How to Meditate
1. Choose a Quiet Place
Choose a quiet and peaceful place where you are not likely to be disturbed. When we sit in silence we get to experience a steadiness and calm.
2. Choose a Convenient Time
Meditation should be done at a time when you know you will not be disturbed and are free to relax. Traditionally, the hours of sunrise and sunset, while nature transitions between day and night, are ideal.
3. Choose a Comfortable Posture
Ensure you are relaxed, comfortable and steady.
Sit straight with your spine upright and your head up but keep your shoulders and neck relaxed. To straighten up, imagine that your head is reaching towards the sky. You don’t have to sit in padmasana (the lotus position) but many people choose to.
Your mind and body are intertwined so if your body is well-balanced, your mind will also be in balance.
4. Close Your Eyes
When practised some people mediate with their eyes open, but for beginners having your eyes softly closed will help you focus on your breath and help you avoid any visual distractions. Do what feels right for you.
5. Breathe Deeply
Pay attention to the breath and notice it streaming both in and out. You don’t have to breathe deeply so keep it natural and notice your natural rhythm. You can try counting your breath, which is an ancient mediation practice. If you mind wanders then return to ‘one’ again which will return you to the present moment.
This helps to steady the rhythm of the breath and leads the mind in to a peaceful meditative state.
In ordinary life we are very rarely present as our thoughts and feelings crowd our conscious state. Try to focus, emptying your mind of any thoughts and worries and concentrate on breathing and just being. These thoughts will no doubt pop in but instead of letting them agitate you, acknowledge their presence and then let them go with each breath.
7. Give yourself time
If you are a beginner start with 5-minute sessions, and when you’re ready for more, move to 10 minutes. In time you might like to extend your meditation to 20 minutes.
Set a timer so you don’t have to keep checking the clock. You can then relax and enjoy the experience.
8. Create a Ritual
By meditating every day at the same time, it will become easier to practice every day. If you don’t build meditation into your daily routine, you’ll find yourself forgetting to do it.
9. Don’t Try too Hard
Meditation is supposed to be relaxing, and effortless so don’t work too hard at it.
10. Smile and have fun
A gentle smile throughout keeps you relaxed, peaceful and enhances your meditation experience. Allow yourself to enjoy your mediation session. Don’t expect immediate enlightenment but allow it to be fun. Be kind to yourself.
The Benefits of Meditation
- Lower Blood Pressure
- Improved Blood Circulation
- Less stress and anxiety
- Lower heart rate
- Slower respiratory rate
- Deeper relaxation
The goal of meditation is no goal