Home Discussion Forum How do you meditate, and what is meditation anyway?

How do you meditate, and what is meditation anyway?

What do you see, hear, feel whatever during meditation? and HOW ON EARTH do people who meditate, manage to clear their mind? Please help me, i’d really like to learn this.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Meditation is a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the conditioned, “thinking” mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness. There are many different meditation methods.
    At the core of meditation is the goal to focus and eventually quiet your mind. As you progress, you will find that you can meditate anywhere and at any time, accessing an inner calm no matter what’s going on around you. But first, you have to learn to tame your mind.
    ~
    #1 Make time to meditate. Set aside enough time in your daily routine for meditating. The effects of meditation are most noticeable when you do it regularly and consistently rather than sporadically.
    * Some people will find a five minute meditation worthwhile, for others, the benefits of longer meditation are well worth the time.
    * You can meditate at any time of day; some people like to start their day off with meditation, others like to end the day by clearing their mind, and some prefer to find refuge in meditation in the middle of a busy day. Generally, however, the easiest time to meditate is in the morning, before the day’s events tire your body out and give your mind more to think about.
    * Don’t meditate immediately following a meal, or when you are likely to be hungry. The body’s digestive system can be very distracting.
    #2 Find or create a quiet, relaxing environment. It’s especially important, when you’re starting out, to avoid any obstacles to attention. Turn off any TV sets, phone(s) or other noisy appliances. If you play music, make sure it’s calm, repetitive and gentle, so as not to break your concentration. Meditating outside can be conducive, as long as you don’t sit near a busy roadway or another source of loud noise.
    #3 Sit on level ground. Sit on a cushion if the ground is uncomfortable. You don’t have to twist your limbs into the lotus position or adopt any unusual postures. The important thing is to keep your back straight, as this will help with breathing later on.
    * You can also meditate on a chair. Make sure your back is straight (whether you lean against the chair or sit free does not matter). Your feet should rest solidly on the ground.
    * Any position in which you’re relaxed but your back is straight is permissible, even lying down – but be careful that you’re not so relaxed that you fall asleep. In warm weather, consider watching the clouds.
    4. Keep your eyes half-open without focusing on anything. If this is too distracting or difficult, close them or find something steady to focus on such as a small candle flame.
    5. Breathe deeply and slowly from your abdomen rather than your chest. You should feel your stomach rise and fall while your chest stays relatively still. Healthy, stress relieving breathing may be done by inhaling for count of 3, exhaling for count of 6, repeat over and over for 15 to 20 minutes. This expels the used air and more completely oxygenates your blood, lowering heart rate and blood pressure. Many high blood pressure patients have dropped their blood pressure as much as 50 points, allowing them to decrease or eliminate the need for medication. This breathing exercise should be done on a regular basis.
    6. Relax every muscle in your body. Don’t rush this, as it takes time to fully relax. Do it bit by bit, starting at your toes, and working up to your head, until the tension melts away.
    7. Focus your attention. You may notice that your mind wants to wander, bouncing from thought to thought, making observations about other things. Gently bring your attention back to a single point until it rests there naturally. The goal is to allow the “chattering” in your mind to gradually fade away. Find an “anchor” to settle your mind.
    * Let your attention rest on the flow of your breath. Listen to it, follow it, but make no judgments on it (such as “It sounds a little raspy…maybe I’m getting a cold?”).
    * To overcome verbal chatter, recite a mantra (repetition of a sacred word). A single word like “aum” uttered at a steady rhythm is best. You can recite it verbally or just with the voice in your mind. Beginners may find it easier to count their breaths. Try counting your breath from 1 to 10, then simply start again at 1.
    *
    To circumvent images that keep intruding on your thoughts, visualize a place that calms you. It can be real or imaginary. Imagine you are at the top of a staircase leading to a peaceful place. Count your way down the steps until you are peaceful and relaxed.
    * For some people, focusing attention on a point or object does exactly the opposite of what meditation is all about. It takes you back to the life of ‘focus’, ‘concentration’, ‘strain’. In this case, as an alternative to the above techniques, some meditators recommend un-focusing your attention. Instead of focusing attention on a point or an object, this type of meditation is achieved by attaining a state of zero.

  2. I gave the following answer to a similar question.
    It’s an opinion.
    Meditation
    Don’t let people confuse you about the object of meditation.
    It’s simply the lengthening of the gaps between thoughts and slowing down the thoughts by NOT buying into their dramas.
    It may take some time before you can just ‘observe’ the thought and let it ‘float’ way into the ether.
    The mind is like a two year old – it wants ALL your attention ALL the time.
    Don’t fight it – go with the flow.
    Learn to ‘manage’ the mind … softly softly catchee monkee.
    It may take some time for you to ‘control’ it.
    “is it good or bad?”
    Pure pleasure.
    “And how long have you been meditating?”
    Since the mid 80s.
    “has it affect you in anyway?”
    I don’t know anymore; it’s all so second nature.
    “Any dreams or out of body experiences?”
    Sure.
    The best (although very rare for me) are the OBEs whilst you wide awake.
    To explain, I was giving a talk at a conference in the early 90s and I seemed to step out of myself and become ‘the watcher’ for almost a minute.
    It was very amusing – on one level I was talking without missing a beat – on another level I was watching the man (me) give a talk.
    I know one of ‘us’ was smiling.
    You could say that I was multi-tasking, aye?
    Dreaming?
    I love them … these days.
    (After I came back from Vietnam I used to have a few nightmares …
    I’d like to think they’re a thing of the past)
    There is no set amount of time you ‘should’ do it.
    (Take should, ought and must outa your vocabulary)
    I’ve meditated from a few seconds to hours.
    Any moment spent stilling the mind is beneficial.
    There is no RIGHT or WRONG way to meditate.
    Anyone who says otherwise is ignorant, a liar or has some other agenda.
    You can meditate eyes open or closed.
    You can do it in silence or noise.
    You can ‘focus’ on anything or nothing at all.
    You can use noises (clock ticking, kids laughing or fighting, cars and sirens, etc) to intensify your meditation … with every sound I hear I will become even more relaxed.
    You can do it sitting, standing, lying, walking, driving, washing, cooking, etc.
    How often have you been so intensely doing something or driving somewhere and suddenly become ‘conscious’ and wonder where the time went?
    Enjoy.
    It is said that those who meditate don’t need to and those who don’t, need to.
    ~

  3. 1. Good answers above already.
    2. Look it up in the search box. It’s been asked hundreds of times already.
    3. If it’s too overwhelming then you could start meditating when you’re in bed trying to fall asleep. Instead of trying to dream or changing positions, stay in the same position and don’t dream. You’ll fall asleep and won’t remember it but it’s easy to do.
    4. Most people don’t automatically clear their mind. They focus all their mental energy on just one thing, like looking at a flame or focusing on their breath. When you’re full focused on just one then then already all the other clutter has left. Then later you can let go of the one thing you were focusing on so that you’re focused on nothingness, ie. a clear mind.

  4. a lot of ppl mistake meditation with being on a “trance like state”
    that`s is not meditation. on the contrary,meditation is breaking through
    all “trance like” state of mind. is becoming aware of the present moment.
    with this in mind we can say that humanity lives in a “trance like state”,
    always thinking. and that thinking,even can be 10000 different things,
    put us in trance state like.in the state of meditation u discover ur true self. there for as a by-product of this u feel an immense seance of connection with everything(universal)there for the peace,bliss,compassion that radiates out of this experience. we all experience meditation sometimes in our lives with out being aware of it. wen u practice meditation u try to become aware of “it” the epiphany,the a ha!!! moment. but these thing,in oder to understand them,one must experience them rather than be told.

  5. To meditate is to know GOD’s teachings.
    Psalms 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
    Psalms 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

  6. You know, this confounded me for the longest time. I used to try and try. Fail and fail.
    What I’ve figured out so far (I’m no meditation champ), meditation is not about “doing” anything. It’s about stopping doing, and letting be. You don’t “clear your mind.” You don’t have to set things up, or follow directions, or even be alone. You might find a particular way to practice that works best for you, but starting with someone else’s way just misled me. You’re going for the sort of state of mind you were in when you were a little child at the end of a long hard day of playing outside, and you looked at the sunset and breathed the cooling air, and all your needs were met and you knew you were perfect. You might have had thoughts about wanting dinner, or how dirty you were, or worry about whether your friend was mad at you, but those thoughts weren’t filling you up and becoming you. They were just thoughts, a small unimportant part of what it was like to be you at that place and time. The moment was forever.
    The best way I’ve found is, first focus on eliminating all immediate goals. I’m not here “for” anything. (this is the big barrier for me – just starting, taking the time) I’m just here, as if I had just been born in this moment out of oblivion, it is all new, and if there is a future it’s completely unexpected. This instant that is arising, is the only instant that counts. All thoughts and associations to things that are not part of being here and now, pass in and out of my mind meaninglessly. You’re not supposed to judge the thoughts that come — like, if you think, “Oh, I’m not supposed to think about X,” you don’t call a failure and start over. You say, yes – there was a thought. Okay. and keep being here and now. Look at how the light falls on things, listen, smell, feel your body position and breath and let it all be as it is – when your mind says “my breath too shallow. oops a judgment” you go “Yes, a thought” and maybe observe that the thought came with a certain feeling of tension in your chest that you instinctively released … you say “yes” to everything you think and feel.
    You take your feet off the pedals, sort of, and just feel yourself glide, no longer pushing and being pushed by desires and judgments but just being present. You detach from the “I” of your thoughts and just let it be part of your experience of being what you are. Your thinking “I” is not really you – not your immediate consciousness but something else.
    The really tricky thing about meditation is surrendering the desire to meditate, and the urge to judge whether or not you’re doing it. You should accept from the beginning that you will have that problem – the nagging voice that congratulates you for moments of clarity and derides you for getting mired in abstract thought. Don’t resist it – don’t resist anything. Say yes, yes, yes to reality. Accept everything, be in your own immediate divine presence – pay the utmost respect and close loving attention to the present moment, as you live it, however it is.

  7. Bg 8.8 P Attaining the Supreme
    In this verse Lord Krsna stresses the importance of remembering Him. One’s memory of Krsna is revived by chanting the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna. By this practice of chanting and hearing the sound vibration of the Supreme Lord, one’s ear, tongue and mind are engaged. This mystic meditation is very easy to practice, and it helps one attain the Supreme Lord.
    SB 3.15.25 P Description of the Kingdom of God
    The actual fact is that the Lord is nondifferent from His name. The highest realization of spiritual value is to chant the holy name of God, as prescribed for the age–Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
    SB 4.8.57 P Dhruva Maharaja Leaves Home for the Forest
    Narada advises Dhruva to meditate on the pastimes of the Lord, which is as good as the meditation of concentrating one’s mind on the form of the Lord. As meditation on any form of the Lord is valuable, so is chanting of different names of the Lord, such as Hari, Govinda and Narayana. But in this age we are especially advised to chant the Hare Krsna mantra as enunciated in the sastra: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
    SB 4.21.42 P Instructions by Maharaja Prthu
    In our Krsna consciousness movement, we accept this principle by rejecting four prohibited items–namely illicit sex life, intoxication, gambling and flesh-eating–and accepting the daily chanting of at least sixteen rounds of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and daily meditation three times a day by chanting the Gayatri mantra. In this way one can keep his brahminical culture and spiritual strength intact. By following these principles of devotional service strictly, chanting twenty-four hours a day the maha-mantra–Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare–one makes positive progress in spiritual life and ultimately becomes completely fit to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face.
    SB 10.8.15 P Lord Krsna Shows the Universal Form Within His Mouth
    Bahuni: the Lord has many names. Advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam adyam purana-purusam nava-yauvanam ca. As stated in the Brahma-samhita (5.33), the Lord is one, but He has many forms and many names. It was not that because Gargamuni gave the child the name Krsna, that was His only name. He has other names, such as Bhaktavatsala, Giridhari, Govinda and Gopala. If we analyze the nirukti, or semantic derivation, of the word “Krsna,” we find that na signifies that He stops the repetition of birth and death, and krs means sattartha, or “existence.” (Krsna is the whole of existence.) Also, krs means “attraction,” and na means ananda, or “bliss.” Krsna is known as Mukunda because He wants to give everyone spiritual, eternal, blissful life. Unfortunately, because of the living entity’s little independence, the living entity wants to “deprogram” the program of Krsna. This is the material disease. Nonetheless, because Krsna wants to give transcendental bliss to the living entities, He appears in various forms.
    SSR 5 Practicing Yoga in the Modern Age
    These three words, namely Hare, Krsna, and Rama, are the transcendental seeds of the maha-mantra. The chanting is a spiritual call for the Lord and His energy, to give protection to the conditioned soul. This chanting is exactly like the genuine cry of a child for its mother’s presence. Mother Hara helps the devotee achieve the Lord Father’s grace, and the Lord reveals Himself to the devotee who chants this mantra sincerely.
    No other means of spiritual realization is as effective in this age of quarrel and hypocrisy as the chanting of the maha-mantra: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
    “We request you to chant HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA, KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE, HARE RAMA HARE RAMA, RAMA RAMA HARE HARE, and your life will be sublime.”

  8. Hello Cookie
    You do not clear your mind during meditation as it is always present, you learn how to let it go so that it does not demand your attention. It is called taming the monkey mind.
    It takes dedication to your meditation method.
    Sadhara

  9. I’ve done a lot of meditation study, and I’ve offered descriptions of meditation techniques in replies to others’ questions on YA; feel free to check my profile.*
    As for what mediation is — there’s lots of different techniques, but many of them have a similar basic effect and purpose that’s both very simple and also potentially very profound. It’s about cultivating an intimate awareness of your experience of life. And that goes all the way from just really noticing what it feels like to breathe in and out, to a deep and vivid appreciation of the utter miracle of Being itself.
    .

  10. Aradia,
    During meditation the images that I see are similar to the ones in dreams but the difference is that I am conscious.
    And most of the time sounds are transformed into explosion of colors. In order to clear your mind, you need to let thoughts go and not to oppose them, only then you can take a leap beyond the cobweb of thoughts and experience the ever-flowing bliss.
    You can achive this by focusing awareness on a sound or referred to by some as mantra. Use the sacred sound OM, just think in this mantra “OM” each time that your mind starts divagating in other thoughts, doing this will bring you back to the the transcending path to clear your mind.
    If you want to learn more about meditation and practice it, join me at: http://maya2012.ning.com/
    D’Marco

  11. You’ve received a lot of answers/information, but would like to add some comments….
    One can divide types of thought into two categories:
    1) Genuine spontaneous thoughts that come (“arise”) without effort;
    2) Streams of thoughts which we encourage, sustain, and sometimes near endlessly build upon, like adding links to a chain.
    We become so experienced at the second type of thought (building upon one thought to create more and more thoughts), that from a very early age, it becomes our ”normal’ state of mind.
    It becomes a radio in our head that we never turn off, always absorbing a large part of our attention, so that we are always a bit distracted.
    True mediation is practicing to slow down, and eventually stop, the second type of thought.
    Thus, it is not stopping all thoughts, but rather, could be described as learning to stop interacting with spontaneous thought (the first type).
    For most of us, it takes practice to simply observe spontaneous thought without chasing it and indulging in using it to create additional thoughts.
    Eventually, when we learn how to stop building continuous chains of thought, we discover there are gaps between the spontaneous thoughts.
    Learning to quiet the radio in our head can be very peaceful.
    Namaste’,
    dwb

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