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March 23, 2023, 03:07:18 PM

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If you are new to the forum, or meditation, here are some links to help you find your way around. The vipassanaforum.net community has been online since 2007 and it is quite likely if you are experiencing an issue with your practice that somebody has asked a similar question before.

These resources may help guide you in finding an answer, or at the very least, provide some insight as to how others have resolved the issue you are facing. It is not an exhaustive list, so if you do not find the help you are seeking here, do not hesitate to ask the community by posting in the forum.

The first place to look is in our Meditation FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions. This page provides a list of issues that regularly arise for new meditators and links to threads where such questions have been asked in the past.

Don't overlook the "Search" function at the top of every page on the forum! At the time of writing, the forum has some 33,231 posts and replies in a total of 3,005 topics - more than twelve years of accumulated questions and answers, archived and fully searchable to seek the answers you need. If the simple search function does not find what you are looking for, there is a more advanced search available here.

If you are looking for resources to help you in your practice we have an extensive library of links to Dhamma talks, online texts, book recommendations and more that can be browsed by forum members and the general public alike.

If you are completely new to meditation and are looking for a good place to start your pactice, or if you are self taught and finding obstacles, then perhaps take a look at the Shamatha-Vipassana or "Calm abiding" instructions and notes - this is a foundational practice for meditators that places a balanced approach to meditation at the core of practice.

The aim is to calm the body and mind, and create a space in which greater insight can then arise. Such insight can be unsettling at first, because you are allowing phenomena that have been subconscious into your conscious awareness - it takes a little time and effort to settle into the practice, though it is important to find the right balance between effort/concentration and calming/relaxation/acceptance.

This is something you can only do for yourself, meditation is a "D.I.Y" thing: actual experience trumps words, discussion and debate. The revealing of subconscious phenomena that arises through a balanced practice is a core aspect of the way meditation works: to settle your mind and body into a calmer state, by allowing yourself to better see those things which habitually drive you in life, and then to reduce, or cut off, their influence. Thus you are starting on the path to being able to respond to life wisely rather than coming at things from a habituated reactive position.

Why relaxation is a key to good practice? - just don't forget to find for yourself the balance between relaxation and effort. There is a reason the Buddhadhamma ("teachings of the Buddha") is called "The Middle Way".

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