How You Can Start to Meditate in 3 Simple Steps
So, here’s the thing on my mind. I was about to start a meditation course this weekend, but it really seems like it won’t happen yet, but I told myself that at least I will write about it just to pull my thoughts together.
Ever since I am about to have my final exam from buddhism on The Dharma Gate Buddhist College at Budapest, I decided to start through the story of the whole thing. Whenever you will start to meditate, it will be a whole interesting story anyway, so I think its a great first step.
First of all, Gauthama Siddharta started to practice because of the shocking realization of all the horrible things happen in the world. At first, it sounds like something pretty obvious, isn’t? But let’s give it a second shot. To me, these moments are holding very important symbolic meaning. This meaning is nothing else than the moment of growing up. Didn’t you ever had the very disturbing thought that you are alone against all the suffering in the world? Gautama had it, too. After this, he started to look for something which might help him to live with this, to accept and evolve from it.
That’s what we’re looking for in our adulthood, when we search for community, deeper meanings and interworld connections. We very often forget about that our feelings are funcitoning as a sensing organ, and like any other organ, needs attiention and understanding. We analyse ourselves, we moralize, or just trying to forget about that deep inside we are all vulnerable, broken beings with wounds we’re not eager to work with. All we sense in everyday moments that we feel awful for some reason. We get nervous when we think we seem week or not clever enough.
First step: go out and find someone to discuss it.
If you are really familiar with this kind of moments, I suggest you to go, and reach for somebody to talk about it. It can be a forum, and old friend, or somebody completely new. Gautama did the same thing: he just took a deep breath, and went out to the wilderness, leaving everything behind. It was extremely dangerous, but he had to do it, because no one around him would understand how he felt. So, he reached for masters, learned different practices. That’s what you should do, too. What I learnt that there is no instant soltion out there especially ment for you. You have to find out for yourself. Gautama, as an Enlightened Buddha, stressed this element a lot.
Second step: find a community.
When you talked, and you feel like you have enough curiosity and determination to really give it a shot, go to a community and try out different ways.
I know, I know, it sound a little scary. What if they are too high in the clouds for me, you ask. If you don’t feel good, leave! Don’t worry, there will be other opportunities. You know, I have a good reason why I say that. To start alone is incredibly hard and often leads you nowhere. Meditation is not just about sitting in one place, trying to not think (which is, by the way, impossible), it is about discussion, experience. Sharing it, talk about it and debate — it is practice, too. That’s why Gautama, as he decided to teach, searched for an existing community (the five monks whom he had been living with), and continued to live in one (the buddhist comminty is called a sangha) till the end of his life. Sometimes of course he took a break, but otherwise, he knew really well, that humans learn and grow by exchanging. Also, it is far more easy to concentrate with a group, you will be surprised by the energy it can give you compared to the times you practice alone.
Third step: make little goals, create a habit.
Third step is to start to meditate anywhere. It is really simple, just focus on your breath, or just one of your senses for a couple of seconds. This will give you little successes and makes you value the present more. Just do not overthink it, do not want to feel more than what you actually can. Your goal is ultimately not to reach Enlightment. If you put up such an unapproachable goal, you will find yourself stress out about the practice too, and its NOT the POINT of it.
The point is to release yourself from pain and suffering. Nothing more, and nothing less. Oh, you have to work for it, like you have to work for those abs or toned legs. As during a workout, you will reach and feel change when you come accross your predictions and your comfort zone. But keep up! Its worth it. Really, really worth it.
That’s my thing for the day. I’m so happy I did this! Hope I could give you some practical, easy tips. Treat yourself with a smile, you deserve it. :) Until next time!