During mindfulness meditation practice, we try to maintain an attitude of equanimity towards our sensory experience. This attitude can also be described Continue reading
For most of us, before we begin meditation practice, the only time in our lives when we are totally still is when we are going to sleep. So sometimes when we sit down to meditate our bodies think “Stillness? Must be time to sleep.” So sleepiness is to be expected when beginning with meditation.
The first thing to try Continue reading
Maybe. But probably not. While hiking, playing with your pet, exercising, painting and so on CAN be an exercise in mindfulness, in reality it very rarely is. While many activities can be relaxing or diverting, Continue reading
Absolutely. Most of us have spent the better part of a lifetime allowing our attention to wander freely. This habitual wandering becomes apparent when we first start to bring some intention to awareness. This is not a problem. Continue reading
No. Although most major world religions have historically incorporated some type of meditation practice, and the techniques of mindfulness meditation derive primarily from Continue reading
The great benefit of mindfulness meditation is not in providing temporary symptomatic relief from bouts of tension. It is not a relaxation exercise. Mindfulness meditation, practiced diligently, is a transformative endeavor. Continue reading
Not at all. The last thing we want to do is create more internal struggle by having a fist fight with our own thinking processes. Instead, we gradually build our concentration power so that we can ignore thinking processes as we like and focus on whatever sensory experience we wish. It may be the case from time to time that thinking processes will quiet down or even vanish for a bit. That’s fine, but it is not the goal nor is it necessary to obtain all the benefits from meditation practice.
No. The posture you choose for your meditation practice should allow you to remain both alert and relaxed, but that can be achieved sitting in a chair just as well as sitting with crossed legs on a cushion. It is even possible to practice while lying down, but the risk of falling asleep is great and so it is not the best choice for most beginners unless they have physical problems that prevent sitting upright.
Some medical conditions require special accommodations and you should by all means make the needed adjustments, including practicing in a supine position if needed.
But the reality is that if you sit still long enough in ANY posture, discomfort will arise. In my classes it is always acceptable to change your posture to relieve pain. Standing in place for a few minutes Continue reading