Tag Archives: meditation

Getting Started with Meditation

I just came across How to Meditate again from the New York Times Well section. David Gelles covers the basics in a matter-of-fact, disarming, and generic way. Its a way to test the waters and see if you want to pursue it.

Of the techniques, he touches on, I started with the “body scan” approach he describes. More specifically, I learned and practiced Energy Arts “standing dissolving” for years. Doing this is a form of Qigong. It’s “energy work,” practiced with intention and attention to move on the inside.

Dissolving gradually flowed into sitting, “inner dissolving” and from there exploration of meditation.

Gelles also discusses mindfulness, related and likely more in the Western public mind these days. Also a pathway in and deeper.

Even if you already have a meditation practice, you might take a moment to read, or reread it, and use it to reflect on your own experience. Not a bad reflection to do.

New York Times Meditation Tutorial

The New York Times “Well” section regularly has interesting and useful posts.  Here (https://www.nytimes.com/guides/well/how-to-meditate) David Gelles provides in-depth. generic, piratical tutorial on starting a mediation practice.

I like it as a starting point because it makes no assumptions about any existing practice or past experience with meditation, yoga, Tai Chi or anything else.

It focuses on the breath, which makes sense.  For a meditation tool, you always your breathing with you. You don’t need anything extra. And he provides matter-of-fact advice about gently “coming back” when you mind wanders. When thoughts arise, since they surely will.

Body Scan Technique

He also presents the practice of doing a non-judgmental body scan, down the body from the top of the head. This was the practice I started with some twenty years ago, and it really helped me anchor a regular practice. The body scan, at least at first, does invite in thoughts and thinking. When you hit certain spots, physical or emotional triggers may set your mind wandering far and wide.

Over time, it will get easier to come back to just breathing from those thoughts. And in the meanwhile, bringing your awareness systematically down the body can help relax and release those tensions. I was glad to see him introduce this practice.

Gelles provides some sample guided meditations, suggests resources, including apps. (One he mentions, insight timer, I have used for years, and will address it separately.)

Seeing this article and passing it on seems like a great place to begin again to provide thoughts and resources on this website. Please watch for more in the weeks ahead.