I have seen people changing drastically in terms of their internal personality just by meditation.I have tried too to do meditation by sitting at quiet place,counting breathes,staying calm but what it doesn't work for me in a way that I cannot concentrate.So many things come up in my mind,work tension,personal problems and the list goes on.And finally I break down and get distracted.
People calm down post meditation particularly anger control.Though I don't get angry easily but I do feel tensed,frustrated,uncomfortable in many of daily situations.
There is this friend of mine who can stay calm to any extent and doesn't bother about anything be it a action ,words or urgency.When I asked him whats his formula he replied that he meditates daily for 1hour [he revealed to me only as Iam his good friend :) while others wonder for the formula].
I too want to become like this person or to be apt like a cool person.
Want to meditate and explore myself enough to be happy in the internal world within me.
Please advice friends ...
Thanks in advance,
Your "issues" when meditating are completely normal. And in fact, having those thoughts come up is PART of the meditation experience. They are not actually issues. :)
I've heard countless people tell me things like - meditation doesn't work for me...I can't meditate because I can't concentrate. I am often at a loss for words because to me that sounds like "I can't lift weights because I'm too weak". In other words, meditation develops concentration - it does not require you to be good at concentration. You just have to use whatever concentration you DO have. In the same way that a weak person just has to use the strength that they DO have - and they will become stronger.
You just have to let what comes up, come up. Your concentration will falter - you might even forget you are meditating and get lost worrying about something for a while. That's not important. It happens to everyone. What is important (if you want to meditate, that is) is that when you notice it has happened, you just gently shift your focus back to whatever it is for your meditation. And you keep doing that again and again - and over time, it will happen less and less.
When I first started meditating I would get lost in my thoughts for ages before realizing it. I would worry and fuss. Or I would get excited over some thought etc. I would be agitated after 5 minutes and fidget. And after 15 minutes, or 20 minutes on a good day, I would say fuck it and get up. But quite quickly, I became able to sit for an hour or longer with just a few thoughts coming up.
You may have to try a few different types of meditations before you find one that is good for you. Because there's not really any "the best way". But there are ways that will be better for you. In general though, for most people, I have always recommended something along the line of a candle flame, preferably in the dark. Why? Simply because it's bright and readily draws the attention. Also, your eyes are open during this meditation which helps minimize getting lost in your thoughts (which happens far easier when your eyes are closed). And when you DO get lost in your thoughts (which you will - no big deal) it's there as a constant "visual reminder" to trip you back into awareness that you're meditating.
I'm a bit of a stickler with meditation. Most here would probably recommend 15-20 minutes of meditation. That is at least what Abraham suggests. You CAN get good results from that, but it also depends what you want. The state of consciousness you will reach from 20 minutes of meditation is very different to what you will get from 45-60 minutes of meditation (which is what I would consider optimal). In my personal experience, and from having taught a few others meditation...it tends to take someone just starting about 45 minutes to REALLY begin to get into those deeper states.
I used to recommend people start off small and build up - 15 minutes then after a few days adding 5 minutes more and so on until they got to an hour. I think there is a better way though (providing you want those deeper states and the inner, undisturbed calm that comes with them. That way is to actually grit your teeth perse, and sit down and meditate for an hour and 15 minutes say - right off the bat. And do that for a few days and after that then go down to an hour. I have done that when I stopped meditating for a while and wanted to start again and I've also seen others do it effectively. It seems to sort of "trick" the mind and the person always feels like they've only meditated for a "short time" because they've become used to doing it for a longer period. Again though, it depends on who you are - that is perhaps a bit more forceful and willful than the "work up to it" methods.
Before meditating, I would suggest doing a physical relaxation exercise - such as tensing and holding your muscles, releasing etc. You can easily find those exercises online if you don't already know any. Pranayama like lozenge123 recommended is also good. Many people seem to want to skip physically relaxing first because it "saves time" but actually relaxing first saves time. If you do it first you can reach deeper meditative states and have a calmer mind A LOT faster than if you just jump straight into meditating.
I have been through exactly what you experienced. You say:
"So many things come up in my mind,work tension,personal problems and the list goes on. And finally I break down and get distracted."
Happens to me all the time...these are the basic hurdles that every meditator faces. There are even books written by Zen masters that explain how if they go for a week without meditating, they start experiencing that stuff all over again.
My short answer: as a practical, highly detailed guide to meditating, I recommend the book "Opening the Hand of Thought" by Zen master Kosho Uchiyama.
My long answer, which summarizes some basics from this book and some instructions I have received from some good teachers:
Sit comfortably...whatever position lets you best take your mind off your body, and any physical distrations or discomfort.
Try to relax and clear your mind. In the beginning, you probably will not be able to go more than a few seconds without a thought coming into your head. This is normal and natural. Thoughts are like clouds. They pass in and out of the mind at random. Your only job is not to "latch" onto them, and indulge in them. As soon as you notice that your mind is running or wandering, clear it again. Try to concentrate solely on the present moment. The sound of the wind outside, the pattering of the rain, or (if there isn't any sound) the complete and utter silence of your location.
When a thought enters your head, let it go. For instance, if the thought comes into your head "I should have done my laundry today," catch yourself right there. Don't let it lead to other things such as "I'll do it right now...I need to do it tomorrow...especially my blue shirt," etc.. As soon as you notice your mind running with that thought, just let it go and clear your mind once more. Hopefully you'll be able to go a few more seconds before another thought pops up. If you can go ten seconds, you are doing amazingly well!
If you keep this up, and keep letting go of these thoughts and returning your concentration to the present moment, eventually you will find these thoughts come in your mind less and less! The "sky" of the mind "clears" and the "clouds" dissipate. Depending on how often I've been meditating, and also on my state of mind, this can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. But eventually it will happen, and it will happen almost seemingly by the grace of God...without you doing anything to force it or make it happen.
There's a pretty decent video on Youtube which leads you through this process. (It's in Japanese, so you'll have to turn on the subtitles in the bar beneath the video). It's a traditional zen perspective, but it works for me:
A few practical notes:
Counting the breath is a Rinzai (a special sect of Zen Buddhism) thing. It works for some people, but not so much for me.
Sometimes it is helpful to concentrate on the point between your eyebrows. Focusing your attention there provides exactly that, a focus, something to concentrate on, which can be of help if your mind is feeling especially scattered. When thoughts start popping back into your head, your mind wanders, etc., and you catch yourself, bring your focus back to the point between your eyebrows. Feel as though your consciousness, your mind, is "located" or placed there.
If thoughts are like clouds, emotions are like the weather. Sometimes when I meditate I will feel a lingering sense of frustration or irritation. Even when the thoughts stop coming! The lesson here, and it is a universal one I think, is that occasionally there are no "logical" reasons for these emotions...they just kind of come of their own accord, and leave of their own accord. Kind of like bad weather. Sometimes the skies are dark and gloomy...but eventually they always clear up. The pitfall is, if you don't realize this, you can become continually frustrated by the sense of frustration itself, and then the whole thing is perpetuated in a cycle of negativity. If the emotional skies are gloomy that hour, just accept that they are, know that it will change, and try not to worry about it.
I've also found that 6 to 10 rounds of basic Pranayama (yogic breathing) exercises before I meditate, greatly decreases the time it takes for my mind to clear. Normally it takes me 35 to 50 minutes, but with the Pranayama it can be as little as 12 or 15. Pranayama has to be learned under a (traditional) yoga instructor, which you can find with a little diligent searching.
I also recommend, if it is possible for you, to learn meditation under the guidance of an instructor. Often just being in the presence of others on the meditating path can be a great help! If this is not possible for you, then you can continue to get help here, and read the books. I admit that although I started learning meditation under some good instructors, I've gleaned a lot of helpful tips from books. And I've taken different things from different traditions...just borrowed whatever works!
Hope this is a start. Feel free to ask any more questions!
Have you tried the "Getting into the vortex meditations" ?
Abraham hicks website-http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/Vortex_Med_App.php
If you plan to meditate on a regular basis Stingrays answer to this question may be of benefit to you-http://www.inwardquest.com/questions/18622/is-meditation-a-cure-all
Hello @insilentpain, I have been there too!!
There's a lot that has been said here, so I'll try to be short.
This one has to do with a popular video you may have had encountered called One Moment Meditation, on the third article you will find a 30 day program for meditating in the moment.
The Chopra Center has a regular event called the Meditation Challenge. The current challenge is now on day 3, but you can sign up and start from day 1.
I recommend you take a look into QE, I had depression for a looong time, tried everything I could and QE was the thing that really helped me, here are some free meditations from their site:
Whatever you do, my suggestion is to go at it lightly. Don't judge yourself if you find you are having problems or if you think you are not exactly the progress you want. In an easy and relaxed matter do whatever you feel inclined to do, and little by little you will see yourself making progress.
Best of luck, I hope it helps!!
answered 18 Jul '12, 19:21
I am not a fan of meditating in any formal way. I have come up with a way to get the results of a meditation session very quickly. I call it Two Hands Touching. It isn't really meditating, but it kind of is. Press the palms of your hands together and close your eyes. Ask yourself quietly in your mind, "What do my hands feel like?" Without thinking about the feelings, just feel your hands touching, feel the pulse. Any time your mind wanders, repeat the question and then feel the answer in your hands. Do this for at least 30 seconds, but as long as you want/need. I combine it with affirmations, visualizations, etc... It is so quick and easy that I do it as often as I think of it or need it throughout the day.
answered 16 Jul '12, 17:04
@insilentpain : I really don't know where are you from - but I am sure that you will grow stronger (I mean you get more concentrated) once you get 10 days course from here in Vipassana!! http://www.dhamma.org/
You can look for your convenient place to go for 10 day courses - I think it helps a lot as the environment is like it is for meditation.
answered 19 Jul '12, 16:42
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