My first time meditating was such an inspiring and enlightening experience that I had to learn more about it. What I discovered is not what I expected. Meditation is not done only by Buddhists. People of all faiths meditate. It is a way to find yourselves to get back to a oneness, a sense of still being here, a mindfulness of knowing we are alive and in our present state.
Meditation can be done in a number of ways. There are apps in the Android Store or Apple Store for meditation. You can also find numerous books, DVD/Blu-Ray on Amazon about meditation. You can also find videos on YouTube.
Meditation should be something you want to do not something you feel you have to do because of your chosen beliefs. I’m Buddhist and meditation has become part of who I am and part of a daily ritual that I’ve been trying to instill in my kids. My wife who came from a Christian–Mormon–background has embraced the Buddhist teachings and is still learning how to meditate. She still has trouble sitting still. As we all do when we are first learning.
The first time you meditate is like your body waking up. All the little things you never notice, the hairs on your arms, the little itches that don’t bother you, you feel them. Sitting to meditate for the first time is frustrating and enlightening both equally. For me it is the first time I really felt my body was this breathing living thing. Sure, I had biology class in high school, but it didn’t prepare me for what I felt the first time I meditated.
I can honestly say it was the first time in my life I had a true “Religious” experience. It is something in the last six months I have grown to share with my wife and our two kids. I don’t subscribe to one Buddhist Tradition or another. I have read a lot of Lama Surya Das and he is a Lama in the Tibetan tradition. I have books in my collection of Buddhism by Lama Das, Thich Nhat Hanh, The Dalai Lama and Pema Chodron, among others.
I consider myself a self taught Buddhist since all I have learned has been from books and documentaries and I have never had a true teacher. Growing up in Utah and Wyoming doesn’t really allow you to spread your spiritual wings in many directions. It wasn’t until I moved to Las Vegas I found out there was a Buddhist Center in Salt Lake City.
Finding Buddhism has made me a calmer and more centered person. I no longer have trouble dealing with people like I once did. I still have moments of frustration, I don’t think that goes away. But meditation is but one step on way to enlightenment.
Meditation has been used by Priests, Rabbis, Imam’s, Monks and numerous other religious leaders. It helps center you, cleans out the cobwebs of your mind and gives you a grounding.
Your first time meditating should be done in a quiet space: No distractions. I suggest a guided meditation. I didn’t use one my first time. I wish I had.
There are also podcasts of guided meditations. I hope this helps anyone searching or those taking there first steps.