Meditation for Beginners

meditation, stress reduction, beginners, how to meditateWhy meditate? It’s harder to come up with a reason NOT to meditate. The benefits of the practice are enormous, enriching your mind, body and soul. For me, the hardest part about getting started with meditation was overcoming boredom. This happens to the untrained, noisy mind that is always looking for a source of entertainment. Once you become adept at meditation, you’ll see that your mind does not control you. You control it. You’ll learn to quiet your mind and prevent it from constantly striving for something other than the reality that is now.

Sound a bit mystical? Well, meditation is just a tad on the mystical side. Although science proves that meditation is good for you, no one really understands why. Somehow, quieting your mind, just a few minutes a day, quiets your mind 24-7. The benefits of a clear mind are many. You’ll worry less, make better decisions, and gain a more sound understanding of your emotions and thoughts. These traits slowly creep into your life, imperceptibly at first. Only upon reflection after a few weeks of practice will you see what a great difference meditation has made in your life. It’s worth it to stick it out a few weeks.

Staying motivated is hard at first. I won’t lie to you. The way to overcome the difficulty is to stay true to the core of meditation: focus. You only need to do two things during meditation. Stop thinking, and when your mind wanders into thought, stop thinking again. It’s sort of like that old “the boss is always right: joke:

The Rules of Meditation:

1.       Stop thinking.

2.       If you start thinking, refer back to rule number one.

Meditating is that pause between thoughts. It’s the moment of awe when you see something truly beautiful and your mind stops for a moment. When you can learn to stretch that pause out into longer and longer periods, you’ll see that you are strengthening your meditation skills. Getting there is the purpose and reason behind meditating.

How to Meditate

When meditating, you can be in any position. If you’re prone to dozing off, avoid meditating lying down. Sleep has its benefits, but it defeats to purpose of setting aside time to meditate.

You can meditate on anything. You can go for a walk and simply feel the motions of your legs. You can sit cross-legged or just lounge on a comfortable couch and listen to the rain. Any activity that allows you to pull focus away from thought is good for meditation.

Many recommend creating a formal space and specific times for meditation to make it a sustained practice. I found that no particular place was needed, but setting aside a specific time was vital to maintaining my practice. In the Yogic tradition, I like to meditate at sun up and sun down. This is not always possible having a hubby and two kids running around, so many times, my meditation happens during lunch. Just so long as it happens, it’s not important when or where. If you need to set a structured schedule to make it happen, then do it.

Progressing in Meditation

After a while, you may begin to notice that your thoughts are still going on, you’re just not caught up in them. You will learn to recognize thoughts, and simply watch them go by like leaves floating on a stream. You don’t react, you don’t judge. You simply observe. When you reach this stage, you will begin to learn many things about yourself that you never noticed before.

Meditation sort of spills over into your life after a while. The feeling is so pleasurable, you may find yourself meditating at red lights, or any other time life forces you to sit and wait. Why not use that time enjoyably with a quick meditation? Don’t worry if the light changes. As Wayne Dyer, a promoter of anywhere, anytime meditation says, “I have also discovered that there is almost always someone behind me who will give me a considerate wake-up honk to remind me that my meditation time is up!”