Newbie Meditator Tips?

30 Jun 2019 15:19 #340167 by Heiach
I'm worried I'm not doing it right. I'm finding it hard to enter a no-thought state. Any advice?
Maybe the master I apprentice to (hopefully soon) can help me in this area too?
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30 Jun 2019 15:51 #340171 by Proteus
Replied by Proteus on topic Newbie Meditator Tips?
Hi Heiach,

There are many methods to meditation. The only thing that determines if you are doing it right is what your reason and aim for it is and if your method is successfully achieving it.

However, I can say that the traditional aim of meditation is most often misunderstood in that people think the goal is supposed to be achieving a no thought mind, and then they realize they cannot adequately accomplish such a thing. What the tradition actually is, is not a no-thought state of mind but a state of mind where you let your thoughts run as they will but you disconnect your immersion of them in order to observe them at an objective distance and without judgment. Through practice, you will find yourself being pulled back into immersion of the thoughts and the idea is to gently pull yourself back out of it and continue observing it objectively.

One method of achieving this is to imagine each thought as a cloud floating above your head. It arrives, floats by, and then leaves. One after another. A different scene to use could be a stream of water with Lilly pads each carrying a thought floating by down the stream. If you find yourself pulled into a thought, you can use something such as your breath to put your focus back onto as a pull-line. Other things can be a phrase that reminds you to be lucid, or the sensation of your feet on the floor our some other sense.

The benefits of this meditative exercise is that you are training your mind to be able to function through the day, through situations without letting worry and anxiety wisk you away so much, letting you have better focus on what is most important during the present moment.

I hope this helps.

It seems that I know that I know.
What I would like to see is the 'I' that knows me when I know that I know that I know.
- Alan Watts
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01 Jul 2019 16:39 #340188 by Heiach
Replied by Heiach on topic Newbie Meditator Tips?
Oh wow, holy cow. Thank you!
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31 Oct 2019 15:25 #345041 by phillyr
Replied by phillyr on topic Newbie Meditator Tips?
I'm new to the Temple, but I've been attempting a solid meditation practice for several years now. I am no meditation teacher or expert, but here is some anecdotal observation from my life. There are many types of meditation, each with different aims, and your spiritual needs can dictate which type of meditation you want to use. Generally, I separate MY PERSONAL meditation practice into 3 categories: 1. Mindfulness Meditation, 2. Contemplation and 3. Serenity Meditation. I include mindfulness meditation in all three just to ground myself. Mindfulness meditation FOR ME includes things like what @Proteus said: feeling sensations in your toes, etc. Focusing on sensory input, or focus on breath. I try to do this several times a day, and I start out my contemplation and serenity meditations with this as well. This really helps me stay aware of how I'm feeling, and gives me some peace throughout my day.

@TheDude clued me into an interesting twist on this in the Discord yesterday, he advised me to pair this with some emotional mindfulness. To recall an experience that made me feel a strong emotion, and then concentrate on the physical changes in my body that happen when I recall this emotion. How my breathing changes, how my posture changes, my pulse, heat, if I hear anything, if I feel flush in my cheeks, if I shake, all of the changing physical manifestations I can identify with recalling the emotion. I can't wait to work this into my regular practice.

Contemplation is exactly what it sounds like. I focus on a very specific idea, a topic, a sentence, etc. and try to look at it from all angles: how others interpret it, how I interpret it, how past me might have interpreted it, how it makes me feel, how it makes others feel, causes, consequences, alternatives, etc. I use this to try to defeat obsessions and fixations on things. Get things out of my head that are bothering me. It helps me let go of things.

Finally my serenity meditation is exactly what @Proteus describes above. Observing my passing thoughts without interacting with them. Thanks for the cloud, idea, Proteus, I'm going to try that one! I use this to set an emotional, spiritual and mental baseline for myself daily, though I do it at night before bed, because when I try to do this in the morning when I first wake up and am still tired, I have fallen asleep before!

Hope this helps!
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