reply to post by starhill
First of all, don't try to meditate. I know that may sound silly, but before you can meditate effectively you first need to learn how to
Try to visualise something in your mind, lets say an apple. Now, you may think that this is easy, but really try to visualise it. Just see an apple
in your mind and observe it, concentrate on it.
You may find that you can't hold the image, you may start of with a red apple, then it changes to a green apple, or it has a stalk, then no stalk,
then you will may start thinking you prefer the taste of a granny smith apple to the taste of pink lady apple!
Then you may start thinking about the last time you ate an apple, or that you want to eat an aplle now!
This is your mind trying to distract you, your mind doesn't want to be still, it's not used to it.
When trying to focus on your image of the apple you also need to be observing yourself, your need to watch what your mind is doing while you try to
visualise and concentrate on the apple. You will see for yourself how your mind is trying to distract you. Keep trying and keep watching.
You may also find that while trying to visualise the apple, you are now visualising or thinking about something completely different, and you will
wonder 'how did I go from visualising an apple to thinking about shoes?!" Try to back track, try to reverse engineer your thought process, try to
observe how your mind stopped you from your concentration and your visualisation of an apple to eventually thinking about shoes, you will see and
begin to learn how your mind works and how to control it.
It takes a lot of practice to be able to concentrate and focus on an image or thought without being distracted by other images or thoughts, this total
concentration is the basis of meditation, however, this practice in concentration to achieve meditation is itself meditation!
Once you find you can hold an image, lets say an apple again, without being distracted try to go into the apple. Visualise the skin of the apple
peeling off, penetrate the flesh of the apple, visualise the core, penetrate the core, see the atoms of the core, imagine what it's like to be an
apple, become the apple.
Now, we all know that the above is a lot easier said than done, but after a lot of practice on your concentration you can really begin to meditate.
Imagination and visualisation are important but different. Try not to let your imagination become fantasy, fantasy is a product of the mind, don't
let the mind distract you.
Once concentration is achieved without distraction, then whatever you choose to concentrate on, you will be able to meditate on.
Also remember, meditation is not 'zoning out' or becoming 'zombie like' , meditation is pure concetration and awareness, this is how you can
really observe yourself and your mind, and of course whatever it is you want to meditate on.
Hope you find the above useful, if not then use whatever technique you find the best for you.