Meditation is a simple but life-transforming skill that can help you to relax, enhance understanding about yourself and develop your inherent potential.
The meditation posts I’ve written in the past are focused on the applications of different meditation techniques. But, if you’ve little knowledge about meditation, you may find it challenging to apply them without first learning how to meditate.
So in this article, I’ve laid down some basic instructions on how to meditate for beginners, as well as address some of the common concerns beginners may have.
- Choose a conducive environment. Find a nice, quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for fifteen minutes or longer. Sit down, relax and rest your hands on your lap. You can sit on the floor cross-legged with the support of a meditation cushion, or on any chair with your feet resting on the ground. It’s not necessary to force yourself into a lotus position if you’re not used to it.Regardless of how you sit, it’s important to maintain the natural curve of your back. That means no slouching forward or leaning backward — either of which can strain and hurt your back. People with chronic back problem may find a kneeling meditation bench useful, especially for prolonged meditation.
- Breathe slowly and deeply. Close your eyes softly. Begin by taking a few slow and deep breaths — inhaling with your nose and exhaling from your mouth. Don’t force your breathing. Let it come naturally. The first few intakes of air are likely to be shallow, but as you allow more air to fill your lungs each time, your breaths will gradually become deeper and fuller. Take as long as you need to breathe slowly and deeply.
- Be aware. When you are breathing deeply, you’ll begin to feel calmer and more relaxed. That’s a good sign. Now, focus your attention on your breathing. Be aware of each breath that you take in through your nose. Be mindful of each breath that you exhale with your mouth. Continue focusing on your breaths for as long as you like.If you find your attention straying away from your breaths, just gently bring it back. It may happen many times. Don’t be disheartened. What’s important is to realize that you’ve wandered and bring your attention back to where it should be. As you develop greater focus power, you will find it easier to concentrate.
- Ending the session. When you are ready to end the session, open your eyes and stand up slowly. Stretch yourself and extend your increased awareness to your next activities. Well done! You’ve done it!
*This is a guest post written by: Wee Peng Ho from the awesome blog: The Conscious Life