The first few times you meditate, you may notice that it is difficult to clear your mind in preparation for meditation. You may be very surprised that its challenging to quiet the mind.If you are like the majority of people who start a meditation practice, your mind will likely be filled with many thoughts.
For example, you may have memories of the past stuck in your head or be concerned about the future. It is not even above the realm of possibility that you may begin to think about errands to run later. These constant thoughts make people feel as though a never ending movie is playing in their heads.
To begin a regular meditation practice, do not be too hard on yourself. Although your mind may be all over the place, understand that this is natural in the beginning, As you progress, you will know how to kindly release these thoughts from your mind to experience peace and clarity. The following tips will guide you as you begin to meditate:
Physical And Mental Balance
It does not matter whether your starting pose is sitting cross-legged or if you are sitting in a comfortable chair, you need to ensure that your head and spine are always aligned. Chances are, if your body is in a slumped position, you are more likely to daydream instead of meditate.
Always remember that your body and mind are connected. This means that a perfectly aligned body will create a balanced mind. So, straighten your body and feel as though your head can reach into the clouds.
You should allow your eyes to stay open while you are meditating. By doing so, you will be more in tuned with the moment. However, you do not have to look straight ahead. Instead, you can look lower and keep your gaze soft. On the other hand, completely closing your eyes will make it easier for your mind to drift away. Whatever you choose, make sure your eyes are comfortable and not under much strain. Experiment with different eye positioning to see what feels the most comfortable.
Believe it or not, but most people are never completely present in their everyday consciousness. For example, have you ever driven your car, but you are not focused on the task? Have you ever been preoccupied by other things like what you are going to eat for dinner, and you realized that you do not remember the drive at all?
Meditation is an ideal way to make people more present in their lives. If you are not present in your life, you can end up missing out on many wonderful experiences simply because your mind was somewhere else.
Consider what focus is. Typically, focus is considered equivalent to concentration.The mind is thought of as a very intense light beam. However, this type of focus is not helpful when meditating. This type of focus is very sharp whereas meditation requires a softer focus on whatever you are concentrating on.
Many recommend using your breathing as your focus. Your breathing acts as a door that helps to connect the outside with your inside. One famous quote from Zen Master Toni Packer states that “Attention does not come from no place, and there is no cause. Attention does not belong to anyone.”
When you pay attention to your breathing, you will place yourself in position to effectively anchor yourself in your present moment but you should never try to regulate it. Just allow your breathing to stay natural.
If you are still having problems settling into your breathing, you may want to consider counting your breaths. This is one of the most ancient techniques used in meditation.
As you breathe out, count up to ‘four’, and then return to the number ‘one’. If your mind begins to wander, or if you realize that you have counted to ‘twenty’, simply go back to the number one. With this method, the number one will act as your home base.
If you begin to notice that you are thinking about other things, allow them to leave your mind gently by refocusing on your breathing. Never try to stop the thoughts from flowing, if you do, you will only begin to feel anxious and frustrated.
You can pretend that the thoughts are uninvited guests standing at your door. You can acknowledge they are there, but you will need to kindly ask them to go away. You will then be ready to shine light back on your breathing.
Meditation can also be difficult if you are dealing with a wide range of emotions. This sometimes occurs because emotions can give birth to different scenarios in your mind. Shame and anger are two emotions that can prevent you from looking to the future because you are so focused on the past. When you have fear, you begin to look at the future as ‘What if.’
You can deal with these emotions while you are meditating by focusing on the feelings you experience physically with the emotion you are feeling. For instance, the fear you have may be manifesting itself as that pain in your chest or the gurgle you feel in your stomach. Stop thinking about the past fears, angers and shame so you will be able to focus on your body again. By doing this, you will honor the emotions without reliving the experience.
Meditate In Silence
Did you know that you can heal by being in silence? Although there is plenty of music on the market targeted for meditation, simple silence is the best. Music will only drown out the noise in your mind, but silence will allow you to know what your mind is really doing. You will feel a sense of calm by being in silence.
Or Next to Nature
If you have a garden then meditation next to nature can also be a great thing to do. This can be achieved with some wind chimes in the garden, or even the addition of water – here are some water feature ideas.
Length Of Meditation
You can begin your meditation practice for 10 minutes and extend the time as you see fit. Never force longer meditation if you do not want to do so. As you progress, you may want to extend your time to 30 minutes. Some people do meditate for an hour or more, but you can do what feels best for you.
Create a special place for meditating. For example, you may want to create an altar or shrine for meditation. Add objects like candles to your space.
The most important thing is to enjoy your meditation. Always be gentle with yourself and make progress every day.