Saturday, December 28, 2013

Meditation For Beginners: 7 Easy Tips


1. You're doing it "right". You can't do meditation "wrong."

Beginning meditators worry that that they're doing it "wrong." However, when you take your posture (sit to meditate), you're meditating:

Don't be disappointed if you don't instantly feel a deep sensation of peace and well-being whenever you sit for meditation. Over time, you'll become aware that just sitting is all there is to meditating. You don't need to force yourself to change; meditation does that automatically.

2. Choose a meditation that works for you.

There are many different kinds of meditative practices. Breath-counting meditation is simplest for beginners, because you can do it anywhere.

Here's how. Once you're sitting, or lying down with a straight spine, focus on your breathing, but don't try to change your breathing. As you inhale, say silently to yourself: "… and". Then as you exhale, count: "… one."

Continue breathing and counting, as you inhale and exhale. "And… one; and… two; and… three; and… four." When you reach "four", start at "one" again with the next exhalation.

The numbers are arbitrary. You can count up to ten if you like. However, you'll be amazed at how much your mind will wander. It will wander when you count from one to four too, but you're less likely to suffer frustration. Let your mind wander. That's what it does. When you realize that you've lost the count, just restart your count.

3. Schedule meditation time every day.

As a new meditator, you'll feel the health benefits immediately. You will find yourself more relaxed, and much more productive. You will sleep better, and wake up bright and alert, ready to face the new day. You'll find that your relationships benefit from meditation too: you'll be much happier, and irritability from stress will be in the past.

However, to achieve these benefits, you need to meditate daily. That's not easy, so schedule your meditation as you schedule everything else. Choose a time you'll be alone, and without distractions.

4. No time to meditate? Meditate for five minutes.

Some meditators meditate for an hour, twice a day. Others meditate for 10 to 20 minutes, once a day. The time you spend in meditation is beneficial, no matter how short it is. So, if you've only got five minutes, that's fine.

5. Keep your spine straight when you meditate.

Posture is important in meditation. Whether you choose to sit or lie down for meditation, straightening your spine is good for your health. Over time, your mind and body will relax into a meditative state as soon as you take your posture. It becomes a habit.

6. Meditation may make you more aware of your challenges.

One of my friends told me he "feels so angry" when he meditates. This is because he's now aware of his underlying feelings, which were always there.

Place your attention on the feeling itself, not the story behind the feeling. If you're doing a breath counting meditation, and you're overwhelmed with emotions, start focusing on the feeling of the emotion in your body, without getting caught up in any stories attached to the emotion. Accept what you're feeling, and become curious about the sensation of the emotion in your body.

7. Bored? Try a different meditation.


·         An image meditation. Choose a peaceful photo of a nature spot like a beach or a mountain meadow. Imagine yourself there.

·         A chanting meditation. Formal meditative chanting is called kirtan. However, you can choose to sing along (out loud) to any kind of music that appeals to you. Just be in the moment, and focus on your singing.

·         A walking meditation. In this style of meditation, you walk very slowly, and are aware of every step you take.

So there you have it: seven tips for meditation for beginners. Meditation will not only change your life for the better, it will change the people with whom you come into contact, too. Enjoy your meditation. You'll soon look on your meditation practice as the best time of each day.