Could you give the readers some advice on how to meditate. Thinking of nothing is extremely difficult –@RobinHeinen1986
I’ve been meditating since I was 12 and I can tell you this… it’s bullshit.
99% of books, teachers, etc out there that think they know about meditation do not know anything about it.
I like one teacher’s response about meditation. He calls it “mad attention”.
In other words, it’s mad to think that you can take 30 minutes out of your life and sit there and think about nothing. So what happens is you OVERTHINK about everything bad going on in your life. It becomes the reverse of what it’s supposed to do.
And what is meditation supposed to do? Some people say it “relaxes” them. Maybe that’s true for them. But meditation is hard work. It’s not relaxing.
Example: have you ever tried to sit in a lotus or half-lotus for 30 minutes? That’s all – thirty minutes? The blood circulation gets cut off from one or both of your legs and when you stop meditating (or during) the pain becomes enormous as the blood flows back in.
So two problems right off the bat with traditional methods of meditation – it mentally and emotionally hurts you because you start overthinking, you feel like you’re failing, etc. And then it physically hurts you.
Meditation is sometimes called “a practice”. As in, “did you do your practice today?” What is meditation practice for? It’s practice for daily life. For being in the moment when both good and bad things happen in your life.
My suggestion first then is: practice during those actual moments. Like, right now, someone just sent me an email that I found really annoying. So annoying that I almost had to stop writing because I was thinking about this email and my potential responses.
But I stopped myself and said, “you know, this is not a useful way for me to be thinking right now. It helps nobody and it damages my brain.”
Practice more and more stopping yourself in the middle of “not useful” thoughts. In fact, you can do it all day long: labeling thoughts “useful” or “not useful”. Watch all your thoughts as they come along. “useful”. “not useful”, and so on. If you’re driving in a car and someone is not driving fast enough and you get annoyed? “Not useful”. BAM! Not onlhy are you meditating then but you are achieving the results of meditation.
Some people think visualization of pleasant things is meditation. It’s not. It’s visualization. That’s fine if you like doing it. And it might be a type of meditation if you are really good at sticking with the visualization and not letting your mind drift. But that’s hard. So practice moment by moment first, during the day. Try to havemore useful thoughts than not-useful thoughts. That’s all Buddha recommends.