As you found out in the first part of the Meditation Guide for Beginners, each of us can live during practice, more or less expected experiences. But as I said, they are normal, and are part of the meditation practice.
If you missed reading the first part, you can access the link below.
What you should know before start Meditating
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- 1 PREPARING FOR MEDITATION:
- 2 DEVELOP A DAILY MEDITATION PROGRAM
- 3 SAY NO TO THE EXCUSES!
- 4 HOW TO MEDITATE?
- 5 FINAL THOUGHTS
PREPARING FOR MEDITATION:
WHERE, WHEN, AND HOW LONG TO MEDITATE?
WHERE TO MEDITATE?
Meditation can be done anywhere and anytime (at home, at the office, on the bus, as you wait in line at the bank), but as a beginner, I recommend you to find a quiet place that has a special energy charge for you. A place in which you will not be disturbed, and where you can see yourself standing every day and relax, recommended at least 30 minutes twice a day.
Can be a small room, well ventilated, that has nothing to do with other ritualized activities. Try to create a special area only for meditation, because with more practices that place will become filled with meditation vibes.
It is very important, especially at the beginning, to avoid as much as possible everything that could be disturbing: TV, telephone, washing-machine, etc.
WHEN TO MEDITATE?
If you are wondering when is best to meditate, my answer is whenever possible. According to Ayurveda teachings, it is advisable to meditate every day at a fixed time: in the morning between 5-7 am, and in the afternoon-evening between 5-7 pm.
My recommendation for you is to take advantage of the first hours of the morning while others are asleep because it is the only time when there are few things that can disturb you.
You can also take a break in the middle of the day. Regardless of the profession you have, you can always find a quiet place to spend even 5-10 minutes for meditation.
In the evening, I recommend you to meditate after work. Thus, you will be able to carry out evening activities with family or friends in a state of serenity and good mood, and it will also facilitate restful sleep.
HOW LONG TO MEDITATE?
In meditation, the depth of the practice is much more important than the length of time spent. The simple fact that people have the impression that they have to start big just scares them and makes them change their mind to meditate.
At first, you can start with only 2- 5 minutes at a time. Just sit still and do nothing. Important is to START. From there, increase gradually the length of time of meditation. You will see that as you progress in practice, you will want to extend the duration of each meditation session.
My recommendation is to wear clothes that are as comfortable and light as possible. During meditation, you want to relax, and some clothes in which you do not feel comfortable can be a reason to disrupt the practice. Also, depending on where you practice meditation, you can do it barefoot.
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A PROPER BODY POSTURE
Meditation can be done directly on the floor or on a chair, and the body position should be as comfortable as possible throughout the practice.
ON THE FLOOR:
You can meditate in a lotus position (if your body allows it), or in a cross-legged position. Important is to stand upright, with your spine erect, and your muscles relaxed. Keep your chest up to facilitate normal breathing, your shoulders slightly back, and your chin parallel to the floor. Often, as a beginner, it can be difficult to keep your back straight for a long time. If this is your case, when you feel the need, you can use a pillow under your buttocks, or you can lean your back against a wall.
In general, the meditation can be done with the eyes open, but most practitioners prefer to close them. This is also my recommendation for you. Especially as a beginner, the risk of being visually distracted is much higher.
ON THE CHAIR:
To keep the spine erect and the chest open, sit forward, with the hands, palms upright, at the junctions of the thighs and abdomen. Keep your legs slightly apart, with the soles on the floor.
Ensure your comfort all the time, because if you stay comfortable you will meditate, if not, most likely you will have interruptions. But whatever the discomfort factor is (numb your legs, you feel tension in your neck area, you have itching, you feel pain in the lower back), do not try to resist them.
Just deal with that discomfort, and slowly return to the meditation exercise.
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- Do not meditate under the influence of caffeine, alcohol, or drugs, because they will prevent you from living authentic experiences, and blur the clarity and positive effects of meditation.
- If you are agitated before meditation, it is recommended to wait a few minutes to calm down. Do a body relaxation, and take slow controlled breaths to calm yourself.
- It is not recommended meditating immediately after a meal. Wait at least 30 minutes after a light meal, and 2 up to 3 hours after a heavy one, before starting meditating.
- Do not think that you have to do something special while meditating, or that you have to live a special experience. As I mentioned throughout the article, you can see the transformation when the practice is over, and you continue with the daily activities. You will notice that you will become much more creative, intuitive, more friendly and generous, with greater love and appreciation for yourself, and much more open to the opportunities.
- Avoid criticizing yourself. Whatever you experience during meditation it is normal, and as long as you do not resist, and let yourself be open to the unexpected, and unknown, you can be sure that you are meditating correctly. Just enjoy the experience!
DEVELOP A DAILY MEDITATION PROGRAM
If you want your life to change, let the practice of meditation become a daily ritual for you. Many people avoid or postpone meditation for various reasons. In most cases, they remember to meditate when life challenges them, but after a short time, they forget about it.
It is not the same to meditate every day, starting with 2-10 minutes and increasing as you deepen the practice, with a meditation done in a day for several hours, or occasionally when you remember. When meditation becomes a daily program in your life, only then it will be a habit just like washing your hands or teeth.
That is why I recommend you to treat meditation as a series of activities that you perform naturally, without doing them scheduled. For example, you woke up, go to the bathroom, to the toilet, wash your hands, face, teeth, make coffee, interact with family members, prepare breakfast, etc.
You do not do all these activities related to time. Instead, you do them naturally as a ritual you have had for a very long time. You do not say: “it is 6:30 am, now I have to brush my teeth. It is 6:32 am, I have to make coffee.” That is why, in order not to skip meditation, consider it such an activity.
The easiest way to stick to the meditation program without any effort would be to wake up, go to the bathroom, then immediately meditate. Thus, you will start the new day in a state of inner peace, and you will greet every moment of the day with serenity, energy, and efficiency.
For the evening meditation, as I mentioned in the previous lines, I recommend meditation after finishing the work. You can take a shower, and then meditate before starting any late activity.
Try to make use of this simple tips, and you will see how easily you will be able to make meditation a daily habit.
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SAY NO TO THE EXCUSES!
In general, for any change, new activity, or new habit that you want to include in your lifestyle, your mind will generate excuses, and will find many reasons to prevent it. The most common excuses in meditation are:
THE LACK OF TIME
Each of us has 24 hours a day, and it depends strictly on one how we organize our program, and how we decide to channel the energy for different activities.
If you have time for certain necessary or less necessary activities such as watching TV, surfing the Internet, reading emails, play online games, spending time with friends or on social media, really you don’t have time to spend a few minutes every day just for you?
One thing I am telling you for sure. The moment meditation becomes a ritual in your lifestyle, you will begin to have time for everything. Why? Because meditation focuses and clears the mind more than any other activity. You will also enjoy a restful sleep, and after, your mind will be completely centered. In this way, you will make decisions faster, and you will relate to each activity with ease, concentration, and efficiency.
You will adopt a lifestyle that will stimulate you and will give you the ability to identify behaviors that drain your energy, and to replace them with beneficial and effective ones. Take it as a challenge! Meditate daily, twice a day for 15 days, and you will see how time will expand in your favor.
NOT FEELING THE EFFECTS
Due to the misconception about what meditation should be, another common excuse used is not feeling the effects. If you expect to live special experiences, or to still your body and mind right away, but instead you just swing from the object of attention to thoughts, and vice versa, you may think that meditation does not work for you, or that you do something wrong, and you will want to give up.
But as I specified during the article, the effects of meditation can be noticed in the rest of the hours when you carry out normal daily activities. So, don’t worry anymore, just be patient with yourself. Keep meditating and you will notice how after a few weeks there will be changes in the way you relate to life, stress, disappointments, or unsatisfied needs.
For this transformation to take place, you must constantly experience that state of peace and silence. Optimal would be 30 minutes twice a day, recommendable in the morning, and in the evening.
Just meditate, and you will learn to live again, to be more open to change, and to maintain a balance, even when reigns the surrounding chaos.
Your thoughts, choices, decisions, actions, will become more conscious every day, leading to more intuitive and healthy behaviors.
You will realize that you will have a broader perspective of possibilities, you will become calmer, more creative, you will see things more clearly, and you will enjoy more what life has to offer. You will be consistent in what you think, say, and do.
THE FEAR OF SELF-KNOWLEDGE
“Meditation seeks to discover truth about the nature of Consciousness.”
Each of us has an emotional package accumulated over time, a package of which we are more or less aware.
When you have to open your emotional package, and face yourself entirely, it can be often scary because most of the time there is chaos.
A chaos generated by you, by your repressed emotions, by a painful past, by many failures, which implies the courage to face and overcome them. But only if you make this inner journey you will be able to be free and happy.
“I DON’T KNOW HOW!”
With so many types of meditation and different techniques through which it can be done, it is no wonder why a beginner can be confused when it comes to practicing meditation.
A simple exercise ideal for beginners, with a focus on breathing, can be done for 5-10 minutes, increasing gradually it’s length of time.
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HOW TO MEDITATE?
In order to make and feel major changes in your life, all you have to do is to start to take a few moments of daily breaks from the continuous activity. You have to balance the outer world with your inner world, and you can only do this through meditation.
But how to do it?
The answer is very simple. Staying free of occupations. When ever you take action, your energy is transposed outside of you. When you are not acting in any way, and your body is completely relaxed, the energy is installed in your center.
Taking into account the information provided during the article, all you have to do is GET STARTED.
You can use special incense sticks for meditation. (my favorite is Tulasi Nag Champa & Lavender which promotes physical and mental relaxation).
- Find a quiet place and sit relaxed on a mat or cushion, in a comfortable posture.
- Close your eyes and do nothing. Do not perform any activity. Just be your witness.
- Focus on your breath, feeling how the air goes in and goes out of your nostrils.
- Become one with the breath.
- With each exhalation feel how you let go of all negative thoughts.
- With each inhalation, feel how you fill yourself with calm vitality.
- Every time your mind wanders, and you become aware of it, gently bring it back to your breath.
If you have thoughts, you hear a sound, you experience certain sensations, or feel the tension in certain parts of the body, just witness everything that happens, without identifying with them.
Observe everything, like a reflection in the mirror, without analyzing, or judging. Let them flow naturally.
Contemplate their idea without thinking of them, and bring back slowly your attention to the breath.
If you start paying attention to them, you will fall into the trap of your mind.
Just be an Observer.
The more you observe, the more your mind will free itself from thoughts, becoming more alert, and more aware.
You need patience and depth. But when you walk this path, you will discover your true Self. Simply enjoy your moment of silence, and assume meditation as a transformation, without a limited or special time.
When the practice of meditation will become a ritual in your life, and you will devote more energy to your inner journey, only then you will experience being in repause and activities at the same time, and you will discover the true meaning of possessing happiness, and not of seeking it.
My dears, that was all. I hope the information was clear and easy for you to understand.
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Till next time…
Master Your Breath To Be In Harmony With Yourself!
~ Diana D. ~
Founder of Dare & Be.