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- November 3, 2008 at 3:46 pm #4366493
Meditation does not have to be some complicated ritual attached to a particular religeous discipline…
meditation can take any form, walking, running , doing the dishes, any form of concentration on one thing.
you don’t need a special cushion or anything else for that matter…
just a comfortable chair, feet flat on the floor…
some people stare at a candle…there are different ways to approach it, but a simple exercise that works for a lot of people is to close your eyes and visualize a screen in front of you…
visualize your thoughts as leaves floating past you on the screen, do not give them any thought , watch them come and watch them go…
that is it, that is meditating…the idea is to have an empty screen, a quiet mind….the thoughts come in, the thoughts go out , you do not attach yourself to them
start off by practicing for as long as you can…5 mins, 10…
eventually you will be able to sit longer…
as you become more experience , your experience with meditation will deepen , but this is a good place to start, keep it simple…Namaste, GratefulNovember 3, 2008 at 3:57 pm #4366487
I agree that listening is prayer. It is called attention, and attention centers the mind.
I practice a variation of what is called Centering Prayer. Centering Prayer is based on a technique written about by a fourteenth century monk. If you want to know more about Centering Prayer itself, I recomend a little book called “Open Heart, Open Mind,” by Fr. Thomas Keating. Although it is based in Christian tradition and practice, you don’t have to be a Christian to practice it. The basic technique is to choose what is to you a sacred word. It can be any word that means something to you. Then sit still and focus on that word. When random thoughts occur, just let them go by and return to the word. Keating recomends sitting for twenty minutes, but I would suggest five minute , no more than ten minutes, morning and evening, to start.
As I said, my own practice is a variation of the above. I use a phrase and my breath to get centered. I sit upright but comfortably and set a timer. The one I use is gentle, not the jarring kind. I’ve chosen phrase that I use, in this case something from the 23rd Psalm-“The Lord is my shepard, I shall not want.” I breath in a deep breath. Actually I breath in “the Lord is my shepard.” And then breath out “I shall not want.”
I’ve been doing this for awhile now and it works. I’ve also incorporated some Buhddist practices as well. So I guess my real advice is to find what works and stick with it. Follow your heart. There are many helpful books. Ministers and rabbis can helpful as well.
JimNovember 3, 2008 at 4:41 pm #4366484
For me, prayer is not listening; prayer is when I talk to God. When I sit silently, listening for God’s answer…..that’s meditation…..it’s not concentrating of something….for me, meditation is a not a state of concentration, but a state of not being…..yes, I’ve watched my thoughts, but when I see the spaces between the thoughts….that’s meditation.
I’m a firm believer that meditation starts when I stop being separate. Yes, meditation can take any form, walking, running , doing the dishes, but the meditation for me doesn’t really start until I stop watching myself doing these things and just become…..these things……the walk, the running, the washing….. (o:
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