It’s no secret that I advocate meditation as a great way to start your day, deal with stress, live in the present and more. The habit of meditation is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever learned.
Amazingly, it’s also one of the most simple habits to do — you can do it anywhere, anytime, and it will always have immediate benefits.
If you haven’t done much meditating, it might seem like a bit of a grey area to you — something you want to do but don’t know much about.
Is it difficult to do? How do you control your mind? (spoiler: you don’t) Does it take a lot of discipline? Where and how do I do it? Why should I do it? Will it take hours? Is it for people who are into Eastern spirituality?
Let’s take a look at what meditation is, why it’s a good thing (whether you’re spiritual or not), how to get started, and other beginner questions.
The goal of this article isn’t to tell you everything possible about meditation or to give you an authoritative definition of meditation and how it’s done … it’s simply to answer beginner questions and help you get started.
You can read straight through, or simply click on the links/headlines below to jump to a post of particular interest to you.
That’s actually a very complicated question, as the word could have lots of different meanings and it’s practiced in many different ways.
I believe that many of us think meditation is a word that fills us with a sense of boredom. The word reminds us of sincere couples sitting cross-legged on the floor of a Buddhist monastery, of calm, well-travelled middle-class people who have a bookshelf full of profound volumes on the subject. These people give off a sense of calm that can come across as a bit staid.
When to meditate properly? Is there an ideal time for meditating?
In truth, the answer depends on what you hope to get out of it. So if there is no single best time for meditation, how do you decide when should I meditate?
There are lots and lots of ways to meditate. But our concern is not to find a perfect form of meditation — it’s to form the daily habit of meditation. And so our method will be as simple as possible.
When you think of meditation, the first image that comes to mind is probably a yogi, sitting with a straight spine in front of a peaceful lake, fingertips touching.
But in reality, meditation can be a much broader practice.
For beginners, and even for folks who are used to having a spiritual practice, I always recommend meditations of simple mindfulness rather than a classic seated meditation.
I was shocked to discover how many mistakes I was making.
I want you to avoid these mistakes so that you can meditate efficiently without wasting your time as well.
I gathered essential insights from 16 different meditation teachers.
A good place to start to experience being mindful is the breath
When you breathe in, and you are aware of your in breath, you touch the miracle of being alive.
Need a great way to start your day? Take a few moments when you first wake up to set a direction for your day with morning meditation.
As Albert Einstein said, “The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
You know the lack of sleep can make you grumpy and foggy. You may not know what it can do to your sex life, memory, health, looks, and even ability to lose weight. Mindfulness-based sleep meditation has been suggested to help with many of the issues that stop us sleeping.
Are you making progress with your meditation? When you’re new to meditation you often need some reassurance that you’re on the right path. Often it’s hard to tell whether you are making progress or not. I emphasized earlier that one of the things that will help you to stick with your meditation practice is the ability to notice and appreciate small changes.
Different Types of Meditation
It’s true that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of practices that fall under the broad term of “meditation.” This is your go-to source to learn about the different forms of meditation and to choose the type of meditation that might work best for you.
Loving-kindness meditation (sometimes called “metta” meditation) is a great way to cultivate our propensity for kindness. It involves mentally sending goodwill, kindness, and warmth towards others by silently repeating a series of mantras.
It is designed to help you develop a mindful awareness of your bodily sensations, and to relieve tension wherever it is found. Research suggests that this body scan mindfulness practice can help reduce stress, improve well-being, and decrease aches and pains.
It’s no secret that visualization can be an empowering tool to enhance consciousness and self-awareness and to focus the mind. As it involves a high degree of active involvement from the practitioner, it is often stated to be one of the most powerful tools available to effect personal change. Visualization is a healthy way of bringing positive energy into your mind, body, and spirit, expanding your capacity for creativity. Meditation and visualization experiences will vary; it is best to let go of expectations and surrender to your own inner wisdom.
When we do walking meditation, we are using the physical, mental, and emotional experiences of walking as the basis of developing greater awareness.
Walking meditation is an excellent way of developing our ability to take awareness into our ordinary lives.
“If you are doing the Kundalini Meditation, allow the shaking – don’t do it! Stand silently, feel it coming, and when your body starts a little trembling, help it, but don’t do it! Enjoy it, feel blissful about it, allow it, receive it, welcome it, but don’t will it.” –Osho
Reiki meditation gives relaxation, mental calmness, clarity, increased ability to visualize, clairvoyance, increased healing power.
Learn two levels of chakra meditation for deep healing and balancing – spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically.
Mantra meditation, which predates Buddhism, probably by hundreds of years, can be practiced by anyone and at any time. The power of mantra meditation is it focuses our mind so that it is no longer cluttered with distracting thoughts. This allows us to relax, center ourselves and create a deeper sense of awareness. The origins of mantras go back at least to the Vedic tradition that preceded the Buddha, where mantras were used as incantations to influence, or even to control, the gods.