Congratulations on taking the first step towards discovering the wonderful world of meditation and the many blessings and gifts that you can receive from a meditation practice.
There are many different forms of meditation that one can do. The kind of meditation that I recommend starting with as a beginner meditator is what is called “guided visualization”. The reason I say this is that my aim is to simplify and de-mystify meditation.
I often find that people mystify meditation, making it a lot more complicated, difficult and confusing than it actually is. This scares away people wanting to learn how to meditate.
Guided visualization is simple and easy. It is like watching a movie in your mind.
This form of meditation is also a good starting point because our minds are generally so active that it is difficult to just shut off the thinking. With guided visualization, your mind is kept busy picturing the process that you are following.
As a beginner learning how to meditate, one of the most important tools you have at your disposal is your breathing. You can start meditating by simply sitting or lying down in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed, closing your eyes and focussing on your breathing. You can either use the label of “In” and “Out” to focus on your breathing or you can count your breaths. Every time you find that you have lost focus and your mind has wondered, you can start counting again from 1. This also helps you track your progress.
By focussing on your breathing you will get into a meditative state. If you would like to take it further, you could visualize your goals/ dreams. What would you like to create in your life. Get a very clear picture of what this would look like for you. Visualize with feeling. What would it feel like to find that soul mate, or to get the promotion, or to live in your ideal home. See every aspect of it. Feel it as if it was real and already in existence. Give thanks and gratitude in advance for the wonderful life you are creating.
Meditating is like anything else in life- it requires practice. You would never dream of one day waking up and deciding to go out and run a marathon. You would start with a training programme where you would slowly, methodically and with daily persistence build up your stamina and physical fitness.
It is the same when you begin to learn how to meditate. In the beginning your mind will wonder and you will get distracted easily, even frustrated. However, over time and with practice you will get better at it until one day you will be able to experience a full meditation where your mind and body are relaxed and at peace and you feel like you have entered a state of bliss.
If thoughts or feelings or sensations arise while you are meditating, there are a couple of ways to deal with it. Firstly, you could just acknowledge that you have been distracted and gently and lovingly (that means without being angry or frustrated with yourself ) bring your attention back to the meditation.
Often when meditating we get what is called “this/ that thoughts arising. These are thoughts such as: “I wonder what I should make for supper” or “I mustn’t forget to phone X”. If these thoughts arise don’t follow them and continue to focus on them. Just let them go, knowing that you can pick them up again after your meditation if you like.
Another way to deal with these feelings (emotions) or distracting thoughts is to detach yourself from them and become the observer.
Notice what you are thinking or feeling without going into a “story” about it. Acknowledge whatever you are thinking and feeling objectively. Don’t try and push it away. Welcome it. Explore it. Say to yourself: “So this is what anger/ pain/ distraction feels like... Notice what it does to your breathing, how does your body feel ; what areas of the body does it affect etc.
This can become a meditation in itself. In this way you learn more about yourself and how thoughts and emotions affect you. You also learn that you are not your thoughts or emotions. You do not need to be reactive and driven by them. You can operate from a space of conscious choice.
It is often easier to have someone guiding you through a meditation especially if you are a beginner learning how to meditate. If you would like to know more about my book “Millennium Meditations” (an e-book and set of 4 mp3 guided visualizations) click the button on the right.
You can also download my FREE introductory chapter of “Millennium Meditations to learn more about “How to meditate”.