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How Do You Meditate? Good Question

Posted by Fred Tracy February 25th, 2011 17 Comments




girl meditating in field

I noticed that a lot of people have this question. How does one meditate? Since my new 30 day trial is all about meditation, I figure I can provide some valuable input on that question. However, more important than how to meditate, is why you should meditate in the first place.

Why Choose to Meditate?

Meditation is like training yourself to see the world in a new way. When you meditate, your mind relaxes and you stop identifying with your thoughts. You reach a higher level of awareness. I will often notice things I never did before after meditation. It’s a way of escaping your conditioned mind and connecting with your true self. I also notice drastically increased sensitivity to beauty. It’s like I can see some sort of hidden essence in things that I couldn’t see before.

The best thing about meditation is that it doesn’t require anything external to work. It’s completely internal, and thus anyone can do it. The heightened state of awareness is already available inside all of us. I find that when I meditate I am completely enthralled with even the most mundane of things. It’s like being a child again. This tells me that any time I’m bored or agitated, it isn’t the external world that’s causing a problem. It’s my internal state of awareness.

With a practice like meditation available to us, there isn’t an excuse to be bored or antsy. Anytime you feel that anxious urge to just do something, just meditate. You conquer that feeling by going through it, rather than looking for ways to go around it. Meditation is a practice that allows you to deepen your state of mind, which deepens your interactions with everything around you.

Expanding Your Consciousness

Reality is a lot like the visible light spectrum. You have reds, yellows, and blues, but you also have every imaginable combination thereof, each with a unique hue and place on the spectrum. Consciousness is the thing that allows you to perceive that reality, and those colors. The quality of your consciousness will determine the vividness and brilliance of everything you come into contact with.

Most people tend to walk around at an extremely subdued level of consciousness. Simple colorblindness wouldn’t describe it. It’s more akin to being like a dog and only seeing in black and white. Few people achieve the mental clarity to really see the colors around them, let alone to notice the prismatic glory of each and every hue as it passes before them. I’m definitely guilty of this one.

Luckily, I found meditation. I was able to have some pretty significant expansions of consciousness, and though they only lasted a short time, it was amazing. Check out my article about The Power of Now if you want to read some of my stories. Meditation is one of the best tools for expanding your consciousness.

What the Heck Does Color Have to do With Meditation?

It’s hard to explain a jump in awareness to someone who has never experienced it before. The best I can do is give examples, and hope you’ll be impressed enough to try it for yourself.

Your level of consciousness is a lot like a TV. Most people live through a tiny, black-and-white 1920′s television version of reality. Sure, it works, but it’s pretty bleak and abysmal. Stuff is happening around you, but you’re not really that concerned about it. You’ll pay attention if you’re bored, but you’ll still be bored. Life is uninspiring, although you’ll endure it because you have to.

Some of us have started meditating – or maybe we were born lucky – and have made the switch to color, though it’s still a small screen, and sometimes the antenna messes up. Things are looking up though, that’s for sure. There’s more channels than before, and the addition of color is a pretty nice thing. What will people come up with next? Well, through meditation and living through sound principles, you get the..

1080p, 60″ plasma HDTV mode of consciousness. This is the bad boy that I’m interested in. I want to hear a pen drop in a classroom and have the resultant clink, clink leave me in awe. I want to see a single drop of rain and be reminded of the glory and ineffable awesomeness inherent in all life. Now, that is living. Ya dig? ;)

That’s what meditation does. It enhances your reality a billion-fold. That’s why I chose it for my 30 day trial. I actually started it on Monday, the 25th, and I’ve already had some great experiences. I’ve been journaling and I recommend you do each time too. It can be hard to remember what that peak of awareness is like when you come down, so let your words be an anchor to remind you to come back to that state often.

Also, don’t worry about it if you’re new to meditation, it’s really simple. I’m going to show you how right now.

How Do I Meditate?

You can meditate for all sorts of things. You can meditate on death, you can meditate to find your best self, and you can even meditate to better channel your thoughts to change reality. However, those things aren’t really meditation.  They use meditate to clear the mind, then they go do something else. Here I’m just going to focus on meditation itself.

Meditation is nothing other than the simple act of being, a.k.a. existing. I’m talking about that easy, flowing feeling you had when you were a kid. The kind of mindset that doesn’t worry about anything because you’re completely focused and complete in the present moment. The goal of meditation is to find that mental state again. By the way, most folks call this mindfulness meditation, just so you know the vernacular.

Here’s a step-by-step guide showing you how to meditate.

1. Find a good spot. It should be a place free from interruptions and too much noise.
2. Get comfortable! You don’t have to sit in the full lotus position or anything fancy. Remember sitting criss cross applesauce in kindergarten? That works great. Some people close their eyes, others leave them slightly open. I find the latter approach works better for me.
3. Focus on your breathing. Take long, deep breaths through your nose. Notice every sensation. Hear and feel yourself breathe.
4. Avoid following and identifying with thoughts.Thoughts can be very persuasive. They want us to follow them wherever they go. The key to meditating properly is to recognize your thoughts, but don’t follow them. That means you simply watch them. You witness their coming, and their passing. During meditation, you exist somewhere out of that thought stream. It’s like you’re able to look down upon it from the outside and observe. This helps me a lot when I keep getting distracted by thought patterns. Imagine yourself on the outside looking in.

Meditation is simple!

That’s all there is to it. It’s exactly what I’m going to be doing on my 30 day trial. I chose to meditate each day for 15 minutes. I simply find a comfortable place to sit, and focus on my breathing while witnessing – but not identifying with – my thoughts. It puts me at peace right away. After an especially good session of meditation I’ll often open my eyes and go “Wow.” The shift in awareness is huge. Everything looks beautiful when you’re in the right state of mind. For this reason I recommend you hang out around nature when you meditate. Believe me, it’s powerful.

That’s it for now. I hope I’ve sufficiently answered the question, “how do you meditate?” By the way, for those who already meditate, I’d like to ask you the same thing: how do you meditate? Leave me a comment below. :)

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17 Responses so far.

  1. Broderick says:

    Normally I lay down and meditate. I just wait until all the thought noise dies down…then it’s all gravy. When I’m done, I go “Wow” too lol.

    I’m interested to see how your trial goes man.

    • Fred Tracy says:

      Haha. :)

      Tonight was a little more difficult to do because of stress but I did it nonetheless. Man, I bet I only got about 30 seconds of real, intense meditation done in those 15 minutes, but it led to such a great feeling of peace. I can’t wait to get good enough at it that I can do it right the entire time.

      • Chris says:

        Very clear, well spoken article Fred. Don’t worry if you were stressed during meditation. It is actually in states where we can’t settle down that meditation is the most useful. Anyone can sit quietly when everything is perfect. To be able to sit quietly and observe the mind and body struggle with being at ease is where the real magic happens.

        • Fred Tracy says:

          Thanks, Chris. I need to meditate more today than yesterday! Seems that I chose to do this trial at this time for a reason. I think I’ll get better over time. I’m shooting for the ability to, for example, be under intense stress and realize “whoa, this is silly” and pause for a few moments and generate enough awareness to overcome it all.

          I actually had a dream like that once. I was just getting into all the inner peace stuff, and there wasn’t a LOT of tension in the dream, but there was some, and all of a sudden it’s like the dream became lucid, and I felt this huge “no more!” surge come out of me, rippling and crashing into everything around me. It woke me up right away. Pretty crazy.

  2. Sara says:

    spot – trampoline =)
    I always focus on YOUR breathing, lol. It is a bit easier than focusing on my own or trying to not think of things right away.

  3. Pavi says:

    In my quest for meditation I was once advised that meditation is a state of waiting.
    Over all concept is:
    Basically I dont know what I am waiting on, the thoughts that come through the mind are not that important at that moment as I am waiting on something else far more important. When the thoughts drag me away my consciousness will hint that I am waiting so I then try to bring my attention back to the breath and get back to waiting.

    I am not a regular but every time when I approach meditation as a state of waiting I find it easier to sit through the entire duration. How do you like this approach?

  4. Justin says:

    Meditation is extremely valuable when properly done, thanks for reminding me. Criss cross applesauce in Kindergarten, never heard of that one before. Maybe I will meditate on that phrase next time.

  5. [...] On this day, I can find a quiet place and meditate 10 minutes [...]

  6. [...] is about ACCEPTING all those crazy thoughts, and disidentifying from them. Check out my article here for a quick guide, but keep searching online. The second, and most important thing you need to do [...]

  7. Kelly Phillips says:

    Meditation takes time to get good at like anything else. I always focus on my breathing and keep my mind clear of any other thoughts. Some thoughts come and go but I always try to come back to the now. Meditation makes me think of a cat when it sits perfectly still with it’s eyes closed. They’re not sleeping or doing anything, they’re are just being completely content at that moment.

    You oughta try meditating by laying down after an intense workout. I took yoga last semester at my school and the last few minutes of each class we laid flat on our backs with our eyes closed, focusing on our breathing. It’s called corpse pose in yoga terms. It is incredibly relaxing, especially after your entire body goes through all sorts of tension. There was never enough time for it though. I would imagine myself melting into the ground or laying in an elevator that’s moving up. The melting seems to work a bit better. You should give it a try!

    • Fred Tracy says:

      Very true about meditation taking time to get good!

      I will definitely try meditating laying down after exercising. I often have a lot of periods of “no mind” after moving around vigorously, so I can see meditation compounding that effect.

      Thanks for the comments Kelly. :)

  8. Heather says:

    I am trying to incorporate more meditation into my life as well. I first tried the same method as you, which did work after I was able to stop thinking about everything I needed to get done, but then I tried guided meditations.

    This lady at meditation oasis has a nice voice, and a plethora of topics for meditation on her podcast:

    http://www.meditationoasis.com/podcast/listen-to-podcast/

    I know you said you would rather just sit in silence, but some of her podcasts just have music after the talking, and that’s when my magic happens. After she stops talking. By that point, I’ve released my thoughts.

    Just thought I’d share :)

    • Fred Tracy says:

      Hey Heather, I’ve done guided meditation a couple of times and found it to be really beneficial. I’ll give the lady at the oasis a chance. Thanks for the tip. :)


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