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Next tip I would like to offer: Whatever you are focusing on in meditation, whether it's the breath, a mantra, a chakra, or mind itself, whenever your mind wanders and you catch it, before you shift your mind back to your focus, try to find the part of your mind that pulled you back from your mental wandering. Just for a moment, try to look for the part of your mind from which the thought 'Ah, I'm supposed to be meditating!' came from. When you glimpse this part of your mind that pulled you back, even if just for a moment, you are still, you are aware. Then you can go back to concentration meditation if you like.

Last edited by Lisa - Buddhism; 02/11/14 02:08 PM.

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Next tip: Try to meditate at the same time and place every day, especially when you are first developing a meditation practice. We are very much creatures of habit. Neuroscientists have now validated that if we want to build a new routine or habit of any type, it helps to repeat it exactly the same, at the same time of day and place, for 6 weeks or so. If you aren't trying to meditate every day, consider setting certain days of the week for it, so you have a regular weekly routine. Our brain stores all of this, and once the routine has been 'written' into our brain, it will trigger us at the appropriate times. Then you are more likely to get your routine back on track quickly after it's been interrupted for whatever reason (illness, travel, etc. The same is true of an exercise routine, BTW.)


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Something that can be very helpful in supporting a meditation practice is to spend some time creating a space for it in your home that really inspires you. It can just be a little corner, or if you have no space to create a dedicated meditation alter or corner, it can be a box that you pull out whenever you meditate. Select pictures, books, candles, incense, flowers, or anything else that soothes you, creates a sense of safety, and inspires you. In general it's best to steer clear of family pictures and things from your personal life, as viewing them right as you meditate is likely to get you thinking about those individuals or experiences with them, or dialogue you want to have with them. Instead, select things that really signal a break from your regular like for your formal meditation. Over time, your body will respond to this as soon as you sit down to meditate.

Last edited by Lisa - Buddhism; 02/27/14 01:19 PM.

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To Lisa ,
Just did 18 minutes of sitting meditation ,it is a start!

Loong
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Dear lisa

You being the expert on Meditation,When I meditated today,
I was listening to music ,having read in TNH book that one can meditate with music.What happened ,is once,i almost fell asleeo,second I had some sort of beginning of anguish.

Where did I go wrong.
Mind you just finished 3 hours of reading texts and typing them.

I await your comments.

loong
simple buddhist
p.s. the local newspaper has an article of 2 pages on a Mahayana Sangha about 20 minutes drive.

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Lisa,

This is a really GREAT insight! It's spot on and it DOES bring into focus the duality as beings of human nature on this plane one can endure.

I could expand, but in short, can a person willingly, even meditating, choose to expel themselves?

My feeling is "Yes" most certainly. I feel this in persons in Hollywood (those whom could pay any amount for any type of happiness they so desire, etc.).

However, those whom happen to be extra-ordinarily sensitive may have a difficult time of it, "settling" in - finding a comfort zone of sorts.

So your words are imperative!

Each of us is as a "snowflake." None like the other. However, each (in balance) is a cumulative which can restore, even within their designated "posts."

lovers


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Hi Elleise, love what you said about each of us being a 'snowflake' - completely unique and transient. I do see meditation as a way of discovering this level of our being.


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
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Originally Posted By: loongdragon
When I meditated today,
I was listening to music ,having read in TNH book that one can meditate with music.What happened ,is once,i almost fell asleeo,second I had some sort of beginning of anguish.

Where did I go wrong.


The type of music is very important, and then still for some people music is not the right choice. It is very individual. Music triggers synapses, memories and emotions in our brain, and so depending on your own associations with a certain type of music, it may trigger a response. Some music, and sounds (like Tibetan chanting and 'singing bowls') are designed for meditation - they actually help us to access a silent mind, and different vibrational states (similar to visual cues like mandalas.) But most music is more from 'mansland' (to use your term!) and so it mostly reflects states of human emotion. And a lot of new age music is very sleepy - a lot of people use meditation for insomnia, so some of the music written for this can make you very drowsy.

So you can try out other music, or just give up on that altogether. Another idea is to try ambient nature sounds - you can actually get mp3s or CDS of these, and for many people, this is actually a much better background for meditation.

Or just working with silence is always good. Don't judge your meditation - even if you think for 90% of it, and only pull your mind back to present awareness once, that is one 'push-up' - one training in pulling your mind back to present awareness. All sorts of things are shown to us when we really have to sit with our mind - that is the value of sitting meditation.

If you go back to the article at the very start of this thread, 'sinking' mind is drowsiness. Incorporating some 'active' focus into our meditation will help us break this.


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Dear Lisa

Thank you.
Will be rereading your first post.You know that I am not crazy about meditation, however it seems one the ways to enlightenment

Thank you

loong
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Yes, it's really a very important part of the Eightfold Way. I can't think of any lineage that does not have sitting meditation as central to the path. Traditions vary in terms of meditation methods and recommended length of time, but it is always present.

Sitting meditation gives us a controlled environment in which to discover the luminosity at the heart of our awareness. It doesn't often feel like that at the beginning, because we are dealing so much with our thoughts. But even then, by looking at where our mind goes, what occupies it, we learn about its layers and energies. It is like being a scientist of our own mind.

That's why it is so important not to judge a meditation. Examine it but don't judge it. Examine it as a means of understanding your own mind, but don't judge its worthiness. Just do it!


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