Meditation for Beginners

A number of simple techniques are available which enable beginners to experience the process and benefits of meditation without complex theoretical studies.

Pink lotus blossomsThis is a book about many different meditation strategies. Research has shown that as you change you may also need to vary your meditation strategy or technique. The author, Morgan Rosenberg holds a graduate degree in physics and wrote  If You Can Breathe, You Can Meditate as a stand-alone guide to healthful rather then esoteric meditation techniques. The book focuses on a secular audience and is very easy to read with lots of reading references to other sources.

In addition to steering the reader through the many meditation techniques Rosenberg also places emphasis on ways to help us ‘let go’ and become non-attached in our modern world.

And what a great title!

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I am particularly interested in this article because of my own meditation practice experience.  I no longer have to feel ‘guilty’ if I choose a different method!

Explorhands of woman meditatinge: The Journal of Science and Healing,” has confirmed that it is important to choose the style of meditation that suits you.  I guess this could also mean that meditation practitioners might want to change their style over time as they themselves change.

According to Adam Burke, author of the study, professor of Health Education at SF State, and the director of SF State’s Institute for Holistic Health Studies finding a practice that is the most comfortable for the individual has a lot to do with someone sticking with their meditation practice.

Burke compared four popular meditation methods: Mantra, Mindfulness, Zen and Qigong Visualization using 247 participants.  Each participant learned all four techniques and then chose the one preferred practice.  If an individual is not comfortable with a specific method for any reason, he noted, they may be less likely to continue meditating and would lose out on such benefits as reduced stress, lower blood pressure or even treatment for addiction.

“If someone is exposed to a particular technique through the media or a healthcare provider, they might assume because it’s popular it’s the best for everyone,” Burke said. “But that’s like saying because a pink dress or a blue sport coat is popular this year, it’s going to look good on everybody. In truth, different people like different things. One size does not fit all.”

The site publishing the research also provides a link to a useful article about choosing the meditation style that suits you.

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This post is not strictly about meditation research but having spent some time on the beautiful and spiritual island of Bali this article has caught my attention. I believe it can be easier to become more mindful in such a place. Each day as part of every day life, prayers, fresh flowers and incense are offered to the gods and ancestors. Life itself incorporates a meditative quality.  Just watch the procession of elegant women carrying their offerings in silver baskets on their heads in a single line through the rice fields. It is a meditative experience.  This article by Chloe Park is about teaching meditation in Bali. I like it very much because it talks about harnessing that wild mind just for a few minutes and gradually extending the time. Its about learning to meditate, to be still and incorporating that stillness into your everyday life. I wonder if the feel of that warm air on the skin and the smell of incense in the wind helps to deepen the experience and resolve. Woman meditating by the sea

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