How to Meditate: 10 Important Tips

learn to meditate

Why meditate?

On one level, meditation is a tool. It can help combat stress, fosters physical health, helps with chronic pain, can make you sleep better, feel happier, be more peaceful, as well as be present.

But on a deeper level, meditation is a doorway into the unknown. It can help us get a sense of the mystery of who we are.

When you start meditating, you will notice how unruly the mind is. I remember being quite shocked by this! I noticed that my mind was all over the place. Profound thoughts about my past or future jostled with mundane thought clips about what groceries I needed to buy. Some time afterwards I would come too and notice that I had spend 15 minutes running a painful memory over and over. It was like sitting in a crazy cinema!

So, if you’re starting out with meditation, please don’t beat yourself up about your wild mind. It is a natural condition. In time you will learn to work kindly with the barrage of thoughts and you will find some clarity and peacefulness.

Here are some simple tips on how to start meditating. Maybe those of you who already practise meditation could please add your comments of what has worked for you.
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1. Posture

Whether you sit on a chair or cross-legged on the floor, make sure that your spine is upright with head up. If you are slumped your mind will drift. Mind and body are intertwined. If your body is well-balanced, your mind will also be in balance. To straighten up, imagine that your head is touching the sky.

2. Eyes

Try and keep you eyes open. Open eyes allow you to be more present. Just lower your eyes and let your gaze be soft. If you close your eyes you will be more likely to drift away on thoughts and stories. However, it’s important to do what is comfortable for you. Some people find closing their eyes much more effective. It’s good to experiment and see what feels best for you.

2. Focus

In ordinary consciousness we are hardly ever present. For example, sometimes we drive the car on autopilot while being preoccupied with thoughts. Suddenly we arrive at our destination and don’t remember anything about the drive!

So, meditation is a wonderful way of waking up to our life. Otherwise we miss most of our experiences because we are somewhere else in our mind! Let’s take a look at what focus is. In ordinary life, we tend to equate focus with concentration. That’s like using the mind like a concentrated beam of light. But in meditation, that kind of mind isn’t helpful. It’s too sharp and edgy. To focus in meditation means to pay soft attention to whatever you place in the centre of awareness. I suggest using the breath as a focus. It’s like a natural door that connects ‘inside’ and ‘outside’. Zen Master Toni Packer says:

Attention comes from nowhere. It has no cause. It belongs to no one

3. The breath

Paying attention to the breath is a great way to anchor yourself in the present moment.
Notice your breath streaming in and out. There’s no need to regulate the breath – just let it be natural.

4. Counting you breath

If you are having difficulties settling, you can try counting the breath – which is an ancient meditation practice. On your outbreath, silently count “one”, then “two”, and up to “four”. Then return to “one”. Whenever you notice your thoughts have strayed far away or you find yourself counting “thirtythree”, simply return to “one”. In this way, “one” is like coming home to the present moment. It’s good to return without a backward glance.

5. Thoughts

When you notice thoughts, gently let them go by returning yous focus to the breath. Don’t try and stop thoughts; this will just make you feel agitated. Imagine that they are unwelcome visitors at your door: acknowledge their presence and politely ask them to leave. Then shine the soft light of your attention on your breath.

6. Emotions

It’s difficult to settle into meditation if you are struggling with strong emotions. This is because some emotions tend to breed stories in the mind. Especially anger, shame and fear create stories that repeat over and over in the mind. Anger and shame make us keep looking at past events of the past. Fear looks at the future with stories that start with, “What if…”

The way to deal with strong emotions in meditation is to focus on the body feelings that accompany the emotion. For example, this could be the tight band of fear around the chest or the hot roiling of anger in the belly. Let go of the stories and refocus on your body. In this way you are honouring your emotions but not becoming entangled in stories.

7. Silence

Silence is healing. I know that there are is a lot of ‘meditation music’ around, but nothing beats simple silence. Otherwise the music or sounds on the tape just drown out the chatter in your mind. When we sit in silence we actually get to experience what our mind is doing. There is steadiness and calmness that comes from sitting in silence. In time outer and inner silence meet and you come to rest in the moment.

8. Length

Start with 10 minutes and only sit longer if you feel that that is too short. Don’t force yourself to meditate longer if you are not ready to do that. In time you might like to extend your meditation to 25 minutes. That’s a length that allows you to settle your mind without causing too much stress on your body. Most importantly, shrug off any ‘shoulds’. Some people enjoy sitting for an hour at a time. Others find that they can’t sit longer than 10 minutes. Do what feels right for you!

9. Place

It’s lovely to create a special place to sit. You can even make a shrine or an altar that you can face when you sit in meditation. You might like to place a candle on your altar and objects that have meaning to you. It’s lovely to find objects for your altar as you walk. Maybe you find stones, or seashells, or flowers that speak to you.

10. Enjoyment

Most of all it’s important to enjoy meditation. You might like to try sitting with a hint of a smile. Be kind to yourself. Start sitting just a little each day. It’s helpful to establish a daily habit.

Click on the banner below to learn to meditate the easy way.
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{ 68 comments }

1 Mike April 19, 2008 at 2:45 am

Great advice. There may be other “how to meditate” posts on the web, but this is one of the best I’ve read.

For me, fighting the battle to quiet my mind is a terrific learning experience. I find that some thoughts melt away easily and other thoughts, images, music are more stubborn and return frequently. Honestly, I’m not 100% sure what it means, but those “stubborn” thoughts provide interesting insight into what my mind holds dearly … or at a minimum those thoughts provide insight into what distracts my mind.

I sit cross legged on a pillow on the floor and close my eyes and focus on my breath until I find “clarity” and a quiet mind. I never (I can’t) fall asleep sitting up. It doesn’t happen every time, but occasionally, I enjoy a deep, peaceful, trance-like state that completely rejuvenates me.

2 AmazingMess April 19, 2008 at 7:16 am

Thanks for this down to earth, practical and to the point post. It is very helpful to me.
I guess I am one of these people with a very busy mind. Somehow in the past I got attached to the idea that meditation ment allowing no thoughts at all. This brought me in very (self)torturelike realms of the mind. A long time what I thought of as meditation was a painful process, always fighting fire with fire and it seemed to me that things were only getting worse, no blue skies at all.
Somehow along the way the focus changed and it came to me that I could look at thoughts as if they were living creatures (maybe they are). As I love birds very much – I even worked for a couple of years monitoring en inventorying breeding birds – I like to look at them as birds. They behave like them, sometimes they flock together, sometimes there are many, sometimes few and sometimes they don’t seem to be there. There are all kinds of species. Some are there almost always, some others come by only now and then. They even have there own biotopes. Some prefer anger-like biotopes, others like self pity. They even have there own songs.
Since I look at thoughts this way, not forbidding them anymore, nor endorsing them, meditation is happening now and then and sometimes happiness and simple beeing are just there. The focus includes now the sky in witch the birds are flying.
Later I came across this same idea of birding on the website of the Ordinary Mind Zendo, which made me smile of recognition and also made me wonder how seldom really new thoughts are born. Mostly they are the same old stuff.
I still prefer the more active kinds of meditation, like walking, doing the dishes and working in the garden, as they are emptying my mind almost by accident. Simple sitting on a chair is sometimes still a torturelike experience for me, but these painful periods are shrinking.

3 Mary Jaksch April 21, 2008 at 9:48 am

@Mike
thank you for your thoughtful comment, Mike. I agree that getting a glimpse of what kind of thoughts run around our mind like mice in a treadmill is important. It shows us the direction we are taking in life. For example, if we feel a bit grumpy, we’ll find a lot of low-level angry thoughts in the mind.

4 Mary Jaksch April 21, 2008 at 9:53 am

@AmazingMess
I love your analogy of thoughts as birds! That’s a creative way of working with thoughts.
In your comment you also mention that you prefer active meditation. Sometimes it helps to do some seated meditation at the end of some active meditation, like yoga, walking or gardening. You might find that meditation is then easeful and satisfying. Maybe you could try that and let us know what you experience?
Thank you for being a strong contributor at GoodlifeZen!

5 zenator April 22, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Thanks so much for the wise post!! This is greatly appreciated.

6 Yin May 3, 2008 at 12:06 am

This is an amazing post. I loved it and it was extremely helpful. I used to meditate around one year ago but had to stop. I always find it a little bit hard to concentrate while sitting, so I decided to do it lying down on my bed with my eyes closed. I don’t have such a hard time monitoring my thoughts I guess because I’ve been practising counting my breath for a few years now… i have never felt asleep while meditating and even if I set a 15 minutes top time for meditating, I usually end up meditating up to 30 minutes. I prefer to do it with music most of the time. I usually meditate thinking about a beautiful place or a lovely family situation from the past or that I want in the future. If there’s a place I want to visit, then I imagine all the feelings and if is a future relation or any other experience, I imagine it as vivedly as possible. It’s being working miracles for me, so I always recomend my friends to do it also. I have in my wall in front of my computer 2 thoughts that help me in every situation: “If you can imagine it, you can acheive it. If you can dream it, you can become it” and “The most powerful thing mankind possesses is POWER THOUGHT”… I hope they can help you as much as they do to me

7 AmazingMess May 6, 2008 at 12:51 am

Indeed it is much more easy for me to sit after a period of fysical effort. In Holland we have a saying ‘It is a good rest after the work is done’, meaning that after the work is done you enjoy more a well earned rest. Thought is satisfied and circles around the job done, easily willing to stay with the moment, not drifting away.
By the way, I love the new look of the website.

8 Mary Jaksch June 21, 2008 at 11:07 am

@Zenator
Thank you for your encouragment! I think many people want to meditate but don’t know how to do it.

9 Mary Jaksch June 21, 2008 at 11:12 am

@Yin
Your comment about meditating lying down is very interesting.

Many years ago I was in a formal Zen retreat in the outback of Australia. I bent down to pick up a sock and my back went into spasm and I fell to the floor. From then out I had to do the retreat lying down at the back of the hall.

I found it very difficult because I kept on going to sleep. But it was very relaxing :-)

10 Mary Jaksch June 21, 2008 at 11:14 am

@Amazingmess
I agree that it’s much easier to settle deeply if you do something physical first.

I sometimes think that at the end of the day – if we spend a lot of time sitting down – there is so much unexpressed energy in our body that we get twitchy when sitting still.

11 Muffin August 5, 2008 at 3:07 pm

I was always wondering what the point of meditation was if all you do is watch/count your breath until I read the comments. How many people have gone into a trance during meditation? What does it feel like?

12 Mary Jaksch August 5, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Hi Muffin!
Meditation feels tranquil and spacious. It feels like things are put right at the centre.

13 Barbara August 14, 2008 at 11:05 am

Another way of meditating is not only focusing on your breath but also on a word. If you focus on the word peace and repeat it over and over in your mind, then it will help you meditate. Others recite a mantra. If you have trouble, just start to spell out the word in your mind and focus on each letter. Meditation can add years to your life!

Great post.

Barbara

Barbaras last blog post..For the Parents…

14 oarking September 8, 2008 at 3:21 pm

i’d like to add certain methods or comments for each of your points as i have alot of mental speed bumps that make these “generic” techniques near impossible. everyone’s different and here’s what worked for me.

1. sitting up straight can be more thought consuming to someone with back pain. what i tend to do is find a level concrete surface and lay down while paying attention to my posture. the concrete, or similar hard surface, is so i don’t get too comfortable while i keep an eye on my position and flow.

2a. eyes open in a dark room is easier for me because i can take my glasses off and not accidentally focus on just one thing.

2b. i sleep with a fan at night, silence is too empty for me to actually focus. i find that lyricless music that i’m very familiar with can be a great white noise, something to lay down a blanket and allow me to crawl underneath it.

3, 4, 5, and 6. having mild OCD, paying too much attention or counting can be too distracting and counterproductive. i like to try and feel the blood move through my body. not really the big picture but focus on one body part at a time and imagine where the veins might be and actually imagining i can feel it move.

7. there’s two kinds of silence i think, abscence of noise and abscence of attention. the way the music works for me specifically is it allows me to “turn off” my ears without surprises popping up like a car horn or someone sneezing.

8. i don’t like to set alarms or time limits, that just makes me count or pay too much attention. i used to work a night audit job where after i filed all the paperwork all i did was greeter/security. so i’d find my hard surface, dim the lights, and just zone out until another customer showed up (the natural noise of the door opening would be enough). perhaps if you’re expecting something or someone in the next 20-30 minutes use that dead space to zone out and recharge instead of counting the minutes.

9. artifacts are great. when i was younger i’d fill a pouch with what i thought were precious stones and labeled them each with a specific part of me. tiger’s eye was my general emotion, rose quartz was my heart, silicone was my body, etc. looking at them was a little too distracting, but having them in good condition and physically close to me was nice because i could imagine them actually being part of me and use them in my “feeling my blood” routine.

10. my OCD tends to dictate my emotions more than i’d like, so before i want to meditate i’ll find something i really love like an author, tv show, or subject (by google-ing it) and try and learn something new about it before i start. kurt vonnnegut is one of my favorite authors and in his book “timequake” there’s this one scene where a man walks into a building that has colder air inside than out which causes him to sneeze. that little passage makes me smile everytime and allows my mind to leave behind daily thoughts or concerns.

anyway, i really enjoyed your article and just thought i’d throw in my 2 cents.

15 Jeff Baker February 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm

I like to imagine the thoughts as sailboats drifting by. I notice them, I just don’t dwell on them. The light I send them helps to sort of “blow” them away. Not like blow up a building — heehee — just a gentle breath. Of course, you knew what I meant.

Your unassuming way of illustrating meditation’s process and benefits makes it easy for anyone with a curious mind to give it a try. I know after trying it, they are likely to get hooked. It is the real therapy that I have craved all my days.

Thanks Mary. It is so good to meet you.

Namaste” — jb

Jeff Bakers last blog post..Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

16 vivek February 14, 2009 at 2:03 am

meditation is a way to discover life and sometime invent a new. but what is important is to make up your mind. i’ve been practicing meditation meditation for past two months and it really works!

17 berlin March 3, 2009 at 2:46 am

Gut!

18 Geetha May 2, 2009 at 11:50 pm

All the tips are great but the 10th tip viz Enjoy is what I personally felt was the most important one. Beginners mostly get daunted by meditation putting lot of effort and instead of relaxing, stressing with the practice. For eg. when watching a favourite TV programme, how effortlessly our mind gets into it, the same kind of love, enjoyment and love to our meditation session is bound to give us the best state of mind,body and soul health.

19 Sam Tables August 14, 2009 at 5:02 am

I have had a lot of stress in my life and I now take up meditating as a means to channel that stress out. This post has taught me some things that I’m going to put to the test.
.-= Sam Tables´s last blog ..Lift Table Safety Skirt =-.

20 Vivek August 19, 2009 at 5:59 am

Really nice.

21 Gilbert Ross August 20, 2009 at 7:39 am

Excellent advice Mary ! Thanks

I am not an expert meditator but I would like to share 3 practical points from my own experiences:

1) Regarding posture > 5 minutes of stretching before can really help add more resilience to the body, hence can help one stay longer in meditative posture before getting tired.

2) I always start focusing on breathing first as you suggested then expand my attention to my body (like giving soft attention to how parts of my body feel or the awareness of how my body feels extended in space ) i found this to be very effective especially in mindfulness meditation

3) Recently I found that mixing mindfulness meditation with visualization worked pretty well. I never thought so. Mindfulness meditation helps me center and focus my awareness then visualization helps me train my mind to direct that awareness at will.

I think it’s a good exercise for expanding conscious awareness.

Thanks again
Gil :)
.-= Gilbert Ross´s last blog ..Lose weight of your problems: Follow a low negativity diet =-.

22 Louis - Life Lessons October 10, 2009 at 9:11 am

Hi there. I got into your site from Luc Reid’s post about meditation. Well, I like the counting of breath technique. It’s a very simple yet creative approach towards being present. I am also working on my posture. I work in an office cubicle, in front of the computer for five days a week. It would really help a lot if I practice proper posture.

Emotion is a very delicate thing to handle. If I am agitated or pressured, it seems so impossible for me to regain my focus. This is where meditation becomes very useful.
.-= Louis – Life Lessons´s last blog ..Living the Present and Being Slow =-.

23 Trent M. October 15, 2009 at 5:20 pm

I hope you don’t mind, but I plan to leave quite a lot of feedback for most, if not all, of your artciles.
Some may be lengthy, but I do hope I get a reply back! :3
I’ve been plagued with chemical depression since I was a child. No matter how well things may be going for me, I cannot get over this terrible feeling of sadness and turmoil.
I’m 17 now, and most of my childhood (past) seems to be over. And no there is all of this pressure for me to get my college education along with personal problems and conflictions with my parents and simply being a teenager.
I’ve always been an open-minded and spiritual person but found it hard because I “never had time” to be in touch with myself and meditate or whatever else.
But here recently, I’m beginning to realize how important all of this is. How it can relieve the stress and burdens that I’ve been holding for so long.
My house i very busy. It is not necessarily LOUD, but it is not a suitable environment to meditate in, so I often meditate by listening to music. I’m still quite new at this and stumbled upon this website by looking for tips and helpful information.
This is the first article I read, but I have read many others. I’m just coming back to this one to begin commenting.
You’re right about how truly unruly the mind is! Within the last year, I’ve been getting terribly obsessed over time (on top of stress, depression, OCD, and ADD) and it’s been a mess. I’m very creative and I’m capable of having many thought processes at once but I’m just… So jumbled with everything. Now that I have a reliable source and motivation, I’m becoming a lot more hopeful about my life.
Posture is something I certainly need to work on. Often I’m too lazy to sit so I actually lye down which has resulted in me falling asleep and only having meditated for a short period of time.
I find it interesting that you say to keep your eyes open. I have never heard of one keeping their eyes open to meditate. Perhaps you have a link to a source with more information on meditating with eyes closed versus doing so with eyes open?
“In ordinary consciousness we are hardly ever present. For example, sometimes we drive the car on autopilot while being preoccupied with thoughts. Suddenly we arrive at our destination and don’t remember anything about the drive!”
This part confuses me. Wouldn’t doing this be “in the flow”? Because you aren’t aware of time at all? Or is it not because you aren’t aware of anything, even the present?
On number 5, “Thoughts”, I have a question. Is it okay to think at all? I suppose I’m referring more to… Reflection or reflecting which is similar, but also very different to, meditation. Correct?
What do you recommend as a “Place”? I basically only have my room to do this, which is comfortable, but I don’t know if it would be a suitable place to meditate because of all the gadgets and trinkets about. What is your advice?

24 Werrman Blankstouz January 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm

I find this very calming.I sit for hours and just feel calm.It does take alot to keep my mind from going back to a mess.Before I learned to meditate,I was a confirmed Insanity.Meditation cured my deasise,insanity,literally.So now I am no longer the extremist I once was,I now have a job and a wife.And I am a respectable part of socity.

25 Neli Atanasova January 21, 2010 at 1:29 am

Just found the blog and loved this post – as others say, it sounds like the best one on starting with meditation that I have come across so far – can’t wait to get out of work and try the techniques :)

26 Wendy February 10, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Hi!
What great luck I have had to stumble upon this blog. I love meditating and I agree that I think more people would enjoy it if they could get past their “wild mind” (to paraphrase your thoughts…I hope accurately)

I am lucky to have had 4 boys fairly close together, and ended up learning to meditate while nursing…I ended up nursing for about 10 years, so that’s a lot of practice!

I agree with all your points, but would like to comment that, especially for people who may feel they “don’t have time” to meditate, you can really fall into a state of mediation anywhere, anytime…though sitting quietly with your back straight is best, you can also meditate at your kitchen table, on your way to work, in the elevator, really anywhere…
.-= Wendy´s last blog ..Money can’t make me happy, says millionaire giving his riches away =-.

27 Molly February 23, 2010 at 1:29 pm

I have been meditating with the Holosync program for over 6 years now and I love it! I encourage anyone who has had a hard time meditating or reaching a true meditative state to give it a whirl, it’s phenomenal! (http://www.centerpointe.com/)

28 Diana Fletcher February 25, 2010 at 10:00 am

This article was very helpful and I think beginners will appreciate the reminder about shrugging off the shoulds. My favorite line: To focus in meditation means to pay soft attention to whatever you place in the centre of awareness.

29 Naresh March 13, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Thanks Mary for this wonderful post. Really Loved it. Please keep up the good work of helping people live serene lives.

30 fanfan March 21, 2010 at 8:04 am

pleins de bisous et reste zen

31 Ryi April 7, 2010 at 4:11 pm

You can also walk around for meditation, if you spend most of your day sitting at like an office job, and want to actually move to relax.
It’s sometimes more relaxing than just sitting if that’s what you do all day.
You can go somewhere peaceful outside and walk slowly and be in the moment that way too.

32 CherylK June 7, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I am going to try this. I know it won’t be easy because my mind never seems to slow down but I so want to learn to meditate and your tips make perfect sense. Thank you.
.-= CherylK´s last blog ..Monarch Butterfly in Our Cranberry Bush =-.

33 kbn June 14, 2010 at 6:41 am

hi…i dont even know where to start.. i guess its all in my head, which i think i dont even use anymore just because of all the thinking i do…its to the point were im thinking random things that hasnt occured yet and my over thinking is causeing me to forget everything things like what i last did, or where did i put the object i last had.
Its crazy im starting to get worried about myself… i cant even read a book anymore its to the point were im reading the book and i start thinking so much that im not even paying attention to the book anymore… anyways the whole piont of this was to try this meditating exercise ,sad to say im still thinking so much things and pictures of places i last was and how drunk i was lastnight and thinking about the funny things that happened lastnight… im probably going to forget this post but i want to try this exercise as much i can.. i really need it or im not going to get nowhere and im 17 and this is effiecting me so bad

34 Pheobbe July 7, 2010 at 1:21 am

when meditating, it may be best for one to close his or her eyes. keeping them open can lead to visual distractions and loss of focus on quieting the mind. Also, if someone is unable to sit upright or lay flat to keep the spine straight and the head up, any position the individual finds most physically comfortable will assist in decreasing distractions of the mind that may be caused by being in an unusual/new position. (I learned this after a spinal injury that left me very uncomfortable in the upright position and unable to relax and focus during my own meditations)

35 Francesco July 12, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Beautiful post.
I agree with you, nothin beats simle silence.
Thank you for sharing,
Francesco
.-= Francesco´s last blog ..Make it happen or let it happen The Power of the Undivided Attention =-.

36 Shelley Brucar July 23, 2010 at 2:17 am

Love the 10 tips on how to meditate. It’s a wonderful and gentle guide for people who want to meditate but are struggling with how to get started. Thanks.

37 Christine Mattice August 30, 2010 at 6:29 am

This is GREAT advice on how to meditate. My mind tends to chatter away, and I never quite know what to do about it. Thank you for sharing these tips.
.-= Christine Mattice´s last blog ..Integrative Mind-Body Training- Shortcut to Meditative Bliss =-.

38 lili September 9, 2010 at 3:37 pm

i am having a hard time so i thought it would be a good thing to meditate it helps alot i do it before i go to bed and after in the moring relaxs and exits out any bad or sad thoughts

39 Paramjit November 16, 2010 at 4:17 am

I can relate to most of your points except the one about keeping the eyes open. I always meditated with the eyes close. This is an interesting perspective. I can also relate to opening the eyes for the sake of being present. But I wonder if opening the eyes can cause more distractions for someone who is just beginning. As they say, the mind is like a drunken monkey. Does it become worse for the beginner if he has his eyes open?
.-= Paramjit´s last blog ..Is Your Diet Torturing You =-.

40 nick besser November 19, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Thank you so very much for this I have really learned a lot lately about how to meditate I wish I wouldve done it sooner cause it is the best thing I have ever experienced I just love the feeling of that perfect level of energy that flows within my mind and body and it just rejuvinates my soul and I feel like I’ve been reborn and washed away from the negativity in the world and it puts me into that state where I am alone but comfotable with that. Its just the greatest feeling to refresh myself and go on with life with a more positive attitude and a peaceful presence.

41 Ray Mnaley jr February 8, 2011 at 5:22 am

I think you for posting this sight, the things that I have read here have been some what enlightining. I am some what of a day dreamer, a bit of a realest, that believes that there is nothing that I can do about anything, Iam compleatly powerless over everything in life. perhaps their maybe thoes that I maybe able to influance in some way from time to time, for good or bad hopelyfull for the good. but how manny times in life have good intentions gone comepleatly wrong?? and how can I be of any service to anyone if I cant even help my self with my own problems. I am a person who suffers with depression, and emotional troubles. And am hopeing that zen will help me with the greatest enemy of my life. my self !! If given the best teachings/ instructions. truely Ray

42 Bert February 18, 2011 at 11:25 am

Thanks for the wonderful post, Mary. Meditation is a fantastic way to deal with today’s stresses, as well as being a means to better understanding oneself. I’ve never been able to do it as successfully with open eyes, however, unless you count candle meditation (which, by the way, is great for the beginners out there).

Thanks again for sharing, and inspiring others.

43 Sid March 12, 2011 at 10:40 pm

U Rock!!!!!!!!!

44 dhammadip March 18, 2011 at 12:42 am

thank for giving me these all tips about meditation
this will definately helpful to me

45 Katez June 20, 2011 at 5:17 am

I good friend suggested meditation as a tool to help reduce my anxieties. I am 15 years old and finding it hard to resist going back into ‘that’ hole again. After reading this post and all the comments it has really given me hope. I really feel motivated to try and help myself through meditation. It is so inspirational! Thank you so much!

If you have any tips for a new, newby let me know :)

46 BOB COLTON June 30, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Just started my 20 minutes of meditation with eyes open and an angel to focus on. I’ll try this 3 times a day and watch for results. The main thing is to not try to force anything to happen, just let things happen.

47 Jimmy/Life Architect September 20, 2011 at 6:34 am

Hi Mary,

I am new here. Barrie sent me here from her blog. What a clear and gravitating site you have.

Thanks for these tips on meditation. For me, the past month’s theme is meditation. I am new to this and am still grappling with the art of meditating. You are the first person to recommend keeping the eyes open with no music. That’s unique. I will try.

Can you tell me if it is ok to doze off to sleep while meditating? What is the beta and alpha state of meditation? I heard that if you go into one of them, you can assess great resources.

Cheers
Jimmy/Life Architect´s last blog post ..25 Elementary Principles for Success in Life – Principle 24

48 Kala September 25, 2011 at 1:36 am

Any clear article on meditation is so needed now, by many of us. As someone who is an avid meditator-for the peace and insights it brings-it’s wonderful to see this piece. As a yogini/yoga teacher myself I decided to create something that includes walking meditation-which as you know Mary is often overlooked. I called it Zen of Crisis, as it was inspired by my own work travails and eventual unemployment and depression too. It’s a great technique-mindful walking in a limited space back and forth (not just going for a walk.) It’s great because it can be done when we are a bit too edgy to sit down. I’ve grown to love it as much as sitting meditation.
Kala´s last blog post ..3 Free Resources to Support Your Natural Health & Wellness

49 Male Nurse October 18, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Great techniques that I will definitely have to try out. Meditation is difficult for me, but when I get “in-the-zone” the benefits are amazing! Any ideas on how to settle down and get into a more focused state of mind to begin with?

50 Chicago Realtor October 18, 2011 at 9:06 pm

10 minutes sounds like a perfect amount of time. I think many people are turned off of meditating because they think it will take hours out of their day. A few minutes is all you need to see some excellent improvements in focus and mind state.

51 jeff October 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm

I don’t agree that you should treat your thoughts as unwelcome guests. You’ll just get stressed and frustrated. Thoughts are natural. They are what brains do – think. So welcome them as natural, and then just let them go, without becoming involved with them, and return your attention to your breath. I read once that the meditation is the process of kindly returning your attention to your object of meditation (such as the breath) after it has wandered away. After several years of practice, that seems about right.

52 Dean November 10, 2011 at 10:40 am

Hi. I’ve been meditating 10 years now and agree with all the tips given here. I think the best advice is to not be so hard on yourselves and accept what comes. I was part of the group who got headaches when meditating and my breath felt like molten lead for about 4 years. I guess i learnt to not try so hard and have a little trust and things come easier now.

I’ve never had any special moments. However meditation has been a big part of curing depression which dragged on for 12 years. I’m gratefull enough for that. And gratefull enough to live a ‘spiritual’ life. That is it’s got spirit in it! Something your younger readers can look forward to enjoy as they get older even if life seems like a meaningless whirlwind now.

53 Guided Meditation December 23, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Thank you for this very lovely information. I have been meditating for a couple of years now and it is so true what you say about not being present in life and running on auto pilot as many of us do. Therefore I think it is great to take a moment each day to really be present and aware.
I find meditating with open eyes is a lot more distracting than meditating with them closed, which I prefer (unless I practice focal meditation) when I practice. Though I think that when you learn to meditate with open eyes you are at a point where you have learned to focus extremely well.

A nice simple breathing meditation is always enjoyable, and a great way to silence the mind fast and effective, and the guide that you provide on this site is very useful and includes all the most important things about meditation. So thank you once again for this great article.
Love and Light
Jessica T.

54 Josh Sarz December 28, 2011 at 4:50 am

Everyone’s been talking about meditation. Maybe it’s time I try it out, and with this post, Mary, I might just get inspired to actually do it… Thanks for the simple guide.
Josh Sarz´s last blog post ..The After-Reading: Every Bush Is Burning

55 anna December 29, 2011 at 9:32 am

i say let’s try. i could use some relaxation in my life, who knows.. i might as well enjoy it.
the post is lovely by the way, i understood everything and most important i understood the meaning of meditation.

56 mahendra parmar December 30, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Thank u so much to meditation
by the help of meditation u can live life like heaven.
and this is way to meet god and be a success.
thanks god to binge with me.

57 PaulaT January 17, 2012 at 2:07 am

Indeed, this post is very interesting and inspiring. It helps me reduce stress through meditation. This post is much appreciated.
PaulaT´s last blog post ..Itchy Scalp: Is It Head Lice?

58 ClaireB February 6, 2012 at 9:20 pm

I love meditating. I do it thrice a week. It’s my way of being relaxed and stress-free. Plus, it make me feel like I am closer to God. Nice post!
ClaireB´s last blog post ..Cellulite Diet Tips

59 Chris March 26, 2012 at 2:07 am

Hi Mary. I really have enjoyed these wonderful tips on meditation. I have been meditating on and off for a while, but i really just need to find a groove whereby i can do it on a daily basis. I on the other hand will meditate either sitting up, but primarily lying down on the ground with a book or two under my head to get a straight posture. I usually try clear my mind of thoughts by thinking about the parts of my body and acknowledging them. I start if with my toes, then my feet, and calf muscles and work my way up. by the end my muscles feel fully relaxed as well, and i feel like i am one with the ground.

60 Avinash April 15, 2012 at 7:23 pm

hi this is really a best way of understand the proper meditation ,,,
thanks for ur diamond words

61 Lisa May 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm

These tips are superb. I just really meditated for the first time last night. I’d had such an awful day. I’m college-educated but in between jobs, with two little kids, living with my mom, and just had an interview for a job I REALLY want and am qualified for. I’m waiting to hear back, and it’s a special kind of hell waiting to find out whether my nightmare of poverty will end soon or continue indefinitely. I’m trying to remain hopeful, but at the same time, steel myself against another rejection. It’s a difficult balancing act. So yesterday, I just felt really depressed. I wondered whether all this struggle has finally beat me down into a depression, so I looked up online whether there were natural ways to increase serotonin production in the brain. Found a great article that recommended diet, exercise, positive thinking, and meditation. So I googled how to meditate, and this article came up.

I just want to say thanks. I’ve tried meditating before, but so many people, including myself, try to hold themselves to the meditation standards of, like, Buddhist monks or other people who are practiced at meditation. This article takes all the pressure off.

I meditated laying down because I was sleepy, but wanted to at least try to meditate before nodding off. I don’t know how long I lasted, but I do know that when I woke up this morning, I felt great!! And honestly, that hasn’t happened in awhile. My days have become a routine of drudgery: looking online for jobs, filling out long apps knowing that I’ll probably never hear anything, tending to my 2- and 3-year olds who are VERY active, and just feeling kind of hopeless. Today, though, I woke up feeling optimistic and just. . . happier. I don’t know that it’s attributable to the meditation, but I’ll try it again tonight to see if I get similar results. It’s nice not to feel so down.

62 meditation videos May 17, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Simply want to say your article is as astounding. The clarity on your put up is simply cool and i can suppose you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to stay updated with imminent post. Thank you a million and please continue the gratifying work.
meditation videos´s last blog post ..1

63 Clinton Power May 19, 2012 at 9:22 pm

This is a great post for anyone wanting to begin the process of meditation. So many people mistakenly think that meditation is about having a completely blank mind, and for this reason feel overwhelmed with the idea of sitting quietly and meditating.

I’m sending this post to all my networks. Thanks Mary!
Clinton Power´s last blog post ..7 Signs You’re Sharing Your Bed with a Narcissist

64 zaheer zulfiqar June 15, 2012 at 5:03 am

i am very happy and comfortable to know the technique of meditation with eyes open. previously whenever i tried to meditate with my eyes closed i found myself agitated and hard go ahead. simply by reading your lesson 1 i felt that my problem solved. i am going to try it in my office. thanks. zaheer zulfiqar

65 Megan July 29, 2012 at 12:02 am

Found this to be extremely interesting and very useful tips.

66 Dhyana August 29, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Excellent article. I have recently started zen meditation exercises and this helped immensely. I’m printing this out for quick reference. Thank you for the solid information.

67 ABHAY September 13, 2012 at 6:35 am

Nice tips…!!
10 minutes sounds like a perfect amount of time. I think many people are turned off of meditating because they think it will take hours out of their day. A few minutes is all you need to see some excellent improvements in focus and mind state.

68 meditation guru November 9, 2012 at 3:42 am

Great article, especially for the beginners because you have included every detail. These are good step by step instructions. Once you practice meditation for few months everyday you can do it even while driving car, eating meals or while talking with your friends.

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