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The Beginner’s Guide To Meditation

The Beginner's Guide To Meditation

There is no such thing as perfect meditation

The Beginner's Guide To Meditation
The Beginner's Guide To Meditation

Meditation is a practice. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. The more you practice, the better you get at it. Someday you may have a terrible experience as your mind will wander repeatedly, other days you may feel highly calm and relaxed. Training your mind is like training your body. It will take regular and consistent practice to master. When it comes to meditation, your journey will be more important than your destination.

The experience of practicing meditation for beginners is like falling in love or eating your favorite food, which cannot be described easily. You will have to find it out yourself.

The essence of meditation

“Awareness is the essence of meditation, not the experience. Peace …calm …joy are not the essence of meditation, these are all experiences.” – Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, a Buddhist monk & Tibetan meditation master, believes the essence of meditation is awareness. The practice helps us to explore our own minds and heart.

Meditation does not help us to get rid of our negative qualities or things we don’t like about ourselves. It simply allows us to experience a wealth of awareness. You will not become a better person through meditation. However, you will become aware of your thoughts and feelings and realize that you are already complete and whole. We connect with our true self through the practice of meditation.

Rinpoche, author of the New York Times bestseller The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness, believes –

“Meditation is what we call awareness; if you know you understand, then that is awareness; if you don’t understand and you know you don’t understand, that is also awareness; if you know you’re confused, that’s also awareness.”

Related: 7 Simple Strategies to Increasing Mindfulness in as Little as 30 Seconds

The Monkey Mind

Okay, so now that you know what meditation is and the true essence of meditation, the only question that arises is why should you meditate (although if you are still reading this, you probably know why).

The most important reason for anyone to meditate, especially those suffering from depression, stress, and anxiety, is to get better control over your mind. It won’t be easy, but it’s doable. Our mind is uncontrollable. That’s a given. It often acts like a crazy monkey, believes Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. He says –

“Everyone has a monkey mind. Monkey mind says do this and do that, and if we listen, it causes problems and we can become crazy. If we fight the monkey mind, it becomes the enemy, so make friends with it.”

Rinpoche adds –

“The monkey mind is always going here and there, and you cannot concentrate. Sometimes it makes us feel upset, or maybe it makes us angry, or jealous of others. You want to control your feelings, but monkey mind won’t stop talking…you cannot be happy if you just listen to the monkey mind.” 

However, controlling the monkey mind might be easier than we think. In fact, the harder we try to restrain the monkey inside our head, the more difficult it will get. So what should you do? Meditate. Isn’t that obvious by now?

Scientifically proven as the happiest man alive, Rinpoche believes –

“Controlling the monkey mind is too difficult. It is too wild. What I say instead is: ‘guide the monkey mind’. Make friends with the monkey mind.”

So what we need to do is assign some tasks to the monkey mind and keep it busy, like chanting a mantra or bringing your attention to your breath. He says –

“The monkey mind likes when you give it small jobs, like ‘focus on breath. Keep giving it jobs that it’s happy doing. Once you give it jobs, the monkey mind starts to behave better, and you become the boss. Meditation is like giving it a purpose so it has no reason to wander.”

The truth is you can have much better control over your mind and emotions simply by “practicing meditation and awareness.”

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Theo Harrison

Hey there! I am just someone trying to find my way through life. I am a reader, writer, traveler, fighter, philosopher, artist and all around nice guy. I am outdoor person but heavily into technology, science, psychology, spiritualism, Buddhism, martial arts and horror films. I believe in positive action more than positive thinking.View Author posts