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How To Meditate

How To Meditate

The purpose of meditation is to stop thinking for a time, wait for the fog of thought to thin, and glimpse the spirit within. Controlling the flood of thoughts is very difficult for most people. Beginners can sometimes become very frustrated, but frustration is just another thought, another emotion that gets in the way. The goal is to release all thoughts, quietly, passively.

A common way to begin meditation is to gently focus on one thing so that it becomes more difficult for stray thoughts to enter your mind. I like to start with a breathing meditation.

To begin meditation, find a comfortable position. Sit in a comfortable chair, with your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands in your lap with the palms facing upward. Close your eyes and begin witnessing your breath. Observe the inflow and outflow of your breath without attempting to control it in any way. You may find that your breathing spontaneously gets faster or slower, deeper or shallower, and may even pause for a time. Observe the changes without resistance or anticipation. Whenever your attention drifts away from your breath to a sound in the environment, or a sensation in your body, or a thought in your mind, gently return your awareness to your breathing.

This is the basic mediation. Once a person becomes comfortable with simply sitting quietly and focusing on breathing, I recommend adding a mantra, which creates a mental environment that will allow you to expand your consciousness.

Read more: Deepak Chopra's Tips, Exercises, Spirit,

Adapted from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 2003).

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

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4:47AM PDT on Jul 22, 2013


1:17PM PDT on Oct 26, 2012


3:15PM PDT on Oct 16, 2012

What really helps me is the sound of trickling water. I notice depending on how flustered i am when i go into the meditation the water may sound like an irritating thrashing noise or a quiet, happy trickle. If irritated, I focus on the thrashing, realizing that the water has not change but it is my emotional state that is causing it to sound unpleasant, and I focus on accepting the sound.As crazy as it sounds, once I've quieted my mind enough to recognize the sound as a happy trickle once again, I come out of my meditation relaxed and in a state of acceptance of the commotion going on around me. Not saying that I'm content with things and don't want to change what I can. But when I come out of that meditation I'm better leveled with the universe and more open to the flow of the greater plan.
P.S. I use a water fountain for this. I plan on ordering the hand of Buddha water fountain off Man, I LOVE IT!

8:31AM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

really needed that advice right now....thank you.

10:27AM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

very nice. Thanks for the article.

4:42AM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

Thanks for the tips.

3:02AM PDT on Sep 10, 2012


9:54PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

I agree that most people have difficulty controlling the flood of thoughts. However, once you know how to use some meditation techniques, stillness is easily achievable.

There is a simple technique I use, and teach students, to help keep my mind steady and focused. It is counting my breaths. I simply count each breath silently in my mind, 1 thru 5, with my attention on the air passing through the tip of my nose. When I get to 5, I start over again.

When a distraction arises, I immediately bring my attention back to my breathing. This is basically training for concentration. After a few minutes, I drop the counting and simply observe my entire breath gently. This is training for mindfulness.

How well does this work? To give you an example; last week at our meditation meeting there were two gentlemen who we clowning around and laughing uncontrollably during the beginning of the meeting. I led them through a 35-minute meditation session using the above techniques. One of them came up to me after the meeting and told me he had never achieved such a deep state of meditation. I was quite impressed myself!

Charles A. Francis
The Mindfulness Meditation Institute

8:52PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012


4:26PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

Quieting my mind takes so much patience. As with everything else, practice and wait for it to happen. Thanks.

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