Meditation Techniques for Beginners
Many people hear about meditation frequently, but never pursue the practice, because they think it’s not for them. This is entirely a misconception; meditation can be helpful to anyone, not just a select demographic. It is a way to clear your mind and prepare yourself for your day, or to unwind after work or school and increase the quality of your rest. Here are a few tips for the beginner to ease themselves into the idea of meditation.
Designate an Area
One of the most important parts of meditating is choosing the space in which you meditate. Ideally, you will meditate in the same space every day; this way, you will build special memories about each time you meditate that will fill your designated area with good thoughts, which will help you meditate in a more fulfilling way. The area that you designate can be anywhere, but the best place will be private, secluded, and calming. For example, a special corner of your house would be a good place to begin meditating. Once you choose your space, if you would like to adorn it with a few special possessions that is up to you. Whatever makes you most relaxed will be best to put in your designated meditation area.
Another important part of the beginner’s meditation ritual is to remove all distractions. Once you have been meditating for a while, it will become possible to meditate in the busiest of places because you will be in touch with the peace and solitude within yourself; however, as a beginner it can be difficult to reach this place of serenity unless you remove all distractions from your designated meditation area. Make sure that no one will interrupt you during your specified meditation time, and do not try to meditate while taking care of other tasks such as housework or business ventures. If you wish to play music while you meditate, make sure that the music is not overly loud or distracting. The best music for meditation will be calm, noninvasive, atmospheric instrumental music.
Choose Your Pose
Once you have decided upon a distraction-free meditation space, it is time to choose your pose. This is an important part of the meditating ritual because during meditation you should not feel uncomfortable in your pose or have to shift and move your body. You may have seen famous pictures of monks meditating in the full lotus position, however this can be uncomfortable for many people, especially if they have not practiced the position previously. The best pose for meditation is the post that is most comfortable to you: many people sit on the floor and simply cross their legs, resting their hands lightly on their knees; other people will use the “child’s pose,” in which the meditator rests facing the floor in the fetal position, where the knees are bent and the shins touch the floor. You will want to refrain initially from lying down; this can be counterproductive to meditation because it may lull you into sleep!
Many monks can meditate easily for hours on end; as a beginner, however, this is not your goal. Start slowly and only meditate for as long as you can sit still. With practice you will be able to meditate for longer periods of time. It is counterproductive to meditate if you are bored or restless. While meditating, you should be almost entirely still without being stiff. If you are having difficult achieving this, take a break from meditating for a little while and try again later.
Hopefully now you feel more comfortable with the idea of meditating and can begin immediately. You wouldn’t let your body go without rest, so why shouldn’t you let your mind rest as well?
Alison Frank enjoys yoga and eating right, and she is a contributing author at termlifeinsurance.org.