Learn to Start Meditating

An Introduction to Meditation

The aim of Meditation is to gain a better understanding of one's nature, whether physical, mental, or spiritual. One way to think about it is by observing our observations; becoming aware of how we perceive our senses.

Every time one sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches, or thinks, one should make a note of the fact, becoming aware of it happening, and observing one's reactions to that sense. However, it is difficult at first to make a note of every one, and so it is probably best to begin with noting those happening which are easily observed.

Set aside about 15 minutes to practice meditating. To begin, find a quiet place to sit down, either cross-legged on the floor, or in a chair with a straight back. (If this is uncomfortable, you can also practice by lying on the floor.)

Breathe through your nose, and start by observing your breathing, being aware of your abdomen rising when you breathe in, and falling when you breathe out. Try not to verbalize to yourself, "I am breathing in, now I am breathing out." Instead, try to picture what is happening. Feel it with your senses and hear the sound of your breathing.

Don't try to control your breathing, Neither slow it down, nor make it faster. Breathe steadily as usual and note the rising and falling of the abdomen as they occur. Note it mentally, not verbally, and don't try to judge it by thinking, "I am breathing too quickly," or "I am breathing too slowly." Try to be aware as each breath happens.

Everyone who begins meditating will have a wandering mind. That is perfectly normal. Don't worry about it, but try to become aware of it. Just think, "My mind is wandering now." You shouldn't have to force your mind to stop wandering, but instead, "lead" it back to focusing on your breathing. After you catch yourself and note it a few times, it becomes easier to persuade your mind to refocus on your breathing.

If your mind continues to wander, you can take note of what it is imagining. If you imagine you are talking with someone, note "talking" to yourself. Whatever activity your mind starts to imagine, note it to yourself, but without getting angry or frustrated that it is wandering. Also note if you are feeling an emotion, such as happy, sad, excited or bored.

After you have been sitting (or lying) for awhile, you might notice that you are getting stiff, or sore, or feeling warm or cold. Try to take note of those feelings, instead of just reacting to them by moving or stretching. Note them, and gently move your focus back to your breathing.

After about ten or 15 minutes, you should slowly open your eyes and gradually get up. Don't worry if you didn't have any great "insights" into the nature of being in your first sessions. Just try to be more aware of your senses and emotions and their impact on you.

Try to practice meditation two or three times per day if possible. It is best to practice when you are not tired mentally, so meditating early in the morning is better than late at night. However, if for some reason you can't fall asleep at night, you can try the above exercise to help calm your mind and prepare you for sleep.

After you have practiced the above techniques for a few days, try to practice being aware of your senses and emotions when you are in your daily routine. If you are on the bus, close your eyes and note how you are feeling, what you are hearing, how the bus is moving up and down or side to side. When you are working, note the sounds of the various items in the office, the background noise of the air conditioner, the shuffle of your coworkers feet across the carpet, the way you hold your hands and arms when you work.

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Tulis comments
January 19, 2015 at 1:11 AM

I've been watching interviews with folks who participated in something called the Finders Course experiment. The website for it doesn't say much: They claim to be getting awakened/enlightened/nondual in 3 months or less!!! That sounds CRAZY to me. Has anyone else seen this? They also have videos on youtube if you search for 'finders course'. It seems to be based on a big academic study from the center for the study of nonsymbolic consciousness. They have videos and articles about some of it here: