Getting Started Means Learning How to Meditate in Very Simple Terms
Those wanting to learn how to meditate will find a barrage of teaching online. Our goal is to simplify it so you can get started enthusiastically and not be overwhelmed in grandiose claims (like your problems will end once you start meditating) or uncomfortable postures. Meditation when you first start is about learning to relax, not only in body but in mind and emotions.
In order to relax, your first need to consider your attitude. A good attitude for learning how to meditate is one that is patient, optimistic and ready to put forth a good effort. Is that you? Yes, that is definitely you!
Ok, so before we can relax, we need to gauge where we sit on the relaxation spectrum. At this moment, notice your physical body and how it feels. Are you uncomfortable because your setting is awkward, or your chair is uncomfortable or you are in a public place? It is best to start somewhere you have privacy and a comfortable chair. Adjust yourself so you can sit upright with feet flat on the ground and knees bent somewhere around 90 degrees. You want your back straight but not stiff. How does your body feel now?
If you have pain somewhere in your body, notice it. It can be hard to relax deeply if you feel pain but as you learn how to meditate, you may find pain subsides during your meditation session. If you need to adjust any bunched up clothing, do that now. Let your hands rest on your lap naturally. Don’t worry about doing anything specific with your hands, just what feels comfortable. Once you start, you’ll close your eyes, sit quietly, breathe deeply and notice how you feel.
Don’t immediately focus on how busy your mind is or what you are thinking about. All in due time. For now, let’s say your body feels good. Now deepen your breathing so you can feel your abdomen gently expand and contract with each breath. Don’t force it. If your belly is rising and falling with your breath, your doing nicely.
Next shift your focus to your mind. It is very common that people can’t control all their thoughts when learning how to meditate in the beginning. So just notice how active your mind is and the kinds of thoughts that are coming up. I know it can be discouraging when the mind seems to have a life of its own. Be patient and we will change this.
Lastly, pick one thing to think about. Just one topic of thought but pick one that interests you and go with it. Think through whatever you need to in order to resolve that thought. If your mind tries to change topics, come back to just this one. This is a most basic form of meditation. You can think of it as you holding your attention on one thing. It’s a basic form of concentration. Start here and see if you can sit in a relaxed way and think about only one thing (with your eyes closed) for 5 minutes. If you’re thinking about something interesting, you should have no problem. Read this article to get some ideas on what you can focus on. That’s it.