Meditation is the practice of quieting the mind to further discover the workings of yourself. With a quiet mind, one can easily achieve a sense of peace and serenity that will carry with them throughout the day. Meditation is a many thousand-year old practice that can be easily performed anywhere! This article will clearly demonstrate to all beginners how to get started:
The Environment and You
Where should I meditate?
Make sure you first find a quiet place to settle down. The area should be a calm and tranquil one. It can be outside or inside, depending on which you prefer is more relaxing.
Try to remove any distractions from the area (i.e phones, computers, tv's, etc.). Meditation does not have to be performed in a completely silent room; however, the less noise that can distract you, the better.
Clothing: Which clothes are the best?
Wear nice, loose clothing. Sweatpants and a t-shirt are nice options for meditating. Make sure your shoes are removed as well. Any clothing that is restrictive can be a distraction and make you physically uncomfortable.
If you are at the office, changing clothes can be a hassle. Therefore, you can remove your shoes and loosen up your collared shirt and try to relax.
Posture: How to have and maintain correct posture
Sit down in a chair, on a cushion, or lie down on your back. If you are sitting, keep your spine straight. Make sure you're not overextending yourself, but have your shoulders back and your chest up.
Bring your hands to a comfortable position: either on your knees or on top of each other resting on your lap. If you are sitting on top of a cushion, you can comfortably place your feet in a lotus or half-lotus position.
Slowly tilt your head slightly forward and close your eyes.
Time: For how long should I meditate?
Time is important for those who have busy schedules. Many instructors will tell you that 20 minutes a day is a good starting place; however, even five or ten minutes is good enough.
For a beginner, the mind is easily distracted and therefore can grow tired of meditation after the first few minutes. Start small and work your way up to longer time periods.
Stick to your schedule. If you meditate first thing in the morning, work that into your daily routine. This is to ensure that you maintain a steady practice.
Ways to Meditate
Following the Breath
Begin by inhaling deeply and exhaling fully. Follow the path of your breath as it enters your body and leaves it. Notices the physical changes that occur: your lungs expand and contract, your stomach extends and retreats, your nostrils flare and recede.
When you are mindful of your breath. Do not think to yourself: that breath was shorter than the last! or I didn't really take a long enough breath for that one. Just let the air flow in and out of you and simply be aware.
If your mind begins to wander, peacefully return back to the breath. Don't get frustrated or angry because of how frequently the mind wanders, just let it be and return back to the breath.
If there are any exterior stimulations (i.e dog, car, phone), just be aware of it. Let it exist and recognize its presence.
Repeating a Mantra
Mantra meditation are a very popular form. The practice is of repeating a single or multiple words either externally or internally to achieve a quiet mind.
Choose your mantra. There are hundreds of mantras to pick from. The most common being "Om" which is believed to be the word of the universe.
Repeat the mantra over and over again to yourself for as long as you wish.
You may notice that you will slowly begin to drop off the mantra as you enter a deeper state of relaxation and consciousness.
Visualization meditation is very popular. It involves creating a serene environment in your mind and exploring it. You can allow the world to unfold as you travel or simply stay in one place and watch the world around you change.
You can visualize any location you wish. It can be a warm, sandy beach or a waterfall in the rainforest. Any place that gives you the sense of relaxation and distance from the busy world.
There is no need to force any surroundings in this place. Allow the environment to grow by itself.
There are several videos of guided visualization meditations.
Meditation in Your Life
Practice Meditation Every Day
If you are practicing mindfulness, then allow yourself to become present any chance you can. Watch the world around you, simply letting it be.
Pay attention to the food you eat. Taste the sensation and experience the meal.
Any time you are feeling stressed, take yourself back to the breath and become mindful of your body and surroundings.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle is key to ensure that meditation affects you to its fullest. Avoid too much electronic stimulation and keep your meals on the healthy side.
Exercise is very important too. A healthy mind will need a healthy body and with the two in sync, they can both easily work together.
Listen to Spiritualists
There are dozens of Tibetan, Indian, Vietnamese buddhists and spiritualists who are determined to "enlighten" us all with their wisdom.
Each one is slightly different in their entire beliefs, but when you expand meditation into your lifestyle, these spiritualists have the answers.
A few wise individuals include: The Dalai Lama, Sadhguru, and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
- Don't be discouraged! Meditation is going to prove very challenging, but it is a journey and one should never quit.
- Listen to your inner voice. It will wander and be difficult to tame; however, with patience it can work with you.
- If sitting in silence is too hard at first, try a video to help quiet your mind.