How do you meditate?

Do you have a favorite style of meditation? How about a favorite position?

Do you listen to music?

Do you concentrate on an image, or do you let your mind wander over random emotions or the events of the day? Or do you just concentrate on absolutely nothing and try to lose yourself in the void?

Does it help you deal with the regular day?

I’m a bit new to meditation. I sit indian-style on my bed, because nothing short of major surgery will get me into the full lotus. I listen to classical music or Gregorian chants and count my breaths. Sometimes I let my mind wander, but mostly I try to concentrate on nothing and surround myself with the blackness. I find that this helps me relax and avoid tension. Because I avoid tension, I can concentrate and focus during the day that much more easily.

I’d love to hear any stories or advice, so do tell!

I have never been able to meditate in any other position than laying down on the bed or floor uncovered. I focus on my breaths; inhales are odds, exhales evens, start over after 10. Works for me anyway. Y(Meditation)MV.

I’ve found out that I think too much for meditation. Years ago I expreimented with therevada (sp?) buddhist meditation. It led to some interesting whoa moments but ultimately I did the complete opposite of what I was supposed to do (relax) every time.

So the closest thing I have to relaxation now is a drinking habit. I enjoy it and it does relax me, but I fully realize that it’s doing me no good at all.

For anyone who doesn’t have a Lobsang brain I reccomend it.

(The therevada, not the drink)

Interesting, Lobsang. You know, the first month or so, it was like that for me too. I tried to concentrate on an image or on absolutely nothing, but thoughts just kept piling into my head.

When I started listening to classical music, that problem went away. I guess that gave my conscious mind one more thing to concentrate on, and I was able to tune it out.

I like to sit cross legged and listen to some music, only because the ringing in my ear from tinnitus is distracting.

I focus on my breathing and bringing (let’s see if this makes any sense) the two ‘lines’ that ‘hover’ by my ears closer together with each breath until they are directly even with my nose.

Some times I make it, some times I don’t.

When I do, it always feels like I just woke up from a power nap.

I pray the rosary and meditate on the mysteries. Becauses the prayers are repetitive, it helps block external thoughts. I sit on my bed cross-legged. I light a candle, because the dark is too dark, and because, (quite frankly) I fall asleep. Electric light is too harsh. My dogs and cats stay outside the room because they compete for my attention. I take a few deep breaths and start with the Apostles’ Creed. The first few prayers help you to get into the rhythm. As you move into the decades, you meditate on the different parts of the Mystery. Many people think that saying the Rosary is just prattling off a bunch of repititious prayers, but that isn’t the purpose. It is really a contemplative tool to focus your attention inward.


I sit cross-legged on the ground in the woods. I have a favorite grove i go to listen to the wind. Failing that, i lie on the floor or bed, on my back. Inside, music helps. Nakai, Indian flute, Mozart’s Requiem or Rachmaninoff’s Vespers work well for me.

Usually I lie in bed and breathe rythmically. I pretend I’m in a coccoon and nothing that my normal life finds valuable or important matters in the coccoon. Tai Chi is also useful to provide the relaxation meditation gives.

My problem is I don’t like the idea that I’m supposed to spend 30 minutes or more meditating, because alot of people seem to recommend taking that long. I’ve tried that and its too boring so I end up quitting. Usually 5 minutes once or twice a day is enough, but it took a while to figure that out.

I really need to take it more seriously though. I have pretty good moods as it is (due to nutritional therapy, exercise and cognitive tools) but still.

A controlled study of 90 cancer patients who did mindfulness meditation for 7 weeks had 31% lower stress symptoms and 67% less mood disturbance than those who did not meditate.

The functional M.R.I. images reveal that when people are
emotionally distressed - anxious, angry, depressed - the
most active sites in the brain are circuitry converging on
the amygdala, part of the brain’s emotional centers, and
the right prefrontal cortex, a brain region important for
the hypervigilance typical of people under stress.

By contrast, when people are in positive moods - upbeat,
enthusiastic and energized - those sites are quiet, with
the heightened activity in the left prefrontal cortex.

Dr. Kabat-Zinn taught mindfulness to workers in a
high-pressure biotech business for roughly three hours a
week over two months. A comparison group of volunteers from
the company received the training later, though they, like
the participants, were tested before and after training by
Dr. Davidson and his colleagues.

The results bode well for beginners, who will never put in
the training time routine for lamas. Before the mindfulness
training, the workers were on average tipped toward the
right in the ratio for the emotional set point. At the same
time, they complained of feeling highly stressed. After the
training, however, on average their emotions ratio shifted
leftward, toward the positive zone. Simultaneously, their
moods improved; they reported feeling engaged again in
their work, more energized and less anxious.

I run or bike or play the guitar. I know it’s not what most people think of when they think “meditate”, but the whole rest of the world can disappeat easily for me doing these things. Especially running.

When I pray the rosary I usually lie down in bed, and start the Creed. I haven’t memorised the optional beginning prayers, but I know all the rest of them. Reciting the prayers keeps me focused on praying in a way that free-form prayer doesn’t. That sounds self-evident, but I have a problem with wandering off into random thought. The prayers and the Mysteries provide a framework that keeps me on track, and helps me let go of chattering conciousness.
Sometimes dancing can be moving meditation for me. I guess my two favourite forms of meditation are praying the rosary and dancing violently to loud music. They’re not even exclusive. I frequently pray as I dance at clubs. Usually just the Jesus Prayer, but sometimes Aves, too. I’m a bellydancer, and I usually dance at goth clubs.

Counting breathing is a great basic starter meditation; Inhale, exhale, count “One”, etc. Sitting up straight, on ground or in a chair, does help; laying down tends to to relax the body to sleep too easily. But, if that is the only position you can start with, better to start there than not at all.

Perhaps the best tip with meditation I’ve found is, when a thought arises, just label it “thought”, don’t attend to it, just observe it, and go back to counting breath. The breathing ain’t anything mystical; it’s just something we do naturally, so lends itself to being able to slow down. When you count/pay attention to breathing, it’s kind of a natural metronome, letting the body release from the hyped up chatter we’re used to.

Another technique; Don’t close your eyes, that lends itself to drifting off/sleep. Focus on an object/candle/etc, and loosely focus your eyes on that while counting breathing. It really takes awhile to get some rhythm of relaxation, but worth the effort. At the proper point, the body does relax, and the mind does, too. Beyond that, there are lots of techniques to explore to understand the ways the mind works under those conditions. I’ve found Buddhist techniques to be very straightforward.

Me too. I’ve tried a number of different relaxation techniques - including several different types of meditation. But all that seems to happen is that the normal ranting in my head gets REAL LOUD

Throw on my rollerblades. Grab my gloves, stick, and a z-ball. Head to the nearest parking lot and skate until my legs burn.

It’s not the usual meditation, but leaves me feeling so very zen.

Cross my legs, sit on the floor, and play guitar in a dark room.

I sit in seiza (kneeling), with the aid of a meditation bench from these guys. Close my eyes, keeping them elevated - staring at the point between my eyebrows from inside (this helps keep me from dozing off). Spine straight, hands resting on the thighs.

Breath deeply from the dantien (okay, it’s just diaphramic breathing, but doesn’t dantien sound cool?); think about nothing. When a thought happens, dismiss it without comment and get back to thinking about nothing.

After seven years of this, I can usually reach a state of thoughtless awareness (or mindful thoughtlessness) for up to several seconds at a time. Of course, then I think “I’m meditating!”, and it’s back to square one.

I also bike. Or take a long drive into the country.

Occasionally, when work is really busy, I need to actually take time off. I put on a piece of Indian flute* and listen.

The reason I say *Indian * flute is that it has a whole different sound from Western flutes. Higher-pitched, sweeter (to my ears) and of course brings a lot of associations to it.

I was meditating regularly for almost a year, I guess, but I found it really boring too, and was basically forcing myself to do it, so now I do stretches and relax myself before bed, and that seems to have a similar effect. One thing about the mindfulness meditation I was doing that has stayed with me is that turning my attention to my breathing triggers the relaxation response in me, which is just great in any situation (and especially sleeping). I don’t do a formal meditation any more, but any number of times in the day I will turn my attention to the moment, instead of chattering in my head, and that helps, too.

I think the bottom line is take time for yourself, listen to what’s going on inside you, tune out the rest of the world, and just relax.

With a box of tissues, some hand lotion and online porn.

Oh wait…:stuck_out_tongue:

I use a bench. I made it myself because most of the ones you can buy are too low for me (I’m not tall; I just don’t like my legs bent severely).

I do pretty much standard Theravada meditation. I begin on the breath; I may stay with that the whole time or go into vipassana, depending on how I feel.

Like Shirley Ujest, I have tinnitus, which has gotten loud enough to be distracting, so I’m thinking about using music.