Saturday, 31 March 2012

Starting to Meditate

There are many different kinds of meditation, with many different purposes.  Some people use it as the end itself, rather than a means to an end; they simply enjoy the meditative state.  Others use it for spiritual purposes, whether they be Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, another religion, or even a humanistic spiritual end.  Some wish to achieve out-of-body states, acquire paranormal powers, or use their meditation for other occult purposes.  Some just want to get the health benefits that come from a period of relaxation and meditation.  Yet others simply want to learn to relax and focus better so they can achieve their goals.  No matter what aspect of self-development attracts you, it is very likely that using meditation will help you achieve your goals more rapidly and more effectively.

Learning to meditate properly is not, however, something you can simply pick up and try and get instant results. As with any other worthwhile skill, you have to be prepared to practise regularly.  You have to be willing to suspend any disbelief, make meditation a regular habit, and do it properly not half-heartedly.

Imagine you were hoping to learn to play the piano.  You had never played any keyboard instrument before, so you were starting as a complete beginner.  This has real meaning for me, as I received an electric keyboard as a Christmas present and had never played any kind of keyboard before - unless you count my computer keyboard!  I could have acted like an overgrown child, tried playing a few notes, realised what came out was not music, and given up in disgust.  I could have reacted by saying that I had tried playing it and that it was clear nobody could possibly make any beautiful sounds come out of such an instrument.  That Chopin and Rachmaninov were deceiving us and that no keyboard or piano could make sounds like those we hear in their beautiful preludes and concertos.  Or I could have said that I needed a good piano teacher and that there was no point doing anything until I found one.  But that is not how I reacted.  Instead, I resolved to practise a little every day.  To make just a slight improvement each day, until with regular practice I could produce some music which sounded beautiful to me and which gave me pleasure to play.  And that is exactly what I did.  Well, not every day.  Sometimes I let several days slip without practising because I am too busy.  When that happens I don't give up and say "That's it!  I have broken my promise to myself to practise every day so now I have failed!"; I just shrug my shoulders and try to find time to practise the following day.  And slowly but surely I have found I am starting to play familiar pieces of music that I actually enjoy hearing.  Not Chopin or Rachmaninov yet, but that will come.

What has all that got to do with regular meditation practice?  Everything!  Most people who try meditating, or most other practices in the personal development area for that matter, only try it a few times - or maybe even only once - find it hasn't made any difference, and then give up and say it doesn't work!  Just like the grown spoiled child who tries playing on a keyboard for the first time, finds what comes out is dissonant rather than harmonic, and says the instrument is no good and will never produce a lovely sound.

I strongly recommend you try putting aside a few minutes every day to meditate.  Don't worry too much about whether or not you know exactly how to do it - just do it anyway.  Yes, spend a little time researching on the net (or even in your library or local bookshop) to find out what different types of meditation are around, and which ones seem most comfortable to you.  But don't expect to become an expert in forms of meditation before you begin.  If you start out with that attitude you will never actually begin at all.  Just put the time aside and do it anyway.  Get into a regular habit.  Gradually, just as I noticed nice melodies and harmonies appearing as I struggled to learn the keyboard you will find the benefits of your regular meditation appearing too.  And just as I have started to study a little more seriously so I learn to play better, so you can study the techniques of meditation to improve what you are already doing and what is already benefiting you.

I will be posting further articles on meditation, and aids to meditation, from time to time.  You will even find some meditation aids amongst the products advertised through the various banners surrounding my blog - for example Isochiral Music, or Subliminal Messages.  By all means have a browse, and if something really appeals then go ahead and get it.  But don't wait for those further articles, and don't wait to see whether anything advertised here is really for you.  Start now, today, with even just a few minutes of relaxation and meditation.  Keep it up and I think you will be suprised at just how much of a difference it can make to your life.

Original article by Graham Dragon


  1. nothing is more life-transforming than a meditation practice ..

  2. I absolutely love this article! It's very true. I have been formally meditating for about a year and practice is the only way to gain clear insight in one's own life as well as in reality. Thanks for posting this! I love the keyboard analogy! I quit at 8 years old but know now that if I had kept up my practice, I would have succeeded. It's all about what state you put your mind in.

  3. I am glad both of you enjoyed this article, Gregory and Ellegee.

    Keep coming back to my blog and you will hopefully keep finding plenty of ideas that are helpful and inspiring. :)