View Full Version : Home Meditation

20th November 2003, 17:34
Hmm, I never actually noticed that there was a meditation forum!

I love meditation, I do Yoga and also some moving meditation from Tai Chi.

So here's the question, how do you relax at home? do you set aside a little room, or put off all lights exept a lava lamp?

I like sitting cross legged and practicing breathing in my room with just a cloud ball going and i can chill there for up to 3 hours not sleeping but just homonized.


21st November 2003, 12:50
It is a matter of time. If you don't have a long period to meditate, don't do it, you'll never reach the state you need for it to be effective. And if you know you have "something to do" next, or that you have a limited time, you'll never meditate softly and gently as it is requested to do.

A good help comes from traditional sitting meditation (zazen) you can use a zafu (a pillow filled with hay or similar) where you can sit properly. Anyway find a position that allows you to stay as you sit for a long time without feeling pain, as if you put legs in lotus or semilotus position on an hard ground, the upper part of your feet will stop letting the blood pass and become unsensible very soon.

You see lots of people in movies and things like these, meditating in very strange and unconfortable positions, under a waterfall or upside down or even worse things, that is because when you perfectly handle meditation, you can be confortable with yourself not depending on your body posture, but that comes after years and years of meditation, we can't expect to do so with one hour when we have time during the week :)

my advice (my experience, i'm not able to give advices :)) is to try to sit properly but in a confortable way, then to be sure noone will interrupt you, and take all the time you need, better if outside, not in home, some place with a natural connection, and control breathing or practise Yoga or Tai Chi movements as you prefer.

Ride The Waves Of Destiny

2nd January 2004, 14:41
After the tensions of this past holiday week, Christmas and New Years, I am sure there is a whole lot of unresolved issues that are rattling around in everyones brain, so maybe it is time to bring this Home Meditation to light and compare notes.

I know the many sessions of class, at least in my aikido class, have a couple of minutes of quiet time in which one can settle the self, but in essence, it is far too short a time to do what must be done to reconcile wander emotions, thoughts, urges, and events in ones life.

By chance, one of my aikido buddys gave me a book called "The Heart of Buddhist Meditation" which is from the 1960s but in its simplicity tells of many behavioral conditioning drills that help one with meditation, or thoughts to calm one's center. Notice that repetition is the means of overcoming the thoughts of imbalance just as repetiton is the means of learning to master techniques in physical practice on the mat.

Page 126; from the Seven Factors of Enlightenment.

When the enlightenment-factor of investigation of reality / energy / rapture / tranquility / concentration / equanimity is present in him, a monk knows, " The enlightenment-factor of equanimity is in me"; or when the enlightenment - factor of equanimity is absent he knows, "The enlightenment-factor of equanimity is not in me." And he knows how the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment factor of equanimity comes to be; and how perfection in the developement of the arisen enlightenment-factor of equanimity comes to be.

Thus he dwells practising mind-object-contemplation internally, or externally, or both internally and externally. He dwells contemplating origination-factors in mind-objects, or he dwells contemplating dissolution-factors in mind-objects, or he dwells contemplating both origination- and dissillution-factors in mind-objects. Or his mindfullness that "there are mind-objects" is established in him to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfullness. Independent he dwells, clinging to nothing in the world.

Thus indeed, monks, a monk dwells practising mind-object-contemplation on the mind-objects of the seven factors of enlightenment.


Now what in the blue blazes does that mean?

It means you let the thoughts do what they do, give up trying to make sense of them, but let them find their own place as you come to that calm place where the mind and body are relaxed. In finding the repetition of going over certain thoughts over, and over, and over, and over, the mind and body find enlightenment. Gee, just like martial arts practice, eh?

Well, the more I apply my new enlightenment of the HUMAN CONDITION to these old ideas, I find that the behavioral conditoning is pretty much a guide to understanding how human beings tick. That is, what it takes to change the thoughts and behaviors of a human being by modifying ones thoughts and actions. Since Home Meditation is an attempt to do just that, modify ones thoughts and behavior by understanding oneself, I thought this would fit right in with this stressfull time of year for those of us in the northern hemisphere who face the cold dark months ahead.

Home meditation is just the ticket to deal with those winter blues.

2nd January 2004, 15:55
I was put onto an interesting a approach some time back that I thought I would share.

Certainly I do my meditation daily at home in the quiet of my own mind. However, I also take "mini-meditations" when I am out in the community. Good times to do this are at those annoyingly Looooong stop lights at certain busy intersections. You know the ones I mean. They tend to be skewed in favor of the busier road--sometimes as long as two or three minutes. Another good place is in queues in grocery stores or banks which can be notoriously long waits. On these occasions I may use a mala in my pocket, but more often I simply focus on a point on the floor and practice breathing ("shikentaza"). Still another occasion is when I take the dogs to the local dog park. The walk is about a mile around and if the weather is nice I set a pleasant pace and synch my breathing to the same number of steps for the entire trip around the park. I have even taken to memorizing various tracts and was able to learn the entire Heart Sutra for memory by simply reciting the tract each day and slowly expanding about a sentence at a time. I can't see why someone couldn,t do the same with Bible or Koran verses. I have this challenge I have set for myself to memorize the 108 injunctions for Buddhist monks in this next year. THAT oughta keep me busy!;)

Best Wishes,


3rd January 2004, 20:37
Funny... I only need a few moments to meditate effectively, and release the tensions that have built up over the day.

Obvously the longer I go, the deepr I get, but I've always felt, and have read in a number of books that if you only have 2 minutes a day to meditate, take it. Take a deep breath, smile, relax. See? :)

9th January 2004, 05:21
I like to sit in seiza and count my big abdominal breaths with my eyes half closed.
I take that back.
I LOVE to sit in seiza and count my big abdominal breaths with my eyes half closed.

9th January 2004, 05:39
Home meditation = Monday night football.

10th January 2004, 20:47
Snow Lion Publications seems to be having a post-holiday overstock sale on unstuffed zafu. That wouldn't be such a great deal at $25, but they're also giving away buckwheat hull stuffing during the sale.

Details can be found at:

link to snow lion zafu sale (http://www.snowlionpub.com/search.php?keyword=&cat=Other+Items&subcat=On+Sale%21&xcat=&start_num=40&total_results=42)

Fred Little

steve schoen
19th January 2004, 03:32

I was wondering since I am new to this, can you clarify if the cusion will "block" energy (like I was told). Or will the cusion make me comfortable to where my energy will flow easy ( like I was also told), So very confusing......

19th January 2004, 17:54
Dear Steve:

There is always the risk that people will make of meditation something greater than what it truely is. The same thing happens with other activities such as Education, Body-building, Religion and so forth. It is a very human thing to embellish a simple activity.

Meditation is nothing more or less than training for the mind. Its as simple as that. One can do it in the name of Transcendental Meditation, a religion, yoga, New Age disciplines--- whatever. It does not alter the process or the results--- only ones judgements regarding those results. In the case that you mentioned, if you believe that a cushion will block energy I can pretty much guarentee that will be the result. If you believe that the cushion will anchor you and therefore facilitate conducting energy then I foresee this result occuring for you.

Best Wishes,


20th January 2004, 17:54
Originally posted by steve schoen

I was wondering since I am new to this, can you clarify if the cusion will "block" energy (like I was told). Or will the cusion make me comfortable to where my energy will flow easy ( like I was also told), So very confusing......

My tradition doesn't actually use the cushion, both the Rinzai and Soto Zen traditions do; that was my first instruction in sitting meditation, so sometimes I revert just for old-time's sake.

At the simplest mechanical level, the cushion relieves some portion of the pressure on your knees in full-lotus posture. If you're sitting on a cave floor (or more likely, on a concrete slab in the basement), then use of a cushion will decrease the likelihood of hemorrhoids.

There is defintely some benefit in aligning the spine appropriately, especially at the beginning if you are not familiar with or limber enough to sit in full or half lotus. If you are sitting seiza, again, the cushion relieves some of the pressure on the knees, thighs, and arches.

But if you have the idea that you must have a cushion to meditate, or that if you don't have a proper cushion you can't meditate, or that if you do have a cushion your meditation isn't proper, then any one of those ideas about the cushion could "block your energy" by keeping you from meditating in the first place, or distracting you while ostensibly meditating.

Best regards,

Fred Little

steve schoen
22nd January 2004, 03:40
Thank you for the replies. As stated before, I am venturing into "uncharted" waters.

Maybe I should put down the books by different authors, and go into seiza.......to listen inside.

24th January 2004, 16:36
Dear Steve:

In my order (Order of Buddhist Contemplatives) we recite the directions for meditation quite often and these are simple and to the point. In fact, I suspect that most people would probably find them a bit stark as there are none of the usual allusions to Things Cosmic. Speaking for Buddhism, the practice of meditation is ancillary to conducting ones' affairs appropriately in the community. Even though long term practice can produce some interesting "side effects" like lucid dreaming, most guidance in the Buddhist faith downplays such abilities. In fact, in an orthodox Buddhist community announcing that one has develped special abilities as a result of regular meditation can get you ousted from the community as a divisive element. Cohesion in the community (sangha) is strongly pressed going all the way back to the Shakyamuni Buddha.

As far as reading goes I would drop the books ABOUT meditation and just practice it. It will help somewhat if you continue to read but select books which support contemplative and introspective approaches to your life and behaviors. This isn't just a Buddhist approach. The same would be true for Christian, Jewish, Islamic, etc, faithes as well. FWIW.

Best Wishes,


24th January 2004, 17:03
the directions for meditation..... are simple and to the point. In fact, I suspect that most people would probably find them a bit stark....As far as reading goes I would drop the books ABOUT meditation and just practice it.

Ditto what Bruce S. said, with the following two exceptions, mainly because they are useful technical guides to the practice of meditation and offer simple and useful answers to many of the questions that arise for both beginning and advanced meditators. In other words: guidance for the maintenance of sound basic practice.

Mindfulness in Plain English
by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
Publisher: Wisdom Publications; (September 2002)
ISBN: 0861713214

The Practice of Tranquility and Insight: A Guide to Tibetan Buddhist Meditation
Publisher: Snow Lion Pubns; 2nd edition (October 1998)
ISBN: 1559391065

Hope this helps,

Fred Little

steve schoen
24th January 2004, 23:09
Thanks to all of you for the replies. I'll look up the titles above and let the others collect dust.

25th January 2004, 12:27
As I might have said before, gym is my first choice for a place to meditate. Concentrating on repeating the simple set of movements and just doing it is what 'empties my mind' and so on. Also, sitting in a plane on its way to drop off altitudes is a time for myself, when I try to get rid of all the thoughts that might be bothering me when I have my feet on Earth. With green light and time to jump comes nirvana ;)

I do sit down at times, close my eyes and 'meditate,' too, but a lot of problems would be solved if people stopped worrying about 'how to's for such a simple act, IMHO!

Just my two cents, as always :)

26th January 2004, 09:38
Originally posted by Chiburi
I do sit down at times, close my eyes and 'meditate,' too, but a lot of problems would be solved if people stopped worrying about 'how to's for such a simple act, IMHO!
I hope, I understood your comment correctly, if not I apologize in advance! ;-)

I believe you are right, ... if you are a bit more than a beginner.
But if no one has ever told you 'how to', how can you do it?

Take my case, I have only done a little bit of mediatation at the end of a few Aikido sessions, and that was more than ten years ago. Today, I'd really like to do it again, but I do not have the faintest idea as to what I should do. In what position should I be, how should I breathe, what should I do about those lingering thoughts spinning in my mind (well, I guess I know the answer to that one!), ...

Again, sorry if I'm beside your point.

26th January 2004, 16:17

No need to apoligise. I myself should've explained myself better! I wanted to make the point that in my opinion what makes beginning meditation so difficult are all the things you hear and learn about "correct" ways of meditation. What I wanted to say that one (unless your aim is to practice a certain type of meditation that belongs to some specific "school" of meditation, and therefore follow the traditions that go with it) shouldn't, even in the beginning, get stuck with these "how to's," f. ie how to sit, breath, what to concentrate on, and so on

I could add at this point that I do not fall in a clear niche in what comes to meditation, although my ideas about it seem to go among the lines of what Zen Buddhism teaches -- in case that helps you :) I do not practice any type of formal meditation. From a very utilitarian point of view I could say that I "do what I do" with the intention of achieving peace of mind, relaxation and simply put a break from daily life during which I let myself get back on track. Despite not sticking to formal guidelines or how to's, it seems to work.

Of course one could argue that what I'm doing does not qualify as meditation, that it's simply concentrating and clearing your thoughts, et cetera. Since I haven't dedicated my life to seeking enlightenment, perhaps meditation is indeed the wrong term to use in a strict sense. I have to admit that I can't say I know what meditation is, and that being the case all my opinions about it are pretty much worthless. However, I believe my meaning to be what the majority of martial artists understand or at least classify under meditation.

I guess it is hard to start meditating when someone tells you to when you don't have the slightest clue of what it is. As I pointed out above, I don't think you, as a martial artist, should worry about not doing it the right way. At first, concentrate on just concentrating and relaxing, and once you've achieved what feels to you like meditation, you can study all different types and schools of meditation. At that point you'll know what you're looking for. If you worry too much about not doing it correctly, there's no way you can concentrate on meditation. Do it on a sofa if it feels better than the hard floor. Generally, breathing deep will help you relax and calm down, which will in turn help you concentrate. Let's put it this way: meditation is being with yourself, and once you're at it, forgetting about yourself, just being. Close your eyes, relax, breath deep and just let yourself be. If thoughts come to your mind, let them come and they'll go. It's like little kids; not giving them attention makes them disappear and go bug someone else. Eventually you'll be able to "clear you mind" from unwanted thoughts. That's how I do it, but I can't guarantee it's meditation or that it works for you. For myself it gives what I believe meditation is all about, but I too am working on it. I am a beginner as well!

I guess I ended up with a little dilemma by telling you a "how to" for meditation, but in case you really feel you can't meditate without some advice, take it, work on it, and find your own way of doing it. No one can tell you how to do it, you have just got to learn. What comes to this rather long piece of writing, I hope you picked up the useful stuff along the way :p

PS. Liege has the best "gauffres" in the world :)


26th January 2004, 16:17
[I apoligise for the double post]

27th January 2004, 10:55
Thanks Chiburi, it did help me finally making up my mind on the distinction between relaxation and meditation.

I think what I'm seeking to achieve is deep relaxation, which might lead me, unconsciously, to meditation, but I'll know that only if then.

I think the 'gauffres' are more famous abroad than in Liege ... ;-)

27th January 2004, 16:31
Originally posted by Barthox
I think the 'gauffres' are more famous abroad than in Liege ... ;-)

You're very welcome, happy to be of use. I lived in Belgium for about eight years, and during that time the best gauffres I tasted were from Liège.


5th February 2004, 17:10
meditation still confuses me.

if theres no 'proper' way of doing it, then what does the work 'meditation' actually mean? There must be some defining guidelines as to what it entails.

Unless meditation is a goal ratyher than a process, i.e. clearing the mind, and it doesnt matter how you arrive there?

Anyway, I dont often make time for meditating, tho i wish i did it more, i guess i dont feel productive unless I am punching, drilling, practicing, lifting weights etc.

5th February 2004, 20:58
Dear Alex:

".....if theres no 'proper' way of doing it, then what does the work 'meditation' actually mean? There must be some defining guidelines as to what it entails......"

I will do my best to offer an explanation from within the context of my own practice and faith. I am also a teacher and a counselor, as well as a Human Being. Now, while that must sound like an odd way to start this explanation, work with me for a minute and I think I can pull this all together.

Meditation is a way of training the mind and there by uncovering the true Self. The result of uncovering the true Self is that one can then deal with Life on Lifes' terms without the hinderance of illusions of who we pretend to be, or have been shaped into being by outside forces. It takes courage to drop those illusions in the first place, and real guts to face Life on Lifes' terms. But if someone wants to do it, the skills for doing it are available.

Now, I mentioned that I was a teacher and a counselor so lets pretend that the concept of "meditation" had never been invented. In counseling there has been a protocol recently developed called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprograming. In this protocol a client organizes a painful experience and while allowing that image to exist in his mind he participates in a rapid movement of the eyes. The trick is to allow the image to be what it is and cause the feelings that it does while remaining passive to its existence. This is not unlike meditation where one experiences intrusive thoughts but does not allow them to capture and hold ones' attention.

Still wondering? Well I also mentioned that I am a Human Being, and as such I am required to sleep a few hours within each 24 hour cycle. During that time strong experiences are expressed to my mind while my body is effectively "anesthetized" so that it can't act on the images. When you wake-up, your mind has been "reset" for another day. Once again its another way to look at meditation except that meditation is accomplished while one is still awake albeit in an altered state of consciousness.

You are probably wondering, "well, thats all well and good, but what does it have to do with Martial arts, or religion, or anything else." The answer is suprisingly simple. We rarely focus as intensely on some goal as we would like because our consciouness is often split among a number of distractions. The more we are able to focus despite past experiences, environmental noise, responsibilities, in junctions etc., etc., the more we are able to realize out of an experience. In this way meditation is the "weight lifting" our minds can do to build strong focus so as to get the best out of our religion, or MA or whathaveyou. In my own case, meditation helps me focus intently on following the Eight Fold Path when everything else in my life is pulling me in some other direction. Hope this is of some help.

Best Wishes,


steve schoen
6th February 2004, 00:31
I can see (and agree) that in today's style it is hard to "fit" time in to look inside yourself. Trust me I know. Squeeze it into say, doing a couple more reps? I got the problem of spending time with my daughter or hitting the mat.
My mistake is reading to much into what everyone says will "work". Instead of seeing what you can become instead of seeing what you are. I've looked to books by RVD, Glenn Morris and Thich Nahat Hanh to name a few. :look:
Bruce, is it not active or walking medatation just a "branch" of bieng mindful?

Chiburi (and all) thanks for the tips. This thread has been a bright one.

I think that Barthox has touched on what I would have asked (if I logged on sooner!)

Thank you to all..

6th February 2004, 03:54
Dear Steve:

Mindfulness is just a way of being and the activity in which you indulge is whatever venue you would like it to be for engaging in that mindfulness. Sweeping a floor is balancing your checkbook, is counting your breathes is eating your lunch.

Best Wishes,