Meditation is a way of training the mind, it works in much the same way as you train the body, ie it takes a while to learn, but the more you practice, the better you get.

There are many different meditation techniques - so how do you learn to meditate and which method suits you?

In the Buddhist tradition, the word meditation corresponds to a word like sport. It is a family word consisting of different activities, where different meditation procedures require different mental skills.

It is extremely difficult for a beginner to sit for hours and think about nothing or have a "blank mind".

There are tools that a beginner can start with such as guided meditation DVDs or CDs (audio file). They help you through this process when you start. You will find several different ones in our shop.

In general, the easiest way to start meditating is by focusing on the breath - an example of one of the most common methods of meditation is concentration.

* Concentration meditation involves focusing on a single point. This may involve following your breath, repeating a single word or mantra, staring at a candle flame, listening to a repetitive sound, or counting beads on a mala. Because focusing the mind is challenging, a beginner can meditate for just a few minutes and then gradually work up to longer durations.

In this form of meditation, you simply focus your awareness on the chosen object and pay attention each time you notice your thoughts wandering. Rather than follow random thoughts, you let them go. Through this process, your ability to concentrate improves.

* Mindfulness meditation encourages the practitioner to observe wandering thoughts as they drift through the mind. The intention is not to engage with the thoughts or to judge them, but simply to be aware of each mental thought as it arises.

Through mindfulness meditation, you can see how your thoughts and feelings tend to move in particular patterns. Over time, you may become more aware of the human tendency to quickly judge whether an experience is good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant. With practice, an inner balance develops.

In some schools of meditation, students practice a combination of concentration and mindfulness. Many disciplines require silence - to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the teacher.

* There are also other meditation techniques. For example, a daily meditation practice among Buddhist monks focuses directly on deepening compassion. It's about imagining negative events and recasting them in a positive light through love and compassion. It also involves meditation techniques, such as tai chi, qigong and walking meditation.



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