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Learn How to Meditate – Meditation in Minutes, a Beginners Course
.. focus one’s mind for a time for relaxation or spiritual purposes/think carefully about…
As I suspect you already know, this is easier said than done. However once mastered this will make for a most amazing pastime, and remains without a doubt a worthy pursuit. It is with this in mind that I have decided to create this meditation course, which will step by step show you how to meditate and with the help of some exercises and aids.
To this end you will also find that this course has been developed to enable beginners (and advanced as refresher/and perhaps a slightly different perspective) without much effort to start almost instantly enjoying the benefits of meditation, which could be numerous including :
- Better physical health
- Better mental health and abilities
- Less stress
- Better sleeping habits
- And of course could also include personal spiritual growth, even if not philosophically associated.
- And many more not mentioned here….
So as a start I would suggest that we begin with a fairly important aspect of meditation. An aspect which will have an impact on your meditations in the future :
Whilst most teachers will insist that you take up a lotus position, I have found that there is very little limitation to potential positions which are suitable for meditation at this level. Essentially three things to consider:
- It must be a position in which you would be able to sit (or stand) for at least 5-10 minutes, and with reasonable comfort, ensuring that you reduce discomfort, and following fidgeting to a minimum.
- It must be in a place where you will not be disturbed for the duration of your meditation. there is little as unpleasant as being rudely awakened in the middle of a meditation session.
- It must be a comfortable position, but a position which is not conducive to sleep. eg. trying to meditate lying down on your bed, is the easiest way to fall asleep rather than meditate.
For the sake of ease, I have found that simply sitting fairly upright in a normal chair is fairly suitable. It is OK for the chair to have armrests and soft cushioning as this will likely increase the comfort level by just enough to keep you going. If the chair has no armrests of course you could simply rest your hands in your lap.
Of course you are welcome to attempt a lotus position, as this will likely eventually prove to be a suitable position, however I have found that not only is it a difficult position to take for normal folk, but unless you are a seasoned meditator, you are likely to find that you get distracting aches in places which will force you to fidget
To avoid this I have found that a partial lotus (only crossing one foot over your leg, and the other underneath, or one foot across and the other not totally underneath) with back support makes for a comfortable position for most meditations.
Again I must state that it remains unimportant whether or not your are able to sit in this position or not, and at this stage I would suggest that you can give up perfection for comfort, as this will have very little (if any) impact on the success of your meditations…
Oh.. and do not be afraid to stop reading to try find a comfortable position right now…
The next step is at least as important as the first step. Fortunately this is not a difficult step, and with some help I believe you will be able to master this very quickly :
PREPARING TO MEDITATE
Whilst there are many techniques with which to do this, I have found that for me there is only one way. TAKE A BREATH
If this is applied correctly you will find that within seconds you will get your body relaxed, and in a fit state to start your meditation. In fact I would go as far as saying that I use this technique in preparation of every meditation that I attempt, and with perfect success every time.
Another useful benefit of applying this correctly is the fact that it immediately starts to focus and relax your mind, which makes it that much easier to get into your meditation without distraction. And no matter how long or how short your meditation, starting with this will get your there quickly and with little fuss.
“How do I apply this correctly?…
Taking preparatory breaths are easy enough and requires only that you are able to count (and do not hesitate to practice this as your read it) :
- Taking a deep breath in. Do this over a count of 4. (about 1 second apart, or as is comfortable for you, trying to get as close to 1 second per count as possible). Also while taking the in breath imagine you are breathing in calm, relaxing, healing energy with the air.
- Then hold your breath for 16 counts.
- Then emtpy your lungs slowly over 8 counts. And while you breath out imagine you are blowing out stress and illness and discomfort with the air that you are blowing out.
- Repeat this at least three times, after which your should be pretty ready to start with your meditation. If however you sense that your mind is still racing and you are not relaxed yet, you could do this as many times as you feel the need to. Please take note that whilst this form of breathing exercise does not hold any real danger to you, if you feel dizzy it is better to stop and try again later.
Now is where you actually start to meditate. Your body and mind is prepared to start meditation, (and yet your mind keeps on wandering…).
Essentially it is now time for you to start “thinking carefully about something…”.
This unfortunately is where most students falter, and the primary reason for this is simply that the question always comes up. “WHAT DO I HAVE TO MEDITATE ABOUT?…”. “WHAT DO I DO NOW”.
Of course there are many answers to this question however I have found that few of them will be of any real use to you, so I will offer you a little from my experience :
What most teachers will omit to teach, or tell you, is that objectively, to get the best benefit from your meditation, you have to figure out first what you consider worth the effort, and then meditate on that.
That of course does not mean that you can not go for the clearing of your mind meditation where you think about nothing. This you will find is rather on the difficult side however, and most seasoned meditators battle with this.
So to start meditating you would rather want to find a subject or topic to meditate on think about. These could include things like :
- Relaxing & destressing
- Just for fun
- Your health
- In preparation for a difficult task (eg. interview for a new job, first date…)
- Some problem in your life
- Some problem at work
- Some spiritual pursuit
- Things like astral projection
- And many many more….
This probably still has you a little baffled. “HOW DO I MEDITATE TO RELAX AND DESTRESS”. Well I can assure you that sitting there and thinking “I have to relax and destress” over and over again will not do the trick. Rather than focussing on trying to relax, think about the place that you feel safe and calm in and go there in your mind. Going there will also keep you going for a little while, making it possible for you to stay in this meditative state for a time. Now if you want to stay in this place a little longer start to focus on details of this place in your mind (eg. if your place is a meadow, take a closer look at the flowers that are growing there, or look at the bird flying by, and pay attention. Look at the sky, and try to identify images in the cloud formations. etc…).
Following this will likely make it possible for you to stay in meditation longer, and by the time you awaken from your meditation, you will probably feel very relaxed.
Another example of a fun meditation to do would be the elevator meditation. Essentially all you have to do is after completing your meditation preparation, in your mind’s eye, get in an elevator. Select any button, and feel the elevator start moving, watch the counter move, and when the elevator doors open, look outside to see if there is anything. If there is nothing go back into the elevator, and select another floor. Do this until you reach a place where you feel comfortable getting off the elevator, and where there is something to see. Once you are there look at the details. Sense them, smell them , hear them, see them, taste them… You are likely to find this a very pleasant experience. When you are done and you want to stop, just get back in the elevator, and go back to where you started. After that awaken slowly and comfortably. Chances are you will feel the experiences of the meditation lingering. An amazing feeling….
Go ahead, do one….
MAKING IT A LITTLE EASIER
As suggested before, one of the most difficult aspects of meditation, and especially for beginners, is the ability to focus your mind for a period long enough to actually get benefit from a meditation.
And whilst there are many reasons for this, the most prevalent would be a wandering mind, added to the lack of ability to concentrate long enough on one thought to derive significant benefit from this.
Fortunately practice will make perfect, and as you start and progress on your meditation journey you will find that your skills increase and your results with this. I suspect however that you are looking for an easier way to do this than to simply try and concentrate. And happily I am pleased to say that there is a way :
Essentially giving your mind something to focus on which is external from yourself, and which does not require any major effort on your part to control. And whilst this is really just a trick, it works well and with almost instant benefit to you as meditator. And before you know it, you will be able to focus your mind for long periods of time, without any help.
Of course there is nothing that stops you from trying to do this on your own, and without assistance, however you are likely to find this difficult at best, as being human, and living a normal life will likely make it very easy for your mind to wander.
So to divert my mind I have found the use of guided meditations (diversion of your mind) to be incredibly valuable, and for many reasons. The most important of which includes the simple fact that instead of trying to concentrate your mind (and curb those ever wandering thoughts) you have to simply follow the meditation, which is guaranteed to get to a better and quicker result, simply because you will not likely be tempted by other thoughts which do not follow the meditation.
Sadly this is another place for students of meditation to get stuck. “Which meditation do I use?…”, “I do not want some philosophy shoved down my throat with the meditation…” and I suspect that you could come up with a few more reasons why this is not normally acceptable. What one has to remember is that despite the difficulties you may have with this form of meditation, the technique is fantastic, even if the meditation is unsuitable for you.
So to keep things simple you can write and record your own meditations, which will suit exactly your needs. It is easier than you think…
Simply follow the formats of a few of the meditations, already quoted in this article as well as the basic suggestions and there is little that you can really do wrong…
So go ahead and try it….. (Thats how I started)
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