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Many people commit to starting a meditation practice at the start of a new year, or to reinvigorating an existing practice. If this is the case for you, perhaps my latest article will help:

Meditation Tips - Dealing with Busy and Drowsy Mind

This is mostly sharing teachings from Bhante Gunuratana on what he calls 'thinking' and 'sinking' mind, that many people find useful. Feel free to share your own meditation tips or inspiration...


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
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This is indeed very useful, Lisa. I have the most trouble with my busy mind. It is very hard for me to successfully meditate.


Debbie Grejdus
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Dear Teacher,

You know ,I am more of an active meditator than passive.
I wonder down deep inside of me .if someone that with true love for herself/himself can hurt herself ,if she does not meditate
as the :rules: specify? Does not Love give Love in return?

Just wondering!

Loong
Mahayana Buddhist

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Hi Loong, I do not think there are really 'rules' for meditation. Each approach has guidelines, but part of the reason there are so many different approaches is that different ones work best for different people. This is something the Buddha himself spoke about. So it isn't so much about 'rules' as it is about finding what works.

And I know that mindfulness in daily life is what works for you. But I am still hoping that at some point you will find a sitting practice that you like too, even if it is only for 10-20 minutes a day. There is a reason that every Buddhist tradition incorporates some kind of sitting meditation - it creates space for a different kind of discovery. But I agree there is no reason to force it.


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
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Originally Posted By: Debbie-SpiritualityEditor
This is indeed very useful, Lisa. I have the most trouble with my busy mind. It is very hard for me to successfully meditate.


Hi Debbie, I think it's partly about letting go of what it means for a meditation to be 'successful'. If you tried it, it was successful! Each time you pull your mind back, you have practiced self-awareness. That is all. So it doesn't matter how much your mind wanders, you are practicing pulling it back. Dropping the expectations of anything else can free you up.

Last edited by Lisa - Buddhism; 01/11/14 08:51 AM.

Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
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To all or none,

This thread has been neglected from my part.Mind you,Lisa,is the
Moderator,but I live for sharing.Lisa is a very very busy women,
that is why ,most of the posts you read are from ,me.
Like a lot of people ,I have a problem,with sitting meditation.

I cannot sit in the Lotus position because of my bad knees,and I
Tend to fall into level one of sleep.

Being no better nor worse than others ,starting from today ,I shall attack ,with love,the sitting meditation.I do active meditation on a regular basis,however,I seem to have a little problem with my
Mindfulness.
So for today ,I found a good article ,for people like me who like meditating with Music.

Following your breath while listening to music.

Listen to a piece of music.Breathe long,light and even breaths .Follow your breath ,be master of it While remaining aware of the movement and sentiments of the music.Do not get lost in the music ,but continue to be master of your breath and your self.

That is it for today.
The next text shall be:Following your breath while carrying on a conversation.Can't wait

Loong
Moving on or up!
Oops,is the breathing only from the nose ,or nose and mouth?
I will ask My Teacher !

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Hi Loong, this sounds like a lovely way to start. The lotus position is not necessary. If someone can do it correctly, it aligns the spine and keeps one balanced so they will not fall over in high states of meditation. But if it causes pain, it just becomes a distraction, and isn't necessary. I think the most important thing is attempting to have a straight spine, and you can do that in a chair perfectly well.

As for breathing, I teach breathe however is comfortable -nose, mouth, whatever. There are many meditation techniques that utilize controlled breathing techniques - in nose, out mouth, or visa versa, or even blocking one nostril and then the other to breathe in one side and out another, and then there are many breathing to a count sequences. These are useful for soothing our mind and energy being initially, as they are tied to energy lines in the body. But they are not necessary. If you have one that you like, then start out with it. Otherwise, just relax and breathe however it feels natural to you.


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
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To all or none,

Well ,you just received the info ,from a meditation teacher,

I am sorry ,I am in a very joyful mood today,so let me add:
Is that quick service or not

Loong 😇😇

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To all or none,

I had 'promised :Following your breath while carrying on a conversation.

The problem is that the text is too long to minimize.

Sorry about that

loong
flying very high

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I have decided to turn this into a general meditation tips thread, so I will periodically add little posts of things you can try in meditation. I have meditated daily for 25 years, and have taught meditation for about 12.

Today's tip: Experiment with your posture. Our body holds everything, and what you feel in your body will be reflected in your mind and visa versa. Don't feel that you need a perfect posture, although a straight spine is very helpful, because it aligns your nervous system and skelo-muscular system, for maximum alertness. But this shouldn't come at the expense of pain. Use lower back cushions and pillows to the extent that you need them, and gradually strengthen your posture.

To experiment, sway back and forth and then gradually make your motions smaller and smaller, until you are barely moving side to side, and then gradually settle into a still state. While you do this, try and feel from the inside where your body wants to settle. Whenever you find that your mind has wandered during your meditation, try this rocking and feeling from the inside to settle again.


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
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