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Question for January 20, 2013: Advice for Beginners
Medivate — 5 years ago — in Question of the Week
What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in meditation?


Shakuhachi — 5 years ago — permalink
Don't expect anything.


davidbhayes — 5 years ago — permalink
This is one of those things that's deceptively simple. I have this pet idea that really simple ideas (or cliches) that we think we understand but don't fully grasp are *the* most profound. I wrote a little essay about it a while ago, but that whole area's somewhat off-topic.
About expecting things in meditation: when I started out I remember thinking that I really got meditation. And I remember being hugely frustrated with what it felt like to sit quietly alone in a room by myself. I'd get up and run away after five minutes because it was hard to just be still. I had things to do, thoughts to think, etc. I think a lot of that early frustration really was caused by my covert expectations that I should be kind of good at it, and that it should be a certain way. It wasn't any way and the difference between that and what I expected was hard. Being OK with that gap was really the first, and possibly most important, thing I've learned from meditation.