In truth, there is no right or wrong way to do meditation. The word “meditation” means to be familiar with. Hence, if sitting in silence for a few minutes to find that stillness within and acquaint with the real YOU, I would say you have accomplished the mission! I have listened to countless recordings and read books on the techniques to be a good and efficient meditator. And one thing they all unanimously touch up on is the fact that you have to be willing to invest the time for this. The time to sit with yourself.
As simple as it sounds, make no mistake this is the MOST difficult step in the journey. Because no one wants to be unproductive you see. All that wasted time doing nothing? I mean what exactly are you doing? Just sitting in a room or in nature with eyes closed (or open) and ponder? Your hands little too comfortable resting on your lap while your mind wander? Well hello, that is a classic act of laziness! Right?
How to Do Meditation as a Beginner
Well, I thought so too at one point. Who has the time to just waste away time meditating? Might as well, just lie down and sleep. At least I could get some shut eye. Or just catch up on the work that I was procrastinating earlier? Or cook for a week so I can get that out of the way? Excuses, excuses, excuses. The reasons to get away from yourself. That’s how I see it these days. After getting into meditation seriously, I realized a lot of things. Earth shattering stuff.
For example, I have never known the real me before I started practicing going within. I realized I never truly loved myself before. Or acknowledged myself for a job well done. I didn’t let myself accept compliments when somebody congratulated me for good work or with a simple statement ” you look beautiful”. To that I would say something sarcastic like, “oh, you should have seen me yesterday! Yuck”, or “are you sure? look again” or “is it me you are talking to?”. You get the idea. I always felt like I am not worthy. I was quick to crush the compliment received and sweep it under the rug before anyone else could see it or pretended it never happened. I made sure I never give others the inconvenience of acknowledging me for the beautiful person I was. Why? Is it because I wasn’t truly worthy? Or acceptable or beautiful? No, it was because I considered my existence insignificant. I pretended I am not good enough. It was never about others. It was about me. Meditation helped me see it clearly.
I wanted to write about how to do meditation in this post today. But half way through I realized there is no cookie cutter way to practice. What works for me may not work for you. So in this case, I can share how I do it. And maybe, you might be able to take away something from what I do. And make it your own in your journey.
By this I mean, making a pact with yourself that you are going to begin practicing. Commitment to practice everyday. This is huge. An investment if you will. An investment in yourself. By committing you are signing an agreement to spend more time with you. And this is where your love affair with meditation begins.
2. Lock in the Time
Next is setting aside a time slot every day to go within. For some, it is morning hours (after waking up right away in bed or after breakfast and morning routine) and for others it is evening. To determine what works, I would advise you to play with the hours and see what is best for you. When are you at your best self when it comes to concentration and prayerfulness? When are you not needed by others as much? When is the time your prioritized tasks can wait a little while? Ask yourself these questions. Once you are comfortable with a time slot, lock it in. Set it in stone. Never waver. This is YOUR time. Never compromise this time and trade it in for anything else. No harm being a little hard ass about it because this is about you and your well being.
Your meditation can be as short as 5 minutes or as long as 1 hour or more. There is nothing definitive to follow in this regard. Your 5 minutes meditation can be as deeply rewarding as my one hour meditation. I know people who do 2-3 hours meditation simply because it works for them. A shorter meditation is by no means inferior to anything as there are no set standards on how long you should practice one session. That is the beauty of it. You are free to work with the time as you please and eventually settle on something that speaks to you. It is an inner knowing. I assure you, when it happens, you will know!
4. A Space of your Own
Equally important is the space you practice meditation. I am not a fan of changing spots for meditation practice everyday. Well, if it is necessary at odd times for whatever reason, so be it. But when you are a beginner and still learning the ropes, I would say stick to one specific room or open area if it is nature. Familiarity will make you comfortable and comfort will prompt you to experiment with Awareness like never before. It is what you need at least initially. Once you are into the practice a little longer and feel ok with venturing on your own to the unknown, then space bears no meaning. Everything else is irrelevant while you are deep in meditation and oneness.
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5. What to do Next?
Once you decide to meditate and lock in the time and a place to practice, the fun begins. Close your eyes and let the body to relax slowly and deeply. I know some people like to meditate in silence and some like to listen to calming music. Then there are some who chants various mantras to nurture their attention and concentration. Then there are guided meditations. You can find them online for free on Youtube. For me, I tried all different ways at the beginning. And I urge you to do the same. There is no way to learn other than to test all techniques before settling into the one that works most! I immediately realized mantras wont work for me. It just didn’t. Next I resorted to calming music. It is alright, it works. I still use it occasionally. What I do most of the time is quiet meditation (my favorite!) and guided meditations. When it comes to guided meditation, I have used Deepak Chopra a lot in the beginning. Now I am sticking with Dr. Joe Dispenza. His meditations are more involved and most of them are over an hour. This is more than enough to hit the sweet spot!
I know this is lot of information but please know we are on a journey. There is lot to explore. It is an adventure and full of fun. Meditation is a tool that is around for centuries hailed by mystics, scholars and teachers for time eternal. It is one thing that does not cost you anything, that is at your disposal any time to be used. You are someone who is worth exploring. All you have to do is to be willing to invest the time to familiarize with the real you. It will be healing, comforting and full of revelations.
I hope you look into this and take the first step to practice a deeply fulfilling meditation journey. And meet me somewhere along the way.
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