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Does anyone have a regular meditation practice?

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LadyYoga posted 3/8/2014 07:06 AM

I go do yoga class 5/week. I keep reading about how yoga is mediation but that I should also be doing a daily meditation practice. How meditation helps clear the mind (which I DESPERATELY need!)

Pass posted 3/8/2014 09:08 AM

I'm certainly no expert, but here's what I do. I have a comfortable (but not too comfortable) straight-backed chair that has a high enough back to support my head when I lean it back. I sit in that chair (screw sitting cross-legged!) and put on my iPod with some acoustic blues playing. Acoustic blues is good, because it's mellow, doesn't have blazing guitar solos, and a lot of the songs sound similar - so the music doesn't become a distraction. If you're looking to buy someone good for this, I suggest getting some Skip James. I set the iPod to turn off in 20 minutes.

I close my eyes, and count my breaths. 1 when I breathe in, 2 when I breathe out. I find that if I go higher than two, I can eventually get distracted by the counting, so I just count to two over and over.

I also picture myself underwater, in the shallow end of a pool, waving my hands above me to stay underwater. Whenever I have a distracting thought, I picture it as an air bubble that I blow out and watch rise to the surface of the pool.

Sometimes it takes me a minute to notice the music has turned off at 20 minutes, and that's cool. I don't have to scramble to turn off an alarm. When I eventually open my eyes, I feel like I've awakened from a deep sleep - as though I've just had a full night's sleep, and slept until I was ready to awaken.

It's really quite lovely, relaxing, and energizing.

LadyYoga posted 3/8/2014 10:26 AM

Thank you! Great idea to listen to jazz. I was thinking of downloading guided meditations but this sounds so much more appealing! I will try it! Thanks!

LadyYoga posted 3/8/2014 10:27 AM

You said blues I was thinking jazz. I'll try both!

craig2001 posted 3/8/2014 11:01 AM

Yes, I used to meditate a lot and it was very helpful for my mind. One thing I noticed was it increased my 6th sense a great deal. Which could have come from a clearer mind.

The way I would meditate is to have it very quiet and just focus on proper breathing and one word.

I also unplugged or turned off the phone.

I also noticed I could meditate far better when I quit drinking coffee. I found that caffeine and meditation did not work well, it was very hard to calm the mind.

namaste32 posted 3/8/2014 14:45 PM

I do. All the time. While I go for a walk.Most evenings and most mornings along with my yoga practice. It took a long time to get to the point where I can do this pretty much anytime anywhere.I first made a small room in the house where I would practice in the beginning.Guided med.helped me to stay focused.Then I started listening to kundalini yoga music which are sacred chants that repeats itself so its really easy to stay focused.After all these years I dont do guided med.but it helpes in the beginning.maybe it will help you to get started.good luck

LadyYoga posted 3/8/2014 16:10 PM

Thank you. Is it best to do it first thing in a.m? Before coffee?

Pass posted 3/8/2014 17:28 PM

I usually do it in the afternoon or early evening, when I need to recharge.

HardenMyHeart posted 3/9/2014 01:08 AM

I have been a daily meditator for years and it has helped me tremendously; especially with anxiety, sleep, and stopping my thoughts from jumping around (called monkey mind). Meditation is not the same as yoga.

How meditation helps clear the mind (which I DESPERATELY need!)

The purpose of meditation is not to clear the mind. It is used to "train" the mind to stay very focused; to help our minds become peaceful, calm, and relaxed even when confronted with our chaotic and sometimes painful thought processes.

Here are two youtube links to help get you started on mindful meditation:

I also recommend some of the guided imagery podcasts found on the Kaiser Permanente website at:

To teach yourself a different way of looking at your suffering through your meditation practice, I recommend the books:
The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron

Good luck with this and please feel free to ask additional questions.

[This message edited by HardenMyHeart at 1:47 AM, March 9th (Sunday)]

FaithFool posted 3/9/2014 01:54 AM

I meditated and did a lot of yoga the first couple of years and it helped me survive in house separation.

Unfortunately the Kundalini music became a huge trigger for me so I gave all the CDs to someone who can appreciate them.

I need to get back to it. I feel a bit scattered lately, and it is a wonderful habit to nurture.

I found some other tracks that are specifically for relaxation so will try those out.

[This message edited by FaithFool at 1:56 AM, March 9th (Sunday)]

LadyYoga posted 3/9/2014 12:42 PM

Thank you all!
HMH-I read Pema's book and I listen to her podcasts whenever I can. Love going for walks and listening to her in my iPod.
I will try the videos and start today!

looking forward posted 3/9/2014 16:17 PM

I don't believe this comes under meditation, more of faith-based moments of peace.
For the last several months, when I lay in bed (on my back)in the dark, I concentrate on my breathing, slow it down, hands clasped together, and I recite to myself:

The Lord's Prayer
Psalm 23
Psalm 121

Then, I continue focusing on breathing slowly and deeply. Whether this works or not, I'm not sure, since I don't know how long it takes me to fall asleep.

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