Just thought I'd chime in!!
I'm by no means a pro at meditating, but my mother taught me to meditate when I was 8 whenever I was bored and restless, I'm now 22 so here are some (although limited!) things I've learned:
- While a straight back is helpful, it is by no means necessary. I had 26 titanium bolts and 3 rods fitted to the entire thoracic and lumbar sections of my spine and I can tell you now, a straight back isn't everything
If anyone has difficulty with sitting straight, try finding a COMFORTABLE high backed chair where your feet can touch the ground! I also enjoy laying down but only when I'm sure I won't fall asleep
- Meditating with your eyes open can be a huge help if you find your mind wandering - focussing on a candle flame or even a paint spec on the wall can be a great focal point for grounding your mind.
- Guided meditations are fantastic (kundalindi ones are a personal favourite, whether you believe in new age stuff or not, it feels great regardless and it's a mental exercise!) but I make it a personal rule to not rely on them - mindfulness is where I try and keep my focus! With guided meditations the mind gets lazy in my opinion.
- Everyone is different on this one, but I find eating beforehand isn't a good idea.. Even if your tummy is a quiet one, I think it can distract you a little still!
- If you have trouble keeping to a regime, try joining a local meditation group! (once you're sure it's not a cult that is
) you can meet great new friends this way and I always feel more relaxed knowing that I have something to 'make' me stick to it
I go to one every monday, and every fortnight I will take a gaiwan and share tea time with them
That's all I can think of for now - but If I remember anymore I will add them!!
Meditation is a very personal and subjective thing, so take the above points with a grain of salt and see what works for you, these just happen to be the ones that work for me!Edit: While my habits are a bit different to this guy's, his video is very good for people just starting out. It's long winded and the guy can come off as a bit intense/annoying, but once you look past that it's got some great tips - great video for those who are into meditation for it's practical uses and not the spiritual aspect.
(slight language warning) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a5fO8jE7mc