How do you learn to meditate ??

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by TwinMa, May 7, 2006.

  1. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    I see many posts on how meditation really helps people. It seems to help with relaxation, pain reduction, sleep improvement, general sense of well being, etc.

    For those of you who DO meditate, I have three questions:

    1) What benefits do you see from meditation?

    2) How often do you do it? (and how long does it take?)

    3) The big question: How did you start? Where did you learn to meditate? Classes, CD's, books? Any help would be appreciated!
  2. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member


    For me, books were the best. Your local library more than likely has them. Basically, some are all the same but put in different words.

    It is a good way to get started.

  3. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Well, I've been meditating for about 45 years, now, and I think it has really helped me. Although it is good to remember that one is always human, and will always have human frailties.

    Here's how I would answer your questions:
    1. The benefits of meditation are immeasureable. It has helped me with stress, anger, sadness, letting go, forgiveness, and my health. It has also helped me know myself better, so that I can start to go past negative things in my life.

    2. I meditate almost daily, and it takes anhywhere from 5 minutes to an hour. I meditate for different lengths of time, depending on circumstances. Usually, it is for about 20 minutes.

    3. How to learn? Well, I think the best way is by personal instruction. But, not everyone has access to a teacher or a group, so other ways must be used. There are many books and tapes that help. Robert Gass has a tape called "Opening the Heart". It has a guided meditation on one side, and some simple hymns on the other. It is non-denominational.
    Thich Nhat Hanh has several recordings out on meditation, as well as books. He is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who is known for his work for peace. His ways are simple and yet profound, and do not conflict with any other religion.. He teaches a breathng meditation, in which one focuses on the breath going in and out, and thinks words such as: "Beathing in I am peaceful, breathing out I smile". Then as one relaxes further, one just keeps the idea of: "peace - - - smile: in mind.

    Also, just sittiing quietly, listening to instrumental music that is soft and quiet,(or sitting in silence) with the intention of being in the presence of God,and keeping the mnd on that, is called "Centering Meditation". It is very healing to both body and spirit.

    With all of these types of meditation, the idea is to focus on somethng and gently turn away from distracting thoughts, which will always come. They are neither good nor bad, they just are. There is no such thing as a good or bad meditation. One just does it, and the benefits come. Also, one gets to know one's self and grow in peace, too. One big aim is to grow in compassion towards oneself, and then spread that compassion to others.

    Good luck, have fun.
    [This Message was Edited on 05/07/2006]
  4. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Your explanation is beautiful.I thank you, too.
  5. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    NyroFan - I am planning on going to the library today, so I'll see what they have on meditation.

    Adl123 - Thank you for your insights. You certainly have been meditating a long time! I will see if my library has any of the references you made. Just reading your post made me feel calmer!

    Stormyskye - Beautiful explanation! I really feel that this could be one of my "puzzle pieces". I like your description of the chatter that goes on in one's mind. I definitely have my share of that! I also like the idea of being better able to listen to one's body. Kind of a letting go of focusing on the symptoms, yet keying in on them at the same time. Almost a paradox, but I understand what you mean.

    dncnfngers - I will check out that website. Listening to a CD sounds useful.

    I look forward to finding out more about meditation.

    [This Message was Edited on 05/07/2006]
  6. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    You just need a quiet place in your life.

    To set aside just ten minutes a day with no phones, electrical humming etc. Find some quiet place and say that is my ten minutes of calm.


    Love Anne C
  7. Hope4Sofia

    Hope4Sofia New Member

    I have just begun to meditate. I do find it helpful.

    There are a lot of different methods but they all seem to have basic similarities like with breathing and calming your thoughts. Atmosphere can also make a difference.

    I started by reading different philosophies. One that I loved was a somewhat westernized version of ZEN.

    I loved the book "Idiot's Guided to Zen Living".

    It is such a great way to live your life and extremely helpful in dealing with FM.

    I also started going to yoga classes but not the strenuous ones.

    One class is just guided meditation and it has been wonderful.

    Another is restorative Yoga which is just focused on helping your body to heal itself.

    Both focus on meditation. I find it very helpful as it is done in a dark temperature controlled room with a lot of blankets and pillows - great atmosphere!

    Just be patient with yourself. Start small and allow youself to find what works for you. You want to find peace and comfort in it.


  8. Hope4Sofia

    Hope4Sofia New Member

    I found that very helpful! Thank you.

    I also read a similar practice but when your mind wanders you just gently and compassionately say, "thinking" and it brings you back to the quiet again.

    I love the animal thing. I actually have a turtle - I wonder what he would do. Why do you think animals react that way? Very interesting.

  9. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    Cromwell, hope4sofia, 4everkid - Thank you all so much!

    Cromwell - Your "10 minutes a day" of peace is simple and do-able. Sometimes simple is very good.

    hope4sofia - Those were good descriptions of the various kinds of yoga and meditation. I guess I knew there were different kinds, but it always helps to see them listed. The last yoga class I took left me sore for two weeks! I definitely need a gentle yoga.

    4everkid - That was an awesome description of transcendental meditation! Did you write that all out yourself? You explained it very well!! Now I just need to come up with a mantra!

    When I think of mantras, I always think of an old Woody Allen movie (can't remember which one). The setting is a very cool party, and Jeff Goldblum is in a hallway making a phone call. He says "Yeah, Hi, I forgot my mantra." Makes me laugh every time!

    Guess I gotta get me one I won't forget!

    [This Message was Edited on 05/07/2006]
  10. sues1

    sues1 New Member

    Once you have the steps.......make a tape of your own to listen to as you meditate.....
    Talk in a low slow way.........very relaxing....examples:

    Count 10 -9- 8 (etc.) at 1 you are getting more relaxed and at peace.....then relax your muscles one at a time.....head....face......neck.....etc.....

    Feel the beach warm sand....the sun.......the breeze is ever so soft as it gently touches you......Etc.

    Lots of paulses and stretches between each one....

    It lets you relax even more and not think of what to do next....just go with the flow of the tape.....

  11. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    The turtle response is interesting.

    I have 2 dogs and a cat. Whenever I meditate, they all gather around me and go to sleep. They are careful not to boher me, except for the cat, who will sometimes settle on my lap. He usually remains at a respectful distance.

    I guess like people, all animals are different.:)


  12. sleepyinlalaland

    sleepyinlalaland New Member

    Thanks for this synopsis of TM. I have one it really preferable to keep one's feet on the floor? I really am most comfortable and relaxed in the legs-folded pose (lotus?), as sitting in conventional chairs places extra stress on my back.

    But I have great respect for the techniques of TM, and so wonder if the feet-on-floor is truly preferable. I realize that as far as meditation is concerned comfort may not be everything (after all, we must TRANSCEND discomfort). Interested if you have further input on this position.

    To Twinma: thanks also for the post. What seems most simple really is not, so I appreciate that you posed the question!
  13. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    I did it with tapes when I first started.But found that I needed to be able to do it at times when I wasnt around the tapes .
    I get in a quite room lights low and start to think about memories of sun bathing .I'll remember how the sun would warm my skin from toes to head.Then I'll lesson and hear the birds and think about nature and laying in the grass.All on a sunny day.I'll think about the clouds and the shapes like when I was a child laying in the grass.
    I also can meditate sometimes by looseing myself in a beautiful painting.My favorites are of flower gardens.
    I also have a painting of a castle in germany on a hill and I look at it and again I'll remember being there in person and how beautiful it was.For me I find the warmth of the sun very calming or water running, anything about the sounds of nature brings me into a peaceful state.
    I have memories of the smells in our garden when I was a child and I enjoy thinking about that.
    This helps me because I have pain 24-7 so if I can take my mind somewhere that I remember was pleasent then for those few mins I am not thinking about my pain.I guess thats why I remember how good the sun felt on my skin.
    I hope this helps you in your search for help