I’m interested in Meditation. How do I get started?
Most people start by attending an introductory meditation course, usually for five or six sessions. Some start by attending a retreat that is described as “suitable for beginning as well as experienced meditators”, where there is some introductory guidance.
If you live in a community outside of Vancouver, you might consider organizing an Introduction to Meditation weekend in your community and inviting a teacher or community dharma leader to teach.
Do I have to become a Buddhist?
No. Some meditators consider themselves Buddhist and some don’t.
What kinds of meditation are there?
In general, there are two kinds: focusing meditation and insight meditation.
In a focusing meditation you choose one object and work with that object for example, repeating a mantra or focusing an image (real or imagined, excluding all other experience. This practice develops steadiness of mind. Transcendental Meditation is a well-known example. Metta practice is also a focusing practice.
Insight practice is not a focusing practice but it relies on the ability to steady the mind in this way. Focusing is one aspect of a part of mindfulness.