This is kinda of an intro... but also could be a refresher.. and could serve to deepen a practice because a funny thing about meditation is that a beginner’s mind is ultimately the goal (and the practice). So everyone wins when they come to an introduction to meditation. Same thing for yoga actually but that’s a slightly separate thread.
I know there are lots of people who want to explore meditation so I prepared a series of meditation audios for people who are curious about it and don’t know where else to go to learn some basics of how to start meditating and also for people who have already dabbled in meditation and now want to learn some more instruction or deepen a practice.
So let’s start…
Somewhere to sit - Somewhere where you will not likely be disturbed for about 15-20 min. Ideally it’s quiet but if not, that’s ok. It’s easier when it’s quiet but really, you can [learn to] meditate anywhere.
Something to sit on - this can be a chair or you can sit cross-legged on the floor or on a cushion. Whatever you do, please find a place where you can sit comfortably, at least to start. It will likely get uncomfortable, partially because your body is not used to sitting like this for long periods of time and partially because your mind will likely start to fight back against this training. We’ll talk more about that later but for now, find a comfortable sitting position. And please note, that position should be with a straight spine. If you don’t have a cushion and want one, I recommend either a firm sofa cushion with your butt on top and your legs crossed in front of it before you or a meditation cushion. Another good substitute for a cushion can be a 12 roll pack of toilet paper. It’s often a great height for people and a suitable firmness. Do not use a bed pillow. It’s too soft.
A timer. This isn’t essential but lots of people don’t yet have the ability to sit without knowing how long they will be sitting. So if that kind of control is necessary for you [for now] then please bring a timer. Your phone can work but you should turn your phone off from any notifications, including phone calls.
You - just as you are. We’ll talk more about that later.
Anapana Meditation (Breath Awareness)
Breath awareness is the foundation of mindfulness meditation. It is a simple practice of focussing on the breath.
Introduction to Meditation: Basic instruction for how to meditate. Good for beginner’s who have never meditated before.
Basic Breath Meditation (Anapana) - An introduction to focusing on the breath, a basic concentration practice that sets a foundation for meditating and for deepening your practice. Mostly instruction and practice, with a little bit of commentary on why we are meditating. Suitable for beginners.
More Breath Awareness Meditation - Continuing the breath awareness practice.
Bird Chirping Meditation: No instruction. Just an audio to listen to and to practice paying attention to the present moment and letting sensations of sounds etc. move in and out.
The following meditations should only be started after a significant amount of practice has been done with the breath-awareness (i.e., anapana) meditation. A decent amount of concentration is required before continuing on to vipassana meditation.
Enlightenment Discussion with Mike - A super philosophical and intellectual conversation between Mandy and Mike. No meditation instruction. Requires some basic understanding of the concept of enlightenment by the listener. Not introductory and likely not ideal for beginners without prior philosophy knowledge.