16
Oct
2015
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A beginner’s guide to meditation

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This blog post is dedicated to all of us who don’t meditate, but are somewhat interested in it. I am 10000% sure that you WILL want to meditate once you read the benefits of meditation here, here and here!

Many of us think meditation to be this elusive, erudite thing that we can’t grasp. Sure, there are many aspects of meditation that are complex, but starting it and maintaining the practice of it really isn’t. It just requires a bit of patience and practice.

The benefits are so so worth it.

All right, enough rambling. On to the steps!

1. Set a clear Intention

Many of us novices think that meditation involves clearing your mind of all thoughts. Actually, meditation involves single-minded focus. So pick an intention. Some examples are: compassion, kindness towards yourself, letting go of mistakes, calmness, peace..etc etc

2. Schedule a time every day

Whether it’s right before bedtime, or in the morning, or even in the middle of the day, pick a time and stick to it. It’s laying the foundation for a habit.

3. Start Small

It’s the same with anything you attempt – you start small, give yourself positive feedback for the initial victories before you go deeper. No one starts to train for a marathon by running 26 miles..you train every day, and work your body slowly into it. Same thing here! It’s not a race to finish. Just start small, maybe 5 or 10 or 15 minutes a day.

4. No checking Newsfeeds

Do you really need to see another baby picture or dog video or some viral vine right this second? Give yourself likes and attention instead with some quiet time.

5. Find a comfortable seat

If you’re not comfortable, it’s hard to meditate. The key in meditating is having a tall spine so your breath can flow easily. So if it’s hard for you to sit cross legged without support, then sit on a chair, or sit against a wall, or you can even lie down (but the danger here is that you may fall asleep so if you can lie down and stay awake, then do that).

6. Close your eyes, breathe Slowly, think of your Intention

When we close our eyes, we block out some of the external stimuli and begin to focus on ourselves. As for breathing: it’s simple – INHALE AND EXHALE SLOWLY. Nothing fancy!  You can use counting breath if you like: i.e inhale for 5 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds. I personally really like counting breath – it’s simple and effective.

7. Your mind will shift, but 'tis OK!

Your mind WILL shift. You WILL sit there and think of your to-do list, or think of your leg cramping, or wonder if this is a waste of your time and how nothing is happening and what not.

But, you have to train your brain to quiet down and that only comes with time and practice. Every time your mind wanders, just breathe slowly, don’t react or judge the thoughts, and think of your intention. I know, I know..it’s not easy, but I promise you – you can do this! You are the master of your mind.  

8. Notice and Adjust as needed

If we could all be still like Buddha under a Bodhi tree, then awesome. But, we are mere mortals. Legs cramp, and noses itch. If you have to scratch your nose in order to finish your 5,10, or 15 minute meditation then please do so.

9. Give it time

Some days will be easy, and some days, meditating is going to be the last thing you want to do. But, the things that you resist the most are what you actually need. Don’t rush the process.  

10. Reflect after your meditation session

Do your best to take a couple of moments to stretch, and wiggle. Try not to just jet off to the next thing you have to do. Take a few minutes to unwind.

11. Meditation isn't torture

Generally speaking, people stick with things they like. Make meditation something you enjoy and you’ll come back to it. If you need a break one day because your heart isn’t in it, then take one.

Don’t see it as some forceful, hard, difficult thing like SAT practice tests.

12. Commit for the long haul

Meditation is a lifelong practice. The benefits of meditation on your life and mind become more effective and permanent the longer you stick with it.

Hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any thoughts/comments/suggestions/experiences with meditation, please do share!

As always, thank you so much for stopping by and reading.

Namaste

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