How to Meditate For Beginners
Learning to Quiet Your Mind In Meditation
Practicing meditation is one of the most powerful things you can do to relax and de-stress, improve your health, increase your happiness, and expand your consciousness.
Meditation actually has so many subtle and powerful benefits, it’s hard to put them all into words. By connecting with your inner peace and calm through meditation you naturally improve your awareness. Meditation will help you to awaken to perceive reality beyond the limited confines of the the ego mind.
Simply tapping into the well of inner peace is what entices many people with meditation. But many beginners get overwhelmed with “How to Meditate”, and give up before they experience the benefits of quieting their mind.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is the simple practice of quieting the chatter of your mind by focusing on one thing. With practice, meditation can open the door to experiencing the divine light and beauty of the spiritual realms.
When it comes to meditation, there are many preconceived ideas about the right way to meditate. But really, there is no one way to meditate that is the “right way”. This post isn’t about finding the perfect way to meditate, it’s simply about engaging in the practice, and keeping it simple to begin because meditation is effective in many shapes and sizes.
When you think of a person meditating, a monk sitting in a temple meditating for hours may come to mind. Yes, this is meditation, but so is the person sitting on a bench in a crowded train station, who is just focusing on their breath, and being fully present for the three minutes until their train arrives.
Meditation can also be accomplished, with your physical body being active, and practiced while enjoying a walk or run in nature, stretching, or while taking a shower. Meditation can be effective when you create a formal meditation space and listen to a guided meditation recording, or you can just sit on the couch in silence for two minutes, focusing within, breathing, and resetting your mind.
When you keep the practice of meditating simple, and realize the vast benefits, there is really no reason not to implement meditation on a daily basis.
But How Do You Begin?
I often receive questions from people who want to tap into the benefits of meditating, but are having trouble getting their mind to calm and quiet down.
Here are some tips to help you learn to meditate.
Find a Comfortable Place to Sit and Meditate
When learning to meditate, finding a quiet, comfortable place to sit will really help by eliminating distractions so that you can focus within. With practice, you can learn to meditate anywhere, like standing up in a busy chaotic environment, or laying down (without falling asleep), but for beginners, a comfortable chair, bench or meditation cushion is an ideal place to begin. If you don’t have a meditation cushion, you don’t need to buy one. Just work with what you have, and find a place where you can peacefully sit for a few minutes without being interrupted.
Close your eyes, and begin to breathe deeply. Focusing your attention on your breath is a great way to learn to meditate, and to begin any meditation practice. Taking deep and deliberate breaths physically calms your body by slowing down your heart rate, relaxing your muscles, and it gives you something useful to focus your mind on… Your breath. Consciously breathe. It’s a wonderful way to meditate.
Light a Candle
Simply closing your eyes, breathing, and tapping into your inner peace may be a challenge when you’re first learning to meditate. If you’re finding it difficult to release your thoughts, light a candle and gaze into the flame. Using the candle light as your point of focus, can be a powerful way to focus your mind on one thing (the candle). If you don’t have a candle, imagine a blank screen before your mind, and patiently gaze upon it, noticing any flashes of light, colors, or shapes which appear.
Focus on a Divine Quality
Another way to meditate is to choose a quality you would like to embody, like love, joy or compassion. Fill your mind with this quality, and focus on it fully and completely. Say you choose to meditate on love. Release any thoughts which are not related to love, and focus entirely on what love is. When have you experienced love? How do you express love? What does love look, like, feel like, and sound like? Actively refocus your mind on tuning into love completely, letting go of any other worries, thoughts, or doubts for just a few minutes as a daily meditation.
Release Thoughts As They Appear (and they will)
When first learning to meditate, it’s important to note that meditation is an active process. You don’t set the intention to meditate and instantly your mind responds with complete clarity and presence (though wouldn’t that be nice). As you begin a meditation, there is a natural process of consciously releasing thoughts that do and will appear. Notice when a thought does appear, acknowledge it, and return your focus to your breath. Meditation is about being present and aware. If you notice you are getting aggravated or frustrated, thinking things such as “why can’t I do this?” or “why can’t I quiet my ****** mind?” just acknowledge the frustration or feeling, and let it go as you return your focus to your breath, to gazing into the candle light, or focusing upon the blank screen before you.
Meditation is a practice. So practice and experiment to find what works best for you. When you think of meditation, sitting cross-legged under a tree may come to mind, and this actually works really well for many people, but if you aren’t flexible, you’ll be really uncomfortable, and focused on that rather than the stillness within you. Try meditating sitting, or laying down, with your eyes open or closed, in a quiet peaceful room, or at the busy cafe while you’re waiting for your lunch. Play around with different sitting positions, and you may find that when you meditate while sitting on a cushion on the floor, while using the wall to support your back you can meditate more easily than sitting in a chair, or trying to meditate while laying down because while comfortable, you just end up falling asleep.
Listen to a Guided Meditation
There are many guided meditations available on this site, which will help you to focus within, and then by simply focusing on the guided meditation you naturally receive the benefits of meditating. Even when listening to a guided meditation you may have thoughts which appear, but remember you can just release them as they come up, return your focus to your meditation, and all is well.
Be Present, and Accept What Is
Release any expectations of what meditating can or should be like, and you’ll have a much more positive experience, because then you’ll be happy with whatever does happen. Meditation just is, so don’t stress about whether you’re doing it right, or doing it well… It is about the consistent practice over time, and if you do practice consistently your meditations will naturally become deeper and more powerful. When you’ve finished your meditation, express your gratitude for the opportunity, and for whatever you experienced, and this gratitude will pave the way for more positive experiences with meditation to come.
Meditation is not effortless to learn, but it is well worth the effort as it aligns you will blessings which will overflow into all areas of your life.
Keep it simple to start and commit to meditating for 2 minutes a day. Simply practicing quieting your mind while brushing your teeth is a great place to start, just start, practice, mix in some guided meditations, and use the above tips to take your meditation practice to the next level.
With love and gratitude,
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