Meditation Tips for Beginners
Last month, we posted about meditation and how it can reduce stress and increase calm and compassion. Shortly after, a friend directed us to a Diane Rehm program all about the powers of meditation, available for listening on The Diane Rehm Show website.
With so much talk about the benefits of meditation, we’ve been thinking about how great it would be if more people (ourselves included) took time to meditate every day. Problem is, who has time for one more “to do” on their list, right?
The good news is that long-time meditation practitioners and experts will tell you that you only need just a few minutes a day to reap the vast benefits of meditation. You can start with just five or 10 minutes a day, and build from there if you like. There are plenty of books, tapes and videos out there with how-to’s on meditation, as well as special cushions, mats and chimes to elevate the experience, but to start out, you only need yourself and some quiet. We found a very simple list of tips over on MindBodyGreen, some of which we’ve abbreviated here:
1. Find a quiet place. Find a comfortable, stable position in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. You can sit or lie down. Take a minute to settle in, then turn your palms upward.
2. Become present. Become totally aware of your present surroundings. Observe your thoughts and the feelings in your body. Be still.
3. Focus on your breath. Focus on your breathing. Don’t worry if your mind wanders; bring it back (again and again, if need be) by focusing on the breath. Breathe in whichever way feels best, though through the nostrils is preferred.
4. Feel your body. Once you feel focused, turn your thoughts inward to your body and take note of how it feels. Start with the toes and work your way up to your head, noting any tension. If your mind continues to wonder, bring your thoughts back to your breath. To finish, breathe five to 10 times with full concentration on each breath.
5. Practice. Carve out a time each and every day to practice. Soon you’ll find yourself looking forward to your meditation!
Do you regularly meditate? If so, do you have any tips of your own to share?