So you're curious about meditation but feel overwhelmed? My meditation for beginners guide aims to give you all the information you need to get started.
There's nothing difficult or mysterious about meditation - anyone can do it! And it's easier to get started than you think. You can do it anywhere, anytime (well, almost), and you don't need any special equipment.
I have been meditating regularly for over 20 years and I believe it is one of the practices that has resulted in the greatest changes within me. I learned how to meditate from a qualified meditation teacher, and have also spent time learning meditation with the local Buddhist community, as well as doing my own private research.
Toward the bottom of this page you will find links to my pages on different easy techniques that provide great meditation for beginners (and experts alike), but first I think it's important to tell you a bit more about meditation. So let's move on.
Meditation should not be viewed as something mystical or strange, and it doesn't need to be regarded as a spiritual or religious practice in order to gain from it.
And meditation is far more than just a form of relaxation or daydreaming.
Meditation is the conscious decision to quieten the mind by focusing on one thing to the exclusion of all else.
When we do this regularly, we begin to train our conscious mind to be more still and tranquil. With this comes many benefits on all levels - emotional, mental, physical and spiritual.
People meditate for many different reasons - to reduce stress and anxiety; to feel more relaxed and peaceful; to increase their self-awareness; to improve their general health; for spiritual connection and growth; and as a way to release stored emotions.
Meditation helps us to restore our natural balance and is a pathway to overall health, well-being and inner peace. People who meditate regularly generally have a greater sense of confidence, efficiency and vitality.
The benefits of meditation are many. Please click here for a detailed list of the many benefits regular meditation has to offer.
Meditation is a more a state of 'being' rather than a state of 'doing'. When you observe someone who is meditating they don't seem to be doing very much at all - just sitting very still with their eyes closed.
Anyone who sees me meditate might notice how my breathing has really slowed down and become very shallow. It may not even look as though I am breathing at all. This is just what happens for me, but everyone is different.
When we meditate, we focus our attention inward rather than outward.
We experience the stillness of being in the 'now', the present moment.
We turn our focus away from all of the outer distractions in life - what
to cook for tea; how to deal with that difficult client; the argument
you had with your mother last week.
Instead, we let go of all these thoughts, these 'doing' things, and begin to experience the stillness of our inner essence. We will notice the thoughts that flow through our mind, but we choose to merely observe them without judgement and then let them drift away.
We begin to quieten the never ending chatter that runs through our minds, most of which we don't even notice when we are busy doing other things. But our subconscious mind is always listening to this endless chatter, and taking it all in.
There is no specific answer to this because it will be different for everybody. Some will find it easy to quieten their thoughts and instantly feel relaxed, mentally and physically. Others will find this whole process very difficult, the thoughts continuing to stream through their busy minds, and they will end up feeling agitated and angry at themselves for not being able to do this 'properly'. And there will be a myriad of other experiences in between.
But when it comes to meditating, there is really no such thing as 'doing it properly'. Even if you're one of those who feels frustrated because your thoughts just don't want to slow down (like I was), you are still meditating, and you are still gaining benefits.
It is very important not to get angry or frustrated with yourself if your thoughts still seem to be plentiful while you are meditating. This normal, and like I said, you are still meditating. The process of meditation is about just observing these thoughts, acknowledging them without emotion or judgement, and then allowing them to drift away.
You will only be compromising your meditation if you consciously choose to hang on to a thought and then run with it. For example, you notice yourself thinking about what to cook for dinner. But instead of just noticing yourself having this thought, you think to yourself "Yes, I know I'm meditating but I really need to decide what I'm going to eat tonight. So I'll just think about that for a bit, then I'll let it go". That is not meditating.
So, the answer lies in meditating regularly, and eventually you will
begin to experience quiet spaces in between the thoughts. And these will
gradually get a bit longer and a bit longer.
For some, this may start to happen quickly, while for others it may take months, like it did for me.
Meditation sometimes results in a certain amount of emotional upheaval as subconscious material comes to the surface to be healed. Please make sure you read about the emotional release that can occur when you first start practising meditation.
To read more about my personal meditation journey, click here. I have included this to help all those for whom meditation for beginners starts out as a bit of a rough ride.
Please remember, don't compare your experience to another's.
There are several different easy meditation techniques, and it doesn't really matter which one you choose. Or you might alternate between the techniques occasionally, depending on where you are at the time.
It is a good idea to try them all for a period of time to find which one you prefer to use on a regular basis.
Below you'll find a list of some various easy meditation techniques. I have tried all of them for myself. Why not try each one for a while and see what best suits your own situation.
You do not need to be able to get into any fancy lotus position. I myself cannot cross my legs or sit comfortably on the floor, so I sit upright in a comfortable lounge chair.
It's important to stay upright so as to stop yourself from drifting off to sleep, but if for physical reasons you need to recline then do so. Just make sure you're comfortable.
It is actually possible to meditate in any position, even standing up. But for beginners, sitting upright in a chair is probably best.
So click on the links below - and happy meditating!
Some Easy Meditation Techniques
1. Mindfulness Meditation Made Easy
2. The Focused Meditation Technique
3. Walking Meditation
4. Breathing Meditation
If you would like a bit more information on the basics for beginners such as where should I meditate, how often, etc., please click here.
I hope you enjoy my pages on meditation for beginners.