Everything you need to know to begin meditating

Meditation is becoming more and more common in the west as people start to realise the benefits that it can bring. A lot of people that I have spoken to seem to feel a little lost when they try meditation for the first time. They are unsure of what meditation is about, how to do it or how it could help them. Many people simply just don’t know where to start.

Meditation is one of the easiest and most accessible methods around to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit. It can boost your energy levels and relieve a tired and over worked mind. The main aim is to empty your mind of all thoughts. This may sound ridiculously simple but you might be surprised at how much your brain resists. Luckily though there are a few tips and tricks that can help you along the way towards this bliss like state.

Meditation can be done anywhere but when you first start out it may be easier if you can find a calm, quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Somewhere where you feel relaxed and comfortable. Some people think that you need to sit on a hard floor crossed legged in the lotus position to meditate properly. Many people do do this but it’s not necessary. A comfy chair that supports your back and lets you relax fully can often make the process much easier.

Once you are comfortable it’s time to start emptying your mind. One of the easiest ways I’ve found to do this is to concentrate on my breathing. As you slow down and focus on your breathing your body will naturally begin to relax and unwind too. Be careful you don’t hyperventilate though. The first few times I tried to meditate I made myself dizzy and had terrible headaches. That’s not really the result you are aiming for. Try to relax and breath normally, feel the air as it passes through your nose and mouth. Feel your chest rise and fall as your lungs inflate and deflate. Most of all just try to relax and enjoy the experience.

Mantra’s are also a good way to empty your mind. By continuously repeating a phrase over and over again it leaves little room for other thoughts to intrude. Many people use ancient sanskrit phrases like “OM”, this is a particularly good one to use because as well as giving you something to focus on; the low vibrational sound of the world also helps you to relax. Other people prefer to use more modern positive thoughts or affirmations as their mantra’s. These work just as well and give your self esteem a little boost too.

However you choose to empty to your mind you’ll probably find that the odd stray thought will still creep in. This is ok, don’t feel frustrated by this. Simply recognise that the thought is there then bring your focus back to your meditation. Be patient will yourself. Meditation developes over a period of time. The more you practise the easier you will find it is to slip into that meditative state.

Lots of guru’s suggest that you spend anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour a day meditating. Many people feel intimidated by this length of time. It’s often difficult to keep your mind focused for so long without it wandering off to plan your shopping list or worry about your bills. Don’t let these times scare you. If 15 minutes is too long, try 5 minutes, or even a minute without any thoughts interrupting you. Any meditation at all is beneficial. Soon you’ll come to crave these minutes and will find it easier and easier to meditate. The most important thing is to do it as regularly as possible. If you can, set aside a specific time each day that is yours and yours alone, for quiet, uninterrupted meditation.

That’s about it, everything you need to know to get you started, now it’s up to you, just relax and have fun.