Meditation For Beginners

By Leo Gura - June 13, 2016 | 34 Comments

The bare essentials of starting a meditation habit successfully.

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Mary says:

1)Do we try to be aware of our thoughts in the “Do nothing” technique too?

2)In the “Do nothning” technique, we are supppsed to drop the intention of controlling our thoughts. But can we control our thoughts in this technique?

I have been meditating consistently for about 20 days or so. It has good effects so far. More focus/concentration, less anxiety/stress. A lot less shyness. More confidence.

3)Another unrelated question, do you watch tv series? Do you watch movies?

4)Do you think watching movies have the same bad effects as watching TV? Do movies detach us from reality as much as TV?

suiker says:

3) and 4)
I think you find some answer to this in the video: 18:55-20:30

Jeffrey Henriquez says:

I can see your third eye opening

belinda says:

Thank you for sending out a message to question me if I am mediating or not. I started back and will continue from this point I . the video was encouraging in realizing the difference I. Thinking and awareness. Thank you Leo

Hengame says:

Thank you Leo for all videos very helpful, thankfull that you do it without any expectation from us only develop our Spritual mind, you do great efforts and offer us free to us thank you. I saw this video via youth very helpful

John says:

I am about 45 days into my meditation habit, 20 mins a day. I usually just sit and try to be aware. Occasionally I will use a meditation track. Some days I am more in the zone. Other days it is horrendous and I catch my lack of awareness 2-3 times at the most. But I know that is all par for the course.

It helps to keep reminding myself that the point isn’t to greedily wait to see the benefits as I hear that’s counterproductive. In time I am sure I will see some good but for the moment it’s a little goal and consistency that gives me a bit of control. Hitting that target every day improves willpower.

I had a little reaction to the idea of moving into an hour in 12-months time. But I know it would be wise. I am assuming it doesn’t have to be one continuous session each time. Mostly I have been able to make 20 mins straight but 2 times I had to break it up to stay on track.

I actually do have one question if Leo sees this (or anyone else who knows about it): oftentimes when I become aware of my awareness there is a real sense of not thinking, stillness, but it can often become overwhming, like I almost “wig out” a bit on the lack of chatter, it’s fucking intense, and I sort of come back with a jolt. It’s strange because I am unsure if that is a normal thing? It feels like I am overwhelmed with stillness and my primitive mind tells me that it’s not safe – something like that? I hope I am explaining myself here. Maybe Leo has covered this before but I can’t recall.

Another thing I have truly realised is how much poor psychology I’ve developed through the modern world. Inabilities to let people come and go freely, co-dependency in relationships, and generally just suffering because of my thoughts
and attachments. I’m hopeful in time this will help me detach more and become more self-sufficient because I’m truly learning how – even though friendship, connection and love are values of mine – I really have to be content with and by myself to actually be at the very best in those values. My love can be co-dependent and needy; my connection can be selfish and ego-centric; and my friendships can also be affected by this attachment.

Has anyone ever become truly detached, whilst being healthily attached? Can we move past suffering (say during a breakup) or do you have to have withdrawals through the chemicals and lack of connection? This question has been on my mind for months now. And situations differ. Is all the suffering due to being underdeveloped mentally and spiritually, so-much-so that it’s considered the norm and an unavoidable fact of life.

I really see meditation as offering me great insights here.

But slowly does it! Let’s cultivate some patience!

Great video, really cleared up some things for me!

Ryan says:

During meditation, many times I have experienced and felt bright white lights coming from my head. It also appears as though thousands of rays of light start to float out of my head. Do you experience this Leo? Thanks.

Leo Gura says:

I do not. But that’s not a problem.

Colin Stannard says:

Hi Leo,

Thanks another great video.
I have struggled to return to the habit,
Meditation was for me a profound experience
where I found peace from an almost constant chatter.
For me your homeostasis video explained the reason the why.
it is all about the habit, I went from 50 minutes a day to nothing.
Its not about stopping a thought just the noticing the content
and allowing it to pass by.

Keep up the excellent work.
I off to set a timer

Ragul says:

Once in a blue moon,during meditation can able to extent the duration of state of noticing thoughts and sensations by keeping inner self above these thoughts. I could experience the small windows of being in present moment then and there. I guess I am little aware of the difference between thoughts and alertness.

Sometimes I get carried away from the present moment to some sort of a drowsy state even if I keep my spine erect. i dont really remember what happens in that state. I feel tiredness behind my eyes once the thoughts comes back.

Is it some state of stillness or im just sleeping through during the meditation?

Leo Gura says:

Sleepiness comes and it goes. Just a natural part of the process.

Elisabeth says:

Is it like with the “do nothing” technique, that you don’t maintain control over your mind, but you do over your body?
Because if you say “don’t manipulate your posture, but sit still” it sounds a little contradictory to me. I know if I really don’t exercise control I would just stand up and run somewhere as soon as I loose awareness.

Btw I feel really good about the do nothing technique – for me, it usually leads to quick relaxation.

Leo Gura says:

See what happens when you don’t manipulate at all. If it means you stand on your head, okay. Try it.

Elisabeth says:

I did, and I wasn’t far from standing on my head

I was running around the apartment, or shaking (like it’s encouraged with some osho meditations), “not trying” and observing how none of my intention lasts more then a second, and eventually I fell out of meditation.

It was kind of fun actually

Ndumbe says:

Hi, Leo!
Thank you for this fantastic inspiring recording. I just followed you advice and did my first meditation ever. I’ll continue with it and see what will happen.

Sincerely
Ndumbe

neil byrne says:

did ya give up watching house of cards?

Leo Gura says:

After he and his wife broke up and started scheming against each other, I lost interest.

Peter says:

That was good, thanks Leo.

Wojciech Solarski says:

Leo, what you can say about strong impulses, which you become aware during the meditations? Some of them dissapears after watching, but there are more strong, which pull me into the stream. Any insights? These ‘wantings’ are obstacles to freedom what we all looking for. Put some light on it please.

Gary says:

I like your video. Have been thinking I need to meditate for years and have tried from time to time but never for longer than a month. Awareness and thinking huh. I think my mother (ex yoga teacher) has been telling me this for thirty years.

Raymond says:

Hey Leo, there’s a tickle sensation in my forehead – is this a opening my third eye. – I’m afraid

Wojciech Solarski says:

It is why your eyes comes out? How is this tickle? Is it pleasant feeling? Does it goes with some sounds? Maybe you can make some music from it? Like intro to space opera, and then you third eye will open and fly to first plan?

I have got that tickle, when i feel really funny. I mean really funny. Just like when you feel that your life is so high and lightly and other people are not even conscious about that state. Even muscle in my forehead is jumping then up and down.

For real. Relax. You are fine.

Andy says:

Leo/All,

I just started listening to lectures by Joe and Charley that describe how to read and understand the book named alcoholics anonymous. How does that relate to meditation you may ask. In one of the lectures a solution to harming one’s self by reliving past traumas/dramas is given. Simply put the mental activity to relieve oneself from bad feelings toward those that hurt you or bad feelings you have about yourself by hurting others is to say a simple prayer. I’m finding it effective. If its effective for a lot of people then it would greatly reduce troubling thoughts for beginning meditators.

The prayer is – Let the people that harmed me and the people I harmed find the same harmony in the world, mind and spirit that I am seeking. Its important that you do this prayer daily until you stop refeeling the pain you caused others or they caused.

If you find this helpful please pass it on.

If you’ve never read the big book of alcoholics anonymous you might be surprised at how practical and effective the steps described in it are.

Andy

Linda says:

I love this video–it worth tens of thousands of $$! Priceless!

Thank you Leo!

Sid says:

Hey Leo,

I just wanted to clarify about this non manipulation technique. In essence, do I have to be aware of myself without manipulating myself or my thoughts? Can you give an example where you can catch yourself unaware? I tried this today, but I found it easy, which led me to the conclusion that I was doing this wrong.

Response Eagerly Awaited,

Sid

Leo Gura says:

The hard part is doing it consistently. Once is easy. Try doing it all day long.

Daniel says:

Hi Leo, first of all i wanna thank you very much for all of your videos, especialy this one, cuz it motivated me to get back into meditation.
You see, i started to meditate about 1 year ago. I have been meditating consistently only for about 3 months but it felt realy amazing. then i meditated the whole year but not consistently, but then something weird happend and beacuse of that i stopped.
As i started i have been a very anxious, fear driven person, but because of that, i could stay in meditation very long and after i was relaxed and confident. but i came to a point when i was so relaxed in my life, that i lost my biggest motivation, my fear. and that was the point when i stopped meditating.
after a while i realised that i should continue, but when i started. i couldnt, i have been so relaxed that i fell asleep after a few minutes. i couldnt control it and can not to this day. almost every time i start medtitating, even when im not feeling tired at all, and am keeping my spine erect, i cant concentrate and fall asleep almost instantly. and even after the session is over i just feel like i have had a nap, nothing more. i have tried to fight it, but it is even worse.
So please help Leo, its realy frustrating, it feels like i can meditate only if i have a problem that makes me anxious and keeps me awake, otherwise, i just fall asleep.
I would realy like to continue meditating but this issue makes it realy hard for me. I see the benefits, i know them cuz i experienced it before. i want it to become part of my life, but this issue….

Mike says:

Thanks for this video!

In your videos you are stressing the importance of developing a meditation habit. What I feel is missing is that you show and explain how to meditate in our day to day activities. I try to establish a habit to meditate while comuting, cooking and other daily activities. I think it is more powerfull to establish triggers to the now in everyday life then setting for instance 2h a day aside to meditate. I have seen people where the spiritual world and their real life kind if diverged and they were not able to get the benefits into their daily life.

What are your thoughts on that? Are you probably planning to make a video about developing such triggers or do you suggest to just start with the daily meditation habit?

Leo Gura says:

I would call what you’re talking about mindfulness or awareness practice.

Yes, it’s definitely a good idea to cultivate, but I feel formal meditation practice is more important for beginners. Simply because you need at least a couple of years of formal practice to start to develop enough awareness that you can apply it in everyday life. Everyday life makes meditation 100x harder.

In the end, you’ll be doing both.

Matt W says:

Leo,

Do you think meditation can have the same benefits to someone on antipsychotic medication? Or does one have come off such drugs to meditate effectively?

Thanks.

Leo Gura says:

It will be very helpful regardless of anything. But over time, as you tame that monkey mind, you’ll want to wean yourself off the meds.

Jamie says:

Wow! Realizing now how counterintuitive it is to actively shove thoughts out of my mind, as I’ve been doing in my meditation attempts. I’m so glad I watched this video- I almost skipped past it. Very pleased I didn’t.

Omar says:

Hi Leo.

This is omar from Egypt,

I’ve started meditating and from the first day I feel calm + my forehead tickles and somehow releases dopamine (thats what I really do feel, that makes me so calm and extremely happy) is that safe? After the first 20mins meditation session my eyes were a little bit closed (I mean 70-80% open) as if im sleepy and high from too much tickling in my head.

+ I felt fear, and when I opened my eyes and started being aware and not thinking my eyes focused on the point im focusing it with all other areas becoming black.

Am i doing fine? or should I close my eyes?

Thanks!

Tory says:

Hi Leo
I love to soak for 30 to 60 minutes,in an epsom salt bath. Could i count my time in there towards meditation if j meditate at the same time.?
Love you videos. Just disvovered them today.

Tory

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