I recently read a lot of articles about Meditation, and its related benefits, such as how it can help you in reducing stress, increase focus, being more serene, calm and open minded. How it can also give you a more accurate sense of freedom, and develop your creativity.
Yet it is true that there are a lot of unquestionable benefits that you can get from the practice of meditation, but I would add that the most important is that it brings you back in the present: To this particular moment when you stop being affected by the past and/or planning the future (which, by the way will never happen as you planned).
Meditation is not a magic thing, nor is a spiritual act, the goal to be connected to your body and to the world around you.
If you are interested in meditating, but it seems as a complicated process to you that you are reluctant to approach, not sure on how or where to start, you can follow these few tips below for an easy start:
- First thing you need to know: 5 to 10 minutes a day are enough to start.
- Sit steady in a safe, comforting place. Whatever the pose you choose, just be comfortable. You may sit in a lotus pose for example, arms resting on your thighs, palms open facing the sky if you like, but nothing is mandatory.
- Be there, and concentrate on what you are doing.
Being there literally means here and now, aware of your environment. Any noise around? How do you feel sitting like that? Do you feel any tension in your body? New thoughts popping up? There is nothing wrong with random thoughts. Try to not follow them, just observe them. The concept of meditation is to observe and be in the present: observe your breath, connect to your body, observe your thoughts and feel as a part of the world. Connected.
It is not an easy thing to do. But do not give up.
Each time you follow your thoughts, there will be a moment when you realize that you are not in the present moment anymore (you may think about something you have to do, something that someone told you…) When you realize that you are not in the present moment anymore, relax and go back focusing on your breath. Consider it as a wave: you follow your thought and come back to the present. By practicing this without judging you, you will stay longer in the present moment. It is very important not to judge when you are meditating. Just observe.
- Be aware of your breathing. Breathe slowly, again and again. Meditation, as for the practice of yoga asana, is nothing without a good breathing. Take a deep breath and feel the air travelling through your entire body. Random thought popping up again? Then, close your eyes, again focus on your breath, feel the air in your nose, in your lungs, observe that the air is cold when you breathe in and warmer when you breathe out. Re- connect with your breathing.
- Feel your body. As soon as you get your focus back, be aware of your body. Analyze each part of your body. Start with the toes, then slowly go up towards the head. Again, if you start to lose your focus, concentrate on your breathing. Breathe 5 to 10 times focusing on each inhalation.
- Go deeper. Using the above mentioned steps, you already have a good basis to practice, it is not much complicated than that. Now, if you want to know more about it, you will easily find many good methods, class, books, videos…
- Practice. You have to do it at a steady rate. It’s essential. You know already that training once a month for one hour is useless, right? But training every day even for 10 minutes can actually make a difference.
It is the same for meditation. Practice on a regular basis can actually make a difference.
I hope these few advices may help you and lead you to a fresh an easy start into meditation.
Your go now!