Yes, those with active hallucinations or under the influence of drugs or some medications. More commonly, some people need to depart from traditional styles of practice to accommodate special needs. Various forms of trauma often manifest with a difficulty feeling safe with eyes closed so a soft focus approach can be helpful. Individuals with psychotic [...]
No. The Buddha was not vegetarian. You may, however, find yourself becoming more aware of what and why you eat.
Of course. If the medication helps the mind, then it’s actually better to meditate with it than without it. We have seen people with solid meditation practice get off anti-depressants and sleeping medication. Of course, always consult your physician before changing any medication use.
Meditating in a group is often easier for several reasons. We go to a place with the specific intention to meditate. The presence of others sharing this intention supports our process. There is energy in a room of people in which experienced practitioners are often said to “carry” the less experienced on “a wave of [...]
Don’t pressure yourself. There is a simple formula for progress: initial instructions and support, regular practice, guidance from a teacher and deeper practice in retreat.
Practice, practice, practice. Repetition is the basic ingredient for developing new habits and stronger muscles. Meditation is no exception.
We suggest that beginners start with 10 minutes twice a day and progress to 15-minute periods during their training. Once 15 minutes seems short, we suggest going to 30 minutes because most people experience deeper states of relaxation and concentration between 20 and 25 minutes. Eventually we sit for 45 minutes or longer as a [...]
These distractions naturally go away as your concentration increases. They become noticed but not distracting. However, if an itch or unpleasant sensation creates an internal aversion that persists, we find in the beginning that it is better to scratch or purposefully move, going slowly and deliberately and using the least movement possible.
The practice of mindfulness meditation is traditionally done with eyes closed. Exceptions to this are often made for those who have anxiety or panic attacks, who have been physically or sexually abused as children or attacked as adults, and those who suffer from PTSD from any source. Starting with a soft focus or eyes open [...]
Many people find that meditating first thing in the morning works well. Whether you meditate before coffee and email or afterwards depends on your personal preference. We encourage students to be curious about their experience and what works best for them. Times to generally avoid are when you are tired, immediately after eating or when [...]