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Does anyone have a daily meditation practice? Would anyone like one but needs motivation?

(888 Posts)
mangolassi Tue 18-Nov-08 07:15:27

Ooh, I feel all shy blush

I am agnostic and generally confused about spiritual things, but after recovering from a bout of pnd found a great book - The Mindful Way Through Depression. It has a programme of daily meditation, and I've tried in the past, but it's soooo hard to stick to with no support.

The meditation style in the book is 'western insight' - basically vipassana with the Buddhism taken out - but it would be great to have a thread for anyone trying to get started with daily practice, whatever kind of meditation appeals. Even better if there's anyone who actually has a daily practice already <<hopeful emoticon>>

LouieStrumpet Tue 18-Nov-08 09:54:04

I'll join you mangolassi.

I would love to get involved in daily meditation, but find the day slips away so quick that before you know it I am in bed falling asleep.

I read a great book called Buddhism for Mothers and the author is a mother of two boys and acknowledges that time is very short for us mums. She says you can do meditation in your daily life at first instead of the sit down and be quiet sort. This is where you are doing something like having a cuppa or wahing the dishes or even walking anywhere and you are just completely in the moment as it were, not thinking about anything else but what you are doing at the time.

Have tried it, but would like to move on to something quieter.

Sorry about the ramble!

mangolassi Tue 18-Nov-08 10:01:39

Great! What do you think would work, maybe set a goal of 10 minutes sitting meditation a day? And perhaps one more 'daily life' meditation - like pick a thing you do every day (not washing the dishes for me blush) and try to do it with awareness?

LouieStrumpet Tue 18-Nov-08 10:30:45

That's a good idea - tbh I think 10 minutes is probably all I can manage for one day at the moment.

My dh washes the dishes grin so it won't be that for me either.

Why don't we try the 10 minute thing today? I work full tiem so it will more likely be tonight for me...

Rebi Wed 19-Nov-08 05:02:20

Hi mangolassi and LouieStrumpet

I saw your post earlier today but was at work and couldn't reply. Would love to join you (if that is ok) as have wanted to meditate for long time and never get around to it - like a lot of things that I know would enhance my life - ridiculous!

Don't know much about Buddism but there is a centre that does meditation about 20 miles from me, which is not convenient to get to - also would feel shy! Have read book called Eat Pray Love by a woman called Elizabeth Gilbert which was amazing - have you read it?

I don't really know how to go about it but will try to do as you suggest for 10 minutes today and focus on breath and see how that goes. Will also go for walk and be aware.

Will let you know how I get on.

Rebi x

LouieStrumpet Wed 19-Nov-08 09:52:41

Hi Rebi, welcome! I have heard of that book called Eat, Pray, Love and I will get around to purchasing it and reading it at some stage!

I also didn't get to do my meditation last night, but will try and do a walking mediation today.

I don't know about you both, but I jsut find it really hard to slow my mind down - it seems like I can think of about a thousand things to do in a minute and my mind just flicks from one thought to the next.

I think mediation will be really useful just to slow everything down a bit - let's see how it goes!

justaboutshouseiscold Wed 19-Nov-08 09:55:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mangolassi Wed 19-Nov-08 10:54:01

Hi all

justabout - have lurked on your reluctant worshipper threads, I like them lots despite not leaning towards Christianity really (may even post one day, you never know)

Louie - never mind about yesterday, good luck with your walking meditation today

Rebi - I've read eat, pray, love - I fully expected to hate it and think it was self-indulgent pants, but she's WONDERFUL! So funny. About getting started, advice that's helped for me:

You don't need to control your breathing, or try to make it deeper or anything. Your breath is fine just as it is, even if it seems shallow or weird or whatever.

You don't need to control your mind either. It's going to jump about all over the place, that's what it does. The idea of meditating is just to watch the process, and continually bring your attention back to your breath.

I managed 15 minutes sitting yesterday, am very proud of that. It wasn't a very calm 15 minutes, I have stuff going on at work that's quite stressful, but I didn't run away screaming!

I can't decide what a good 'everyday activity' would be, though. Maybe every time I get on my little scooter? - seems like a sensible time to be aware!

boredjustabout Wed 19-Nov-08 11:03:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mangolassi Wed 19-Nov-08 11:12:11

Yeah, Buddhism is interesting that way, isn't it? It's almost like a container that can be filled with whatever content appeals. I'm in Thailand though, and the local content is a bit too superstitious and hierarchical for me.

Gratitude is a great idea for practice.

morningpaper Wed 19-Nov-08 11:16:26

Oooh sounds interesting

I WAS doing regularly evening walks where I did a bit of meditation but have got out of the habit

will lurk

boredjustabout Wed 19-Nov-08 11:45:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

boredjustabout Wed 19-Nov-08 11:49:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LouieStrumpet Wed 19-Nov-08 11:57:15

Hi mangolassi - great post! Especially about the breathing bit, I am always trying to make it deeper and then I get lightheaded (stupid emoticon) but if I can do it normally then that would be easier.

How did your 15 minutes go? Do you find it easy not to be distracted? That's my problem, usually find my thoughts wandering to the housework or what we are having for dinner the next day.

I am thinking about becoming a Buddhist, don't want to rush into it though, I think I need to do more reading and pondering.

For those that want a link to Buddhism for Mothers - F8&s=books&qid=1227093686&sr=8-1

Sorry I am a bit rubbish at doing links.

Rebi Wed 19-Nov-08 13:04:01

Thank you for the warm welcome and the good ideas! Think incorporating gratitude into meditation is great idea boredjustabout - had never thought of doing that.

I know what you mean about Eat Pray Love Mangolassi. I started it thinking 'not sure about this' but really enjoyed it and thought there were some great ideas. I think it was what made me realise that I really really need to meditate to calm my thoughts down - like you LouieStrumpet. Some days I want to scream because my mind is working so hard. My dh often says I think too much!

Am also having stressful time at work at moment like you Mangolassi - the reason I was awake and posting at 5.02 this morning.
Had a real lightbulb moment after posting and going back to bed - There is nothing I can do about what is going on with work, but I can change how it is affecting me. I can really feel my health suffering at the moment with the stress.

So I went for my walk along the beach after I dropped my dd to school this morning and concentrated on stilling my mind. Infact, something I had read on Mumsnet a short while ago came to mind, so I started to think about what my mantra should be (lots of my thoughts are negative thoughts about myself). So came up with, so far, "my life is fair, calm and wonderful". Would this be something to say to myself during meditation, do you think? Or should I just use that throughout the day and as you said let my mind wander and pull it back to breath?

Anyway sorry for rambling on. It is so great to find like minded people when you are starting a journey. Thank you for allowing me to join in.

Must go and do my 10 minutes before collecting dd from school.


Rebi Thu 20-Nov-08 09:21:37

oops it looks as though I have killed this thread.

I did 10 minutes of sitting quietly and concentrating on stillness yesterday. I hadn't realised how hard this could be - I kept wanting to jump up! But between times it was so lovely and peaceful. When my timer went off (put it on so I wouldn't keep checking time!) I felt very relaxed and chilled out. Got in car and walked up to school gate and met someone and I really really felt different - I saw that normally I would be chatting away, while I chatted away but was more chilled or something. More centred? Don't know if that makes any sense or if it sounds mad after just 10 minutes of very very poor meditation!

Anyway - hopefully I haven't killed this thread!grin

mangolassi Thu 20-Nov-08 09:42:05

Sorry justabout - I left a bit abruptly yesterday cos there was a power cut. I was in the office and had to use my mobile phone to light the way to the door to leavehmm No internet at home at the moment, so I can only mn at work in short bursts anyway. And yes, I'm working here, dp is local and sahd to our daughter - she's 2. And our floor is always available

Morningpaper - join us! At least post with 'did 10 minutes' or 'too much mn, no 10 mins' every so often.

Louie - do I find it easy not to be distracted? Erm, no, my 10 mins last night (Yay!) went more like this:

"<breathe in. breathe out.>

X is such an idiot, how could he say that? What am I supposed to say to y? Tomorrow I'm going to ...
Oh right, breathing
<breathe in. breathe out. breathe in>

Oh that's better, this is what it's supposed to be like, that bit in the book said - oh.
<breathe in>
I'm going to write about this on mn tomorrow - OFGS!
<breathe out. breathe in>"

Except with more random thoughts about dinner/ the weird pain I get in my back/ whatever.

I think that all this is okay, though, the important thing is to keep noticing where your mind is going, and bringing it back. According to my book hmm, eventually you start to notice faster, so you don't get so pulled into the stream of associations/ further thought before you realise and come back to breathing. One thing it says which I found strangely liberating, is that we often confuse our selves with our thoughts. Actually your thoughts aren't real, they're just things you're thinking. You don't need to get caught up in what they say, or even in evaluating whether or not they're true. Just watch them come, and watch them go again. Maybe this is only a relief if you've been thinking the thoughts of a depressed woman, I don't know!

Rebi - it's hard, isn't it? Especially when you feel yourself bringing it all home. Your walk along the beach sounds lovely though, being outside can really help to slow things down. I'm nowhere near the sea envy but I love walking in the mountains.
I don't know much about meditating with mantras - is it Tibetans who do that? Or do they use mandalas? <confused> Does anyone else know?
I think that a mantra is an alternative thing to focus your attention on, so instead of focusing on the breath you could focus on the mantra. Why not experiment with it and see if it works for you, or if you prefer just focusing on the breath? Or you could use the mantra to begin and end your practice, and follow the breath in between? <boggles at the options> <We need an expert>

<boggles again at length of post>

LouieStrumpet Thu 20-Nov-08 09:46:19

Hi Rebi, am back too.

I also tried 10 minutes of quiet meditation yesterday but I have to admit that I found it really difficult. I just keep on getting distracted, but I will persevere as I can see the benefits of it.

I keep thinking that this is the reason that I don't sleep very well - my 2 year old ds has just started to sleep for long stretches of time and I should be feeling refreshed after two years of rotten sleep, but I don't. And I think that because my thoughts are racing round it continues over into my sleep and my mind never truly settles.

Therefore I will stick at it!

I also did a walking awareness thing yesterday - it is amazing how much you see, hear and smell when your brain is not off somewhere else!

mangolassi Thu 20-Nov-08 09:47:41

X-posts rebi, my novel took a while to type!

LouieStrumpet Thu 20-Nov-08 09:50:42

HI mangolassi - your post made me laugh - that was me too - breathe in, breathe out - "One little girl with a lonely goat herd" (I watched Sound of Music on Saturday) Ladyohdaladyohdaloo - oh yes! breathe in, breathe out.

I think a mantra would work well with me too, I know of this one - Om Mani Padme Hum (I like this one because dh is Indian) - but you can use anything that is relevant to you.

mangolassi Thu 20-Nov-08 09:56:41

What does Om Mani Padme Hum mean?

Rebi Thu 20-Nov-08 10:13:27

mangolassi - grin your post made me laugh too - glad to see that its not just me! My walk was lovely - am determined to get out again today - especially as sun is shining for a change!

LouieStrumpet - what does Om Mani Padme Hum mean - it flows really well and sound beautiful?

Rebi Thu 20-Nov-08 10:15:05

LouieStrumpet - what does Om Mani Padme Hum mean? It flows really well and sounds beautiful.

(note to self - proof read always)

boredjustabout Thu 20-Nov-08 10:26:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mangolassi Thu 20-Nov-08 10:33:49

I think it sounds like a proper mediation, justabout! If meditating is about becoming more aware of our experiences (including our feelings), then it sounds like you did a great job of cultivating awareness of your love for your son - awareness of how it really feels to love him, not just knowledge that you love him or thoughts about loving him.
Does that make any sense at all?

And btw, for me anyway, mention of God is fine - I thought about this thread as a way to share all our experiences of meditation, whatever the context

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