How To Meditate

By Leo Gura - October 20, 2014 | 118 Comments

The no-bullshit guide to meditation

Video Transcript

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Hey, this is Leo for Actualized.org. In this video I’m going to tell you how to meditate.

I want this to be a very foundational video that gets you to actually practically start meditating in your life. What we’re going to talk about here is why meditation is important, how to actually meditate – the technique, and at the end we’re going to cover some of the common pitfalls and traps that people experience with meditation which prevent them from building a consistent meditation habit which is so important to actually get the benefits of meditation.

Make It A Habit

You can’t get the benefits of meditation by just meditating once or twice. You have to make it a habit. I’m going to tell you a lot of important nuances you need to understand to help you meditate successfully.

When I tried to meditate and make it a habit several years ago, I stumbled around, I tried to make it happen and I was always falling off track. I did a couple of thirty day challenges with meditation, I was able to stick through those thirty day challenges but in the end it didn’t stick and I wasn’t seeing the benefits. Right now though, this is getting towards the end of 2014 and I’ve been meditating consistently for one hour every day since the beginning of 2014. I started in very early January, the beginning of the New Year. It was kind of my new year’s resolution.

I meditate for one hour every day and I did that consistently without missing a single day this entire year. Right now I’m on day two hundred fifty something so I’m getting into the three hundreds in a row. That’s what you want. You want that very steady consistency. Now it’s pretty easy for me. Even though one hour is a big chunk of time, it’s pretty easy for me to do this consistently because I built that habit.

Let me share with you some of the important stuff that I have learned through doing almost a year of really consistent meditation. The Buddhists, they have a way of characterizing our mind. They put it this way. They say that your mind is like a crazy monkey, constantly running around, always ADD, always frantic, always searching for something new, can’t sit still.

Worse than that, it’s not just this crazy monkey but imagine this crazy monkey and that you’ve got it drunk, totally shit faced. Your mind is that, it’s a drunk, crazy monkey. Worse than that, not only is it drunk and crazy, it’s totally out of control, but imagine that monkey being stung by a scorpion. Now you have the perfect metaphor for your brain, the way that your mind runs itself, the way that it works.

Without beginning to do meditation, without beginning to take a real close look at the kind of false emotions and things that are going through your mind on a minute to minute basis, it’s hard to even appreciate that this is what it is. Your mind is this crazy, drunk stung monkey. The more you meditate, the more you realize that’s the perfect description.

What’s your life going to be like if you’ve got a crazy drunk stung monkey running around and trying to manage it? Is that going to be an exceptional, extraordinary, successful, fulfilling, happy, peaceful type of a life? Or is that going to be a frantic, neurotic, chaotic, overstressed, overwhelmed, making stupid decisions kind of life? It’s going to be the second one. You don’t want that.

The ultimate benefit of doing meditation is to get this drunk, crazy monkey in line, get it under control. You take away the scorpion, you take away the drunkenness, you take away the craziness and now you’ve got just a plain relaxed monkey. The more you meditate, the more of these bad characteristics you take away.

Eventually what you reach is this state of really calm tranquility. Imagine this monkey on sedatives. That’s kind of what you reach. It’s a good state to reach, but it takes some work to get there.

The Benefits Of Meditation

Let’s talk about some of the other benefits of mediation really quickly. One very important aspect is mastering your emotions. Your emotions run your life. They determine how much you could accomplish in your life, they determine whether you sabotage your own results, so this is really big.

They also determine how you feel. If you’re always emotional, you’re always up and down, you’re having all these negative thoughts, then this is making you stressed and frantic throughout your life. This is destroying the quality of your life. Meditation gets that under control.

Meditation is really good for eliminating stress and helping you unhook from stimulation. Nowadays it’s very easy to get hooked on addictions. You can get hooked to television, internet, pornography, drugs, food, sex…you name it, it’s out there and you can get addicted on it. What meditation teaches you is to unhook from that stuff and not be frantic the way you would be now, but to be calm and peaceful and really be happy just in the moment.

True happiness can really only be attained by being very present and happy, content you might say, with the present moment. You might have noticed that if you’re always seeking stimulation what that does in your life is it produces a rollercoaster ride up and down. You have some amazing sex then there’s a crash because you can’t have sex forever. You have some nice drugs then there’s a crash because you can’t be on drugs forever. Same thing with food, alcohol, internet and television.

What you want to train your brain to be happy with is just a very consistent level of contentment in the present moment with whatever is going on and not necessarily even with pleasant stuff. This is something that is really big that you get with meditation.

The other thing that meditation is great for is building up your willpower, your prefrontal cortex. There have been scientific studies and evidence done that shows that by practicing meditation, even for just ten or twenty minutes every day, within a few weeks in the brain scans that they do they see the prefrontal cortex building new connections, growing stronger. This will help you with your work, this will help you with your gym routines, this will help you with everything you’re trying to do in your life.

It’s really a form of brain training. It’s the most original, old school, millennia-old form of brain training. You don’t need to play games online to train your brain. The best way to train your brain is to actually use your brain. The way you use it, one of the ways, is through meditation so it’s really good.

It also helps with brain health. More and more studies are showing that stuff like Alzheimer’s disease is actually a result of disuse of your brain. When you stop using your brain it starts to atrophy. When you’re using your brain actively all the time, you’re putting it under stress, just like a muscle when you’re using it it’s growing and it’s developing.

Be More Productive And Creative

Another thing that’s really great about meditation is it increases your productivity and your creativity. If you’re a very productive person, if you’re a no-nonsense kind of no woo woo, no hippy kind of person, you’re very pragmatic and hard-nosed, you just want straight forward results in your life, in your relationships, in your business, you want better finances and better money, this stuff comes from productivity. Productivity comes from a clear thinking mind that’s able to focus. That’s what you develop with meditation.

You can also use mediation to become more creative. Creativity is something that comes from your subconscious mind and it comes when you’re able to calm yourself down and be peaceful and grounded. Then, creative stuff tends to bubble up. When your mind is frantic all the time, it’s very difficult to be creative. If you’re a creative, artistic kind of person then meditation will serve you very well.

Meditation is also the single best way to develop and practice mindfulness. Mindfulness, this is just an awareness and the ability to be an observer of yourself, your mood, your emotions and also other people in life in general. It’s the ability to look objectively at these situations without being reactive to it emotionally. It’s the ability, for example when you’re angry, to look from the outside as it were at the situation that you’re in and the emotion that you’re feeling and the ability to just look at it without having to do anything about it.

The power of mindfulness, which I talk about in other videos and I’m not going to go into too much detail because it’s a very deep topic, is that it can be used to melt away and dissolve negative emotions and any kind of frustrating situations in life, just by observing it with a lot of consciousness and awareness, without any form of judgment, without any kind of action taking. Just pure observation and awareness can be a really powerful tool. It’s hard to appreciate this until you start to meditate and you start to develop those powers to grow those mindfulness muscles, and then you start to see the results of that in your life and it’s very cool.

Lastly, this is perhaps the most amazing thing about meditation is that it can be used to attain enlightenment. That’s again a very advanced topic and I’m not going to go into here. Suffice it to say that through proper use of meditation for long enough times, what you can do is you can literally melt away your sense of ego, your sense of separation with the world.

You can literally reach this very blissful, peaceful state which is your natural state, which is obstructed by all the crazy monkey chatter that’s going on. This is just the truth that you are one with the world, you are one with everybody else. When you can attain this state then the amazing thing about it is that you feel very peaceful, totally content, totally fulfilled without needing anything else in your life. This is the ultimate state you can shoot for with your personal development.

I’m doing a lot of work with that personally. I’m really excited about sharing some further techniques about how to use our meditation in order to actually attain enlightenment. I’ll have more videos on that to come soon. This is why you want to meditate.

What Is Meditation?

Now let’s talk about what meditation is. Let’s give a definition for meditation. It’s very simple. It’s basically just sitting down and quieting your mind. Just being aware of exactly what’s happening in the present moment. That’s how I would define meditation.

It’s the ability to just focus your mind on basically nothingness, nothing in particular, and not getting caught up in thought stories. What’s going on in your head is that all the time you’ve got these stories that come up. What can happen is either you go along for the ride with this story or you don’t, or you just observe the story just kind of wearing itself out, fizzling and bubbling away. That’s what thoughts are in your mind.

Thoughts are like clouds that move through the atmosphere. Imagine your mind like the atmosphere and the thoughts are like clouds. They just come through, they are very random, they are very capricious. One day they are this kind of cloud, the next day there’s this other cloud, sometimes there’s this interesting formation of clouds, sometimes it’s pretty boring.

Sometimes what happens is we get triggered. We get caught up in these thoughts and we get carried away and we get taken miles and miles off track by going along on these clouds. What mediation is about is just being totally still and watching these clouds move through the atmosphere without moving, without judging them, without thinking about them, just watching them. That’s a definition of meditation.

There have been a lot of scientific studies that have been done especially in the last fifty years or so on meditation. They’ve done EEG scans and FMRI scans on meditating monks, Buddhists, and yogis. They’ve also done studies on regular western meditators, people who meditate for just ten minutes every day.

What they found is that meditation has enormous health benefits. One of its benefits is towards improving your life. We’re already covered a lot of those benefits. Don’t think that this is just some sort of new age tradition or some sort of fad type of habit.

Meditation has been around for thousands of years because these benefits are very real. In fact science just now is catching up to some of the benefits that I’ve been talked about in Eastern traditions where meditation originated from for literally millennia.

There is so much scientific evidence. You can read books that will teach you and convince you of some of this amazing stuff. There are a lot of different meditation techniques. I’m going to share something very simple today.

There are different ones: some of them have you focusing on a mantra or an affirmation that you say to yourself, some of them have you do particular breathing exercises, some of them have you counting your breaths in a specific way, some of them just have you trying to clear your mind constantly…there’s a lot of different stuff. Actually meditation is very, very simple. I want to keep things very simple here. I’m going to cut a lot of bullshit.

A Simple Yet Effective Technique

The fact is you don’t need to spend a lot of money on classes, you don’t need to spend a lot of time reading books, you don’t need any special equipment. Here’s the technique I’m going to give you. You can use this technique to get to the highest levels of meditation you can. All you’ve got to do is use it consistently.

Step one is you get a timer. I’ll take my smart phone, I have a timer on there and I set a timer. Let’s say for you the time is going to be twenty minutes. When you’re starting off a meditation habit, a good time to shoot for is twenty minutes. Let’s have you start with that. Twenty minutes on the timer.

Step two, sit in some sort of quiet area, preferably alone. Sit in a comfortable position. You don’t need to sit in a full lotus position, that’s usually difficult. You don’t even need to sit in a half lotus position.

You can literally just take a chair and sit on it. You could do it on the couch. You could do it on the side of your bed. Don’t lie down. You need to sit up and not just sit up, but the more perfectly straight and erect your spine is the better because one of the things you’ll encounter with meditation is sleepiness.

One of the ways to correct sleepiness when you’re meditating is to keep your back very, very straight. I used to think this wasn’t important until I started falling asleep a lot and then I discovered that actually the angle of your spine matters very much. The more you tilt it, even just a little bit, the more sleepy you tend to get, so the more straight your spine the better.

If you want, start off meditating with some sort of support for you back, so let’s say you’re sitting on a chair with a support for your back that’s fine. Eventually it’s probably best to sit in a way where nothing is supporting your back, just your muscles are doing it. That will keep you the most alert.

You’re going to sit like that then you’re just going to close your eyes. You’re going to relax, you’re not going to do anything special with your breath, you just going to kind of breathe not too deliberately, you’re just going to let your breath go automatically nice and calm and steady. Your eyes are going to be closed and what you’re going to do in your mind is you’re going to try and clear your mind of any particular thoughts.

Like I said before, you’ve going to try and not get caught up in the thought stories. It looks something like this; you’re sitting there, you’re comfortable, give yourself a minute just to adjust, scratch anything that needs scratching so that you’re comfortable there, you’re going to try and sit still and not move for those twenty minutes. What immediately is going to happen is that for the first five or ten seconds maybe your mind will be clear, but then some thought will come up, some sort of story. It will try to grab you take you with it as it goes.

You Can Either Let It Go Or Get Carried Away

Maybe I’m sitting there and then the first thing that comes into my mind is, “Oh shoot, I’ve got that email I’ve got to answer for a client of mine.” When you get that thought, you have a choice. You can either continue on that train of thought and start thinking about it like, “I need to go and research, I need to compile this report then I’ve got to send that to my clients.”

You can kind of get carried away with a story, or you can notice in your mind like, “Wait a minute, that’s just a thought. I don’t necessarily need to go along for the ride.” Let the thought go on its own way but don’t go with it. You just let that thought go.

As soon as you let that go maybe a new thought comes up. The new thought tells you, “I’m out of groceries. I need to go to the grocery store” and “My car’s out of gas I’ve got to fuel up first.” Again, you can start to go into story mode about that and you could say, “I’ve got to get gas, what about gas prices? The gas station near my house is closed so I’ve got to go find a new gas station.” You get carried away or you could just let it go and again, just wait for a new thought to come.

You continue like this, you just let thoughts come and go without ever moving from where you are. Not physically, I mean in your head. Be very still. Be the atmosphere. Don’t be the clouds. Let the clouds pass through you.That’s it.

Your brain is going to get caught off track. You’re not going to be able to do this perfectly. It’s very difficult to do this perfectly. In practice what you’re going to do is get carried away by these thoughts.

Sometimes, you’ll get carried away a little bit and you’ll start to refocus, sometimes you get carried away very, very far. You might find yourself caught up in some sort of thought story and you’ll be caught up in it for five minutes. For five minutes you’ll be totally unconscious of the fact that you’ve caught up in this thought story but then five minutes later you’re going to go, “Wait, that’s right I’m supposed to be meditating. Where did I go? I got lost in fantasy land. Let me bring myself back and center myself, become the atmosphere again.”

You’re going to keep doing this again, and again and again. That’s basically what meditation is. You do that for twenty minutes or however long you decide to do it and you’re done. At the end of the twenty minutes you open your eyes, you get up and you’re off to do whatever you want to do throughout your day.

That’s the technique. Very simple. There’s no new age nonsense here, there’s no ritual, there’s no theory behind it, there are no gods to it, there are no religions behind it, there are no principles, there are no holy books. It’s very, very simple. You just sit and clear your mind.

Even though this is simple, it’s extremely difficult. If you’ve never meditated before then one of the things you’re going to discover is how shocking it is, how difficult it is to sit still for twenty minutes without thinking about anything, without getting carried away to fantasy land with your stories. It’s very, very difficult. You’re going to tend to want to get distracted.

With meditation a lot of different traditions form the east have different rituals behind the way that they meditate, theories, philosophy, theology… all of this stuff is distraction. I tend to find this is distraction. People tend to make excuses about why they don’t meditate. They’ll say, “I don’t have the right pillow under my ass, I don’t have the right mat, I need to go take a class, I need to go read this book…” The fact is that stuff is just a distraction.

Meditation is meant to be very simple. It’s meant to fundamentally make you totally accepting of the present moment as you are right now without needing anything. It’s like the most simple activity that you can do. It’s the essence of minimalism. Don’t let somebody confuse you into thinking that you need more information, more theory, more equipment, this kind of stuff. You don’t need it.

In fact that stuff will just distract you. Notice your mind trying to complicate meditation, try to make it too complicated. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be very simple. What I find is that whenever you’re trying to complicate meditation, that’s you trying to procrastinate from doing it.

Your mind is very tricky. It will try to procrastinate this especially at the beginning where you haven’t built up a habit yet just because it doesn’t want to sit still. Your mind is, remember, that drunk, crazy, stung monkey. It wants to be running around. It doesn’t want to be sitting still. The scariest thing you can do is force your mind to sit still.

How Do You Go About Making It A Habit?

At this point let’s actually talk about how to make a successful meditation habit. The trick is that this must be done daily. This twenty minutes? Every single day; weekday, weekend, holidays, birthdays, on Christmas, on New Year’s, on Valentine’s Day… every single day. On vacation days, it doesn’t matter.

On your worst days, when you have a break up, when your business collapses, when you lose a hundred thousand dollars, you’ve still got to do it. When you’re sitting sick in the hospital, you’ve still got to do it. That’s the point.

If you’re not going to do meditation every single day of your life, there’s not even any point in watching this video and continuing further. Don’t even try it. It’s pointless. It won’t get you anywhere.

Meditation needs to be done daily not just for a month or year, but you need to make a commitment to do it for the rest of your life. That’s what I find is necessary. It’s just like going to the gym. If you’re only going to go to the gym for a week, why even go? If you’re only going to go for a month, why even go? It makes no sense. You’re just going to waste a lot of your time and get very frustrated.

The thing with meditation is that it takes work to start to get benefits of it. Yes, you’ll get a little bit of a benefit even within just a few weeks, but the true benefits come months and years later. This is a subtle thing, meditation. It’s not this big, huge, supercharging boost to your life, at least when you start.

To start to get that giant, supercharging boost, that will take you months and years. It’s not going to happen immediately. You need to prepare your mind with those expectations otherwise I find that you’re going to fail.

Here are some of the common doubts and pitfalls that I see people having with meditation. One is they tell me, “Leo, I can’t focus. I’m ADD, my mind can’t focus.” No, everyone’s mind can focus.

There’s nothing wrong with your mind it’s just that you haven’t trained it. Meditation will help train that. If you can’t focus that means you need to be meditating extra hard. It’s not an excuse.

Two is that people tell me, “Leo, I keep trying to meditate but my mind isn’t calm in the middle of the meditation. I can’t calm down.” Again, that’s not something fundamental that’s wrong with you, that’s just how the mind works. That’s exactly why meditation needs to be done.

That’s kind of like telling me, “Leo, I’m fat so I shouldn’t be going to the gym.” No, if you’re fat that means you’re fat because you haven’t been going to the gym and you need to be going to the gym even more than the regular person does. Same thing here. Your mind will learn to calm down through the repetitive practice of meditation.

It Takes Years Of Practice To Perfect

Just because you can’t always focus during a meditation session, doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. This is where people get caught up the most, I think. This is the biggest failure point right here. People think that, “I sat here for twenty minutes and even though I sat through twenty minutes of it I couldn’t get my mind to be calm and peaceful.”

They imagine this picture in their head of a Zen master sitting there with a perfectly calm mind for twenty minutes or a whole hour and they think that that’s meditation. If they’re not doing that then I’m not meditating. No! Meditation is the entire process, not just the calm part.

When you start what’s going to happen is you’re going to have little windows of calmness, maybe five seconds here, and then in five minutes you’ll have another five seconds, then maybe you’ll hit ten seconds somewhere in your twenty minute meditation session. Don’t expect to do this for twenty whole minutes. You might not reach that state for a decade.

Maybe with ten years of meditation practice you’ll be able to do twenty minutes perfectly calm, but right now you’re not going to be anywhere near that so don’t set that expectation. Don’t think that because you’re having five seconds of peace here and five seconds of peace there but the rest of it is mental chatter that somehow you’re failing. No, that’s a full twenty minute session as long as you sit down and you try to focus you’re meditating, even if your mind is going crazy. Especially if your mind is going crazy, that’s where the muscle is being trained.

Imagine that I sent you to the gym. You go to the gym for a couple of weeks and then you tell me, “My muscles are so sore. I’m straining my muscles every time I’m doing a bicep curl.” Yeah, that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Your muscles are sore for good reason; because you’re working them out, they’re training. You’re literally breaking down the muscle tissue and those last couple of reps that are really tough, those are actually building up your muscles the most. Keep doing that, your muscles will get really big.

Same thing with meditation. When your mind is chattering away and it’s having difficulty focusing and you bring it back and you focus it, that’s when you’re getting the most benefit. You’ve got to refrain that and say, “I’m doing good. That means I’m doing it properly.”

Another expectation people have is that meditation is somehow going to be exciting and stimulation. No. If you feel like meditation is boring at first, that’s totally normal. You’re going to have a wide range of feelings while you’re meditating.

Everything That Happens Is Normal

Sometimes you’re going to feel agitated, frustrated, stressed, bored, sleepy, tired, anxious… all of those are normal emotions, especially the one about being frustrated and agitated. Sometimes people will do a twenty minute meditation session and at the end of it they’ll actually get agitated not calm.

They’ll tell themselves, “What’s the point? I thought meditation was supposed to make me calmer. I must be doing it wrong.” No, you’re doing it just right. Meditation doesn’t always make you calm. That’s the end state after many, many years of meditation. Initially in fact you can be very agitated doing meditation. That’s okay. Remember, you flexing your muscle.

Some people say, “I don’t see the point of meditation. Why should I keep doing this?” I’ll cover that at the very end of the video. Some people have this belief that, “I’m not a good meditator. Somehow meditation isn’t right for me. It might work for other people but for me it doesn’t work.” No that’s total nonsense.

Meditation literally works for everybody. All human beings can meditate, and anyone can become a professional meditator, you’ve just got to practice it consistently which is what you’re not doing.

Here’s the principle that I want you to carry with you for the rest of your life as you’re meditating: everything that happens in meditation as long as you’re sitting there, you’re focusing and you’re trying to be mindful, as long as you’re doing that everything else that happens is perfectly normal and exciting, and it’s good. Sleepiness, tiredness, feeling boring, feeling anxious… all that stuff? Good. You’re doing it properly.

This is a really huge principle to accept. Once you accept this principle you can use it to reground yourself. You are going to have days when you’re going to be like, “It’s not working. I must be doing something wrong.”

You’re going to doubt yourself, especially when something turbulent happens in your life. One of the most difficult times to meditate is when you have a big breakup with your girlfriend or boyfriend. Meditating on that day or the next morning, that’s like hell because your mind is all over the place. It’s thinking all these negative thoughts. You just sit down, you try to focus, you do the best you can.

There’s no way you can have the perfect meditation session on that day. You’re going to have a very rocky, very turbulent and agitated meditation session, but when you finish that you tell yourself, “You know what? I sat here, I did it. I followed through on my commitment.” That’s exactly what matters. Everything else is okay.

Don’t judge yourself while you’re meditating. In fact try to turn off your logical mind. Don’t be thinking too much about the thoughts you’re thinking. Don’t be doing any meta-analysis. Just sit and be peaceful.

It’s kind of like you trying to find an off switch to your mind. You’re never ever going to find that off switch because there is no off switch. Thoughts just come. One thing you’re going to learn through meditation is that you don’t really have as much control over your thoughts as you think you do. That’s fine.

You Become More Mindful

What you’re going to learn is mindfulness. You’re going to observe the thoughts. What that’s going to do, it’s not going to shut them off, it’s just going to get you distance and separation from them. It’s going to misidentify you with them. You don’t even realize how powerful that is right now until you’ve actually experienced it.

I want to set the expectation that the first two years of meditation, even if you do it consistently every single day, are going to be hell because your mind is not good at bringing your focus back from these wandering thoughts. It’s going to be difficult. You have to tell yourself that that’s normal. It’s not going to be smooth sailing.

Which brings us to the final reason which is why should you meditate at all when there are all these difficulties, frustration and agitation, feeling bored, tired and sleepy, and all this stuff? Why are we meditating? We already talked about some of the benefits, but the reason that you fail if you’ve tried it in the past to set up a successful meditation practice, is because you’ve lacked the vision of what meditation can do for your life.

The reason that now I’m very consistent with my meditation is because after lots of research, lots of trial and error, I’ve finally been able to create a vision that I’ve really bought into, heart and soul convinced myself that meditation is something that I should do for the rest of my life.

Here’s what I picture for myself. I picture that through years of meditation I’m going to develop really strong emotional control. I also picture to myself that I’m going to be able to be happy no matter what the circumstances. How cool is that? If something goes wrong in my life, I’m still going to be happy. If something goes great in my life, I’m still going to be happy. I’m going to be in control of my life, I’m going to be in control of my emotions.

It’s going to help me in my relationships, it’s going to help me overcome any negative habits and addictions that I have, it’s going to build strong mental willpower that I’ll be able to apply in my business – I’m very business oriented. I’m also going to be able to apply this to become more productive – I’m very productivity oriented. I’m also big on creativity. I love being creative in my work, it’s going to help me with that.

I also realize that without meditation I’m never going to actually attain fulfillment in life. It’s not going to be possible because I’m just going to be chasing and running around like that monkey looking for sources of stimulation. I want to unhook myself from all that. I see myself five or ten years from now being much more unhooked from stimulation than I am right now and I can see that having huge positive repercussions throughout my life.

Ultimately the thing that has me really excited is the potential of using meditation to attain enlightenment. The sense of oneness with the whole world, the loss of ego, the loss of all the pettiness that we as human beings strive for every day, the need to protect yourself, all the insecurities you have, all the negative emotions… all that ultimately stems from ego. I’ll shoot more videos talking about that but for me that’s a really exciting prospect, is to attain that kind of state.

That’s how I was able to convince myself. You have to build a case in your own mind. Pick and choose from this laundry list of benefits whatever is most important to you, latch on to it and try to make this vision then go and start with a thirty day meditation habit.

Start with just thirty days. Do a thirty day challenge and see if you can last for thirty days staright. Every single day, like clockwork, twenty minutes, and see how far you get. If you’re still not convinced, that’s fine. Try it more.

The first time I did a thirty day challenge I wasn’t convinced and I fell off track. Get back on until eventually you see that this is something that you really, as a human being, must do if you want to attain fulfillment, happiness and full potential in your own life. This doesn’t just apply for hippies but for every single human being.

If you aren’t meditating and you’re saying it’s too difficult or whatever excuse you’re coming up with, in the end it’s just because you’re lazy and undisciplined, and you don’t want to become disciplined. It takes a lot of practice to discipline your mind because your mind is the most unruly part of you. It’s that drunken monkey. So bust through the laziness, bust through the lack of discipline, start the habit and we’ll talk when you become a good consistent meditator and I’ll shoot a lot of cool videos that will help you to take that meditation and channel it into even more advanced things with enlightenment, which is really exciting.

Wrap Up

All right, this is Leo, I’m going to be signing off. Go ahead, post me your comments down below. If you like this video, click the like button please. Also spread around, share it with a friend on Facebook so that this message spreads.

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Comments
(118)
Greg C says:

Thanks Leo,really good.

Monique says:

Hi Leo,

This is one of the best videos on meditation I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying a lot. You achieved the perfect balance of facts and motivation and potential problems. I love your straight-forward way of stating that this, like many other beneficial practices, has to be a lifetime practice. Your analogies are excellent. I especially appreciate how you brought out that it’s normal for it to be a challenge for a while in the beginning. As I share your videos, some have mentioned they feel your style can sometimes be aggressive. I would like you to consider that there’s a difference between being aggressively motivational, and firmly motivational.

Leo Gura says:

Thanks for sharing the videos

Pawel says:

Hello Leo!
I just want to say thank you for your mental support. I’ve found this project really useful for me and others. You’re doing great job, please don’t stop it. We’ve never met face to face, but you made a significant impact in my life and that’s the reason I’m really grateful. Your videos are inspiring and simple in convey.
Best wishes from Poland, Pawel.

Sam says:

Your videos are a little bit too long in length.

tifa says:

advice needs to be detailed to be efficient.i would’t think to complain about that!

tifa says:

I also want to add that it is what makes Leo’s videos clear and thorough

Kat L says:

Agreed and let me add that this is the best how to meditate video I’ve seen.
It helps a lot! I aim to get into the habit of 20 minutes every day. Thanks.

Bas says:

I have been thinking about starting meditating recently and I got excited to see your new video, it was very interesting! I want to ask what the best moment of the day is to meditate. Planning it in the morning after waking up or in the evening just before going to bed jump to mind, though these are the moments of the day when I feel the most tired; do I get better results when I choose to meditate on the rush of middle of the day? Or does it not matter?

Leo Gura says:

Morning is best, when your mind is fresh.

Lucy says:

Hi Leo
Thank you very much for this video, I found it immensely beneficial.
I have just done my 20 mins meditation and I think I spent the entire time thinking of you and why you choose to live in Las Vegas! This is my equivalent of consider the sound of one hand clapping, completely unfathomable!

It’s funny I thought of but when is the right time of day to meditate? For me this is procrastination, as in worrying about the right incense to burn etc.

Your style of motivation is perfect for me. The thing I find the hardest to hear is 1) you need to work hard / apply effort and 2) need to think long term gain not short term gain. Can’t tell you how much my mind screams NOOO at this. Your attitude is not aggressive for me but giving it to me straight which I need.
Anyway, thank you again I have only just discovered your site and am very grateful for your kind efforts.

Leo Gura says:

Lol, living in Vegas is awesome! Cute girls every night of the week, all year long

Elaine says:

Hi Leo

Graet video : )

Vlad Metrik says:

First of all this is a great video. I love how straight to the point and brutally honest it is. Because in the end you have to be honest when talking about this.

I want to say that I like it when you use your hands. I feel like it’s a way to help remember some of the things you say because of visual association.

I also agree that this video was just a tad too long. For example, it would be really cool if it was 20 minutes, to demonstrate that sitting still for 20 minutes isn’t scary (though I have no idea what you would cut out.. maybe the justification for meditating? I don’t know …)

Anyway, I accept your 30 day challenge and I’m going to start today!
I just gotta pee first.

Gereon says:

This video did an important breakthrough in my head! I tried meditation several times but couldn’t even do it longer than 5 minutes and only some days in a row, because I always thought that meditation is the state of “being in the present moment”. So I got very frustrated that I always follow my thoughts.
But now that I know that meditation is this ‘going back from thoughts into mindfulness’, it’s like I realized I did it right all the time. That’s so relaxing for my mind during meditation and helps a lot not judging about how good or bad I’m meditating!

Thanks a lot!!!

Leo Gura says:

Yes! Key insight right there!

sabrina says:

i started right away the things is that when u sit still i keep repeating myself to just be present… if i stopped i get carry from though…

Dalo leaik says:

Great video. You answer the most important questions about meditation. Why do you meditate for 1 hour ,not for 20 minutes ?

Shanky says:

This is awesome. Really helpful. I started doing it since yesterday. I got into sleep mode. Will make it a habit.

Keep it up. Gr8 quality stuff Leo

Aditya Tyagi says:

Thanks for the informative video Leo. I appreciate it. I would encourage all viewers to check out ancient wisdom traditions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism in order to fully appreciate where these meditation concepts originally came from. It is far too easy to think this is all well-marketed “New Age” stuff concocted in the past few decades and that simply isn’t the case. By studying the original sources, one will gain access to other spiritual concepts and practices that aren’t quite mainstream in the West (yet?). Once again, thanks.

Allen Hensley says:

Hey Leo, would you recommend listening to guided meditations with a set of headphones, or is it better to not do that

Daniel says:

Hi Leo, great great work again!

PS: Could you consider to make a video about how to effectively deal with money? (Money we already earn / have)

I have difficulties to deal with my money, but i am not sure how to fix them.

Leo Gura says:

Here you are: http /www.actualized.org/articles/how-to-manage-your-money-using-a-budget

marc says:

I have seen many of your videos and all i can was that these learnings, discipline and wisdom and everything you share were really inspiring. You are a hero to me, a guru that help me a lot in my life struggle. I came acrosed your videos on the internet last July this year and i found your teachings very interesting, until these days. I see myself today more positive and productive, unlike when i was hooked into religion , i gain a little confidence how to view life in much greater perspective but then this feelings faded away. I believed in your genius and wisdom Leo but tell me .. are you a christian? or do you believe in God?
Is faith with ourselves enough? or should we also rely our faith from above.?
Thanks Leo… in rome i say ” sei un mito ” ,.Ciao !

Sara says:

Hi,
it is a great video, really inspiring me. to day i will start my first meditation.
thank a lot
Sara

A D Phillinganes says:

Thank you! I thoroughly enjoyed this video. I’ve done a lot of reading on the subject of meditation and got bogged down on all of the different techniques and methods. Your video cuts through all of that which is exactly what I needed to get back on track.
As for myself, you’ve hit the nail on the head! I was simply lazy and undisciplined when it came to continuing my meditation practice. That’s all done now as I have committed to 30 days of 20 minutes per day meditation.
I very much look forward to continuing my personal development using your website. Thank you so much much for sharing your knowledge and wisdom as I am sure I and my loved ones will benefit greatly from it.
Finally, I love your sense of humor! “I don’t have the right pillow under my ass! CLASSIC!!!!

Peace

Ivan Stoyanov says:

Leo,

Do you listen to meditation music while meditating?

Daniela Marinova says:

Hi Leo,
I want to ask you is it ok if during a meditation I think of something good, for example-something that makes me happy- and stay with this thought for the rest of the meditation. Or this is not called exactly a meditation but a visualization?

Thanks for the video. I’m defnitely going to challenge myself to do it.

ccv says:

No i think you need to let it go even if its a good though, yet it still a cloud and you still the atmosphere and thats what meditation is as i understood from the video, let go all your thoughts to get moments where you think about nothing.( i hope i am right )

ccv says:

Clear your atmosphere

Daniela Marinova says:

Thank you I’ve started doing meditation since last Monday and I haven’t missed a day. I’m starting to get better at it.

Leo Gura says:

No, don’t do that.

Michael says:

Hey Leo, is it normal that i get a headache after meditating? Am I not doing it right? And is it okay if a song is stuck in my mind while doing it?

Tony says:

Hey Leo, I’ve been thinking about meditating for years, probably only done it a dozen times, you’ve explained it so well, I love your description of the mind.
I’m gonna commit to this, no more excuses.

Keep up the good work

Jen says:

Hey Leo,
Great video as always!
One thing about practicing visualization, is it ok to also mix it in while doing meditation rather than working on a “pure meditation”?

Jen says:

Thanks for the clarification. Ok, then I guess I have do try separating the two in different sessions throughout the day.

Dylan says:

Hey Leo, thanks for sharing your skills with the world! This video really helped me, especially your description of our thoughts being clouds and our self being the atmosphere. You’re a true mentor.

ccv says:

Hell yeah i was thinking about that and about being the atmosphere, this makes things easier during meditation, Leo is awesome.

Dylan says:

I know! The way Leo speaks makes it very easy to absorb the information. I know he doesn’t want to be put on a pedestal, but for me he is a true inspiration!

ccv says:

Hi leo i want to ask some questions please,:
If during meditation i opened my eyes can i continue or i need to restart?
Is it ok to put some calm music during it?
And last question: how do you know the moments where you think about nothing? That 5 seconds you spoke of , how do i know that its working??
Thank you

Leo Gura says:

You think too much. There are no questions. Just sit and be silent. The only way you can fuck it up is by over-thinking it.

ccv says:

Okk thx

Derek says:

If I workout or exercise before or after meditating, will it have a negative effect?

Leo Gura says:

Nope

Rita says:

Thank you so much Leo, finaly someboby explained perfectly all about haw to meditate. You are right when you say that Many people think they are not meditate because cannot stop thinking, that is also why I stopted practicing, but after watching this video….I shall start back again and without giving up. Thank you for your generosity and for sharing all your fantastic videos.
Big hug from Canary Islands

EBA says:

Thank you so much for posting this video. I have been trying to meditate for a couple of years now, but I had not been able to do it consistently. After seeing your video I can understand why; where did I get it wrong. I have the feeling that with your advise and having a better knowledge of the benefits, and being realistic about what to expect I can do it: from today to the rest of my live!

EBA says:

Now I have been meditating for one week and one day. It’s feels really good. Before I tried to meditate without counting the time, but now that I set the goal of doing for 20 minutes, I do find it easier. So for me having a goal that I know I can archive is making a big difference. It’s also helping me to have a bigger goal: improving discipline and self knowledge and quieter my mind. If I get out of the meditation earlier that 20 minutes I restart my down clock again. Thank you!

EBA says:

Hi,
I have been meditating for a month now. 20 minutes every day. 3 days I have not done it in the morning, but still find a moment to do it during the day. And I’m very glad I’m doing it. Most days I do before a short session of yoga or some other similar exercises. I tried to do 30 minutes yesterday but I only manage 20 like every day, so I have decided to still continue with 20 minutes for another month and then it will be the beginning of the year and I will increase it to 30.
So many thanks again. I would not have done it without your videos.

Lidia says:

THANK YOU, LEO!

Ashray says:

There are many videos in which they make you imagine various thinks like for example they tell you to imagine going down the steps and as you go down, you get more relax. When I do that by myself, am I procrastinating meditation?

emma says:

Inspiring. Amazing. You have made this clear and to the point finally.
Just did my first meditation and have a feeling of calm I have not felt in a Long Time. Finally there is hope for this crazy drunk monkey!
Thank you Leo

emma says:

In fact that was so calming and relaxing I Want to do another 20 minutes right now
Thanks again. Your video is Amazing!

Leo Gura says:

Just remember that is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself.

Lisa says:

Hi Leo,
I’ve enjoyed many of your videos, thank you. They are all perfect, and I will continue to watch, except: Please don’t swear; it completely takes me away from your message. All I then think of is Leo just swore. Uh, he just swore again. When you have your own TV show, and you will, swearing will be verboten.

Leo Gura says:

If you want that, you got Dr Phil and Oprah.

shebochi says:

Hi Leo,

This video is gorgeous. Just to the point and inspirational.
Though, let me ask one thing pls. What if we have visions during the meditation? I don’t mean the visualization. The very visions that pop up by themselves suddenly. Shall we watch them without thinking? or consider them like the clouds of thoughts and let them go immediately?

Do you suggest we think over such visions after the meditation as something inside may want to tell us something?

I appreciate your answer as I have visions. During the meditation I mean ) Limes are always green lol.

Thank you.

Leo Gura says:

Just ignore the visions. They are pointless. No, don’t think over them. Just still your mind.

I never said anything about limes.

shebochi says:

Hi Leo,

Thank you very much for your reply. I hope I can enjoy exercising as much as I do during meditation one day I have different experiences during each meditation and I start to understand what awareness is I suppose, and the power of my prefrontal cortex. I feel my willpower growing strong.

I know you didn’t say anything about the limes. As the secret question asks the color of the lemons, I intuitively wrote green and the answer turned back. Then I understood why. Yellow lemons are the ripe ones, and I have still way to go that is why my answer was so.

Thanks again. You are really a good help. You know why? You seem to have helped yourself first, and that is convincing.

Leo Gura says:

I do enjoy helping myself

Asaiah Powers says:

HI Leo,lets say i do meditation every 30 min for a month and miss a day replace it with 2 hours will it compensate for the lost time or are our minds to complicated? And out of curiosity why do you prefer to be bald?

Leo Gura says:

No, it will not replace it.

Apiah says:

Hello. I just meditated for the first time, and it was a wonderful experience. The thoughts that ran through my mind while trying to keep a blank slate, really helped me get a different understanding on the workings of external stimuli in our world and how it affects us internally. I definitely feel much calmer now as well and plan to this daily. Thank You!

Cole says:

I have watched a number of your videos on different topics. Most of what you say on a variety of topics surprisingly resonates as true. This one on meditation seems to be key. I am meditating for maybe 9 months. My question is: If meditation will optimize oneself in a wholistic way, what is the point of all the other videos that are situation specific and/or narrow in focus. I personally believe that mediation will get me to where I want to go all by itself. Don’t get me wrong. I think you are adding value here and among all your other videos. I am just posing the question from a more philosophical perspective.

Leo Gura says:

Meditation is just one technique. It will not fix everything. It will not fix your career problems, relationship problems, money problems, health problems, etc.

Also, you’d be putting all your eggs in one basket. If you ever gave up on meditation or didn’t do it effectively, you’d be screwed. Doing effective meditation is already a very advanced stage of personal development. Most people are years of work away from that.

Jonah says:

Is it ok to meditate more than once per day for 20 minutes? – During the 30 day challenge?

faysal says:

leo its very feel awesome to hear about evrythng you says i have the same awesome creative mind i wish we can discuss evrytym about mind we can create massive change in others minds

George says:

I like that these videos are down to earth. Very usable

Taolin Liu says:

Hey!Leo,I’ve been watching your videos for like a month
I find it very useful and inspiring. I’m chinese international students. I’m really passion about translating you video into Chinese! And more and more people can see it, including my dad. He doesn’t know english. If I can translate into english, i’m sure that those videos would be helpful for him!

Henri says:

Thanks for the video Leo,
Ive done meditation consistently for quite a bit now and
I am already realising the positive effects it has on my life.
I often feel way calmer, I am more focused and conscious
what my feelings are for example, or what happens around me.

What I struggled with before is that sometimes during
meditation I get into these real present phases where
I feel there is no room and time, but when this feeling comes
I want to hold onto it so much that I think about it and get
attached and then lose this moment.

So your advice helps in the sense of just letting it be
and that even an unclear session is great, thats
motivating. This wondering how I can eliminate the
thinking once I get really deep in my session.
I guess its just practice?

Sandy says:

I started trying to meditate about two months ago. I feel it is very difficult to make my mind be still and think of nothing. I’ve watched videos, listened to zen music and binaural beats and have had little success. After watching your video I had my most successful session so far. You do great work. Hope I can continure to improve.

Marcin says:

Hi!

I have found Leo’s website just today, watched movies about controlling emotions and meditation. I have been thinking about taking up meditation for quite some time now. I read some articles about it etc. However Leo’s clip encouraged me to finally give it a try. I have meditated for 20 minutes and after I finished my mind was so calm and silent. I have never felt anything like this before in my whole life. It was an exquisite feeling! I am so excited to try again tomorrow.

Thank you for your work Leo, I am totally going to study all of your clips and articles and begin my self-improvement adventure.

Please keep up your work, because you are going to change lifes of many people!

Best regards, Marcin from Poland

Kim says:

Meditation has changed my life. I am passionate about it and want to share it with everyone! Problem is most people still have this mindset that it’s a religious ritual, a hippy thing, a monk thing, whatever. Everything but what it really is. You can look at someone who is all stressed out, emotionally sabotaging themselves and think, wow you really need meditation in your life! And mindfulness for sure! This is a great video to pass on to those who have never tried it. Simplicity at its best! Thank you!

Ariana says:

Great video Leo. As usual. I’d love it if you could do one on time management though. How do you fit in an hours meditation, on top of regular exercise, work, and the rest of the stuff of day to day living.

There don’t seem to be enough hours in the day.

Or maybe you don’t sleep that long?

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Leo Gura says:

Type “Time Management” into the search box and see what pops up

Ariana says:

Sure What’s a typical day for you though?

brian says:

is it ok to listen to chant or peacful music to help with meditation or is this just more stimulis

snaps says:

Hi Leo!

Thanks for your videos. I appreciate them so much. Can you or anyone else give me some advice? Can I use a guided meditation or meditation music to help me meditate, or would this be considered ‘cheating?’

Thanks!

Much love

Ceci says:

Hey, Leo. I love this video, I have a doubt, though. When you say we should “focus”, I wonder, what do we focus on? You say the present, mindfulness. But what’s that specifically? I mean, how can I put my mind at ease? I still don’t get it.

Thank you for all your advice!

Ceci

anon says:

You should read : michael brown – the presence process

Jerome says:

Hi Leo,
I’m a new subscriber and I am very grateful for this topic which you have covered. I’ve found meditating to date very difficult, but will definitely continue with it.
Thank you for addressing the topic.

pawan kandel says:

hi leo i am a common student hoping for great results.when i ask my friends the secrets behind their success they always make an excuse but u have well explained the wrong way of study. i thank u for that

Eelco says:

Hi Leo,

Is it useful to do an extra meditation session on a day that I have some extra time?
Is it better that the sessions are the same amount of time? or can I meditate some days longer if I have time extra.
Should I meditate every day at the same time? Or can I do one day in the morning and another day in the evening?

in other words: is a strict rhythm/pattern important for the meditation habit?

tnx

Samantha says:

Hi Leo, this video is certainly helpful , but I do not understand on what I should be focusing. How do I think about nothing? Maybe I missed it, but I rewind several times trying to find the answer. Please help as I’m really very interested in beginning to meditate. Thanks!!!

Joanna says:

I read some personal experiences on the internet about meditation and some tell they had a bad experience with it. I read that there are many types of meditations and not all of them suit to every individual i mean mindfulness meditation, for example, may be harmful to some (people who have specific personality characteristics) yet yoga (which is considered another type of meditation) might be suitable to them. Meditation is a powerful thing. I don’t want to hurt myself. How do i know i am meditating right? How do i know this type of meditation is good for me?

Asaiah Powers says:

couldnt i meditate with music on ?

Lorna says:

Thanks for the vids I’m very new to all of this so thought I’d start with meditation and everything you have said is true. My mind is like a child that
Keeps interupting and running a muck ! I’m only on day two of 29min meditation
But I’m going to keep going because my current ways of thinking and emotional reactions are getting me nowhere !

Darren says:

What happens when you get itchy? I’ve found scratching during meditation has a mushroom affect where other itches spring up in their place. It’s making me itchy just thinking about it.

Lorre says:

I’ve checked out a few videos now and am enjoying immensely. Thanks Leo, I have found that personalities matter in whether materials are helpful or not, you seem to present things in a way where I don’t feel defensive or feel attacked therefore I’m not spending time and energy in my mind going, “Well he just doesn’t know what its like to be me” also, its not personal, you don’t know me, therefore you’re addressing issues that we all have a tendency to do, myself, yourself included, so I don’t feel singled out. You see, I can’t seem to get past criticism, my mind generally shuts down and doesn’t listen to someone after they point out negatives that I’m doing. By combining, non face to face and your style that makes me not feel defensive I think I will finally be able to see some of my negatives, address them without wasting time arguing with you or beating myself up and get past some of the things that have held me back. I like that you don’t candy coat but also don’t attack, merely direct, thanks. I’m ADD as hell, gonna try to calm the drunk, crazy monkey mind with a 30 day commitment to the meditation and you did cut through the bullshit and address the pitfalls that have made me quit before. I really think I can keep it up now, thanks!
I’ve always thought meditation could help me but couldn’t keep it up for all the reasons you mentioned, let cha know in 30 days.

gaby says:

hi leo, im almost 5 or 6 months in my 30min. consistent meditation… it is alright that im using meditation music?

Ahmed says:

Thanks a lot
I’m reading for dr covey a lot what is ur opinion
Leo
Thanks

Ankit S says:

hi Leo, when you say clearing your mind and focus while meditating, what are we supposed to focus on? Is it nothingness? Is it ok to visualise the atoms of my body or travel through the space while meditating or are these random thoughts too? I understand we ought to do nothing with the clouds of thoughts and just let them pass over but I do not get the word ‘focus’ in this context. Please help, is it ok to listen to subliminal or binaural tones while meditating?
Thanks

Sonia says:

Hi Leo, thank you for your videos, Its giving me a chance I can change myself….to positively influent my boyfriend. He is such a negative person and I already gave it up with him. He affecting me with his negative thouhts so much, that it ruined our person life and I started to be depresive as well. I started to have heart problems, such as palpitation from panic , that I can do it, that I can do anything. I would appreciate if you have some meditation excercises for breathink. I still have a feeling, that someone ist sitting on my chest and not allowing me deep breathe. I started to meditate so I hope the positive change will come.
Thank you for helping people, for helping me, even doesnt knowing me.

Sam says:

Hello Leo,
a quick question. When I try to meditate, every small sound disturbs me. Can I listen to some meditational music with my headphones while meditating or its better to be little bit disturbed by this external things and train to not think about it?
I found some music on youtube and it helped a lot to think about nothing, I am just not sure if its right to do it like this.
If yes, what kind of med. music would you recomend?

Thank you for your answer.

Nimrod says:

Hy Leo

Everyday i am searching for something new on the internet. Personal development is really important for me, but when i am stumbeling over something really great like your i dont whant to share it with anybody els cuz i a feeling that if i show them they will advance befor me and thats a cary tought for me. I whant to be alwas the smartest and i dont like the idea that my frieds could get ahead of me. I am feeling you know i whant them to succed but not as much as me. Its really hard for me to write this down but i would like to overcome this problem. Any advice ?

Jessie says:

Hi Leo,

When I’ve been looking up meditation, I have come across millions of websites with guided meditation tracks. If there is something I want to work on for “self esteem” for example, is it beneficial to listen to guided meditation? Are there any benefits? Or should I write off guided mediation.

Kind Regards
Jessie

Aaron says:

Leo:

Thanks for the insight! I recently started meditating after seeing one of your Youtube videos. I kept falling asleep and was happy to learn here about the importance of keeping the spine straight.

Even after a few days of meditating for 30 minutes in the morning I can see the benefits you describ. Being able to observe rather than having to react is quite a powerful thing. Thanks again!

Off to sober up the crazy monkey!

-Aaron

Kat L says:

Thanks Leo and what about meditating to sounds like the ocean, Solfeggio or even Mantras from Deva Premal? thoughts? thanks.

Lara says:

It is wrong to feel and realize what was described in this video when I dance?

even in the middle of the disco crowd, it is just me … without thinking, just feel the emotions come and be taken as if it was a river.

Leo Gura says:

That is being in the state of flow. That’s nice and fun, but does not replace meditation.

Evan says:

Hi Leo,

First of all just want to say thank you for the amazing work you’re doing. I know it’s helped a lot of people, including myself.

I have three questions about meditation. First, unless I get plenty of sleep, there’s a good chance that I’ll start to fall asleep while meditating. Recently I’ve been been drinking a coffee before I start. This is the only time I ever drink coffee. It just gives me enough of a boost to not fall asleep. Anything wrong with that?

Second, I’ve been trying to meditate kind of on and off for a few years, but have never been able to get any momentum. However, the principles have stuck with me of trying to clear my mind, trying to observe the clouds go by rather than let them bring me along for the ride. Recently I’ve started to apply that same principle throughout my whole day, walking to work, sitting on the train, watching movies, etc, just trying to bring myself back to the moment. I feel that that is a necessary supplement and maybe even more beneficial than actually sitting down and meditating. It helps with the meditation, because my mind is more accustomed to doing it anyway, and just constantly reinforcing this idea all day rather than focusing on it for only 20 minutes a day is finally starting to help me build some momentum. Do you agree that this is equally as important as meditating?

Lastly, one thing I find about constantly checking my thoughts is that sometimes I’ll interrupt a good thought. I struggle with mild depression/constant negative thought patterns, which is why I started meditating in the first place. So often times I’m interrupting a negative thought. However, when I’m not thinking negatively, I kind of like how my brain works, I am very curious and often times I interest myself with my curiosity. Any worry that the meditation is somehow stifling that productive, pondering part of my brain?

Also, one semi-unrelated question. I’m living in Japan and don’t have a ton of friends here. I’ve never been a huge drinker/partier but definitely enjoy it from time to time and of course it’s a good way to meet people and be social. How important do you think it is to be completely sober vs. having some drinks occasionally without getting out of control? If you truly believe that its imperative to be 100% sober, what’s a good way to explain that to people? Obviously ideally it’d be great to find like-minded people and my best friends don’t hold drinking as a high priority, but my current situation is a bit different.

Daniel Spijker says:

Thanks Leo,
First session of 20minutes was very nice. I experienced something very funny. I opened my eyes 10 secs before the end because I doubted that I set the timer.
Greetz,
Daniel

George says:

Is it a distraction to meditate with ‘Meditation music’? Should I meditate in silence? With light or in dark? Your vids on people pleasing helped me the most. “I am confident and the opinions of others is none of my concern”. I believe this. Thankyou Leo

Tuhin says:

Hi Leo, I am Tuhin, 23 years old guy. I saw your video– how to meditate and i liked it very much. I always tried to do meditation but never stick on that. But the way you describe all the things now i am thinking my brain is that crazy drunk monkey who got stung by an Scorpio and never stick on plan. Because my mind is like crazy drunk monkey, i cant concentrate in one thing at a time. Many things were poped up in my mind while i am doing work. I am realizing that, but cant control my mind.

i know meditation could help me to calm my mind, so i am start doing it. But while i am meditating(first session after watching your video) many thoughts come to my mind as usual, but my problem is that i couldn’t let that thought go.

second one, while i am meditating i cant concentrate in one thing. so i have an question to you , if i think one particular thing during meditation to calm my mind and brain, then is that ok? Am i doing it right way?

I want you to answer these two question of mine..

thank you so much…

Hasan says:

Thank you!

Dhana says:

Hi Leo, I started doing meditation for 20 minutes from 10 days. After 5 minutes of meditation, I am getting lower back pain because of which I can not concentrate on meditation. I have to move and then continue. Is this the common problem that everyone face? Does it controlled over the period of time? Do I need to follow any posture techniques. I am sitting as per your instructions in the video.

Alex says:

How is meditation different than visualization? Can we use the meditation to actually focus on something we like or want in particular? And when thoughts try to steal our focus, we try to bring back the object or desire into focus again?

For example, can we focus on becoming the person we want to be and let the mind explore what this means, how we would think, how we would act, what we would say if we already were that kind of person? Or this is not meditation?

Marco says:

Hi Leo, great video!

Towards the end of the video you talked about the loss of the ego and enlightenment. I’m working on my confidence issues with affirmations and visualizations, and I realize that it’s like I’m building up my ego, like I’m taking care of it.
My question is, how can I relate the loss of ego with the ego boost i’m working on? Isn’t it contradictory? Am I doing something wrong? Can I achieve the loss of ego and being confident at the same time?

Matthijs says:

Hi Leo, love your work!

Just wondered, I recently started to listening to hypnosis/ meditation mp3’s. They sort of bring you in a trance-like state and I’ve found them quiet helpful and relaxing and they bring me in a calm state of mind. I listen to them before I go to sleep and I also listen to hypnosis mp3’s which should increase your confidence.

I just started, but it seems to work really well for me..I’ve always ‘ve had difficulty sleeping, but it’s getting better now, I wonder what your thoughts are about this. Thanks for your response and all the great work!

Matthijs

Mark says:

I watched this and then meditated for 20 minutes. I think that’s the first time in my life I’ve managed that outside of a class! I had lots of thoughts of course, but when the alarm on my smartphone timer went off I actually felt it went quite quickly. I like the no nonsense, practical, 21st century approach. I’m gonna try and keep going with it. Thanks!

Petter says:

Hi Leo.
Is it okey to have some backgrounds music on? Found some great meditate music on youtube that i liked.
Some videos are just sounds like,- Water flowing, bird sounds and so on..

This helped me relax, but dunno if its good or bad.

Do you listen to music when u meditate once in a while?

Tom says:

Awesome

Tom says:

Hello Leo!
If I sit still with a straight back without anything against to support it, the whole time I can think about is how uncomfortable and tiresome it is and all my concentration is consumed by controlling my muscles and balancing my body posture.

Should this be a part of the process that will improve with time or it is an unnecessary distraction?

However I’ve tried in another way.
If there is something to rest my back on then it’s so much easier to observe my thoughts and emotions and letting it go and eventually clear my mind.

Radhika says:

Hello leo
Thanks for such a wonderful video on meditation
But i am facing this problem of getting sleepy during and after my meditation.
Any suggestions on that?
And i think i sleep a lot any suggestions how to cut on sleep?
Is it ok to consume coffee before meditation?
Thanks again really enjoywatching your videos

Leo Gura says:

Go right into the sleepiness and come out the outer side.

Sleepiness is a defense mechanism. It will pass after a few years of meditation. Don’t get seduced by it. Go right into it and let it do whatever it wants to you. Your only job is to sit. If doesn’t matter if you fall sleep. Keep sitting. And keep sitting after you wake up.

The best time to meditate for newbies is immediately after nap, so you have no excuses.

Ruben Hernandez says:

Do you make a distinction between meditation and mindfulness? If so, in what way?

Cheers,
Ruben

Lexie says:

Hey Leo!
I told a friend of mine a few things about your website and a couple of your videos, and the importance of meditation. The day after she told me she meditated for 15 minutes so I was like “Cool! What exactly did you do?” And she said she found some video on youtube, she lay down and all they told her was to relax each part of her body at a time and imagine all the bad energy coming out.
My question is, how to treat these kind of videos – is there something to it or is it just bullshit? Is it because nowadays people have very different understanding of what meditation is?

Oniel says:

Do you focus on your breath at all?

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