I have always wanted to sit silently to experience meditation. With no instructor, I have no patience to just be quiet and sit
Recently, as I have been reciting the bodhisattva names, I finally realized what the mala beads really are for. They are a tool that aid in mindfulness.
Whenever my mind wanders away, I tug at the bead that I am at to gently bring my awareness back to what I am doing. Sure, I may not be "good" at all this yet but I am happy with my efforts.
I one time tried the following while taking a short walk. I took my smaller mala with me and recited Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva's name on each bead. To my surprise, I found my mind wandering less while reciting silently. Normally, when I walk, I think about a lot of things.
Also remembering when I was reciting, I felt immersed in the silence, solitude, and concentration and felt..calm (I dont know if this is the same "calm" that is experienced by zazen meditators).
Is reciting mantras a form of meditation as well as mindfulness too? I find I like this method of meditation. It is as if my mind is active yet mindful at the same time. I recently discovered I can apply this to my life too. With every breath I take, I try to bring it back (my mindfulness).
It's as if....taming the monkey mind