I come across a lot of people who are intrigued by meditation but simply do not know where to start. Maybe you are one of them. Maybe you have some kind of expectations or false beliefs around meditation (too hard, too time consuming, I have nothing to do with spirituality) & many more. It is all good, do not rush those thoughts and beliefs to go away. You can work on them whilst you meditate. In fact, you can work on everything whilst you meditate. Sounds nice right?
So where to start. I will try to put myself on the beginner’s chair. I started my meditation journey around 3 years ago now. It was a slow progress, which got deepened after I spent a couple of days in Buddhist monastery in Thailand. It was an interesting experience to say the least. Even though it was hard to meditate for about 3 hours per day, it led me to feel and experience things I have never felt before. This experience was enough for me to know that I want meditation to stay in my life. Before the retreat I had read a lot of literature on meditation, however I had little to no consistent practices of actual meditation.
After the monastery I have started to adopt meditation and really build my consistent practice. I already knew general sitting meditation as well as walking meditation (mindful walking). I continued to focus more on sitting meditation, spending 10 to 20 minutes per day. Some days my meditation and mindfulness used to be weaker, some days it really felt amazing. Nowadays I start every morning with meditation (around 15 minutes) & also try to finish my day with it. I also practice yoga daily, so I take my Shavasana time as meditation and real surrendering time.
Now I can really feel the difference when I meditate or not. I just feel this gap in my day. Meditation allows me to calm my mind and really let everything go. I do not try to push my thoughts away, I just simply let them be, they come and leave whenever they want.
By no means have I wanted to say that meditation is just the time where you sit and do nothing. Meditation can be practices all throughout your day. When you walk, when you read, when you talk with the person you love. It is your deep awareness that you allow to enter into this present moment.
So… Where to start?
Here are my tips for you.
1.Give yourself time. Sounds simple right. Does not have to be 10-15 minutes, give yourself 2-5 minutes per day. I advise to do first thing in the morning. Make a conscious decision to dedicate this time to build your inner peace. I also find that by using the same time every day, it really helped me to build a habit and strengthen my practice.
2.Pick a place. Maybe you already have that one cosiest place inside your home which calls for perfect meditation spot. Beautiful and welcoming atmosphere will help you to still your mind.
3.Keep your posture nice and straight. Ideally head, back & neck should be in one beautiful line. (Do not stress too much if it is too hard to sit straight right away, you can always work on that later).
4.Mind & Breath. I always like to start my meditation with a couple of deep breaths, slowly calming them down afterwards. This way I am showing my body and mind that this is a time to calm down.
5.Set your intentions. Sometimes there are days when let’s say things do not go your way, or maybe everything goes perfectly and you just wish to dedicate your practice to show your gratitude. Whatever the reason. Allow yourself a minute before meditation to set your intentions, your wishes, and your thanks. Have that one line in your mind and then let it all go.
*for beginners I would also advise to have a mantra or a symbol, to which you could always come back once the mind stars to wander. I do that myself sometimes, it really helps to remain still. It can be anything that truly brings you joy.
6.Allow the space to enter. By this I mean do not stress when you start thinking about all kinds of random things (its natural). Be the observer of your mind at first. Let it wander freely. Eventually and with consistent practice your thoughts will settle down and will become just a faraway background. I promise.
7.Pure peacefulness. The state once you reach that beautiful bliss. It can be felt completely differently for everyone. I sometimes feel like I am being held in my mother’s arms and she or (somebody) is gently swinging me from side to side. It is hard to explain, I just feel very deep peace & joy. Some days I just have a very quiet mind in general and those minutes spent sitting down give me so much extra energy and calmness at the same time.
Your meditation experience will be as unique & different as you are. It will change and develop with time. Stick to it.
Some useful things:
Headspace app- great place to start. Some people really like guided meditations maybe you will be one of them). https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app
Books: Jack Kornfield- Meditation for beginners; John Daido Loori- Finding the still point.
I very much hope this would help you and reach you in any way that it should. Any questions and comments are very welcome. Would love to know if maybe you have already established some kind of meditation habits which helps you to reach a beautiful state of peacefulness.
Much love ♡
Seashells & Barefoot Journeys
A travel & environmental blog for the adventurous soul.
Aiming to share my globe-trotting life and inspire you to explore this beautiful world with a little bit more compassion…