Tips For Beginning Meditation: Anyone Can Do It!
|Art by @FaithInArt13|
What’s up groovy people? I’m happy today. Really happy. Why may you ask? Well…I have not the slightest idea!
So! Onto the reason I started this post. Today, a friend of mine told me he can’t wait until he has more time to focus on learning how to meditate. Now, I’ve only been dabbling in the art of meditation for about a year now, (yes I know, I’m totally an expert), but already I’ve forgotten how apprehensive I was when I first decided to try meditation. A lot of people build it up to be this big daunting task, when in reality, it should be a welcomed relief amidst the stress of the average person’s day. So with the hopes of breaking unnecessary stereotypes surrounding this subject, here we go:
1). My mind is way too scattered to focus hard enough to meditate.
Contrary to popular belief, meditation doesn’t have to be about focus, or attempting to control your thoughts. There’s no set “right” or “wrong” way to meditate, and there are no “good” or “bad” thoughts. Meditation is a chance to tune into your inner self, the self that doesn’t always get to share it’s feelings and concerns. It’s about listening to what your mind, and ultimately your heart has to say. Some days your mind may be full of chatter and really active, while some days your mind may be still and silent. Both are perfectly ok, let your mind wander and drift as it pleases; if that suits you of course!
2). I don’t have any free time to set aside in my day.
With the hustle and bustle of this fast paced society, it’s easy to get so caught up that it feels like you don’t even have a couple minutes to spare for yourself. But for the people that take part in this lifestyle, you may need the benefits of meditation most of all! It doesn’t have to be something you go out your way to do. It doesn’t have to take you hours, or even 15 minutes. We make time to text, we make time to check emails, and make phone calls, surf the web, and grab a snack. If we can make room in our busy schedules for all these things, you can dedicate a little time to your thoughts. Sometimes you may only have a minute or two to sit with yourself, but that’s better than nothing!
3). I don’t have a “sacred space” to meditate.
Sometimes you’ll meditate at home. Sometimes at work, or school, or sitting in traffic. Sometimes you’ll meditate right in front of your boyfriends face (while he’s yelling at you for stepping on his bed with your shoes on, but only so you could grab your charger out the wall!), and you’re trying your best not to snap on him. And that’s fine. Whether you’re on the go, or safe and warm at home, any and everywhere can be a great place to meditate.
4). I’m not sure if meditation falls in line with my current religion or beliefs.
Art by @FaitInArt13
Although meditation can be seen as a spiritual practice, it doesn’t belong to any one culture or religion. Meditation is simply the act of getting in touch with yourself. It can involve prayer to a higher presence if you would like, or it doesn’t have to. It can be part of your personal spiritual quest, or it can be used as a way to deal with stress and anxiety. At the end of the day, meditation is a personal practice, and can include, or skip over any and all additional beliefs that you like.
5). I’m afraid of what I may discover when I tap into my subconscious.
Art by @FaithInArt13
Meditation doesn’t always bring bright and positive thoughts. Sometimes you may find yourself thinking about topics that make your angry. Sometimes it may lead you to memories that make you sad. Sometimes you discover aspects of yourself you’re in love with, and sometimes you’ll see a side of yourself that you hate. But at the end of the day, we can’t pick and choose which aspects of ourselves we accept, or feel like dealing with. If it’s an emption or feeling within you at this time, it’s for a reason. Trust yourself. Know that you would never steer yourself wrong. If you’ve been running from an issue, the best thing you can do is stand strong and face it. You’ll be surprised at the healing effects you find just simply allowing your thoughts to flow. Sometimes suppression of a particular thought or feeling, is the exact reason you feel victim to it!
6). I’m not even sure where to begin!
Just be still, and see what happens. That’s it. There are no fancy rules, guidelines, or ways to prepare, unless you want to set them for yourself! Meditation can be whatever you want it to be, and all it takes is for you to tap into your inner thoughts, and listen to whatever is going on deep in your heart.
Now, as I just said, THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY TO MEDITATE! But here are some simple tips for a beginner to get started:
- Find a space you feel comfortable in, or if you’re on the go, step away from noise and distractions as best you can.
- If you’re able, find any additional tools you think may help you get into the mood. I recommend candles, soothing music, incense, crystals, pillows, and anything else you like!
- Rid yourself of distractions as best you can. That means take a break from your phones, laptops, social networks, and even your kids if you can get them to give you a break!
- Get into a position you feel comfortable and relaxed in, whether it be standing, sitting, or laying down. I often start off sitting, and as I sink deeper into my meditative state, sometimes I’ll choose to lay down.
- If you’re feeling antsy, or having a hard time relaxing, it may help to do some light physical activity to calm yourself before you begin. I stretch, do yoga, clean the kitchen, and sometimes even dance before I begin meditating!
- Once you’re settled, close your eyes, and calmly breath in and out.
- If it helps you, pay attention to your breath. Focus on the way it feels as you breath in and out, feel your chest as it rises and falls. If your breath is quick, take note, if it’s slower, just take note. Getting in tune with your breath is a great way to gauge how you’re feeling.
- Now that you’re relaxed, feeling good, and breathing deeply, continue to chill in this state for as long as you like. If you feel like staying in it for a long time, great! If not, that’s ok too! Try your best, and see what happens. There is no set time limit for how long you should meditate. Just do whatever feels right on that day, and your body will thank you.
Now one final concern I want to address before we wrap this up. People often struggle with what they should think about while they meditate. They may think they’re failing or struggling if they can’t control their thoughts. But just think about how many things we have to process on any given day! How many distractions there are, how many different things and people that may be on our mind, don’t get upset if your thoughts may seem a little jumbled at first.
There are 3 main ways I usually approach meditating when it comes to my thought flow:
1). Free Flow – Let any and every thought come and go as it pleases. Whether you think about one thing or several things, it’s ok! There are no bad thoughts. Try to see if there’s a pattern or message your subconscious may have for you, based on how your thoughts flow.
2). Visualization/Directed Flow – Through this method, you may want to pick one line of thought, and focus on only that. If you feel your mind start to wander, gently remind yourself to flow back to your focus. It can help to picture yourself accomplishing things you want to do, having things you need, or going places you want to go! If you can dream it, you can manifest it!
3). Emptiness/Stillness – Sometimes you’ll want to think about nothing at all. At times, this will come naturally to you. But I know when I first started out, it was a struggle to “control” my thoughts. Try your best to allow your mind to be still, rather than attempting to control what thoughts appear. If you stray from emptiness, gently allow yourself to come back. The more your practice, the better you’ll get!
Art by @FaithInArt13
Alright guys, that’s all I got for you. I hope after this article, you’re feeling a little less intimidated, and a little more inspired to dive into the world of meditation! It can be fun and insightful, and lead to some pretty amazing ideas! Just remember not to stress it, you can make your own rules as you go, and it should always be a stress reliever, never a stress causer!
I would love to hear any success stories, or frustrations you may have had while practicing meditation, so feel free to comment and share! Thanks for tuning in, and happy meditating! 🙂