Learning how to meditate can have many benefits that will improve your mental and physical wellbeing.
Preparation for Meditation
1. Set aside your time to meditate
When you have decided that you want to start meditating, a good start is to set aside a time in the day you wish to meditate.
This could be either first thing in the morning, or last thing at night, you might decide to do both of these times.
2. Find your place to meditate
Meditation requires you to be alone, and to not be disturbed, so find your meditation place within your home, that will be peaceful and with no distractions.
Once you have learnt the basics of meditation, you will find you can meditate almost anywhere, at anytime, as you feel the desire too.
It might help if you also turn off your mobile phone and tablet, because if they go off while meditating, you might be wondering who was trying to contact you, and this will distract you.
3. How long to meditate?
When you first start to meditate, its not best to try and meditate longer than you feel comfortable too.
So it is advisable to start meditating for just one minute at the start, and build up your time gradually, adding another minute to your next session and so on. This is the Kaisen method of starting a new positive habit, and this helps to establish a good routine.
However long you decide to meditate for, setting a timer for the duration is best, this will stop your mind from wondering how long you have got left.
So just set an alarm and forget about it.
A Basic Meditation Practice
The following basic meditation exercise is very beneficial after practicing the mindful movement meditation.
1. Get seated comfortably
Find a comfortable seated position, this can be either with legs crossed, or sat on a chair with your feet on the floor.
Make sure your back is upright, but don’t stiffen it, and not slumped over.
Put your arms parallel to your upper body, and rest the palms of your hands on your legs, or wherever feels comfortable.
2. Soften your gaze
Drop your chin a little, a gaze downwards so you are not focusing on anything, just let it simply be.
However some people find it easier to close their eyes during meditation, so feel free to close them if you wish.
3. Find your breath
Now try to relax and feel the sensations in your body, and notice your breath.
Feel the air through your nose, and the rising and falling of your belly, or chest.
To quieten the mind, feel free to count on the in breath and out breath.
Maybe breathe in for 3 seconds, then breathe out for 6 seconds, whatever feels right at that moment for you.
4. Notice if your mind wanders
Eventually you will notice that your mind will wander, this is normal, so don’t worry or try to block these thoughts, just observe.
Now try and return your mind back onto your breath like you did previously, and let your thoughts flow away
5. Don’t judge
While you are meditating your mind will wander constantly, this is quite normal.
What ever thoughts you have, don’t judge yourself, or punish yourself for having them.
Observe them without reacting, and just pay attention to them, then bring your mind back to your breath.
If at any time while you meditate, you feel that you need to itch or move to feel more comfortable.
Pause before doing so, then with intention, move at the moment of your choosing, allowing space between what you experience and what you choose to do.
7. When you’re ready lift your gaze or open your eyes
Finally bring your attention to the sights and sounds around you, and notice how you feel.
Notice your thoughts and emotions, and decide how to carry on your day.
In practice this seems easy, which it is, however the more you meditate, the more results will follow.