Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by panthere, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. panthere

    panthere Member

    Hi everyone! I am trying to learn ways to relax and I thought meditation would be a great way. However, I do have a problem sitting still, so i definitely need some outside help. Does any one know any good books/videos on how to do it? Is there a good website?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    I have been meditating for quite a while now and I do it a little differently from the way Jam (Hi Jam:eek:) does it.

    I can't push thoughts out of my head. If I get into a battle with my thoughts, they win. However, they seldom win now because I have learned how to watch them and let them go. That's the bottom line - learning to watch your thoughts, become familiar with the way they work, watch and practice letting them go. Meditation gives you a measure of control over your thoughts which is a great thing to have.

    I also think that 30 to 40 minutes of meditation is too much at first. If you can do it, go for it, but if you can't, no worries. If you "meditated" for only 2 minutes a day, it would change you. 10 minutes a day would change you more and faster... but even 1 or 2 minutes when you can, changes everything.

    I also allow myself to lie down while meditating although, strictly speaking, this is discouraged because it encourages sleepiness. I also allow myself to fall asleep when I meditate at the end of the day in bed. There are those for whom "sitting" is a huge part of their practice but it needn't be. You can meditate, sitting, lying down, walking... a straight back allows more room for your lungs to expand but meditation is not about deep breathing.

    I usually silently repeat "Om mani padme hum" as my mantra with the breath but anything meaningful to you will work. I sometimes use the word: compassion, which works well for me, too.

    One purpose of the mantra, though not the most important one, is to give the brain one more thing to do. If you are consciously generating your mantra, you will be generating less random stuff. Your brain will be doing what you want it to do. That's what you get when you meditate - a well trained brain which is waaaay easier to live with.

    So, one simply lightly closes ones eyes (or not if walking meditation :eek:) and begins to focus on the breath. Feel the breath as it passes your nostrils, and sweeps down into your lungs, feel your belly move up to make room, slowly let it out again and really feel the changes in your body brought about by your breath. Pay close, close attention to the breath.

    You will get distracted. Most get distracted very quickly. One can easily get distracted during the first breath: Air moving past nostrils, air moving... moving, yep I should really move, the rent is more than I can afford... what?! Damn, didn't even notice I was not paying attention to my breath! I'll never do this! I am the one person in the world who will never, ever be able to meditate.

    This is perfect! It is an utterly splendid beginning. Without the distraction you could not meditate. Meditation is really, unless and until one is fully Buddha, an act of returning.

    So, you get all distracted and caught up in thoughts which are hardly ever pleasant musings and you gently return your attention to the breath. It all happens in the returning. Never despair that you were distracted and had to return. Returning is wonderful. Returning is where it all happens!

    So, you return your attention to the breath and your mantra and maybe you get through two breaths this time or six or whatever. And, each time you are distracted, you kindly and gently return and remember that it is in the returning that the change happens.

    You are learning to let go of thoughts that one usually allows to run riot. In fact one usually runs after them creating the inner riot. So, when distracted one is simply grateful to have another opportunity to let go... let go of the tyrannical thought... and return attention to the breath which is happening only in the present moment. So, we return to the present moment -- ahhh, it's ok here, I can rest.

    Do what you can tolerate. If you can only manage this for 2 minutes, do it for two minutes whenever you think of it. You might end up doing 2 minutes 10 times in a day without suffering too much over it. Or just once, whatever. More works better but sometimes we need to cut ourselves some slack and sometimes we can't make ourselves do something without proof. Starting where you are and doing as much as you can is just fine.

    So, after a little while you begin to notice that there is space around your thoughts. What seemed a non-stop rush of unruly and out of control thinking slows down so that one is aware of space around and between thoughts which is calm and right now and totally ok. Who knew?!

    As you practice, you find that space allows you to have a different relationship with things that happen. We usually react to stimuli without much mindfulness, we just reACT. When you meditate for a while you begin to find yourself responding... slowly, with awareness, without reflexive judgment, mindfully. So, quite aside from simply learning to chill, one learns to respond instread of react. Big bonus!

    Your brain is an organ designed to generate thoughts. Don't bother trying to make it a blank. Just don't let the thoughts hook you. Let the thoughts drift away - don't grab at them or follow them or get seduced by them. Just practice focusing all your attention on your breath and letting everything else go... float away, only breath and an undeniable sense that everything is ok after all.

    And, when you get totally distracted and forget you were supposed to be attending only to your breath, be grateful! That's just what you need to practice! It's not wrong! It's perfect!

    I will not reread this because I'm pretty sure it's totally scrambled. Meditation does not get rid of fog, unfortunately, but it does make withstanding the effects of fog much, much easier.

    I guess it also encourages one to inflict one's fog upon others :eek:)

    Breathe, smile and go slowly

  3. skyeone

    skyeone New Member

    Hi Pan,

    I can't really say much about books/videos or websites for meditation, but what I've found works for me is quite simple really. I lie in a hot bath full of mineral salts while listening to some Solitude relaxation cd's with the only lighting being from lavendar scented (lavendar is great for relaxation) candles. I just let my mind wander, my body relaxes beautifully and I feel much better afterwards.

    I hope someone else comes in with how to actually meditate, 'cause I'd like to learn how as well.

  4. SolSerenade

    SolSerenade New Member

    for meditation and mindfulness is:

    Present Moment, Wonderful Moment: Mindfulness Verses for Daily Living by Thich Nhat Hanh

  5. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    Pranayama! Such a wonderful practice! And, your description was so lovely and light.


    PS Cate had lots of good suggestions too. There are tons of places on the www to get guidance.

    There is also a yahoo group for meditators with ME called Breathing Space. Check it out.

    Oh, and, Thich Nhat Hahn is fantastic: smile, breathe, go slowly.

    As is Pema Chodron who is a world respected Buddhist nun and teacher who happens to have ME. She has written many very helpful books which include instructions for meditation.

    [This Message was Edited on 01/11/2009]
  6. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    Does anyone do alternative nostril breathing? I would think this might be good for fog but, for some strange reason, I've never tested it. Can't imagine why not! How strange.

    It has been proven that it stimulates each side of the brain in turn and gets the electricity flowing. I'd like to turn on my lights. Nadi Sodhana means to clear the channels or something like that.

    I'd love to hear from anyone who uses it.


    [This Message was Edited on 01/12/2009]
  7. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    You do hold your nostrils!

    You're the only other person I've ever encountered who thought they were supposed to do it without. (Very happy to meet you :eek:)

    I'm lauging at us - really hope you don't mind! I practiced and practiced and practiced and can now do alternate nostril breathing without holding them which has become a bit of a parlor trick because it's not necessary.

    You block the right nostril with your right thumb and breathe in to the count of 4. Then, you unblock the right and block the left with your ring and pinky and exhale. (I use only my thumb and index finger - even when I get it right, I get it wrong :eek:) With left nostril still blocked, you breathe in through the right, block, out through the left. I'm so confused.

    Anyway, you use your fingers but I'm so delighted to find someone else who thought you had to do it all with your mind.

    Namaste with delight,
  8. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    I, too, have a tendency to make everything much harder than it need be. I think you hit the nail on the head with that observation. I don't know about you but I think I can learn something important from this revelation... thank you!

    I don't see colours but did generate the light in the head (can't remember what it's called) which was a big surprise. I had never even heard of the light in the head. Unfortunately, although the light was in my head, my eyes appeared to react as if it were outside and it was very uncomfortable. I would have to open my eyes because the light was too bright. Such interesting stuff happens when you meditate.

    I'm going to try colours... soft colours!

    To all those who may fear this is getting a bit complicated, it needn't. At it's heart you are simply practicing controlling your thoughts so that they don't run riot dragging you after them. The centred, calm, mindful state you generate promotes a centred, calm, mindful life. One can just do that which is pretty fantastic.

    with metta to all,

    ETA Very interesting re your way of unstuffing your nose. I have been unsuccessful in this but now that I know it's possible I will try again.

    I do something similar with hiccoughs. I imagine my diaphragm (spasms of the diaphragm cause hiccoughs) rising and falling smoothly. I can usually stop them right away but sometimes I hic a couple more times. I can also cure others by talking them through the drill but there is a side effect: they often fall asleep.

    [This Message was Edited on 01/12/2009]
  9. Smurfette17

    Smurfette17 New Member

    I have been using the book and CD by Kabat-Zinn (The Mindful Way Through Depression). I'm new to meditation, but this is working quite well for me, especially the body scan. It's very helpful to have a CD to follow along.
  10. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Panthere, Hi All,

    I've posted a bit in the past about singing HU, which works very well for me. The following is a brief description of the HU in a booklet entitled "HU - The Most Beautiful Prayer" (68 pages) by Harold Klemp.

    HU - The Most Beautiful Prayer

    "If you want to lift yourself to a higher state of consciousness - so that the political issues, the family issues, the social issues of the day do not throw you out of balance, so that you can find a happier, more contented life while you're living here - sing HU, the most beautiful prayer.

    Our mother's heartbeat is one of the first sounds we experience in this world, and then comes her voice. When she sings a lullaby, it's a carrier for love to her child. In a similar way HU, the most beautiful prayer, is a carrier of love between you and God. Author Harold Klemp says, 'The pure prayer to God is simply a song of love to the Creator. And the best one I know is the song of HU." Anyone can sing HU regardless of age, background, or religion. HU, the most beautiful prayer, is a gift to the world. It's a gift to you."

    Eckankar has a web page which has more information about the HU. It is located at:

    Some of the young people in Eckankar (teens) made a video about singing HU and posted it on youtube. It's located at:

    Best to you as you search for something that works really well for you.

    Wayne[This Message was Edited on 01/13/2009]
  11. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    I haven't looked at the link you posted yet but I find what you have written so interesting!

    The "hum" part of Om mani padme hum is pronounced hoom. And it is a very important sound much as you describe. I wonder if it's the same sound.

    I don't know anything about Eckankar. I always get really excited when I hit a pocket of personal ignorance (so I get excited a lot:eek:) and I'm looking forward to learning about HU.


    [This Message was Edited on 01/13/2009]
  12. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    I just heard of this great CD called "Relax RX" by Dr. Steven Gurgevich. It's at Sounds True and was recommended by Mary Shomon, the thyroid health advocate. I haven't heard it myself, but it looks really good.

    I guess it is self-hypnosis rather than meditation, technically. But self-hypnosis CDs are very relaxing and fun to do.


  13. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi All,

    Thought I'd send along this link to a YouTube video. It features a song where HU is sung throughout.

    There's also a number of sketches in this video of some of the ECK Masters. These Masters are primarily responsible for bringing HU to the attention of the world at this time; in a historical perspective, a relatively rare occurrence.

    And if you enjoy the first video, you might want to check out the following video as well:

    Best to All, Wayne
  14. Debra49659

    Debra49659 New Member

    Thanks panthere for this a novice to mediation I too have so much to learn...and I have. I just wanted to add that a few posts on similar topics have been posted on the spiritual message boards along with some beautiful words of wisdom. Thanks to Rafiki for posting them...did springwater post some too?? Anyhoo...good luck on your quest:)