Meditation Basics: How do I meditate?
I lead a basic meditation class/group twice monthly in Encinitas, and also use the practice a great deal in individual psychotherapy due to the mental health benefits of regular practice (see some of my other blog articles for mindfulness meditation research).
I've found the greatest misconception regarding the practice of mindfulness meditation is an expectation for relaxation and total peace. People often imagine they are "supposed to" experience a blank mind. This rarely - if ever occurs, even with long time meditators. Pema Chodron commented in one of her lectures on meditation that she's actually a bad meditator- if you are judging on activity of the mind. She laughed, "I have a pretty active mind.. "and here I've devoted my whole life to it" (the practice of meditation).
Essentially mindfulness meditation is about paying attention to your experience, whatever that might be: bodily sensations, thoughts, impulses, desires. All of these will float by when one decides to sit Zazen. The practice is simply being present to one's experience, all of it.
Want to get started in mindfulness meditation ...?
Deepak Chopra is offering a free teleseminar on Wednesday August 11th on the basics of meditation. It's touted as a user friendly, step by step informational session on meditation. Meditation Seminar Link