So you’d like to get started with a meditation practice… First off, great decision!
Meditation is proven to (among other things) lower blood pressure, reduce rates of depression and anxiety, improve focus and quality of sleep, and overall help to foster a greater sense of happiness and well being.
Learning how to meditate can seem daunting. Many people feel challenged to sit in silence for any length of time without feeling restless or bored.
This article will help you work through these initial hurdles in your meditation practice. Use these 10 steps to quickly realize the full benefits of meditation and awaken your true inner awareness.
1. Align Expectations
Beginning a meditation practice is all about going into the experience with the right mindset and expectations.
No one falls right into a meditative state of awareness, these moments only occur with consistent practice and attentiveness.
Like anything, the more habitual and routine you make meditation, the more profound of an experience you’re likely to have while meditating.
With this being said, even in the early stages of your practice, you’ll notice the positive results of taking time away from your hectic day and centering your mind on your body, and your living presence.
This occurs from the first day, as long as you don’t allow yourself to get frustrated because you’re not achieving your pre-conceived idea of what a meditative state should be.
It’s vital when you’re a beginner embarking on a beautiful meditation journey that you come into the experience understanding that the act of simply setting aside time to sit in silence is transformative and will over time result in you having a far greater sense of awareness in your daily life.
You’ll become less reactive, and more present resulting in higher levels of energy and focus, and above all a far greater sense of well being and happiness.
So let’s set you on the path to true inner peace and happiness…
2. Choose the right time and place
As a beginner embarking on your meditation journey, it is imperative that you find the right time and place to practice.
The time and setting are important because day to day, these will be your constant. It is imperative that you attempt to practice at the same time every day. If you meditate at a different time every day than it is likely within short order you’ll be missing sessions as other things in your life conflict.
I recommend looking at your typical day and finding a time when you can set apart 10-20 minutes on a consistent basis.
For most people this is first thing in the morning, even if it means waking up 10-20 minutes earlier than you normally would. If you truly desire to start a successful meditation practice, getting into the habit of doing it every day is critical.
The other benefit to performing your meditation routine in the morning just after waking, is that your mind is fresh and getting into an aware state of mind first allows you to adopt a relaxed, yet focused, centered self for the entire day.
3. Start with awareness and breath
When you first begin your meditation practice, and you sit with yourself for the first time in awareness, you’ll most likely be amazed at how little you know about yourself and your patterns of thought.
Allowing yourself to be aware, but not reactive, to the thoughts that enter your mind begins to show you the deep inner workings of your highly complex mental state.
With time you’ll be able to discern your underlying emotional state through the patterns of thought that arise, and bubble to the surface.
For now, simply sit with a soft gaze, take 3-4 deep breaths in and out. On the out breath of your final exhalation, gently close your eyes and immediately bring your attention to your physical senses, the noises around you, the vibrations in your hands and feet.
Focus particularly on the points of contact, your feet on the floor, your bottom against the chair, your hands in your lap or on your thighs.
Don’t dwell on any one sensation for long, just be aware of your physical surrounds and the physical sensations occurring in your body.