032 – Introduction to Meditation & Meditation Hindrances

YouTube ~ Apple Podcasts ~ Spotify ~ MP3

Introduction to meditation covering definition, technique, practice, teacher / teachings, posture, duration, location, energy, frequency and managing hindrances. Helpful for beginners and advanced practitioners.

Notes from the talk

  • Good to remind yourself of the meditation basics – can be easy to become complacent or get into bad habits
  • Some of the many benefits:
    • Meditation is training the mind to achieve higher states of consciousness. Darren Cockburn’s definition from book Being Present
    • Meditation is a practice that’s designed to transform the mind
    • Helps to move the mind from being lost in thought to being more concentrated
    • Raises our level of consciousness
    • Allows us to become more compassionate
    • Ultimately, meditation can take you all the way to enlightening or awakening – it can take many lifetimes to achieve this
    • Even just a short period of time meditating each day leads to positive changes
  • Meditation isn’t for everybody, but it works well for most people
  • Two types of meditation:
    • Planned meditation – There’s a plan to do it. E.g. I’ll meditate for fifteen minutes after breakfast tomorrow
    • Spontaneous meditation
      • Happens on its own
      • A severe amount of suffering could trigger this
      • Can also be triggered by beauty
      • Creates a very still or concentrated state of mind
  • Technique
    • Good to shop around and try different meditation techniques. Then settle on one or two of them
    • You may want to combine a breathing meditation with a loving kindness meditation
    • The well analogy. If you dig one well deeply, you’ll be far more likely to get water than if you’re digging here there and everywhere
    • Looking to balance your state so that you’re both relaxed and alert concurrently
      • Too relaxed might make you sleepy
      • Overly alert might make you anxious
    • Posture:
      • Back straight
      • Head evenly balanced
      • Eyes forward, possibly with gaze down
      • Eyes closed ideally, but you can meditate with eyes open
      • Sitting somewhere where you’re comfortable
      • Yoga physical practice can help strengthen the body to help sit longer in meditation
    • You might start 5-10 minutes per day to begin with
    • You can set a goal for your meditation and frequency
    • Fine if you skip a day – we need to be able to cope OK if we don’t meditate
    • Select a location with no major distractions. Minor non-discursive distractions like the humming of a fridge can be OK. Avoid areas where there is stimulus that might cause you to become lost in your thoughts
  • Teachers
    • Good to shop around before settling with one teacher
    • You may work with them in person or view their content online
    • It can be helpful if you get to talk to the teacher
  • Simple breathing meditation (5 minutes)
    • Focus attention on the breath
    • Breath is the object of the meditation
    • Notice the different characteristics of the breath
      • Texture: Is it rough or smooth
      • Frequency
      • Speed – slow or fast
      • Where does the breath start and finish
      • Watching the breath as a whole process
      • We can feel the breath and listen to the breath
      • In-between the in-breaths and out-breaths there are small gaps – we can focus on these
    • We’re allowing the breath to flow naturally – not controlling the breath
    • For most people, the mind does wander off during meditation. This is normal. If the mind wanders off, we bring it back to the breath
    • The aim is to keep the concentration pinned to the breath for as long as possible
  • Five Hindrances
    • These hindrances also apply outside of meditation and cause us to become lost in thought
    • Working with these hindrances allows you to gain more control over the mind – or to allow the mind to be guided by the higher consciousness

Hindrances 1

Hindrances 2

Copyright © 2019 Darren Cockburn. All Rights Reserved


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: