How To Meditate

8/16/2016


Some of you have asked me to write a little about how I practice meditation at all. You were interested in hearing why I meditate, whether it really works and how it works.

Everyone experiences meditation differently and it works differently for everybody. Some need a little more time to practice it effectively than others. So if you're a beginner or just simply interested - this is the post for you.

So what am I even talking about?


Meditation is the act of making our mind calm and peaceful. The purpose of meditation is to get rid of worries and mental discomfort to be happier and feel the best that you can. The more you practice meditation, the better you will feel in the long run. Of course this is not a promise but rather than that, an assistance.

Do you ever become so irritated and mad at the smallest things? Do things easily tick you off? Or do you ever feel really overwhelmed by everything that you want to let out steam but don't really know how?

Next to sports, meditation is a great solution. Of course it doesn't solve problems. But for more order in your mind and for a cleansed head for once in a while, it is a pretty great technique to try.

The Posture


To have a nice and effective meditation session, it's important to have a comfortable seat and a good posture. Keep your back straight but not tense! You do not have to sit cross-legged, it is just a position that helps with the posture the most. (You can even meditate while laying down but you do have to remember to keep your back straight and lay flat on your back.)

Your head is slightly tipped forward and your chin is slightly tucked so it is more comfortable for you to hang lose. Your eyes should be closed. As a beginner this is not mandatory but it's the easiest way to meditate when there is absolutely nothing distracting you or your sight.

So what now? What goes on in the head then?


There are three ways that I like to follow during meditation. There are probably more but these are the ones I practice the most. If you know any more, do let me know! 

Since your body is in a position where you are completely still and not doing anything else, it brings you in a situation where you are on your own with your thoughts and feelings. 

1: The Cloud Meditation: 

You pretend like your head is a mountain and all thoughts and feelings are clouds, just passing by. You let your thoughts pass by, you acknowledge the thoughts but don't think about them, don't immerse in them, don't let them linger. Once a thought occurs, you'll accept that it's there and let it pass. Then the next thought will appear and you'll let it pass as well. You let each thought and feeling fly by one by one until at some point, your mind will be clear of distracting thoughts. 

2. The Breathing Meditation: 

You concentrate on your breathing and try to breathe regularly and calm your breathing until it is in a routine. With every breath out, you'll pretend that you're letting go of all negative feelings and upsetting thoughts in a huge black cloud. With every breath in, you're taking in all the good feelings, the blessings, the inspirations. Don't think about work or duties, just linger in a moment where only that very moment is present. After a while your body will feel peaceful and alert. 

3. The Noise Meditation:

You concentrate on your breathing and try to cleanse your mind from all thoughts while concentrating on the noises around you. It could be the tap water unable to shut off, or the door of your neighbor creaking on the ground. It could be the soft blaring of some guy's radio from the other building. It could be a car driving past your flat. It really doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that you'll find the noise and if there is none, you'll focus on the silence. After multiple times practicing this, you'll notice that your hearing actually can get even better because your body will feel more alert. 

For how long do I sit still like that?


As a beginner I only managed 5 to 10 minutes. Then I gradually added some more minutes. Nowadays I meditate up to 20 minutes.

What time of day is the best time for meditation? 


I usually meditate before going to sleep or in the morning right after waking up or in the afternoon after uni or a work shift. Any time where you can be in a peaceful, quiet setting, is good. 

Do I need anything else?


You can add any noise or candle smell you like. Music should not accompany you, though, since it is quite distracting, no matter how mellow the tune is. The best way is to really practice meditation in silence, but there's nothing wrong with calming sounds, such as rain or ocean scenes. 

Any apps to help?


Calm : This app works perfectly fine for free. You can use it anywhere and it lets you relax and meditate to calming sounds, such as sounds by the sea, of the ocean or raindrops for example. There are daily programs that will teach you ways to meditate every day. You can definitely also use it to get to sleep.


If you have any more questions or suggestions, I'd love to read them in the comments! I'm always open to write more about meditation or Buddhism in general.

Until then - stay groovy,
Arden

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