Learning how to meditate is easy, free, and you can do it almost anywhere. Oddly, it’s not as easy as it sounds. However, the results of building up your meditation practice make it all worth it.
When you first begin your meditation practice, you want to find a quiet place where you can sit or lie down without being disturbed for 20 minutes.
This can be a quiet room, an empty office, even your car. But the idea is that it needs to be comfortable and free of constant distraction.
Later, as you become better at learning how to tune out distraction and noises, you can take your practice anywhere. The beach, a park, or even walking down a path can be a place of mindfulness and meditation.
Breathing is the core of your practice. It both centers you, brings you better health, and it is your focal point.
So to begin your meditation, sit comfortably. You can sit on the floor, a chair, anywhere that you can be comfortable without slouching. There are a lot of meditation positions that you can explore but let’s just start with sitting comfortably.
Breathing should come naturally, not too fast and not too forced. You want to take nice long breaths as you inhale through your nose and out with your mouth. Gently allow more air into your lungs each time until you take 4-5 nice deep breaths. Then you can return to your normal breathing.
As you breathe in your regular pace, take notice of what that breathing is like.
Is it shallow? Fast or slow?
When you are breathing deeply, your body starts to relax. Each breath is an opportunity to let go of stress and take in life.
Meditation is all about teaching the mind to let go of things that it wants to hold on to. You don’t have to have an “empty mind” because you are just learning how to do this! As you just start out, you just need to think about breathing. You can adjust your practice later on. Right now the idea is just to learn how to meditate and find your space.
You can also focus on something in the room. This helps you let go of feelings or thoughts and start to shut down things that have been weighing on you. But this single focus is a little hard for beginners, so we suggest that you simply close your eyes and start your practice with just letting thoughts flow through like water through a filter.
When you allow your mind to observe thoughts, but not get involved with them or take them down the rabbit hole of inspection, you become more aware of how much you judge and hold on to thoughts that can be easily released.
For the first few weeks of your practice, just work on finding a calm moment and breathing. That’s it!
- Sit comfortably.
- Close your eyes or find something to gaze at.
- 4 deep slow breaths to get you started.
- Relax your breathing.
- Breathing and letting go, that’s pretty much the basics of meditation.
Meditation is like any other exercise. The more you work at it, the better you will get. When you first learn how to meditate go easy on yourself. Set the goal of a few minutes of quiet and move on from there.
We would love if you would join us each Monday for our Mindfulness Moments. Where we talk about meditation, mindfulness, and how to reduce your stress.