Meditation for Dummies
Meditation is all about clearing the mind. Making it still. I´m not an expert. I´m a newb. What the hell am I writting a “Meditation for Dummies” article then? Well, because I´ve just gone through what many of you might begin soon and know the feeling.
Meditation isn´t as easy as it looks. Close you eyes, one deep breath and reach Nirvana, right? Yeah I wish it were that simple too…
Here goes a list that I would have liked to read BEFORE starting to meditate over a year ago!
1-Relax. This isn´t a race! Everybody goes at his or her own pace. Different people train long distance running at a different pace. Don´t expect to reach total clearness in a few days. Start without expectations. Every new session is a whole new experience. Don´t let yourself try to live up to “last session, which was great”. You´ll only make it more difficult for your mind to relax!
2-The half Lotus position(the one you know from movies) is awesome looking, but not necessarily comfortable! Don´t try to PUSH yourself into meditating in this position. For some it´s difficult and you have to get used to it. Your back, your knees and your ankles start hurting soon into the session and you might find yourself fighting back the pain instead of trying to concentrate on a visualization or Mantra. Sitting on a chair is just as awesome and 100 times more comfortable. Specially for the Lads!
3-No, you wont automatically know Kung-fu and fight like Neo! Sorry. (yeah. this one was a huge let down for me too…)
4-See what works for you and stick to it. Either a Mantra(repeating a series of words or a sound), visualizing an object, concentrating on your breathing, etc. Whatever works try to stick with it! Don´t go changing because you hear that someone else does it in a different way. Just relax and go with whatever is easiest for you.
5-No, really….you won´t know Kung-Fu! SORRY!
6-Before meditation try not to be doing something that puts you in a bad mood or “warms you up”(if you know what I mean….). Use the time before meditation to relax. Read. Write. Listen to some soft music. Calm down. If you listen to Slipknot while watching “Hostel”..good luck concentrating later…!
7-If you are falling asleep or are totally unable to concentrate don´t worry! Just leave it for later or tomorrow. Some days just don´t work as well! I´ve spent many sessions “pushing” my body to stay awake andmy mind to try to concentrate…with no reults! Just listen to your body and your mind and don´t sweat..there will soon be a better session! 😉 Maybe, tomorrow!
8-Don´t put yourself in a tight schedule! If you are going to meet a friend at 16.30 and finish lunch at 16.00(Spanish time to finish lunch) don´t try to meditate “as quick as possible”. You´ll only be thinking of meeting up and doing everything hastily. I actually did this tons of times… normally very mediocre meditation sessions..
9-This is a build-up exercise. Like running. The more you run the further you can run without getting tired. Take it as a metafor. The more you meditate the better you get at it. Practice makes perfect! Meditating as I started(today and then in 2 weeks) doesn´t make it easy for your mind to relax!
10-Try to meditate only when you know you won´t get interrupted. This one is a no-brainer. If you are expecting someone to enter your room you´ll be thinking about it all the time. Your mind will wander to things like “what will I say?”, “how do I explain to my father that I´m a hippy?”, “what if they already opened the door and are just looking at me now with a look of WTF in their faces?”. Try to find some time and a place where you can concentrate on yourself!
So I hope that this actually helps beginners in their first sessions. You´d learn this on your own, eventually…but hey! Why not let Rafa stumble on the stones first and tell you so you don´t have to?! 😉
For those of you who meditate….this isn´t new. But I´m sure you´d put some more simple rules in. Comment bellow with any suggestion. And for curious people. Post any question!