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I have been trying my hardest to learn meditation and I was wonderng how can you tell if you are being Succesfull at it. I just seem to be having trouble with or maybe I just dont totally understand what it is. Can anyone help me with this?

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Hi Zach,
There are so many forms of meditation that it makes it difficult to tell you what is "correct" or not; so please be patient with my reply.
I'm going to assume that you are doing the most common form of meditation, which is "single-pointed.' Actually, even non-pointed meditation has the same "rules" and pitfalls.
Single-pointed means using a focus, be it a mantra, a candle, a sound, any focus object. The goal here is to maintain "effortless" focus on the target.
In mindlessness meditation, the goal is actually the same, to still the mind and escape from the "hamster-wheel" of mindless thought. You just don't use a focus to get there.
Find a comfortable chair, just not in a position that will encourage you to fall asleep. (If you do fall asleep, just give yourself a few extra minutes of actual meditation once you wake up.) Two sessions of 15-30 minutes are ideal, but it is whatever works best for you. Allow a minute or two on each end for settling down and for assuming normal consciousness.
In either case, the technique is NOT TO WORK at it. The truth is that the mind is the mind, and most of us can't shut it up on command. You CAN find ways to constantly tell your mind, "not that, not that." What meditation ends up being is best seen as a wave; now you forget to listen to your mind, then it pops back in. When that happens, you GENTLY, WITH NO EFFORT, direct your consciousness back to your focus or to treating the mind as what it is, a source of endless chatter to ignore.
If you were studying in a room with a radio playing, you would have to learn to disregard the radio noise. That doesn't mean you wouldn't be aware of it, mostly, just that you would not be putting any effort into acknowledging its existence or content. Your mind (and any external distraction) are like that radio.
In the case of meditation, you are using a state of physical relaxation (usually) to give your consciousness the space to ignore your mind. You'll forget, then remember, sometimes second by second. The secret is non-resistance, just gentle, wordless redirection of your consciousness. You ARE NOT your mind, it is simply a survival tool. You are the space that contains that tool and you don't have to let it run you.
What you will notice with consistent practice is that your breathing will become more still, slow and centered, with no effort on your part. Then you will start to notice longer and longer periods where your mind is just quiet, and you experience the stillness that most of us think of as the goal of meditation.
This is a wonderful thing, but I would argue that the goal of meditation, in our harried, modern world, is to allow all that mind chatter to come up and be ignored and let go of. For once your mind is not in charge.
Your mind will probably fight and resist this process, but, after time, it will secretly come to look forward to those rest periods, much like when the hamster simply stops running and sits in the still wheel.
Zach, I hope this helps.
Stay in the light,

This is actually Very helpful for me. Thank you very much for this. :)

I'm glad to be of some help, Zach. I hope you'll continue to let us know how it goes.

Ive tried most forms of meditation and had a lot of trouble till a member that I met in the Black Dragons Club explained that I fell into the catagory of those that cant sit still and I started Tai Chi.  Ive never looked back and find that combining movement with meditation I get into a restful state rather than a frustrated huff where I leave the mat more exhausted than when I started.  I know that its not for everyone but it works for me and I get the defensive training too.  Worth a try if your stuck.

One thing that has helped me in addition to Patricia's help is a book my best friend let me borrow from him. One thing that I know now i have been doing wrong is that I was trying to force myself to focus on something. According to this book the more you try to force you mind the more it wonders and it is true I have found that by relaxng my mind I have found that I am not as Aggrevaited when I get up. but I will also take what you have told me here in to consideration I have never heard of Tai Chi before I am going to have to do some research on it. do you have any good web sites I can look at?

Hi Zach.

Thai Chi is easy to learn as there are a few basic steps that are learnt and breathing technique but once you have them down they can be adapted.  If you Try google "Everyday Thai Chi" or "Thai Chi Chuan" you sould find a short video on the websites. Unfortunately I cant remember the sites as it was a while back.  There are groups which one can join too which can be helpful as the instructer can correct you if you do something incorrectly.  I started with a group and now do it on my own.  Im sorry I could not be of much help but good luck.

There are many ways to meditate one way I do it is use incense to open my Chakras. The main thing is to relax your body  and open your heart, focus on whatever it is you want to improve on. I meditate on school test, relationships, general stress. Try to find the right meditation for you there is even tarot card meditation when you don't know what to focus your energy on.


Hope that helps

Blessed be<3


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