Author Topic: Tips or hacks for beginners?  (Read 941 times)

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Tips or hacks for beginners?
« on: February 07, 2020, 08:33:25 PM »
Who has a tip to share? One tip each - and no discussion for a few days? See what we collectively contribute.


I'll go first. It's very practical.

If you are a beginner to practice and struggling to maintain a routine, cut it up into manageable chunks. If on a particular day, you don't feel like sitting or feel aversion to it, then don't go to the cushion with the intention of forcing yourself to do it. Instead, just make sure you go and sit on the cushion for thirty seconds and breath in and relax, and breath out and relax. Ask "why am I feeling aversion?". Then go about your day. Or maybe .. meditate, because doing that much can change your mind  :D
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Mert

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Re: Tips or hacks for beginners?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2020, 09:49:00 PM »
Out of the routine, especially when you have a stressful schedule you won't be eager to sit down and when you sit down you won't be able to calm down for a long time. These are the golden moments to practice, making it a habit to deal with emotions and the situation effectively.

Siddharth

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Re: Tips or hacks for beginners?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2020, 04:31:49 AM »
As you rest on your bed, to sleep, relax your self as much as possible. Start with the more differentiated parts of body like calf muscles, ankles, fingers and slowly through breathing the hollow part of the body aka tummy, chest etc as well..

This is a good time to focus on any mantra (you may create a chant of your own if you like) and keep relaxing, like letting go of everything and observing sensations if and when they arrive...
Try to do it without forcing it and fall asleep like this, which will happen as you relax/ learn to relax.

I have found that as i go to sleep like this, i wake up almost as if i am getting up from a meditation session, relaxed and alert.
I also mostly wake up just seconds before the alarm buzzes, inadvertently.

I consider it as something which i can do regardless of the level of stress, in fact relaxing while sleeping is actually easier if one is tired and working more than usual. Perhaps due to the contrast in the states of being.

The best part is that both the quality of sleep is better and no additional time is required.

Hope it helps! And looking forward to tips from others,
Siddharth
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

stillpointdancer

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Re: Tips or hacks for beginners?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2020, 10:48:57 AM »
Make sure you have a relaxing meditation to fall back on when you don't feel like doing vipassana or mindfulness meditation, or whatever you normally aim to do.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

raushan

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    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: Tips or hacks for beginners?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2020, 11:24:18 AM »
I am not very regular but I have found reflecting on death at least once a day has been valuable. Even if I just tell myself that I have 30 years to live that still seems very less because mind seems to be programmed such that it thinks it will never die.

Matthew,
can you share any tip regarding How to be aware throughout the day? Any tip to constantly remind?


Thanks
Raushan

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Tips or hacks for beginners?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2020, 12:51:57 PM »
Matthew,
can you share any tip regarding How to be aware throughout the day? Any tip to constantly remind?

Stop what you are doing from time to time, breathe, look around you, listen to the sounds, smell the smells, feel your body, listen to your body. All these things ground you in the moment.

I usually wear a single strand of red cotton thread tied around my left wrist. I understand this has a significance in some Asian traditions, yet that's not why I do it (I'm actually unaware of the significance).

I use it as a reminder to be mindful, to be kind, compassionate and generous. Each time I see or touch it I actively remember (am mindful) of manifesting the wholesome qualities off the cushion.

It surprises me how infrequently the thread needs replacing - despite being a thin single cotton strand it usually remains in place for a year or two before breaking.

Also, remembering that practice is called practice for a good reason: it is not 'the real thing'.

The real thing is your life off the cushion.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2020, 12:55:17 PM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

raushan

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  • from India
    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: Tips or hacks for beginners?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2020, 03:00:39 PM »
Thanks Matthew, Seems helpful. Will try it out. One thing I have started to notice that how beneficial it is to be aware. I started to feel not being aware is always a loss. Hence desire to be aware all the time has increased.

dharma bum

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Re: Tips or hacks for beginners?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2020, 05:46:36 PM »
Start your meditation by reminding yourself that you only want to breathe for some time - there is no other purpose. One breath at a time - that's it. Simple.
Mostly ignorant

Middleway

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Re: Tips or hacks for beginners?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2020, 03:12:09 PM »
Off the cushion practice is equally important if not more. I suggest that you repeatedly bring your attention back to senses and steadfastly refuse to entertain/harbor thoughts throughout the day (whenever you do not have to employ your mind). When you suspend your intellect and memory, then you have bare attention to senses. i.e seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting. In this state, there will not be any name and form. For example, when you go into a dark family room and turn on the light, if you see sofa, coffee table, television etc., then your intellect is functioning and re-cognizing those objects based on memory. When you suspend the intellect and memory, then you just see (seeing without name and form). Extend this to other senses as well. Practice daily this way and you will realize what this world is actually made of.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

mobius

  • Member
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Re: Tips or hacks for beginners?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2020, 10:06:05 PM »
Matthew,
can you share any tip regarding How to be aware throughout the day? Any tip to constantly remind?

Stop what you are doing from time to time, breathe, look around you, listen to the sounds, smell the smells, feel your body, listen to your body. All these things ground you in the moment.

I usually wear a single strand of red cotton thread tied around my left wrist. I understand this has a significance in some Asian traditions, yet that's not why I do it (I'm actually unaware of the significance).

I use it as a reminder to be mindful, to be kind, compassionate and generous. Each time I see or touch it I actively remember (am mindful) of manifesting the wholesome qualities off the cushion.

It surprises me how infrequently the thread needs replacing - despite being a thin single cotton strand it usually remains in place for a year or two before breaking.

Also, remembering that practice is called practice for a good reason: it is not 'the real thing'.

The real thing is your life off the cushion.

I used to do this every now and then years before I knew anything about meditation. And I honestly think it's part of what let me be more open to and/or receptive to meditation. I'm thankful for the people in my life that did this and told me to "stop and smell the roses" now and then.  :D
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakuin Ekaku

"I have seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it has never come to pass" - Mark Twain

georg7887

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  • Something in between
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Re: Tips or hacks for beginners?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2020, 09:14:34 PM »
These little helpers enter my mind in just the right moments

Ning dai - be still
Tong dai - be patient
Raw dai - you can wait
Char dai - If it's late/slow, no problem
Dee dai - you can be good

My most important tip for beginners would be: find a teacher (and/or a therapist)with whom you resonate well as soon as possible, even (or especially) if you are scared/anxious,  feeling unworthy of getting help, disconnected from the world etc. This step may cost you much bravery at the beginning but will spare you much (unnecessary) suffering

Happy Sumo

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Re: Tips or hacks for beginners?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2020, 10:20:47 AM »
Knowing why you do it is very important when starting out I think. As a beginner it is hard for you realize if you are doing it properly. So trusting the process and consistency are key in the beginning.
Health Benefits of practicing Mindfulness - A guide for busy people and beginners: https://bit.ly/2y8kvoM

Guillaume

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Re: Tips or hacks for beginners?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2020, 07:01:59 PM »
We can meditate anywhere, anytime. So anytime you have to wait in a queue at the supermarket, for public transport, during your day at work or anywhere, instead of being in your thoughts, try to empty your mind and be mindful.
Waiting will not be waiting anymore, it will be an opportunity to meditate !

mobius

  • Member
    • vipassana
Re: Tips or hacks for beginners?
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2020, 02:33:43 AM »
this isn't exactly a meditation tip but a general life tip I heard in dhama talk recently and it can apply to anything imo, including meditation:

[there was a Thai term for it I forget. (Jaka, Janga or something like that...)]
Focus on positive accomplishments in your past. Remember something you did to help yourself or another person. Perhaps helping a friend, something big like loaning money or as simple as avoiding killing a bug.  Remind yourself that you've done positive things thus you are capable of being a good person. And the kind of joy it brings you; this isn't a defilement; as long as your not using it as some kind of excuse to excuse yourself of some non-related wrong-doing or something like that. It is to remind yourself of goodness and give you self-esteem.

Years ago, before I knew anything about Buddhism a friend told me something very similar to this; and honestly it really helped me through difficult times.
For example I was learning to drive a manual transmission car for the first time and struggling, and because of several other struggles in my life at the time I was really depressed. But my friend said to me: well you are learning to drive and even if it's difficult you've done this much so far and you got a job (I had recently got a job at the time), that's progress from where I was before. And it really helped.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 03:35:00 AM by mobius »
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakuin Ekaku

"I have seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it has never come to pass" - Mark Twain

Thanisaro85

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    • Reverend father Jaran, Pramote. Theravada
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Re: Tips or hacks for beginners?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2020, 04:05:16 PM »
Bring a small locked padlock along, chant in your mind na ma pak tak( earth, water, wind ,fire)18 times in a row, blow at the padlock, and as many repetitives as any free time allowed. With the objective of unlocking the padlock. Keep your mind focus on something in any free interval of the day.
A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

 

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