REPOSTED FROM CRT 2013
If you are anything like me your idea of meditation was the little monk guy sitting in one position for hours upon hours. He speaks rarely and when he does it does so in confusing phrases that takes forever to understand. Yep, that was my idea of meditation and even though I got bits and pieces from some of my teachers on how to do it differently it still took me a while to catch on.
I even attempted a meditation classes at a local Buddhist temple, tried their meditation bench and pillow and still my mind wandered. Mostly it wandered around my aching back, foreign posture and how long they were going to make us sit like that. I was pretty disheartened for a while until I really started tuning into what some of the teachers that I followed were saying: "do it so it works for you."
Meditation doesn't have to be that little guy up on the hill that sits for hours and hours, in fact when you start you should really only be trying for a few minutes at a time. When it starts to come naturally that is when you can up the time if you so choose. So with that in mind lets go over the numerous ways in which you can meditate.
Types of meditation:
Sitting (however is comfortable for you)
Laying down (however is comfortable for you)
Usually with eyes closed though there are some non-traditional ways in which you can keep your eyes open)
Audio (my favorite):
Listening to different types of meditation mp3’s: my favorites Masterpiece Life activations and Lisa Transcendence Brown Activations
Listening to Adyashanti - true mediation
Listening to Binaural beats
Listening to Bird calls
Listening to what is going on around you
Staring at one point on the floor or ceiling
Staring at a flower, plant, tree or anything natural
Watching a bird in flight
Watching a beloved pet and feeling the love in your heart for that animal
Specific activities that take concentration (poi, juggling, hula hoop, etc.)
Every day things (focus entirely on the chore and nothing else):
Washing the dishes
Making a meal
**Anything else you can find along the lines of the above**
Tricks I learned
Tapping: This isn't EFT tapping, this is a trick I taught myself when I started getting better at meditating. There are days I am just fine with it and there are days when my head zips around a million miles an hour, for these days I started to tap. Basically it is as simple as just tapping my finger against my leg or whatever body part is closest. I mainly do it when I start to feel my mind wander and I want more time with it being quite. It's basically just a way for me to tune into the present without getting annoyed with the fact that my mind is wandering.
Thoughts: First off thoughts aren't bad, being sucked into them is what you are trying to avoid. You will always have thoughts its just about making the space between them longer and being able to recognize what you are thinking. After that you start to learn why you think that way, believe me when you get to this the bumper sticker "Just because you think it doesn't make it true" is correct about 90% of the time. The biggest thing about your thoughts its that most of them came from someone else and that person was wrong in most cases. Doesn't matter if it was a parent, teacher, the president (or other authority), or even your local religious figure. For the most part we all learn what is passed down to us and lets just say we have been getting it wrong for a long time. There isn't anyone to blame there is only learning what is true.
Audio: I learned for myself that it was easier to listen to someone speak and meditate. My mind does still wander on occasion but not as often. I realized after I started listening to meditation mp3's that I could then actually meditate on my own for longer periods of time because I had built it up using the audio. I did start out just trying to do it on my own but I became discouraged, mostly because I thought I had to have a totally silent head, this is NOT true. What you want is listed above in "thoughts". Yes you do want some quiet space but that grows as you get better at it, really you just want to be able to recognize when you are thinking and not get sucked in by it. I equate it to being able to hear my head say something like "I need to go to the store" as opposed to "I need to go to the store and I need to buy..." and you start making a huge list. Try for hearing it and not having it turn into a movie in your head!