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Old 11-03-2008, 07:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How do you meditate?


Any tips on clearing the mind would be greatly appreciated
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The first question I would ask is do you follow any particular religious tradition? The second question I would ask is where are you at in your recovery? By that I mean the steps.

I am not a teacher, but maybe I can share experience. First, before I give advice, I'd like to know where you are at spiritually, if that's ok with you. If that's not ok with you I understand.
Jim
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hiya Jim,
I do not follow any particular religious tradition.
I am currently formally working Step 12.
I have tried a few techniques to 'quiet the mind' and am exploring any new suggestions I may receive.
NAWOL says under their Step 11 that listening, really listening, in a meeting is a type of meditation, and that meditation, in essence, is the opposite of multi-tasking.
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Meditation does not have to be some complicated ritual attached to a particular religeous discipline...
meditation can take any form, walking, running , doing the dishes, any form of concentration on one thing.
you don't need a special cushion or anything else for that matter...
just a comfortable chair, feet flat on the floor...
some people stare at a candle...there are different ways to approach it, but a simple exercise that works for a lot of people is to close your eyes and visualize a screen in front of you...
visualize your thoughts as leaves floating past you on the screen, do not give them any thought , watch them come and watch them go...
that is it, that is meditating...the idea is to have an empty screen, a quiet mind....the thoughts come in, the thoughts go out , you do not attach yourself to them
start off by practicing for as long as you can...5 mins, 10...
eventually you will be able to sit longer...
as you become more experience , your experience with meditation will deepen , but this is a good place to start, keep it simple...Namaste, Grateful
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree that listening is prayer. It is called attention, and attention centers the mind.

I practice a variation of what is called Centering Prayer. Centering Prayer is based on a technique written about by a fourteenth century monk. If you want to know more about Centering Prayer itself, I recomend a little book called "Open Heart, Open Mind," by Fr. Thomas Keating. Although it is based in Christian tradition and practice, you don't have to be a Christian to practice it. The basic technique is to choose what is to you a sacred word. It can be any word that means something to you. Then sit still and focus on that word. When random thoughts occur, just let them go by and return to the word. Keating recomends sitting for twenty minutes, but I would suggest five minute , no more than ten minutes, morning and evening, to start.

As I said, my own practice is a variation of the above. I use a phrase and my breath to get centered. I sit upright but comfortably and set a timer. The one I use is gentle, not the jarring kind. I've chosen phrase that I use, in this case something from the 23rd Psalm-"The Lord is my shepard, I shall not want." I breath in a deep breath. Actually I breath in "the Lord is my shepard." And then breath out "I shall not want."

I've been doing this for awhile now and it works. I've also incorporated some Buhddist practices as well. So I guess my real advice is to find what works and stick with it. Follow your heart. There are many helpful books. Ministers and rabbis can helpful as well.
Jim
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Old 11-03-2008, 08:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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For me, prayer is not listening; prayer is when I talk to God. When I sit silently, listening for God's answer.....that's meditation.....it's not concentrating of something....for me, meditation is a not a state of concentration, but a state of not being.....yes, I've watched my thoughts, but when I see the spaces between the thoughts....that's meditation.

I'm a firm believer that meditation starts when I stop being separate. Yes, meditation can take any form, walking, running , doing the dishes, but the meditation for me doesn't really start until I stop watching myself doing these things and just become.....these things......the walk, the running, the washing..... (o:


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Old 11-04-2008, 07:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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ahh...to clear one's mind can be tricky to someone not used to it! thoughts are after us!! lol....

when I first learned to meditate I learned how to clear my thoughts completely by relaxing my entire body...sitting so still I couldnt feel my body..then focus on a white dot. Doing this will surely make you aware of all the thoughts that are going on!

at first we can only do it for a few seconds...total silence...totally clear. As we do it more often it comes quicker and for longer periods of time. I started with the recommended two minutes. Once I could do this then I could start any visualization or just be in silence.

mental stillness can come easiest without physical distraction (outside noises i.e. tv, radio, lawnmowers) such as movement. Becoming completely relaxed and completely still physically still or "silent" sets us up for the mental stillness or "silence"

to completely physically relax I take up to 5 minutes to mentally "talk" to my body. Sitting perfectly still with my feet flat on the floor, sitting up straight with my hands in my lap close my eyes and first start with controlling my breathing. For 5 breaths I slowly inhale to the count of 3 and exhale to the count of 5...this lowers my heartrate. Then...I say to myself "Toes relax" I talk to the to the toes on my right foot and say "toenails relax" I relax every muscle every tissue every bone in my body. I work my way up and around
starting with

toenails of right foot
toes of right foot
top of right foot
bottom of right foot
ankle of right foot...completely and fully relaxed...I tell them "relax"

doing this on just one foot..after doing this notice how your right foot feels compared to your left feel how much tension is released just by talking to your body!!

then move to your left
toenails
toes
top of foot
bottom of foot
ankles...

then move to both calves
knees
thighs
buttocks
stomach
chest
shoulders
back of neck
scalp
forehead
ebrows
eyelashes (yes eyelashes!)
cheeks
jaw
teeth (yes teeth!)
tongue
throat
lungs
inner organs
back
spine
every muscle, every tissue every part of my body completely relaxed...I move through and instruct my body bit by bit to relax

then focus on a white dot...sit quietly and just be

this kind of meditation puts me into a receptive stonis (or state). I can use visualization to bring about whatever it is that I need. Or I can invite in my higher power's will. Before I got into recovery this method didnt work to well...but since I got clean I use it to ask for my higher power's will.

Gets me out of my way!

I take about 5 minutes to relax my body and about 5 minutes of total silence...as best I can...it does take practice. I started with 5 minutes of physical relaxing and then 2 minutes of total silence...keeping clear of thoughts. Be patient because you may only be able to do it for a few seconds at first, which is real good evidence of how many thoughts are actually happening!!
The more you do it the easier and longer it lasts.

I learned to do this with a cassette tape that talked me though it. All I had to do was listen...then after I did that a few times I could do it on my own.
peace,
Missy
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I just realized this was in the step 11 section! I only saw the "how do you meditate" header...Im not working on step 11...but the above is how I meditate
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Good stuff on meditation here......and hey, Missybuns, and anyone else who may be interested.....

One needn't to have totally, officially worked steps 1-10 to be working @ step 11. My sponsor told me, in early recovery, that while I was a newcomer, officially working on Step 1, I could work @ all the steps that started with '1'. That would be 1, 10, 11, and 12.

Working @ these step (non-officially) can be seen as.....:

Step 10 - it's always good to take a look at our day, at the end of it...a daily inventory, and admitting wrongs immediately, and making amends in the present can be an aid to keeping one's official Step 4 inventory a wee bit smaller and perhaps more manageable.....;

Step 11 - Prayer and meditation are always good. One needn't wait till they're officially at Step 11, thru the first 10 steps, before having prayer and meditation in their life; and finally

Step 12 - Starting with one's first sober day, one can reach out and help other steruggling alcoholics.....one can pass on the small glimmer of hope that they have in their life right from the start.....what a shame if one had to wait till one had officially worked all the other eleven steps before doing this...

Anyway.....just wanted to put this out there.....to any who may feel that they need to.............wait.... (o: (o: (o:


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Old 11-05-2008, 03:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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meditation has always been in my life...only when using it was sporadic...now that Im living in recovery I do it more consistently. Steps or no steps meditation closes the gap of separation. I just didnt want to give the impression I've worked step 11 because I'm not quite there yet!

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Old 11-05-2008, 03:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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so....now I am to step 11
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