Listen in several languages! Click the "red world icon" below. Thank you for being apart of the Meditation Life Skills Community!
Lesson 12 of 12: 6 Simple meditation steps for beginners, your real meditation journey truly begins here.
It all starts today with you wanting to change your life. Start taking action and create the life you have always dreamed of. I believe in you.
Are you ready to completely change your life for the better? I believe you are and you always have been. The difference is that now you are taking action on your dreams.
Meditation allows you to live in the now, moment by moment, enjoying things as they unfold, or as you mindfully experience eating ice cream, holding hands with your partner, or playing with your children in the park.
Let’s get one thing clear, part of the reason why we’re all so stressed out and anxious is that our memories are not emotionally neutral. When we perceive certain things, we tend to react in a certain way because we have been “trained” by past experiences to respond that way.
What if I told you that, in many cases, we respond in a very unproductive or downright negative way? We could be responding in more neutral or more positive ways and our lives could be more productive.
Instead of wasting a tremendous amount of emotional and mental resources feeling negative, angry, frustrated, guilty, upset, you name it, we can focus more on feeling appreciated. It’s all a choice. But unfortunately, if we hang on to these past memories and we judge them in a predictably negative way, we lose sight of the fact that we can always choose our judgments. We feel that our negative analysis is just who we are. It’s part of our identity. It’s part of our personality.
Well, it isn’t. It’s always a choice. With this technique of simple meditation steps for beginners, you gain some freedom from the emotional roller coaster ride that you feel just takes you to negative territory like clockwork. Here’s how it works.
Meditation Steps For Beginners #1: Count your breath
Meditation is an excellent way to relieve anxiety and regain your center. However, many have trouble achieving a totally clear mind. Meditating on breath refers to the technique of focusing on the pace and depth of your inhalation and exhalation. This will not only help prevent distraction but also improve your breathing.
By preparing for your simple meditation steps for beginners and understanding breath awareness techniques, you will be on your way to peace of mind in no time
Meditation Steps For Beginners #2: Close your eyes
Once you feel that you have reached a certain level of relaxation, close your eyes. Everything should go black. Allow yourself to relax even deeper. Allow yourself to slow your thoughts down. Just focus on the calmness of the darkness. There’s nothing to prove here. You don’t have to be somebody that you’re not. You have nobody to impress. This is just you and your thoughts. It’s just calm, pure darkness. No light, no color, nothing to get worked up about.
Meditation Steps For Beginners #3: Focus on your thoughts
Once you have relaxed, pretend that you are in some sort of movie theater and you’re sitting back and you’re seeing scenes. These are your thoughts. When you assume that perspective, you would realize that you’re thinking a lot. If you’re a normal person, a lot of mental images flash through your mind. In fact, we go through so many mental images, oftentimes we’re not aware of them all. So sit back and just see your thoughts play out.
Meditation Steps For Beginners #4: Make sure not to judge or analyze your thoughts
Here’s the thing that you will be doing differently. Most people have no problem seeing mental images flash through their minds. But the problem is, once that happens, they get all emotionally caught up.
For example, you had an ex who cheated on you, stole from you, or otherwise did bad things to you. How do you think you would feel when you see something that reminds you of him or her? You probably don’t feel all that good. Now, with this technique, when the mental image or the picture or the likeness of your ex comes to your mind, your rule is that you let the image flash, but you will hold judgment. You’re not going to analyze it.
You’re just going to acknowledge that “This is the image of my ex,” “This is the image of my boss,” “This is a scene from my childhood,” “This is a scene where I was let go at work,” “This is a scene at the jail.” Whatever the case may be, you’re seeing all these mental images, but you’re not judging.
You are acknowledging. It’s very important that you know the distinction. You’re not engaged in pretending to not see something. For example, if there was a fire in your childhood, you’re not going to say, “Well, this was a happy moment in my childhood.” No. “This was a fire in my childhood.”
But this is going to be different from “This is a very traumatizing childhood memory that basically destroyed my life because I lost both my parents.” Do you see the difference? There’s no judgment here. You just say, “This is a fire that happened when I was a child.” It’s stripped out of all emotional baggage. It’s stripped out of all emotional trauma.
Acknowledge, and describe in a very objective, flat, and neutral way. This is not going to happen overnight. If you are carrying around very heavyweight, maybe child sexual abuse, maybe you were unjustly punished. Whatever the case may be, you just need to focus on what you see. Do not judge. Do not analyze. Just acknowledge it, and then move on to the next step.
Meditation Steps For Beginners #5: Let your thoughts pass like clouds
One of my fondest childhood memories involves me and my cousins just going up to this little hill and, for what seemed like hours, we would just lay back on the grass and watch the clouds pass by.
My cousin would say, “That’s a bicycle.” I would say, “No, that looks more like a dog.” There was, of course, no right or wrong answer. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. Every person’s guess was as good as all others. It was a lot of fun because we were exercising our imaginations.
We were, after all, just watching clouds pass by. There were countless clouds before them. And there will be countless clouds after them. They are here one moment and gone the next.
I want you to do the same with your thoughts but let them pass like clouds. Just like clouds, your thoughts just pass through. Let them pass.
Don’t deny them. Don’t pretend they are something else. Don’t argue with them. Don’t bargain with yourself. Just observe the ‘thought clouds’ honestly. In other words, putting to use these simple meditation steps for beginners, when the mental image flashes, acknowledge it.
For example, “This is a fire that happened when I was 3 years old.” “This is an image of my parents about to leave for the United States when I was 3 years old.” Whatever image you have from the past, strip it of all emotional judgment or analysis. Make sure you empty the mental image of any emotional content that might trip you up or set you off into an emotional analysis.
Compare “this is the fire that happened when I was 3 years old” to “this is that devastating fire that made my family homeless for 3 years. My father was very angry during that fire and he has not stopped being angry since. We lost it all. I was only 3 years old.”
See the difference? The first case involved just describing the facts. Nothing more. Nothing less. The other case includes a lot of analysis and commentary. These lead to you getting thrown off track. Learn to spot the difference. Recognize the point when you’ve stopped objectively describing and started emotionally reacting.
It doesn’t make it any less real, mind you, but you’re just acknowledging it because we’re not engaged in self-delusion here. We’re not trying to trick ourselves with these simple meditation steps for beginners or hypnotize ourselves into thinking that these events, which ultimately are very traumatic and hurtful, did not happen.
Instead, you’re just acknowledging. And then the next step is what makes it really powerful. When you acknowledge, you then let it pass like a cloud. Just like a cloud, it’s going to zoom over your head. It’s going to linger slowly, depending on how strong the wind is. But you just let it pass. Eventually, it will pass.
Meditation Steps For Beginners #6: Enjoy the emotional distance
When you repeat this over several weeks, you start noticing the emotional distance. Mental images, memories, or what have you, that used to throw you off track no longer do. Maybe there was a memory that used to make you cry like you were on autopilot, now you don’t do that. You just say, “Well, that happened to me when I was 4 years old and my housekeeper was in that memory,” then you let it pass.
“Well, that happened to be, and my boss said something and I was let go and I found another job.” You let it pass. “Well, that was my best friend and my ex-girlfriend.” You let the memory pass. You do this over and over again, and the more successful you become at these simple meditation steps for beginners, the greater the emotional distance. Eventually, all that stuff that used to drag you down and hold you back is left in the past. Congratulations.
Meditation is not weird or freaky, and it is not a religion, mind control, vegging out, or running away from the world.
It is an active practice that improves alertness and clarity, through which you can achieving a state of observing your thoughts rather than just letting them swing from tree to tree like a monkey. You don’t have to judge good or bad, just watch what happens in the same passively active way you might watch a movie or TV show. That is, you are choosing to pay attention to what you wish when you want.
You start your meditation journey with these simple meditation steps for beginners in this online meditation course. If you don’t like the movie, you can turn it off. If you don’t like the show, you can switch the channel.
Meditation Is Like Working Out
When you work out, you put a lot of stress on your muscles. That’s how they get bigger. That’s how they get leaner. That’s how they get stronger. The same applies to your mental muscles. Because that’s what meditation is. It’s a mental workout.
Physical muscles get soft if you don’t challenge them or you don’t put pressure on them. With these simple meditation steps for beginners, you’re going to challenge and put pressure on your mental muscles. Believe me, it is quite a workout to let a mental image just pass over your head like a cloud without judging it.
For example, there was an episode of your childhood that used to burn you through your core because it was really humiliating, it was disgusting. Whatever it was, it takes an effort to do that. But that’s how you challenge your mental muscles. And the more pressure you put on it, the stronger it gets.
Practice Meditation Daily, But Don’t Spend All Day
The good news here is that you don’t have to spend all day meditating with these simple meditation steps for beginners. In fact, if you’re doing that, you’re overdoing it. That’s probably going to do more harm than good. Instead, focus on spending no more than 15 minutes a day. With meditation, a little bit of consistency goes a long way. So focus on your meditative practice for no more than 15 minutes every day. 15 minutes is plenty.
Associate Your Meditative State with Certain Stimuli
This is for advanced students. Usually, by this point, it will probably take months, if not years. But most people, if they’re consistent, will reach this point. When you perceive any new stimuli, allow yourself to focus on your meditative state. You’re basically linking the meditative state of peace, calm, inner serenity, and harmony with stimuli that normally upset you.
For example, if you work with an ex, it can be quite uncomfortable, awkward, and frustrating. This person broke your heart, this person cheated on you, or you’re embarrassed because it didn’t work out. Whatever the case may be, it’s going to be very hard to handle that stimulus.
After you’ve meditated, and you’ve gained some emotional distance, allow yourself to look for that stimuli and link it with a meditative state. In other words, you are replacing the stress, discomfort, and embarrassment that you normally feel when you perceive that stimuli, maybe it involves seeing the face of your ex or hearing his or her voice, whatever the case may be.
Now, you’re replacing it with a meditative state. The meditative state, of course, involves a sense of calm, being in control, clarity, peace, healing, restoration. So instead of that person’s voice or image just stressing you out, upsetting you, now, it calms you down. You say to yourself, “I’m okay. There’s nothing to get hung up about. I can deal with this situation, this person, these memories at a certain level. And I’ll be okay.”
Sure, in the beginning, this is going to be difficult because of your mental habits. When you are just starting out, the urge to go back to your old reactive patterns, with its rush of negative emotions, seems to be all but irresistible. This is the hardest part. But you can overcome this.
Choose to override this ‘natural tendency and it will get easier and easier to respond to life’s stimuli based on your highest values instead of your feelings or whatever is convenient or easy.
The more opportunities you seek to practice your newfound power over your emotions, the stronger your mind becomes. It also makes the link between certain ‘positive’ stimuli and positive emotions or positive mental states. Of course, none of this happens all at once.
It takes time. Still, every time you successfully choose to focus on these simple meditation steps for beginners and being calm and successfully recall the mental calmness of your meditative state, the easier it gets.
The Secret Meditation Ingredient Is Practice
Interestingly enough, to get the practice you need, you actually have to seek out situations or stimuli that normally stress you out. That’s the only way you can test our ability to recall a calm inner peace.
Usually, people do not need help recalling stressful, embarrassing, traumatic, or painful memories. Start there. Since these are thoughts, you have a lot more control over the thought and the outcome. Compare the above to testing out your meditative recall skills on actual people.
People can be quite random. You might have a very sticky situation on your hands and unlike memories, there’s no ‘rewind’ button if you end up saying or doing something that harms your relationship or takes it to a much lower level.
Regardless of how you do it, give yourself the opportunity with these simple meditation steps for beginners to constantly test out your ability to recall that state of mental calm, serenity, and peace. In that special space you have built for yourself within your mind, there is no need to prove anything. You don’t have to be somebody else. There are no painful memories. There is no worrying future. Instead, you just have calm in the here and now.
Understand that you always have this available. Get some hope from this fact. Call this link at will. Once you have trained yourself to remember that meditative state when situations present themselves, the next step is to call it at will. Meaning, you yourself will trigger that meditative state.
You no longer need stimuli. That’s when you have reached a higher level of practical simple meditation steps for beginners because that sense of calm, release an objective distance that you feel with your emotions pretty much persists on a 24/7 basis. You only need to choose to call that meditative state into being and it happens. You now know it like the back of your hand.
Meditation Is Not A Form Of Mind Control
All sorts of thoughts will arise when you start to look within your own mind in the course of these simple meditation steps for beginners. Some might surprise and even shock you, but one stray thought is nothing to feel guilty about. It is not ‘you’. You are not your thoughts. They arise and fall. You choose whether to follow them or not.
You’re not trying to stop ‘bad’ thoughts, you’re just observing them if they pop up, and watching them as they fade again. If they keep popping up, like recollections of an incident from childhood or a recent conflict with your spouse, take the time to look at them deliberately to see what ‘teaching moments’ are contained within.
These simple meditation steps for beginners can be an effective form of stress reduction and has the potential to improve the quality of your life and decrease your health concerns and the costs that usually go with them. Best of all, it can liberate you from being stuck in the past, and be fixated on the future.
These Simple Meditation Steps For Beginners Start With A Single Step
All the things that I’ve taught you here are the product of over twenty years of meditation and mindfulness practice. There are lots of pitfalls, there are lots of dead ends, there are lots of false leads and false positives.
I’ve weeded all those out and I’ve presented to you simple meditation steps for beginners that work. However, these materials will not work for you until and unless you commit to doing them. This way, you will be able to fully benefit from the techniques that I have described in this training.
It Is Also Important That You Focus On Consistency
A lot of people think that these simple meditation steps for beginners are just another activity that they engage in because they’re looking for a result. They are looking for some sort of solution.
While that may ultimately be the truth, please understand that you must look at meditation and mindfulness as ends in and of themselves. In other words, they’re not just means to an end. They don’t just enable you to go to where you really want to go. Instead, meditation must be your destination. You must find some sort of value in doing meditation. That value must be in the act itself.
If you’re able to do these simple meditation steps for beginners, then it becomes part of you. It becomes part of your personality in addition to your daily routine. You will then be able to put yourself in a position where you will level up your ability to focus, stay in the present moment, achieve emotional distance, and emotional clarity. Ultimately, it’s all a choice. You have to exercise that choice. You have to be responsible for yourself, your thoughts, and your actions.
Do Meditation Today and Every Day – It’s That Simple
One of the most common problems I’ve noticed people experience with meditation is the fact that they feel that they would be able to only do it when things are right. They feel that they have to feel a certain way. They think that certain conditions have to be present in their life for them to do this.
What you’re doing with these simple meditation steps for beginners is you’re just giving yourself excuses to not start. I’m telling you, if you don’t even get yourself to start, you are failing. You’re not dealing with your stress, you’re not getting your life back, you’re not setting things in order as far as your mental peace and tranquility are concerned.
You’re achieving nothing. You might be thinking that you’re researching book after book about meditation, but what you’re really doing is you’re just giving yourself an excuse to not start. You have to understand that when it comes to any kind of profound personal change, our number one enemy is ourselves.
The Paradox of Meditation and Self Sabotage
I know it sounds kind of weird. You know how frustrated you are. You know that you feel that something is missing in your life. You know that you’re not fully content. You understand that these simple meditation steps for beginners can help you achieve some sort of balance.
You understand that these simple meditation steps for beginners can lead to a greater sense of inner peace. Why in the world would you want to get in the way of that? Why in the world would you want to sabotage that? Well, it’s actually quite simple. We’re all creatures of habit.
We get accustomed to things. We grow attached to things. Once you do things a certain way and you think about things a certain way, you feel that you’re stuck in that pattern. You feel that you’re not capable of going outside of that pattern.
I know it sounds weird, but you know that you’re not really all that happy. But ultimately, at some level or another, most people would rather deal with the devil they know rather than roll the dice and take chances with something better.
They know they’re not happy. They know that things could be so much better, but they are afraid of trying something new. These are the issues that you have to confront. They will crop up sooner rather than later. I share them with you and I shine a light on them at this point in the training, so you can spot them a mile away.
Understand that when you start bargaining with yourself about why you should not meditate at the appointed time, you’re basically giving in to this. This is all too predictable. This is to be expected.
Now that you know that you’re going to be playing all sorts of games with yourself, stick to your resolve. Stick to the simple meditation steps for a beginner’s game plan. Understand that there’s a lot at stake. You are trying to get your life back. You’re trying to gain control of your emotional and mental processes. You can be so much more productive, and you can be so much more effective if you overcome your old patterns.
Unfortunately, if you allow yourself to make all sorts of excuses and justifications to go back to your old way of thinking, you give up a tremendous future for convenience. You’ve grown to love your chains.
One of my favorite philosophers in college was the French Enlightenment thinker, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau said, “Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains.” This quote, of course, is all about political philosophy.
But Rousseau was absolutely right on a personal level. We are born free. We are born with a tremendous amount of possibilities. We are born with a tremendous amount of personal power. We have it in us to do great things. If you are doubtful of this, just think of the great thinkers, builders, and innovators of this world. Think about people who managed to build vast fortunes even though they were born with nothing.
People have potential. All of us do. If successful people can succeed, you can too. How do I know? Well, each choice you make is an exercise of power. You have all this unlimited potential in you. And it all flows from the fact that you have a choice. Your choice gives you the power of the things you think about, talk about, and the things that you think you are capable of doing.
But the reason why you feel so powerless, so limited, so small, is because you have allowed yourself to live in a neat, tidy little box. This box indicates what you can and cannot do. This box indicates what you are, what you’re about, and what you are not. Nobody put you in that box. You chose to be in that box. You chose to live in a mental prison.
It’s as if everybody’s walking around with this tremendous amount of personal potential, but they’re looking at their chains. They’re saying to themselves, “I’m a victim. I’m wearing these chains.” Little do they know that the key is in their hands.
Understand what is at stake. You have no excuse. You only have choices. I wish you nothing but victory!
Look within as you read this sentence, and observe what you are thinking, what your body is feeling. With these simple meditation steps for beginners comes to focus and awareness, and through awareness, the path to developing your best self.
To your success in meditation!