How to Meditate and Meditation for Beginners

Meditation is the doorway into steadiness. Even if you feel you have an "unsuccessful" meditation session, you have received benefit from your effort. Know that your mind has derived some mindfullness from your repeated attempts to steady it.

To meditate you will need 4 things:

1. A place of no distraction or a commitment to purposefully tune them out.

2. A comfortable seated, or laying down position.

3. An ability to breathe freely and feel no pain in your body while meditating. Try different positions until you find one that is comfortable. You cannot meditate if you are uncomfortable-it is distracting, especially for a beginner.

4. Patience to sit with whatever comes up. You may sit and find that you're a lot more scattered today than you though. Just keep attempting to come back to your mantra. Every time you fall out into thinking/worrying/drifting, this is your work: come back to your breath, come back to your mantra.
So, to do these 4 things.

Find a quiet, comfortable space to either sit or lay down. Make sure you will not be disturbed so turn off your phone, pager, and computer. Shut the door if you can. Make sure you have the temperature in the room at a good place for your comfort. A little warmer is better since the body tends to cool down as we meditate and slow down. If you are meditating in a city, commit to at first listening to all the noise around you. Then slowly let that sound become background filter noise; fading into a static that is moving out of your notice; quieting into the background as you begin to focus inward.

Feel your body. Notice how you are sitting or lying down and feel the places that your body connects to the ground. Feel that connection. You are resting your body down, you are feeling gravity holding you to the earth. Close your eyes. Feel the air on your skin and start to notice your breath. To meditate you must focus on your breath to start your journey inward. Feel it moving. Feel the quality of your thoughts, notice the cadence and speed (or slowness) of your mind. Accept it. Don't judge yourself as that brings up more thoughts in defense. Give yourself a break and let it go.

Choose a mantra, I'll offer Om Mani Padme Hum. One of the translations for this mantra is the jewel of the mind is in the lotus. In hale and say in your mind, "Om Mani Padme Hum," Exhale and say in your mind as you exhale, "Om Mani Padme Hum" ...continue this way. You can also look up mantras to find one that resonates strongly with you and makes you feel peace and happiness.

Perhaps, "May all beings know peace," from the loving-kindness meditations could be one you would like. These mantras have a long history of being used as meditation chants and have amassed intention as many people around the world have used them. Let the healing power and strength in these words carry you, heal you, hold you steady and give you a helping hand on your journey toward mindfulness.

Don't not worry if you don't feel like you know what you are doing! No one does in the beginning, and on bad days even the advanced meditation practitioner can damn their mind for being scattered. However, your work is to not damn your mind, but to be patient and gently persistent as you would with a crying child or a frisky puppy that you are lulling into a calmer state.

Each time you notice your thoughts wandering, stop them and reassert your focus on your breath. The fact that you are being interrupted by your thoughts doesn't mean you are not doing it correctly. One goal of a meditation practice is to become able to still your mind, on command. This way you do not get carried away by your thoughts, problems, obsessions, fixations, habits, etc. Meditation will help you become free.

Free to guide your own life,: to decide what it is you want to think about, and when you want to allow your mind to rest. All of this will lead to more natural creativity and a more passion for life overall.

Sit for 15 minutes to begin and lengthen to 30 minutes a day gradually, 5 days a week. You will notice an enhanced quality in your presence and power in life by meditating.

Namaste.

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