You have heard that Meditation is going to be a life changing experience. You have decided to give it a try. Now what? Before you begin, remind yourself – there are no exactly right or wrong ways to begin. The following are general guidelines for how to meditate for beginners focusing on Place, Form and Function of Meditation.
Whether you are just beginning to Meditate or you have had much experience, Place is a very important component to achieving successful Mindfulness. Mindfulness will be discussed in a moment but, for now we will focus on Place.
Find a spot in your home that is distraction free – no cell phones, no television, no work piled up on the desk. For those who have children, placing a Do Not Disturb sign or having your spouse watch the children during this time is ideal. Your Place is clutter free, soothing and ready for you to create a routine of settling the mind without any outside interference. For some this room is the corner of a bedroom, for others it is simply a pillow on the floor of the den. It may take a few tries to find your Place, but once you do try to associate that spot as your area of Meditation, so you can immediately begin to relax when you enter it.
You are welcome to play soft soothing music, if you wish. There are many fantastic compilations of Meditation Music available. Some find that quiet is better. Some also light incense for an aromatic, pleasing scented room. But, none are necessary to begin to Meditate.
Once you have chosen your Place it is important to remind yourself that there is no exact science to achieving Mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply the art of letting your thoughts come and go, without judgment, just letting them flit in and flit out of your consciousness. It is the ultimate goal of Meditation and often difficult to achieve. Here are some suggestions for getting yourself closer to receiving all of the benefits of Meditation.
Meditating after a large meal will only make you tired, so try to find a time in the day before or well after a meal – often early in the morning or at the end of the day are great times to begin.
Find a comfortable but straight posture, keeping your back straight helps you to increase blood flow and allow for better breathing. It also keeps you from becoming too tired and accidentally falling asleep!
Sitting in a chair, on the floor on a comfortable pillow or even in a bubble filled bathtub are all fine – but, make sure that your back is straight. Legs can be loose in front of you, in a pretzel, or however you feel comfortable. Hands should be loose at your sides or in your lap.
Gently close your eyes and take in a deep breath through your nose, then release. Try to focus on your breathing letting each breath fill your lungs and then gently blowing out through your mouth. These deep breaths serve two functions - they help relax your body and create a focus on something other than just your thoughts.
Your body is now ready to begin the best part of Meditation – Function.
With your Place and Form all set you are ready to unload all of your stress back out into the world and start anew. Pay close attention to your breathing and allow your mind to wander as it will. Thoughts of shopping lists, to dos and other stresses will try to break in – let them try. Accept your thoughts and don’t give them too much credence. Allow them to flit and then flit back out with every breath you take. Refocus your breathing taking in slowly and then out again.
Meditation for beginners can be very challenging. You may feel silly or bored. But, don’t give up. Accept all feelings as normal parts of trying anything new and just continue to sit and flow with your breathing and your thoughts. Each time you begin it will feel less and less challenging and more and more rewarding.
There is no set amount of time to Meditate – for some 15 minutes is long enough, for others they can allow themselves an hour or more. When you feel that you are ready to complete your session simply take one deep last breath in and out, praise yourself with kind words for giving you the gift of renewal and slowly open your eyes. Readjust yourself to surroundings and slowly get up and out of your position. Beginners of Meditation may not feel much the first few times, but don’t despair. With practice you will gain the higher levels of inner peace and calm Meditation allows, once you learn to accept all of you – thoughts and all. Namaste!
Please check out the different Meditation Techniques and pick which one is right for you.