultimately only one subject, which is your consciousness (yourself!). He puts his paws on top of it, on the floor, and immediately the beam of light is above his paws.
Than the removes them and covers it again – only to find the beam of light still on top of his paws.



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