7 Steps to Get Started with Meditation for Beginners
I remember when I was first introduced to the concept of meditating. I could not imagine not thinking for any length of time. No matter how much I was intrigued by meditation I avoided it because I didn’t think I could sit still in silence for 1 minute let alone longer. Fast forward to today, and I now meditate every day. I feel like it’s such an important part of my life, that I can’t imagine not doing it. As I look back, I see that getting started with meditation was actually quite easy
The first time I really tried meditating regularly was through a Chopra Centre 21 day meditation challenge. It was free, and they taught me about meditation and sent the mp3 files to my inbox. The conversations were led by Davidji, a meditation expert formerly with the Chopra Centre. I loved Davidji’s voice. He gently walked me through what it means to meditate. He shared how it’s o.k. if there is a knock at the door or your kids come and interrupt you- it’s just part of the experience. I appreciated how he started out gently with his teachings and as he progressed through the weeks, he went deeper. It was just what I needed.
It does take 21 days to create a habit, so this meditation challenge was the perfect way to begin. The Chopra Centre does offer free 21 day meditation challenges about every quarter, but they now seem to focus on a particular area of life, rather than simply getting started with meditation.
If you are feeling like you are just about ready to get started with meditation, but are still a bit hesitant about being able to sit still and quiet your mind, let me share with you a few meditation insights to help you.
1. You will have thoughts.
The average person has 60-80,000 thoughts each day. It is impossible to be without thoughts for a long period of time, without being dead. Even monks who have been meditating for many years still have thoughts, the trick is to let them go.
Here’s a good way to look at your thoughts… you know how when you are sitting in a waiting room patiently waiting to be called in for your appointment? And sometimes you mindlessly flip through a magazine? You glance at the pages, maybe notice a headline or picture and then turn the page. You don’t get absorbed into an article because you know it’s going to be your turn, so you just flip to the next page. Consider treating your thoughts in meditation the same way. Let your thoughts come in (they are coming anyway, so don’t resist it), notice it, and let it go. Bring your attention back to your breath or back to the guided meditation.
As you progress with meditating you will start to find a space- a break within your thoughts… perhaps a second or two to begin with. As you deepen your practice, you will notice that gap getting bigger and sensation of going deeper. This gap feels amazing and peaceful. The gap is like rocket fuel for your soul. You will notice huge shifts in your life as you progress to this stage in your meditation (all for the better
This will give your mind something to focus on and help keep the thoughts at bay
3. Begin with a short meditation.
A short introduction is a good way for you to discover where you prefer to sit for your meditation, what you like to wear, and it also helps to bring meditation “success” into your reality. Accomplishing a short meditation is a great first step and as you learn more, you build up the length of time you meditate for and find a method and length of time that best works in your life.
4. Set aside some special time.
Schedule some time to meditate to help you be successful in bringing this new practice into your life. If you don’t make the time and honour it, your meditation won’t happen.
5. It is impossible to meditate “wrong.”
Whatever time you set aside for yourself to begin is perfect. Whatever happens in your meditation experience is perfect. Your practice will evolve as you discover different methods of meditating and what is right for you at different times in your life.
6. Remember to breathe.
Meditation is a relaxing process. Breathe through it, to help calm your nervous system.
Meditation is a beautiful gift to yourself and your soul. Stressing out over not meditating is counter productive. There may be days where circumstances arise where you are not able to meditate. That’s okay. Ironically, those are the days that you could use the support of your meditation the most. As you explore meditation, you will discover ways that you can sneak a meditation in at different points in your day. You’re just learning, so be gentle with yourself. Everything is perfect and as it should be.
These basic tips will help you get started with your meditation practice. Making time to honour yourself is the best gift you can give yourself. Use the tips above and you will easily bring this new practice into your life.
If you would like to get started with meditation, consider signing up for my Getting Present Meditation. It’s the perfect way to start your day grounded, present and focused.