Meditation is one of the greatest adventures your mind can embark upon.
Meditation…that’s certainly a BIG topic! There are different types, practices, techniques, approaches and benefits of meditation. So it can often appear very complicated and confusing to start meditation as a daily practice to calm your mind and find some inner peace.
But how can I find peace through something so complicated?
How do I know which approach is best for me as a beginner?
How long should I meditate every day when I can barely manage time for myself?
How do I even meditate to begin with?
Whoa! Breathe! Take a deep slow breath in on my count…1…2…3. Now slowly release your breath…1…2…3.
Feeling calm yet? Well, that was your very first lesson in meditation. It’s THAT simple.
Today the word ‘meditation is used very inaccurately and loosely, especially in North America. And this has resulted in a lot of confusion among beginners about how they should practice it. Well, no worries. Welcome to my meditation for beginners guide where you will find out everything you will ever need to know about meditation, which approach will be best for you and how you can get started right away.
Here we go.
Meditation is about understanding yourself
Meditation is hands down the best practice I have started to improve my mental health in the past few years. Being a follower of Buddhism, I turned to meditation to cope with my depression and it has helped me become more at peace with myself. Today I am a happier, more focused and confident person who worries less, appreciates what he has and who is aware of himself. No , i am no monk neither am i perfect. I am now simply a better version of myself thanks to my daily practice of meditation.
Meditation has allowed me to take a deeper look at my mind and my thoughts to understand how I behave and react to certain situations, unwillingly at times. Now I can make decisions the way I want to, instead of reacting to situations on auto-pilot mode. By understanding myself better, today I have better control over myself. And at the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters.
Meditation is a state of being that you can achieve through daily practice.
Yes. Meditation can seem difficult when you are just getting started. The moment you sit down and close your eyes, a thousand thoughts will cross your mind and you will feel a cyclone of emotions. You will feel confused and disoriented.
Is this how meditation is supposed to feel like?
Aren’t I supposed to feel calm and peaceful?
Isn’t my mind supposed to be completely blank devoid of any thoughts?
Then why does my mind feel even more busy than normal?
Well, this IS normal. This is exactly how I felt when I started practicing mindfulness meditation years ago and it took me some time to get the hang of it.
As I said, meditation is a state of being which can take years of practice to perfect. The practice of meditation is not like the highway where you can clearly see the road ahead and drive ahead smoothly. It is more like the waves of the ocean that keeps going up and down repeatedly. Your meditation experience will be different every time. One day you will feel peaceful while the very next day you may find yourself thinking about that thing from work. There is no right or wrong meditation. The focus in not on what you feel while meditating. The focus is simply on the practice of meditation.
What you need to know as a beginner
Just like we go to the gym to train our body, we meditate to train our mind.
Meditation refers to a practice of being and not a specific thing. As a beginner, you might find it very difficult to sit still in a meditative posture for hours and try to empty your mind by not thinking about anything. And that is the worst thing you can do to start practicing meditation. Meditation is not about having an empty mind or not having any thoughts or thinking about peace and bliss. That is just a myth. Meditation is actually very simple. It is not as complicated as some of the meditation gurus (read entrepreneurs) will make you think, so that you spend your moolah and make them rich to find inner peace.
Meditation is nothing but a simple practice that most of us over-complicate unnecessarily.
In the simplest terms, meditation is about awareness. It is about being aware of your breath. Remember how I asked you to breathe in and out? The act of inhaling and exhaling and putting your complete attention on your breath. That is the core of meditation. This is how we train our mind. This is the basic concept of meditation. You don’t need a guru or an app to meditate. However, I am not saying it will hurt to have someone guide you.
Meditation is not about doing nothing. Meditation is not about emptying your mind. Meditation is not an escape from life. Meditation is simply about being aware of your mind.
What is meditation?
“Meditation is a single lesson of awareness, of no-thought, of spontaneity, of being total in your action, alert, aware. It is not a technique, it is a knack. Either you get it or you don’t.” – Osho