Beginner's Guide to Meditation: 20 Tips for Gaining a Better Understanding of the Mind.
Meditation has aided me in developing all of my other habits, such as becoming more tranquil, focused, less concerned about discomfort, and more grateful and sensitive to everything in my life. I'm far from flawless, but it's aided me in a significant manner.
Most significantly, it has helped me comprehend my own thoughts. I never thought about what was going on inside my brain until I started meditating; it would just happen, and I would obey its orders like an automaton. All of that still happens these days, but I'm becoming more conscious of what's going on. I may choose whether or not to obey the orders. I've gained more flexibility and freedom as a result of a greater understanding of myself (not totally, but significantly).
So... This is a habit that I strongly encourage. While I am not claiming that it is simple, you can start small and improve as you practice. Expect to fail at first - that's why they call it "practice"!
These pointers aren't meant to help you become an expert; rather, they're meant to assist you get started and keep going. You don't have to use them all right away; try a couple, return to this article, and attempt one or two more.
1. Take two minutes to sit. Just two minutes of meditation will seem incredibly simple. That's wonderful. Begin with two minutes every day for a week. If it goes well, add two more minutes to the routine and repeat for a week. If everything goes according to plan, you'll be meditating for 10 minutes a day in the second month, which is incredible! However, start small.
2. Do it first thing in the morning every day. It's easy to say, "Every day, I'll meditate," and then forget to do so. Instead, create a reminder for yourself to meditate every morning when you get up, and write it down somewhere you'll see it.
3. Don't get bogged down in the how; just do it. The majority of individuals are concerned with where to sit, how to sit, and which cushion to use... This is all well and good, but getting started is the most essential thing. Simply sit on a chair or on your sofa to begin. Alternatively, you may sleep in your bed. Sit cross-legged if you're at ease on the ground. It'll just take two minutes at start, so just sit. Later on, you can focus on improving it so that you can stay comfortable for longer periods of time, but for now, simply sit somewhere quiet and comfy.
4. Pay attention to how you're feeling. Simply check in with yourself as you begin your meditation session to see how you're feeling. What is the state of your body? What is the state of mind in which you find yourself? Busy? Tired? Anxious? Accept anything you bring to this meditation session as just OK.
5. Take a few deep breaths. Turn your focus to your breath now that you've settled in. Simply focus your attention on your inhalation and follow it through your nose all the way to your lungs. Count "one" as you take the first breath in, then "two" as you exhale. Rep until you reach a count of ten, then begin again at one.
6. Return when you've wandered. Your thoughts will wander. This is nearly a foregone conclusion. That isn't an issue at all. Smile and softly return to your breath when you sense your thoughts straying. Recount “one” and begin again. You may be frustrated, but it's totally acceptable to lose concentration; we all do it. This is the practice, and you won't be very good at it at first.
7. Adopt a loving mindset. When you notice thoughts and feelings arise during meditation, which they will, treat them with kindness. Instead of seeing them as intruders or adversaries, think of them as friends. They are a part of you, but not entirely. Make an effort to be nice rather than rude.
8. Don't be overly concerned about getting things incorrect. You'll be concerned that you're doing something incorrectly. That's OK; we're all guilty of it. You're not doing anything incorrectly. There's no right or wrong way to do it; just be glad you're doing it.
9. Don't be concerned about emptying your head. Many individuals believe that meditation is about cleansing one's mind or ceasing all thinking. It's not the case. This does happen occasionally, but it is not the “goal” of meditation. It's quite natural to have thoughts. We're all guilty of it. We can't just turn off our minds since they're thinking factories. Instead, focus on practicing concentrating your attention and doing it again when your mind wanders.
10. Deal with whatever comes up. You may try remaining with your ideas or sensations for a time when they occur. Yes, I know I stated to return to the breath, but after a week of practice, you may try remaining with a passing idea or sensation. We often want to avoid negative emotions like irritation, anger, and worry, yet being with them for a long is a very beneficial meditation practice. Remain interested and stay put.
11. Get to know who you are. It's not only about concentrating your attention in this exercise; it's also about knowing how your mind operates. What exactly is going on inside that building? It's hazy, but you may begin to understand yourself by seeing how your mind wanders, becomes frustrated, avoids uncomfortable thoughts, and so on.
12. Make friends with your own self. Instead of being critical, approach getting to know oneself with a pleasant attitude. You're getting to know a new acquaintance. Give yourself love by smiling.
13. Perform a full body scan. Once you've become a bit better at monitoring your breath, you may try focusing your attention on one body area at a time. Start with your feet's soles. How do they feel? Slowly work your way up to your toes, tops of your feet, ankles, and crown of your head.
14. Pay attention to the light, noises, and energy. After you've practiced with your breath for at least a week, another area to focus your attention is the light everywhere around you. Simply fix your gaze on one point and take note of the light in the room. On another day, just concentrate on listening to noises. Try to observe the vibe in the room all around you on another day (including light and sounds).
15. Put your heart and soul into it. Don't just say, "Sure, I'll give it a shot for a few days." Make a firm commitment to this. Lock yourself in your head for at least a month.
16. It can be done anyplace. You can meditate in your office if you're traveling or if something unexpected comes up in the morning. In the park, to be precise. On your way to work. While you're out walking. The greatest way to start is with sitting meditation, but in reality, you're practicing awareness throughout your life.
17. Follow the instructions for guided meditation. You might start by following guided meditations if that helps. My wife finds Tara Brach's guided meditations to be quite beneficial.
18. Check in with your buddies. Although I like to meditate alone, you may do so with your spouse, kid, or friend. Alternatively, create a pact with a friend to check in after meditation every morning. It may assist you in sticking with it for a longer period of time.
19. Look for a group to join. Even better, locate a group of individuals who meditate and join them. This might be a nearby Zen or Tibetan community, for example, where you can meditate with them. Alternatively, join an online support group and check in with them to ask questions, get help, and encourage others.
20. When you're through, smile. Smile when you've completed your two minutes. Be grateful for the time you had to yourself, for sticking to your pledge, for demonstrating your trustworthiness, for taking the time to get to know yourself and become friends with yourself. That was two incredible minutes of your life.
Meditation isn't always simple or relaxing. But it has incredible advantages, and you may begin right now and continue for the rest of your life.