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meditation

Meditation Is Simple. Just Like Life.

Meditation is incredibly simple. You sit, you close your eyes, you focus on (usually) your breath. Three steps. Nothing fancy. The reason that it’s simple but not easy, is that as soon as you settle down to do meditate, your mind begins to fill with a thousand complicated, urgent, worrying, interesting or totally random things…read more…
Non-dual Awareness: Science & Meditation Techniques.

Fitmind.co brings us a deep dive into the concept of non-duality, the belief that we’re not all separate selves, interacting with a world of discrete objects, but instead, are all manifestations of a single, all-encompassing awareness.

This idea can be found in the teachings of Buddhism, Sufism, Kabbalah and others, and is actually not as strange as it first appears. For instance, Non-duality immediately does away with one of the most difficult questions facing philosophers and neurologists today; how matter (in the form of the brain) can give rise to consciousness.

According to proponents of non-dualism, scientists have the question backwards. It’s not matter that gives rise to consciousness, it’s consciousness which gives rise to (the appearance) objects. The whole hing is well worth a read.

"You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending."
Meditation 101 – How to meditate for beginners.

More Dan Harris goodness, this time from with a video on how to get started with meditation. My favourite thing about Dan is the simple, jargon-free language he uses to talk about meditation:

Despite what you may have heard, meditation does not involve joining a group, paying any fees, wearing any special outfits, sitting in a funny position, or believing in anything in particular.

It is simple, secular, scientifically validated exercise for your brain.

Perfect.

Why the mind hates meditation.

It’s no exaggeration to say that meditation is the most valuable tool I know of. But it didn’t always feel that way. In fact, my meditation practice was spotty for years, simply because I got into a wrestling match with my mind every time I sat down, and thought that there was something wrong with that.

Of course, being put off meditation because your mind protests is like being put off exercise because your muscles do. That’s what’s supposed to happen, especially in the beginning.

Meditation doesn’t always feel wonderful. The more we make that clear, the less we risk discouraging newcomers, who were expecting a stream of endless bliss, instead of a mind that sometimes feels even more hyperactive than before. Understanding that meditation is a process gives them the best chance of discovering what it can bring to their lives.

The struggle is that the mind that knows that meditation is good for you, is the same mind that doesn’t want to stop thinking. This part of the mind doesn’t like meditation, in fact, it hates it, simply because meditation subdues its very purpose; thinking…

8 ways to enter the present moment.

Einzelgänger with 8 simple ways to integrate mindfulness practice into your daily life. Mindfulness needn’t (and shouldn’t) be something which we consider separate to our ordinary life. The aim is to find ways to integrate mindful moments into our typical day-to-day. I particularly liked this part about listening:

By listening closely to what people have to say, you basically shift your attention from your thoughts to to the person speaking. Havingdealt with social anxiety myself, I can say the following; when I’m socially anxious or shy, I’m entailed in thoughts like “What do I have to say now?” “What can I say to impress this person?” Or “why the hell did. I have to say this?”

The nature of these questions is the they relate to the past and the future. Thus when someone is speaking to me, I rather focus on what I said earlier or what I’m going to say, instead of truly listening.The secret is, when I fully focus on what the person is saying, my own words often come naturally and without hesitation.

What happens if you meditate for an hour every day for 30 days?

Back in 2019, Matt D’Avella decided to kickstart his lapsed meditation practice. He didn’t mess around either. He decided to meditate for an hour every day for thirty days.

So what happened? I won’t spoil the ending, but if you have a spare 15 minutes I highly recommend checking it out. It’s filled with useful tips and insights for those new to meditation, including this absolute gem from Dan Harris on what I think is the key benefit meditation brings to daily life:

You’re seeing how crazy you are, and that actually has a real value. The systematic collision with the asshole in your head has a real value.

Because when the asshole offers you up a shitty suggestion in the rest of your life, which is basically it’s job; like oh yeah, you should eat the 17th cookie, or say the things that’s gonna ruin the next 48 hours of your marriage, or whatever, you’re better able to resist it.

This is now my default response when somebody asks me why they should meditate.

How To Make Friends With Your Mind.

Picture an empty room. Large. Square. The walls, floor and ceiling are all a crisp white. There are no doors. No windows. No decorations of any kind. The room is illuminated somehow but you can’t figure out where the light is coming from. Perhaps the walls themselves. You are standing in the middle of this…continue reading on Medium…

How To Talk To Your Friends About Meditation.

We’ve all been there. You have a friend or a loved one whose life you know would be changed by meditation, but however many hints you drop they just don’t seem interested. Short of forcibly signing them up to a three-month silent retreat, how can you rescue them from their emotionally reactive, spiritually inconsequential existence?…continue reading on Medium…