The stock answer to everyone who's posted an Ask about being stressed or anxious lately has been "Mindfulness! Meditation!" But, um, what does that mean, exactly? Please share anecdotes, techniques, references. What - exactly - did you do, and how did it help? Walk me through this like I'm five. [more inside]
I have some pretty serious anxiety issues and depression. These have been tremendously exacerbated by some rather overwhelming recent events. I'm seeing professionals for help, but I am getting stuck, for many hours a day, on these thought loops where I imagine in vivid detail the worst case scenario for whatever is bothering me. If I don't have anything to latch onto at the moment, I just feel constant general physical anxiousness. Are there any methods that have worked for you to break out of a similar cycle/pattern? Not looking for medical advice, but for anecdotal advice. [more inside]
Please help me find music that's mellow, percussive, and contemplative, but fades into the background and lets me concentrate on my work. [more inside]
Because I often need inspiration and a gentle nudge or two, I like to hear what others 'simple pleasures' are in life, this list and this other list being two examples I'm keen on. What simple pleasures do you all enjoy? What makes for a great day, especially one you're spending by yourself?
A lot of mindfulness meditation techniques focus on awareness of the present moment and stepping outside our personal narratives. My question is: does this process end up dissolving our perceptions of the past; and when one side steps the narrative, doesn't it make it harder to compose and imagine stories that exist outside of the present moment?
Seeking suggestions for a place for a friend to enjoy a relaxing three-day yoga and meditation retreat in a beautiful location anywhere in California. Potential complication: it has to be next week.
The other evening I was hanging around my apartment eating dinner. At some point after I finished eating, and for several hours afterwards until I went to sleep, I experienced a state of mind I can only describe as "mystical", or perhaps hyper-awareness. Whatever it was, it was so different from anything I can remember experiencing that it threw me completely off balance and I'm still trying to figure out what happened. Looking for insight from others who may have had a similar experience. Details inside. [more inside]
I'd like to practice unguided, solitary meditation in a manner that is backed by evidence to have a positive effect on blood pressure, attention span, stress--all the things meditation has been demonstrated to impact. And I don't give a single damn about engaging with why it works, the history of meditation, a theory of body or mind, the history of the person who created it, a community of meditators, or anything else. [more inside]
hello I'm looking for examples of artistic, or creative approaches to guided imagery, or just some very good examples of guided imagery with high production values (i.e. the music isn't generic, its well read and well recorded etc) is anyone aware of anything that might fit these descriptions?
Please suggest your favorite music for yoga and/or meditation that is made with real sounds or instruments (singing bowls, water, etc) instead of synthesizers. [more inside]
I think my new mindfulness practice is causing me more anxiety - why is this and how do I handle it? [more inside]
I know there are songs I want on these playlists that I'm not remembering, and I'm constantly aware that I have blind spots that may be robbing me of perfect songs. Can you help me attack either issue by looking over one or both playlists then suggesting songs to add? [more inside]
What is the relationship between contemplation and mindfulness? [more inside]
So I've been doing some zazen following the instructions of Master Shodo Harada from this Youtube video. There he explains proper posture, focusing on breathing, counting your exhalations, keeping your eyes open while looking 1 m ahead on the ground, etc. I have (quite) a few questions that for experienced zazen meditators! [more inside]
How can I stop stressing myself out endlessly about career decisions, while also still making the appropriate decisions/choices? [more inside]
i miss riding horses. i love the sound of horses- very comforting. is there a meditation that guides you as if you were riding or in horse barn? i listen to rain and blizzards on YouTube, is there a horse soundtrack?thanks- i know this might be very random. but hey thats what metafilter is for!
Can you relate to my extreme resistance to relaxing? What has worked for you? [more inside]
Hello! I recently met a wonderful couple who are teachers with a worldwide organization called Art of Living. I'd vaguely heard of it before but didn't know much. What impressed me was how joyful they were - a joy they attributed to their practice (that is, they both said they weren't naturally joyful people prior). I was curious to learn more about their practices, which they described as specific breathing meditations and techniques. I am looking for input from anyone who might be more familiar. [more inside]
When an argument is brewing or someone upsets me, all my mindfulness study goes directly out the window. I am immediately engaged with the full complement of negative emotions and responses. When I've calmed down I can see all the things I should've said or done differently - if I'd managed to keep my head. How do you train yourself to practice INSTANT mindfulness?
I'd like to meditate more. I have the Simply Be app and like it, but would like to try others. MeFites, what do you recommend?
I'm curious about your experiences with using biofeedback devices to learn how to warm your hands up. My wife is always cold and I've been thinking about getting her a handheld thermometer (e.g. this doodad), but I don't want to waste her time / our money if it's unlikely to help. [more inside]
Looking for guided meditations/mindfulness practices specifically for help with post-surgical pain, besides Jon Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief. [more inside]
I have a very busy, hard to shut up brain and falling (and staying) asleep has always been a problem for me. A few months ago I came across the guided relaxation/hypnosis/meditation programs by Andrew Johnson in the google play store and started listening to them in bed as I fall asleep. They are wonderful. I want more, and I want to be able to do this more comfortably. [more inside]
I was recently diagnosed with ADD. (I am a 35 yr old adult male if that helps.) I had a hunch before as I have had years of anxiety and impulsiveness that has morphed to anger bursts. I am on the path to seeing a counselor for behavior/organizing modification but not yet on meds for ADD. In the meantime and for lifestyle choice, I am looking for any input on meditation techniques for those who have very busy minds. I have been practicing breath counting on a 4-2-6 count for 30 days and seem to be more distracted than ever though it worked for a little while. I know persisting in meditation with one way is helpful and am not expecting nirvana but a slower pace in thinking and talk would be helpful. (For what its worth, I do exercise 3 times a week with weights, slow stretch, and eat very healthy.) If you want to share any other things such as books, blogs, or sites, I am open to whatever, too. In closing, I will state that I am on an anxiety med and to take the ADD med I would have to titrate off that for 4 months, which I am willing to do though is scary. Life is good but it has been a bit harder and harder.
Help me find the ideal 5-7 day teacher-led meditation retreat close to an airport and/or close to Kansas City! [more inside]
What are your favourite guided meditation recordings? I am looking at around twenty minutes and a fair amount of variety as I'd like to do this daily. Unless, of course, you've found that keeping to the same tape every time has a positive effect. [more inside]
I was laid off last week, and instead of feeling angry, I just feel … well, calm. Is this even remotely normal? [more inside]
Pardon if this misses the point entirely, but is there a guide to practicing mindfulness that does not revolve around sitting meditation? [more inside]
I have a stretch of half an hour or so each way in my daily commute where I am just sitting on the tube during nothing. I would like to use this time to meditate and am seeking things to put on my iPod to help me. [more inside]
5 days ago, had general anesthesia lapropscopic surgery for salpingo oopherectomy (badly scarred right ovary and tube removed), appendectomy, D&C and exploratory surgery found massive adhesions and one intestinal cyst. Everything was cleaned up, I was sent home that afternoon with 2 days of Percocet and given basic after-care instructions. [more inside]
Setting aside an upcoming weekend as a "retreat at home". With a focus on relaxation, fighting off burnout and meditation. I was hoping for some recommendations for activities, guided meditations, books or inspiring films to view to make the most of this time. [more inside]
My son is almost 9. He suffers from mild anxiety, and very often can't sleep at night. He gets plenty of exercise most days as he plays sports year round. He reads at night, but this doesn't always do the trick. He's a very intense kid, and rather than cut down on the sports (which very often is the source of his stress, even though he loves playing) I'd like to manage the anxiety. I think some sort of guided sleep meditation might be really useful here, and I'd love some recommendations. Most of what I've found so far either is sort of corny and a little babyish, or is not specific to sleep and is more about mindfulness and not as good for relaxation. Thanks!
I'm looking for a good meditation retreat center somewhere not too far from the midwest. I'm interested in vipassana meditation, although I wouldn't mind branching out. Mainly I want to find a place with good teachers. [more inside]
I am male, 17, with decent physical health but struggling with depression and anxiety. What should I try before going back on meds? [more inside]
I've always wanted to try an eyewear-based mind machine, but the number of options are dizzying, and it's not clear what's best. There's closed-eye, open-eye, different LEDs, and options go from $25 kits to being quite pricy. I'm aware of this previous AskMe, but it's quite old. If you've used mind machines recently, what's the lay of the land? Also, is there somewhere I could go in the Bay Area to try them out?
So, I'm starting out on meditation, but finding it near impossible to stay focused for more than a few seconds. Any tips for not thinking about cheese et al for a while? [more inside]
It's winter! And I need spring, summer, fall....heck, any other season than winter! I want to spend some time with flowers. I am looking for places, specifically in the NYC metro area where I can sit with a group of flowers: maybe an indoor garden/nursery, or a flower show....or some crazy field that has flowers growing in the dead of winter (I know!) I do not want to buy flowers and watch them die in my apartment. Do you know of anywhere that I can sit and commune with flowers? Thanks!
Meditation for the restless? I'm eager to add daily meditation to my life, yet I find it hard to remain motionless. Is there a way to meditate through motion? Or is this restlessness exactly what meditation is meant to fight against – and if so, how can I encourage stillness?
The times when I am most content and at peace are the times that I am most able to live in the present - unattached to outcomes, not falling into "what ifs", not "writing the script", etc. I've also been at my most successful when I've had that attitude. Unfortunately, it's also pretty rare that I'm able to get there. What books, recordings, techniques, anything else help you reach that "it is what it is and it's all ok" attitude?
I'm overambitious. I spread myself too thin and it's crazy-making. Now what? [more inside]
Help me plan a self-made relaxation / meditation retreat for one week in San Diego [more inside]
Looking for an all-inclusive spa/yoga/outdoors retreat type thing, along these lines, but on the West Coast. [more inside]
How and why does meditation work? How does one do it properly (that is, in the way in which one may extract the most benefits)? [more inside]
Really vague teenage book memory involving a gold room, a candle, and meditation power? Did I hallucinate this book? [more inside]
I need more compassion. I'm semi-Buddhist. What's your favorite guided meditation or other focused technique? [more inside]
What sort of meditation would be appropriate to aid in attaining a deep sleep? Something to do in bed immediately before you doze off?
How do I find a time and place for meditation as a parent? [more inside]
I'd like to start meditating to help me live more in the moment, know my body and mind better, reduce stress, and increase my ability to focus and concentrate. What are some mindfulness/meditation resources and guides that can help me accomplish those goals without any woo? [more inside]
I've recently started doing a sitting meditation, and when I do it in a cross-legged position sitting on a cushion, I'm having pain and sort of a numbness in my right mid back. I don't want to stop doing the sitting meditation--I'm finding it easier to meditate in a sitting position--but it hurts, and I'm worried I'm going to injure myself. [more inside]
Free, online audio resources for mindfulness meditation and body awareness sessions? [more inside]