Those who meditate, get in here!

wat

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I've been thinking I should try meditation for like 7 years but have always put it off. I've started exercising & getting healthy over the past year so now I think I should begin to also focus on the mind.

The reason I am curious is because I have some issues like struggling with ADD(diagnosed), some anxiety & emotional baggage, etc. & I feel like I'm not reaching my potential. I'm not complaining about life at all, I just have some mental junk holding me back & I'd like to find ways to develop more discipline & focus in my life as well as a better attitude. If meditation can help to calm and focus my mind, then I want to look into meditation.

I know there are some on this board who are into this, & I'd like to hear what you guys have to say. Any resources you could link me to, advice, tips, methods, etc. would be greatly appreciated!
 

Discoqueen

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I have also been interested in meditation, as anxiety has caused me quite alot of trouble (physically). I'd definitely love to hear feedback, as well.
 

Murmel

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I really wanna give it a shot, but I can't think of a place serene enough to try it.
I would love doing it outside at some beautiful location. Unfortunately, it's very difficult getting to such a place without having the noise of traffic in the background...
If I ever find myself in the mountains I'll give it a shot, as long as the season/weather allows it.

God damn urbanization.
 

The Grief Hole

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You should look in to zazen meditation. All it requires is a wall to stare at. Twice a day for 40 minutes sitting in an upright position, focussing on your breathing and the wall in front of you. 20 minutes just before bed as a starter is good practice.
 

Randy

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I really wanna give it a shot, but I can't think of a place serene enough to try it.

As somebody who's self medicated for ADD and some anxiety related issues, I turned to meditation pretty early on (junior high-ish?). I didn't learn it from a book or anybody in particular but I had a friend who suggested it to me one day and it was just a matter of experimenting until I found something that 'clicked'.

For me, my understanding of the values of meditation and prayer are actually exactly the same. Removed from the notion of a 'higher being' (whether it's God, or unifying consciousness or whatever else), the thing I've always perceived to be of the most value in both exercises is the practice of clearing your mind enough to focus in on singular items, like where your stress comes from or just finding your 'happy place'. I've prayed/meditated a lot in my life and, while I'd like to believe that it's some sort of cosmic deity or metaphysical body healing your wounds, I'd say the most realistic conclusion is that process of shielding yourself from the distractions of everyday life and confronting things nakedly (not literally :lol:), and simply are where the majority of the satisfaction comes from.

I mention all of that and I quoted you because I had much the same issue you did when I started meditating. I was young and (much like most teenage kids) lived in a very noisy environment and it was difficult getting a chance to 'shut up' the outside world and even when I did, it was still difficult to 'shut up' my stray thoughts. Then I started listening to music when I'd meditate, and I'd put on a pair of headphone and put on something REALLY loud (Slayer when I first started) and it served as 'white noise' and subtle enough of a distraction that, after a few minutes, I started feeling the aloneness and the subsequent focus that was the goal of meditation.

The main goal of having the silence or white noise is to have something that will either put your overactive brain to sleep or distract it long enough for your proactive brain to have time to itself, if that makes any sense.

I did the music thing for probably a year or two before I started getting better with just closing my eyes and blocking everything out without needing a distraction. These days, I don't get enough time to do the really in depth meditating like I used to, but I pray (again, like I said, divorced from religion, it's functionally the same thing) where I pick a specific item that's either bothering me or I want to better deal with and say "Dear God, help me to...etc. etc." and the process of focusing on the one item and what "I" want to better do to handle it injects enough momentary focus to either give me an actionable goal or release myself from things beyond my control enough to stop stressing them.

Anyway, that's a little bit about my experience meditating.

The overall goal and effects of meditation can be achieved several different ways. I think a lot of people get caught up to much in the "how" or they already have their own form of meditating and don't even realize it.
 

isispelican

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Meditation is something that I think about alot but the time hasnt come for me to seriously approach it. Right now Im focusing on exploring the depths of my mind rather than clearing it.
 

asher

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Going to crosspost myself:

I'm not talking crazy multihour sessions chanting and doing energy work or anything. Just like, 20 minutes a day, or twice a day, minding your breathing. It's something I've been aware of for a while as a general good practice, but I've started seeing a therapist-duder over anxiety stuff, and he recommends it as a long term practice to lots of people. It helps build mindfulness, awareness, it will help you focus and concentrate on what you want to, and it's good at helping you calm down, relax, and center yourself. There's actually quite a bit of research that supports this. The basic version:

Sit comfortably. Close your eyes. Start just by paying attention to your breathing; the feeling of moving your diaphragm, the sensation of air in your nose/mouth, etc. Do this for a few minutes. Then, every time you exhale, (in your head) say "one" to yourself. It could be anything, really, but it's easy to remember. Just focus on breathing in and "one". Anytime something else comes up (and lots of things will come up, especially in the beginning), just do your best to nudge them aside, tuck them away for later, let them go, etc. and just maintain your focus.

I was recommended to not do this lying down (you'll fall asleep), right after eating (you'll fall asleep), or immediately before going to bed (it feels like a nap and you'll be awake a little longer), but YMMV.

This also transitions very easily into metta bhavana (cultivating lovingkindess - accepting and being okay with yourself, which is incredibly important for dealing with things), which you might find very helpful too: http://www.feedback.nildram.co.uk/ri...tion/metta.htm

You can meditate anywhere. It's initially always going to be hard not to focus on everything - the focus and concentration is a skill you practice like anything else. And that's the base benefit of regular meditation, on top of being calmer and more centered (or getting there more easily) - deeper concentration and focus.

Meditation is something that I think about alot but the time hasnt come for me to seriously approach it. Right now Im focusing on exploring the depths of my mind rather than clearing it.

This will make it easier, not harder, to do that, because it will help you maintain that centered, objective, but aware state you need to really examine things. Bad analogy: it doesn't take all the stuff on your desk and throw it away, it puts it all on a tray and sets it aside. Then you can work on sorting through it all.

Here's another resource I have that's more generalized (the metta bhavana is good too, but is less "straight meditating" and was a little more appropriate for the other thread) and is pretty easy to do, considering:

Mindfulness of Breathing
 

caskettheclown

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been meditating almost every day for many years.

I'm Buddhist but I won't get into that as meditation is a little different for everyone.

To start meditating is EASY, most people/books/sites will almost demand that you sit indian style or crosslegged but its not really necessary as you can do it walking or sitting or even laying down, though I prefer sitting or walking.

If you need step by step instructions then follow these, many sites will tell you different but theres really no wrong way to meditate as long as you are actually meditating.

Meditating is for everyone. The extremely healthy to the bedridden can do it, no matter what shape size religion or anything you are, you can meditate if you choose to and a lot of times you'll have better health from it. I've never heard of someone who has been hurt by meditation. It takes only a few minutes a day to reap all the benefits.

1. Set a time to meditate. Set a time where you won't be bothered by phone calls or emails or anything at all. Preferably a time where you are wide awake and not jittery or anything. I would suggest doing it roughly the same time every day, if you can't do the same time every day thats perfectly alright, even if you do it every other day is ok.

2. Start off slow, many people who have meditated for years do it for up to an hour or even more. DON"T try this long. Seriously start for five minutes and if you are comfortable enough to go further then do. If not then shoot for five minutes until you are comfortable enough to go further.

3. Get some loose fitting comfortable clothes. Pajama's work well if you want to use them. Just use something that isn't itchy or tight fitting or anything like that. You can still meditate if you are in a situation where you don't have the right clothes.

4. Pick a spot. I generally just do it in my room or if weather permitting outside on the grass or something. Just something you are comfortable staring at for a while, something calming if possible. While the focus of meditation isn't to just stare at something, it does help if you have something calming to look at but its not necessary.

5. Whether you choose to sit in a chair or on the ground crosslegged/indian style is up to you, a lot of people it hurts them to sit in a certain position for to long or even at all. The main thing is your posture, try to have your spin straight and and chin up, not high but don't be looking up either. Just look straight ahead. If you have back problems or it hurts to do so, its perfectly alright as well to slouch a little bit or tilt your head. Meditation is about clearing your mind/soul not perfect posture or sitting position or whatever.

6. Get into the seat/spot and get comfortable.

7. Many people will tell you to stare at one spot but while it is a generally good idea, its pretty hard for some people which is perfectly alright. Generally you just want to sit still as possible and focus on your breathing. Slow deep breathes in and out then slowly get your breathing back to normal breathes and just focus on that, try and let go of everything else. Let your mind be empty for a while, don't worry about work or school or that extra cute girl next door. Just breathe and let yourself be one with everything for a while.


It will take some time to actually let your mind clear and just breathe but thats perfectly alright, it just takes practice. Try and set a certain time of day/night to do it and try to stick with it as much as possible, if you need to do it twenty minutes or an hour later or sooner then thats perfectly alright as well. If you forget a day or can't get to it then don't beat yourself up, just get to it the next day if you can.

A lot of times you see in movies people not moving a muscle at all when meditating, thats generally what you want to go for but don't take it to that extreme. If you need to scratch your head or move your arm for a second then do it.


Remember meditation is more mental than physical by a longshot. Its about clearing your mind/soul of all the stress for a while not perfect form or anything like that.

heres some extra tips/hints to get started.
unless you are comfortable on the floor i'd get a cushion to sit on.
If you just can't get into it, play some calming music but keep the volume low.
 

morestrings111

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7. Many people will tell you to stare at one spot but while it is a generally good idea, its pretty hard for some people which is perfectly alright. Generally you just want to sit still as possible and focus on your breathing. Slow deep breathes in and out then slowly get your breathing back to normal breathes and just focus on that, try and let go of everything else. Let your mind be empty for a while, don't worry about work or school or that extra cute girl next door. Just breathe and let yourself be one with everything for a while.
Great post. That's the point right there. Throughout the time you're meditating, your mind will keep trying to wander. The practice of meditation involves recognizing when your mind has wandered and bringing it back onto the object of your focus (a candle, your breathing, a sound, an image, etc.).
 

caskettheclown

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Start smoking more weed ;)


While it may help with some health issues its completely unrelated to meditating in almost every way.


I do NOT recommend meditating while under the influence of alcohol or any drugs

Sorry I know you meant no harm with your post but I wanted to make sure people don't get the wrong ideas.
 

Steinmetzify

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Very helpful. Most people don't realize how much 'chatter' is going on in their heads all the time and that a lot of it can be incredibly negative, even when talking to yourself about yourself. Even worse in this day and age with FB, texts, cell phones which mean people can get hold of you whenever they want. There have been studies done which concluded that people get a 'rush' or a 'high' from getting/answering texts, and it can be psychologically addictive.

I've been doing this for many years.....it's great for cutting that chatter out and helping you focus on yourself.

As stated above, there are numerous ways to do this....do yourself a favor and try them all...read the books, do one, see how it goes, do another, gauge reaction, etc...you'll eventually find one that's more comfortable and natural to you and that's the one you'll benefit most from.

My favorite, after many years of experimentation is to put a red dot on a circular mirror and try to fall into it....sitting relaxed, spine straight, mirror at eye level. That's what works best for me, although many other techniques are almost of equal value to me.

Again as above, the point is to try to empty your mind....for someone that's used to texting/FB/cell phones all the time, this can be very difficult to begin with, but it's NOT impossible at all.

You're going to find that you feel very relaxed and alert, and clear of mind afterwards, with an ability to have a lot more purpose in achieving your goals in a linear manner; before I did this kind of thing, I used to run around like a chicken with my head cut off; doing this, doing that, halfway thru I'd quit and start something else, etc...it's been years since I've experienced that kind of behavior.

Relax and enjoy, man. You might be amazed at what happens.:wavey:
 

Wrecklyss

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Like Randy, i pray, systematically, five times a day when i can and it has really made a positive influence in my life, especially my attitude. I pray in a language i don't speak (but am in the process of learning) which really helps my focus because instead of going through the motions, i actually have to concentrate on what i am saying. Especially with a complex language that says much with few words. ar rahmanir raheemfor example needing about 3 paragraphs of English to thoroughly explain.

When i get to the point i start feeling distracted again, i start trying to learn and really understand another Surah (5 down, 109 to go!) as it forces me to focus with renewed vigor.

I may not be making much sense, but i'd be happy to help or explain more in depth to the best of my ability to anyone who asks. I have really noticed a lot of benefit from it though.
 

MrMcSick

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I've tried acouple times in my life to meditate as I have severe anxiety issues that prohibit me from really living fully. I just can't cut out the chatter. I had one time where I felt I was just about to reach a full state and I heard a freaking bird chirp and wammm back I came. Seems the closest I can get is with headphones on and some soothing droning type music going on. I've had meditation recommended to me buy almost all of the therapist I've seen over the years. Hopefully some day I will be able to.
 

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Especially with a complex language that says much with few words. ar rahmanir raheemfor example needing about 3 paragraphs of English to thoroughly explain.

"Raheem" (رحيم) just means "merciful," and "Rahman" (رحمن) is an elative form of "raheem," formed from the same R-H-M consonantal root as "raheem"," usually defined as "gracious," or "The Most Gracious" when it's "Ar-Rahman" in the context of the Bismallah, which is actually one of the ONLY contexts you'll ever see the word (generally as one of the names of Allah).

Boom. One sentence :lol:.

Yes, I know it can be much more involved than that and explained in much greater detail in the religious context/interpretation of the Bismalla, but the words by themselves aren't really anything mysterious or special.

Arabic's a wonderful language that actually makes a lot of sense once you learn the ins and outs of the roots/forms and word construction.
 

Grand Moff Tim

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On topic: Drone music, particularly actually playing drone music alone in the dark, is as close as I've been able to come to clearing my head and meditating. I like to just hit one note or chord, preferably tuned low or on bass, and let it ring out for as long as I can, feeling the note in my chest. Somehow that makes it easier for me to concentrate on just one thing, and feels really cathartic.

I'm not sure if using musical instruments for meditation like that is cheating or whatever, but it's what has worked the best for me so far, hahaha. Otherwise my mind just NEVER shuts the hell up.
 

dedsouth333

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Otherwise my mind just NEVER shuts the hell up.

That's the exact problem I've always had with this. My mind is always going crazy and never really seems to slow down unless I'm playing music (and even then it doesn't seem to help as much anymore). It gets really hard to even sleep with how eratic it gets at times.
 

asher

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That's why you guys should keep at it :lol:

Again: it's a skill. It requires consistent practice. It's going to be difficult. It's kinda like picking up a guitar, teaching yourself the basic chords, and then trying to go play [insert technically challenging metal piece here]. You can't do it yet, but you can work on it, and could get it solid in not all that much time if you consistently practice.
 


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