How to Meditate for Beginners

Updated on July 14, 2019
sharonbellis profile image

Sharon is a certified Human Resources Professional with a passion for health topics, food, books, and writing.

Meditation is an incredible stress relief tool and it is easy for beginners to learn. There is no cost to learning this art and you can practice it anywhere and at any time. Meditating can improve your ability to concentrate and restore the energy that is depleted everyday by the stress of modern living.

Anyone one can learn to meditate children too!
Anyone one can learn to meditate children too! | Source

How To Meditate

The practice of meditation is often considered this mystical ritual from another culture and therefore is not for everyone. This just isn't correct.

The most crucial point to remember when you are learning to meditate is that you shouldn't try to stop your thinking. You can't just stop your thoughts. The more you try, the more stressed you will feel. You must learn to separate from your thoughts and find a focus for your mind as your thoughts float in and out. This is the goal of meditation.

My Introduction to Meditation

I was introduced to meditation by a friend who just happens to be from India. One Sunday she was late to join us for brunch and this was highly unusual for her. When she arrived, she told me that she had been on a nature walk. My interest was piqued. I don't know too many people who get up that early on a Sunday morning to commune with nature.

She told me she walked with a group that meets at different locations for an 8 km walk each Sunday morning. They usually walk in parks or conservation areas, and at the midway point of the walk, they meditate. Well, I can walk with the best of them, but meditation was new to me. I promptly got myself invited to the next walk.

The Meditation Walk

Walking in nature calms the mind
Walking in nature calms the mind | Source

The Day of the Walk

It was an unusually cold spring morning on the next Sunday walk. I arrived at the park in plenty of time and met my companions. The rules were simple: we walk for 8 km and the first four 4 km we walk in silence. After introductions, we gathered in a circle to chant the traditional sound "ohm" several times, then we were off. It was cold but by vigorously walking we quickly warmed up.

The park was beautiful. The leaves were just starting to make an appearance on the trees, it was overcast, but still a clear day. The entire walk was along a river, so you could hear the gentle water sounds. At the 4 km point, we gathered by the river under some trees still in silence, and positioned ourselves on some rocks, cross-legged, eyes shut or partially closed. We concentrated only on our breathing, keeping our minds clear.

It was so relaxing, I cannot even describe it. The sound of the water and the intermittent breeze was therapeutic. After 10 minutes, we rose and did some stretching exercises facing west. We could talk now and to finish off, we circled in for short prayer of thanks.

Then it was back 4 km to our cars. Along the way back, we talked and socialized. I no longer felt cold but warm and very relaxed. There is no medication that could ever give you this instant feeling of contentment.

Meditate Before Exercise—Enhance Your Workout!

Exercise is good for the body and soul
Exercise is good for the body and soul | Source

Why Meditate?

The purpose of meditation is to focus your attention so that all the thoughts of the day and all the worries and the stress melt away, bringing a peaceful balance to your mind. In this calmness, you will experience new insights and see things more clearly. With practice, you will find that the effects of meditation will stay with you for longer periods.

The most popular and basic posture for meditation is the seated position. The following are the basic steps to a sitting posture. Keep in mind, you can do this anywhere whether you are standing or sitting. Anytime you need to clear your mind of racing thoughts and needless worry, just use meditation to find a calm and peaceful focus. Watch the stress melt away!

Music to Help You Meditate

How to Do Meditation

  1. With your back straight, but relaxed, sit with your legs crossed on the floor. Make sure you feel comfortable.
  2. Your hands should be resting in your lap with your palms facing upwards.

  3. Relax your eyes and partially close them.

  4. Find a focal point. This could be concentrating on your breathing or chanting a word, or looking at a photograph of a serene setting (i.e. scenes of nature) or just concentrating on a peaceful image in your mind.

  5. You should begin by being aware of your breathing and gradually allow your body to relax.

  6. Next, allow your mind to relax naturally. Don't try to force your mind not to think. Just be aware of your thoughts as they come and go and each time gently return your attention to your focal point.

Outdoor Meditation
Outdoor Meditation | Source

Incorporating Meditation Into Your Life

Meditation can be done almost anywhere. Many believe you have to be in a quiet, solitary place to meditate but you can meditate while at work, waiting in line, any room of your house, or sitting on the bus! You can meditate for a long or short time —you decide! Any length of time is better than none at all.

There are many types of meditation and many ways to meditate. You just have to find the method that best suits you.

Do not expect your mind to just automatically clear. Meditation takes time and practice. You may not feel any different after the first few times you try, but don't let that discourage you. Remember, to master anything you must practice, practice, practice! This will allow you to get better and better at meditating, and soon you will begin to feel the benefits.

Try to meditate on a regular basis and at a regular time so it becomes a habit. You may want to meditate every morning to clear your mind for the day or when you go to bed to encourage a restful sleep. Of course, when you are dealing with a stressful situation, you may want to meditate more frequently or at different times.

Deer in the woods
Deer in the woods | Source

Meditation: Finding the Time

No question, it can be difficult in our super scheduled lives to find time for ourselves, especially quiet time! I also find it easier to meditate outside. I seem to go deeper when I am surrounded by the sounds of nature. Of course, the weather doesn't always cooperate, so indoor meditation with a relaxation tape is a good choice as well.

I have begun the meditation walk habit with my group every Sunday morning now. During the last walk, we passed a group of deer, peering at us through the trees. They were so close. Since we walk in silence I suppose they did not feel the need to flee. That is the closest I have ever been to deer in their natural habitat. A little later on I was delighted to see a little chipmunk on a log watching us pass. We also saw many birds, bright red cardinals, beautiful blue jays all were stunningly colorful.

After a walk like this, it is easier to release your thoughts and clear your mind. We also sit by the river to meditate; the sounds of the water are so soothing. Finding the time can be a challenge but it is well worth it. Find a group to do a meditation walk with or create your own group; start with just one friend to develop the habit.

Meditation Brings Serenity

Serenity
Serenity | Source

Peace of mind - literally. Meditation clears the clutter of your thoughts. We think too much. Our thoughts take over creating worries and scenarios that never happen and this leads to anxiety. Take the time to take a vacation from thinking. Bring your mind into focus and let it rest.

Meditation Has a Long History

Researchers believe meditation started in primitive times when the hunter/gatherer civilization sat staring into their fires at night. Their fires were their natural focus and they began perhaps to feel the relaxing benefits. The practice evolved over time and is mentioned in Indian scripture dated as far back as 5000 years.

Around 500 B.C. Buddha took the practice mainstream. Buddha's teaching spread rapidly throughout Asia. Meditation did not reach Western civilization until the 1960s and 1970s when university professors started studying and testing its benefits and finding positive correlations to stress and anxiety reduction.

Have You Ever Tried to Meditate?

Peace
Peace | Source

Will you try meditation?

See results

Tips for Beginners

There are many types of meditation and many ways to meditate. You just have to find the method that best suits you.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Sharon Bellissimo

    What do you think about beginning meditation?

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      • GrowthSpark profile image

        GrowthSpark 

        6 years ago

        Nice lens thanks and I love the pics, lovely and relaxing, really in tune with the subject - really well-chosen.

      • sharonbellis profile imageAUTHOR

        Sharon Bellissimo 

        7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

        @ForestBear LM: Thank you for liking my lens and being inspired!

      • ForestBear LM profile image

        ForestBear LM 

        7 years ago

        This is a wonderful lens, have done a little bit of meditation in the past and it's something that I would love to get back into. Thank you for inspiring me

      • natashaely profile image

        natashaely 

        7 years ago

        I meditate for half an hour a day, it is the only way to keep sane and I have done that for a long time now, at least five years! I think for me it's as you say, it's not about clearing your mind it's about concentrating on my breathing and just letting the thoughts flit in and out as they like.

        When I first started I tried so hard not to thin of anything that all i did was have an internal dialogue about everything, as I learnt to just let it be, my mind ccleared more naturally.

        Wonderful page :)

      • sharonbellis profile imageAUTHOR

        Sharon Bellissimo 

        7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

        @charlb: Keep trying, its worth it don't expect too much too soon, even the most experienced meditators have days when they just can't get into a deep focus.

      • sharonbellis profile imageAUTHOR

        Sharon Bellissimo 

        7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

        @boogie-setya: You don't have to completely clear your mind that is too hard, thoughts will come in, acknowledge that, but then come back to focus on your breathing. Don't be too hard on yourself, it takes time and practice

      • boogie-setya profile image

        boogie-setya 

        7 years ago

        tired so many times but i never succeded to clear my mind

      • charlb profile image

        charlb 

        7 years ago

        You got me interested in trying this out again. I tried a couple of times but it was getting me nervous sitting still and trying to clear my mind only ended up in frustration. I just kept thinking what I need to do etc. Will give it another shot :)

      • profile image

        SteveKaye 

        7 years ago

        Thank you for making this easy.

      • sharonbellis profile imageAUTHOR

        Sharon Bellissimo 

        7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

        @shreeve21: Im so glad to have helped :)

      • shreeve21 profile image

        shreeve21 

        7 years ago

        not to get overly personal here, but I have just started doing meditation as part of my PTSD treatment, and this lens was extremely helpful! Thank you so much for putting in the time to make it great!

      • Spiderlily321 profile image

        Spiderlily321 

        7 years ago

        Thank you for creating such a great lens. I love meditation. I try to practice it as often as possible and it works very well to help me relax and even to fall asleep when I can't. I also like to use binaural beats when I meditate from time to time.

      • rachelscott profile image

        rachelscott 

        7 years ago

        Lens is so interesting. It deserve thumb UP.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        I keep thinking of trying this.

      • IMKZRNU2 profile image

        IMKZRNU2 

        7 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Meditation works...now I just need to get back into my yoga again and my life would be wonderful. Your lens reminded me of how much I miss doing the two of them.

      • randomthings lm profile image

        randomthings lm 

        7 years ago

        I think I want to give it another try. Thanks for this great info.

      • Rangoon House profile image

        AJ 

        7 years ago from Australia

        I have thought of mediation and am curious and interested in my friends who do meditate. I'm sure it would be enormously beneficial. Thank you for excellent inspiration. Blessings.

      • avigarret profile image

        avigarret 

        7 years ago

        A wonderful intro to meditation, I feel comfortable getting started now, thanks for sharing.

      • Oneshotvariety LM profile image

        Oneshotvariety LM 

        7 years ago

        I love meditation! Awesome lens page! Great tips! :]

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        I liked the ideas presented here and the way you tied in the resources. Meditation is something I have thought about but not practiced. Looks like it may be time to start.

      • profile image

        DebMartin 

        7 years ago

        Good stuff here. I'm bookmarking this lens. I need the meditation reminder. I always feel so good after a meditation but often the day gets away from me. Thanks d

      • profile image

        3levels 

        7 years ago

        Good idea for a lens! I think meditation is so important - especially mindfulness meditation - I recommend it for those who want to become leaders and grow their leadership effectiveness.

      • aurora7 profile image

        aurora7 

        7 years ago

        Good tips on learning to meditation. The pictures are great.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        I practice meditation everyday. You've done a great job with this lens. Many Blessings you. Hugs

      • greenspirit profile image

        poppy mercer 

        7 years ago from London

        This is a nice introduction to the topic...but you do need to get some link credits for your pics.

      • cavehouseman profile image

        Steve Weatherhead 

        7 years ago from Granada, Spain

        A very good lens with nice pics. I enjoyed it.

      • MarcNorris LM profile image

        MarcNorris LM 

        7 years ago

        Meditation brings calm and peace into my life and gives me time to recuperate from hanging out with our kids all day.

      • Joan Haines profile image

        Joan Haines 

        7 years ago

        "Squid Angel blessed."

      • Joan Haines profile image

        Joan Haines 

        7 years ago

        What an excellent introduction. The meditation walk sounds lovely.

      • belinda342 profile image

        belinda342 

        7 years ago

        I'm already a big fan of meditation. Good information here for the beginner.

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