Question of the Week: what’s your advice on how to meditate?

Each week we will ask a question related to Buddhism. Please share your thoughts with us  by leaving a  comment. We welcome your response to earlier comments, or you can post new ideas.  Comments are moderated, please be supportive and respectful of others.

We know there are lots of serious meditators visiting this site so….

Based on your own experience, what advice would you give to someone who is starting his/her daily meditation practice?


4 thoughts on “Question of the Week: what’s your advice on how to meditate?

  1. I would find a qualified teacher and practise with like minded people if it is possible.

    Although some books are excellent they will not convey the real teachings of meditation, and the feeling of belonging to a Dharma class.

  2. I somehow over the years got the idea that meditation was just being in some sort of thoughtless trance. I also thought that, like athletical skills, one was either born a great meditator or not. (I have no idea how those ideas got in there. For all I know, I got those ideas from Edgar Rice Burroughs. lol) Then I started learning the Buddhist meditation instructions and a whole new world opened up. For the first time in my life (well, this one, anyway) I have learned that I can learn about my mind, about how it really works, and about that I can change and influence how it works. For the better, even, lol. Mostly, I have felt like I am trying to halt an out-of-control “powerful locomotive”. The term “monkey mind” was coined with a mind like mine in mind. (Say that 10 times in a row…) Slowly, but surely, and generally from watching my mind, it is beginnng to be less chaotic in there. I still have a hard time keeping my mind on one object without that object fading away and without other stuff popping up.

    I keep saying “my mind”, but I am not sure that is the proper term to use. One, if it were “mine” really, I would control it. It seems to more of a gift than anything. Two, even if I did control it, I am not sure that the thing I am calling “mind” is really there. I seem to be playing “whack a mole!” with my mind! What is “mind” and where does it go (what am I experiencing) when nothing is happening? No clues, yet, but it’s interesting, though.

    Take care of your mind.


    ps. Howdy do! Hope everyone is well!!!

  3. I keep reminding myself that it is Practice, not perfection. I have to maintain patience and keep to a routine. I frequently relate my meditation practice to my time in Music School. Some days things came together when I practiced, other times, it was a disaster. With consistent, patient practice my playing improved.

    Typical sitting meditation is part of my routine, but I also have a routine of maintaining awareness along the same 5 miles that is part of my morning commute. I figure I’m the safest driver on the Beltway during that time. Commuting on the beltway certainly is an opportunity to practice patience. Some day I am going to write a book with a working title of “The Buddha didn’t have to commute!”

  4. My first word of advice is “keep it simple”! The key is to develop a habit. What helped me when I first started meditating was to play short (10 minute) guided meditation CDs. But then the problem of meditating every day became the hurdle to overcome. To surmount this hurdle, I simply keep my meditation cushion and bench “always ready” and when I don’t feel like meditating, I simply tell myself to “just sit on the cushion.” Funny thing is, once I sit on the cushion, I then decide, “Well, since I’m already here, I might as well meditate.” But even with the “always ready cushion”, I purposed a time when I would meditate. For me it’s first thing in the morning, right after I take my shower. It’s now simply a part of my daily routine. And when I’m pressed for time, I simply sit on the cushion and take a few deep, mindful breaths.

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