Meditation Instructions

There are many misconceptions about meditation that somehow are widely believed and I will try to dispell some of them here, but the best thing to do is to try meditation for yourself.  Whether you go to an in person teaching, read a book, watch a video or listen to a recorded meditation, if you are new to the practice it is best to get some guidance in the beginning.

The number one most incorrectly held view about meditation is that the purpose is to stop all thoughts. Even for the greater marjorty of the most skilled meditators this is not the purpose nor possible.  Meditation is not about trying to control thoughts but instead to be aware of the present moment which includes thoughts, physical sensations, smells, tastes, sounds and sight (even with the eyes closed).

When I sit in meditation my purpose is to sit. I know this may sound odd, but putting an expectation on the meditation session like happiness, bliss, calmness, ease, joy, etc is putting an unneeded pressure on the practice.  We cannot control the outcome of a meditation session, that is not how it works. By adding that "goal" we are setting ourselves up for failure.  This is simply not helpful.

What we do is sit quietly, relatively still and pay attention to what happens.  Many times we begin the session by gathering our attention in the beginning by noticing the sensations that are present. What it feels like to be sitting, what sounds can you hear, smells, tastes, or sights (even with the eyes closed some light and shapes can be sensed). Also what thoughts are present. The idea in this b asic meditation practice is not to explore what we notice, but instead to just notice it without thinking about it, without contemplating it. The mind and body will keep vying for our attention, and all we do is notice whatever is present from moment to moment.

If we are being guided by a teacher or a recording  simply follow the instructions the best you can.