I am looking for a really good, simple step by step guide to learn how to meditate...seriously! I have a very hard time relaxing and am not the self reflective type and I'm trying to change that. I have been looking around but all I can find seems really you already know how to "calm your mind"....I need help at calming and quieting my mind!! I am very analytical and cannot stop my brain and body from thinking about things and what needs to be done. I have a hard time just sitting doing nothing and I pay for it. I go, go, go all day and crash after I put my daughter to bed at 8....usually in bed by 9. 

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  • Hey, hopefully this helps!



    If you are really struggling with analysing and thinking then it is best just to embrace the fact that that the distractions are happening. It may seem like it will never happen, but eventually after continually sitting down quietly and even attempting to meditate, your distractions will dissolve.


    Trust me, I was in the exact same position as you. Group meditation sessions are also excellent for helping you getting in the swing of things. If you can meditate in a group environment, for a longer period of about an hour, even if it is every few weeks - 10 minutes a day eventually becomes much easier.


    Any other questions let me know!

  • Pema Chödrön wrote a book called "How to meditate"!

    You might start with counting your breath (4 breathing in, 4 holding your breath, 6 breathing out, pause for 2 etc.)

    - that gives your busy mind something to do! :)

    Best of luck to you! It is hard for everyone I believe, so don't be discouraged! <3

  • This book is very short and focuses on the practical how-to step-by-step, with very little mention of anything mystical. It covers posture, breathing practices/alternate nostrol breathing, mantra, all the basics.  I've taken courses based on these techniques and it helped me lay the foundation for a practice, which is often the most challenging part for someone like me and my "monkey mind".


    24 page preview, you can find the complete version on the cheap or may be able to find a free pdf download in its entirety:


  • Thanks all! I have a hard time finding quiet when I work 11 hrs a day and have a 4 yr old...but I'm going to look into it all.

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  • This video helped me alot when I started a few years ago...


  • It is not going to be easy, but this is the best way to start meditation IMO. 



    10 full days. Intense. Free. Worth it.

  • edited February 2014

    "... I have a very hard time relaxing ... all I can find seems really advanced....I need help at calming and quieting my mind!! I am very analytical and cannot stop my brain.... I have a hard time just sitting doing nothing ... "



  • the mat is probably awesome for sleeping but I sleep on my side or stomach...I know, awful...but better to get a whole nights sleep than to lay away because you are trying to sleep in a way your body hates. (my spine is in almost perfect says my chiro so i don't need to sleep on my back to keep my body healthy)

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  • Meditation doesn't necessarily calm your mind.

    It's brain training, hence can often be stressful.

    It's a practice, not a technique to become calm when you want to bliss out.


    Try sitting down & counting your breaths. When you get distracted by anything, including your own thoughts, start from zero again.

    Try to extend that practice every day, in terms of duration.


    I can email a lot of literature by John Kabat-Zin & Matthieu Ricard to you if you think it would help.

  • I agree...meditation wouldn't be relaxing for me at first. I more mean I have a hard time just being...if that makes sense. I have a compulsion(thanks ma!) to always need to be getting something done. Be it cleaning, organizing, reorganizing...etc. I can't just stop and do nothing. I have been making myself watch house of that is pretty addicting and makes me stop and sit and not try and worry about needing things perfect. 


    I have been counting breaths the last couple days and I do like it. I def. need to work on it more because by the time the house is quiet at night I have a million things to do before getting up the next day, let alone get 8-9 hrs sleep. Usually sleep takes priority over meditation. I am starting with 5 minutes to myself for breathing and yoga poses before bed...its a start. I cannot wait to start integrating some other suggestions here.

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  • I find that meditating first thing in the morning works best for alarm goes off and I press play on one of my guided meditations for 10 minutes.


    I'm with you that meditating before bed my mind is too full from the day and I really find it challenging to stop and relax.


    You can find all different guided meditations on youtube. Try a few until you find a person's voice, energy that you connect with.


    I used to meditate a lot when I was younger but have been struggling to find a 'quiet mind' since I have started again. The guided meditations are great for helping teach you to focus on something other than your internal voice.


    Also just be careful with which yoga poses you are doing before bed......if you find you are having trouble sleeping it may be because your poses are ramping up your energy rather than calming it :)


    Keep us up to date with how you go!

  • edited March 2014

    Just a rant...



    The term "Meditation" is such an abused word with as many definitions as there are people "meditating".

    As one of the posters mentioned, meditation does not always inherently imply "relaxation" specifically unless this is indeed part of your intention and what you desire from your time.

    Really, it is a single mindedness of attention or consciousness that is implied in general when the term meditation is passed around.

    However, what one focuses on can be as varied as the individual.

    you can focus on breath, you can focus on an image, you can focus on relaxing, you can focus on a goal, you can focus on simply feeling, you can focus on...exactly.

    Many different areas to focus on.


    Focusing on your breath has many practical benefits and is why it is so commonly used.

    Training your mind to be able to focus on 1 thing for 20 minutes pays off in a myriad of ways.

    Of course your mind is going to continuously have thoughts come and has been on a near autopilot for how many years.

    You must expect that there will be some major intention needed to change this habitual thinking.


    It is really quite simple, let's use focusing on the breath as an example.

    Fucking do it.

    Focus on your breath going in, focus on your breath going out.

    Set a timer for 20 minutes so you don't have to think about it.

    You want to be able to go in and FUCKING FOCUS.


    Nuetney, i have a secret to tell you...THOUGHTS ARE GOING TO COME UP.

    Focus on your breath going in, focus on your breath going out.

    Oh, has a thought come up?...guess what...get back to focusing on your breath.

    Focus on your breath coming in, focus on your breath going out.


    Uh oh...your thinking about what you have to do tomorrow...bonus question...what do you do Nuetney???!

    That's right, go back to focusing on your breath.

    Come on, FUCKING FOCUS.

    We are not talking about all god damn day, we are talking about 10- 20 minutes.

    You are bigger than these little piss ant thoughts that are running you on their own schedule.


    Yes I am using strong language, I need to get it through to you that you are in for an initial battle and not "hum ho" your way through another explanation.

    Until you can enjoy the benefits "first hand" from the experience which will make it easier to allow yourself to do it next time and the time after are going to need to rely on the strength of your will/focus initially.


    It is not a matter of whether thoughts are going to come up or not...THEY WILL.

    It is a matter of resolve, as much as it is a matter of focus.

    A thought will come up...just fucking realize this and go back to focusing on your"I can't believe she said that about...whoops!!!" should we have for dinner?...need to start eating heal....ahhh!, I'm actually focusing on my breath for a little longer now,....

    oh wait, is easy, aww shit, isn't doing shit, man this is stupid...whoops!!!


    You get the picture. ready to battle for 20 minutes.

    Get over "thinking" it is going to be easy or come won't.

    At least not initially.

    Even learning to "relax" can take a certain type of "mental" direction/effort initially.

    Soon you will learn the difference between effort and intention.

    Eventually you do not want to keep using will to focus as it can lead to becoming more of a stressful experience rather than an enlightening one.

    Intention is somewhat slightly difficult to describe apart from effort or will.

    Effort or will almost imply and have contracted, physically tensed type attributes.

    Where as intention is a more relaxed and understanding, more guiding in principle.

    Much more akin to pulling a string, where as effort or will attempts to push the string if that makes sense.

    Sure there are results, just not ideal.



    Commit for 20 minutes.

    Commit to 20 minutes with all of the intention you can focus, and refocus every single time back to your breath or whatever it is you have decided to focus upon until the 20 minutes is up...meditation is only as complicated as one makes it...or has some benefit in making it sound like it's difficult so you can buy their book:D

    Holy shit I'm awesome.

  • hybridhybrid Cateye vs Isolation

    Meditation is a mess because there are so many systems of meditation. Some are based on mantras like TM, others have visualizations, eyes closed/open, posture, in vipasana retreats there is a lot of bodyawareness.


    There are a lot of options out there for meditation. Chances are people starting out will ADD through meditation methods, jumping from one to another over time.


    The most comprehensive system of meditaion I have found was created by the integral institude, which is like the mma of spirituality.



    In this practice kit you get great instructions on meditation, working on shadow, the big mind process...


    ps. you can torrent it no problem, but if you appreciate the work you could considering buying or donating to the integral institute

  • Tim Ferriss recommends reading some fiction before bed. It's a helpful way to get away from the day's events, and quiet one's mind. Also, writing before bed is helpful for quieting one's mind :)


    Some things to consider. Meditation generally is best at the start of the day (if you can). It sets the day in motion in a good way. Hope that helps! 

  • thanks to all. I have been trying different things out to see what works for me. I cannot start my day with it because I never know what time my 4 year old will actually wake up. But all your suggestions have been helping and I love how many different forms of meditation and relaxation techniques are out there. I just need to figure out what works for me. Doing something is better than nothing! 

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  • hybridhybrid Cateye vs Isolation

    If you havent already, hrv is teh perfect way to get started in meditation, you train focus, calm, breathing, lightness... all very good qualities no matter what meditative path you decide to follow, you will get notable results early on.

  • dont you need an expensive device for hrv? Honestly, haven't looked into it because I cannot afford anything at the moment...barely vitamins. We are lucky our meat is cheaper from our local GF gal then at the supermarket....bloody hell veggies are costly right now here in the cold canadian north!!!

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  • can anyone recommend any youtube meditatiions? I cant seem to find one that doesnt sound like a robot or a man.

  • can anyone recommend any youtube meditatiions? I cant seem to find one that doesnt sound like a robot or a man.

  • I just downloaded some apps and tried it.  Search the app store for Meditation, Silva, or Brain Wave.  I don't know if it'll work, but it's super convenient and easy to use.

  • Its not so good to force meditation. If you go into it aggressively (angrily) you may cause a hardening and you are only perpetuating and strengthening your aggression. That's a good way to become tired fast or get frustrated with it when first starting out. Meditation can make you more neurotic if you use it this way. This is partially why I don't agree with the terms "focus", "concentrate" and "pay attention to" - they imply a "crunching down" or collapsing onto. I much prefer the phrases "rest in the experience of breathing" or relax into the breath (or what ever your object of attention is). Its more about expanding awareness and opening... but perhaps that's after some experience?


    There was some Zen master who described the stream of thoughts/feelings like autumn leaves on a river and a stick as attention. Imagine forcing the stick of attention onto the leaves of thought. What happens? Everything gets backed up and when the stick of attention is removed (falls off), all those thoughts and feelings will come rushing back.


    Don't try to stop thoughts, that's really not the point. There are many purposes of meditations but you are resting attention on the breath (or other object), a thought comes up and you either watch it rise and fall or you get caught by it and forget the breath. Then there comes that moment of recognition "oh, I've been thinking" and you recalibrate, resting your attention on the breath. That IS (a) meditation. Thoughts are an important part of the process. With experience, you will realize that thoughts become exceedingly quieter and the spaces between them become exceedingly larger and your relaxation becomes exceedingly deeper.


    On the other hand, you don't want to just blankly stare with an empty mind of dullness. There is a delicate middle to rest within - not too tight but not too loose, and there is a subtle difference between resting in open awareness and having a blank mind.


    I had enormous difficulty when first starting out. The best thing to do is find a meditation instructor - but I didn't know where to look, so it was rough for me. I started with various techniques that didn't work for me. I've learned since then that different meditations work for different people according to their current capacity/level of experience. So I started out counting each exhale up to 4, then start again, counting each exhale up to 4, and repeat. I started doing 10 minutes once a week, then slowly increased to many hours per day, but usually nowadays its about 30-45 minutes per day. At some point, I noticed I naturally stopped counting mid meditation, and was resting attention on the breath. Then I noticed I wasn't even counting when I was meditating.


    My favorite part of meditation is that it is different every single time. It is never boring for me. Some days there will just be a constant barrage of thoughts and you will get up from meditation and think it was pointless. Other times you will be completely dissolved in absolute bliss. Then there is the large gray area in between. Just try not to get too attached to the good sessions and too disappointed when it seems like it sucked. Daily practice is important because you start a momentum, a continuity and there will start to be a "meditation spillover" into your day. If you are consistent enough, meditation is just a refresh of this continuity. Life and meditation begin to merge and there is almost no way to distinguish between the two until you stop for a day or two...

    It's all relative.

  • Feel free to check this out. LifeFlow audio meditation series. It uses Binaural Beats-esque technology. And this intro is only 5 mins (or so). Just put it on w/ headphones, and relax :) See how it treats you! :)

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