Meditation for beginners
Meditation, along with yoga, is a scientific approach to control your thoughts and focus the energy towards productive purposes. We all know that it is difficult to teach someone how to sleep, similarly, it is quite challenging to teach meditation.
However, with a good amount of practice and determination, you can experience the benefits of meditation, along with the relaxed state of mind it produces, and enhanced day-to-day awareness (also termed as being ‘in the moment’).
It takes time to experience the results of meditation practice. Especially for absolute beginners in meditation, it requires patience without expecting a miracle to happen. Many people find it best to begin with meditation sessions, many of which are often available either privately (through businesses aimed at teaching meditation), publicly (within local government funded health clubs/leisure centres), as an extension of religious organisations (many Buddhist monasteries offer meditation classes without any commitment apart from a small donation when taking part in a session) and what is probably the most common starting point in the last few years, through online instruction, also known as guided meditation, of which many videos exist online, especially on YouTube.
Guided meditation via online sources however can be a little hit and miss, and it can be difficult to know how much prior experience the creators of videos have had from instruction via more professional sources. For this reason, many meditation instructors offer their own guided meditation courses on CD/DVD and even to download via their website. It is highly recommended you begin using one of the prior institutions before going directly to YouTube as your main instruction for meditation.
Guided meditation from a professional instructor is by far the easiest way for beginners to get started. Once you have a good source of instruction; you can begin meditation lessons in your own home. Most people prefer to wear headphones and play the instructions through their phones, as this allows you to undertake the guided meditation anywhere, while the headphones allow the removal of all external noise, and focuses you solely upon the music and instruction being given. If you live alone and in a quiet area, you may prefer to play the instruction directly from your computer speakers.
To experience the positive results from meditation, of which the most common benefit is a lasting clear and euphoric/blissful mindset, regular, constant and continuous practice is essential.
Meditation practice relaxes your mind from stress, anxiety and worries. How does it happen? It occurs once your thoughts subside. Thoughts subside during the process of meditation.
As a beginner in meditation, it is best practice to close your eyes and focus fully on the breath. Focusing on breath means to just observe the rhythm of your breath. For the beginners in meditation, you can just feel the inhalation and exhalation process that happens naturally.
Why choose breathing for meditation? The reason is that breathing is the only process that happens in your body without any intervention. Sometimes you are aware of breathing, but most of the times you are not consciously aware.
The more care and attention you give in preparing for meditation, the more positive the results.
Other important aspects to consider when beginning meditation practice:
Place: It is always better to have an exclusive location for meditation practice. A calm and serene place that calms your mind is the best place for meditation – especially for beginners in meditation practice.
Time: You have to be punctual in sitting for meditation practice. As a beginner in meditation, choose the early dawn hours for your mind to get focused on breath. After a deep sleep, your mind is fully fresh and thoughts are more under control.
Sitting Posture: For the mind to focus easily on breath, your spine should be straight during meditation. Sit in a comfortable posture in the initial stages. Crossed leg posture in yoga is more convenient, but this posture may be challenging for beginners. So, choose the most comfortable posture that suits you.
Breath: It is always better not to put any conscious effort into breathing. It is best for it to happen naturally. As it happens, make the process slow with awareness and perceive it as a natural rhythm. Enjoy the moments in between the inhalation and exhalation.
Point of concentration: You may want to choose the best point of concentration to start with meditation. Sometimes it is the point between eye-brows; sometimes it is concentration on breathing. For some people, it is the heart. Any point you choose, make sure that the focus of your mind does not leave the point.
Benefits of meditation
Meditation helps in your professional and personal life with better clarity of thoughts
You gain both mental and intellectual clarity
Relaxation from day-to-day stress
You can begin to more easily focus your energy towards productive and positive activities
Decision making becomes easy because of the clarity of thoughts
Helps to regulate blood pressure
Meditation is not just sitting with your eyes closed for a short duration. It is training the mind to wilfully focus on any object of your wish. In general, we do concentrate on most of the aspects in our day-to-day life. Concentration is an automatic process of mind to focus on a subject naturally based on the inclination and character of the mind, meditation is training the mind and taming it to wilfully concentrate on any subject or object.
Meditation can be effectively practiced only with a calm and tranquil mind. This means that you need to have a little preparation in the beginning stages. A serene mind is always inclined towards experiencing a meditative mind. It is a state of mind with no other thoughts than the subject or object. It could be done by concentrating on the breathing process, by observing the inhalation and exhalation process that happens through the nostrils.
This is regarded as one of the most effective ways of practising meditation. As breathing is the only process that happens in our body, with or without our knowledge, concentrating on the breathing process takes mind to single pointedness.
The power and benefits of meditation will be reflected in all your routine actions.
Like many people, if you wish to try guided meditation immediately, rather than seeking out a professional instructor in person to begin with (Highly Recommended!), the two links below provide a reputable source of guided instruction: