How to Meditate for Beginners - Everything You Need To Know

I decided to write my guide on how to meditate for beginners because there still seems to be a lot of unnecessary dogma around the concept of meditation.

Often when I happen to mention to someone that I meditate, they look at me like I'm some kind of wierdo who dances with goats under the full moon. Well I don't actually - it's sheep (just kidding)!

I have been meditating regularly for over 20 years now, and it still amazes me that it's not more popular. The benefits of meditation can bring wonderful changes to our lives on all levels - emotional, mental, physical and spiritual.

You can visit my other pages about meditation for beginners to learn more about meditation and find links to my instructions on different ways to meditate. But for now, this page will answer questions such as how long should I meditate, what position is best, and so on. So let's get you started.

How to Meditate for Beginners - Some Basics you Need to Know

1. Where should I meditate?

  • Probably the most important thing to consider is "Am I going to be disturbed?" You need to find a meditation spot where you can be assured that no-one is going to come up and tap you on the shoulder. And you certainly don't want your children coming in and declaring they're hungry. It's important not to be physically disturbed while meditating, as the sudden shock could leave you feeling a bit fuzzy and off-centre for a while. So a secluded, private place is best, especially when you're just starting out. Of course, if you are meditating with others, that's fine.
  • You also need to be comfortable. I meditate sitting upright in a comfortable arm chair that supports my neck.
  • When you are still new to meditating, a quiet spot is also best. You can never block out all outside noises, and there is no need to. But meditating is easier and more pleasant without too many loud noises around you. However, the gentle noises of nature can be beautiful to meditate with.
  • You can meditate both inside or outside, whichever you prefer, so long as you have privacy, comfort and a relative amount of quiet.
how to meditate for beginners

2. What position should I meditate in?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no need to sit in the lotus position on the floor with your fingers in any special position, although you can certainly do so if you wish.

The most important thing is that you are comfortable, and trying to assume a position that is uncomfortable (or even painful) for you is ridiculous.

I personally prefer to sit upright in an armchair. Having your back straight is important because it allows for good energy flow through your body while meditating. I put my feet flat on the floor and rest my hands comfortably in my lap.

If for physical reasons you cannot sit upright, don't worry - you can still meditate. Just assume the most upright position that you comfortably can. Avoid lying down unless you physically have to, as this increases the likelihood of falling asleep.

You can even meditate while walking, and my page on walking meditation teaches you how.

3. How often should I meditate?

Ideally, meditate every day. In order to get the most benefits from mediation it needs to be done regularly.

Of course, a once-off meditation every so often will likely leave you feeling better, but you won't gain all of the wonderful long-term benefits that regular practice provides.

4. How long should I meditate for?

Meditating for 20 minutes is generally a good length of time, however you can certainly go for a bit longer if you wish. (But if you end up falling asleep - that doesn't officially count as meditating).

If you can fit two 20 minute meditations into your day, that's great! But if you only manage one, that's terrific too - you'll still be gaining all the benefits.

5. What should I wear?

Whatever makes you comfortable, and keeps you warm. That's it!

Pants that are too tight or an itchy jumper will certainly compromise the quality of your meditation, so make any adjustments before you start.

Your body temperature drops slightly during meditation, so even though you feel okay before you start, it might be a good idea to put on an extra layer if it's a cool day.

In winter, I wrap myself in a blanket. Likewise in summer, I put on a gentle fan if it's very hot.

6. How do I know when to stop?

When you first learn how to meditate for beginners, it can be difficult to know when twenty minutes has elapsed. So, to begin with, you can use a timer to let you know. However, make sure the timer is not too loud, and it should definitely be in another room so that you can still hear it but it is more muffled.

You certainly don't want to be jolted out of your meditation by a loud beep, or you'll feel unbalanced for several hours.

After you've been practising regular meditation for a while, your body gets to know when your usual meditation time is up, and you won't need a timer anymore. And if you go over time, it's no big deal.

7. What if I fall asleep while meditating?

As a beginning meditator, it is highly likely you will fall asleep on occasion, especially if you are tired. Don't worry - that's quite okay. Just don't deliberately allow yourself to doze instead of meditating.

As you become more experienced, you won't fall asleep as often. This is also why it's important to sit upright when meditating if you can, as it reduces the likelihood of slipping into a sleepy slumber.

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Learning how to meditate for beginners can be a bit of a challenge in some ways, and can feel a little awkward. But please stick with it. After a short space of time you'll be a natural, and you'll really miss it if you don't meditate for a day or two. To learn some easy meditation techniques, please click here, or keep reading below.

How to Meditate for Beginners - Learn some Easy Techniques

Below are links to my pages that teach you about some easy meditation techniques - but don't be fooled, they are very effective.

I have experience in all of these techniques and have been guided by several different meditation teachers, and now I'd like to help you learn to meditate. Please click on the links below.

1. Mindfulness Meditation Made Easy

2. The Focused Meditation Technique

3. Walking Meditation

4. Breathing Meditation

I hope you've enjoyed my page on how to meditate for beginners. Please take a look at some of my other meditation pages:

The Benefits of Meditation

Meditation and Emotional Release

My Difficult Meditation Experiences


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