I have realized recently the Buddhism is the way to self and spiritual enlightenment. I have very basic knowledge of meditation from a beginners class, but can any Buddhists share their techniques for deeper meditation? Where would you suggest I go on my quest to further my meditation.

Please, I ask no one that follows a different path to respond. Please be courteous. I do not need to know that you are not a Buddhist.

11 Comments

  • Hi Jett,

    Mindfulness of Breathing meditation (anapanasati) is a good start. The purpose of this is to clear your mind so that it becomes ‘ready’ to process information in a way that you’re able to deepen your understanding of the nature of things.

    “Deeper” meditation can only arise if the mind is first cleared of obstacles such as agitation, stress, discursive ‘chatter’, etc. What does this mean? A good metaphor to illustrate the nature of the mind is like observing a pool of muddy water, I read this quote somewhere online and it goes something like this: “look at a pool of muddy with a jewel at the bottom. If we keep stirring the water it will only remain muddy and cloudy, but if we let it be so that the soil, debris, dregs, settle down…the water begins to clear, and we have a chance to see the jewel.”

    (“soil, debris, dregs, …” represents the chatter, the stress, the “monkey-mind”; water represent “mind’ and “Jewel” points to understanding, clarity, intuitiveness, profundity, wisdom)

    It might be helpful to start small. Maybe sit for 5 minutes, then work you way to 10, to 30, etc. You may do it daily or every other day but try to do it with some sort of regularity. If you get frustrated or too agitated to sit down to meditate, please do not forget to be kind to yourself 🙂 , it’s okay to come back to it when you think you’re ready, don’t force it. You might also consider keeping a “meditation journal.” Write down how long you sat and your general assesment of how your sitting went. Was it good? Was it average? What would you do different in the next sitting? (but don’t do these things as you’re doing meditation—just remain focused on the breath and if you find yourself distracted or thinking about something other than the breath—go back to focusing on the breath—save your assessment for after you’ve finished your session).

    “Where would you suggest I go on my quest to further my meditation.”

    Find out if there’s a local sangha or sitting group in your area and join it. I think it’s good to practice at home, but it’s also helpful to sit with a group to ask other practitioners and teachers questions.

    Some fun (but also educational sites):
    http://www.bookofnow.com/home.html
    http://www.do-not-zzz.com/

    Books & Dharma Talks:
    http://www.realization.org/page/namedoc0/mipe/mipe_0.htm
    http://www.dharmastream.org/dharmatalks.html

    May you be well and in peace! 🙂

    By the way, meditation can be practiced by anyone. One doesn’t have to be Buddhist. The practice of meditation does not require you to have a particular allegiance to a group or religious persuasion.

  • Find a group to sit with, preferably with a good teacher. It makes so much difference. If there’s nothing Buddhist that you can get to, try the Quakers. There really is something special about sitting quietly with others.

    Beyond that, don’t worry or attach to it. Just read, study and meditate. It’s the kind of thing that you lose if you go after it too hard.

  • re-learning to breath is probably the most important tip i could give. breath from the bottom of your lungs.
    try picturing you mind and its contents when you start. its a good way to find what is up there that doesn’t need to be.
    follow your own path. try going to a bookstore and seeing what attracts itself to you. once you learn to use your energy you will be amazed at how efficient this process is. i have been in ‘new aage’ stores where staff will run to the back room to avoid me but if i am in the right place i am drawn directly to exactly what i need

  • I like the sitting meditatation, but my favorite is holding onto the state of no-mind. This can be done many ways, though I se sword fighting. find an task that involves reflexive action, and practice at it until you reach a state where you respond without thought. This is called acting out of no-mind, and this state is very beautiful if you can manage to hold onto it. Sensual grounding is also interesting, it is a root Chakrah exercise that involves focusing on sensual feelings, smells, feeling, sight. It is especially calming to try immersing yourelf in tactile senses on a windy day, it truely makes you appreciate life…

  • I might suggest reading Sakyong Mipham’s “Turning the Mind into an Ally.” It goes in depth on the basics of meditation and the necessity of meditation. It’s a fascinating read. Mipham, who was born in Tibet, is the leader of a monastery, and is also American. His insight makes Buddhist teachings easier for Westerners (such as ourselves) to digest.

    Sorry I can’t help much, as I am agnostic, though seriously considering Buddhism.

  • Take a peek at Samanta Meditation ( meditation on the breath ) for starters. It is used to calm the mind for deeper meditations like Vispassana.

    Another popular starter meditation would be meditation on Loving-Kindness ( Metta Bhavana ) where the devotee would meditate on sending loving and kind thoughts to 5 catergories of people, Our father, our mother, our friend, our enemy ( someone we do not like ) and someone who was neutral to us ( just a regular person on the street ). This meditation helps us to develop a Loving heart and a gentle nature of Equanamity and Equality.

    I hope others might have a more vast selection to help you start off… 🙂

    Add: Dove is Right too… Christians should Meditate on the Loving Qualities of Jesus to quell their rage… as many Mahayana Buddhist Schools consider him an Emanation of a Bodhisattva who went to Israel to teach those who were ready for practices of devotion. Of course, any deity with Love and Compassion would be good… especially of course Lord Buddha

  • Be comfortable and let thoughts pass through your mind without grasping them. Concentrate on the rhythm of your breathing. Do this for a half an hour…or until you fall asleep!

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