What are the basics of meditation?

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Answered by: james, An Expert in the Practice Category
The basics of meditation are a lot simpler than you might think. In fact, meditation is based around doing absolutely nothing. What could be simpler? Well, getting to nothing is harder than it sounds. The basics of meditation are pretty easy to understand, but you need to look at the whole concept to really get a good idea of what we are talking about here.

First, meditation is nothing more than the act of being present. The moment that are in right now, the only moment like it that will ever exist, is going to pass without you really noticing it. Work problems, relationship trouble, and who knows what else will stop you from paying attention to it. That moment might be you reading this answer, or it could be a moment in class when you are trying to learn something new, but just realized you aren't evne paying attention.

With meditation, you can be there and live your life for the first time. It is the way that you train yourself to show up to your own life. Let me show you how.

Here are the basics of sitting down for the first session:

-Find a comfortable, calm, quiet place to sit down for the next twenty minutes.

-Set your timer for twenty minutes. Hopefully one that will only ding and not require you to run across the room and turn off.

-Sit with your legs crossed on pillow and close your eyes. Rest your hands on your knees.

-Now comes the hard part.

-Focus on your breathing. Nothing else. Feel yourself breathe in and out, taking deep breaths.

-Practice a mantra while you breathe. Think "ommmmmm" as you inhale and exhale, making each "om" last for the entire length of the breath.

-When the timer goes off, slowly come back to reality and open your eyes.

That's it! Chances are, you had a hard time with it.

When you are sitting down, it is important that you not focus on anything too much. It's hard to ignore any thoughts that come up, but you don't have to actively push them away. Think of it as being on a river, floating. Thoughts will come by, but you don't have to scramble to get away from them. They will drift by on their own and go about their merry way. The more you practice, the less the thoughts will come to you, all you have to do is let them pass.

After a week of doing this daily, you'll start to feel a lot better in your life. The present feeling that you have will mean that you can pay attention to things, learn better, handle situations better, and actually enjoy the things that you are doing. Meditation forces to you be aware of what you are doing. Missing out on life is a problem for people that think too much and meditation can solve it. The basics of meditation are simple, but mastering this kind of thing can take a lifetime.

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