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Meditation Techniques for Beginners: A Guide for Learning How to Meditate

Oct.29.2021
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Meditation Techniques for Beginners

Meditation for Beginners

Learning how to meditate takes time, patience, and perseverance. Most people don’t become zen masters on their first try, but meditation can be an incredibly helpful tool to living at your best. Meditation comes from a rich history of mindfulness practices in religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. In Hinduism, meditation is believed to be more spiritual than religion itself.

These religions originated in the country now known as India, and meditation is very much part of the eastern culture. In recent years, meditation has become very popular in the west. It is a way to get in touch with the present moment and center yourself. Those who practice meditation can better their life by reducing stress and physical tension, finding ways to cope with pain, and improving focus and clarity.

Meditation for Beginners

You might be able to get a taste of these beneficial effects of meditation on your first try, but for many doing first-time meditation can do exactly the opposite of what you had hoped. Some people get stressed over whether they are able to work out the proper way to meditate, or they give up after one or two tries and decide meditation isn’t their thing.

Some people really want to try it, but they don’t know how to start meditation. That is why we have created a guide to meditation so that you can learn the basics of meditation in a way that is the easiest, supportive and functional for you.

Meditation How to

A big issue that makes a lot of people lose interest in meditation is the fact that there are many imperfect explanations of meditation out there. For example, many people think that meditation is just sitting down, closing your eyes, and thinking about nothing for thirty minutes or more. This is a very flawed explanation of how to go about meditating, but so many people think that this is what meditation consists of.

What Is Mindfulness

When practices and rituals from other cultures become popularized in the western world, sometimes things can get lost along the way. This is often what causes people to get misinformation about the practice of meditation. The point of meditating is not to silence the mind, but rather to be mindful of all that is going on in the mind and allow it to reach a calm and clear state of being.

There are many methods of meditation, and we will bring you through one of them, but feel free to do more research on meditation practices finding out the best way to meditate for you.

What Is Mindfulness?

We keep mentioning the term mindfulness, but what does it mean? Being mindful is the act of bringing non-judgmental awareness to your existence in the world. There are many ways to be mindful and there are many instances when being mindful can be extremely beneficial to your health and overall wellbeing. One way of being mindful that has become recently more popular is with food and nutrition.

Many people in the United States struggle with eating disorders, including restrictive eating and binge-eating disorders. When people with disordered eating practice mindfulness during meal times and with their feelings and thoughts surrounding food, it can be very nurturing and healing and get them back to having a healthy relationship with food. Mindfulness isn’t just thinking about what you’re doing or being in the moment.

The other important thing about mindfulness besides the simple but not easy task of bringing awareness to the present moment is not judging yourself for your thoughts or actions. Instead of bringing awareness to your thoughts and immediately judging them as bad, you can choose to be non-judgmental and to allow the thoughts to pass through your brain as water flows over rocks in a river. When we judge ourselves for our thoughts, we are more likely to cope in unhealthy ways instead of accepting that we are humans and that we can continue to learn, grow and change. When we practice mindfulness in meditation, we do so by being mindful of our thoughts and our sensations through non-judgmental awareness and allowing this mindfulness to bring clarity and calmness to our beings.

Tips for Meditation

Tips for Meditation

Before we take you through some meditation step by step for beginners, let’s talk about some things to help you meditate. While the most expert meditators can focus enough to tune out busy surroundings and distractions, whether that be the chatter of people talking or sensations of discomfort, a beginner meditator should try to find a space that is free from distraction and unpleasant sensations.

This means that if you can find a quiet room that is clean, smells good, and feels comfortable, this is the best place for you to start your meditation practice. You want to find the easiest way to meditate as a beginner, so don’t challenge yourself or frustrate yourself by trying to meditate in busy surroundings.

If your brain is busy, and you want to declutter it, you might need to declutter your space first. Tidy up your messy room and not only will it give you a better space to meditate, but the practice of making things orderly and nice for yourself may help you with mindfulness and awareness in general.

Ways to Meditate at Home

Now we’re going to give you some easy instructions for meditation with this simple meditation guide that can be followed in the comfort of your home.

  1. Find a comfortable place to sit down. Rid yourself of as much distraction and discomfort as possible. If this means changing into your silk PJs, do it. If it means turning off the T.V. and dimming the lights, that sounds great too.
  2. Using your phone or a kitchen timer, set a time limit for your meditation practice. This way you won’t go on forever and the meditation will feel manageable. Your practice can be as long as you wish, but for a beginner, around 10-20 minutes is recommended.
  3. Close your eyes and start to bring mindfulness to your sensations. Feel the temperature of the air and feel the way that your clothing touches your skin. Smell the scents of your room and see the shades of light still noticeable through your eyelids. Sense whether you’re holding any tension in your body that you don’t need to be holding on to. Release your jaw, your shoulders, and your neck. Listen to your heart beating, the birds chirping outside, and your breathing.
  4. Focus on your breath. There are different breathing practices that can be helpful for meditation. Some people just like to take deep inhales and exhales, others like to do a timed breath that can be helpful for staying focused and breathing effectively. An example of a timed breath is to inhale on a count of four, hold for a count of 2 and exhale for a count of 6. You can modify these counts however you see fit.
  5. When your mind starts to wonder, practice non-judgmental awareness of that wandering and gently bring yourself back to focusing on your breath and your sensations. This part isn’t always easy, in fact, it can be the part that causes a lot of people to struggle with meditation. Remember that meditation is a practice and that you will get better at it each time.
  6. After you have practiced meditation, journal what thoughts, feelings, emotions, and sensations came up for you so that you can continue to work on your mindfulness and relaxation.
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