April 4, 2013 at 3:14 am #30468
I’ll answer all your questions about meditation. Or, at least, I will try 🙂 I do not claim to hold all the answers, but I am somewhat passionate about meditation. I meditate about 2 hours a day, do a two day meditation retreat every month (with about ten hours of meditation per day) and I do a couple of ten day retreats per year. So, I do have some experience 🙂
Meditation changed my life in so many ways. In the past ten years I have battled addiction, depression and a mountain of debt. I conquered all of them and meditation has been my most efficient tool in dealing with all this.
I now want to help as many people with getting started or getting better at meditation. So, if you have any questions, feel free to ask!April 4, 2013 at 12:54 pm #30582Sheila McCannParticipant
Wow! That’s a lot of meditating.
I’m a huge fan of meditation and credit it as one of the keys to well being. I am also very curious as to others’ experiences with meditation.
What would you say is the main shift that has taken place in your thinking as a result of meditating ?April 5, 2013 at 2:15 am #30712
great question. The most important shift in thinking I have experienced is that things don’t happen ‘to’ me. Things just happen! And they are neither bad or good. How I deal with them determines what they are. There used to be a lot of things that would make me feel bad, angry, scared, … And I would always think: Why does this always happen to me? Now I know, that no matter what happens, it does not have to affect how I feel. My inner joy and happiness are not dependent on outside things. This also allows me to deal more efficiently with situations that I used to label as ‘a problem’ or ‘negative’. I accept them, see what I can learn from them, and then do what I have to do to ‘fix’ them. And I won’t feel stressed or unhappy about it, not for one second. This is a very powerful and fun mindset to have 🙂
I don’t know who said this, but it is very true for me: Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.
What kind of changes have you experienced as a result of meditating?April 5, 2013 at 7:44 am #31167Sheila McCannParticipant
Thank you for your thorough answer. My experience has been similar. It’s kind of like being an observer of events, thoughts and reactions. They happen and you observe but don’t judge or label. You engage with the external happenings in a constructive fashion but you are not attached to them, you are separate. The meditation practice is the tool that enables you to do this.
No doubt your dedication (2 hours) has enabled you to have a very powerful mindset. I find that if I don’t practice regularly, I will not mange my thinking as effectively.
SheilaApril 5, 2013 at 9:42 am #31190
You are exactly right Sheila. Meditation is observation. You don’t judge, label or get emotionally involved. That is why meditation is such a powerful tool for transforming yourself and your life.
GuyApril 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm #31233JamieParticipant
Wow. That is really quite remarkable that you have the discipline to meditate for so long. To me, people like you are of huge importance to keeping this world go round! What a privilege it is to be able to speak to someone who has reached such great heights of spiritual growth. Im of a slightly younger generation (21) and definitely have a form of ADD (due to my illness) so have always found Meditation a bit difficult. Nevertheless the discipline involved I understand is a muscle which can be trained over time like anything else through practice and patience.
I suffer from SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) and Candida. During the process of recovery, it involves a lot of setbacks, uncertainty, patience and most importantly the need to sustain a positive frame of mind, which at times is very difficult, due to pain (brain fog and adrenal fatigue), unpredictability of the illness, social isolation and misunderstanding of the complexity and seriousness of the illness from people.
What I have been most interested in of late is understanding the Mind/Body Connection and the impact thoughts can have on health. What is of great interest to me is the impact of what self healing through meditation, breathing and having a general positive outlook on life can have on illness and if you have had any beneficial advice and experiences from mastering this?
FYI I have recently a book on Energy Healing by Donna Eden.
I would appreciate any thoughts.
JamieApril 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm #31245
thank you for your questions. I’ll try to answer them all to my best abilities.
– Yes, meditation is sort of like a muscle, so you need to train it. It is a skill that you need to maintain. If you have a busy mind or have ADD, then it can be hard to get started. The key to meditation is to calm your mind down, but that is very hard to do when thoughts keep racing through your mind. I used to have a very busy mind, I over-analyzed everything. So, when I tried to meditate, it was very hard and frustrating, because I couldn’t relax. This was before I met my mentor who taught me all about meditation.
Luckily, I found some solutions:
1) Binaural beats: You can buy dvd’s or mp3’s that you listen to during meditation. You have to listen to them with headphones, because they play a different frequency in each ear and this way your mind relaxes automatically (there is a science behind this, but I can’t explain it that well 🙂 ). I tried those for a while and they worked great. But they do not work for everyone. On about 20% of people they have no effect. And these programs can be expensive (hundreds of dollars). There are also cheap ones, but they didn’t work at all for me.
These programs helped me with starting to meditate, so in that regard, they are good. But I don’t recommend using them for too long, because I felt that after a while they held me back. When I started meditating without these sounds, I could meditate much deeper and longer.
2) Mantras’s: I prefer this method, because it is more ‘natural’. The theory behind mantra’s is this: everything is energy, you are energy, your thoughts are energy and your words are energy. Mantra’s are phrases that have been used for ages by millions of people, so there is a lot of energy connected to them. ‘Om Nama Shivaya’ or ‘Om nama Shakti’ are two examples of ancient mantras. You just keep repeating (or singing) them in your head. There is no scientific proof that these words contain thousands of years of energy, but I recommend you try it for yourself. Pick one mantra and try to meditate at least ten minutes, twice a day for about a week. I have meditated many times with these mantra’s and I can tell you from personal experience that it is a very powerful (and calming) experience.
– Meditation will reduce physical and mental stress, worry, negativity and anxiety. These will be replaced with inner peace and happiness. It can also drastically reduce your pain (read this).
– The connection between your mind and body: I regularly do meditation retreats with a meditation master. He often demands that we do a one week apple juice diet and sometimes even a three day fast before we go on the retreat. This way, our body is completely cleansed. When I do this I feel a much greater connection between my body and mind. What I am trying to say is that if you want your body to utilize the full potential of your mind, it is important to also look at how you treat your body. Exercise and eating healthy can give your meditation experience a major boost. Try to eat a lot of raw fruits and vegetables and cut down (drastically) on processed foods, soda’s and, if possible, meat.
The cleaner your body, the bigger the effect your mind will have on your healing process.
When you say you can heal yourself with your mind, a lot of people will think you are crazy. When you take a homeopathic approach to your healing process, these same people will tell you homeopathy doesn’t work, that it is nothing more than the placebo effect.
But what is the placebo effect? You take a sugar pill, thinking it is an aspirin and your headache goes away. You are so convinced your headache will go away, that you don’t even need the aspirin anymore. So, basically, you have healed yourself with your mind. Think about it, that is really what it is.
Your condition is obviously a lot more serious than a simple headache. I am not claiming you can heal yourself completely with your mind, but I also won’t claim you can’t. What I am certain of is that through meditation you can have a huge positive impact on your state of mind, your level of pain, and the effect your condition has on your life. Even if your condition does not change at all. The key is daily meditation. Do not skip a day and try to do it twice a day. Start out slow and build from there. Try to add 5 minutes to your meditations every week. It won’t be long before you start noticing positive changes in yourself and your life!
I hope that answers your questions? If not, or if you have more, feel free to let me know!
April 6, 2013 at 6:23 am #31286William DaviesParticipant
- This reply was modified 8 years, 6 months ago by Guy.
Wow! how do you manage to get 2hrs of meditation into your day? That is impressive 🙂
I started meditating at an early age around 12 when i was diagnosed with crohns disease, my parents took me to a naturopath who taught me about meditation for the first time. As stress & anxiety are one of the major causes for crohns, learning to meditate helped me enormously. I was a tightly wound up kid I stressed and worried about EVERYTHING.
It helped me deal with the anger and frustration I felt during the “why me” phase, and it even helped lessen the pain too.
Anyways, I’d love to learn more from your wealth of experience with meditation – I’ll keep an eye out for your posts 😀
Will.April 6, 2013 at 6:52 am #31290
Thank you for sharing your story, William. It’s great to hear meditation has helped you deal with your challenges.
Meditating for 2 hours a day is not that hard. You start with 5 minutes and you build up from there. And an hour of deep meditation equals an hour of sleep. So I sleep less and meditate more 🙂
I am currently working on a 8 week program with my mentor. He is the one who taught me pretty much everything I know about meditation. He has been helping people for almost 25 years and I asked him if he would be interested in turning his knowledge into an online program so everyone can benefit from his teachings. Luckily he agreed, so we are working hard on finalizing this program and it should launch in about a week or two.
In this program you’ll learn how to meditate properly and how to deal with any kind of challenge in your life. It’s not just about learning to meditate, but meditation is the foundation of this entire program. My mentor has degrees in psychology, kinesiology, psycho-energetics, meditation and NLP, so he has quite a lot of knowledge to share 🙂 But this will be a very simple and easy to follow program. Simple, effective and fun are the keywords!
I have a website where you can subscribe to a list, but I am having some server issues today. When I’m back online, I’ll post a link here. If you are interested, you can subscribe and you’ll be notified when we go live.April 6, 2013 at 10:25 am #31302AnonymousInactive
Guy…subscribed today as a result of reading your posts! Just started meditating about a month ago but having trouble staying focused. I plan to follow your advice to the letter and will let you know how it goes. Also will subscribe to your new program as soon as it is up and running and I am quite stoked about it! I have never connected with someone’s advice as I have your’s so far! Keep it coming!April 6, 2013 at 12:58 pm #31310
good to hear you started meditating. The first weeks were the hardest for me too. But you just have to keep going. The more you do it, the sooner you will learn to relax and stop your thoughts racing through your mind. Everyone can learn it, it just takes some time. If you have any questions, feel free to post them here!
My site is finally back online, so if you want you can subscribe on the following page and you’ll be notified once the program goes live: http://www.transformationoftheself.com.April 7, 2013 at 12:09 am #31894karmit_1Participant
I really appreciate the opportunity to ask a knowledgable meditator some questions.
#1 I find it easier to use guided meditations and/or music to facilitate my meditations. Am I missing allot or any benefits because I don’t ‘sit’ in stillness and silence?
#2 Can a walking meditation be effective when walking at other than slow or very slow speeds. I feel I can be mindful walking at any speed but I almost always see it taught using a very very slow speed.
I plan to checkout your website next. btw, I believe the quote you used earlier can be attributed to Dr. Wayne Dyer. I am a huge fan of wisdom type quptes!
Thanks!April 7, 2013 at 2:10 am #31902
thank you for your questions.
#1 I personally have never been a fan of guided meditations (they didn’t work for me), but that does not mean they can’t be helpful. If they help you calm your mind, then they work for you. In the beginning you have to ‘help’ your mind to relax and there are several ways to do this: guided meditations, binaural beats, mantra’s, … Whatever works for you. But it is kind of like riding a bike with training wheels. At some point you have to make the switch to ‘regular meditation’, because this will take you to the next level and give you much more benefits.
Another great tip that I forgot to mention in the previous posts, is to make meditation a ritual. What I mean by this is that you always meditate in the same room. Make sure it is clutter free, you can even decorate it. Put on some relaxing music, burn some incense and make sure you sit comfortably. By doing this every time you meditate, you are conditioning your mind. After about a week you’ll notice that the moment you smell the incense or hear the music, your brain is triggered and already goes into a state of relaxation. It knows what is going to happen. Also, make sure that nobody will disturb you and turn off your phone. This time is just for you, to spend some time with the person you (should) love the most, yourself! 🙂
So, yes it is ok to listen to music. But after a while you should be able to meditate everywhere without ‘attributes’. If you go on a vacation, don’t think: I can’t meditate because I’m not in my special room and I don’t have my music and my incense. Meditation is all about what goes on inside out of you, not the things outside of you. So, while it is nice to have a room and a ritual that help you relax, don’t focus to much on that. Don’t make them requirements for your meditation. Learn to meditate everywhere. And when you have been meditating for a while and are getting better at it, try meditating on the train or some other place where it is noisy and where there are a lot of people. If you can shut out the noise and everything that goes on around you in a situation like that, you’ll really know how to relax.
#2 Good question. I have not had much experience with walking meditations, so I may not be the right person to answer this question. But I’ll give you my opinion anyway 🙂 I believe you can be mindful in any situation, no matter what it is that you are doing. But in some situations it will require a lot more practice than in others. Actually, in ‘most’ situations it will take ‘a lot’ of practice. When you are doing a very slow walking meditation on an empty beach, it is very easy to be mindful. To stay mindful during an entire average day with the kids, the family, your job and all the other things that come on your path on a daily basis, will require a lot of practice. But it can be done.
So, can you be mindful while walking at a normal pace? I believe you can. I know of a walking meditation that is designed specifically for everyday use (meaning: while walking at a normal pace). Instead of focusing on every sensation that goes on in and around your feet, you focus on the alternation between the left and the right foot. All you have to do is be aware of the left-right-left-right motion. Give it a try and see how it goes.
I hope this answers your question.
And yes, it’s a Wayne Dyer quote. Thanks for clearing that up! 🙂
GuyJune 4, 2013 at 11:34 am #36455KrishnaDevoteeParticipant
Hi Guy! Sorry my reply is late. My question on meditation is that there is this thing called the ‘third eye’ located between your eyebrows or something. But where exactly is this third eye and do you need to squint closing your eyes to see it?June 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm #36528PaulaParticipant
Wow that’s how I have been viewing the world for the longest but been told by others I’m crazy or just plain stupid because they don’t understand. As far as meditating, I really
don’t do it on a regular basis but the way I relax is by playing video games. Sometimes based on what others say I say things at the wrong time that don’t make sense or it not
true like “its all in your mind” or “there is nothing I can do to you unless you allow it” Then I’ll say something like you are your own worst enemy and people judge to much to
see things for what they are or what is. Things like that get me on the you don’t know what your talking about and to stop that crazy talk. So how should I go about this?