Sunday, July 17, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

How to meditate

The ancient art of meditation is the perfect remedy for the mental hyper drive that modern living is all about. The mind naturally tends towards being jumpy and unfocused. The elevated pace of our technology driven lives amplifies this tendency to the point where people feel overwhelmed or adrift.

The entire purpose of meditation is to overcome this state of cluttered minds and learn how to condition your thinking. Unfortunately, in our part of the world where arguably meditation is more urgently needed than anywhere else, we don't have a strong tradition for conciously calming our thoughts.

If you want to get going down the path to a clearer and sharper mind, use these tips to get started with meditation.

The first step is to find and prepare a suitable spot for meditating. This typically means finding a spot where you won't be interrupted or distracted by noises and images. Sounds from a freeway or a blaring TV are poor meditation companions. Many people like to find a spot with a natural sound source, like a gentle stream or the waves of the ocean. Some also like to meditate to calm music. Whatever environment you choose it is important that you are able to relax and not be distracted by your surroundings.

Make sure you wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes. Just like noise can distract you from a quiet mind, so can an uncomfortable t-shirt label or painfully tight dress pants.

When it is time to start the meditation session, find a comfortable position. You can sit anywhere you like in any position, the only requirement is that you should not lean back or lie down. Make sure you sit with a straight back. I find sitting on a low stool without a backrest works well for finding a good posture, but you should experiment until you find the right posture for yourself. If you don't keep your back straight it's very difficult to not get sleepy and drowsy. The purpose of meditation is to develop a clear and sharp mind, not to fall asleep.

When you start your actual meditation session, the goal is to clear the mind of all mental 'noise' and focus on a single point. There are many different ways of dong this and you have to find the technique that works best for you, but there are a few starting points that can be helpful.

Try focusing on the sensation of breathing. Take deep breaths through your nostrils and focus your mind on the feeling of your breath. It might be helpful counting the breaths you take if you find it difficult to focus on the breathing sensation alone.

Some people find it easier to focus on a singular mental image. The classic example is to visualize a burning flame and narrow your attention to the tip of the flame. You can use any mental image you want, some just imagine a dot or a point in space. Whatever image you chose make sure it is not distracting. The idea is not to focus on an image, rather to focus your mind on a singularity so your mind is freed up and allowed to expand and clarify.

When you start meditation you will almost certainly find it hard to keep your mind from wandering off onto some other thought. This is normal and no reason for discouragement. Instead, as soon as you notice your mind has strayed, bring your focus back to your focus point. This will happen a lot as you begin meditation, but don't let this frustrate you. It is a normal process of learning how to control your own thoughts.

For meditation to be successful you should aim for as regular a schedule as possible. Set aside every day for a 15 minute session. If you feel like you won't have time to commit to that kind of schedule every day try getting up 30 minutes earlier in the morning and devote that time to meditation. Many feel that the early morning is the best time to meditate as their environments are usually calmer and the mind less likely to become sleepy in the early morning. A daily morning ritual that includes a meditation session after you take a shower can have a very profound effect on your mind.

  1. Meditation is the perfect remedy for the mental hyper drive that modern living is all about...for relief do meditation..and life will be cool and comfortable..

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