Complete Beginner's Guide to Mindfulness Meditation

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Thought I should contribute something for people who want to start meditation but are unsure on how to go about doing it.

There are many different methods of meditation really, however, all of them are suited for different kinds of people - just like how one person might be more visual, more auditory or more kinaesthetic in their learning.

But all of them ultimately lead to a similar purpose:
1) Selection of the meditation object - Dharana.
2) Holding of the mind on the object - Dhyana.
3) Meditation on the object - Samadhi.

Meditation originated from the Hindu traditions of Vedantism, Taoist China and Buddhist India. Buddhist meditation eventually spread across Silk Road. in the west, there was development of Christian meditation and in Judaism, the Torah speaks of a form of meditative practice.

As meditation spread towards Japan, instructions for Zazen (or Zen) meditation were written. Meanwhile, Christian saints like Ignatius and Teresa developed western meditation further through the process of lectio, meditatio, oratio, contemplatio.

As such, I'd contribute 3 methods of meditation here for people to pick up. No meditation is more superior than the other - they all serve the same purpose in different ways. Do not jump from one method to another unless you find it serves your purpose.

Meditation 1: Access concentration mindfulness meditation

1) Sit in an upright, comfortable position - it can be a chair or sitting cross-legged. Ensure that there is comfort, or aversion will rise in the mind. Upright keeps your mind awake. Too much comfort can lead to stupor and sloth. Your hands should be in the universal mudra position (left hand under right hand) as such:



2) The Anapana-sati procedure. This means "breath mindfulness". As you breathe, feel the sensations of the breath at either the nostrils or the upper lip. This must be complex to do, in order to ensure sustained attention.

3) As you focus on the sensations, it is inevitable for a beginner to have thoughts spring out of nowhere. You might not even notice that you're suddenly thinking of it. What you must do, is constantly remind yourself to be alert of when these thoughts spring out of nowhere.

4) Don't resist the thought, simply shift your awareness back onto the sensations of the breath. imagine these thoughts as "clouds" that pass away - and you simply need to refocus your awareness on the sensations of the breath. Forget about the day's troubles. Write it down somewhere before meditating if it is affecting you. In meditation, you drop every single mental baggage of the world. Smile when you meditate (this is important).

5) As you continue working on the mindfulness of the breath, you will reach this point where you know that the thoughts are still there, but they are not pulling your awareness away from your breath. This is known as "access concentration".

6) At this point, you might find that the breath becomes extremely shallow. Some people might even experience "not breathing". Do not panic - it simply means that your body does not require that much oxygen. If you really require oxygen, your brain will take care of it subconsciously. Do not take in a huge breath or it will ruin your efforts so far.

7) Shift your attention away from the breath to a physically pleasant sensation. This is not definite, you need to be mindful of your body and you will find this mildly pleasant sensation. Due to your smiling, it invokes a physical pleasant feeling - and you should be able to locate it easily, however subtle it might feel like. Most of the time, it would appear in the hands or forehead as tingly sensations.

8) Now, do nothing else (This is the hardest stage of meditation). The pleasant feeling will suddenly seem to grow and expand in intensity. Some people might experience a bright light shine from underneath their eyes. Others might hear pleasant sounds. Do NOT be overcome with fear.

Note: Most people jerk out of this because they are afraid of being in an expansive state. It can be startling, when a sudden bright light bursts into your otherwise dark mental void. Realize that you have ultimate control over your body. Fear is born out of the unknown.

Note 2: Remember NOT to do anything. Do not even try to think or "solve" the problem. It is simply sitting there and letting go. Nothing else, but doing nothing. Just sitting there and being aware of the pleasant feeling growing.

9) If you've done it successfully, you will feel Ecstasy. It is joy of the highest order - a pleasant feeling that trumps any other form of thrill you've ever experienced in your life. This is known in meditation as the First Jhana.
Meditation 2: Loving-Kindness mindfulness meditation
1) Sit in an upright, comfortable position - it can be a chair or sitting cross-legged. Ensure that there is comfort, or aversion will rise in the mind. Upright keeps your mind awake. Too much comfort can lead to stupor and sloth. Your hands should be in the universal mudra position (left hand under right hand) as such:



2) The metta procedure. Metta means "loving-kindness". Firstly, choose 1 person to signify one of the following:
(a) Yourself.
(b) A respected, beloved person - like a spiritual teacher.
(c) A dearly beloved - a close family friend.
(d) A neutral stranger - maybe a by-passer or a shopkeeper.
(e) A hostile person - someone you have bad feelings towards.

3) One by one, you would imagine a person from the list in front of you, and then you would have the mental thought of each of the following:
(a) Let me/him/her be free from hostility
(b) Let me/him/her be free from mental pain
(c) Let me/him/her be free from physical pain
(d) Let me/him/her be taken care of happily

4) Do not recite it. At first, you might feel like you are reciting it. However, what you are after is the sensations of loving-kindness that you get from this. It is also extremely hard for a person to love an enemy - this is a huge encumbrance that you will need to overcome.

Note: You may have seen this being signified in various religions, where you are encouraged to "love thy enemy".

5) Continue to focus on the loving feeling, and bring wandering thoughts back to this sensation. As you continue working on the mindfulness of the loving-kindness, you will reach this point where you know that the thoughts are still there, but they are not pulling your awareness away from your loving-kindness. This is known as "access concentration".

6) At this point, you might find yourself being saturated with pleasant sensations of loving-kindness, especially in the heart area.

7) Shift your attention towards the heart area.

8) Now, do nothing else (This is the hardest stage of meditation). The pleasant feeling will suddenly seem to grow and expand in intensity. Some people might experience a bright light shine from underneath their eyes. Others might hear pleasant sounds. Do NOT be overcome with fear.

Note: Most people jerk out of this because they are afraid of being in an expansive state. It can be startling, when a sudden bright light bursts into your otherwise dark mental void. Realize that you have ultimate control over your body. Fear is born out of the unknown.

Note 2: Remember NOT to do anything. Do not even try to think or "solve" the problem. It is simply sitting there and letting go. Nothing else, but doing nothing. Just sitting there and being aware of the pleasant feeling growing.

9) If you've done it successfully, you will feel Ecstasy. It is joy of the highest order - a pleasant feeling that trumps any other form of thrill you've ever experienced in your life. This is known in meditation as the First Jhana..
Meditation 3: Mantra mindfulness meditation/ Transcendental meditation

1) Sit in an upright, comfortable position - it can be a chair or sitting cross-legged. Ensure that there is comfort, or aversion will rise in the mind. Upright keeps your mind awake. Too much comfort can lead to stupor and sloth. Your hands should be in the universal mudra position (left hand under right hand) as such:



2) The mantra that you continuously recite can be anything. I personally prefer "Om". If you prefer the mainstream transcendental mantras, you can head over to this site: TM Mantras - Save Your Dollars . "Om" is good enough - though I might go with "Om mani padme hum" (you do have to meditate on the meaning of it though).

3) As you continuously chant the mantra in a rhythmic fashion, it is inevitable for a beginner to have thoughts spring out of nowhere. You might not even notice that you're suddenly thinking of it. What you must do, is constantly remind yourself to be alert of when these thoughts spring out of nowhere.

4) Don't resist the thought, simply shift your awareness back onto the mantra chanting. imagine these thoughts as "clouds" that pass away - and you simply need to refocus your awareness on the sensations of the breath. Forget about the day's troubles. Write it down somewhere before meditating if it is affecting you. In meditation, you drop every single mental baggage of the world. Smile when you meditate (this is important).

5) As you continue working on the mindfulness of the mantra, you will reach this point where you know that the thoughts are still there, but they are not pulling your awareness away from your breath. This is known as "access concentration".

6) At this point, you might find that you can continue to sustain the ring of the mantra within your head. You can stop moving physically and "dive deep".

7) Shift your attention away from the mantra to a physically pleasant sensation. This is not definite, you need to be mindful of your body and you will find this mildly pleasant sensation. Due to your smiling, it invokes a physical pleasant feeling - and you should be able to locate it easily, however subtle it might feel like. Most of the time, it would appear in the hands or forehead as tingly sensations.

8) Now, do nothing else (This is the hardest stage of meditation). The pleasant feeling will suddenly seem to grow and expand in intensity. Some people might experience a bright light shine from underneath their eyes. Others might hear pleasant sounds. Do NOT be overcome with fear.

Note: Most people jerk out of this because they are afraid of being in an expansive state. It can be startling, when a sudden bright light bursts into your otherwise dark mental void. Realize that you have ultimate control over your body. Fear is born out of the unknown.

Note 2: Remember NOT to do anything. Do not even try to think or "solve" the problem. It is simply sitting there and letting go. Nothing else, but doing nothing. Just sitting there and being aware of the pleasant feeling growing.

9) If you've done it successfully, you will feel Ecstasy. It is joy of the highest order - a pleasant feeling that trumps any other form of thrill you've ever experienced in your life. This is known in meditation as the First Jhana.
As you can see, all of the meditations are very similar - they all lead to a very focused state of bliss. There is really no superior meditation. They are all different keys to the same door.

However, there are a few meditative procedures which I do not advocate if you do not have a meditation teacher.

Do not do chakra meditation - that means, meditating on vital points on the body. Do not do tantric yoga - this is not meditation, it's an abuse of prana. Do not do shamanic rituals. Do not do visualisations in attempts to "manifest". Do not perform black magick.

Need more reason to meditate? Here are some articles for you to check out:
Research findings are massive wrt to meditation. Research has generally found no negative side-effects to meditation so far - only massive positive effects.

Hope this helped anybody who wanted to pick up meditation!

Well, one meditation master once said... there are only two mistakes:
"Not starting, and not going all the way."

James
#beginner #complete #guide #meditation #mindfulness
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  • Profile picture of the author Hermes Urbanus
    Great guide, thank you. Tashi Delek!
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  • Profile picture of the author justhumza
    James, great guide. Thank you for taking the time and sharing this with us, this will surely serve many people interested in learning meditation.
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    Change your life by changing your mindset. Learn the mindset of excellence at Boldest Visions

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    • Profile picture of the author James Fame
      Thanks for reading.

      Please do not hesitate to share these meditative practices with people you know. The more people who practice meditation, the more peaceful and happy the world will become.

      Out of these 3 procedures, I personally find that anapana-sati works for me more easily because it provides very clear goals along the way. But yes, loving-kindness is very useful especially when you are feeling sore about something, or when you are feeling burdened, pained or even sick.

      For metta meditation (loving-kindness), you should also gradually include more in "space" with regard to the imaginary figures you are expressing love to. Some metta meditators slowly include things like
      (a) everybody within 50 metres of me
      (b) everybody within 1000 metres of me
      (c) etc until the whole of the universe

      The eventual result should be unconditional loving-kindness for all beings, but that is of course, a very high level of metta mastery.

      James
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      Fire me a pm if you have a question. I build businesses and provide consulting. I do not do finance/money/internet marketing niches. Fitness, self-improvement and various others are welcome.

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  • Profile picture of the author Yani Bforu
    Hello everyone,

    I wanted to ask if Mindfulness meditation is suitable for beginners in hebrew it's מ"יטציית מיינ"פולנס

    I read an article about meditation and was very impressed

    this is the article in hebrew

    thak you
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  • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
    guess ill wait for the sequel

    Complete Beginner's Guide to Mindless Meditation
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  • Profile picture of the author oppyeaunome
    This is a really helpful guide for the fact that I've been trying to get into meditation more as I run my online business. Meditation helps me to concentrate more throughout the day. It teaches you how to deal with distractions and how to stay focused. I love how simple and detailed your guide is. Definitely helpful for when I meditate the next time.


    Thank you so much for this!
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  • Mindsight hindsight rindsight.

    tbh, I would wanna jus' sit an' wait out the screamin'.

    Prolly it is jus' misappropriated dreamin'.

    Thing is, briano fluxes out at kinda a zillion mph an' we miss stuff.

    Narrative-hungry monster, we fill in the gaps.

    We would want always for this story to be in accord with WHAT FRICKIN' IS -- but we are so super fallible.

    Time out...

    kinda quiet on whatever...

    mebbe unfixesya...

    an' makesya more malleable.

    Gonna get still, gotta be movin'.

    Did You Miss Yoga Again Tonite, Princess?

    Quit spinnin' my Eternal Mortification Options, o thrashtasmal inner monolog...

    I Am Not A Thrashtasmal Inner Monolog -- I Am Merely A Headline Intended To Lure Interested Onlookers In

    Why would you wanna do that?

    C'mon, sit quiet sumplace, any posture you wanna.

    Flap open eyeballs, power up ears, throw feelo onto sniff, taste an' touch -- an' jus' kinda reel the moment on up.

    You got blessed singularity in that instant, if'n U wanna.

    You + Time = mutually propulsive GONNA.

    Sounds Like Einstein, Kinda Spiritual E=mc2!

    Then mebbe volume down sum.

    Sit withya lonesum.

    Still till ur nuthin'sum.

    Power up from zerocum.

    Any More Hot Tips Before I Shoot Myself?


    Not today.
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    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff together.

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  • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
    Originally Posted by hardraysnight View Post

    guess ill wait for the sequel

    Complete Beginner's Guide to Mindless Meditation
    Nah, l would rather wait for "Mindfulness Meditation With a Vengeance".

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    • Profile picture of the author socialentry
      Originally Posted by tagiscom View Post

      Nah, l would rather wait for "Mindfulness Meditation With a Vengeance".


      My suggestion would be not to wait. You can meditate then go take your revenge on whatever ET has been tormenting you lately. All you need is a quiet space and a high powered rifle.
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      • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
        Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

        My suggestion would be not to wait. You can meditate then go take your revenge on whatever ET has been tormenting you lately. All you need is a quiet space and a high powered rifle.
        Nah, this is AU, we only use knives.

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  • Profile picture of the author Chi Cam
    Hi everyone,
    I definitely an advocate of meditation as it has helped me a great deal for the last 10 years. Looking forward to help people as much as possible.
    -chi
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  • Great guide thank you so much!
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  • Profile picture of the author Fallen_Angel
    This is a fantastic share. Thank You
    :-)
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