How To Meditate I – What is Meditation


Hi and welcome to this series of videos on how to meditate. In this the first video I will be talking about what is the meaning of the word “meditation”. First of all, the word meditation can mean many different things to different people. For some people meditation means simply a calming of the mind, creating of a pleasurable or peaceful state of being for some time a sort of like a vacation or escape from the reality around us. For other people meditation can mean an extraordinary or special experience of some alternate state of reality, perhaps creating magical states or super mundane states of awareness. In this video I’d like to take the word meditation first of all, back to its root, and explain it based on the meaning of the word meditation. When we look at the word meditation we can see that it comes from a root very similar to the word medication. And so whereas medication means something which is used to cure the sickness which exists in the body, we then can understand meditation as something which is used to cure sickness which exists in the mind. So as opposed to, when we look at medication we can see that as opposed to a drug it’s not something that simply creates a state of pleasure or a state of happiness for some time. It’s something which is actually used to create, to effect a change in the body, a state of greater bodily health, bring the body back to it’s natural state of health. So in this way, meditation – we can see we can understand it as something which not simply brings about a state of peace or calm temporarily. It’s something which returns the mind – which may for many of us be in an unnatural state of being based on its worries or stresses or conditioning, any kinds of conditioning from the experience of the world around. Instead we can see that meditation is something which actually effects a change and brings the mind back to its natural state of peace and happiness. So in these videos it’s important to understand that sometimes during the meditation it may not feel peaceful and calm. Sometimes the meditation is dealing with the very deep and unpleasant states which exist in our minds state of stress, state of worry, state of anger state of addiction and so on. And so sometimes it might seems that this sort of meditation is not as peaceful as we might have wished for but we have to understand that this isn’t simply a drug. This isn’t simply a way to feel pleasure for a short time. It’s something which is meant to effect a real change on our minds and on our hearts, to bring our minds and our hearts back to its natural state of clarity, and our natural state of peace and happiness. So the next question is how is that we come to affect this change or this healing, this remedy for these states of anger, of greed, of addition, of delusion, of conceit, of arrogance, of worry, of stress, of fear and so on. How is that we come to cure these things? In the practice here in this set videos, the basis of the practice of meditation as I will be explaining it is what we call a clear thought. We’re creating a clear awareness of the experience as it happens in every moment. And the way we do this is we use an ancient technic which is called “mantra”. The ancient practice of mantra meditation. But instead of focusing it on some sort of mantra, a word, which is super mundane or out of the ordinary, we’re going be focusing our attention on the ordinary, on the reality around us as we experience it. But we’ll be using a mantra, this word, this name, this label for the experience, which brings the mind into focus, and to clearly experience the phenomenon as it arises. To know it clearly, to see it for what it is, and to not be addicted, attached, or upset, or averse to that experience. To simply know it, and experience it for what it is. So for instance when we feel something in the body, or when we move our body, or when we think of something in the mind and so on, we’re going to create a clear thought for instance, “thinking”. If we get angry, we’re going to say to ourselves “angry”. If we feel pain, we’re going to say to ourselves “pain”. We’re going to pick a word which describes the experience accurately, which therefore fixes the mind on the experience for what it is, not becoming upset or attached to the experience. To do this traditionally, we break experience/reality up into four parts. So we can label reality in one of these four parts. Whatever we experience will be somewhere within these four parts. On a basic level, these four parts are called: Body, the movement, or the position of the body; Feelings, the sensations which exists in the body, and in the mind, and when we feel pain or happiness or calm; Mind, this is the thoughts which exists in the mind, thinking of the past, or the future, good thoughts, bad thoughts, whatever kind of thoughts we have; And number four, the mental states, the state of mind, whether it be emotional states, whether it be states of clarity, or states of drowsiness, or states of worry, states of doubts, and so on. These four, the body, the feelings, the thoughts, and the mental states, are the four foundations of the meditation practice. This is what we’re going to use to create a clear thought in the present moment. So for instance, every moment when we move our body. Suppose we lift our hand, when we raise our hand during the time when we’re meditating, we can say to ourselves, “raising”. When we’re sitting still, we can say to ourselves, “sitting”. Or whatever the position the body is in, we can be simply aware of the position of the body. It’s one part of the reality that we can use to create a clear thought. The second is the feeling that exists in the body and the mind. When we feel pain in the body, we can say to ourselves, “pain”. We can repeat again and again to ourselves, “pain … pain … pain”. Instead of allowing the anger or upset to arise because of the pain, we simply remind ourselves that it’s merely a sensation which has arisen in the body. When we feel happy, we can say the same thing, “happy … happy …”. Not pushing it away, but also not attaching to it giving it more significance than it actually has. And therefore not creating a state of addiction, a state of attachment, a state of need. When we feel calm, we can also say “calm, calm, calm” and so on. When we’re thinking, number three is the “thoughts”. So when we’re thinking of the past, good thoughts from the past, bad thoughts from the past, we can say to ourselves, “thinking … thinking …”. Instead of letting them becoming something good, or something bad, something to create attachment or something to create aversion, we simply know that they are thinking. They are thoughts which have arisen. When we’re thinking of the future, when we’re thinking of anything, we can simply come to be aware of the fact that we’re thinking instead of liking or disliking or becoming attached to the thoughts, allowing fear and worries, stress and so on to arise. And the emotional states or the mental states When we feel angry, once anger has arisen instead of letting it build and snowball and become hatred or become an action where we attack or a speech where we shout where we yell where we argue we simply know that we are angry and we stop it there and don’t allow it to go further. when we feel greed when we want something very bad instead of taking or trying to trick someone into so we can get the better of them stealing or tricking or creating trouble for someone else so we can get what we want we see that we want something, we simply acknowledge it for what it is and therefore we don’t need to do bad deeds to get the things we want we say to ourselves, “wanting, wanting” when we feel lazy or so on and we don’t want to do the things which we know that we should be doing we can say to ourselves “lazy, lazy” when we’re distracted or worried or stressed, we can say “distracted”, or “worried”, or “stressed.” when we feel doubt, we don’t know if we can do what we need to do or we’re not sure what to do or we’re confused, we can say to ourselves “doubting, doubting” or “confused, confused” So this is the basis of the meditation practice as I’m going to explain them in these videos and this is the introduction on how to meditate.


100 Responses

  1. Simple Blaze

    May 9, 2016 1:44 am

    in what area do you live? is it a monestary in the mountains or something, also what country

  2. Timothy Fairweather

    June 23, 2016 1:35 am

    Thanks for sharing that video – here is some more info on meditation I found:

    Meditation is a training to open a new type of awareness about the hidden capability inside our consciousness. It will open up our hidden intuition awareness ability.

    Through this training, we learn how to breathe without stress, how to think without worry, and feel free from any fear to open up our inner harmony awareness ability to connect to the entire, amazing universe. Through this development, we can be aware of the sense beyond normal human activity to the border of no limitation.`

  3. Topher Ming

    June 29, 2016 10:28 pm

    I doubted your claim the the word 'meditation' comes from a root word that is very similar to 'medication', so I looked into it.

    Wikipedia says: The English meditation is derived from the Latin meditatio, from a verb meditari, meaning "to think, contemplate, devise, ponder".

    Meditari is the present infinitive form of meditor which means:

    1) I think or reflect upon, consider, contemplate, ponder, meditate (upon); intend
    2) I plan, contrive, devise
    3) (by extension) I meditate, study, exercise myself in, practise or rehearse something

    Meditor is given as the: Frequentative of medeor ‎(“to heal, to cure, to remedy”).

    Frequentative means: A verb form that serves to express frequent repetition of an action.

  4. cammil

    August 1, 2016 6:21 pm

    "Feelings" seem similar to "mental states" in the way that you describe them. How should I distinguish them?

  5. franz goering

    August 11, 2016 8:22 pm

    I love the video very informative, but I do have one question…why don't you stop blinking?do your eyes hurt?

  6. umut barat

    August 11, 2016 8:23 pm

    Thanks. That is an interesting topic.
    Is meditation simply 'thinking'?
    What is the difference between meditation and thinking?
    Coz when I say that I meditate it means I am thinking at least for me because that is what I do.

  7. Mike R

    August 16, 2016 7:27 pm

    Your voice is really soothing, people these days shout at you when speaking rather than just speaking.

  8. chiranthi Suras

    September 7, 2016 12:09 am

    What is Buddha’s teaching is about:
    It is more about how living beings psychologically and materially functions and how that could lead to suffering. In summary, it explains how this universe naturally functions without any individual interference. What Buddha’s advice to us:
    He asked us to listen to his teaching, understand and investigate it applying our self and see whether it is true.Outcome is, if one understood that his complete existence is govern by nature and he doesn’t have any control over his body or his mental functions, then he loses the attachment to himself. Once the attachment is lost; the greed and the hatred are extinguished and only pure peace exists.

  9. Ronald Duck

    December 7, 2016 12:27 am

    Hi Yuttadhammo!I really liked your How to meditate – series and found it useful. I've meditated before but the way you teach it makes it simple and practical. The first time i tried this meditation technique, my mind slowed down pretty easily and as a result I felt very peaceful. However the second time meditating I faced fear or anxiety rising from the inside. Do you think it is safe to meditate on the fear or should I try to keep my focus on the breath?

  10. James Carmichael

    January 15, 2017 10:08 pm

    I have no intentions of being a Buddhist Monk, nor do I consider myself religious. However I've been using Yuttadhammo's videos and have been meditating for a number of years now. I've even gone so far to meditate in as many situations as I possibly can even when I know it's going to be full of distractions, people I may not like and situations I know I'm not going to be comfortable. It has literally changed my entire mindset and outlook on life. I really would like to thank you for these videos.

  11. Alec Kempendorf

    February 23, 2017 1:19 pm

    When i try to meditate… i somehow dont find the right way not to regulate my breathing… when i meditate it´s somehow not yet possible for me to breath like i normally do
    does anyone have some good advises for me? 🙂

  12. Spectral X

    March 6, 2017 4:39 pm

    A hell of a lot better than that Leo guy from Actualized who is just concerned about picking up chicks

  13. Shawn White

    April 8, 2017 2:54 am

    Canadian retreat locale is one thing. Test your mettle under the reign of U.S. military upon foreign soil.

    Come on, baby. Light my fire.

  14. Dionisis Makrigiannis

    May 4, 2017 4:23 pm

    i don'tknow what i'm doing wrong,but i feel exhausted after meditating.I may get a headache out of it too

  15. Rudransh Aggarwal

    May 24, 2017 1:29 pm

    Hello YuttadhammoI watched your video and it really helpful for me for how to do meditation with focusing and targeting something. I do meditation from last 3 year. Not daily but 3 to 4 times in a week. Some times It work well and do meditation perfectly but some times it take lot of time to come in meditation stage. When I do meditation daily so after 3 or 4 days of continuous meditation, I reach on a particular stage where I feel I am moving. things are moving. I think I feel the earth movement I am not sure. But I feel I am unstable. I fell that I am going deep and deep in a free space like ellipsoid(andhkar). At that stage I am concentrate completely to my center of head and feel some thing in middle of the forehead. My body goes calm and very light. And I feel that I can float in air. I feel my body try to go up from ground. This is a very sweet stage of mediation for but it will not remain for more than 2-3 min. I cant hold more but when I reach that stage I feel my body goes inner peace and getting rest. Also when I go for sleep after that level mediation. My body don't require much sleep. Like if I do meditation at 11:30 till 12 Night and then I go for sleep immediately. So I wake up around 4 am automatically and feel not require more sleep and feel fresh.But I am prepared for wake up at 4 so I try to sleep again because I am not habitual. I am trying to make schedule. DO mediation at 11:30 for half an hour and then go for sleep and wake up at 4 am and do some creative thing and enhance my skills.RegardsTarun K Aggarwal+91 9168695458

  16. Zane Vittorio

    September 2, 2017 2:12 pm

    I wish I can be that calm. He is so calm, he doesn't even care that a leaf bounced off his head at 1:29. I'd be looking all around to see what happened.

  17. one thus come

    September 27, 2017 5:41 am

    I am convinced that if we hold to the concept that we are a continuous, abiding self it hinders our meditation.
    We cannot expirience the "self" or "ego". Therfore, it has no place in our practice of mindfulness.
    It's only when we let go of what is essentially the concept of our self that we can be mindful of what is happening Now!!
    ..or so I see it.

  18. livo audio books

    October 29, 2017 5:31 pm

    Great book review! If you are interested in the saying of Buddha, listen to this free full audio book of the DHAMMAPADA:

  19. Spiritualité Coaching Stage et Formation

    February 17, 2018 2:45 am

    Amazing teaching… It reminds me when I was living in a Buddhist Monastery in Sri Lanka… The Theravada tradition has a clear path leading to liberation of the mind… Thank you for making it accessible to anyone…

  20. Ready for Truth

    March 15, 2018 3:38 am

    Please tell me that's a green screen behind him? Because someone this kind and sweet doesn't deserve my internal jealousy.

  21. Neck Crank

    March 29, 2018 8:43 pm

    Is it important to use impersonal forms of words when labeling like rising and falling? My native language is russian and we don't have such forms and sometimes i have to choose between using personal verb like i am walking (without i am, because it is already inside of the form of the verb) or inventing new odd words which are not usually said by anyone?

  22. F. Crazybone

    April 6, 2018 7:47 pm

    He knows of what he speaks. I have been meditating for a couple of years now (not even every day) and my life has taken a 360 degree turn for the better of both physical and mental health. It's all about releasing negative energy and replacing it with beautiful positive cosmic energy.

  23. patty dubz

    April 24, 2018 3:39 pm

    I normally have difficulty focusing on anything. I was never able to meditate at all until I watch these videos. They helped me a lot. I think you are a helpful and amazing person. Thank u so very much. May Many blessing be with you and yours

  24. tormor asileman

    May 10, 2018 2:56 pm

    if you feel pain/anger say/think the word of pain/anger
    wow what a remarkable things to have/know //

    this is the dumbest way to distinguish meditation from medication
    they are actually same shit different colors
    difference is that you dont get drug
    budhism or other variations is absolutely for pathetic losers

  25. eselah

    June 18, 2018 8:32 am

    Thank you. I came acroos your video by accident and now I ve been meditating for two years from your medidating teachings. It changed my life for better.

  26. I Will Not Tell You My Fucking Name

    July 8, 2018 9:11 pm

    i always had a hunch that the words Meditation and Meciation words were somehow connected… thanks for clarifying

  27. Beto Bermúdez

    August 3, 2018 1:15 am

    How much time (hours) do Buddhist monks spend in meditation during daily life?
    Thank you for your videos!!!

  28. Chandrashekar Arora

    August 17, 2018 6:08 pm

    Hi sir… Can you please tell me…what's the best time exactly to meditate..???I know… It's morning… But then… When in the morning…??? As soon as you wake up…??? Or after you freshen.up…????

  29. Molfar

    August 25, 2018 9:16 pm

    Listen, but more important, try to FEEL what are Enlightened Masters say about meditation… Osho, Ramana Maharshi, Eckhart Tolle… This guy is too smart, its on his face 😉 Too many words… No feeling of energy, presence, his personal accomplishment. Meditation is beyond the mind and not everyone smart is able to explain its essence. … But he could have been a good political commentator, those news are boring any way. 😉

  30. Yoga Pawan

    August 31, 2018 5:42 am

    Hiii sir 🌹 help me which maditation best for me to get superpowers ?? N I m working for that also , I want to pull bus by handwalk in future sure , n maditation already help me to pull car , I starte from bike , I get more strienght by maditation, day by day Help me to have more power just tell me which maditation help me for that get more stronger will power plz 🙏🙏

  31. nick knight

    October 28, 2018 2:44 pm

    I was 11 when I found out about Buddhism and meditation, I tried to be peaceful and would usually sit on rooftops just reflecting and I liked climbing anyway. At around 12 at school there was this boy and he just really bugged me with his attitude and greed for popularity. I usually sat on myself or with another boy who is my best friend, just speaking softly about situations and peace. I'm 13 now and I sit by myself sometimes in a comfortable spot, whether it is outside, in my bedroom, living room etc. I think of my spirit/soul being a samurai, a strong warrior protecting me but being a gentle person. It helps me and I want to achieve peace but I do not want to get more ambitious since I take things one step at a time

    When I meditate, I usually have sushi, ramen etc before I start and I get in a comfortable position where its quiet and r e l a x a n d t h i n k

  32. carloscreativity

    November 8, 2018 8:02 pm

    okay i always thought about it like this: sure meditating is good, as long as no weird and occultic type of stuff is involved (why i stay away from yoga) i once had terrible, crippling anxiety, and depression, to the point where i had to leave school at one point cause i couldn't even be sitting down in class. this was ongoing for several years but i noticed it something of from that experience, that you have to see where it's stemming from. we have to realize depression and anxiety are results of something that has happened, the meaning of depression itself is sadness, no one is just sad for no reason. we have to realize whether it's addictions, severe hate, jealousy, or sometimes the bad people we're around with is what is spiraling all these intense emotions. in my case it was a severe addiction that i always put under the rug (pornography and masturbating) once i focused all of me in destroying that i literally was liberated from all those other things. something that i remind myself of is that calmy everything is handled better. if i'm overwhelming myself just thinking about it then i'm doing it wrong. i did meditate but never in a ritual type of way where all my day is meditating, i really don't believe people should meditate for long hours or all day, since i really really think it's a waste of life, we're supposed to live and let experiences make us grow. it's like before a race, you only have to plan before hand what's necessary because once that race begins you have no control of what goes one while everything is moving fast, and that is life. i just advice all you people to stay away from weird and dark practices in meditating, since a lot of these practices were made by people you nor me knew their intentions. i'm living proof, that you can get yourself out the gutter without doing to much, and just living peacefully. ps. something i also tell myself to stay away from bad thoughts, emotions, etc.. is that if i think, feel, say, or do negative things i should let it go. it usually stopped these things from building up

  33. Michael

    January 19, 2019 7:51 am

    This is a great layout of Vipassana Satipatthana meditation which is the practice I learned while on retreat in Thailand. It's a little bit different than the standard type of meditation practice that is taught in the West and I would argue a more valuable teaching overall.

  34. victoria jefferis

    March 2, 2019 6:23 am

    I love your belief in your world however I disagree it's through only thoughts of how we feel. I can allow these moments and feel assured it's a impermanence for struggle is others feeling relighent on me how they need me and I feel a responsibility to comfort and be the me they feel safe with however I would now choose to drop out of conditioning to be what is comfortable fpe.those I love and it's my time to go alone and do what you do..your words are heartfelt but I disagree with some of your beliefs . for cannot explain dreaming of a forgotten nursery friend..dteaminb of saying bye to a old friend the day of his death miles away..of course dreams are like a film role..all.the sublinal I fluences in our day..processing. however some dreams aren't a dream. it's a travel

  35. Yagız Alp Tekin

    March 8, 2019 1:02 am

    I don't see the meaning behind this. We have one and only chance of living and they are minimalizing extremity. What is the point of detaching yourself from yourself and reality. Enjoy life, live it, follow it to the snowy mountains. It is too precious to be wasted like this

  36. TheMegatrux

    March 10, 2019 4:38 am

    4 parts of self :
    Feelings: pain,
    Mind: thoughts
    State of mind: drowsiness, fearful, doubt

  37. Nargis Banu

    March 22, 2019 3:38 pm

    Very soothing, very good procedure. Not audible, could barely hear you. A very calm, endearing talk

  38. Peace Rose

    May 27, 2019 8:56 pm

    Thank you for this very sensible, unflinching return to the authentic roots of Buddhist meditation. 🌹

  39. JC DeCarlo

    June 12, 2019 4:43 am

    This really works I had many phobias and meditation really works. I'm proud to call myself a Buddhist. Thank you for these videos.

  40. Paul Newman

    July 31, 2019 4:55 am

    You know what should happen but isn’t ? The Spirtual students that become enlightened should bless as many more students as they can. Than those students should go on to do the same, again and again….. Like a positive virus spreading far and wide throughout earth. Buddhists are to busy blessing themselves than turning around and saying philosophical non sense. It’s a solo journey, you have many lesions to learn….
    Anyway Gods bless everybody, take care, just a thought. ❤️☮️🌏🙏🏻

  41. Mother Nature

    August 12, 2019 6:05 pm

    I just listening this voice and feeling how the energy coming to my body. Thank you for sharing information about meditation. What a beautiful soul!


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