I’ve met many people with a desire to start a meditative practice but were confused with where to start. For many of them, starting a meditation practice seems very complicated and difficult. So are there any meditations for beginners to start with? Yes, there are plenty of them. And in this article, I will share with you the easiest ways to start your meditative practice and make it your daily ritual!
Meditation is not as complicated as it may seem
There is nothing complicated about meditation, everyone is capable of it. Moreover, every one of you has repeatedly been in a meditative state, even if you didn’t realize it. Remember how many times while you were flying on the plane you were looking out the window, watching the movement of feathery clouds. Do you remember your last vacation? You were walking along a deserted beach, filled with the rays of the sunset sun, feeling the warmth of the sand, pleasantly warming your bare feet, and looking at the shells in the surf. I’m sure you can remember a lot of similar situations where you were completely present, without thoughts of serious problems, analyzing your emotional state, or thinking about anyone or anything. At these moments, there was no past or future for you — there was only “here” and “now”, and you were completely dissolved in the current moment. This present moment, in fact, is the meditation.
Before I start talking about meditations for beginners I want to introduce you to the benefits of regular meditations.
It makes you feel better
Once you start meditating regularly, suddenly you feel much better and your fatigue will recede. Regular meditations relieve stress, add strength and energy.
It helps to relieve tension
Today, almost every psychologist will advise you of a few simple meditative exercises to relieve tension. This is understandable even at the physiological level: breathing becomes deeper, heart rate slows down, blood pressure decreases. We need this kind of relaxing techniques because, by the age of thirty, even the most successful and happy of us have accumulated so many fears and commitments that we can even physically feel it.
It helps to understand yourself better
While meditating, you are at the same time completely relaxed and very focused — a dual, contradictory state, but only at first glance. As a result, problems that were previously considered unsolvable seem not as fundamental as you thought. Meditation gives you the opportunity, time and strength to try to understand yourself. The question “what do I want?” it seems to be very simple. But for many, it takes a lifetime to find this answer. And meditation helps in this. Thanks to it, we can better understand ourselves and realize our place in the world.
It makes you look younger
Meditation rejuvenates and often makes it better and faster than any cosmetic procedures. For example, you can try this simple practice. Every morning sit on the floor for a half hour and imagine a ball of energy located below your navel. This energy is your sacral chakra which is a very important energy point. Believe me, when you come to the office, you will be surprised by the number of compliments and kind words addressed to you.
Meditations for beginners have a variety of choices
Meditation has nothing to do with voodoo and conjuring spirits. These are real spiritual exercises that help you live more fully. By practicing meditations you spend a quality amount of time in total privacy, learning to combine relaxation with maximum concentration. And this state can be achieved in a variety of ways.
If you decide to master meditation, try starting with the following meditations for beginners. Once you start practicing, you will immediately feel that it is simple, and there is nothing supernatural about it.
Choose any of the techniques and practice one to two weeks before moving on to the next. Do not rush to conclusions, continue to study even if there are negative feelings and it seems that something does not work and this option does not suit you. Then try a different technique. As a result, you will choose the most appropriate method and will practice meditation with pleasure.
One of the main technique of meditations for beginners is conscious breathing. Just keep an eye on how the air enters and leaves through the lungs. Observe the duration of each breath and exhalation. And don’t be afraid if your attention suddenly jumps to something else, just bring it back. If you still get distracted, you can count the breaths: one — inhale, two — exhale. Any extraneous thought arising in the mind put aside until better times. Try not to control your breathing, just watch your feelings.
Another effective way to achieve maximum concentration is used in many religions, although it has different names. Mantras can consist of a single syllable, word or phrase. Christians often repeat the prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner”. The praying Jews repeat the “Shema” (“Hear”). The most common mantras are “Om” and “Om Mani Padme hum”. If this option does not suit you, just use any affirmation you like and see what happens. You can chant mantra out loud synchronizing it with the breath.
First, carefully consider a simple geometric shape, such as a circle or triangle. Then close your eyes and try mentally to imagine it. Once you master it, you can try to do the same with mandalas and yantras. You can use other images that resonate with you.
It’s important to remember that meditation is not only developing concentration but also generating a comprehensive love for all living beings. “Metta” (is translated from the ancient Indian language Pali) means “love”, and “bhavana” is translated as “development, education”. Metta Bhavana meditation was taught by Buddha. It is reflected in the Theravada, the oldest school of Buddhism.
Mettabhavana involves nurturing the love first to yourself, then to friends, then to strangers, then to enemies and eventually to all beings in the world. To succeed in this practice, first focus on your breathing. Then open your heart to the world and repeat to yourself, “let me be happy, let me be calm, let me be free from suffering.” After spending some time with yourself, mentally imagine a person close to you and turn your love to him with the words: “May you be happy, may you be calm, may you be free from suffering” and so on. Then go to other people, then – to those who you find difficult to communicate with and those who caused you pain. And in the end, wish good to all living beings.
Vipassana meditation encourages you to pay attention to sensations, but not thoughts or emotions. Find a comfortable place to sit for 45-60 minutes. To do this, it is important to keep your back straight. Your eyes must be closed and body completely still. Use what is most comfortable for you: low bench, pillows, chair. No special breathing techniques are required, just natural breath. Watch your every breath and exhalation.
Focus on the area where the sensations are most vivid — in the nose, diaphragm or in the solar plexus. But don’t close yourself to the world. When you hear some sounds, feel a new smell or a breath of wind, do not be afraid to pay attention to them. Do not emotionally react to the thoughts that at first certainly will swarm in your head. To all that worries you, treat as clouds floating in the sky — you do not get attached to them and do not reject them.
Meditation according to Vedanta
This meditation requires observation of the mind, which is engaged in self-study. This practice helps to feel like a part of the universe. In other words, during this meditation your “I” becomes part of the Universe. As soon as there is any thought such as “I’m bored” or “I have many urgent tasks”, you have to ask yourself the question: “Who perceives this thought? For whom it arises?” The answer seems obvious:”to me.” And then ask yourself the following question: “who am I? Where and what are my origins?” As a result of this chain of questions and answers, you will come to liberation from your own ego and communion with the world.
Meditation in movement
This kind of meditation manifests itself in the most various forms. You can practice while practicing Hatha yoga, Tai Chi, walking, etc. Meditating while you walk, you do the breaths in time with the steps. On the inhale you gradually tear off one foot from the floor, starting with the heel and ending with the toes, and rearrange it forward. Then, with exhalation, lower the foot on the floor, carry the weight on it and prepare to lift the other foot on the next breath. Note, this is not just an additional exercise when walking, because you use the movement to achieve greater concentration and greater self-awareness.
Meditation is available for everyone. Remember this, because you will certainly at some point think that nothing happens and, apparently, it is not for you. When you meditate, the thought process gradually slows down, everything inside you should become more measured and calmer. But the mind resists peace — in response to the unusual coercion a thought begins to run around in the head with even greater speed. As soon as you realize that this restlessness is a normal state and that at first, this happens to all, it will immediately become much easier. Start with 5-10 – minute daily exercises, gradually moving on to a longer practice.
If you start practicing these meditations for beginners regularly, you will eventually stop wasting time and energy on the little things and over-react on things that don’t change. You will no longer take offense at life, but instead, begin to accept what is happening as it is. You will approach harmony with the world. And it’s not just about getting rid of stress and getting more energy. The more you improve in meditation, the bigger changes you will discover in your desires and aspirations. You will know yourself. Aren’t we the most interesting book in our personal library?