It helps to know how to meditate once you’ve decided that you want to start a meditation practice, so here are 5 easy steps to get you there. It may seem overwhelming at first, but just remember to take baby steps. You definitely want to start small. Biting off more than you can chew is a sure way to kill your much needed mindfulness practice. And that is definitely not the goal.
The first order of business is choosing your meditation space. You want to make sure that it’s comfortable, that it’s inviting and that it’s accessible. Choosing a comfortable space is going to increase your likelihood of practicing. Feel free to decorate your area with things that make you feel at peace. For some it is crystals or lights or scents, others prefer candles, figurines or a tapestry. There are plenty of options, so make sure your space is sacred to you.
Be aware of your eyes. I recommend keeping your eyes open. Closing your eyes can be an open invitation for wandering thoughts. If you choose to keep your eyes open, it may be more comfortable to lower your eyes and soften your gaze. This means relaxed eyebrows and eye lids. Feel free to experiment to discover what works best for you.
Focusing on your breath is a great way connect to the present moment. You don’t have to regulate your breath if you don’t want to, but regulating breath can be very helpful in structuring your mediation. Counting your breath is a common method of meditating. Inhale as comfortable, then count 1-2-3-4 on the exhale. Don’t stress if you find yourself on 21 or 54, just go back to 1. This ancient practice is helps you come back to the present without thinking about how you got lost.
Silence or Not
Some people prefer silence and others prefer music or narration. Silence can be a tool for healing. With all the noise that inundates us day in and day out, you may find that the silence is a much needed change of pace. If you’re using music to drown out your brain’s chatter, silence, however uncomfortable, may be the better option. Silence allows you to become aware of just how busy your mind is.
Set the Time
Start small and set a realistic goal. Taking a few minutes for mindfulness each day can do wonders for your health and disposition. When starting out setting a goal of 2 or 5 minutes is best. It seems like such a short time, but when you start your mindfulness journey, you will learn just how busy your mind truly is. The amount of thoughts that rip and run through your mind in just 2 minutes may truly surprise you. So start small and increase the length of your mediation time as you see fit.
If you find that you’re not keeping a regular schedule, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just go back to day one, and remember to always be kind to yourself. Meditation is supposed to be an enjoyable experience, so keep it light and do what feels good to you. Remember, each person’s meditation practice is personal, and that there is no right or wrong way to do it.
∘ Photo courtesy of 📸 @sistersofyoga