Please find our Meditation for Beginners guide, which covers a variety of meditation styles, information about the benefits of each practice, and free guided audio practices to help you learn how to meditate and incorporate meditation into your daily life. Find out more about the basics of this transformative practice that enables us to find more joy in everyday life by reading on.
Meditation – what is it?
Here is a brief explanation of the practice.
What is the best way to learn to meditate? Observe the breath as it comes in and goes out, paying attention to the mind’s distractions. It is through this practice that attention muscles are developed.
Our breath allows us to learn how to return to, and remain in, the present moment-to anchor ourselves in the here and now without judgment.
The idea is simple, but the practice requires patience.
What are the benefits of learning to meditate?
Here are some of the benefits of meditation.
Meditation isn’t a cure-all, but it can certainly give your life some much-needed space. When we do that, we can make better choices for ourselves, families, and communities. In addition to patience, kindness towards yourself, and a comfortable place to sit, you will need some tools for your meditation practice to be successful.
Meditating has far-reaching and long-lasting benefits.
The following are five reasons to meditate:
- Getting to know your pain
- Reduce your stress
- Improve your connections
- Focus on the task at hand
- Quiet your mind
The Art of Meditating
Everyone can meditate, here’s how.
Meditation is easier (and harder) than most people think. You want to make sure you’re in a relaxed environment, set a timer, and take a look at these steps:
1) Sit down
Find a quiet, calm place to sit.
2) Set a deadline
Choosing a short time, such as five or ten minutes, can be helpful when you are just starting out.
3) Be aware of your body
Depending on your situation, you can sit cross-legged or cross-legged, or you can kneel. Ensure you are stable and in a position where you can stay for a while.
4) Pay attention to your breath
Follow the sensation of your breath as it enters and leaves.
5) Track your thoughts when you are distracted
Your attention will eventually drift away from the breath and to other things. Whenever your mind wanders, just bring your attention back to the breath, no matter how long it takes.
6) Don’t be afraid of your wandering mind
Be kind to yourself and do not obsess over your thoughts. Come back just as soon as possible.
7) Close with kindness
Lift your gaze when you’re ready (if your eyes are closed, open them). If you hear any sounds in the environment, take note of them. Feel how your body feels right now. Be aware of your thoughts and emotions.
That’s all! That’s how it works. You go away, you return, and you try to do it as kindly as possible.
Tips and Techniques for Meditation
Besides breath meditation, other mindfulness techniques use external objects, such as the sound coming from outside, or something broader, such as noticing things that spontaneously appear during an aimless wandering practice, to anchor our attention. In all of these practices, there is one thing in common: We notice that our minds ARE in charge a lot of the time. That’s true. Typically, we think thoughts and then act.
Meditation for Beginners: How to Make Meditation a Habit
According to estimates, 95% of our behavior is automatic. All of our habits are based on neural networks, which reduce millions of sensory inputs per second into manageable shortcuts so we can function in this crazy world. Default brain signals serve us so efficiently that we often return to old behaviors before we remember what we should have been doing instead.
Mediation is the opposite of these default processes. This system provides intentional action, willpower, and decision-making, rather than automatic controls. However, that takes practice. Our intentional brains become stronger when we use them more. By doing something deliberate and novel, we activate our grey matter, which contains newly sprouted neurons not yet ready for ‘autopilot’ functionality.
Some Basic Meditation for Beginners
You can use these practices to get started and start Meditation for Beginners.
A Basic Meditation for Beginners
First, let me clarify: What we’re aiming for here is mindfulness, not some magic process to throw away the countless and endless thoughts that flood our minds continuously. It’s just a matter of practicing returning our attention to our breath when we notice it has wandered.
- Prepare to sit still for a few minutes. As soon as you finish reading this, you’re going to focus on inhaling and exhaling naturally.
- Keep your attention on your breath.In what parts of your body do you feel the most breath? In your belly? In your nose? Keep your attention on your inhale and exhale.
- For two minutes, follow your breath. Inhale deeply, expanding your belly, and exhale slowly, elongating the out-breath as your belly contracts.
Meditation for Beginners: Ending Thoughts
Welcome back. What happened? How long did it take before your mind wandered away from your breath? Have you noticed your mind was busy even when you weren’t trying to direct it? Before coming back to read this, did you notice yourself getting lost in your thoughts? In our minds, we have little stories running that we didn’t choose to include. For example: “Why IS my boss meeting with me tomorrow?”?It’s too late to go to the gym yet.” “I have to pay some bills” or (the classic) “I didn’t get to the gym yesterday.”
Whenever you experience these types of distractions (and we all do), you have made an important discovery: that is the exact opposite of mindfulness. Essentially, it’s when we live in our heads, on automatic pilot, thinking about the past or the future, and not being present in the moment. That’s where most of us live most of the time-and quite uncomfortable, if we’re being honest? However, it doesn’t have to be that way.