Not very long ago, I had an uncomfortable realization: I have absolutely no idea how to meditate. So in about a week, I’ll be going to an actual meditation class at a non-denominational center here in Seattle, where I will be forced to sit and meditate with a bunch of other beginners. I’m also going to be on the hunt for some guided meditations, books, and other media on the subject. During a particularly difficult pose in my Bikram class, my instructor told us that, if we were having a hard time with the posture, we should meditate.

Feeling your chest go up and down, the air go in and out of your nose…and do this in such a way so that your brain finally shuts up and there is a quiet stillness because you have no new thoughts. Use of the web site constitues acceptance of the Defy Media Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. And I had a kind of a record-scratch moment, because, for the first time, it occurred to me that I had exactly no concrete idea as to what that meant.
Running, working, falling asleep, long airplane rides, yoga class, tense moments of public transit all sound like they could be made more easy, pleasant, and insightful with meditation.

If you do have new thoughts as you are trying to focus on your breathing, just acknowledge them and try to focus again.
And, at that moment, I decided to get it together and figure out exactly what meditation is.

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