For how long should I sit in
Why sit for meditation practice for only two
How often should I practice?
What time should I practice?
the beginning I could get my mind to stay still but no more, what do I do?
mid-back hurts when I practice meditation, Am I doing something wrong?
I cant keep my mind still what
should I do?
have seen many yoga postures in books, I can never do those postures
do you think
yoga is for me?
Is it better to
practice in the morning or in the evening?
What is a good book to read?
Do you have to do all the
I can't find the time to practice?
Please note, that the answers to these questions are only general and changes as
individual as each person is. More detail answers is based on the specific needs of the
individual and the level at which the person has attained and is practicing.
In the beginning sit for meditation practice for only two minutes and
then increase the time as you develop the mental and spiritual stamina for sitting!
We want to create a healthy habit for
the mind. Since the mind/ego has a habit to latching on to something that is familiar, we
will find that when we practice meditation there is going to be a moment or moments of
stillness and the whole person wished to continue enjoying the sensation of peace and
tranquility as little as it might be.
Here comes the problem, the mind/ego
remember how wonderful it was to have just that little moment of peace and when you begin
to practice the meditation technique you want to prolong it for as long as possible. This
may work well for the first time that you practice. But the next day you that you practice
the ego want to recapture the peacefulness of the previous day and the constant hankering
of yesterday's good feeling becomes now a major source of distraction and frustration,
here because it wants some thing that it once enjoyed. And the practice for that moment
So the advice is to stay with the
practice for only two minutes get in and get out. Let the mind develop a habit of
experiencing stillness and not give anytime to chatter least you begin to associate the
meditation practice as a time to allow the mind to chatter. The idea is to accentuate the
positive as the saying goes!
After a short while three or four weeks
then you can begin to increase incrementally by a minute.
The main thing here is to forget
yesterday's practice and do your practice for this day and do not look for any benefits
from the practice to do so is to allow the ego to get in the way.
You can sit as often you can and like, however, choose one time of
the day when you must do the practice whatever arises to distract you from the practice
(barring family crises). The other times that you sit should be spontaneous.
Choose a time that is convenient to you and make it a must that you
practice at that time, the mind may rebel at the time and times that you choose, but you
will see that as the mind forms a habit for doing the practice at a particular time,
whenever that time comes around the mind will look forward to the practice.
The first time you experience still of the mind and peace and this is
the conscious mind. As you continue to practice the resulting stillness of the conscious
mind now give way to the urge to get out and remove deep seated impressions from the
unconsciousness (loose refered to as mind "stuff") mind that contribute greatly
to the driving force behind what we do. This is then brought to the conscious mind and at this point we experience great disturbance.
Then the cycle goes through another revolution. Eventually the disturbance slows down
because you are in the mean time developing spiritual stamina and can also pick more
consciously which impression that is deeply embedded, to be removed.
The general answer to this question is that most people do not have a
proper spinal posture. It seems that there is a conspiracy amongst furniture makers to
prevent straight spine so even the sitting apparatus is being made to encourage a
slouching back. If you were to sit on the airplane seats you slouch over; long distance
buses same thing. Now in the name of comfort the chairs and sofas for your home are
increasingly getting difficult to sit up and so the posture is ruined.
When you sit for meditation using a straight spine for a few days or
even a few weeks you are retraining you body to sit straight and the muscles in the
mid-back region starts to become sore. However, with perseverance this will go
remember also that one of the reasons for doing exercises is to remove these
You can practice counting the breath that gives the mind something to
do, and as you progress you will develop the mental stamina to keep the mind still. I will
share with other techniques on this problem later.
If however, the mind is really so disturbed that even
counting the breath is difficult, then stick out the tongue as long as possible
and gently bite on the tongue and the mind
will completely subside. Which might be all you need to get the thoughts back
into correct perspective.
Yoga is for anyone, even someone who is incapacitated and is confined
to a wheel chair can do yoga
the problem is that Yoga is popularized in many places
as having to twist you body in pretzel like shapes and that is not the focus of yoga. Yoga
is what you do with the mind.
The definition of Yoga is: "Yogas Chitta Vritti
Yoga is the cessation of the disturbances of the mind. (other words
used in translation for the "disturbances" is "fluctuation",
Hence, you can begin with very gentle practices and lead the body to becoming
increasingly still and as the mind becomes still you will find that the body's flexibility
increases. Here then the translation changes and becomes "Yoga is the
control of the modifications of the mind" The one who has control over the
modifications of the mind is a Yogi.
It really does not matter when you practice. One thing, fix
a time when you will do the practice and regardless of the distraction make it
imperative that you do the practice. Give the mind a habit that it sticks to as
a routine. Although for me I find
it more useful in the morning because then I face the day's activities with steadiness of
There are many books to read. One of my teacher use to say each author has
something to say. Although, some of the books that are published are best kept on the same
shelf with your science fiction; but the author needs to make a living as well...so
buy the book!
If the book is written in a language that is easy to read then that
author is a very experienced practitioner that would be a good book. If the book has a lot
of material and confusing terms and makes meditation (or any practice) out to be something difficult, then,
that author does not know the depths of the subject matter be it is meditation
or whatever he or she is attempting to teach, share, propagate
'simplicity is the stamp of
experience'. Your call!
To this question I have to repeat something that my teacher told me, we
should forget 70% of what we know, when we need to have that memory it will come up. Have
a basic routine that includes about six different areas or postures that you are going to practice every day and depending on time
availability increase some more postures.
The problem here that everyone faces is that when one starts
practicing and start feeling good. Thoughts about all the deprivation comes into
the mind...things that you think
that you were deprived of and that you would rather be doing, those entertaining things
become the focus rather than
practicing. Find a time and do the practice, make a resolve
to do the practice routinely.
You will find that as you slow down through practice you will be able
to accomplish more. In martial arts there is common saying " if you dont slow down you
will get knocked down". The more you slow down you will be able to see more clearly
what you have to get done and be able to line up you priorities easier.