How do people feel about meditation? Perhaps someone have experience with it. I've long been intersted in getting into meditation as a part of a daily routine to shape up my spiritual life, but I can't seem to empty my head for five minutes. Anyone know any techniques or probably go-to resources for such information?
Its a new age fallacy that meditation is about emptying the mind. Check out Buddhist Thought: a Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition by Paul Williams and Anthony Tribe for possibly the best academic introduction to Buddhist thought. Also take a look at Mindfulness in Plain English and Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English for a good intro to actual Buddhist meditation techniques. Meditation & its Practices by Swami Adiswarananda is a solid introduction to meditation from the Hindu perspective if that interests you. The worst phallacy of pop Buddhism may well be that its just formless sitting watching the breath. Yes, that is ONE form, but there are dozens of different meditation techniques and most have different aims. Also, most can be quanitfied, ie you go through different stages of mental activity if you stick with it long enough. Its a very powerful, life changing practice, and highly recommended. My apologies for the wall o' text.
A phallacy? Well, someone did say it heightens testosterone levels. ;o
I got interested in meditation after i started doing yoga five years ago. Although i focused on the physical part of yoga, i realised that i got nice and (mentally) relaxed afterwards, and i started looking for other things that would have the same effect.
A good beginner's technique is to make yourself a "rosary" (like.. a string with beads on it). Mine has 32 beads, and takes about ten minutes to get through. Sit or lay down in a way that's comfortable for you.
For every bead you do a "thing". If you are religious, you can think out a prayer or something (both a hundred ave marias, and listing the 99 names of allah are ways of meditating). - If not, you can just breathe. Inhale counting to four. Hold your breath counting to four. Exhale counting to four. Hold your breath counting to four. Repeat for every bead.
Dont be too ambitious to begin with. Hourlong sessions are pretty tough for the beginner. Ten minutes every evening, for instance, is a good first goal.
Hope this was helpful.
I don't bother with meditation. My swim coach in HS got us all into meditation, visualization, affirmations, etc. and it really just messed me up. I had a "kick ass and take names" attitude about everything and all this soft stuff just made me a head case. I stopped improving on my times and every little detail of everything started to bother me whereas before I just got it done.
Your results may vary.
I try and do a couple of minutes every day and does help with stress.
I do it on and off for 10 mins in the mornings before i start my day and at night before I go to bed> I can really feel the the calm inside my mind