Ch. 02: How To Begin
Release whatever expectations about what will occur as you meditate. Don’t think that you’ll have some experience of nirvana…Heaven. Don’t think that you’ll have a void mind. Don’t think that you’ll stop thought today. Don’t think anything. If you’re attached in anyhow to the thought that you’re going to “acquire” something from sitting now, let it go. If you’re concerned about getting something each time or whatever time you meditate you’ll be frustrated. If you’re frustrated you’ll not continue.
Discover a place that’s quiet. A place where you can’t hear television or music or dogs barking or individuals talking or autos driving by is best. This may be really hard for you.
You might need to go someplace to discover a place to meditate. You might need to discover a meditation group listed in your local newspaper that meets in a quiet place on a regular basis.
Discovering a quiet place is really important as many distractions may prove too much to manage and you might stop meditation as soon as you begin.
You’ll need a place that has a pleasant temperature – not too hot – not too cold. Air blowing directly on you isn’t contributing to meditation. Discover a place free of or comparatively free of insects that will be flying by, landing on you, biting you, and so forth. Initially, these things may greatly distract you.
When you’ve discovered a quiet place that you are able to sit undisturbed for up to 60 minutes you’ll have to find a comfortable place to sit. You’ll be sitting from 5to 50 minutes (maybe, again up to you) so you’ll have to discover a posture that works for you.
The simplest for me was to sit cross-legged with my right foot on top of the crease produced by my left calf and thigh. There’s no reason to sit any more than 60 minutes.
Your back ought to be straight. Put your hands in your lap. Your fingers will naturally curl inwards if you’re relaxed so simply let them do that. You’re trying to find a comfy posture in which you are able to stay alert, not get sleepy, and not fall over when you’re relaxed… and yet you ought to be as unstrained as possible.
You won’t find a painless position initially, though you are able to attempt if you wish. You may sit on a pillow or meditation cushion.
You may lean back against a wall, a sofa, a bed, anything to help support your back if you’ve back pain. If you’re limber you may wish to attempt the full lotus or the half-lotus poses as they’re really stable and a few individuals may meditate for hours without too much irritation.
There will be a lot of things going on in your brain… in your body. Your body will be attempting to adapt to the position that it is in. You might feel pain. You might feel hot. You might feel cold. Your breathing might be fast. Or it might be slow. Your brain might be filled with thoughts.
So many thoughts that you can’t possibly center on any single thought particularly. You might feel an emotion. You might have questions forming.
View all the turmoil your body and brain is going through even as you unwind sitting in one spot with your eyes shut. Why is there turmoil when you’re doing nothing truly, just sitting down?
As you watch it you’ll observe a lot of things. You can view feelings. Physical senses. Dread. Affection. Thoughts. You might be watching your thoughts, hearing them for the first time and in another way.
Don’t participate… Simply watch and center the assorted things. Discover how your “attention” to something may isolate it from everything else happening.
Also, discover how things link together. One thought supplies a jumping-off point for a chain of linked thoughts that may wind up going completely away from the original guessed. It’s this attention that you’ll use to center on breathing as you watch it come into and leave the body.
Consider yourself as a scientist or a pupil. You’re a student of your awareness. Of your body and brain. You’re going to see what makes you tick.
You’re going to learn a great deal about yourself. If you feel inclined – maintain a short journal following each meditation session about what you experienced.