How to MEDITATE for Beginners

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how-to-meditate-for-women

One of the first things I learnt from self-help books is positive thinking, and to visualize your desires. Well, when I first started out on these books I had a difficult time putting what I read to practice. Because as soon as I close my eyes to visualize the thing that I want I found my mind wandering everywhere, everywhere that is, except on the thing that I want! So I did a little research and was told that meditation is a great way to clear the mind and sharpen our concentration. But how to meditate for beginners? Well, I started out with breathing meditation and have been meditating ever since.

Most teachers in self-help books practice daily meditation. It is the fastest way I know of to quiet the mind and gain control over our thoughts. Gandhi once said, “I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.” 🙂 I have written this post to get you started on meditation. But first things first…

 

The Many Benefits of Meditation

 

I have listed below the benefits of meditation that I am aware of:

1) Dissolves stress and anxiety

2) Enables us to achieve a state of deep relaxation in both mind and body, leading to a great night’s sleep or a day of enhanced energy levels, focus and creativity, or both

3) Quietens the mind, allowing us to gain control over our (negative) thoughts

4) Higher levels of concentration during visualization – to the point where we are able to manifest our desires very quickly

5) Connect with Infinite/Universal Mind, from which all answers, ideas and inspirations can be gotten (for advanced self-help book readers!)

6) Greater happiness (which ultimately is why we want all that health, wealth and love in the first place, right?). This in turn will make us feel warm and well-disposed toward others, thereby improving our relationships with them

 

Meditation 101 – Breathing Meditation

 

Breathing meditation (which I learnt from how-to-meditate.org) is what I did when I first started meditating. Below are the steps I follow when doing breathing meditation:

Step 1 – First up, choose a quiet place to meditate and sit comfortably. You can sit in a chair if you wish (not necessary to ‘do’ the lotus position!)

Step 2 – Keep your back straight so that your mind does not become sluggish or sleepy

Step 3 – Close your eyes, relax, and begin by becoming aware of the countless thoughts and distractions in your mind

Step 4 – Turn your attention to your breathing. Breathe naturally (without attempting to control your breath) through the nostrils

Step 5 – Be aware of the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. This sensation is the object of your meditation. Try to concentrate on it to the exclusion of everything else

Step 6 – There will be a great temptation to follow the different thoughts as they come up. If you discover that your mind has wandered, you should immediately (but gently) return it to the breath. Just repeat this as many times as necessary until your mind settles on your breath. Congrats, you just meditated!!

There are also numerous Buddhist centers worldwide where you can learn to meditate, even if you’re not a Buddhist. The ones I know have numerous centers around the world are the Kadampa (1100 in 40 countries at the last count) and Diamond Way (654) Buddhist centers. They have qualified teachers who will guide you on your meditations. By the way, there are many types of meditation and some are steeped in elements of Buddhism, so just choose the type that is your cup of tea.

meditation-for-newbies

 

Just 30 minutes a day will do… 

 

Some people said that meditating 5-10 minutes a day is enough to bring about powerful changes in our lives, but if you’re anything like me then I think not. When I first started meditating I usually need that much time just to stop thinking about the day’s (and tomorrow’s!) activities and stresses. So for me, I think you need at least 30 minutes a day.

If, however, you find it difficult to put aside everything for more than 30 minutes per day, or if your mind and body is just too busy and restless to meditate effectively – I recently discovered (well, someone recommended to me) this neat program that’s been termed the next generation in meditation. It’s called Zen 12. Just by listening to an audio for 12 minutes you get the benefits of an hour’s advanced meditation, and the best part? You do not have to do ANYTHING (except put aside those 12 minutes, of course!). If that sounds like something that you might be interested in, please do read my Zen 12 meditation review here.

Anyway, we’ve come to the end of this post. Do share if you’ve enjoyed it 🙂. Thanks for sticking with me, and please feel free to visit the rest of my site. As always, if you have any questions or comments please leave them below and I’ll be more than happy to connect. See you around!

 


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37 Responses to How to MEDITATE for Beginners

  1. Dira says:

    I always find it difficult to meditate. How do you ignore the countless thoughts and distractions in your mind? I imagine you have to have a peaceful mind to meditate? Or is it the other way around?
    Maybe I am not that successful yet because it is difficult to find a quiet place to meditate at home. I will probably have to go to the park or the beach.

    • Clark says:

      Yes, you can meditate in a park or beach if it helps. Do whatever works for you. And it is the other way around – you meditate to have yourself a peaceful mind. Somebody once said, “Meditate for an hour every day unless you are too busy. In that case meditate for TWO hours.”

      I think the key is just do it – just get started and build up momentum with each second you meditate.

  2. Roxen says:

    I really enjoy reading you! I like this post very much! I read a lot, and many psychological books, but also meditation and self-help.

  3. Dawn Phillipson says:

    Clark,
    I just read your blog on Meditation. I have to say I have started to use meditation to get through my days. I am a special education teacher, and sometimes you just need to stop and give yourself time to breathe.

    I have found that on the days I make time to meditate I am a much more positive person. Thank you for more information on the benefits of meditation.

    Dawn

  4. Wendy says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post. It was a reminder to me, to start meditating more regularly. I do meditate, just not daily. I find that it really helps to keep me calmer throughout the day.

  5. simon watson says:

    Wow a really cool post on how to meditate. I found it most informative and it explained everything one would need to know to actually do it. In particular I liked the 30 mins a day will do. Great work.

  6. George says:

    Good post! I think in today’s stressful life, we all need that few moments of silence to connect with ourselves and maintain our sanity!

  7. Nicole says:

    Hello! Great article! I deal with PTSD, Depression and Anxiety and throughout the numerous classes that I have taken, they push Meditation and Deep Breathing exercises. Since there IS actually a difference between the two, maybe you could make a page for this too! Also, people with ADHD can actually struggle with these techniques. The reason for this is because to calm the mind of an ADHD person, you use a stimulant to offset the stimulant. For example, running is a stimulant and calms my mind. Hope this gives you more ideas on content! I cannot wait to see more!

  8. Rachel says:

    I have always been interested in meditation. The benefits sound like something I seriously NEED. My mind races all day long. I am definitely going to try this!! Bookmarking your site now!

  9. Roger says:

    Wonderful Wisdom!

    I graduated with a degree in religion, and was profoundly moved by what I learned about Buddhism. I even took Buddhist meditation with a Tibetan monk. It was a wonderful experience except for the fact he DID insist we sit in the lotus position, which I cannot do without some pain! So I appreciated your opinion that sitting in a chair would be fine.

    Love the step-by-step tutorial! I know what you mean about the mind wandering! We called that “monkey chatter”.

    I haven’t meditated in years, but you have inspired me to resume the practice. Maybe I’ll start with the Zen 12 and work up from there! Great Ghandi quote!

    Peace!

    • Clark says:

      I’m much honoured to have inspired you to resume meditating :). Zen12 would be a great starting point, especially for beginner meditators.

  10. Paul says:

    I’ve always been interested in meditation and been practising it since 1982.
    It’s nice to see a good page about it, telling people about the benefits of it. Indeed, you don’t need to live in a cave with nothing but a loin cloth, meditating for 23 hours a day, to get benefits from it.
    30 minutes a day is a good period. People can chop it up in 2 rounds of 15 too, one in the evening to break down the stress they accumulated in the day. It’s fresh then and easy to remove.

    • Clark says:

      Well said! Meditation in the evening sets us up for a GREAT end to the day, and most probably a wonderful sleep too :).

      If you have the time, you can consider meditating for 30 minutes TWICE a day.

  11. Elektra says:

    Great post! When you begin your journey with meditation it is always a challenge to quieten your mind from our busy everyday life. It takes some time to achieve the state of proper meditation but using a brainwave entrainment technology like Zen12 really helps.

  12. Liz Hennessy says:

    Hey Clarke, Nice post. I love to meditate daily and I particularly like to use technology to assist me! I usually meditate for around 10-15 minutes per day and I usually use some form of binaural beats to help. These technologies definitely work and I can’t remember the last time I didn’t use some form of them to meditate. Lately I have been listening to Kelly Howell and her guided meditations. I have only recently gotten into guided meditations and I am quite enjoying the experience. I am always on the look out for meditation programs and Zen12 is on my list of programs to try out.

  13. Sharon says:

    Hi there,
    I appreciate the benefits of meditating, thank you for reminding me. I am that person that struggles to find the 30 minutes a day and then trying to keep focused on the breath also becomes a challenge or I fall asleep. I will look into Zen12, this sounds more like my cup of tea!
    Thanks again.

  14. andrea says:

    Namaste Clark,
    Thank you for the nice post.
    Meditation is the pillar of inner peace. A lot of people are afraid to “sit” still for long period of time. I found out that sometimes just having a walk in the forest is almost the same experience. Cleaning the mind is an abstract concept, I believe there are many ways to do it.

    Meditating is the door to access the real of manifestation, where we have the opportunity to create our own reality. Silence and breath control are essential.

    Very nice to see the kid on the rock.

    Bless

  15. Patrick Larkins says:

    Hello, very good post. I might have to try this meditation thing. All the stress I feel all the time. This might help. Thanks for the tip on meditation. I just hope that when I try that I can block everything out of my mind. That is the only thing that concerns me. It’s hard for me to focus sometimes.

    • Clark says:

      If you find it hard to focus, then I would recommend the Zen12 meditation audios – the first level audios are free – try them out. You just need to listen to an MP3 audio for 12 minutes and you get an hour’s worth of advanced meditation benefits. These audios basically ‘meditate’ for you so they’re perfect for people who have a busy mind.

  16. Josip says:

    It’s an awesome post! I should really try it out.
    It’s hard to stay focused sometimes and I really think this would help me 🙂

    Cheers! 😀

  17. Rich Far says:

    Hi Clark,

    Great article!

    I too am an avid reader of self help/motivational books, and I can absolutely relate to what you say in the first paragraph – the mind can be your worst enemy in a lot of cases and certainly when trying to visualize or focus on a particular thing.

    Thank you for the Breathing Meditation 🙂

    Blessings Be,

    – Rich

  18. Peter says:

    I will try to put your method into practice before I sleep – I need to empty my mind of the million and one things I need to do on my own website, so maybe this will help with that. Great article. I will show it to my girlfriend as she has looked into meditation recently but never stuck with it – modern life eh?

  19. Clark says:

    Thanks a lot, Jeremy. Do try out the free audios at their homepage!

  20. Jeremy says:

    Hey there. Just finished reading your review on zen 12. Great job. This may be something I can finally find time to do! Thank you for the informative article. ~Jeremy

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