MEDITATION FOR BEGINNERS
Meditation For Beginners
20 Tips To Help Quiet The Mind
Whether you are looking for more peace or less stress in your life, meditation could be exactly what you need. For beginners, or people who are just learning about the amazing benefits meditation can provide for your mental clarity and well-being, however it can be frustrating at first. I call it "silencing the monkey chatter."
When you first start meditating, you'll probably experience a mix between waiting for something to happen and having your mind over flooded with thoughts. The practice of meditation can be an intimidating task, and you may even feel overwhelmed by it at first. That's why this list of 20 tips can help get you in that perfect setting - within and without - to begin to put into effect this sacred practice more regularly in your daily life.
1. Make Time For Meditation Every Day
When you are first starting out, it is important to stay with it. You may not notice the benefits right away, but the more you practice the easier it will become to quiet the mind, and get into the state of relaxation and allow the clarity to come through. Even if it's just for 5 minutes a day, this will help you stay on track.
2. Start With The Breath
Begin every practice by breathing deeply, slowly inhaling and then exhaling and focusing solely on your breath. Inspire, expire ... and again, stay focused on the breath.
3. Let Go Of All Frustrations
It is completely natural and normal to feel frustrated while learning to meditate. Try not to hold onto these thoughts, and don’t try to stop them. Just let them float on by and go back to focusing on the breath. Don't label or judge your thoughts. Just let them float on by as if you were watching ships passing in the harbour.
4. Pick A Specific Place In Your House To Meditate
Try to pick a room or a secluded place in your house that is free from a lot of outside noise or distractions. Preferably, pick a room with minimal electronics.
5. Set Up A Peaceful Space
Consider having dim or no lights and maybe burning some candles. Burning a little bit of incense or diffusing some calming essential oils (such as lavender) through an Aria can help your mind and body to feel relaxed and at ease.
6. Make Sure You Have No Distractions
Let your family, friends or roommates know that you will be busy for the allotted amount of time you have chosen, and to not bother you. Obviously, if you must have your cell phone with you, be sure to set it on silent. If there is a landline phone in the room, silence it as well.
7. Imagine Your Body In Sections
When you first begin, while focusing on the breath, consciously try to feel each body part, starting with your feet. Don’t actually physically touch the body parts just feel them. After you feel the feet, work your way up to the ankles, calves and so on. This is a great technique to put you in the zone. Do it slowly, and really do your best to know where you are along the path from your feet upwards.
8. Make The Commitment
Be committed to this daily practice. For the long haul, if you can’t find time to incorporate 5-10 minutes per day in your life for meditation, then you definitely have a solid need for this in your life. Make the time. Make it happen.
9. Start Slowly
Begin by practicing meditation for just 5 minutes per day. You can even set a timer if you like, as you start to get the feel of it and as you get more comfortable - you can increase the time to as long as you feel you need to - to get into that deep relaxed state.
10. Read A Book On Meditation
To get even more tips for meditation, and to learn about some of the benefits and other simple tips check a book, ebook, or online for things on the subject and see what you find.
11. Check Out Guided Meditation or Listen To Meditation Music
If you still have trouble clearing your mind sometimes, listening to a guided meditation CD, mp3, or YouTube. This can be excellent by giving you something to focus on and listen to so that the mind can just take in the instructions.
12. Practice Being “Present” Throughout The Day
During the day, while driving, working, eating lunch, cleaning or whatever, find a few moments of stillness in your day by quieting the mind and taking a few deep breaths. Come to the realization that there is only NOW. Always try and stay in the present moment. Don't drift off and leave yourself under subconscious guidance.
13. Experiment With Different Positions
You can try the typical yogi, “lotus” position, sitting cross-legged with each foot on the opposite thigh, you can sit on a chair, with your palms facing up, you can lay down, whatever you like. As you get more comfortable, you will find a position that works best for you. When you first start, you may choose to lay down, but remember, the calmness may end up putting you to sleep so it may be too comfortable for you. It may be better for you to sit up.
14. Experiment With Different Techniques
There are so many different ways to meditate, there are: breath techniques, guided meditations, transcendental meditation, binaural beats, rainforest sounds, etc. To read about a few different methods of meditation, do some research online. Experiment with what works best for you and what puts you into that state more effectively.
15. Let Go of All Expectations
The benefits that you will receive from meditation will come in a variety of different ways. You may receive messages during your practice or even later in the day, you may have visions, you may have an out of body experience, or you may not. If all you get from meditation is 5 minutes a day of a clear head, than that is perfect in its own way and will be enough to relieve stress and bring peace into your life in a way that you may never thought was possible. Don’t get caught up with what others claim to have experienced, focus on yourself and remember you are doing this for yourself only. It is not a competition; remember there is no right or wrong way to meditate.
16. Consider Meditating In The Morning
Meditating in the morning can give you a clear head and set you up for a peaceful start to your day. It can help eliminate stress before it begins. By doing this is the morning, you'll be off to a fresh start.
17. Use The Flicker Of A Candle As A focus Point
Staring at the flame of a candle can assist you with quieting the mind. There are also some tablet apps that work very well. If you have no candle available, close your eyes and imagine the candle in your mind.
18. Set Your Intention Ahead Of Time
If you have a specific issue or decision you need to make and are having trouble finding the answer, set your intention for what you would like to receive during the meditation. Don’t expect to get a clear answer in the form of your own voice, but just pay attention to any feelings you may feel or signs that may possibly come afterwards. Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to stop thinking about it and let the answer come to you from within.
19. Visualize Light Flowing Through Your Body
More specifically, if you feel that you have a specific chakra blocked, you can actually visualize white light coming from the sun and into your body, this can help to release the blockages. Intend to let go of any old emotional patterns, or vibrations and infuse yourself with the high vibration of the white light.
20. Have Gratitude For Your Practice
Even if you feel like you didn’t get much from the practice at the beginning, stay with it and don’t give up. Be grateful that you took the time to sit down and practice. The effects may not be obvious at first, but in time you will be glad you started when the results become manifest. Your spiritual, emotional, and physical health will improve through meditation.
Just a thought ...
~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.
Many thanks to our friend Alanna Ketler at Collective-Evolution.com