If you are looking to be calmer, more centered and generally feel better about the world you live in, then it is a good idea to explore meditation techniques for beginners that you can immediately put into practice.
All too often meditation is made out to be this other-worldly, strange and mystical type practice that requires you to stand on your head, or believe in multiple gods! Nothing could be further from the truth. Meditation is actually a proven method of invoking something that Herbert Benson called “The Relaxation Response”, which is a way of calming the mind and feeling more in tune with the world around you.
Here are some practical ways that you can get started with meditation:
1/ Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed
At the heart of meditation lies a need for peace and quiet. Sometimes there are chanting meditations that you can use to invoke the same feelings. But generally when you are just getting started with meditation it is better to start off with breath techniques that simply require a quiet place and for you to be undisturbed for a period of time.
The first thing you need to find is a quiet place that you can carry out your practice and be undisturbed for a period of at least 20 minutes.
This doesn’t have to be anywhere fancy. You don’t have to have your own “meditation room”, though it is nice if you do. But what you do need is to know that for the period that you are meditating that it is just you and your thoughts (or lack of them).
Often people find that a sitting room or living room works great for this.
2/ Use a comfortable chair
There is no need to sit cross-legged on the floor. It works just as well if you sit in a comfortable armchair. Have your feet flat on the ground and your arms resting comfortably by your sides. In this way, you won’t create any unusual contortions in your body that can end up distracting you when you are in the middle of a meditative practice. You want to make sure that you are as comfortable as possible.
3/ Don’t have the room too hot or too cold
If the room is too warm, then you will end up nodding off to sleep, which is not the intention here. If the room is too cold, then you will feel fidgety and uncomfortable, and inclined to leave early. So you need to make sure that just like the three bears, the room’s temperature is “just right”.
4/ Focus on the breath
The best way to get started with mediation is to focus on the breath. First, set a timer to countdown from 20 minutes and then close your eyes and relax. Try to empty your mind of all thoughts as best you can. If you do start to think about something then relax, and consider it impartially like a cloud floating across the window of your mind. Don’t stress out if you can’t clear your mind immediately. You will get better over time with practice.
Focus your attention only on your in and out breath and pay everything else no mind.
After 20 minutes, the timer will beep. Open your eyes and notice how much more relaxed you feel.
Congratulations! You just completed your first meditation.
Over time, you will slip more easily into this calm place. Enjoy it and practice meditation every day and you will soon notice an increased sense of tranquility and control over your own emotions.