How to Meditate: A Simple Way To Start Right Now If you’re New to Meditation
A friend of mine who is a meditation teacher recently told me, “The best approach for beginners is to keep it simple.” So let’s do just that!
To start, let’s debunk a few myths that might get in the way of beginning a meditation practice.
Here are some of the more common types of resistance new students of meditation may confront:
- Not enough time / too many obligations
- Not enough privacy
- Not enough discipline
- Boredom and irritability
- Mind is too busy/too much chatter
Sound familiar? I am going to give you the “Golden Rule of Meditation” as one of the most important tips to remember. Don’t make a problem. Yes, it’s that simple.
So WHY meditate?
You might be wondering, why all the talk about meditation, and what does any of this have to do with you?
When I asked my son, Cobin, a busy physician, why he started meditating, he told me that it’s a time to be quiet and start to recognize that all of the chatter in his head is not reality. It is super helpful for him to stop for 5 minutes and get in the habit of checking in. He finds that stillness can bring solutions. He also told me that when looking at the most accomplished people in different areas (Healthcare, Sports, Business, Education, etc) that they all meditated and had found it to be beneficial.
Many people also meditate for health reasons. There is mounting evidence and research suggesting meditation is a tonic for any number of physical ailments and conditions related to stress. And increasingly, when it comes to mental health, therapists are using meditation to model healthier ways to relate to stress and anxiety.
The benefits of meditation extend far beyond relaxation. In fact, a regular practice of meditation can help:
- Lower High Blood Pressure
- Reduce anxiety
- Lower cortisol levels
- Addiction issues
- Lower general pain
- Improve circulation
- Sleep Issues / Insomnia
And the best part? It’s safe, accessible, and fits easily into your day.
Let’s Get Started:
If you want to start meditating right now, here is a simple way to begin:
- Find a comfortable place to sit in a chair or on the floor. I like to find a place outside in nature to meditate.
- Sit up straight to have an open spaciousness, allowing you to breathe deeply.
- Breathing in and breathing out, invite your body to relax.
- Let your thoughts come and go as they please.
- Sit quietly and gently bring your attention back to your breath.
- Start with just 1 to 2 minutes of meditation. Over time it will turn into longer periods.
I love that there are also other ways to meditate. A few years ago my husband and I got the opportunity to spend a week with Thich Nhat Hanh when he was in Colorado teaching a workshop. We would roll out of bed every morning and quietly walk the grounds together in walking meditation. I am still reminded in the morning when I am on my walk to take some time to slow down and pay attention to what’s happening around me. Guided meditations are also one of my favorite ways to meditate. It helps me to sit still, as I can become a little fidgety when trying to meditate.
“The quieter you become
the more you are able to hear.”
There are all kinds of ways to meditate and lots of tools to help you create a meditation practice that’s right for you. If one doesn’t quite click, try another. Let yourself adjust to this new habit and make it your own. I’ve added 4 links below to a few great resources to help you learn more about meditation and get some of those questions answered that you still might have.
Visit YouTube to find hundreds of different Meditations to choose from. I google different subjects to find the type of meditations I am interested in.
Now that you know how to develop a meditation practice, the next step is to just show up! Remember that mediation is one of the highest forms of self-care. It’s not an assignment or another chore that we give ourselves. It’s a privilege.
“It is indeed a radical act of love just to sit down
and be quiet for a time by yourself”
~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
In as little as 5 minutes a day, you can develop a meditation practice that fits your schedule and gives you the space to relax both your mind and body.