When you think about meditating, it can be a bit perplexing. There are so many methods and traditions out there, which can be overwhelming. How do you start?
To start meditation and develop a practice, keep it simple. By doing so, you’ll be able to relax and simply enjoy the ride.
Here is a simple guide on how to start meditating:
The First Step
The first thing you need to understand about meditation is its aim is to develop mindfulness. It’s not something that can wipe away your thoughts or bring you a magic solution to your problems. Instead, it’s all about the practice of bringing your attention to your breath every time you notice your thoughts have wandered.
When you understand this, it will be easier for you to practice meditation. It’s your first time, anyway. It’s essential to know what the goal of meditation is.
I have talked about the common mindfulness mistakes here. The information may help you be more guided in your meditation practice.
The Second Step
Where do you plan to meditate? Find a quiet spot to meditate. You don’t want to be anywhere noisy because it will be more challenging for you to concentrate.
The place where you plan to meditate doesn’t need to be “spruced up” for meditation. If you have some tools, such as crystals and what-not, leave it for now. You can use them at a later time when you have eased into the practice. Don’t worry, with determination and patience, you’ll get there.
For now, let’s stick to the basics. All you need is yourself and a quiet spot to meditate. If you want to get in the vibe of meditation, you can light up a candle in the room.
The Third Step
Now, find a comfortable position. You can sit down on the floor or a chair, wherever is comfortable for you. Sit straight and don’t slump.
Don’t close your eyes yet—get a feel of your position. If you must, look at your surroundings, take in the vibe of the room, and allow yourself a few seconds to just sit. When you’re comfortable and ready, close your eyes.
It would help if you have a timer set to know how much time you spend on meditation. For beginners, it’s best to set the timer to two to three minutes.
The Fourth Step
When your eyes are closed, don’t think of anything else but take deep breaths. If it helps, you can count each breath. The first few breaths will be somewhat new to you, but really go within, and notice how your body feels.
If it helps, you can place a hand on your stomach or chest to be more aware of where your breath comes from. It’s also a useful technique every time you find yourself drifting, you can always focus on the feeling of your stomach expanding with every breath.
After a few breaths, you will notice your body relaxing. This is also when your thoughts will start to wander. Remember, that’s fine.
All you need to do is come back to the breath every time you catch your thoughts wandering.
For your first meditation, don’t focus on anything but your breath, and keep in mind to breathe normally.
The Fifth Step
After your first-ever meditation, do it again the next day. You don’t necessarily need to increase the time of your meditation, you can increase it gradually when you feel ready. Besides that, there’s no pressure at all.
Go at your own pace and everything will follow!
Indeed, meditation can lead to greater well-being and you know that already, that’s why you’re here! However, if you’re only starting out, you need to manage your expectations.
The truth is, it takes a lot of commitment, effort, and practice to get the benefits of meditation. There are some who experience them almost immediately, while others find that it takes time.
So, take it easy, and enjoy the flow.