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Meditation as you know refers to the practice of shutting down your mind for a few minutes and letting your entire system restart. All that you need to do is find a suitable tranquil environment where you won’t be interrupted by doorbells, phone calls etc.
After this round of meditation you will find yourself rejuvenated and your mind completely refreshed! When Max and I began our backpacking adventure in September, we discussed a few goals that we wanted to achieve while during our travels. We started our journey determined to become creative geniuses through the art of meditation.
During one of our diligent meditative periods, Max suggested we do a 24-hour Buddhist meditation retreat in Chiang Mai. I didn't know too much about Buddhism when I signed up for the retreat, but after 24 hours, I am an expert, so here is Nisha's Buddhism 101. The two monks who guided us through meditation were the happiest little bunnies I've ever met (aside from the elephants I just posted about here). Upon arriving at the meeting point for the retreat, we were given our clothes for the next 24 hours: a white t-shirt that said "mindfulness" in case we forgot the goal of the retreat and a pair of XXXXL linen white pants that the monks marketed as "one size fits all." All ready to attend Diddy's White Party!
After receiving my form-fitting outfit, I walked into a room full of 35 white people intently watching a documentary series featuring an American female monk rambling about the death penalty and the American justice system (mindfulness is the new yoga for white people).
After being forced to listen to this nonsense, we had a lovely and friendly young monk give us a two-hour introductory lecture to Buddhism and meditation. After learning some of the core principles and teachings of Buddhism and chanting in the Pali language (a dead language that is the liturgical language of Theravada Buddhism), we began our guided meditation. For sitting, the classic pose is crossed-legged sitting Indian style, though many of the monks prefer lotus position or even full lotus position. I obviously did not take these photos because I'm one of the poor fools sitting in this photo, silently suffering. Walking mediation involves walking extremely slowly, one foot at a time, while verbalizing the steps you take.
Finally, lying down was my favorite form of meditating because it is equivalent to sleeping.
In addition to the pain of sitting, one of the difficult aspects of the retreat, at least for me, was not being able to wear shoes indoors. I certainly wasn't the best meditator at the retreat or the practitioner who got the most out of the experience, but I most definitely had the cleanest feet of anyone there. I'm the one brown person in this photo and the person with the cleanest feet (not pictured).
Frenchie clearly did not speak English because he proceeded to lead us in the exact same meditative exercises we had just learned.
In all seriousness, if you're someone who holds a lot of stress, you should really consider taking up meditation. Let’s start our beginners guide to mindfulness meditation by defining precisely what mindfulness is.
The more clouds there are in the sky the less bright the world will be and the more difficult it will be to see the world.
When you’re a beginners, learning mindfulness meditation is like the sun breaking through the clouds.
Mindfulness is the act of focusing the mind on the present moment, without judgment and with complete acceptance. In a moment when we get into the nitty gritty of our Ultimate Beginners Guide To Mindfulness Meditation, I’ll share some excellent mindfulness exercises.
What is religion?Religion, as understood in the West,is defined in the English Oxford dictionary, as the belief in and worship of many gods (polytheism) or one God (monotheism).


If you are able to take out just a few minutes every day to stop and meditate you will soon feel the difference it makes in your life. For beginners the easiest mudra is to let the tip of your thumb touch the tip of your index finger and then rest your hand on your knee. It's been shown to lower stress levels, decrease high blood pressure, reduce joint and tension-related pain, boost serotonin production, and improve creativity and happiness, among many other things.
Buddhists do not worship the Buddha ("the awakened one") but rather pay respect to Buddha, as well as the Dharma (the path of practice the Buddha taught his followers) and Sangha (the spiritual community).
I assumed she was against it because Buddhism preaches peace, but she kept talking about karma and how small bad actions can create bad karma for you in the long run, so like if you steal a slice of pizza, you may get executed later because of karma. As much as I used to sit at my previous job, it did nothing to prepare me for sitting cross-legged with an upright back.
Essentially, you spend ten minutes walking 100 feet, sing-songing "right goes thus" as you move your right foot and "left goes thus" as you move your left foot. I admire it, I appreciate it, I cook it, I learn about it, I teach about it, I share it, I obsess about it, I feel it. Before each meal, we would chant as a group a meditative blessing that went something like this: Food is not to be eaten for pleasure.
Meditation is enormously helpful for your mental health and inner peace, and is a habit I would like to practice daily going forward. But just as the rays of the sun can be blocked, dimmed, and transformed by clouds, so can consciousness be blocked, dimmed and transformed by thoughts and memories. The more thoughts, stresses, concerns, and worries in the mind, the harder it will be to see clearly.
Or you can place your hands in your lap with the palms facing upwards and touching each other gently. Recent studies show that just 11 hours of meditation can improve your overall brain performance).
Weeks later when we arrived in Chiang Mai, we had been off our meditation game for almost two weeks.
Buddhism is a philosophy and way of life comprised of the various teachings and beliefs of Buddha. Despite not owning any material items except three identical monk robes, not seeing family or friends very often, not being able to marry or even touch a woman, and not having fun in any way except through meditation and education, they experienced such profound levels of happiness and peace. One of the principles of Buddhist mindfulness is to control mental objects, including sensual behavior. Some dirty hippies took this as an opportunity to go barefoot everywhere, including outside.
In the morning before our first session, our monk teacher asked if anyone could instruct the class in basic yoga. Monk 1 reminded him that he was to guide us in physical exercise such as yoga, to which Frenchie confidently replied yes, yes I know.
Monk 2 teach us about Buddhism and meditation during the retreat, I thought to myself, I should become a Buddhist. Food is not to be eaten for pleasure, enjoyment, or happiness, and it is certainly not to be overeaten.
You're simultaneously trying to eat mindfully and slowly and savor each bite, but the whole time you're eating you feel like a guilty sloth, which only makes you want to eat more and more!
You can take a class at your local gym or yoga studio, or even download apps or YouTube videos that provide semi-guided meditation. Therefore some writers point out that Buddhism is not a religion but an atheistic philosophy. Since everybody is talking about it based upon some initial experiences, there are many expectations of its benefits.


While these paraphernalia certainly seek to improve the quality of your meditation they are most certainly not a necessity. To be fair, we did have spurts of diligence during which we meditated every day for ten minutes or so.
Curious to know what the retreat entailed, I finally got my lazy ass to read the Buddhist monastery's website.
At its core, Buddhism teaches its followers to do good, avoid bad, and spread loving and kindness.
Basically, attending the retreat was a long and very difficult way of finding out what I already know: material things do not buy happiness and simplicity is the best way to live. After a few minutes of sitting in this position, you begin to feel like a cobra is lightly strangling your torso while you gasp for air; the sides of your feet, squished underneath your legs and pressed onto the cold hard floor, feel like they're being steam rolled.
Max, on the other hand, was an extremely diligent student and practiced only sitting and walking meditation. Monks are not allowed to perform physical exercise aside from walking and cleaning, so he asked a student to volunteer. I love everything about it, from the sound of garlic sizzling in a hot oiled pan to the smell of butter and sugar melting into a delightful aroma when I'm baking. And I can never become a Buddhist because I love food too much and I will continue to overeat without feeling guilty.
Even  medical doctors are prescribing meditation as the best medication, as a remedy to all physical and psychological illnesses. Buddhist meditation as the name suggests refers to meditation techniques related to the Buddhist religion and practiced and taught by Buddhist monks.
Thus, it is completely up to you whether you want to just seclude yourself in your bedroom and meditate there or whether you want to use these additional elements and create a separate meditating space for yourself. This position is achieved with much practice and will only distract you if you are a beginner and not used to the strain it causes.
Apparently the bodily pain is supposed to be so all-consuming that you can't let your mind wander to think other thoughts. I know this because many of these filthy hippies were seated in front of me during meditation practice, and when I wasn't falling asleep, I was losing my concentration because I felt nauseous looking at their blackened feet. Psychologists and psychotherapists recommend meditation practice to their clients as a remedy for their problems.
I was going to volunteer to guide the class in some basic non-yoga exercises but then a French dude said he would do it.
I was expecting private lakeside bungalows with fluffy white beds, unlimited tropical smoothies, and a steam room. It's quite a lovely way to live your life without having to subscribe to an organized religion.
I wasn't exactly sure what that meant, but I assumed it meant contract my abs or make my body tight. With each breath that you let go, let of a little part of yourself, till you are completely free. Not only was this highly uncomfortable to observe, but it was definitely the opposite of contracting. I was about to push him out of the way and yell, "Everyone drop and give me 20" but luckily Mr.



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