Learing to Meditate
January 5, 2004 7:21 PM   Subscribe

How to learn mediation online?
I can find lots of really basic stuff and lots of links to people selling mediation seminars, but can't find a good, completely non-religious site with the basic tutorials how to learn eastern meditation techniques online.(more inside)

I don't belive in the yogic/buddhist theology, but think the techniques are like exercise for the brain and can be beneficial both mentally and physically. I have no interest in hearing of my chi centers or kundalini. Do I need to go to a real-world class, or can I learn the basics online, by myself, to see if they work for me?
posted by superchris to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total)
And here I thought 'mediation' meant something to do with hostage negotiation.

I was totally excited to see what cool resources people would come up with for mediating conflicts...
posted by Space Coyote at 7:54 PM on January 5, 2004

Do you mean meditation?
posted by tranquileye at 7:54 PM on January 5, 2004

i'd check out a book by john kabat-zinn called "wherever you go there you are" ... im sure he has some excellent online resources as well. a great beginners guide.
posted by specialk420 at 8:02 PM on January 5, 2004

a good, completely non-religious site

Many (if not most) meditative practices have roots in eastern religion, so I'm not sure if "completely" non-religious is what you need. Honestly, I think your request excludes anything which might be helpful to you.

(Disclaimer: I too took the spelling literally and was prepared to babble about alternative dispute resolution. But I was sucked in by the more inside...)
posted by PrinceValium at 8:03 PM on January 5, 2004

Yeah - I edited a book last spring on Legal Dispute Negotiation. I was about to tell you NOT to buy it since the author was a judge who insisted on being called "Your Honour" in ordinary conversation.
posted by orange swan at 8:41 PM on January 5, 2004

Here's one.
posted by Succa at 8:45 PM on January 5, 2004

Response by poster: Meditation, not mediation... You can see the obvious need my brain has for exercise.

As for the religious aspect - I don't mind eastern philosophy in general, but for this I'd prefer a more "scientific/practical" approach, if that's the right term, than a theoretical/mystical/philosophical. Succa's on to the style I'm looking for, thanks.
posted by superchris at 9:16 PM on January 5, 2004

I edited a book last spring on Legal Dispute Negotiation -- Orange Swan

What's it called? Any good? I was told recently that I'd make a good mediator and that there was some decent money in it. It got me thinking.
posted by Tubes at 10:11 PM on January 5, 2004

Succa that looks like a really good link, thanks! And thanks for the post, superchris.
posted by yoga at 4:19 AM on January 6, 2004

Ages ago I read a book by Alan Watts that simplified the ideas of meditation into something anyone could practice.

The basics, ya know?:

Still your mind, allow thoughts to enter and leave (don't control them), breathe deeply and focus on your breathing and heartbeat, sit comfortably (and avoid the "lotus" if it makes you feel like a pretzel), count beads or chant if you like (to busy your conscious mind and free the subconscious), etc...

But I can't remember the name of the book. It also delved into principles of meditation and Zen found in many other religions, such as the similarity of the censer/incense in the Catholic Church to use of incense in other philosophies, in that it puts a person in touch with their physical senses. Also the ritual nature of Catholicism.

It was a damn good, very concise book. As I recall, I "borrowed" it from a campus library, then mailed it to a friend who carried it out of the country and mailed it back to the library from far, far away (making it a well-travelled philosophy, heh). High school fun, ya know.
posted by Shane at 7:56 AM on January 6, 2004

For a totally cool intro to meditation site, try this.

Check it out - It's big fun...
posted by jasper411 at 9:55 AM on January 6, 2004

Vipassana Buddhism generally teaches meditation as mental/spiritual discipline without the religious angle. It's very practical and focussed on means and technique.

You could start here, with the free online version of the book "Mindfulness in Plain English" (my absolute favourite book on meditiation.)
posted by Blue Stone at 1:30 PM on January 6, 2004

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