You might have already come across this term, this concept of “meditation”. But what does it actually mean and why would you start meditating now? The answer is quite simple. We live through complex times when our brain is active for very long periods. We have to focus on our job, family, possible unexpected situations. All in all, stress surrounds us slowly but surely. And the moment we go to bed we might realize that although we are extremely tired, we can’t get decent sleep. And why is that? Because we are unable to disconnect our mind.
But that’s not all that meditation is about. On the contrary. Meditation is the door that you can open towards a whole new journey, towards new perspectives. How can meditation actually help your nervous system? It can lower your blood pressure, your stress level, your heart rate, your anxiety and it will give you an overall feeling of wellness and relaxation.
All in all, you teach your mind how to stay focused on what truly matters and how to let go of those parts that only cast shadows on your thoughts. However, we are talking about a journey so do not expect to be able to simply sit down and dictate your brain to focus on something for half an hour. Baby steps.
Let’s take a look together at what we can do, as beginners, towards a meaningful meditation practice:
At first you should not focus very much on some advanced posture. The point is to just sit comfortably for a while, be it in a chair, on the floor, it doesn’t matter. The more advanced you become, the easier you will find it to sit through longer periods of times in more difficult positions. But for starters, just make yourself comfortable so you don’t constantly think that your leg is falling asleep or your back hurts.
It might be easy to say “Yes, sure, I will meditate every day” and then get caught up in your day-to-day choirs. What matters is that you find a couple of minutes each day, or each second day that you can spare so you can sit quietly, without anyone interrupting you and without having to think that In five minutes you have to be somewhere.
At first you will see that meditation can last even 3-5 minutes because, as I mentioned, it’s a training of your mind. And your mind is not used at first with these exercises. Later on, you can increase your meditation time.
3. Start by checking in
Many times we tend to worry, “Am I doing this right?” or “Is this the right pose, is my hand where it should be?” and we get caught up in worrying which is exactly the opposite of what meditation should be about.
Check in with your body and the environment. Listen to the sounds that surround you, start noticing them. See how each body part feels, how your head, your toes is, don’t neglect the smaller body parts. Start to notice how your body feels.
This might be the most challenging part of meditation. It’s easy to say just focus but it’s not that easy in practice. You can use various elements to keep your focus active. One of the most basic things you can use is start counting your breaths. One for the first breath out, two for breathing in and so on. Then again, you can use certain mantras or even the light of a candle for instance.
5. Don’t beat yourself up
Don’t get upset when your mind wanders. It’s quite normal, especially at the beginning. Al you can do is notice that your focus is no longer in place and gently bring it back to the counting.
6. Let your mind free
Once you counted your breaths, each time until 10, for a couple of minutes, let your mind wander off. Don’t try to focus on anything for a while. If your mind wants to think about something, just let it think, if it wants to imagine something, let it be.
At the end of the process gently bring your mind back to yourself. Start noticing your surroundings and eventually even open your eyes. Before getting along with your choirs, take a moment to notice how you feel. Was this meditation helpful? Do you feel more relaxed? Did you come across certain feelings or frustrations you didn’t realize you had?
Remember, this is a learning process. Some days you will feel the benefits more and some days it will feel like it’s all in vain. But it never is. Teaching your mind how to focus, even for short periods, has great effects on your day to day life. You will be able to see things in a more organized manner, to schedule tasks more efficiently and let go of the unnecessary stress.
Let us know how you feel about our basic meditation advice and share with us your own experience!