Monday, October 3, 2011

Meditation Techniques

Here is a very short summary of the meditation techniques that I've been learning. Anyone with any belief or even with no belief at all can benefit from these techniques to cope with our stressful life. It's quite simple and you can do it almost anytime and for any length of time that suits you.

In Buddhism, meditation is classified into 2 forms:-

  • Samatha (Concentration Meditation)
    • Objective:To bring your mind to a state of peace and happiness.
    • How: Gently concentrate on anything that you like and makes you feel calm, for example, praying, breathing, walking, jogging, weight lifting, earth, water, air, fire, colour, coffee, chocolate, pencil, whiteboard, kindness, forgiveness, etc.
  • Vipassana (Insight Meditation)
    • Objective: To let go of it all by training your mind to see things as they really are without trying to change anything. This is a core practice in Buddhism. However, Samatha should also be practiced as they support each other.
    • How:
      • Be mindful of the current state of your body and mind (just observe it without judging anything as if you are someone else). For example,
        • As you breathe in, be mindful that you're breathing in.
        • As you breathe out, be mindful that you're breathing out.
        • As you sit, be mindful that you're sitting.
        • As you stand, be mindful that you're standing.
        • As you walk, be mindful that you're walking.
        • As you're happy, be mindful that you're happy.
        • As you're sad, be mindful that you're sad.
        • As you're angry, be mindful that you're angry.
      • Realise their impermanence.
  • Always start by relaxing your body first before doing any routine meditation session (a few mental body scans are helpful).
  • Don't try to do meditation while you're thinking for your work. If your mindfulness is strong enough, notice a gap between your thoughts instead. You can also do meditation while you're drinking water or coffee, stretching, or walking, etc.
  • Don't force yourself too much. Find your own middle way.
  • Do it with low or no expectation.
  • It's normal that one day you find your meditation is good, the other day bad. Just keep doing it.
  • I've found alcohol has a negative effect on my meditation but it doesn't mean that people who drink cannot do meditation.

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