Struggling to Meditate? Try these simple techniques!

Hi everyone,

There has been more interest in meditation recently. Not seeing much guidance in the Indie Hacker space, I hope to help Indie Hackers get started on their meditation routine. Meditation is quite simple but it is not easy for beginners to get in the groove of it. Since there are so many styles and techniques available I'd like to share some general techniques anyone can get started with.

The Breathe

  1. Get into a comfortable position, this can be the edge of a solid chair (no leaning your backs!) or any stable position you can manage on a meditation cushion. The key to this position is where your back is "free" in that you don't need any exertion to keep yourself upright, and you can extend your belly fully for your inbreathe.

  2. Exhale fully, deplating your belly, get rid of every last bit of air. Like a bellow, you can take in a lot of air in the next inbreathe. Try this a few times. It might feels strange at first. Most people haven't learned to belly breath properly, I hear singers and wind-instrument players are great at this already.

  3. Follow the sensation of your inbreathe, the wind filling your lungs, expansion, the torso keeping itself upright, many many things to keep track of. If the scope is too large to keep track of you can focus down in just the wind in your lungs. This is similar to driving, keeping track of many things can daunting for beginners, but you can get used to it eventually.

  4. Do the same process for the exhalation. Just the art of paying attention. Exhale fully so that the vacuum in your lungs help suck air in instead of having to exert yourself.

  5. Yes, your brain hasn't shut down and thoughts are invading your mental space. Maybe it's telling you the position is uncomfortable, or there's cool new ideas coming up. Don't push them away, just return the attention to breathing.

  6. Know your capacity. Nobody starts Couch to 5K with the 5K part. The same with meditation, the Dalai Lama started little by little too! So for a beginner meditator, just set the timer for 15 or 30 seconds. Set the number that you can achieve. Then try to extend that by 10 to 15 seconds at your next session, which can be an hour later or the next day. You'll get to 10 or 20 minutes in no time at all!

Coffee/Tea meditation
A lot of people tried breath meditation but couldn't get the hang of it just yet. Everybody enjoy hot/cold beverages every day. A glass of water also works! We can apply the same techniques there too!

  1. Hold your cup/glass with both hands. Feel the temperature. Is this hot or cold? No need to describe in words, just pay attention and register it. Don't try this with boiling hot cups please.

  2. Bring the cup/glass to your face. Breath in the scent. Enjoy the aroma, notice your reactions. Feel the warmth on your skin.

  3. When thoughts do show up, notice them too. You can tell them "I am thinking", drop that gently. Return the attention to your drink.

  4. Take one small sip. Put down your cup, you can still keep both hands on them. We have become so used to gulping down our drinks while doing things, reading, typing, that we forget to fully enjoy every sip. Feel the texture of the drink in your mouth. Pay attention to the taste. Swallow when you're ready.

  5. Repeat until finished! Try again with your next drink.

I hope this brings you back to yourself during the day, and that you can taste the joys of everyday more. Which parts are still difficult for you? Any questions with the practice? Have something to share about your meditation journey? Happy to answer all I can!

I'm planning to write a whole series on meditation on my blog. A guide tailored for builders. The first of which is published here: https://www.builderssun.com/how-to-breathe/

  1. 1

    Grwat, another meditator. Would you be interested in writing an article for the next issue of the MinfdulDevMag?

    1. 1

      Hi there! If you don't mind a non-dev then I don't mind an article.

      1. 1

        Sure, you're more than welcome :-) Mail me at [email protected] and let's chat about the article.

  2. 1

    i used to do mindfulness, sitting on a bench in a park for half-hour at lunch break just breathing, but i've lost it with mediation now i get mentally sick now when i think of meditation. it hits me immediately that it's all pointless it's the thought that it's all empty, all futile i just can't handle it it's like being dead is even better than this emptiness because then you don't feel the agony of having consciousness that can perceive how pointless it all is. 2 months ago i found the "i'm not the body i'm not even the mind" meditation it's very good i was very fond of it but now as soon as i sit i get restless and sick

    1. 1

      Ah, yes you've touched on the spiritual part of the practice, which can have very dramatic effects. Hence, over the history there's been recommendations to seek a spiritual guide, someone who has gone on before.

      Just like how the teachings of Emptiness can sound quite desolate and pessimistic. Yet the practitioners of true depth have found that Emptiness has brought them and the world infinite peace and compassion e.g. the Buddha, HH Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh.

      If it's all dark and pointless then how come it can produce such warm and kind figures?

    2. 1

      Did you chance anything in ypur life or did itncome out of nowhere? Our mind can be an asshole and I've experiwnced some BS from it during neditation, but I managed to just stick with it and my mind stopped the major bs. It's doing sm a ller bs from time to time though. Bir for me that is part of the game :-)

  3. 1

    Thanks for that - I've actually been thinking about meditation for a bit now and it's like you've given training wheels or baby steps to get started!

    1. 3

      I find that quantity is hugely more important to get started than quality. No need to pressure yourself if the session doesn't go as plan. Just try again, we can give ourselves so many opportunities. It's good to have some breaks every hour or several times an hour to get up stretch, get water, etc.

      We can add 1 minute of breathing to that very easily. A lot of people have the goal of 20 min meditation daily. Now that's quite manageable to do 1-2 minute every hour. Just doing 5 minutes hourly for 12 hours is already 1 hour of meditation!

    2. 2

      Start and start small. It's essentially two key concepts and you can ignore everyrhing else for the start.

      1. Focus on something, start with your breath and keep your focus there. It is not about thinking nothong, it ia focus.
      2. You will lose that focus as that ia normal. No worries, just go back to step 1.

      And keep going. Also, maybe this article about common mistakes might help https://mindfuldevmag.com/issues/issue-2-ethics-in-technology/5-common-mindfulness-meditation-mistakes

      Feel free to write anytime if you got some questions.

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