Updated on December 02, 2011
M.P. asks from Sarasota, FL
11 answers

Does anyone know how to meditate?? Like really clear your mind and meditate??
I have been trying to for some time now but I always have so many things on my mind.. even when I wake up in the middle of the night and try to go back to sleep-- it seems impossible to clear my mind..

What can I do next?

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answers from Dallas on

When I was trying to learn how to meditate I read something about the mind wandering. It said the mind is like a puppy. It has to be trained. If you feel it start to wander, just acknowledge that it wandered and redirect it back to focus. Do that every time it wanders. Don't chide yourself, just aknowledge and redierct it.
The type of mediation that worked for me is Breath Mediation. I concentrate on my breathing. I breathe slowly and deliberately, noticing how my chest rises and falls. I picture the oxygen going into every part of my body, nourishing it and relaxing it. If my mind wanders, I aknowledge it and go back to focusing on my breathing. Once in this relaxed meditative state I either concentrate on gratitude, praise, and prayer or I just remain relaxed to calm myself and ease stress.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

Focus on relaxing every muscle in your body... start with your toes... feet... ankles.... calves... knees... thighs... etc... this helps a LOT in the middle of the night when your brain won't stop!

I also sleep with a Rosary under my pillow, so if I can't sleep, I start praying the Rosary... never fails to make me doze off after that second round of 'Hail Marys'. That might sound bad, but it works!

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answers from Oklahoma City on

The only way I can close my mind to the endless chatting it keeps doing, you know the to-do lists, the calendar of events that need planning, the argument you had with the kids this morning while they were watching TV instead of putting clothes on, the endless, it's hard, I have to use help.

The only way I can close my mind and relax is to use CD's or tapes meant for doing relaxation exercises. They often have quiet music playing and a soft voice talking. The ones that are my favorite take me to places in my mind that is quiet, wind blowing gently, maybe birds occasionally chirping, I love the ocean ones with ships and waves...they are relaxing to me and give my brain something to process while I am concentrating on my muscle groups and systematically going from one to the other and relaxing them.

I like progressive because it taught me to be aware of how much tension my muscles are carrying around all the time. If I am feeling anxious I can do a mental check list...yes, my shoulders are touching my ears, yes, my back in in knots, yes, my legs are aching due to being so tight...

When I first started out in relaxation training I would always put in a tape one of my professors had made to go along with his book. It went through the whole body, starting with the feet and work it's way up to the top of my head. Then I could sit for a couple of minutes with my body really relaxed and was able to get up and feel so much better. It was hard at first but it is do-able if you just keep practicing.

There are a couple of different methods of relaxing. One is Progressive where you tense and release the muscles in one area then move to the next and proceed. The other is Autogenic where you tell your different areas they feel warm and heave then relaxed. Some work either way others it only works one or the other. I don't like the warm and heavy, I like the tighten and loosen. Find a method out there that works for you but try using a tape or CD that appeals to you with the sounds it is playing and the message it is giving you.

Progressive explained

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answers from New York on

Meditation isn't the clearing of the mind but a focusing of the mind.

The first thing I would suggest to you is to get a journal and write down your thoughts. Then I would select one thing to think about or focus on (this things doesn't have to be related to anything in your journal but could).

I meditate on scripture. If I happen to wake in the middle of the night and need to make myself go back to sleep, I concentrate on my breathing. I take some deep breaths in and slowly exhale. The only thoughts in my head is focusing on the breaths, the sound of the breaths, etc.

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answers from New York on

I believe there are two theories of meditation - one is to "empty your mind" and allow yourself to find the deeper things in life. My perspective on this is that it really allows a lot of negative stuff in that you wouldn't otherwise consider. And, as you said, there's all this other stuff that just keeps coming in to invade your mind.

I meditate on wise words quoted by others, proverbs or Bible verses. Even if you're not Jewish or Christian there are still many, many wise things that come from the Bible that are life truths, profound and are not slanted towards a religious philosphy. The book or Proverbs is called one of the wisdom books for a reason.

Consider this Proverb (chpt 3, vs 21 - 23)
My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion;
they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble.
When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

To meditate on this you simply read and reread the phrases - focus on certain words - what was the author trying to say, what can i gain from this? I think it's a more productive way to meditate - but that's just my opinion. ;o)

Good luck mama!

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answers from Williamsport on

Look into different types. Google "types of meditation". There are many good articles on the various styles. Often for beginners the types which focus on words or images and breath (concentrative styles might have you focus on outside objects like candle flames etc) rather than trying to just keep your head completely clear will ease you into the process. It is very difficult and takes time. See which type might be easiest for you to start, and then go from there, you can switch as you become proficient.

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answers from Appleton on

For me I have to set up my meditation the same everytime. I play the same CD, light a candle, stay in the same room -- the repetitive nature tells my brain to quiet down and relax. If you sit on the floor you will have an easier time grounding and relaxing.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

It's normal for your thoughts to wander when you meditate. It will happen less and less as you get better at meditation.
Two approaches to the invasion of thoughts during meditation:
1. Watch them pass by, as if floating past on the current of a river.
2. Acknowledge that a distraction has occurred and just go back to your mantra, word, whatever you focus on when you meditate.
Good luck!

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answers from Provo on

Look up guided meditation. My husband uses a few different ones and likes that approach.

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answers from Sarasota on

There are many ways to meditate and other techniques for clearing your mind and it's great to explore and find what works for you.

I spend about 1/2 hour every morning journaling and spending a few minutes in quite meditation. The journaling gives me an opportunity to get all my thoughts out in a structured way. I start and end it in prayer and I include a gratitude list and affirmations.

Meditation ideas can be simply focusing on breathing in and out. Some people think of breathing in God and breathing out negativity. You can focus on an object or an activity and try being fully present in each moment during that time. My favorite is to be at the beach and take in my surroundings. My mind quiets easily there. I heard Elizabeth Gilbert say it was suggested to her that she sit and smile, smile even in her liver.

Some people enjoy physical movement during meditation through things like yoga or tai chi. If you are interested in guided meditation you can look on youtube, download meditations from different sites or purchase CDs. If you are ambitious you can get into more involved meditation like transcendental meditation.

I hope you find what works for you.



answers from Tallahassee on

You might consider centering prayer. It takes a little practice, but it's what I do when I need to toss everything out of my head.

Just take a word--it should be a word that means something to you, but is not rife with emotion. I use "amen," but some of my friends who do this use works like "peace" or "faith" or something like that--not a person's name, or an object ("muffin," "pizza," lol).

Then your object is to empty your mind. When thoughts fly in--and they do for me--toss them out using the word. You an whisper the word if you want to, but it is just as effective to think the word instead. Sometimes I end up with a whole string of amens because the thoughts are really tossing, but keep going. Eventually your mind will relax and will stop trying to fill itself up with worries. It's very calming, and ten minutes of it really helps me relax and go to sleep. It's good any time of day, though--if I am feeling panicked, I take ten minutes in my room alone to do this.

Come to think about it, I should do this more!

Hope this helps...

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