Meditation Questions & Answers Archive of New Direction


A collection of quotes by Sung. See: Archive for more. The answers are given to address the specific situations and needs of the questioners, and may not be applicable to everyone.


Meditation General

Why is meditation so difficult?

When you do it in a way that is difficult, it is difficult.

How do I know I am meditating right?

You make progress such as realizing something new about yourself if you do it right. But it is the best to discuss with a teacher about your practice.

Can metta meditation reduce crime in our society?

Metta meditation could lower crime temporarily at best, but the effectiveness is not sustainable. The metta meditation addresses the symptom of crime rather than solving the root cause.

Can meditation have negative effects?

An incorrect use of meditation can result in undesirable effects. For example, one can meditate to eliminate the symptoms of one’s life problems without solving the cause. Then the cause remains and continues to create problems in his life. It is like silencing a fire alarm and letting the fire continue to burn.

Why is my meditation practice being stuck and not progressing?

Because you are not able to learn any thing new from your practice.

How does meditation practice help solve my life problem?

Meditation practice let you see and solve the causes of your life problem in you.

How does meditation help solve my life problem happened due to an external cause?

A life problem can not happen to you if you do not have a cause of the problem within you. Meditation helps you realize that the problem is not only due to an external cause but also the cause within you. Also meditation helps you solve the causes of the problem within you. When you no longer have the cause of the problem with you, the problem no longer happens to you.

Can you teach me meditation that will help me sleep good? I can not sleep at night.

Meditate on the cause you have within you why you can not sleep.

What type of meditation should I practice?

The meditation that helps you to solve inner causes of your life hindrances and improve your life.

Isn’t meditation is a waste of time?

(Detail: I think that meditation is a waste of time. Isn’t it better to be productive instead just sitting and doing nothing?)

If you want to live as a human resource, meditation can be a waste of time. However if you wish to live as a human, meditation is very useful.

What is meditation?

Meditation is the highest training of all.

Why do we meditate?

To know what we can not know by thinking. To know deeper than truth. To know higher than truth. To live as a human.

Why meditate?

To know what we can not know by thinking.

Why do we meditate?

To live better.

What can I know by meditating?

You can know something that you can not know by thinking. For example, your breath, your mind, the cause of your mental chatter, the cause of your life problems and so on.

How does meditation improve my life?

Meditation helps you solve the cause of your life problems within you.

Do I need meditation app, music or nature sound for meditation?

No, they are not necessary. You already have everything you need for meditation.

Meditation and Comparison

What is the difference between imagination and meditation?

When you imagine, you see what you imagined. When you meditate, you see things as they are.

How does meditation differ from spacing out?

When you are meditating, you are aware. When you are spacing out, you are unaware.

What is difference between meditation and mindfulness?

Meditation is something you can do as a mental exercise or training. Mindfulness is a capacity of your mind to be aware. You can use the capacity in your meditation.

How are meditation different from daydreaming?

Daydreaming is an automatic mental process while meditation is intentional mental process.

How are meditation different from hypnosis?

Meditation is one’s own intentional mental process while hypnosis is not. Hypnosis requires someone to guide while meditation does not not.

How are meditation different from self-hypnosis?

Self-hypnosis programs mind while meditation deprograms mind.

Mental Chatter

How can I shut off my mind that is thinking too much?

If you take care of your mind, it will also takes care of you. When you want to meditate or sleep, it will help you instead of disturbing you.

What should I do with mental chatter during meditation practice?

You should learn and benefit from your distracting thoughts. It will improve your meditation.

What should I learn from my mental chatter?

Learn the cause of the inner mental chatter. For example, which of your actions brought mental chatter.

How do I learn from mental chatter?

Be aware of it and its causes.

How can I meditate on mental chatter?

Notice the mental chatter (the phenomena) is happening. Know why you are having mental chatter. Know not knowing when you do not know the answer. Know believing when you believe to know the answer. Know knowing when you know the answer.

Why do I have mental chatter?

Something are given to you in your meditation because they are needed in your meditation and life. If you use them well, it will improve your meditation.

How do I get rid of mental chatter?

Do not create it.

How do I stop my thoughts?

Trying to stop thoughts is a common beginner mistake. Learn to meditate correctly instead.

Why do I have mental chatter endlessly in my meditation?

How did you meditate?

How do I quiet my mind?

Address the inner cause of your mental chatter. Also not create mental chatter.

Should I bring my attention back to my breath over and over when thoughts repeatedly come?

Thoughts had to come to you over and over because of reasons. Knowing the reason will give you strength and the thoughts won’t be able to bother you much.


Can deep breathing fix my shallow breathing problem?

Forcing your breath to deep will make the shallow breathing symptoms to disappear temporarily but won’t solve the problem.

How do I deal with shallow breathing?

When you meditate correctly, the symptom should gradually disappear.

How do I focus my mind on my breath when my breath becomes slow and the breathing sensations disappear in my nose during meditation?

Notice your breath in your chest or belly area instead of your nose.

Meditation Methods

How do I empty my mind?

You can calm your mind by being aware of the sensations of your breathing. Alternatively address the cause of your mental chatter.

How do I know whether I am aware of my breath or thinking about it?

If you are knowing the physical sensations of your breath that is constantly changing from moment to moment in the present, you are aware of your breath. If you are remembering your breath or imagining a breath, you are thinking about the breath.

Is there anything else I need to learn about meditation?

(Detail: I can meditate for a long time. My mind is focused on my breath without thinking.) The practice of concentrating on your breath is a preparation exercise for meditation, not real meditation. I suggest you to learn to meditate. (See also: Meditation Methods)

How can I meditate when I can not avoid traffic noise?

Notice the sound of a car continuously from the beginning to the ending as the car coming and passing.

How to deal with endlessly many thoughts during meditation?

Use a right meditation technique correctly.

How can I see my mind?

Just see. It is like the way you see (are aware of) your breath or body.

How to deal with a distraction during meditation?

Learn from distractions such as automatic thoughts or sounds, especially when you can not avoid them. They will become your good teachers.

However, they are useless and become distractions to you when you do not know how to learn from them.

How do I know I am focusing right on my breath?

Here is an easy way to know for a beginner. Check to see if you experience any one of the followings in your one breath: Your breath becomes long or deep on its own. Your body becomes relaxed. Your mind becomes calm.

How can I concentrate my mind?

Just fix your mind on your meditation object like a cat watching a frog that is seeking an opportunity to run away from the cat.

How do I know I am meditating right?

Check to see if your meditation is making progress or being stuck.

See also: The signs of progress in your meditation. The signs of stagnation in your meditation

What should I think during meditation?

No need to think anything.

How to block all the sound during the meditation?

No need to block. Just be with the sound. Alternatively you can use the sound in your meditation. Sound is a useful meditation object.

How can I deal with discomfort during meditation?

There is much to learn from discomfort. Learn from it. Why it came. What it truly is.

How do I deal with itchiness during meditation?

It is OK to scratch. It is also OK not to scratch. When you scratch, do so by your choice rather than by an automatic reaction. When you not scratch, also do so by your choice rather than by an automatic reaction.

Should I visualize my breath?


Should I scratch or not scratch when experiencing itchiness during meditation?

It is OK to scratch. It is OK not to scratch. What is more important is how you scratch when you scratch or how you not scratch when you not scratch.

What do I write in meditation journal?

What you practiced (or how you did). What you have discovered, e.g., phenomena, patterns, causes, relations and/or the true nature.

How do I meditate while watching TV?

Notice how your body and mind react to the TV images and sound in each moment.

Should I open or close my eyes during meditation?

It depends on types of meditation you practice. Most beginners find that closing eyes makes it easier during sitting meditation. Some people may half-close their eyes during sitting meditation. You can experiment what works the best for you.

Do I have to breathe deep during meditation?

No. (No need to force your breath. Let your body breathe naturally.)

How do I get rid of unwanted thoughts?

Do not create conditions that unwanted thoughts will come.

How do I deal with a painful memory that arises while meditating?

Notice both your breath and the memory.

Why do I experience boredom during meditation?

When meditate in a way to experience boredom, you get boredom.

How do I deal with boredom during meditation?

You meditate on the boredom.

Why is my meditation practice difficult?

Your meditation practice becomes difficult when you try to get something that is not given in your meditation.

How do I overcome boredom during meditation?

Move forward to the next practice instead of repeating the same basic simple practice over and over.

Do you practice daily what you just taught us?


Why you do not practice daily what you just taught us? (follow-up question)

It is like an elementary teacher who teaches ABC does not practice reading and writing ABC daily.

How do I know my mind by thinking?

You can not know your mind by thinking. Trying to know your mind by thinking it like trying to understand color by hearing sound.

How do I discover my mind without thinking?

You can discover your mind by observing your mind.

How do I concentrate my mind on my breath?

You can notice your breathing sensations, for example, coolness or warmth in your nose or expanding and contracting sensations in your abdomen.

How do I concentrate on my breath while I can not stop thinking?

You don’t need to stop thinking in order for you to concentrate. Just notice your breath.

How can I remember all the movements of qigong meditation?

Remember just one short movement and then practice it at home. Next week, you repeat the same process with next movement.

How do I overcome unwanted thoughts in my meditation?

Unwanted thoughts are not something for you to overcome but something for you to learn from. When you learn from you unwanted thoughts, they will retire.

How do I get rid of unwanted thoughts?

Do not create conditions that unwanted thoughts will come.

How do I get special experience in meditation?

(Detail: I want to go deep into meditation to get special experience, but I just can’t do it. What should I do?) The practice of meditation is not about learning from something you don’t have, but rather learning from what you currently have or experiencing. It is wise to learn from what you are currently experiencing instead of trying to get what you do not have.

More Topics

What is the purpose of focusing my mind in my breath?

It is to calm your mind and get ready for meditation.

What is the purpose of being aware that I am alive in the meditation practice?

There is a world of difference between living with the awareness that you are alive and living without it. The practice is intended for you to experience it.

Why should I meditate?

To learn and grow.

Why should I meditate? (2)

To live as a human.

What is the purpose of the practice of being aware of my breath?

The practice cultivates your mental capacity of being aware.

Why should I be aware my breath instead of just thinking about it?

It is to see for yourself instead of listening to someone else telling you what it is.

What are differences between being aware my breathing and thinking about it?

Being aware of breathing is like tasting while thinking about it is like guessing the taste without tasting.

How do know if I am making progress in meditation?

See “A Sign of Progress in Meditation” in Main Archive of New Direction

See “A Sign of Progress in Meditation”