Mind Meditation - How Do I Begin to Meditate?
Then MEDITATION can help you deal with stress and negative emotions…
Meditation is an approach to training the mind, similar to the way that fitness is an approach to training the body. It will help you become more peaceful, more focused, less worried about discomfort, more appreciative, and attentive in daily life.
Most people who try meditation for the first time have a very specific goal: to reduce stress. And it's a terrific tool for that. The bonus is that the calm you experience seeps into other moments of your day. Before you know it, you find yourself with a greater, more-natural sense of balance, more compassion for yourself and others, and a more robust sense of humor. Over time, you may notice that you see the "big picture" of your life more clearly and are able to make better decisions about it. Meditation also can help you connect with your spiritual side and possibly to a higher power if your belief system includes that.
13 Amazing Steps on How to Meditate
1. Wear comfortable clothes. You don’t want anything to pull you out of your meditative thinking, so avoid restrictive clothing that might pull on you, like jeans or tight pants. Think about what you might wear to exercise or to sleep in — those types of loose, breathable clothes are your best bet.
2. Sit tall for two minutes every morning for a week. Increase by another two minutes and do that for a week. If all goes well, by increasing just a little at a time, you’ll be meditating for 10 minutes a day in the 2nd month.
3. Don’t get caught up in the how — just do. Most people worry about where to sit, how to sit, what cushion to use … this is all nice, but it’s not that important to get started. Start just by sitting on a chair, or on your couch. Or on your bed. If you’re comfortable on the ground, sit cross-legged. It’s just for two minutes at first anyway, so just sit. Later you can worry about optimizing it so you’ll be comfortable for longer, but in the beginning, it doesn’t matter much, just sit somewhere quiet and comfortable.
4. Breathe naturally. Focus your attention on the breath and on how your body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Try counting “one” as you take in the first breath, then “two” as you breathe out. Repeat this to the count of 10. This is what meditation is all about, and this is what makes meditation both difficult and worthwhile. In this step, focus entirely on your breath as it enters and leaves your nose. You can focus on any element of your breath that you want – from how the air feels as it enters and exits your nose, to how the air feels as you inflate and deflate your lungs, to the sensation under your nose as you breathe in and out, to the sound you make as you breathe. Don’t force your breathing here – just breathe naturally and observe your breath without thinking too much about it.
5. Don't Think. This is the hard part. Don’t analyze your breath; just bring your attention and focus to your breath, without thinking about it or analyzing it. Bring your attention back to your mind when it wanders.
When your mind wanders, and it will gently bring your attention back to your breath once you realize that your mind has wandered. You may not clue in at first that your mind has started thinking again, but when you do, gently bring your attention back. Don’t be hard on yourself during this stage. Just gently bring your attention back.
Again, bring your mind back when it wanders. When your mind begins to think, gently bring your attention back to only your breath.
Most of us are fighting our biggest wars in our own heads. This struggle and inner complaining aren’t right or wrong, though — it’s just the nature of the mind.
"Don’t hate the arising of thoughts or stop the thoughts that do arise. Simply realize that our original mind, right from the start, is beyond thought, so that no matter what, you never get involved with thoughts. Illuminate the original mind, and no other understanding is necessary."
Zen Master Bankei Yotaku
6. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Accept that focus will be hard for you
when you’re just starting out. Don't berate yourself––all beginners experience the inner chatter. In fact, some would say that this continual return to the present moment is the "practice" of meditation. Furthermore, don’t expect your meditation practice to change your life overnight. Mindfulness takes time to exert its influence. Keep coming back to meditation every day for at least a few minutes, lengthening your sessions when possible.
7. To quiet the noise. We aim to create more and more neutrality when we meditate. A great place to practice a more neutral attitude is toward yourself. When you start to berate yourself for not meditating “right,” just breathe, relax, and smile. This is what your mind looks like today.
8. Develop a loving attitude. When you notice thoughts and feelings arising during meditation, as they will, look at them with a friendly attitude. See them as friends, not intruders or enemies. They are a
part of you, though not all of you. Be friendly and not harsh.
9. Body scan. Tune in to your body—to reconnect to your physical self—and notice any sensations you're feeling without judgment. The body scan involves systematically focusing on different sensations and areas, from the head to the toes.
10. Really commit yourself. Don’t just say, “Sure, I’ll try this for a couple
of days.” Really commit yourself to this. In your mind, be locked in, for at least a month. Meditation is a practice of self-inquiry. Observe the excuses you tell yourself—I'm too tired, or I don't have time. Notice how your mind can tend to rationalize when you break your commitment. Just observe and understand without judgment. Then recommit to your practice without making excuses.
11. Practice makes perfect. Practice. Practice. Practice. Think of meditation as bicep curls for the muscle of your mind. You are training your brain to focus, concentrate, and let go. Over time, with consistency, it will become easier to drop into.
12. Start a meditation journal. End your practice each day by observing how you feel. What is happening in your body? What is your emotional state? Make note of any changes so they register in your body and conscious mind. The next time you feel resistance to meditation, flip through the notes you made in your journal to remind yourself of its benefits. This will help you stay motivated and committed.
13. Staying mindful post-meditation. We meditate to practice our
awareness of the present moment. The point of this skill is to make us more mindful and less distracted throughout the day. At the end of your meditation, it’s important to recognize the quality of mind at that moment and then make the intention to carry it into the rest of your day. Form a clear idea about what you are going to do next, whether it’s brushing your teeth, taking a shower, or making breakfast. It’s so easy to jump off the seat and lose the calm, spacious quality you created while meditating, so be conscious of carrying this awareness with you into the next activity you do.
"Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked."
Patanjali, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Smile when you’re done. When you’re finished with your two minutes, smile. Be grateful that you had this time to yourself, that you stuck with your commitment, that you showed yourself that you’re trustworthy, where you took the time to get to know yourself, and make friends with yourself. That’s an amazing two minutes of your life.
The benefits of meditation are greatest when practiced daily. Ideally, meditation can be done first thing in the morning upon rising and then again at the end of the day, preferably prior to dinner. Engaging in daily meditation practice is an excellent way to manage stress. Many simple quick techniques can be used, even for those who have difficulty sitting still. Taking a mindful walk, doing a lovely shower meditation or focusing on a beautiful object can be a very healing and restorative practice. The truth is, it doesn’t take a lot of time to sit down and meditate and the health benefits alone are worth the extra effort.
Thanks a lot for reading, and happy meditating!
P.S- You Can Combine Yoga Equipment, Meditation Music, or Meditation Tools to boost and to gain more from your Yoga and meditation practice.