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I’m so glad to find you here.
I hope my last post on ‘All You Need To Know About Meditation’ has convinced you that starting a daily practice of meditation can do wonders for your health and well-being.
If you’ve not read it yet, I highly recommend you to read it first here – Meditation 101
Now that you’re convinced completely that meditation can benefit you in so many ways, the question is how to start doing meditation.
This is where most of us falter.
I personally have failed so many times whenever I have tried to start practicing meditation.
But the most frustrating thing is to realize that the advice everyone generally offers on how to meditate does not work for you and there you are, all confused and you start questioning your ability to ever get this right?
Have you ever felt that?
You see, that’s where the catch is.
There is no right or wrong way to meditate.
Rather it’s just about following a simple process. And then staying committed to the process every time you try to meditate.
This post will guide you through all of the important things you need to start a meditation practice.
Let’s dive in!
Focus and Attention
We often use the terms ‘focus’ and ‘attention’ interchangeably in many different contexts.
But, did you know there is a major difference between the two?
Attention is a natural function of human beings because we constantly need to pay attention to everything around us to take care of ourselves.
We have evolved as human beings by learning to pay attention to tiny movements around us.
That’s how we were able to survive by avoiding predators and finding food to eat.
Because of this, ‘Attention’ has become a reflex for us, but whether or not we take our time to pay attention to something is a matter of individual choice.
However, we’ve grown up with a need to pay attention to several activities, and this requires switching back and forth from one activity to another.
Just think about your time at school where you had to both listen to the teacher and take down notes simultaneously.
Or, now as you read these words and scroll down on the page.
Focus on the other hand, is an activity of deliberately paying attention to something for an extended period of time while ignoring every other thing around us.
Remember the time you got so immersed in the TV or in the video game that you didn’t realize that your mum was calling out for you.
Completely zoned-in focus on ONE single thing.
Oftentimes most of us experience focus when we do something we find very interesting.
But let me ask you this:
How often have you willingly focused on doing the activities which were important to you? Like exercising or sleeping on time?
If you’re like most of us, don’t worry.
We’ve all been guilty of not putting our focus on the things that we should.
Putting Focus on something is a skill.
That means it is completely under your control.
It does not depend on your mood or the time and neither on your likes or dislikes.
And just like any other skill, you have to learn it and practice it to become better at it.
Imagine having the ability to focus on whatever you want and, at any time you want!
Oof! that sounds like a super power.
And it is definitely achievable!
The question now is how do you practice being able to dedicate focus on anything you want?
Well, I think you already know the answer.
How to Start Meditating Today
I’m so excited that you’ve finally decided to start a meditation practice.
You might have tried to start before and failed.
Or maybe you are beginning for the very first time.
Either way, I’m proud of you because you’ve chosen to do meditation.
Before we get started with all the steps, I really want to clarify ONE big thing.
Yes, what is your objective behind starting meditation?
Experiencing increased Relaxation?
Becoming more Aware?
Whatever it is, DITCH that!
Those are your expectations of the fruits that meditation can provide you.
They’re very delicious, I know!
But, you gotta eliminate every bit of whatever expectation you have from meditation.
C’mon, don’t be sad now. Hear me out first!
Most people fail to continue their meditation practice because of this very reason.
I myself have failed multiple times because of this same reason.
And I really want you to not just begin meditation today but keep doing it for the rest of your life. That’s how you will be able to experience the delicious fruits of meditation.
Are we good now?
So, before beginning your lifelong journey into meditation, I want you to remember two things!
- First that your one and only objective when you meditate will be to dedicate all of your attention on one single thing. (We’ll talk about the ‘one single thing’ later)
- And, Second that, no matter what happens in your life you will take the time out to meditate every single day. (We’ll also talk about how much time you need to dedicate later)
Two very simple points to remember. No huge expectations.
I’d suggest you write these two points down on a note and stick it somewhere you can see it daily.
You can use the affirmations in this image as well.
Read it every day. Keep yourself reminding these two points before doing your meditation.
Now that you know your objectives with beginning meditation practice, let’s understand what steps you need to get started today.
Choose a silent space.
Wear comfortable clothes and take a comfortable posture (sitting, lying down, walking, or in other positions).
Prepare for the meditation practice as you would for sleep.
You can also use some meditation accessories like cushions, stones, etc. to enhance your comfort.
Check out my recommended list of accessories here.
Everything must be comfortable for you.
Since you’re beginning the practice with the objective of doing it every day, have a minimum time commitment for yourself.
You can even start by dedicating a minute to it.
The key here is, to be honest with yourself and know how much time you sincerely can commit to the practice every day. Keep adding more minutes as you progress.
The One Thing
The one thing that you will dedicate all of your attention to should be the sensations of your breath. Repeat the affirmation inside your head, ‘I will pay all of my attention to my breath. It’s simple! I can do it.’
- Close your eyes. Breathe in through the nose. Breathe out through the mouth.
- Take a deep breath in and breathe out to relax your body. Keep doing it until you feel somewhat relaxed.
- Return your breathing to normal. Now pay attention to your breathing.
Try to feel as you inhale the air into your lungs. How it feels inside your nose, passing through your throat and expanding your lungs.
Try to feel as you exhale out the air from your lungs through your throat and leave your mouth.
Try to feel the depth of each breath you take, how it pumps in freshness inside your body. And how it leaves you feeling more relaxed.
- Continue to put all your attention on the sensations that breathing brings to your body.
You might notice your attention wandering off to other thoughts at times.
It’s completely normal for your mind.
Don’t judge yourself or obsess over the thoughts you find yourself lost in.
Simply bring your attention back to the breath.
Continuing to follow the practice and being kind to any attention lapse will make you feel more and more relaxed. You will be completely immersed in the sensations that breathing brings to the body feeling relaxed and peaceful.
Whenever you feel ready, slowly move your fingers and your toes.
Gently open your eyes.
Become aware of your surroundings and notice how your body feels right now.
Take a moment to convey your gratitude to the experience that you just had.
Make sure you follow the steps and stay committed to the objective of meditation practice.
If you’re curious about the best time to practice meditation throughout the day, you can read about it here.
There’s no doubt that practicing meditation can do wonders for your health and well being.
Don’t wait for the ideal day.
Start from today, and don’t stop. It will transform your life for the better.