How to start meditating? A guide for beginners in meditation.
How to start meditating?
Have you ever wanted to start doing meditation, but don't know how to start? I will help you how to meditate simply and easily. After reading this article, you will be able to start meditating. You don't need books, teachers and lessons because meditation is easy and ill this article will provide you all the things you need for free. 5-10 minutes a day is enough to start, and see the benefits of meditation. Welcome to join me in the adventure of traditional meditation. Meditation would be a weapon against ageing, a study conducted on a group of more than 180 people has revealed that meditation would slow brain degeneration and renew neurons, this study supports the claim that meditation helps to reverse the ageing process.
Source: Forbes magazine
There are few types of meditations but I have chosen Vipassana meditation for you
Why this meditation? Vipassana is the simplest form of meditation that can be practised anytime anywhere, both alone or in a group. I discovered it through a daily meditating book : A simple practice of Buddhism, which changed my life, calmed my anxieties, my doubts and strengthened the confidence in life and in myself.
For the record, I started meditation daily on a day when the work pressure was too strong. After yet another night without sleeping literally eaten up by stress, I decided to do a long meditation of more than an hour on my bed as a last resort .Peace and calm instantly returned to my mind. So I made the decision to meditate every day.
Well, guess what? After a few weeks, I found myself taking things lightly and detached to my thoughts which had been unknown to me till then. My decisions were clearer. It was obvious that I was able to separate myself from my toxic clients and from an unfulfilling relationship.
Before learning how to meditate, lets learn a little history of meditation. Why? Because you have to know what we're talking about. I have met teachers of meditation who did not know the history of this practice of relaxation. It's like learning to drive without knowing the difference between a truck and a car.
A short history of meditation
Meditation, until the 15th century was connection of religion and reflection. The root of term meditate, is from the Latin word "Medeor", it seems that the ancient Romans associated meditation with the fact of healing as the word, "Medeor" is the root of several terms such as meditation and remedy.
The frescoes have been discovered in caves in India dated more than 3500 years, with people in meditative postures . Other researchers have associated the birth of meditation with the discovery of fire. But it is certain that men understood the benefits of meditation long before neuroscience and the in-depth study of the brains.
There are evidences revealing that meditation was indeed present in Chinese and Indian societies. In India, the meditative tradition was transmitted from master to disciple first by oral way, then by writing.
The first two major meditative movements in China still known today are Buddhism and Taoism, both associated with therapies. Here we will focus on "Buddhist" meditation ; Because although Buddhism is a religion, it is basically a current of thought. Then we will focus in more detail how to meditate with Vipassana meditation.
The two main streams of Buddhist meditation are, Samatha meditation whose aim is to develop concentration and Vipassana meditation whose aim is to develop wisdom and detachment.
What is Samatha meditation?
It is done by fixing your concentration on an arbitrary object and focusing all of the attention on it. Our mind; whose role it is to think of hundreds of things at the same time, can finally relax.There will necessarily be intrusive thoughts during the practice, like "My god I did not prepare for the presentation tomorrow". In such case we must return to the concentrating object without paying more attention to the thought. I would recommend a candle as an object to focus for meditation beginners because the movements of the flame are mesmerising and helpful to concentration. Samatha meditation is also practised with eyes closed; attention is then focused on the breathing.
What is Vipassana meditation?
It done by focusing your attention on your breath and accepting the images and thoughts in the mind during the session. When an image or thought occurs, don't judge it, let it pass and come back to your breath.
But wait ? Isn't it the same?
Well yes, meditation is same, only the object of meditation changes. In Samatha, we direct the mind towards the object of our meditation , the intrusions of the mind being driven out to focus only. In Vipassana, we will work to identify intrusive thoughts, welcome them, then let them go, and then return to our breathing.
For example: If during my Vipassana meditation session I think of my dog I will mentally repeat myself, I think of my dog, I think of my dog, I think of my dog ... Then I will naturally bring my concentration back on my breath.
Even if it is reductive, we can consider that during the practice of Samatha, we will drive out intrusive thoughts while in the practice of Vipassana we will welcome them.
We will now see the course of a meditation session , as I said above I chose Vipassana meditation because it is the one that gave me the most results.
How to meditate: preparation for the session
Find a place for meditation
The place to meditate is supposed to be a quiet place of course where you feel safe and you are not afraid of being disturbed.
There are several meditation postures of which here are the main ones.
Music to meditate?
There is no rule, you can find your selection of music to meditate to meditate.
Meditation with a timer?
I recommend the timer to start and even after. Why ? Because meditation is like sports, it is regularity that counts,not length of time.It is better to meditate 5 minutes a day than 1 hour once a week.
The ritual :
I suggest you to prepare for meditation by lighting a candle, the best is to have a small corner or space specially dedicated for meditation . And yes in Asia we go to the temples. A “special meditation space” allows you to engage more deeply in the practice, to arrange a cocoon of disconnection just for you. In addition, I find the Zen meditation decoration is pleasing. And with all that lets go to when and how to meditate .
Meditation with incense:
Smell helps a lot to anchor our mind while doing meditation. I would not recommend using incense very often as smoke is not very good for health, you can opt instead for an essential oil diffuser.
How to meditate: the principle
The Vipassana Meditation is the meditation of the intent, the goal here is to lead your intention on your breathing to remain rooted in the present and avoid feeding the mind that seeks only to escape to the past or future.When a parasitic thought of the mind appears, we will recognize it without judging it, then let it go.So we just have to work on concentration and letting go of the thoughts.
How to meditate: practice
The calm music is playing in the background, the timer is set to 5 min so let's go.
1 - Close your eyes to meditate.
2– We will focus your attention on breathing. Feel your stomach rising and falling. We can if you want to take a mental note:
When you breath in; say "breathing in" When you breath out; say "breathing out"
3 - And there necessarily, a thought will arrive in your mind. A thought is all that does not concern your breathing, it goes from the milk carton that you forgot to buy to the rumor of your boss who bangs his secretary.
4 - Now you shift your focus to this thought then you mentally repeat the subject of the thought. "I'm thinking about.........." "I'm thinking about.........." "I'm thinking about.........." and you visualize the thought disappear in the mist.
For example; You think about your problems at work repeat - I think about my problems at work, I think about my problems at work several times, then you will let go of that thought.
The main thing is to recognize it "yes it is there", not to judge it like "I think about the work while meditating, it's not good".
5- You return back to our breathing and repeat "breath in", "breath out"
6- A new thought arrives again, repeat point 4 and 5. Recognize the thought, Never judge it, let it disappear in the mist and return back to your breathing.
And now you know how to meditate, it's that simple.
Try your best to meditate everyday.You will notice that after a few days, 5 min will not be enough for you. Indeed you will quickly see the benefits of meditation on you and will want to meditate more . You can meditate longer but it would be better of you rise slowly. Meditate first, 5 min, then 7 min then 10 min…and so on.
How to meditate effectively:
There is no right or wrong way to meditate, meditation is an inner journey, a way of life. It is said "There are as many ways to meditate as there are brains". People often say: "I can't empty my mind, there still are thoughts that come back". But this is the GOAL, meditation is used to identify these thoughts that comes, observe them and finally your mind is no longer trapped in such thoughts.
The brain is a diligence and meditation is the check:
Let's say your brain is a stagecoach. It is quite practical, because it allows you to think about all kinds of things, plan your vacation, organize your work, fall in love… Now imagine that these horses tend to get carried away when they are tired or if something disrupts their routine. For some of you horses tend to get carried away even for no reason, just because it is their way of controlling their fear, anxiety or stress. In this case, meditation acts as the driver who slows down the horses and stops the stagecoach. Of course the coachman at the start is a novice, but the more he learns the more confident and efficient he becomes.
But still there are few rules for meditation:
Actually meditating by listening to trash core metal big-noux in the middle of the ring road on a Friday at 6 p.m. will not give really effective results.
To meditate well and get better results follow these rules:
- Find a quiet place to meditate, it's best is to have a dedicated place to create a habit
- Music or not necessary. You can choose to have it or not.
- Meditate when you have a calm mind. It is difficult to meditate right after having a couple of arguments.
- Choose a type of meditation to do guided meditation or Vipassana meditation.
- Maintain your sitting posture. You don't want your body aching at the end of meditation.
- Essential oils are optional.
- I often recommended to meditate 10 minutes a day, then I realized that for many it might be difficult as you are very busy. so I think that 10 minutes every two days will also bring many good benefits on your life.
Did you meditate only 1 minutes and 45 seconds at the last session?
It doesn't matter, as you've taken time for your spiritual well being and you are already ahead of 99% of people. It takes a minimum of 10 minutes for fruitful meditation, but if you are not in the right conditions during the session and meditate for less time, No worries, I also sometimes meditate for 2 minutes just because I don't have a head for that.
Try these 5 relaxation meditation tips if you want to dive in.