Are you looking for a simple step by step guide to help you start your meditation journey?
I think I have something that can help you.
Are you thinking that meditation is a difficult and complex process?
Well, Meditation practice can be as easy or as difficult as you make it. I will share my experience with the process. I started my meditation practice some 10 years ago.
Initially, I had too many strange questions.
- Where should I focus my attention?
- What should I think exactly? Or, should I stop thinking altogether
- Should I keep my eyes open or closed
- How long should the practice be?
- How long will it take before I actually learn it like a pro
- Why is meditation important
- Are there any real benefits of meditation?
I am sure you must be having some similar questions as well. And, there are no black and white answers to either of these questions. As I said, It can be as good or as bad as you make it.
And moreover, you will never know unless you try.
So what is a safe way to try and start a practice?
A short and sweet answer:
Start with something as simple as your breath.
Are there any prerequisites?
Well, not many, but some very basic ones like these:
- An intention to sit and experiment with Meditation practice. (no practice can be fruitful if there is no honest intent.)
- Some time (15-20 mins) away from all sorts of notifications and screens.
- A cushion or a chair in a preferable calm room
And that’s it you are all set for a mediation session.
Just sit down on the cushion on the floor in a lotus posture or a cross-legged posture. Alternately you may sit on a chair too. Just ensure the spine is erect yet relaxed. This prevents you from dozing off during the meditation.
Preferable close your eyes, or if that bothers you, fix a soft gaze on some not intriguing object. Maybe a candle or something.
Just settle down and get comfortable in the position and let the body relax. Take a deep breath in from the nose and exhale from the mouth in a sigh 3 times.
Be mindful of the cushion you are sitting on. Of your hands resting in your lap. Your erect back. Any pain that you may be having in some part of the body.
Initially, when you sit for meditation in silence, you may experience pain in some part of your body. Meditation has not caused this. It is the consciousness of it which makes you feel it more strongly now.
Just courteously take of note of the pain.
Now just sit doing nothing. Watch your breath, coming in and going out. Be like a gatekeeper at the entrance of your nostrils. Not letting a single breath go un-noticed. You may settle on one of the counting methods as well. There are many variations to it, but choose this simple one for now.
With first in-breath, mentally chant 1 and with your first out-breath say 1 again. Repeat this till a count of 10 and repeat. You may forget to restart at 10, but as you notice restart again. If you lose the count, you may start again. Do not feel guilty about missing the count. This is a proven way to keep the mind attentive and focussed.
Continue this for as long as you feel like. Preferable for 10- 15 minutes if this your first attempt. You may choose to go longer with time. Even the counting may not be necessary after some time. But for now, stick to the basics.
If some thought is bothering you during the meditation, just mindfully take a note of it. Be like a guy waiting for a bus on the roadside. You see so many vehicles come and go. Some big, some small. Some hind, some do not. You just notice them without associating yourself with them. You do not feel an attachment towards them. Do the same to any thought that comes. Do not force yourself to be thoughtless. Just watch your breath and thoughts. Mostly, if you successfully focus on the breath, the volume of thoughts will be less.
Do not expect a lot from yourself. It is just the first time you are practicing this. Be gentle to yourself.
Once you feel you have spent enough time and feel relaxed and calm, choose to stop the process gently at any moment. Just calmly come back to normal awareness. Look around mindfully. At the things around you.
Focusing on breath keeps in the most important moment of your life. The now. Being in the present and living in a moment to moment awareness make you feel blissful.
This is what meditation feels like.
Did you experience some peace? Did you feel good?
Great, Congratulations on starting this wonderful journey of meditation.
Or maybe you didn’t experience much.
You may continue doing this for some more time. Its highly likely that you will experience it next time.
Thanks for you time. Feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.