Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Meditation – A Step-by-Step Guide for the Beginner

A step by step guide: How to meditate
A step by step guide: How to meditate




How Meditation Can Help You


This is our ‘how to meditate guide for beginners'; it was created because meditation is ever increasing in popularity nowadays. The phenomenon is likely because people are becoming aware that it will help them to attain and maintain optimal physical, mental, and spiritual health. Practicing 10 minutes of meditation each day will help keep your stress level down, and lead you to feel more balanced, grounded, and peaceful.

Too, meditation will enhance your creativity and mental focus; and will provide insight as to how to make the best choices for good results in all areas of life. This is done by providing you with a strong connection to both Universal Energies as a whole, and to your higher spiritual self.

For those who perform divination, meditation can provide insights additional to those offered by other divinatory methods and tools.


Learning to Meditate Requires Patience and Dedication


Discovering the process of how to meditate can be difficult for a beginner. You must be patient, that’s the key. It’s highly unlikely that you will be able to master the process quickly and must prepare mentally for that. If you understand this as you begin, it will enable you to muster the necessary degree of dedication required to master the process.


About Our Step-by-Step Beginners’ Guide


There are a multitude of guides on the practice, but it’s difficult to find one that is truly helpful. That’s why we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to meditation, designed especially for you, the beginner.


Prepare to Meditate


Choose a time of day which is best suited to you and your schedule. Ideally, you should be able to sit down to meditate at the same time every day. Meditation is an excellent way to both start and end your day, so try to pick a time right after you wake up in the mornings, or shortly before bed. If you can do both, that’s even better!


Choose a Pleasant Location to Meditate In


Next, you will need to choose a location for meditating. If the weather is agreeable and you can meditate outside, this is an excellent choice. If there is no place suitable to meditate outside, consider creating a special area in your house. This should be a quiet location, away from any noise and distractions. Any family living with you should understand that when you are in this space, you shouldn’t be disturbed, unless there is an emergency.

Setting yourself up for success is essential to a beginner’s practice. Consider placing some meditation cushions or a special chair in your space (if sitting on the floor is too difficult for you due to health reasons), so that you can be physically comfortable while meditating.

Meditation guide
Ambiance boosting decor and tools: Enhancing meditation

The Extras Add to the Ambiance and Refreshing Quality


Including a few other things in this area, such as an incense burner or oil warmer can also be helpful. Scent can have a powerful effect on the mind, and can assist you in staying calm and focused for longer periods of time. Lavender is a particularly relaxing and calming choice, and excellent for a before-bed meditation. You might also consider sandalwood, which enhances a feeling of groundedness, and can help center your energy efficiently.

The ambiance provided by having a pleasant environment and the luxury of added tools and enhancements, is an added bonus providing a facet of incentive to your sessions; it’s more to look forward to.


Wear Comfy Clothing to Meditate In


Before you begin meditating, there are several things you can do to let your mind and body know that you are ready to proceed. First, make sure that you are dressed in comfortable clothing. You won’t be able to focus with anything binding you, restricting blood flow, or similar.


Have a Snack, Keep it Light


Also, consider having a light snack before sitting down, particularly if you are practicing first thing in the morning. This could be a piece of fruit with some nut butter; just something so that you will not be famished and distracted while meditating. Whatever you choose to eat should be natural and organic, and it’s best to avoid grains and animal protein before meditation. If you choose to meditate on an empty stomach as part of a fasting regimen, have a small glass of cool (but not ice cold) water before beginning.


A Shower Provides Cleaner Energies for Meditation


In some cases, you may also want to take a cleansing bath or shower before you sit down to meditate. I highly recommend this, as it’s helpful for removing negative energies, particularly at the end of your day. This is especially important if you are using meditation as a gateway to your spiritual practice. Step into the bath or shower and wash yourself, concentrating on sending any negative thoughts or feelings away with the water and down the drain. This doesn’t have to be a long process – just a quick step into some warm (not hot) water is enough.

Finally, you are ready to begin meditation. First, clear your mind of any preconceived theories about what meditating is like; the actually practice is rarely anything like what you may have seen in movies or read in books.


Our ‘How to Meditate’ Guide…


Have your space fully prepared. Perform a space clearing ritual such as using tingsha bells, and/or light any incense you have chosen to use.

Sit comfortably either in your meditation chair, or on your cushions. Some find sitting cross-legged to be comfortable, others find that this position restricts blood flow to the legs and can become painful. Instead, cross your ankles and let your knees fall open. This places you in a semi-cross-legged position, but should allow you to remain comfortable.

If you are sitting in a chair, sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your back straight, but at the same time this shouldn’t be uncomfortable.

Breathe deeply. Close your eyes, and focus on the rhythm of your breathing. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathe slowly and feel it in your diaphragm (which is located in the center, just below your rib cage). Push out as you breathe in, and collapse inward as you breathe out.

As you exhale, hear yourself make a soft “hahhhh” sound. Don’t pay attention to thoughts that drift in and out of your mind; simply return your attention of focus to your breathing. As you progress in your practice, you may choose to follow a meditation script; but in the beginning, learning to quieten the mind and focus on breathing is a difficult enough task.

If focusing on breathing alone proves too difficult of a task, you may consider using a focus aid, such as a flickering candle. Don’t stare at the flame wide-eyed; instead relax your gaze until it is slightly unfocused and your eyes are half-closed. Concentrate on either the tip or the base of the flame. This will help if you find your thoughts continuously wandering to other things.

It is important to recognize that your conscious mind may be resistant to meditative practice at first. You will need to be firm but understanding with yourself, and diligently return your focus to either your breathing, or the candle in front of you. For beginners, this is all the information you’ll need to begin; anything more will easily provide too great of a degree of difficulty for initial sessions.


It May Seem Confusing at First, How to Make Meditation Work for You


For a beginner, meditation often seems like a mystery, especially with all of the conflicting information out there. Advice like ‘clear your mind of thoughts’ isn’t helpful, as usually once you try to do so, you’ll find that’s nearly impossible. However, with focused effort and regular practice, you too will master the process of meditation.

And too, it will help you to know that there is no set range of time within which you are likely to master the process. Take it easy and proceed at a relaxed and natural pace which is best suited to you. Do not pay heed as to how long it may take to reach your desired result.

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We hope that this step-by-step guide to preparing your mind, body, and space for meditation proves helpful, and serves as a gateway to a successful meditative practice.

Blessings to you on your journey

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