Meditation - Kansas City,MO

Updated on August 01, 2013
S.R. asks from Kansas City, MO
10 answers

Do you meditate? I have heard of it, but what exactly do you do? When I think of it i picture myself sitting criss cross applesause style for 30 min with my eyes closed. I want to try it. I did google it but the internet gives weird info... i would rather hear from people who actually do it and do they think it works?

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So What Happened?

thanks for all the good tips so far. do you think if i lay down on my couch or bed that i could be able to reach meditation? i cant see myself sitting criss cross applesauce for a long period of time, i think my back would cramp up too. but i could see myself laying down with my eyes closed, maybe playing some relaxing spa type music and just letting go of my negative thoughts and focusing on making my life better, my health and my attitude. what do you think? go for it and try it?

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answers from Houston on

This won't help you, but just to add to the variety of methods applied in meditation.... I cook. Sometimes I have the space to myself, and sometimes I share it, but I am able to use cooking to help me tune everything else out. I reach such a peaceful and creative space that I come away with the answers to all the world's ills.

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answers from Portland on

There are many different kinds of meditation. I once went to a Zen Center, where I was told I was meditating "wrong". I was doing that same cross-legged thing you describe, trying to clear my mind, but with a bad back, my posture was terrible after about 10 minutes of sitting on the floor...

I'm now of the opinion that meditation can be any sort of practice which clears your mind and calms you. Any activity which allows thoughts to pass through without judgment or clinging to them. For some people, sitting quietly does the trick. I actually find that I need to move or I do begin to 'cling' to my thoughts, so I may often meditate while walking or doing dishes. I know it sounds nuts, but I am just 'enough' engaged in those activities that whatever is bugging me sort of drops off and I get to a place of just *being*, being aware of my breath, not fixating on any one thing.

Does it 'work', per se? I don't know, but I do often feel more relaxed and have a better perspective than I might if I didn't do those things.

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answers from Denver on

I use meditation as an opportunity for mindfulness. I sit quietly (no fancy pose just comfortable) and I close my eyes and I just breathe for a few breaths. I then just listen to all the crazy thoughts running through my head. I try not to attach to them, but simply observe them like cars going by on the street. This allows me to become aware of the repetitive, negative thoughts that are running in the background all day that I want to question and release.

I also use writing as meditation. I simply grab a pen and notebook and pour out my thoughts for several pages. I just allow it all to flow. I don't worry about punctuation, grammar, or spelling. I just let it all out. This allows me to gain more awareness about my thoughts and beliefs that may be contributing to my anger, frustration, sadness, depression, or just plain being stuck.

Mindfulness is just the place that allows you to see what is really going on, breaks down the barriers of denial, and empowers you to be able to question all the old patterns of thinking that keep you stuck.

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answers from Columbia on

ETA - You don't "reach" meditation. You "practice" or "do" meditation. And yes... you can sit however you want that is comfortable. I am cautious about laying down or leaning against a wall.... sometimes I fall asleep!!!! So, I will sit on a yoga/balance ball or just on a chair that has no headrest where I can lean against it.
Yes - just go for it and try it.

Original answer:
I also use meditation as an opportunity for mindfullness. I have a tendency to get so wrapped up in things that I forget to be "in the moment" and listen to my body and what's going on. I can be feeling something and acting a completely different way... and there is a real disconnect. So, I use meditation as a way to center and ground myself... bringing it all back *in* so to speak.

Meditation has roots in many different contexts and religions. At the base it means simply *to practice* or *to be* or *to study* or *to learn*.

I like a guided meditation. I happen to like Deepak Chopra's voice... I find him soothing. I'm not really into all his other new-agey stuff, I just like how he sounds and what he says. So I made a playlist on spotify of Anapanasati Mindful Breathing (as well as a few others) off his "Blissfull Sleep" album (I have 4 or 5 off this album - I just rotate). You can probably google it and take a listen and see if you like it.

As far as does it work? Of course it works, if you want it to work. It's a tool, like anything else. So you have to WANT to realx and get *in touch* with yourself... so to speak. If you aren't in touch with your body and don't want to be.... then no, meditation won't work. I was having panic attacks a couple of years ago at the same time my mom offered to take me on a 40th birthday trip anywhere I wanted to go. I told her I wanted to go to Bali and learn to meditate by a buddist guru.... so that's what we did. I was QUITE disconnected from the physcial symptoms I was experiencing with my panic attacks (rapid heart rate, extreme sweating, chest pain, shortness of breath) and what was ACTUALLY going on with me mentally.... so meditation (combined with a does of behavior modification therapy) was a good combination. The meditation served to help me find a way to connect what I am feeling with what I am thinking, which for me was a huge issue.

So, I guess I would say.... why do YOU want to meditate? If it's to relax... there are meditations that walk you through relaxing various muscles in your body. If it's to center yourself, there are meditations on how to focus your mind. If it's to reduce emotion, there are meditations on that. If it's religous application, you would simply sit quietly and think about a thought or concept for an extended period of time to see what your mind does with that thought.... while you are trying to discipline your mind with excluding all other thought.

I can tell you that I don't meditate as much as I should. I SHOULD take 30 min every morning and start my day with a mindfulness mediatation. In reality, I do it maybe once a week. But I know for the rest of the day after I meditate I am MUCH more calm and in a better place.

Good luck.

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answers from Columbus on

There are a few possible types of responses to this question. One would be the "new age" version of meditation (probably all that weird info you found online), and the other would be the religious, prayer related version of meditation. I guess there could be a third, in which you just think about things going on in your life, maybe it's more like a daydreaming session...

Meditation is part of the Christian practice of Lectio Divina, which involves entering more deeply into scripture.
See also:

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answers from Los Angeles on

Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra are about to launch a free 21 day meditation challenge on loving relationships. Earlier this year they had another free 21 day meditation challenge on perfect health, now available for sale. I enjoyed the challenge very much because it is guided narration for a few minutes, then music for the length of the challenge and lastly a centering thought for you to think of throughout your day. Try it or check out some CDs at your local library. Enjoy

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answers from Wichita Falls on

Meditation is the art of not thinking about anything. And that is much harder than it sounds. If you are religious, you can use a repetitive prayer such as the rosary or use prayer beads as a way of keeping focus. If not, than 'ohms' act as a mental white noise to tune out the world.

You don't need a special position (like the lotus position), but you should be comfortable, able to breath deeply, and in a place free from distraction (if you are looking at undone laundry, you will not be meditating).

Start with shorter sessions as you will find yourself distracted at first. you may want to start with a full body relax. Start at one end of your body and let go of all the tension one part at a time until you are relaxed (this will take less time as you practice) and then start with whichever form you choose.

If you aren't using a physical counting tool (prayer beads and such) you may want to use a quiet timer at first. It will keep you from clock watching. Keep practicing, it takes time to learn to relax like this but studies have shown the health benefits are worth it.

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answers from Washington DC on

yes, but not that way. i can't do the 'empty your mind' thing. my monkey brain goes into overdrive.
have you tried 'meditation made easy' by lorin roche? great book. takes all the 'must' out of it, and really makes it a relaxed, relaxing, enjoyable activity.
but really, my meditation takes place mostly at night, mostly outside, and it's moving meditation. my mind can uncouple itself from my brain and soar, and hear the music of stars, most easily when i wander around the orchard or pastures at night. the dog usually comes along, and the cats love it.
it works.



answers from Oklahoma City on

There are many kinds of meditation. You sort of have to try different styles and see what works.

I can't hardly use an internal type because my mind won't shut up long enough for me to remember to sit on the beach and listen to the ships passing

So I do better with a guided style. I have "Peaceful Ocean Surf", "Mountain Stream", "Spring Storm", and several other CD's that I listen to at night when I'm in bed and trying to get my mind to stop going over what I have to do the next day or a conversation with someone that pissed me off.

When I am working on de-stressing I often turn to my old true and tried resources. I have tapes where the person speaking tells me what to do. I often pay more attention to this style of relaxation because my mind will settle down and I can listen.

There are 2 types of relaxation tapes that I use:

Autogenic and Guided Imagery/visualization.
In Autogenic the person talks quietly and guides you through a series of thoughts and actions that will help you to relax leg by leg, arm by arm, and so forth. The theme is my xxxx(arm) is heavy and warm. I am at peace. It really really really really depends on the person talking as to whether this will work for you or not.

Some people's voices really irritate me so I can't relax while their voice is on. So shopping around for the right one is essential. You could go to youtube and search for autogenic relaxation and try some out. Once you find a voice that is good and the phrases they use are pleasant to you then you can usually order something directly from them.

I am not an outdoor girl for sure, I don't like being out in the country, in a meadow in the wilderness, at the beach with bugs that annoy me and birds
that will dive bomb me. So being outdoors poses a special problem with me.

I have to add in to visualization that there are no bugs, no hot sun, no bees that can sting me, no snakes, no outdoor critters that can attack and hurt.

I start out doing area relaxation where I go from foot to ankle to knee to thigh then start on the other foot and move up that leg. That's when I usually go to the hips and waist. It might be that I want to wait and do that area last though. If I'm in pain I go to that area as soon as I think I can relax it. Then I go through one arm then the other, then I start on my head and neck, then to my back.

I tighten up that muscle group then let it relax. I might have to do this twice but if that doesn't work I move on. As your body grows accustomed to doing this you'll find that you do it more easily.

I go to my quiet place and grab my rolled up towel to put under my neck. I recline instead of laying flat. I put my feet up a tiny bit. I lay my hands to my side. I wiggle a little to get the kinks out and make sure nothing is compressed or hurting from this position. I start the tapes or the CD of what ever I am in the mood for, voice guiding me through the session or just noise like the surf or plain piano music.

I go through the tape and do as the person is guiding me to do. I feel very relaxed when we get all the body parts relaxed and warm.

The one I like the best guides me down a staircase onto a lovely beach, the wind is lightly blowing, the fronds of the trees rustle slightly, there are no insects or birds close by, other people are relaxing and quiet. I smell the air and breath deeply several times.

I listen to the passing boats/ships, I hear birds calling, there are slight sounds of the air moving the plants, the temperature is perfect. I breath in relaxation.

And so forth.

When it's time to come back to The person guides me back up the staircase and with each step we stop to take a deep breath and stretch a tiny bit. Each step brings me to a state of being awake. When I reach the top I will open my eyes and feel very refreshed and wide awake ready to face challenges with a fresh mind...

Not goofy at all right????? lol. I enjoy doing relaxation. It really helps me to get the deepest muscles of all relaxed.

I hope you can find just the right blend of the voice and the music and all that combines to make relaxation very enjoyable.



answers from Cleveland on

it doesn't look like anyone suggested Deep breathing, just long slow breathes. that helps center me ALOT. no noise just thinking about the repetitive cycle of breathing in and out.

good Luck! I think i'ts a great thing you are trying.

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