How to Sit to Meditate: a Beginner's guide

"I gotta level with you Thom, meditation is way out there! I see mandalas and chakras and people twisted up like pretzels.  I could never do that"

Meditation is overwhelming for so many people; and do you know what one of the most intimidating aspect of meditation is?  Sitting.  Not sitting in silence.  Not sitting without your mind wandering.  I am talking about the simple act of sitting with correct posture.  

By the time you get done reading this, you are going to be a pro at sitting for meditation.  How do I know that?  Because you are already doing it.

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How to Meditate in a Noisy Environment

How to Meditate in a Noisy Environment

Developing a meditation habit can be difficult.  Even when you are focused on starting a session, the usual mental blocks begin to make their way into your head.  You wonder if the session will go well.  You get anxious wanting to make sure it’s perfect.

Well, as overwhelming as those thoughts may be, there is one thing that stops people before they even start. Noise.

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How to View Your Thoughts as Things and Why You Should

I grew up believing that thoughts are things.  It is a principle that my Mom instilled in me from a very early age, and it is probably why I am able to teach meditation.  This simple phrase is at the very heart of meditation.  Certainly there are other aspects, like breathing and posture, but this premise is why meditation is so effective for a variety of benefits.

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Using Meditation to Understand Who You Are

Let’s face it, everywhere you go lately, you hear the words mindfulness or meditation.  But I say that in the most exciting way.  When I was learning how to meditate back in the 80’s, people thought that meditation was just weird.  Outside of my progressive thinking family, others thought I was either in a cult or getting ready to join one. Nothing was further from the truth.  There were even some people that thought meditation was witchcraft.

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Meditation isn't Just Sitting Around

How can just sitting around be beneficial?

We like to think that our thoughts are our own.  Hopefully, for the most part, they are.  However, for most people, their thoughts may seem like their own, but actually they are the thoughts and beliefs of others that they have claimed as their own.

For instance, depending on culture, you may take a shower every day.  Why?  Sure, it’s a habit, but where did that habit start?  It came from another source, possibly way back in childhood.  It was someone else’s thought first.  Your Mom, Dad or caregiver told you that it is hygienic and customary to take a shower every day, to be clean.  

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How Do I Stay Focused During Meditation

The most serving way to enter in to any meditation is without expectation.  Simply place the intention in your mind and in your surroundings, that you are going to spend time quietly, slowing yourself down.  I say this because the greatest deterrent for people starting meditation is the expectation that they will meditate “perfectly"; that they will not have rampant thoughts running through their minds.  It's all or nothing.  They will either have a successful session that leaves them calm and relaxed, or the session will be a waste of time because they can't corral their thoughts.

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A Five Minute Exercise to Begin Meditating

Forget about the Lotus Position.  Forget about quiet, robed monks in the Himalayas.  Forget about the trippy psychedelic images full of bright colors you see on web sites talking about energy, mantras and chakras.

You want to learn how to meditate so you can slow down your mind, live calmer and maybe even get some insight into how you can feel more self-confident.

I have you covered.  

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How to Meditate If You Can't Sit Still

In western culture, inactivity is seen as unproductive and lazy.  Anyone who is idle for too long, without producing something, is seen as ineffective.  Activity is prized over everything, regardless of whether that activity promotes growth, either personal or global. It’s important to note that even inactivity from an entertainment perspective is valued more than actual sitting in silence.  For example, in the United States it is deemed more favorable to watch a 30 minute situation comedy than to watch a sunset.  

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How to Meditate the Right Way

How to Meditate the Right Way

As a meditation teacher and practitioner, there is one question that I get asked frequently.

How do I learn to meditate the right way?

The very question lends itself to understanding, not only the reason to meditate, but what meditation is.

Let me start with the reason to meditate.  I am going to talk about the main reason many people decide to meditate, not discuss all them.  I bring that up because there are so many reasons to start a practice, which is exactly why meditation is so valuable.  It is beneficial for a variety of purposes: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

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Start Living Your Life, Instead of Reacting to It

Start Living Your Life, Instead of Reacting to It

Regardless of who you are, you react.  You spill coffee on a shirt or blouse; you react.  Somebody races past you on the highway; you react.  You can't find your wallet or purse; you react.  These reactions aren't usually followed by laughter or smiles either.  Most times when you react, it's out of anger, frustration or fear.  

Why are you always reacting?  Because you don't know any other way of being.

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