A Simple Guide to Meditation for Beginners – [Last Updated – 30/01/24]
Meditation is one of the most talked about self-care practices in the world, but it can still seem intimidating.
What if you don’t know how to meditate? Where do you even start?
I’m here to tell you that it’s easier than you think!
Here’s a simple guide to meditation for beginners.
A Simple Guide to Meditation for Beginners
First, find a comfortable, quiet place to sit
To begin your mediation, find yourself a quiet place where you can relax and focus without being disturbed.
Ideally you want to sit on the floor for your mediation, but a chair or bed is fine if that’s what you have.
Or, you could take yourself outside to a garden for example to be better connected with the earth.
Do not lie down or allow yourself to lean against anything for support; this will make it harder for you to focus on the meditation itself.
Be sure not use any kind of cushioning that would cause undue pressure points against any part of your body when sitting uprightly during meditation.
You want your surroundings to be peaceful and relaxing.
There’s no use trying to meditate in a busy area of the house as this will cause distractions.
It’s important that your environment is conducive to meditation because it will make the entire process more enjoyable
Once you have found the right space for meditation, It’s time to begin.
Set an alarm so you can transition slowly instead of stopping as soon as time is up
This is a trick I learned when I was starting out with meditation.
Setting an alarm for a five minute cool down helped me come out of a relaxing meditation session feeling fully restored as I had that time to slowly come out of it.
Try setting an alarm for 5 minutes before you actually want it to end as well as one for when you want to end and this can help you slowly transition back into everyday life.
Beginning your mediation
To begin, sit down with your back straight and palms facing upwards on top of each other in front of your chest (this is called “seiza”).
Make sure not to slouch as this can lead to fatigue after just a few minutes of sitting still, and no one wants that while trying out something new!
Next, simply breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
You don’t need to worry about how long or deep you should be breathing, just breathe naturally.
As you do this, it may help to close your eyes and let go of any thoughts that enter into your mind.
The next step is to simply focus on the feeling of the breath entering and leaving your body as it moves in and out with each inhale-exhale cycle.
Notice the sensations in your body as you sit still, and consciously relax each muscle one by one
When you sit down to meditate, notice the sensations in your body as you sit still.
What does it feel like to be sitting still?
Notice how your body feels when you sit still for a few minutes.
How relaxed do you feel?
When sitting, what parts of your body are tense or relaxed?
If any part of your body is tense or stressed out, try focusing on relaxing each muscle one by one.
If a muscle is tense and needs to be relaxed, take a deep breath and relax that muscle until it feels loose again.
Begin to notice any recurring thoughts that come and go
Begin to notice any recurring thoughts that come and go, but don’t get caught up in them; observe them from afar like clouds floating by.
As thoughts continue to arise, begin to notice any recurring thoughts that come and go.
Don’t get caught up in them; observe them from afar like clouds floating by.
If a stray thought enters into the mix (which they will), simply acknowledge that it’s there without judging yourself for having the thought.
Then, gently bring yourself back to focusing on only what’s happening in the moment; breathing in and out, nothing more than just breathing itself.
Don’t judge your thinking
The key is learning not to judge our thinking as “good” or “bad” but simply as just another thought arising in the mind.
It can be helpful when observing our thoughts during meditation practice if we see them as being like clouds floating by.
They come into our field of vision but then pass away after a while without us attaching ourselves too strongly or getting caught up with them.
Just observe them passing by and return your attention back towards whatever object you have chosen, whether that be an image or word or sensation inside of yourself (such as your breath).
Meditation can help create a sense of calm and peace
With practice, meditation can help create a sense of calm and peace.
It has the power to relax you, relieve stress and anxiety, increase focus and concentration, improve your memory and pay attention better.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with life’s challenges or just looking for ways to be happier in general – meditation is a great place to start!
You’ve learned everything you need to get started with meditation.
Now, all that’s left is putting it into practice.
As with anything else, start small and work up from there!
You don’t need to meditate for an hour every day or read an entire book on the topic before you start feeling benefits.
Even just five minutes in the morning can be enough to make a difference in your day!