To put it simply, meditation is a form of training for the mind. Its main goal is to attain a higher level of consciousness, a state that brings benefits such as finding calm, improving focus, knowing oneself deeper and many more advantages.
Meditation is a still and quiet act, but beginners are quick to learn that holding one position and constantly trying to keep the mind “empty” is not as easy as it seems. Meditation takes practice, a lot of it.
To help beginners out, here are the basic principles of meditation:
Know Your Purpose
Ask yourself, “Why do I want to meditate?” “What do I want to achieve?” People meditate for a lot of reasons. Some choose to step away from their daily routine and contemplate to find peace and shrug anxiety off. Some do it to strengthen their faith. Others meditate to boost their creativity. The list of reasons for meditation is practically endless. So, determine your personal goal right from the beginning to give yourself more motivation.
Start with a Simple Technique
When you’re just learning the ropes, don’t take on complex or advanced meditation techniques. Not only are these beyond your current skill level, attempting them will lead to frustration. Sitting meditation is a good technique to start with. It’s not physically demanding and all you need is a quiet spot to do it.
Always Prepare Yourself Prior to Meditation
Hours before you plan to meditate stay away from cigarettes, alcohol, or medicine that can alter your mood or state of mind. In addition, don’t meditate when you’re either hungry or too full. A grumbling stomach and a calorie-induced stupor are equally distracting. Always start your meditation session with an alert mind.
Prepare Your Meditation Space
Fortunately, meditation can be done anywhere, but for beginners, it’s best to meditate in a quiet and restful environment. If you choose your bedroom, clean and put clutter away first. Light scented candles or diffuse a few drops of your favourite essential oil to make your bedroom more pleasant.
Use Your Breath as Your Guide
Meditation isn’t as simple as sitting down, crossing your legs and closing your eyes. The real challenge is inside your mind. Beginners often find it difficult to keep their thoughts from wandering. One moment everything seems blank and tranquil, next thoughts of groceries, movies and other random things float inside your head. When that happens, focus on your breathing. Use it as your tool to keep your mind clear and peaceful.