The Secret of Tranquility



Frequently Asked Questions


What is meditation?

Meditation is the practice of controlled thinking which develops balance and focus.

Why should I meditate?

There are a huge variety of reasons for meditation. In fact, it is possible to say that there are as many reasons for meditation as there are human activities. Meditation can be used to enhance all areas of human experience as it is inextricably linked to perception and cognition. For example, some people meditate to enhance their ability for creativity; meditation increases the ability to create complex scenes in the imagination, imagination becomes more vivid and malleable. Another reason to practice meditation is to increase capacity for concentration as many types of meditation require the continuous application of attention on a given object. For people who have difficulty in maintaining focus in their lives, this avenue can be most appealing.

Do I need a special room to practice meditation?

It is very important that meditation be independent of special surroundings. Although a conducive environment is helpful for a beginner, the sense of peace and serenity the beginner encounters is mainly to do with expectation and atmosphere. Meditation, by definition, is (or includes) independence from external surroundings.

I have trouble sitting for extended periods, what should I do?

There are a few ways of dealing with postural pain when meditating. By far the best way is to treat the pain itself as the object of meditation, maintaining an observational mindfulness of the pain; it thus ceases to be a pain. Other ways of dealing with the pain is by active visualisation, or active relaxation; the practice of hatha yoga is also very useful in developing good and comfortable posture.

I tend to fall asleep whenever I meditate, what should I do?

Falling asleep is a common problem among novice meditators, practice and perseverance are the means of overcoming fatigue. However there are solutions to minimise drowsiness. Firstly, time your session well. Meditating before going to sleep will often lead to falling asleep, during the circadian cycle there are times of greater wakefulness and times of lesser wakefulness depending on your disposition; choose your most wakeful periods. Open eyes can be helpful in preventing sleep onset, especially in a well lit room; this is because the circadian cycle which governs wakefulness and drowsiness is motivated by light. People also tend to fall asleep more easily if sitting on an armchair or sofa; if this is a problem find a less comfortable chair, preferably with a low back to aide posture.

How do I end a session of meditation?

It is important to be aware of the world around you; certain things need doing and it is extremely difficult to get things done when the mind is totally introverted and focused on other issues. If there is a hole in the roof, it's no use thinking about it (or something else), action must be taken. As meditation introverts the mind, regular, daily activities can be affected; it is therefore needed to be grounded before getting back to regular activities. After meditation one should do something physical and mundane e.g. drink a glass of water, have a shower, smell some fragrant herbs etc.

Is it advisable for children to meditate?

The benefits of meditation for children are the same as they are for adults; they are able to develop a greater sense of peace, increase motivation and concentration, and raise self confidence.


Copyright Drop of Eden - 2008