Meditation For Beginners
These days most of us live very fast paced lives. That coupled with the fact that technology dominates much of what we do at work and in our own time means slowing down and unplugging is harder than ever before. One way we can reconnect with ourselves and those around us is through meditation.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is 'a means of transforming the mind'. It encourages concentration, clarity and calmness.
How do I start?
Some simple and effective meditation and mindfulness techniques are:
1. Explore your senses
Stop reading this, pause for a moment and then slowly and clearly say out loud 5 things you can see and then 5 things you can hear. What did you notice? Hopefully your mind slowed down! This is a very simple exercise that will bring you back into the moment and can be applied anywhere and at any time. Practicing this exercise over time should help you become more connected to the world around you.
2. Bring awareness to your breath
Perhaps the most tried and true meditation technique is to observe your breath. With practice, this can generate a sense of calm and clarity. To do this:
- Sit or lie comfortably
- Close your eyes
- Begin noticing your breath, feel the sensation of air moving into and then out of the body as you inhale and exhale
- If your mind begins to wander (which it likely will) open your eyes, name out loud 5 things you can see, close your eyes and bring awareness back to the breath
3. For those with a very busy mind
An adaptation of the breathe meditation created by Australian Meditation Practitioner Jeff Oliver can be applied:
- Relax and count how many breaths you take in one minute. In the second minute stop counting and just feel each breath
- Repeat the above exercise paying very close attention to the sensations of breathing in and out and during the second minute count how many thoughts arise
The number of breaths or thoughts you count is not important, this is not a test. Simply enjoy being present.
4. Follow a guided meditation
This is an effective way for a beginner to grasp the basics of meditation
- Guided meditations are audio recordings delivering you step-by-step instructions on exactly what to do
- These differ in length, intention, topic and style
- There are thousands available on platforms like youtube and phone apps. Simply search guided meditation and begin trialling until you find a style that works well for you
Top Tips for Beginners
- Make meditation a formal practice - like any skill, you will improve with practice
- Consistency is key - commit to 5 mins per day for 21 days and it will probably become a part of your life you really value
- Meditate with purpose - meditation is an ACTIVE process and you need to be purposefully engaged
- Accept that as a beginner you may find meditation quite challenging. If you start to feel frustrated bring the focus back to your breath
Commit to 5 mins of meditation every day for 21 days.
Share your meditation experiences with us in the forum!
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