Here are the first few pages of “Meditation for Beginners – a 22-Day Course” which you can buy here at the bottom of this page as well as at Amazon.com or Smashwords.com (in any format you choose).
Enjoy! With metta,
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Welcome to this easy to follow meditation course!
It’s as simple as following day to day. You can go all out and meditate 10 hours per day. You might sit for 5 minutes once a day. Or 5 times for 5 minutes each day. As we say in Thailand, “Up to you!”
You might want to light incense. You might want to sit or stand or lie down. Up to you.
Short Description of this Meditation Course:
This short e-book meditation course is for anyone. You are probably a beginning meditator, but advanced meditators that are stuck can find the key to progressing here.
You don’t have to sit in a certain posture. You don’t have to fold your legs in back of your head. It isn’t Yoga. It isn’t Yogi. It isn’t Yoda. It’s just sitting. If you can’t sit, you can stand. If you can’t stand you can walk. If you can’t do any of those you can lie down on your back. If you can’t do this, can you lie on your side?
It’s that flexible. Like I said, it’s for “anyone.
Why did you decide to create this course?
In 1997 I began to meditate. I didn’t start because of any religious practice. I wasn’t Buddhist, Hindu, or anything else. I didn’t have a belief in any “ism” (Buddhism, Catholicism, Deism, Theism, Christianity, Muslimism, Hinduism). None of those or any other. I was not anti- any of these religions, but I found that I was more of a “free thinker” so to speak. Not believing in a certain God and yet not at all sure there isn’t one.
So, I sat and focused on the sensations of my breath.
I watched it go in.
I watched it go out.
I sat in an empty bedroom on the floor, on the rug. Though I hadn’t followed Buddhism and its beliefs I had read some books about it. I read some books on meditation. I read a book on Vipassana. I read some by Buddhadassa Bhikku and Ajahn Chah in Thailand. I read many things and it seemed that when “authorities” started talking about meditation, they had many rules about what one had to do and not do during it. They were very concerned about posture, length of time sitting, knowing all the vocabulary pertaining to it, and many other things that I wasn’t at all concerned with.
In my life, I try things. I keep what works and throw out what doesn’t. Life in the USA is quite stressful at times and I decided to try meditation to see if I might gain some peace… some calm… some relaxation when it was called for… I wanted some way to relax when upset. Relax when worried. Relax when anxious. I wanted some way to remain calm in the face of anxieties.
I found all of these things in meditation.
If you are looking for what I was looking for, meaning, some peace of mind… you may well find it here in this simple meditation course. Some of you may find more. Some of you may go someplace in your consciousness that is unexpected… in fact, some of you may find something deeper…
In my own journey, I began by meditating for about 10 months in total back in 1997-1998 timeframe. I sat a few times a week. Sometimes 5 times per week. Sometimes 3. Sometimes 7. Sometimes 10.
At some point, there began a revolutionary change occurring inside the mind. At the time, I was in the USA and I hadn’t the slightest idea what it meant… I asked Thai Buddhist monks there in America and wasn’t given any good answers to my questions about what process was going on. It was only after I moved here to Thailand that I began to understand what was happening… The abbot of a western-style forest wat (Buddhist temple) here in Thailand, as well as some monks there, told me that I was experiencing what they called, “Jhana”. Apparently there were 8 levels of Jhana, and I had been through them all.
Jhanas, as defined by Buddhists, are very tightly defined states of consciousness that have certain qualities that are best described by Buddha himself.
Is Jhana necessary for enlightenment? Who’s to say. They are unique (bizarre) states of consciousness that are indescribable with words. If you’re lucky enough to experience any of the states, even the first Jhana, you’ll realize that you felt something that was nothing like your ordinary states of consciousness. They’re rather magical states, for lack of a better term.
Continuing the story The abbot of the temple (Wat Pah Nanachat in Warin Chamrap near Ubon Ratchathani) asked me to stay and continue the “process” there at the temple for as long as I wished. He said that the monks staying at the temple were all trying to reach the various states of Jhana I had and that I was welcome to stay and continue…
Well, after some thought I decided not to stay. I came to Thailand for the answers about what the states were, but I was not ready to enter into those states again. Jhana and the road to nirvana are filled with fulfilling and blissful experiences. Even though I chose not to continue or to complete the journey right now, I know that someday I will sit again and see where it all leads. Even though I stopped meditation years ago, the process continues inside…
Meditation at the level of Jhana is an all or nothing process… it will create an incredible amount of turmoil inside you if you are one of the ones that get there… Turmoil arises when you are faced with a decision about “going the whole way” or not. Conflict arises between the you that you were before the process began and the you that you are now (or are not now, might be more accurate).
The ego slowly dissolves… wants, desires, ‘needs’, go away gently… unnoticed sometimes… the process is sometimes very slow or sometimes happens in large jumps… what was important one day becomes nothing as it is let go… non-attachment and the realization that things are impermanent, non-self, not worth attaching to – comes naturally as a result of the state of mind that is present. It is not because it is “Buddhist” or Hindu or anything else. It is the natural state of the mind after meditation at or around the Jhana states.
Those looking for “magical” or otherworldly experiences may interpret the experiences he or she has during this course, as just that. Others will interpret it in the name of their religion. Others will not experience anything. And, as I said, some may experience something that is so beyond words that they couldn’t possibly even attempt to explain the experience in words. For me, I believe that anything I’ve ever written about the Jhana states is tremendously incomplete. To write something and put into words the feeling of the state is so ludicrous that I should never attempt it and yet I’m drawn to tell others about it so that I can share the experience on some level.
I could say so much more, and then, what’s the point? I’d only be talking around the actual feeling and experiences and it’s such a worthless pursuit.
I will tell you what I did. I’ll outline it in this meditation course. I think that what has occurred in me can happen within ANYONE. I’m not special. I simply did a few things consistently. Then the process started in me. I didn’t do something so wonderful that I earned it… what I did was not difficult. I don’t think you need to be someplace special – at the top of a mountain temple, or in a cave in Thailand. You don’t need to be someone special either.
You don’t need to do things exactly as I tell you I did them. You don’t need to follow books on exactly how to meditate. You just need to
That’s it – just do, and see if life changes. If not, go back to whatever you were doing before.
If you do find that something has happened… some process begins for you that is similar or even vaguely similar to what I describe in this book would you please write me an email and let me know what happened for you?
It may be a long process or it may come to you almost immediately. There are monks that spend 40+ years meditating. Here’s a secret, it doesn’t take that long if you don’t add the extra fluff of religion on top of the experience. Religion adds additional challenges to getting there. In fact, I think that the reason there are thousands of monks in Thailand that have not had Jhana yet is because they have the fluff of Buddhism coloring their experience, piling layers of unnecessary rules and tradition on top of what can be a physical process – not religious.
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