A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

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Meditation (Photo credit: holisticgeek)

Did you know that Tibetan monks could meditate for days on end? This is because they have mastered the techniques of meditation that have been a part of eastern cultures for thousands of years. Recently, meditation has become an increasingly bigger part of western culture. This is because it is a great tool for relaxation. It is beneficial for beginners to seek some sort of  training in order to ensure that they are maximizing the benefit of their meditation session. This training can be anything from reading some information online to hiring a trainer or taking a class. Here are some basic tips and techniques to get you started in your meditation training.

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The first thing you need to do when trying to meditate is set up an environment that is good for meditation. The ideal time to meditate is when you absolutely know you will not be bothered. Try to do it when you are home alone. If you hardly ever have time for yourself, the best time for you to meditate may be late at night when everyone else in the house is sleeping. It is important for you to be alone because otherwise your thoughts may be clouded with concerns for the others near your environment. Even if they say they will leave you alone, you may still become distracted thinking that they will interrupt you.

For the actual  area make sure that you are comfortable. Lay down some pillows and blankets on the floor. Turn off or dim the lights in the room and light your favorite scented candle. The idea is that you want it to be as relaxing as possible in the room. A great thing to do for those undergoing training is to purchase some relaxing music without lyrics and play it during their session. This will help promote the idea of relaxing the mind. This is the most important, and often most difficult, aspect of meditation. Often times westerners are so used to having their thoughts constantly going that they cannot sit still and calm their mind. This is what makes setting up a relaxing environment free of interruptions is an important part of the process.

When it comes to relaxing your mind the breathing process is essential. Most people never actually

Meditation mit Weitblick: Burg Landeck in der ...

Meditation mit Weitblick: Burg Landeck in der Pfalz (Photo credit: IchZeit)

properly breathe throughout the day, which promotes feelings of anxiety. Breathing through the mouth only uses the upper area of the lungs. Proper breathing involves breathing in through your nose so that you feel area just above your stomach filling with air. Once you understand this concept you should set up a breathing count. A good option for those just starting their meditation training is to count to ten and start exhaling after you get to five. This sets up a rhythm to your breathing that is essential in relaxing the mind. To relax the mind and free it from judging any thoughts you have, the best thing to do is focus on your breathing. Some people like to close their eyes because it helps them focus more, but you also have the option of staring intensely at a candle flame.

When first beginning your training, it is natural that you will find thoughts crossing your mind. The best thing to do is acknowledge these thoughts without having an opinion on them. Think of these thoughts as clouds that are swiftly passing through your mind. Re-focus your attention on your breathing to push these thoughts out of your mind. After all meditation isn’t necessarily about not having any thoughts at all but rather it is about being in a higher state of awareness where you are free from the prison of judgment that often surround your thoughts.

As a final thought to those looking to start some training the most important thing is to make meditating part of your daily routine. Try to do it at the same time every day so it becomes a habit. Doing this will allow you to master techniques and eventually use meditation to calm you down in any situation. If you find that doing this on your own seems to be getting you nowhere seek the guidance of a training class in your area.

I hope this Guide to Meditation has helped you with your journey and inspires you to progress further.

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