When teaching meditation, some people want to know everything about meditation before they start. Here are a few ideas to build a knowledge base on what you need to know about getting started meditating.
What is a simple meditation for a beginner to start understanding the meditation process? Sit or lie down so that you are comfortable. Gently close your eyes when you are ready. Make no effort to control your breath; simply breathe in and out naturally. Focus your complete attention on your breath and on how your body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. When you are ready, just simply stop meditating and go about your day.
Although meditation can certainly change your life for the better, it will only do so if you go into it fully prepared and with as much knowledge about mediation as possible. So, here are 10 things about meditation you need to know today.
When you first start out practicing meditation, you may feel overwhelmed with all the instructions: calm your mind, watch your breathing, keep your back straight. Practicing meditation shouldn’t be stressful.
We’ve all heard that practicing meditation can be good for us, but beyond the common knowledge that it’s relaxing, we might not be exactly sure why it’s so good for us. The truth is that meditation allows you to experience many benefits, both direct and indirect.
Meditation allows us to step away from and out of our daily life patterns, making it easier to move past them. Engaging in regular meditation provides you with a whole host of benefits. Practicing for just ten minutes a day can change your entire world. While the length of your practice isn’t significant, the frequency that you practice will determine how successful you are on your path.
When you first begin the meditation process, you need to take the time to remind yourself why you’ve chosen to meditate. Your purpose should be clear, so you know whether your practice is successful or not.
Your goal for starting meditation could be to gain more peace, joy, and happiness, to improve your mental skills, or even to achieve some level of awakening. Whatever your purpose for meditating, it needs to be clear as it is what will help make you more motivated to find success.
Having the motivation will help you to deal with feelings of restlessness or any form of resistance that may arise during the process.
1. There are many types of meditation, and every one of them is a little different
There are three primary types of meditation: open monitoring, focused attention, and automatic self-transcending. Within these, there are many other types of meditation that you can do, including heart rhythm meditation, guided visualization, and Qi Gong.
Each type of meditation is different and has various purposes and benefits. That’s why it’s important to take some time to determine exactly what you want to get out of meditation before you jump into it.
You need to make sure that the type of meditation you choose fits your lifestyle and beliefs and is something that will benefit you. There are some types of meditation that target specific problems such as anxiety, heart disease, or stress.
2. You’re by no means stuck with the first type of meditation that you choose
You don’t have to stick with one type of meditation. In fact, even if you’ve taken the time to decide which one is right for you, it still may not end up working for you. The good news is that you can keep looking for another type of meditation to try until you do find something that works for you. You can also learn several types of meditation to gain different benefits and use them for different situations.
We recommend taking the time to learn one type well before moving onto another type of meditation. Because each type requires time to learn and practice, it’s better to keep your focus on one type until you’ve mastered it before you decide to learn another one. However, once you have mastered several types, you’ll be ready to use them when you need them.
3. It doesn’t require a certain posture or position
When most people think of meditation, the first thing that comes to mind is a cross-legged guru with their hands resting on their thighs, fingers, and thumbs forming circles while they hum. However, there really aren’t any specific rules about how to meditate, and you certainly don’t have to sit rigidly the whole time.
Actually, meditation requires you to be as comfortable as possible so you can keep focused on what’s going on in your mind instead of your body. Sitting upright is generally the best position so you don’t fall asleep while meditating, but there are some types of meditation that require you to be laying down, like the body scan meditations and meditation for sleep.
4. It won’t make your mind a blank slate, no matter how hard you try
Something that many people incorrectly believe about meditation is that it involves emptying your mind of all your thoughts and reach a state where you think of absolutely nothing for a period of time, and it’s that blank slate that allows you to accomplish a greater level of enlightenment and self-awareness. However, this is simply not true, nor is it possible.
The mind naturally jumps from thought to thought, and trying to stop it from doing that will only leave you frustrated and very much not relaxed. What meditation actually does is gives you tools to keep your focus on only your meditation. Being aware of the thoughts that come up during meditation is an important part of it and is what will help you come to a deeper understanding of your own mind.
5. You can learn different styles of meditating from a variety of sources
Some people believe that there’s only one way to learn how to meditate, but there are actually several different ways. This is great news because everybody has a different learning style, so not everybody is going to be able to learn meditation the same way, just like learning anything. Fortunately, for as many learning styles as there are, there are tools and techniques to learn how to meditate.
You may find that reading a book is the best way to learn meditation. Others may instead listen to that same book on audio to learn. You can also get help from someone who has already mastered the type of meditation you want to learn. This can be the best way because they can help guide you and work through any specific problems that you have. What’s important is that you find what works best for you.
6. You might fall asleep during meditation, it’s totally normal
Even if you’re not doing meditation specifically to fall asleep, you may find yourself falling asleep while meditating because it puts you into such a relaxed state, especially if you’re doing it at the end of a long day at work. The good news is that this is totally normal and if you do, don’t worry too much about it. If it does seem to be turning into a problem, then you can try a few techniques to keep yourself alert during meditation.
7. Meditation physically changes your brain to handle stress better
Although meditators have known that there are profound changes that happen in your mind when you meditate, only recently have researchers have taken the time to study the physical changes that take place in your brain because of meditation. Some studies that have been done looked at the differences between meditators and non-meditators, while others looked at the changes that occurred in a group of people who started meditating.
One of the changes seen in the brain of those who meditate regularly is that there’s increased gray matter which means more brain cells. Another change involved the amygdala which is where the “fight or flight” reflex is triggered. In those that meditate regularly, this area was physically smaller which means they’re more likely to handle stressful situations without reacting with fear.
Another interesting thing to note when it comes to physical changes that happen when you meditate are the brain scans done of people who have been meditating for many, many years. Their scans, when they were not meditating, looked like an inexperienced meditating while in a state of meditation, meaning that the changes that occur during meditation eventually become permanent.
8. The health benefits that occur in the brain from meditating are only the beginning
There Are Many Health Benefits To Meditating, of the many things that meditation can do for your body. Meditation has also shown that it can increase blood circulation which helps lower your blood pressure and your risk of developing heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for people in the United States.
One of the reasons that meditation has such an impact on your health is that as you become more aware of your inner self, you become more protective of it and begin to make healthier choices for your body. Many people have successfully used meditation to quit smoking or get out of other addictions because meditation allows them to deal with the underlying reasons for their addition.
9. One of the most common misconceptions with meditation is that it takes up a significant part of the day.
It doesn’t have to take a lot of time out of your day. This belief has led many people to not even bother to meditate since they don’t feel like they’ll have the time to do it.
Although there are certainly some types of meditation that expect people to devote an hour in the morning and an hour at night, there are many more that require significantly shorter amounts of time, as little as 5 minutes, that are easy to fit into your day.
For people that truly understand how important meditating is, they will make it a priority and make sure that they devote the time they need to meditate every day. As you start meditating regularly and see the benefits of it, then you, too, will be willing to get up a little earlier or put your phone down for a few minutes to meditate.
10. Like learning any new skill, meditation takes time to master
You won’t get it right the first few times, and that’s ok. Just like you won’t be able to run a 6-minute mile the first time you step onto a running track, you need to practice to master meditation.
It will also take time for you to begin to see the benefits of meditation, so don’t give up if you don’t immediately start sleeping better at night or feeling less stressed throughout the day.
This is why self-evaluation is such an important part of meditation. You need to take a step back every once and a while to really evaluate how you are so you can see that the meditation really is working. One way to do this is by keeping a journal where you can note your thoughts and feelings.
Over time, you’ll see how meditation is changing you and the way you see the world.