We here at FinerMinds are not surprisingly avid meditators (we even have a meditation room to prove it!); therefore we’re often on the lookout for the best ways to get to that OM happy place. However, we all started somewhere, and we sometimes get questions from our readers asking how they can start meditating (as let’s face it, switching off your mind, sitting still and resisting the urge to daydream, watch the time, or fidget is more difficult than it looks!). So in response to your questions, here are a few pointers to get you started!
1. Comfort is Key
Yes, the great masters and experienced students of meditation often sit in what’s called a ‘lotus’ or ‘half-lotus’ position during meditation. And they look so good, don’t they? They make it look easy to sit cross-legged on the floor, spines straight, bodies relaxed. But every time you try it, your knees ache, you back slumps and your mind feels anything but relaxed as your body demands at least a little bit of movement. If this sounds like you – fear not! You don’t have to sit like a master yogi for successful meditation. But you do have to be comfortable. So if you’ve got a straight-backed chair, a pillow to sit on or a wall to lean against, you’ll greatly improve your success-rate. Keep in mind though – you don’t want to be so comfortable that you fall asleep! (Thus, beds and lay-z-boys are out, sorry). You want your spine straight, neck and shoulders relaxed and your limbs comfortable enough for a good, 10-20 minute sit.
2. Food For Thought
Give the ole left-brain something to do. If you want a sure fire way to shift your thinking into overdrive, sit still and try to force yourself to have ‘no thoughts’. Ha! Good luck. Instead, give that busy brain something to sink its teeth into like focusing on a mantra, on your breath, on a guided imagery journey or even the thoughts themselves.
3. Be Patient
Yes, you’re going to fidget. And yes, your mind is going to wander. But please be patient and don’t give up! All beginners go through this so just consider it par for the course. If you get too focused on that itch on your nose, simply scratch it and get back to breathing. If your mind has wandered off on a tangent 100 times in a sitting, gently bring it back to the focus at hand 100 times (and be prepared for 101). In time, these and other distractions to deep meditation will lessen. But if you don’t begin, you’ll never get there. So give these meditation techniques for beginners a try and enjoy the many benefits of a regular sitting practice.
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