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Can you please give me some guidance on meditation?

Can you please give me some guidance on meditation? I’ve been practicing for a while but I can’t clear my mind, no matter what position I’m in or what I’m focusing on. I’ve always got things running through my head (usually can clear it for a few seconds until a song bursts into my head..) and I just want to focus on one thing or clear my mind entirely.

What should I do? Please help!

8 Comments

  • Try this very simple, yet powerful meditation in the article ‘Effortless Meditation’ in the Other Work section of http://www.awaken2life.org
    Also of possible interest is a 15-minute audio podcast episode called ‘The Art of Meditation’ (ep. 6) on the same site under Podcasts (OOM).

    Namaste,

    ~ Eric Putkonen

  • I am not qualified to give you guidance. No. Just like to share this with you.
    Have you tried walking into a very noisy restaurant where every tables is engaged in their own conversation ? You walk in and see your friends, you exchange greetings and start talking. You can hardly hear what they were talking so you ask them a few times to repeat what they were talking. You started to focus more on what they were talking.
    As the conversation become more interesting, you started engaging in conversations with your friends and the background noise doesn’t seem to matter too much. You were totally absorbed in your converstations with your friends and enjoying yourself.
    Focus on your meditation object. Whether it is breath or something else. Don’t pay attention to the song. Don’t try to make it disappear. Don’t take pleasure in it or hate it. Take interest in your object. Make it more intersting than the song. The song will slowly turn to the background noise and disappear. If it does not, continue paying attention to your meditation object. Make it more and more exciting than the song. The key is attention. What are you paying attention to ?
    Realisticly speaking, clearing your mind entirely is not an easy task. Especially when you are in daily life, working and interacting with the society. A solitude life will be more realistic to achieve that goal.
    Take it a step at a time. Practice every morning when you wake up and just before you sleep. Give up music if you can. You will learn to enjoy the silence of the mind more than music. Calm and peaceful.

  • Venerable Henepola Gunaratana has a book out which teaches how to practice Vipassana (Mindfulness) Meditation:

    http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma4/mpe.html

    ‘Mindfulness in Plain English’ is a how to manuel on the practice of Vipassana Meditation – covering how to meditate, what to do with your body, what to do with your mind, dealing with distractions during meditation, what the difference is between Sati (mindfulness) and concentration, the practice of Lovingkindness Meditation and much more.

  • You don’t mention how long you’ve been practicing meditation; “a while” is a rather subjective term. I’m going to assume that you are practicing in a quiet place that’s free from external noises and on a daily regimen.

    Don’t be overly concerned with thoughts “popping into” you head–that’s normal. Sogyal Rinpoche advises: “As you continue to practice meditation, you may have all kinds of experiences, both good and bad. You might experience states of bliss, clarity, or absence of thoughts. In one way these are very good experiences, and signs of progress in meditation. For when you experience bliss, it’s a sign that desire has temporarily dissolved. When you experience real clarity, it’s a sign that aggression has temporarily ceased. When you experience a state of absence of thought, it’s a sign that your ignorance has temporarily died. By themselves they are good experiences, but if you get attached to them, they become obstacles. …Dudjom Rinpoche used to say that a beginner should practice meditation in short sessions. Practice for four or five minutes, then take a short break of just one minute. During the break, let go of the method, but do not let go of your mindfulness altogether. Sometimes when you have been struggling to practice, curiously, the very moment when you take a break from the method–if you are still mindful and present–is the moment when meditation actually happens. That is why the break is just as important a part of meditation as the sitting itself. Sometimes I tell my students who are having problems with their practice to practice during the break and take a break during their meditation!”

    Don’t become discouraged and stop practicing all together. If you find that you are becoming discouraged and begin to “skip a day” here and there, you’ll find it more difficult to begin again. It’s like when I was smoking. At times I would fall and have a cigarette. I would then fall back into my old ways of smoking. However, once I truly had the resolve to stop, even if I had a cigarette I would go back to stop smoking and avoid the places and situations where I tended to smoke. It’s similar with meditation. Habits–both good and bad–are difficult to break once they become established. Meditate in the same place so it becomes a special place for you.

    If you are finding it difficult to meditate on your own (and I assume this is what you’re doing) maybe you should consider going to a meditation center for assistance, guidance, and suggestions. I hope this is of some help.

    May all be at peace.

    John

  • I had the same problem when I was practising meditation. What you need to do is sit down on a comfortabel surface, or lie down, whichever is better for you. Then you need to close your eyes, possibly put some soft, soothing music on, and imagine a white candle. Imagine you can feel the heat of the candle on your palms, warming your body slowly, starting from your toes and up. Relax everything as the candle warms you up and focuse on your breathing. If a thought appears in your head then let it go. It usually helps me if I imagine it going through one ear and out the other. sounds silly but it works.

    Now, keep focusing on the candle that you imagined. Do this until you’re calmed or relaxed. It will take a lot of practise to achieve a full meditative state but if you follow these steps and practise daily you’ll get there.

  • Try a meditation CD to start with it will help you get used to clearing your mind. Doreen virtue has a few of them one I like is her Chakra clearing meditation. Enjoy

  • It just takes practice. Do meditations where you JUST try and clear your mind. If thoughts pop up, just gently push them aside. It takes a good bit of practice so just keep at it.

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