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Meditation 101: How to Start

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The Long-Term Health Benefits of Meditation, original blog by Dreamclinic Massage and Acupuncture Seattle, Redmond, BellevueThere’s a learning curve in everything, from riding a bike to learning a new language. And the same goes with meditation. Even though it may not seem like it, everyone, including mediation masters, start off inexperienced.

Many people assume that because they don’t feel naturally spiritual, meditation is not for them. However, anyone can enjoy the soothing benefits of meditation. Like anything else, meditation takes time and diligence, and your success will be a reflection of the work you put in.

Here are some quick tips to help you get started with meditation:

  • Set a time and place. To get into the habit of regularly meditating, designate a specific time every day or every couple of days, and try to stick to that time. This will help integrate meditation into your life as simply another part of your routine. In addition, try to do your meditation in one quiet, peaceful room so that you create a calming atmosphere for yourself in the future.
  • Relax your senses. Pick up some candles, incense, or other soothing spiritual tokens to help relax your senses and clear your mind. You can also use a candle as a focus point if you’re having trouble emptying your mind.
  • Work through the frustration. It’s common for beginning meditators to feel like their mind is loud and full of unwanted thoughts. When this happens, don’t be discouraged! It’s normal to doubt yourself. Simply focus on your breathing or one neutral point, and let your frustration roll off of you.
  • Rise and shine. Your mind is usually most clear and least full in the mornings. So if you are able, try to get your meditation done first thing after you wake up.

With these ideas in mind, sit comfortably and begin to meditate:

  1. Find your calm, tranquil place and get into a position that is comfortable for you. Try experimenting with sitting, kneeling, or lying down.
  1. Close your eyes and breathe naturally. Don’t make an effort to slow or quicken your breathing; just let your lungs fill and compress.
  1. If you’re having trouble clearing your mind, always bring your focus back to a focal point, like your breathing or a candle.
  1. Start small and work your way up. Meditate for as long as you feel you need to. We recommend starting with a five-minute mediation and adding five minutes every week, until you are mediating for forty-five to fifty minutes each time.

As you begin to meditate, remember that you may not see results right away. Mediation requires regular practice and attention, so resist the urge to overanalyze your life to try and identify the effects of meditation. It won’t happen instantly, but the long-term benefits of this practice are completely worth the effort. Slowly but surely, meditation reduces stress and increases empathy, and helps us understand what we value and who we are.

 

Photo credit: aimleadership.com

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