How do I meditate?

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    Can someone please tell me how do I meditate? There are hundreds of tutorials on the web on how to meditate and none of them help. I have been practising meditation (relaxing my mind and body focusing only on my breath, even if my thoughts wander I try to gently bring it back and focus on my breath) for 10-15 minutes twice a day, it worked for the first few days but later I can feel my negative emotions coming back. It feels like meditation isn’t helping me. Do you have any suggestions/tips. Please let me know.


    Dear Anil

    I am glad that you are meditating. I tell my students this. That it takes almost same amount of time to alter the thought/feeling patterns as  we have been having them, so you meditate for say 30 mins you probably feel good for those minutes plus say another 30 after. So it is not a quick fix but more like food & nourishment. So each time you meditate basically you are hopefully undoing a bit of the past and preparing the ground for your future. There are many religions that divide up their day by taking time out for prayer or reflection. This gives one the chance to look back over say the last 4-6 hours in a calm way and see what has been wise & compassionate and what needs tweaking, Then you get the chance to restore things before they get out of hand. ie you skipped breakfast because you woke up late and then was a bit short with a co-worker. First eat something nutritious maybe even offer some to that co-worker with an apology for not being fully there for them. Then in the evening look to see how you can improve your evening/morning routine.

    All that we do & think are interconnected and these bounce & ripple out into the world and the world is also impacting on us all the time even if we don’t realise it. So having awareness & patience help us navigate thru this journey called our lives.


    When I think about meditation Alan Watts words come to mind.  “If you want to outwit the devil, it is extremely important that you don’t give him advanced notice. Even if you only announce to yourself your intentions, the devil will know, because who do you think the devil is? You

    Just like when you try to be spontaneous you can’t be spontaneous, when you try to meditate you can’t. Here the words of Yoda ring out. “Their is no try on do“.  In Zen you have Wu wei  which means – non-doing or ‘doing nothing’.  Easier said then done, the ‘saying‘ being part of the problem as ones inner narrator loves to play the devil and fill ones thoughts with words of judgment and measure.

    That said the inner narrator is also a pretty good observer and when focused on the breath this observer might notice the breathing is both voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary as one can choose to take a deep breath, or hold ones breath….Involuntary in the sense that breathing is a happening – a kind Wu Wei. One does not have to understand breathing to breath one does not have to be continually, consciously manipulate the mussels and nervous system to breathe.  The observer might sit mesmerized as breathing as a happening while the narrator  might become anxious and start judging, measuring.

    In art and sport the artist and athlete take lessons, learn the rules, train, practice… but when they create and play the master artist and elite athlete does not think they do. If you have ever taken dance lessons over a period of time you will eventually hear the teacher say you need to learn the rules before you can break them. What they mean is that when you get to the point when you trust what you have learned is in your body. That your ears hear the rhythm without you having to listen, ears hear and the body responds… then your truly dancing.

    Wu Wei. – We work for that which no work is required. We train, we learn then we trust and trusting that we ‘know’ let go of what we learned and do. One sites in Meditation and notices the breath, practicing different kinds of breathing and eventually trust that we ‘know’ without needing to be the knower, breathing a happening, the inner narrator quiets and dances.


    Just came across this from Ram Das

    The thing about a method is that, for a method to work, it has to trap you. If you try to dilettante your way through, it doesn’t work. You’ve got to become “a meditator.” But if you end up “a meditator,” you lost. You want to end up free, not a meditator.

    There are a lot of people who just end up meditators… until, finally, if it works, it self-destructs and you come through the other end, and you’re free of method.

    That sounds frustrating and it is, however if you can ‘let go’ or ‘let flow’ the frustration the method is more likely to de-construct itself…. and you which may be the point of it all.

    One does not try to meditate, the intention is not to become a meditator, one IS

    Salena Jane

    Meditation is a simple and effective way to reduce stress, improve focus and concentration, and cultivate a sense of inner peace and well-being. Here are some basic steps to help you get started with meditation:

    1. Find a quiet and comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed. You can sit on a chair or cushion, or even lie down if that’s more comfortable for you.
    2. Set a timer for the length of time you want to meditate (start with just a few minutes if you’re new to meditation).
    3. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Allow yourself to relax and let go of any tension or stress.
    4. Focus your attention on your breath. Notice the sensation of the air moving in and out of your body. You can also count your breaths, silently saying “one” on the inhale and “two” on the exhale.
    5. Whenever your mind wanders (and it will!), gently bring your attention back to your breath. Don’t judge or criticize yourself for getting distracted – this is a natural part of the meditation process.
    6. Continue to focus on your breath until the timer goes off. When you’re finished, take a moment to notice how you feel. You may feel calmer, more relaxed, and more centered.

    Remember that meditation is a skill that takes practice. Don’t get discouraged if you find it difficult at first – just keep trying! With regular practice, you’ll begin to experience the many benefits of meditation.

    Sarah Jeanne Browne

    I like centering prayer.


    The first time I heard the notion of centering prayer it was in connection to the notion of contemplation leaving me to wonder what the difference was between Meditation, Contemplation, Prayer – Centering prayer.

    I haven’t found clear answers however my thoughts are that the general difference between meditation and contemplation is that meditation is a emptying (decent) that can creates space for the state of contemplation which isn’t so much as about thinking and words but a non-dual listening – Which is similar to a state centering prayer leads to which is a prayer that we don’t make happen, No intention other then having eyes to see and ears to hear, no ego or beseeching...)  but a happening resting in and arising from stillness/silence.

    My experience has been that centering prayer often transitioned to contemplation which transitioned to meditation then back to contemplation and centering.  The Common thread being a emptying and ungrounding which paradoxically lead to experience of being centered.

    A Zen master might say nothing was attained. Not that the experience was not experienced only that the experience was is  always present… for those with eyes to see and ears to hear…  put another way we return home to see it for the first time, and that we work for that which no work is required,  nothing is attained because each of us have always had and are it.

    But another way, Einstein noted that the same level of consciousness that notices a problem won’t be the same level of consciousness that solves it. The tenancy is to try to ascend our way out of the problem by thinking our way into a new level of consciousness, to use the mind to grasp the mind, the eye to see the eye. However new levels of consciousness can not arise from ascending but only from first descending of which meditation, contemplation and centering prayer are aids.

    In the end language is problematic. I appreciate the space to wonder. 🙂


    Peter –  I’m not familiar with centering prayer but I have similar thoughts as you with regard to the differences between meditation and contemplation. The way I see it meditation is a human mode of prayer whereas contemplation is divinely infused prayer, and yes meditation can lead to contemplation. I think of contemplation as waiting for God (or the Universe or whatever term one wishes to use) to meet us and to be with us, so we can rest in his/its presence and listen for guidance with an open heart.



    Thanks Brandy that was nicely put.



    What was described in the first post are the steps involved with beginning meditation. There literally thousands of ways to meditate. Some bring immediate help and relief from stress. Others do nothing but help one fantasize. There is relaxation and release of thoughts. There is one pointed meditation. There is meditation on words or mantras. And many others.

    Some people meditate for relief of stress. Others look for enlightenment. What is the purpose of your meditation? What are you looking to do? Goal? How one meditates depends on what is one’s aim. And, if there is no aim then that is also an aim.

    There are plenty of people who can give you advice based upon what you said or not said. Plenty of Youtube videos. Instructions abound. All you have to do is choose.


    sit tall

    and relax

    -=light in extension=-


    When Buddha was in the midst of his fasting and going to the extreme of denying the body, he heard a someone on the river say that hold on too hard and it get away from you. Hold to loose and it will run away. So, like sand, hold on too tight and the grains fall out of one’s grip. Hold to loose and still the sand will fall out. It was then, Buddha realized the middle way. And so it is with meditation. One experiences life using the internal dialogue. Understanding, comprehension, wants, desires, everything goes thru this mind. To meditate holding on too tight or holding too loose will let everything out of your grip. Meditation is not letting go. And it is not forcefully controlling thought. It is one pointed concentration. It is holding attention and it is breathing in the air. The middle way. The eightfold path. Yeah, too much coffee this morning

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