View Full Version : Meditation for beginers

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06-29-2003, 09:33 AM
Hello :)

I downloaded an audio recording of a meditation (step-by-step prosses). For beginers, what way or steps would you advise for me to take? At first should I try this tape for 30 days? Should i listen to music while i try to meditate? just stuff like that, the "Do's and the Dont's".

Also i found i get distracted once a while, i know this is not good, but is it normal at first? Last thing.. do you have any tips or books/ audio records that you could let me know of.

Thanks for your concern, it is greatly appreacited.

06-29-2003, 09:37 AM
i usually meditate in the toilet while doing...you know. Helps me a lot!:D

06-29-2003, 10:40 AM
Hi Andrew!

It's good that you're taking up meditation. It's a great stress-buster!

Distracted while doing it? It's normal for beginners to experience loss of concentration midway. When that happens, just be aware of it and bring yourself back into it. Don't fight yourself or curse yourself for losing control, but flow with it and return to where you last lost control. That's awareness, a key point in the practice of meditation.

As for books, I'd recommend "Meditation for Dummies" from the Dummies series. It is well written and handles pertinent questions from beginners and seniors alike.

Good luck!

mike lee
06-29-2003, 11:18 AM
Don't think about sex when you meditate! :D

06-29-2003, 01:11 PM
Hi !

Distraction is what's supposed to happen when you meditate,that's how you learn how the mind works when you're actually not thinking.

yours - Chr.B.

06-29-2003, 01:42 PM
I think you could benefit from reading this :


Good luck

Clayton Kale
06-29-2003, 10:46 PM
I find that listening to music is distracting, but sometimes so is background noise, like my neighbor's lawnmower or something like that. In those cases, I'll tune a radio to a constant light static and have it on lightly in the background. The "white noise" helps me get past the obnoxious noise of the grass cutter, but it's soon left behind as my mind takes control of itself.

Also, when I find myself distracted to the point of wanting to get up, I'll count breaths until breathing is back to a steady rhythm.

06-30-2003, 11:02 AM
I practiced meditation for a long time and never quite felt comfortable with it until a few years ago when I stopped 'meditating' and instead just sat down in silence and experienced sitting down in silence.

It may not sound like there is much difference, but I found that the change in perspective helped me in many things.

When I sat down to meditate I told myself that certain things should happen, that there were certain rules to meditation. like my 'mind should be still' 'I should be relaxed', 'I should not get distracted' that kind of thing.

This set up a win-lose situation in my meditation.

my meditation was defined by the outcome rather than the experience.

if at the end of my meditation the certain criteria had been fulfilled then I felt happy that I had meditated.

If not, then I felt I had not meditated.

I judged it to be imperfect.

I stopped doing that and stopped fighting or putting limits on it and began to just sit and experience sitting.

in doing that, I could sit and if I was distacted then I could simply experience the distraction, or experience the way in which my mind is moving. I could experience 'and find harmony with' any set of circumstances that occured within that moment in which I was sitting.

in letting go of the definintions of meditation and the limits of meditation I allowed my meditation to become perfect as I had no criteria against which to judge it. it became a more personal thing as it was all about me and the moment in which I existed.

I realised then that it was a case of standing up and doing the same thing.

that the 'meditation' could be applied to everything.

that you could experience just being in any situation and each situation would become perfect as you had no criteria against which to judge it. harmony could be found.

It was an amazing experience and discovery for me and fit in nicely with my aikido and the philosophy of it.

unfortunately it didn't make my spelling any better and i found that it is a difficult path to go along as it is so easy to get distracted.

But I've gone on long enough.

thanks for listening

06-30-2003, 03:01 PM
There are a lot of different technqiues for meditation. Many are more concentration and focusing training. Very valuable. Where ever you are and whatever you have available is a good place to start. Like Aikido, just train. Don't try to get it right in the beginning. Just relax and breath. In the end, just sit and go empty.

07-01-2003, 06:02 AM
Just make it a part of your daily routine and keep practicing. It may take a while before it feels "right" or "special" but with time it gets much easier.

07-01-2003, 01:59 PM
Thanks, I took your advice and I told my Dad about the book, "Meditation for dummies" and he came back from work with it.

07-10-2003, 08:45 PM
I bow to your wisdom, Kev. :)

07-15-2003, 09:46 AM
How do we sit comfortably during a meditation? I find sitting with my legs crossed would pain my posture when I try to straighten it for a long time and becomes a distraction because my brain transmit "ouch" everytime I've reached my limit of 30 minutes :P

07-15-2003, 10:36 AM
How do we sit comfortably during a meditation?

While I don't meditate regularly I was shown a sitting posture that was very comfortable for me the few times I've tried it. I believe they called it "Burmese" style sitting. You sit in a half-lotus (or cross legged) position with cushions under your butt with your knees touching the floor. I use two thick kitchen chair cushions. The points of contact with the ground are the butt (on top of the cushions of course) and the knees. I've found sitting like this keeps my spine nice and straight like sitting in seiza, which is good because I can't sit seiza for long periods due to a knee injury :disgust:

Hope all that makes sense :confused:


07-15-2003, 11:10 AM
You may meditate sitting in a chair. Keep your spine erect-no leaning on the back of the chair- and your feet flat on the ground.

Thirty minutes is not bad for an "ouch" response. Even on long retreats one generally sits for 40 minutes at a time, then walk, then sit...

and as an Artists Model, i seldom hold a pose for more than 20.great practice- notice the pain, don't suffer the pain.

However in my fifteen years of meditation training no teacher has ever said you must sit in one, prescribed position for any specific lenghth of time.

In Zen one is instructed to sit in a specific way, basically the one described above & that is the position i use but i have not studied Zen meditation so i don't know how they feel about changing it.

kung fu hamster
07-15-2003, 12:43 PM
If you're interested in zen, this is a zen meditation book that we use at our dojo, it has a lot of diagrams and instructions, but I think one would still need some class instruction to really get good correction...if you sit crookedly for any length of time it really starts to hurt...


An Introduction to Zen Training: A Translation of Sanzen Nyumon

by Omori Sogen, Trevor Leggett (Introduction), Dogen Hosokawa (Translator), Roy Kenichi Yoshimoto (Translator), Dogen Hosogawa (Translator)

07-16-2003, 09:51 AM
Thanks for the advice. I'll keep that in mind :)

Steve Leclair
07-25-2003, 11:26 AM
Hi there,

This is my first post and I ask for your patience.

I would suggest that much like aikido, meditation is very difficult at first , and extremely difficult when learning from a book. Perhaps it might be a good idea to seek out a teacher.


Steven Leclair

08-31-2004, 10:04 PM
I do, and many others who practice Zen buddhism belive that zazen(zen meditaion) is the real deal. Not to talk down on other meditaion styles, but many other forms are seen as kind of "baby steps". I think that meditation in any form is benificial to oneself. In zazen, you do not sit to attain anything though. You just sit. There is a lot of deep rooted philosiphy behind all of this so I wont bore you too much, because zen is boring enough ;) At the same time it is very exciting though. Also dont be turned away if this violates your religion. If you are Christian, there are many Christians who sit and do zazen. I have heard a number of preists who do this. good luck in your endevor! :circle:

Martin Källström
09-02-2004, 02:37 AM
Would you care to elaborate on your claim that meditation is beneficial but that you do it without trying to attain the benefits?

I'm sure that meditation and zazen is beneficial, and I'm sure that there are many people who "just sit". But I don't see how you can go both ways and talk about the benefits and "just sitting" at the same time?

In my (probably limited) view even calling zazen a form of meditation is a paradox. Meditation is to me something you do to reach another inner state and to reach inside yourself. In zazen you sit. Zazen I thought meant "sitting zen", not "zen meditation".

But I don't practice neither meditation or zazen, so my understanding of this is probably skewed. That's why I ask, to know more about the paradox contained in "I sit without trying to attain anything, because it's very beneficial".

09-02-2004, 08:04 AM
Would you care to elaborate on your claim that meditation is beneficial but that you do it without trying to attain the benefits?

While it is not my quote, may I offer an opinion?

There is a lot of psychological damage done by the idea that I am not enough, what I do is not enough, and where I am is not enough. Its like the carrot in front of the horse.

Just to sit, and be okay, without trying to change or get anywhere, is no only the goal, but the journey. It overcome internal judgements.

Also, to split your awareness between what you are doing and where you want to go, takes away form the lesson you are learning in the moment. The more we think about self-defense and belt promotion, the less attention we pay to the lesson/training we are currently doing that will help get us there.

It is pardoxical. Life is.

Hope this helps muddy the water just a little less. There is no real way to explain it rationally.

09-02-2004, 12:55 PM
There is nothing that is only one thing. Look at it as two sides to one coin. Nothing is good, nothing is bad. Everything is good, everything is bad. Zazen has a point, Zazen has no point.....

Martin Källström
09-02-2004, 01:17 PM
See, now when you cut out the sales talk you start to make sense. :)

Bill Danosky
12-09-2004, 10:34 PM
If anyone would like a nutshell zazen primer, this website is very concise and well illustrated:

12-12-2004, 07:25 AM
Good question, Andrew. Here is a travelers perspective. I find the key to meditation is, there is no key. All you have to do is take some time to lessen the stress or any spiritually conflicting situation in your life. There is no right or wrong way, formally, as long as you feel good at the end. You can meditate standing in line, walking down the street, driving a car,(side note-this is not recomended). A person in control of himself should not need worldly things to help him find answers internally. All the jazz about sitting or breathing helps but it is not the point. My advice is start becoming comfortable with yourself and you are on the right track. The only thing that prevents a person from being at one with himself is worrying about what he is doing wrong.