If you are a beginner and have never meditated before or only a couple of times, you may not know where to start or if you are doing it right. There are so many different types of meditation and it can be difficult to know which one would be great for you.
Some styles of meditations rely on complete silence, some employ the repetition of specific words or “mantras,” some offer guided imagery and/or affirmations, some focus on specific energy centers or “chakras,” some utilize specific sounds and music, some have very ancient roots, rituals, and religious traditions. And there are many more varieties and combinations. Some meditations focus primarily on relaxation and the well documented health benefits associated with this. Other meditations go beyond relaxation to help us reconnect with the deeper clarity, power, peace, and wholeness within us.
Most of the time we are half-asleep as we are hardly present. We are so pre-occupied with our thoughts that we do not notice what is going around us. meditation keeps you awake. It allows you to notice the thoughts disrupting your mind so you can settle them and carry out your life with full attention. zen Baltimore is a wonderful gift of staying awake so you can live life fully. You miss most of your life because you are somewhere else, rambling in your mind.
Some suggested teachers you might consider are: Eckhart Tolle (you’ll find lots of his free videos on YouTube), Adyashanti (try reading ‘Emptiness Dancing’ or watching his videos on YouTube) and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (read ‘I Am That’).
First, meditation is not about achieving a goal or getting somewhere. Many people sit down to achieve enlightenment or to calm the mind or find happiness. These are byproducts of meditations, not the goals. Many people struggle with meditation because they feel they are getting nowhere. They feel that they did not accomplish anything in the time spent sitting, when they could have been cutting the lawn or been out Christmas shopping. Humans are taught that they must be ambitious and always trying to reach a goal, and meditation goes against this concept which makes it hard for most people to stay with it.
Start with short sessions of ten or fifteen minutes and meditate more frequently. Remember you can easily keep the momentum going by doing informal meditations of short five-minute sessions during the day wherever you are. No one will be upset because you are silent and peaceful. Gradually increase the time of your sessions while decreasing their frequency. The mind often starts calming down after forty minutes of meditation so you should aim for forty-five to sixty minute sessions twice daily.
The reason for this is that the moment humans come into contact with each other, they connect energetically. Their energy fuses and what one person does, thinks or feels, affects the others. This is why we can behave so irrationally in large, ’emotional’ gatherings (like soccer games and political rallies).
Is there a method to this? If there is, I’m sorry to say that I haven’t figured it out yet. For me, the act of creative meditation just is. When we learn to quiet the mind, when we learn to be aware of exactly what our craft is and what it means to us, the act of meditation takes over. What we don’t seem to realize is that throughout the time of practicing our craft this form of meditation is going on around us at all times. It’s when we realize how quiet the mind is while doing our craft, how aware we are of what we do next, that we’ve achieved nirvana in a way we never quite expected.