Forms of Meditation

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Meditation and mindfulness have been part of my life for the last three years or so, but recently I fell out of practice. This is what made me decide to attend the mindfulness classes we have on campus twice a semester., each time lasting for five weeks I hope that it will be a force for me to start my practices regularly again.

This post is also a part of that reminder. I want to talk about meditation journey so I can remind myself its value in my life.

Here we go.

When people hear the word meditation, they mostly think of a person sitting, eyes closed, and doing nothing. Absolute calmness.

I used to think like that too and I found it not so relatable, being the ‘lets-do-something-all-the-time’ kind of person. But different things in my life forced me into being somewhat of that meditative person, meaning that I became able to do silent meditation more or less comfortably.

But that was not a one-step process. I tried many different types of meditation along the way. Now I believe that there is one for every personality and for every stage we are in.

I started meditation in the form of analysis of my memories (which I talked about in my post on peace with past here). I sat down, focused on an event in my past and analyzed it. It was not the meditation that we mostly think of when we hear the word. But it made me focus on one thing at a time and in detail, rather than having millions of things in my mind. It calmed my mind in this way.

That went on about a year or so.

Then, I needed to move on but I was still not ready for silent meditation. So, I did a lot of guided meditation. I just checked how I felt that day and found a guided meditation video on YouTube, usually 20-30 minutes in length. Say, I was having a low self-esteem a day. I listened to something that made me focus on that that day. This helped me not do cognitive analysis like I used to do in my previous meditation practice. My mind was more relaxed. But I was guided. I still had an external focus point to keep my mind together. I was not yet able to guide myself.

This went on for about several months.

Then, I decided that I did not want to listen to things anymore. So, I decided to go silent. But that was hard. So, I came up with a focus point again. This time, everyday, I imagined my mind, body and soul as three separate entities that had to live together and I talked to them. I asked my mind how it was feeling, same for my body and same for my soul. I even made them hug each other at the of the sessions to instruct my subconscious that all are one. All are me. It kinda worked. It helped me understand and appreciate myself better.

But that fell out of my favor in time. I wanted to do actual silent meditation.

My first attempts at that were ridiculous. It was too hard for me to go on even for five minutes. But in time, with practice, I started being able to go on for 20 minutes, silent, then even an hour at times. Meditating with other people helped too.

Later, for different reasons, I gradually stopped meditating but am starting back again now. In the time period that I did not meditate, I missed it a lot, because now it has become a need for me. I am looking for silence and calmness in my mind.

Do you guys also meditate? If so, how did you start and progress? What methods did you try? If not, do you want to start one day? What do you all think of meditation to be?

Betul

 

47 thoughts on “Forms of Meditation

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      1. I use meditations to get peace, thea travel, self-cleaning, love myself, body scanning, mindfulness, look ahead, and many more. I go to a spiritual school right now and learn differently that helps me, but I haven’t said anything about it in the blog world yet.
        I sm grateful that I do, it is really help me❤️
        🦋

        Liked by 4 people

    1. I cant do long meditation everyday either. Only if there is a big event or something or if I really crave for it. Guided meditations were a way to be able to focus for me. Now I prefer silent meditation over it

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  1. I most enjoy solo walking meditations out in nature, however, recently my husband and I joined a Wednesday night sangha with a meditation teacher, Ann Porto, who has studied a variety of styles from many teachers and combined these into her own instructional practice. Every week begins with a 20 minute session of silent meditation, followed by some other form. She has taught us a variety of ways to focus on the breath, which helps to clear away the chatter in our heads. She also recommends books written by the most well known meditation teachers. I wrote this article about meditation teachers here in Rhode Island. I suggest studying with a sangha (support group) led by a seasoned practitioner. https://www.rinaturalawakenings.com/articles/february-2018/meditation-in-rhode-island.html

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  2. I recently started a book which I definitely suggest you try to read: The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down – How to be Calm in a Busy World, by Haemin Sunim. I always seek for calm, mindfulness moments but I am the worst with meditation (especially the silent one). So this book is my moment, to take time, to sit down, read a statement and try to think about it. Meditation has different forms 🙂

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    1. No I definitely agree that sitting in silence is hard. I could not do it for even 5 mins when I started. And this is despite the fact that guided meditations had helped me focus better. I think my advice would be to start with guided meditations rather than silent meditation, then maybe do silent meditation for only 2-3 mins. Then move onto 5, then 10 etc. This way your brain will get used to it. How does that sound?

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    2. No I definitely agree that silent meditation is hard. I could not go 5 mins when I started too. And this is despite the fact that I was doing a lot of guided meditation by that time. I think what could be helpful is to start with guided meditation, then move onto silent meditation for 2-3 mins (however long your mind can go), then do 5 mins and it gets longer. But just follow what your mind can do at a given time instead of setting up a time for it. Sometimes you might be able to do 1-hour silent meditation but on a specific day you can only do 10 mins. These things happen. What do you think?

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  3. I used to do a lot of silent meditation focusing on breath but more recently I’ve been struggling to keep focus so have been doing visualisations, mantras and movement which really helps distract me a bit from the intensity of it and therefore reach my goal-loved your post!

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  4. IMHO, Meditation in the simplest form is interrupting your regular thought patterns. So if you empty your mind, go for a nature walk, repeat an affirmation, focus on your breath, or follow a guided meditation, you are meditating. 🙂 I also don’t like to set time parameters around meditation. I view meditation like my appetite, sometimes I’m ravenous and need to meditate for an hour, sometimes I’m barely hungry and three minutes will more than suffice. I listen to what my body and mind are craving. Good luck!

    Liked by 3 people

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