Beginners Guide for Meditation

“I’m not good at meditation.” “My mind won’t stop thinking!” “Meditation doesn’t work for me.” I often hear these when people first try to meditate. The problem is not that people cannot meditate – but rather their expectations of what meditation is or should be, are flawed. People have an image of someone who mediates as always being in a perpetual “Buddha” state. Meditation is NOT eradicating thoughts, feelings and emotions, but rather accepting and allowing them to exist fully. When you sit your mind will be flooded with unwanted thought, That is OK! Notice what you are feeling. Notice where your body is tense/relaxed. For example, I get a tightness in my chest when I am feeling anxious, my breathing becomes shallow and my mind races, hopping from thought to thought or it mercilessly attaches to a recent conflict. My mind has been hijacked with reliving or rewriting different scenarios of whatever is causing my current mental anguish. Meditation is not the time to push the thoughts or feelings away but simply to see them, to welcome them, make friends with them for they are your teacher. Do not attach any judgement to them. Simply label them as you see them “angry”, “happy”, “sad” etc.

Many people get frustrated and give up because they don’t see “results” immediately upon embarking on a mediation journey. The journey itself is the practice. You may need to sit with a feeling for long periods of time (hours, days, weeks even years) before it can dissipate. But it has been my experience that the more you allow, not run away from, your thoughts and emotions the more you will be released from their hold on you. Step by Step Guide to Meditation: 1. To begin find a comfortable position either sitting or laying down. Make sure your spine is straight to allow the energy to flow freely. Place your hands gently in your lap palm over palm (representing the interconnectedness of all things – Zen Buddhism), face down on your knees (my favorite when I want to close the world out), or face up on your knees (I like this when I am open to the what the universe has in-store) There is no wrong or right way it is what works for you. 2. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths . Your breath is your“anchor” -something to keep returning to. Take a deep inhale and notice how it feels. Watch it entering your body through your nostrils, down through your lungs into your belly. Follow where your breath flows on your exhale. Breathe In and Breath Out. You can say in your head “Inhale” (when you inhale) and Exhale (when you exhale). 3. Thoughts are going to come and you may be sitting for some time and your mind is still racing. That is OK! When you notice you have gone off on a train of thought, just gently remind yourself to go back to your breath. You may only be able to do this once during your session. That is OK! You just keep going back to the breath. That is the practice.

Given time the more you sit the more moments of stillness will arrive. I like the imagery of your mind is like a puppy and you are training it to stay and sit still. This is a great metaphor for meditation. Think of your mind as a puppy. It is full of restless and wild untamed energy. When you are training your puppy you have to keep reminding the puppy to “stay” numerous times, over and over again until eventually the puppy listens.

Make meditation a part of your daily life. I find it is best to have a set time everyday where I practice. Start with just 5 minutes a day. Use a timer. Work your way up to ten twenty minutes. Do not put expectations on yourself you are perfect just where you are. For me my magic number is 20-30 minute sessions 1 to 2 times a day. I find it takes the first 10 to 15 for my mind to settle. Good luck. I believe meditation is the key to the universe. Recommendations: Check out Insight Timer. It is a free meditation app. It includes a timer along with guided meditations. I love to set the timer to “healing” with “the zen guitar.” I love that it has a map of the world that shows who is meditating at any given time. It also has numerous groups you can join. You can find the app Insight Timer on you phone. #bemindful #mindfulnessmatters #meditations #begginnersguidetomeditation #mindbodyconnection #positivethinking #manifestation #dailymeditation #dailyaffirmations #manifestyourdreams #connecttoyoursoul #easeanxiety #easestress #healthyliving #healthylifestyle #embracebalancedhealth #organicliving

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