These simple steps are all that it takes to start meditating right now. Anyone can meditate and everyone can benefit from even a little meditation experience. If you have ever been curious about meditation give these tips a shot right now!
Step one: Sit with your spine comfortably straight
Step two: Take a few slow, deepening breathes
(inhaling through the nose)
Step three: Close your eyes and focus your attention gently on your natural breathing
Step four: Allow thoughts to come and go freely without judgment or attachment. Return your attention to your breath. Repeat.
Do this for five minutes, ten minutes, whatever you feel comfortable with. What matters is that you begin meditating if you feel like you want to or have thoughts like “I should be meditating”.
“Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.”
~Saint Francis de Sales
If you are on the fence and considering whether or not you want to meditate, then you might as well take that as a sign that you really do want to and go ahead and do it.
The space between your thoughts is the meditative state we are striving to access with more ease and at will. Ironically, it is the complete opposite of will and yet it requires great will to access.
Do you find yourself saying, “I want to meditate” or “I should start meditating”? Then take a deep breath and start right now! Even if it is only for a minute listen to that inner pull and harmonizing with your inner desires.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these basic steps for meditation:
“The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.”
Step one: sit with your spine comfortably straight… think of good posture.
Your spine should have a natural ‘J’ curve to it. There should be no pain. It is just as important not to sit with a rigid spine as it is to not slouch. Slouching or hunching over can reduce the quality of your blood and oxygen supply throughout your body. Consider you spine posture as dictating the flow of your vital life fluids and energies throughout your body.
As long as your spine has proper posture, you can sit with your arms and legs however is comfortable. You will reap the benefits of meditation whether you are sitting in a chair or on the ground in full lotus pose.
TIP: To avoid your legs falling asleep, sit with your hips higher than your knees — you can prop yourself up with a few pillows or a meditation block.
“A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.”
Step two: take a few slow, deepening breathes (inhaling through the nose)
Ideally 6-8… but even one will make a difference… The key to meditation is relaxing. By taking a few slow, deep, purposeful breaths we oxygenate our blood and are prepping our body for a deeper meditation. There are many different types of breathing exercises, triangular breathing being one of my favorites.
Again, I like to do 6-8 rounds before I start meditating. But even just 3 deep, slow inhales will make a noticeable difference in how calm you feel… shoot even one slow breath will do the trick…
Try it right now: Take a second to see your starting positing: scan your body real quick. What do you notice? Then take a slow inhale through you nose. Hold it for a second or so. And slowly let it out. Now check in with a quick scan head to toe again after that single breath… feel anything different? Feel everything different! That change is available to every human being at any time. And if you actually just did this little exercise, congratulations, you just gained some momentum 🙂
When breathing deeply, breathe in through your nose. Inhaling through your mouth will lead to a dry and possibly soar throat. Your nose has little hairs and mucus to filter the air so use it! Exhales can go through your mouth or nose.
TIP: You can slow your breathing down by extending your exhales 🙂
“Regulate the breathing, and thereby control the mind.”
Step three: Close your eyes and focus your attention gently on your breathing
The deep breaths from step two are not the same as your natural, meditation breaths. During meditation, we allow our breathing to just be whatever it is. We do not manipulate the breathing while meditating. The inhales and exhales happen on their own.
We gently place our attention on this natural breathing.
~“In the interval which separates two desires a perfect calm reigns in the mind. It is at this moment freed from all thought, love or hate. Complete peace equally reigns between two mental waves.”
Step four: allow thoughts to come and go freely without judgment or attachment
Thoughts will flow in. Meditation is an exercise that frees us from attachments. It starts with learning to let go of thoughts within the peace of meditation so that we may extend this ability more frequently in everyday life.
As thoughts drift in, acknowledge them and then let them go. Decide to gently return your attention to your breathing. In and out
~“In practicing meditation, we’re not trying to live up to some kind of ideal — quite the opposite. We’re just being with our experience, whatever it is.”
REMEMBER: There are many different ways to practice and define meditation. Find yourself great teacher. They come in many forms. Maybe you find the teacher and learn the meditation you love. Maybe you find the meditation you love and then hunt down a teacher.
Excellent article! And super timely for me. Thank you!
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