Intro to Meditation – A Simple Guide on How to Meditate: Part 1
Have you ever wanted to meditate, but didn’t know how or where to start? If you want to give it a try, let’s start by saying that meditation is a simple and wonderful practice, but it is not easy! That’s why we need to PRACTICE and practice and practice.
I remember the first few times I tried to meditate at home. It seemed that the moment I would start, the phone would ring, the doorbell would ring, my son would come in and ask me questions, and the list goes on. But when I made a real commitment to meditate and set aside the time, those interruptions stopped.
I no longer needed to pick up the phone right away or make other things a priority. Only then did I realize I had taken my first steps towards a meditation practice.
BEFORE YOU START
- Pick a clean (free of clutter), quiet place in your home or office where you can sit comfortably for few minutes. (Although meditation doesn’t always mean we have to sit and be still — see below for more about that.)
- Pick a time of the day that you can dedicate to this practice so it becomes part of your routine. This will help create some discipline. For example, every morning after you wake up and everyone else is asleep, or during your lunch break.
- If possible, disconnect the phone, close your email, etc.
- Remove jewelry, shoes, or clothing that may distract you from your practice.
- Set an alarm for 5 or 10 minutes. It’s important that you don’t set an unrealistic time frame — like an hour — on your very first try. Remember, if we want to make meditation part of your daily routine, you need to start with shorter practices and go from there. You wouldn’t enroll in a marathon if you’ve never ran a mile before, right?
Just Sit. Commit to sitting quietly and watch what happens. Don’t pick up the phone, don’t send an email, do nothing. Just sit and observe your thoughts. Let them rise and pass through your mind. Don’t react to them; just observe. The more you try not to think, the more you will and the more frustrated you may become.
Pay Attention. Notice the sensations, the feelings that come up. Pay attention to your breath, how your body feels, the changes, the pauses, etc. Stay in the present moment.
Follow your breath. Observe your breath, concentrate on your breath, follow the breath with your mind. While you breathe in, notice that you’re breathing in, and when you breathe out, focus on the exhalation. Don’t change your breath, don’t try to control it — simply observe it with your mind’s eye. When you find that your mind is thinking again, don’t react or judge, just gently bring it back to your breath.
Use a mantra. A mantra can be a sound, a word, a phrase, something you can repeat over and over slowly in your mind. Let the rhythm of its sound create a state of deep awareness and ease. If you find your mind has drifted off, gently bring it back to the sound, word or phrase you’ve chosen as your mantra.
Practice Kindness. Remember — just because meditation is a simple practice that doesn’t require fancy props, equipment, etc., doesn’t means that meditation is easy. Be kind to yourself. It’s ok if you don’t get it the first 20 times you try. If you find that you’re thinking most of the time, that’s ok. We all have, and are still working through that. Don’t give up!
A guided meditation is a great tool to start a meditation practice. Enter your information below and access two of my guided meditations.
Now it is time to get started and if you have any questions or updates, I would love to hear all about them.