Meditation 101

*Disclaimer: I am not an expert nor a professional. I am simply someone who wanted to share what worked for her with all of you.*

 

I’ve recently found myself suggesting meditating to several of my friends, tweeps, and bloggy buddies. When I first started learning about meditation, there was a whole lot of information about it.  Because I was so overwhelmed, I kind of gave up a bit on it and went onto reading more about Buddhism. The problem was that it all kept coming back to meditation. Then I found a very simple plan on how to meditate that helped me get started. I hope it helps all of you.

Here’s what you do:

First, get a timer.   Anyone who uses time-out with their children, has one. If not, you can get one in the kitchen section of any department store for like $2-$5 dollars. It doesn’t have to be fancy it just needs to beep.  I needed a timer because I couldn’t just sit there and relax. I was too worried about how much time had gone by because I had other things to do. If you set your timer for five minutes in the beginning you can concentrate on what’s going on in your head better rather than how much time is passing.

Now that you have your timer, grab a pillow. Use the thickest, firmest pillow you have in the house if you don’t have a meditation pillow.   Once, you have your pillow, make sure you are in nice loose-fitting, comfy clothes.  Find a quiet spot in the house.  Make sure all non-meditating creatures in the house are out of the room (kids, sound asleep in bed and animals fed/walked and settled down).

You’re ready to sit now. You can either do this with your eyes open or closed. I prefer to have my eyes closed but if you want to do it with your eyes open, sit facing a wall to keep from being distracted.

There are a couple different ways you position your legs.

Full lotus is the classic meditation position. Each leg’s on the opposite thigh like this:

 Unless you are really flexible, I don’t suggest starting out using this position.

You can also try the half lotus position with only one foot resting on the opposite thigh and the other foot resting on the floor like this:

This one can get uncomfortable too if you aren’t very flexible.

Another leg position is called the Burmese position. Both feet are folded in front of your body not crossed over each other like this:

This is the one that I use. My legs don’t fall asleep and feel comfortable. 

After you get your legs nice and comfy, you wanna do something with your hands. In the leg position pictures, they are using the hand position called the Cosmic meditation mudra (it’s not important to remember what everything is called yet).  There’s a whole bunch of meaning behind this but right now, none of that matters. You put the back of your right hand on the top of your left palm (or the other way around if it’s more comfortable). Adjust how close or far apart your hands are so your thumbs make contact very lightly and rest them on your legs.

Once you’re all adjusted and comfy, set your timer for five minutes (or less if you don’t want to go five minutes. Though anything less than five minutes may not do  you much good).  Breathe normally (as normally as you can when you are paying attention to your breathing).  Now count your breathes. You can count 1 for in and out or 1 for in and 2 for out (I find 1 for in, 2 for out is easier).  Count to 10 breathes and then start over at 1.  It’s not as easy as it sounds. I am a big list maker so I find myself making lists in my head.  I once counted to 36 before realizing my mind had wondered.  Just let the thoughts that come into your mind float by like clouds floating by in the sky.  Don’t try to fix the problems, let the to do list that is forming in your head flow right by, leave the dirty dishes in the sink, or watch that stack of unpaid bills float away. 

You’re not going to figure out who you are and why you do the things you do the first time you sit with yourself. This is something that needs to be done on a regular basis.  It’s only five minutes a day, you can do it.  It will get easier the more you do it. 

Now go sit with yourself and start the journey into your own mind.  You might be surprised by what you find!

I’m thinking that I might make this a once a month kind of posting. I think once you do this practice for a month you  might be ready to move onto more intense practice. I’ll see how much interest there is.

If you love it so much and just can’t wait to learn more, here are a couple good books:

Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali


Girl Seeks Bliss by Nicole Beland

Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Buddhism

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10 thoughts on “Meditation 101

  1. Call Me Cate

    Thank you for this post. I’m finding myself at a bit of an emotional crossroads right now and I can’t quite explain it. I’ve always been drawn to meditation but I think I over-complicate it. Maybe if I just sit with myself (rather than understand and adopt all aspects of Buddhism), it will lead me somewhere more peaceful.

    Reply
    1. Semi-Hippie Solo Mama Post author

      There is so much to Buddhism it can be really overwhelming. I’ve been learning about it for 12ish year now and still feel like a beginner. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Buddhism (link at the bottom of the post) is a good basic guide to all of it. If you just want to start with learning about the The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, you will have the basic ideas of what it’s all about. Good luck! Let me know if you want to find more books on Buddhism.

      Reply
  2. Lauren

    Thanks for this! So true to have kids and animal friends settled down first!
    I found ya on Finding Trinity and loved your name. I am “Mud Mama” (a watered down earth mother) and would love for ya to come visit sometime if you get a chance! Peace :)

    Reply
  3. singlemama_cc

    Well, the PIT’s party was a rocking success:) Now…..I’m out of excuses….time to work on ME. This post is PERFECT for me—THANK YOU! Srsly—tonights the night…the one that fucking haunts me the most. I’ve tried anger, hate, attempted forgivness….Im at a loss here…every year April 11th haunts me…Im honestly sick to my stomach at the moment even though I’ve tried not to think about it all day…but now as the darkness sets in and April 12th is literally just around the corner…I *feel* it…..the same sick feeling I got 8 years ago when I found out that my husband had not one but 2 women sleep over at MY house the night of April 11th…our daughter less than 24 hours old…Im still in the hospital….and my husband is smoking meth and having raunchy affairs….WHAT THE FUCK?! Who does that shit?! I want to punch something right now. Frick. Ok. Going to find a pillow to put my crabby ass on. Going to meditate this fucking shit out! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    THANK YOU….for this post…..I look forward to more posts!!

    XXOOXOXOX

    Reply
  4. Michele

    You know… that is so weird because just yesterday I bought a book on meditation techniques myself. I’ve been hoping to get back into it after many years of not making time.

    Thanks for all the tips and info.
    I love this post!!!

    You’re awesome!!!

    Reply
    1. Semi-Hippie Solo Mama Post author

      Lol…we must be on the same train of thought.

      When I first started, I was very instant gratficationy, I wanted answers and I wanted them after 5 minutes of sitting with myself. So of course, it didn’t work for me. Then I went to see a therapist and he told me to try it again and I think having grown up a bit by then I realized that nothing good is ever easy so I worked on it and the next thing I knew I was figuring out so many things about myself that I never would have known.

      Have fun sitting with yourself! :-)

      Reply
  5. Jenni

    If only we all saw the red flags. And if only we all LISTENED to other that saw them. I’m sure quite a few of us are in the situation where we think, “WHY didn’t I listen to them?!” I know I am! But falling in love makes us do stupid things, and we all eventually learn.

    I’ve learned one then from my separation – LISTEN to others! While you don’t have to take their advice or concerns to heart, LISTEN! And think about it.. because you might actually realize they’re right and fix the problem.

    Reply

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