It probably seems a little crass to boil meditation down to a how to list… but it seems in this day and age a good how-to is worth it’s weight in gold. I’m investigating meditation for myself, but before throwing money into books and courses I wanted to just give it a low-key whirl at home.
This list of course this is just the tip of the iceberg and of course with something as complicated as meditation there’s always plenty more to learn… and practice makes perfect.
- Choose an environment – Find a quiet place, where you can sit peacefully for 15 minutes or longer. Sit down, rest your hands on your lap and relax.
- How to position yourself – cross-legged on the floor, or on any chair with your feet resting on the floor. It’s up to you. You don’t have to twist yourself into a lotus position if it’s not your thing. However, regardless of how you sit, maintain a natural the natural curve of your back…. No slouching!
- Be clear – Before to start meditate tell yourself that you intend to be mindful for the next few minutes.. and maybe tell anyone who might interrupt or distract you.
- Half smile – Sounds odd, I know, but it makes it more enjoyable rather than hard work. Remember you’re aiming for calm and peacefulness, not stress.
- Breathe – Shut your eyes softly, not tightly like you’re leaping out of an aeroplane. Cast your unfocused gaze downwards. Start by taking a few slow and deep breaths – inhaling through your nose and exhaling from your mouth. Let it your breath follow naturally, don’t force it. Slowly each breath should become deeper and fuller, take as long as you need to get to this point of full, slow deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.
- Be Aware – When you’re breathing deeply, you will begin to feel calmer, lighter and more relaxed. That’s a brilliant sign! Now focus on your breathing, be aware of each breath that you take in and be mindful of each breath you exhale. Continue to focus on your breathing for as long as you like.
- Distraction – When you get distracted, and you WILL (many many …. many times) don’t be hard on yourself. Gently bring your attention back to the task at hand… meditation. If your impatient like me you may have a tendency to be a bit hard on yourself, continue breathing slowly and try to refocus. Remember this isn’t a competition or a race. The more you meditate the greater your powers of focus will become, thus making concentrating easier.
- The End – When your ready to end your meditation session open eyes and stand up slowly. Stretch. Smile. Go forth and be happy 🙂
Don’t set a timer, it’s rude enough to wake up to on a working day to an alarm so don’t do it when meditating… it makes the process seem somewhat pointless. Like most things in life, start small, if you’re a beginner try for just 5 minutes a day then slowly increase the time in one minute increments as it becomes easier. Your meditation is your own, it’s a point of comparision with friends and it’s not a competition so remember to treat it as your own personal retreat.
For good measure I’ve chucked some handy meditation links below:
6 Common Meditation Problems That Plague Beginners and What You Can Do About Them
New Zealand School of Meditation
Free Meditation Music
Any tips for a beginner like me are most definitely gratefully received.