“The thing about meditation is, you become more and more you.”
David Lynch, a renowned filmmaker, said these words.
Meditation is not about simply closing your eyes and breathing, okay.
It’s much more than that.
Meditation practices can alter the way you perceive the world. It helps you see the world through a calm and composed mind. You won’t bend to any chaos that easily.
Meditation helps you deal with your emotions in a subtle, mindful, and self-compassionate tone.
In short, meditation takes care of your physical and mental health.
Meditation helps you handle emotional issues well.
Meditation is like giving you few minutes of the day to recharge and re-tune yourself for the following day.
On that note, let’s talk about what meditation is, how to do meditation, a meditation guide for beginners, and all related things.
1. WHAT IS MEDITATION: AN EASY UNDERSTANDING!
“Meditation is not an escape from society, but to come back to ourselves and see what is going on. Once there is seeing, there must be acting. With mindfulness, we know what to do and what not to do to help.” –Thich Nhat Hanh, A Buddhist Monk.
Meditation is a simple and powerful process.
Things you read or hear can make it look like a complicated and tough process. But they are not.
Here’s why we say meditation is simple.
Imagine yourself in the early morning. Everything around will be calm and dormant.
Now, sit comfortably.
Try not to slouch.
Close your eyes and breathe the way you breathe.
You don’t need to do anything fancy or do any technique.
Just sit. Breathe. Keep at it.
This is a powerful meditation practice, too.
When you close your eyes and inhale/exhale the air, you sync with your body, your breath, and your mind.
The more breaths you take, the more you sync with yourself.
Everything around you (and your mind) will drift away from the scene.
Only you and your breathing will stay in your mind.
Maybe, initially, it is tough to bring your body and mind to a position. Mind-wandering will be high; we don’t deny that.
But, maintain consistency.
Try it few minutes every day. But don’t compel yourself.
Eventually, you will get the hold.
You will feel and experience the sync of your mind, body, and breath in a single rhythm.
This will help your mind and body gets positive improvements.
And after all, in simple terms, this is what meditation is all about.
Mediation is simple. You just have to let it in and try it.
Daily meditate and affirm the Scriptures; your mind and soul will be filled with pure thoughts. -Lailah Gifty Akita
2. TAKE THINGS GRADUALLY WITH MEDITATION: DON’T RUSH!
If you are a beginner at meditation, this is for you.
❖ Take things slowly.
❖ Don’t jump into complex meditation techniques, intense meditation practices, tough body positions, etc., at the start. That can also become a reason for you to get away from meditation.
❖ Start slow with meditation.
❖ Try to sit few minutes every day with eyes closed, back straight, and slow breathing.
❖ See if your everyday lifestyle is making you comfortable enough to practice meditation.
And if you like to explore a bit, there are meditation techniques for beginners like Breathing Meditations, square meditation techniques, visualization method, chanting meditation techniques, etc.
❖ Start with guided meditation practice from professionals or from studios where they teach meditation.
They can help you with where to start and how to start.
Meditation is offering your genuine presence to yourself in every moment. -Nhat Hanh
3. WHY MEDITATE: BENEFITS OF MEDITATION.
Why do you opt for healthy foods and an active lifestyle? You do it because you understand how beneficial they both are to your body, is it?
The same goes for meditation.
Practice meditation because it can offer tons of benefits to your mind and body.
Meditate willingly. Accept it into your life.
If you practice meditation with interest:
❖ It becomes easy for your body to adapt easily to your practice.
❖ It becomes easy for your mind to reach a tranquil mood easily.
❖ You can open up your mind.
❖ You can become mindful, i.e., letting distractive thoughts come and go, but you stay the same.
❖ You can explore distinctly possibilities like extending meditation time, trying different meditation techniques, different positions, etc.
❖ You can spend time for yourself
❖ You can give your mind a pleasant break
❖ You will stay consistent and overcome discomforts swiftly.
Meditation provides a way of learning how to let go. As we sit, the self we've been trying to construct and make into a nice, neat package continues to unravel. -John Welwood
Here are the proven benefits of meditation for you.
Why meditate: Scientifically, what meditation does?
Starting your day with a few minutes of meditation can do wonders for your mind and body!
Don’t believe us?
Here are a few important scientific benefits of meditation for you.
❖ Stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system
Relaxing your mind and body through meditation helps in stimulating the parasympathetic nervous. This stops the body from releasing stress hormones.
❖ Reduced Cortisol levels
Research conducted at the University of California, Davis concluded that people who use generalized meditation practices have a lower level of cortisol in their bodies.
❖ Reduces psychological symptoms
Research from Johns Hopkins University concludes that general meditation practice eases psychological symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety.
❖ Enhanced Empathy
According to “Loving-kindness and compassion meditation - Potential for psychological interventions” by Devon E. Hinton et al., US National Library of Medicine:
“Meditation enhances the brain areas associated with mental processing, compassion, and empathy.”
❖ Reduced Cortisol and Epinephrine Levels
Meditation prevents (and also reduces) the surge of stress hormones (epinephrine, cortisol) in our bodies.
Too many stress hormones released in the bloodstream cause anxiety problems, increase blood sugar levels, sleep deprival and suppress our immunity system. Meditation can help in reducing them.
❖ Part of Medical Treatments
Meditation is becoming a part of medical treatments in recent times.
Along with treatments and medicines, doctors recommend simple meditation practices to aid overall wellbeing.
Dr. Randall Zusman, A cardiologist from Massachusetts General Hospital, says, “Patients and physicians alike are going to be more and more interested in non-drug therapies”, i.e. preference towards mindfulness, meditation practices during treatments.
❖ Change in your Genes
A new Harvard Study “Specific Transcriptome changes associated with blood pressure…” by John D. Denninger, et al., 2018 May: 24(5):486-504 found that:
“People who meditated over 8 weeks had a striking change in the expression of 172 genes that regulate inflammation, circadian rhythms, and glucose metabolism–leading to decreased blood pressure.”
You know what?
Try to sit with your eyes closed.
Forget everything going on around you.
Focus on your breath. Or take a few deep breaths.
You can see your stress levels declining!
If in few minutes, mediation brings down restlessness, then imagine doing it every day!
Why meditate: Spiritually/Emotionally What Meditation Does?
“In your silence, when there are no words, no language, nobody else is present; you are getting in tune with your existence.”–Unknown.
If you are into spirituality, or if you are a spiritual person, you will know the importance of meditation.
As per spirituality, the complete stillness and silence you experience through meditation are like reaching an important spiritual destination.
Spiritually, meditation benefits you with:
◆ Coping positively with body ailments/illness.
◆ Listening to your body.
◆ Reduced stress levels.
◆ A flexible body free from a sense of rigidity.
◆ Sense of belonging.
◆ More self-awareness.
◆ Increased Empathy.
◆ A connection with earth and nature around you.
Overall, meditation makes you mindful of what you do, what you listen to, what you eat, what you speak, and what you want.
Meditation is the signpost directing the steps to the main highway of realization. -Guy Bogart
4. HOW TO MEDITATE: BASIC MEDITATION PRACTICES YOU CAN FOLLOW EVERYDAY
“Wherever you are, be there totally.”–Eckhart Tolle.
This is the basis for meditation.
Just be there. Do that.
Nothing else should matter.
To start things off, we will tell you basic meditation practice for you all.
Sit comfortably. Close your eyes.
◆ Slowly inhale the air.
◆ Follow where it goes.
◆ It goes through your nostrils, then throat, then lungs, and belly. Notice this pattern. Keep your focus there.
◆ Same way, exhale.
◆ The air slowly leaves the same way it came in.
◆ Keep your focus in the inhale and exhale of your breath.
◆ Don’t worry if your mind comes up with wandering thoughts. It happens all the time. Just make sure you notice the thought but you come back to focusing your breathing, okay!
◆ Repeat the process for two minutes.
This is a simple but effective meditation practice.
Follow it for a week right after a trigger of your choice. Then slowly try to meditate with no trigger. Bring it as a habit.
Make sure you follow these tips. They are essential or your basic meditation practice.
❖ Start slow. Start with two minutes, then five, then ten, and continue.
❖ Don’t set a target of fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, or more at the start. Take it slow.
❖ For a week, maintain the two minutes–five minutes.
❖ Afterward, see if you can go beyond five minutes and complete ten minutes.
❖ Increase your time gradually. Don’t hurry.
❖ Do a deep, slow inhale/exhale to begin meditation.
❖ Early mornings are preferable. Or, the time after you wake up is good.
❖ If early mornings are not possible, pick a general time that suits you.
❖ Find a comfortable, disturbance-free spot. Could be your room, garden, a balcony, park, roof, etc.
❖ Wear comfortable clothes.
❖ Sit comfortably. It’s important.
❖ You cannot get your back straight at the start. So lean on a wall to keep your back straight and comfortable.
You will get better when you meditate every day.
Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment. -Alan Watts
5. WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO MEDITATE: FEW TIPS TO NOTE
A constant question asked is ‘when can we meditate,’ ‘when is the right time to meditate.’
There is no right time to meditate.
Any time of the day that’s comfortable for you is alright!
What is a Golden hour or Ambrosial Hours for Meditation?
Among spiritual meditation practitioners, there is a term called ambrosial hours. It’s the 2 ½ hours before sunrise where the earth is at a 60-degree angle to the sun. They prefer that time to meditate.
And, the time before sunrise or somewhere between 5 Am-7 AM is called the Golden hour for meditation.
Ambrosial and Golden hours are most likely the same ‘before sunrise’ times.
The reason is, the ambrosial/golden hour is when our mind and body can easily embrace the stillness. And receive spiritual energy of the earth without disturbances.
To get full benefits, the right time to meditate is:
❖ Meditate in the early morning between 4 AM -6 AM.
❖ Or meditate few hours before sunrise, like 6 AM -7.30 AM approx.
❖ Meditate after your exercise/stretch/yoga sessions. A relaxed body and muscles will support you better.
❖ If you usually work out/exercise after sunrise, then choose to meditate first (before sunrise) and exercise next.
Some people can settle only after their morning routines are over or at least have their morning coffee. That’s alright too.
❖ Finish your routines. Sit to mediate.
❖ If you are traveling to work/study, try meditation apps. Or listen to meditation audios.
❖ Irrespective of the time, make sure you are undisturbed by people or by gadgets of any sort.
❖ You can meditate after you come home from work. It can help you focus on home and leave other issues at bay.
❖ Those who like to meditate at night make sure you complete all your works. Then, sit to meditate. You can meditate as long as you want and not worry about time at night.
❖ If you don’t have time on the weekdays, do it on the weekends.
❖ Try guided-meditation videos, music, sounds, apps, guides, etc. if you sit to meditate and cannot focus.
❖ Meditate when you feel stressed or overwhelmed. A few minutes of deep breathing will clear your mind.
Those with a busy lifestyle can choose any time of the day. Make sure you are not lazy, with a full stomach, or had alcohol previously.
Meditation allows us to directly participate in our lives instead of living life as an afterthought. -Stephen Levine
6. WHAT IS MINDFUL MEDITATION? IS MEDITATION & MINDFUL MEDITATION THE SAME OR DIFFERENT?
Meditation and Mindfulness are different.
Mindfulness enhances your meditation. Mindfulness stays after meditation, too.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, an American Professor says
‘Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally.’
◆ Mindfulness is being aware of what’s happening around you.
◆ You notice the thoughts, emotions, feelings, and behaviors of you.
◆ You witness what’s happening in your thought with no judgments.
◆ Being mindful can help you accept yourself easily.
◆ Mindfulness creates awareness of what’s going on in our thoughts and actions.
◆ We change what’s bad.
◆ It helps us to pause and look around instead of rushing.
After meditation, we may get back to our everyday activates and thoughts. But mindfulness helps us even after that.
If you are mindful, you can bring more positive changes to your body and mind.
“Mindful meditation is about meditating while recognizing and moving past all the thoughts that flutter in the brains.”
By acknowledging (without forcing yourself to avoid thoughts), you can slow down the racing of thoughts.
You can meditate by being aware and yet focused on your breathing.
Through mindful meditation, your mind calms down quickly.
You understand the working of your mind through mindful meditation. So you become non-judgmental and aware of what’s going on in your head.
By being mindful, you become empathetic and understanding towards others and yourself.
Meditation means dissolving the invisible walls that unawareness has built. -Sadhguru
7. HOW TO BRING THE MEDITATION HABIT EVERY DAY?
“Meditation isn’t difficult. We just need to remember to do it.”–Sharon Saltzberg.
If you are a beginner, try these simple techniques. They can help you make meditation a daily habit.
❖ Have a trigger:
It can help you maintain regularity. The trigger could be “meditate right after” your morning coffee, checking your phone, waking up, brushing, bathing, walk, stretching, yoga, book reading, journaling, etc.
❖ Meditation app:
They can help you set some reminders, wake-up notifications, meditation timers, etc.
❖ Set Timers (including weekends):
Set the alarm a few minutes before your usual wake-up time. So that you can wake up and settle. And use the extra time to meditate or simply sit in silence with eyes closed. Gradually it will become a habit.
❖ Things that help:
Natural light, warm spaces, Aromatherapy candles, incense sticks, a separate spot for your meditation, slow, soothing music, any figurines/idols (some people use it for practicing focus-meditation, etc. are few things that will help you sit to meditate.
Remember to do it every day. Your mind will trigger you to meditate every day.
Any action done with awareness is meditation. Meditation means to be fully aware of our actions, thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Another name of meditation is passive awareness. -Anonymous
8. USE GUIDED MEDITATION APPS
For beginners, meditation apps can give an easy head start.
Some meditation apps are available for free.
And some have an annual/monthly plan while others offer a month or two free-trial versions.
The best mindfulness and meditation apps that you can try are:
▶︎ Smiling Mind
▶︎ Simple Habit
▶︎ Insight Timer
▶︎ Ten Percent Happier Meditation
▶︎ Unplug Meditation
Based on different App-store ratings and user reviews, these are some of the widely used guided meditation apps available online for you.
Also, there is Muse Headband. You can wear the device any day or any time. They also offer guided meditation for users.
Meditation must be continuous. The current of meditation must be present in all your activities. -Annamalai Swami
9. MEDITATION TIPS FOR BEGINNERS:
If you are a beginner at meditation and want to practice it and benefit from it, here are a few tips for you.
◆ If possible, try taking meditation classes. You have exclusive meditation instructors and studios for that. They can offer proper guidance and techniques for meditation.
◆ Don’t have too much expectation as soon as you start the meditation practice, okay! It takes time. And you need time.
◆ Maintain consistency. Spend few minutes meditating every day.
◆ You cannot get things right the first time. Don’t worry about perfection.
◆ See how you can improve your practice than the previous day.
◆ Be patient.
◆ Build meditation as a habit like your everyday routines. Take it like every other morning routine you follow.
◆ Choose the same time to meditate. Follow it until you get a hold of meditation. Then, you can ease your way to different timings.
◆ Pick a comfortable spot. Use the same. You can add some plants, candles, figurines, etc. You can make the space to your convenience and the likes.
◆ After you work out or exercise or yoga, settle yourself. Relax few minutes. Then, sit to meditate. It's not the best way to meditate as soon as you finish your exercises.
◆ Start your meditation with deep breathing twice or thrice. It will help you settle any restlessness.
◆ If you have trouble keeping your back straight for some time, you can try Lying-meditation practice. Or, you can lean on a wall.
◆ Keep your focus on your breathing. Thoughts will come and go. Acknowledge them. Return to focusing on your breath.
◆ If you feel you are fidgeting too much and feel like re-adjusting yourself more, leave the posture. Try something comfortable next time.
◆ You can read books about mindfulness, meditation, and things related to them.
◆ Try to be mindful every day. The more you focus on what you are doing, the more your mind slows down.
◆ Pick a comfortable time–probably in the early morning, evenings, or the night before sleep to meditate.
Meditation is a journey. You need to travel, improvise, and adapt to what suits you.
Don’t set it as a goal. Even the ones who master meditation didn’t get it in a day or a month or a year.
Meditation is the secret of all growth in spiritual life and knowledge. -James Allen
10. WHAT IS A SUCCESSFUL MEDITATION?
A good meditation will make you:
❖ Feel Empathetic towards you and others
❖ Be at peace with mind and body
❖ Feel positive
❖ Little less messy/chaotic in your thoughts
❖ Be more mindful of what you say, what you eat, and what you think
❖ Connect with yourself
❖ Help you clear the mind from thoughts and emotions that no longer benefit you
Even after a simple meditation with no techniques or anything, if you feel relaxed, happier, calmer, less of anxiety/stress/negative emotion, and more at peace, you have achieved a successful meditation.
Meditation is essentially training our attention so that we can be more aware— not only of our own inner workings but also of what’s happening around us in the here & now. -Sharon Salzberg
11. TIPS TO HELP YOU MEDITATE PROPERLY:
Go through the basic tips here. It will help you meditate properly.
◉ Get comfortable before you sit to meditate.
◉ Uncomfortable places, things, or seats can make you move often.
◉ If you have a group of interested friends, buddy-up with them.
◉ Try using meditation-supportive cushions, mats, and pillows. You can find them online easily.
◉ Wear something comfortable.
◉ In case you are at your work, and in formals, no problem. Just loosen your tie, belt, or scarf. Remove any tight-fitting shoes, heels, etc.
◉ Start with a deep breath.
◉ Then meditate with any technique you prefer.
◉ Get enough sleep/rest.
◉ Eat healthily.
◉ Have an active lifestyle. A good body enhances your meditation practice.
◉ And, if you are a beginner at meditation: Don’t be too concerned about the quality of meditation.
◉ Try every day: Spend a minimum of two-three minutes every day.
◉ If interested, you can track your progress in a small journal. Try with prompts like date, time of the day, how you felt after, how is your interest level today, etc.
◉ There are specific Meditation Journals and printable journal prompts available online.
◉ Little things like maintaining a journal, grouping with friends, recording your perspectives can help you understand meditation practices better. You can become more mindful before you sit to meditate.
The tips here will be helpful to start meditation for first-timers.
12. MEDITATION DOS & DON’T’S FOR BEGINNERS:
The dos and don’ts of meditation will help you set a better stage for yourself.
❖ Don’t meditate when you are tired and exhausted.
❖ Don’t meditate after a heavy meal.
❖ Don’t sit to meditate if you feel alcohol hasn’t left your system.
❖ Do not try any meditation techniques other than guided/recommended ones.
❖ Don’t sit to meditate as soon as you finish your workouts/exercises. Relax your body first.
❖ Don’t depend on the meditation apps always. After a while, try to meditate on your own.
❖ Don’t do heavy breathing or deep breathing practices if you have any breathing troubles. Get proper guidance.
❖ Don’t meditate if you don’t feel like doing it. Pressuring yourself to meditate does no good.
❖ Mute notifications. Avoid all/any distractions until you complete your meditation.
❖ Wear comfortable clothes.
❖ Preferably, meditate in the early mornings. The calm early morning aids further relaxation before meditations.
❖ You can meditate before you go to sleep.
❖ Don’t expect meditation to give you results immediately. Take things slowly. Be patient.
❖ Meditate in a comfortable, tidy, and spacious place.
❖ You can light aromatherapy candles or incense.
❖ Don’t quit your meditation practice soon. Mind-wandering is quite common for beginners in meditation.
❖ Try to keep your spine erect. Initially, it can be hard. So lean your back on a wall or something straight.
This will help you begin meditation.
13. ARE THERE ANY DIFFERENT TYPES OR TECHNIQUES IN MEDITATION?
Yes, there are 9 types of meditation.
■ Mindful Meditation
The most widely used technique is this ‘Mindful Meditation’.
You meditate by concentrating on your breathing.
Same time, you acknowledge all the thoughts that come to your mind without judgment.
You compose your mind with ‘It’s okay and you snap back. And carry on with meditation.
You are not trying to stop the thoughts from happening in your brain.
Instead, you note it; you recognize it, and you try to get back.
■ Spiritual Meditation
Spiritual meditations prevail in different religions across the globe like Buddhism, Zen, Chinese, Hinduism, etc.
People who seek a deeper connection with the earth, connection with one supreme power, with the oneness of the earth, and the likes, practice it.
■ Focused Meditation
It’s like the usual meditation we practice.
The only difference is, people use a string of beads, string of prayer beads, or any prayer chants, or any other objects to focus all their attention while breathing.
For beginners in meditation, this technique will help them stay focus.
■ Movement Meditation
Imagine you are in the middle of a river. You are letting yourself flow as the water flows.
For instance, you may forget what’s going on around you when you are reading a book, gardening, writing, walking, painting, etc. You will let yourself flow in the way. The actions guide you.
This is a movement meditation.
Anything you do with undivided attention is a kind of movement meditation, too.
■ Chanting Meditation
It’s another common form of meditation technique people follow.
Slow chanting of words like Om/Aum, or specific words, or prayers will grab your brain’s attention. Other things will slowly fade away.
Some people chant it slow, while others do it loud.
■ Loving-Kindness Meditation
This meditation is more like offering your love, empathy, compassion, and all good things hidden in you.
Here, you open yourself to ‘love’ and ‘be loved’.
Take guidance from people well-versed in Loving-Kindness meditation technique/practice. You can feel the positivity it brings easily.
■ Visualization Meditation
You sit with your eyes closed and do the usual meditations.
Now, with eyes closed, try to visualize your cheerful place, a fond memory, someone you love, your friend, or whatever that makes you feel happy, loved, and positive.
You can also visualize your success, your work goals, your life goals, or similar things.
■ Transcendental Meditation
It’s also called Deep Meditation.
Do them under the guidance of professionals. You can have a good idea about what it is, and how to use them for you.
Transcendental meditators combine different meditation techniques.
■ Relaxation Meditation
This is probably the best meditation technique you can use for a goodnight's sleep!
You can do this meditation technique at any time of the day.
This technique involves focusing your thoughts from head to toe, i.e., like a complete body scan slowly.
People use relaxation music and guided voices during this meditation technique.
14. HOW TO MEDITATE DEEPLY?
Deep meditation or a deep meditative state is an experience. It’s an immersive feeling rather than a technique or a practice.
With months of regular meditation practice, your mind and body will sync in unison quickly. Your breathing rhythm, your mind, and your entire body will all be in perfect sync.
Your mind will settle quickly. There will be no thoughts to hear.
You will never notice when you closed your eyes and started meditating and when you came to the sense to stop.
This is the deep meditative state.
A deep meditative state lets you forget everything and takes you beyond the ‘mindful’ level too.
You will experience stillness.
With regular meditation, you can experience this deep meditative state.
Think we have reached the end.
We hope we have given you useful insight into what meditation is and how to meditate.
For beginners in meditation, we hope we have discussed a fair share to get you started.
FAQs on Meditation
Find answers to all the questions and doubts you have about meditation here!
1. Is meditation good?
Ans: According to “Potential age-defying effects of long-term meditation on the grey matter”, Vol.5, 2015, Frontiers in Psychology Journal, the authors conclude that long-term meditators had better-preserved brains than non-meditators as they aged. Also, people who were meditating continuously for an average of 20 years have more grey matter volume throughout the brain.
As per the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Dec 2011, 108 (50) 20254-20259; “the mindfulness meditation decreases the activity in the “Default Mode Network (DMN)”, which is non-technically called as the “monkey brains,” i.e., we get reduced wandering and increased focus. You can snap back from all the unwanted and wandering thoughts we get quickly and bring focus to what you are doing.
Harvard Study by Sara W. Lazar et al. “The Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density.” Psychiatry research vol. 191, 1 (2011)” concludes that “8 weeks of mindful meditation (Mindful Based Stress Reduction Meditation) has increased cortical thickness in the hippocampus,” i.e. increase in learning, memory, emotional regulation, and self-referential processing.
These are a few of the references we found that validate how meditation is good for us in all ways.
2. How long does it take to master meditation?
Ans: First, let’s understand one thing.
Mastering meditation is not a goal. We cannot reach it quickly or by working hardly. It’s a wellness journey. It’s a continuous process. It’s a wonderful lifestyle change that we have to include every day willingly.
A good meditation needs your mind, your body, and your emotions to come together at a point.
You need to give some time for the three of them to align together.
Mind floods us with emotions. Sometimes with thoughts.
We could feel hungry. We could feel heavy.
We wander off.
We need to give time for our body and spine to support us. It all happens, right?
The point here is, there’s no hurry to master meditation as early as you think or hear.
Meditation is a lifelong growing process. You get better with it every day.
So, take your time.
3. What’s the point of meditation or meditating?
Ans: Heard people saying, “I could use some time alone?”
The same goes with your mind too.
Your brain could use a space where it can be free from overwhelming thoughts and emotions. Meditation gives you that.
Think meditation as a positive speed bump to your brain and body. It stops you from overthinking.
Meditation pacifies negative or stressful emotions.
Good meditation can help you:
✥ Attain a sense of overall calmness
✥ Reduce anxiety
✥ Decrease stressful-emotions
✥ Reduce negative-thoughts
✥ Bring a sense of happiness.
To put it simply, to have peace of mind is the exact point of meditation and meditating.
4. How to meditate?
Ans: If you are a beginner and interested in starting meditation, begin with a simple ‘eyes closed and basic inhale-exhale exercise’.
Or you can start by concentrating on your normal breathing rhythm.
Spend five to ten minutes or more every day. Keep at it. You will reach a calm, peaceful, mindful, and happier state of mind and body in good time.
5. What do I need to meditate?
Ans: From a scientific point of view, meditation has lots to offer.
With proper and continuous meditation practices, we can experience stress reduction, lower blood pressure, anxiety reduction, and a calm headspace.
Not just that.
Meditation improves your sleep quality to a good extent.
Also, you can experience overall emotional health, increased levels of compassion, tolerance, and self-awareness.
From the emotional/spiritual point of view, people who regularly practice meditation experience deep relaxation, a feeling of connection, restfulness, and a feeling of appreciation for everything around them.
6. How to meditate on the word of god?
Ans: Meditating in the name/word of god, or any mantras or any specific words (like OM) works as a tool to bring more focus.
They can stop the attention from diverting while meditating.
You can get into a state of focused meditation easily.
✥ Deeply inhale. And while you exhale, you can say specific words like (Aum or OM).
✥ Some people keep repeating the god’s name while the inhale/exhale breathing is going on.
✥ If you have any specific god of interest, you can focus on the god’s name while meditating.
✥ If you have any passage/words from scriptures that represent the god you like, you can keep repeating them while meditating.
✥ If you have any worship songs/chants that represent the god of your choice, you can listen to them while meditating.
You can meditate on the word of god through prayers, too.
7. How to meditate with crystals?
Ans: Get guidance from professional people who know about chakras, yoga, genuine crystal methods, and such.
There is a word that there is ‘no one crystal for all,’ i.e. you and I cannot have the same crystal.
You have crystals by colors, crystals for meditations, crystals for different intentions, etc.
Getting guidance from someone trained with crystals and crystal healing methods.
Check for credibility and genuineness before you get into these crystals.
8. How to meditate at home?
Ans: Make sure no one or no gadget disturbs you.
A comfortable place is a must.
Pick a place that is airy, comfortable to sit, and a little spacious around you.
You can either meditate in a fixed place.
Or find any interesting places like a quiet garden or balcony. Try to meditate there and see how it goes.
You can light some soothing incense sticks or candles around you. But strong fragrances can distract your sense.
Choose a fitting time. Preferably, the early morning hours between 5 Am–7 AM are perfect. The surrounding place will be calmer that time. You can avoid the bustle.
Finish all your morning routines before you sit to meditate. You can avoid getting up in the middle for any kind of break.
If you are a beginner, then start with five to ten minutes a day to meditate.
Don’t worry if your mind wanders. Initially, it happens to everyone. It’s normal.
Come back quickly and focus on your breathing to continue meditation.
Follow these simple steps to meditate at home.
You can set a reminder every day to meditate.
9. How to sit for meditation?
Ans: Overall comfort is the goal here.
✥ Sit straight.
✥ Sit comfortably.
✥ Relax your body.
✥ Relax your shoulders, arms, and neck while you sit to meditate.
✥ Don’t be rigid with your mind and body.
✥ Train your body to sit straight.
If you are new to meditation; sitting straight with your spine erect can be difficult. So initially, you can lean your back against the wall to get a straight position.
But don’t depend on the wall for so long.
When you slouch for comfort; you are in a way putting pressure on vital organs inside the abdomen area and chest area. It causes discomfort while meditating.
That is why you have to sit straight to meditate.
10. How long to meditate?
Ans: Sitting spine-erect for over five minutes can be difficult initially. That is why it starts very slow.
✥ As a beginner, start with two-five minutes.
✥ Then, do it for five to ten minutes every day.
✥ Gradually build your pace, i.e., after 2 weeks, increase the time from ten-twenty minutes.
✥ Stay in this slow-to-average pace for some time!
✥ Don’t quickly push yourself further and further.
✥ Then, gradually see how much you can push yourself.
✥ See if you can sit and meditate for over ten minutes.
✥ Then stop at the maximum. Or stop when it becomes unbearable for you to continue.
Once you get a hold of proper meditation, do it for twenty/thirty-forty minutes every day in the early morning hours. Or you can split in between early morning and in the evening.
It’s up to your convenience and comfort.
11. I am a beginner. How to meditate correctly?
Ans: Follow the few essential steps are given below.
✥ Choose a convenient time for you.
✥ Pick a quiet place. Make sure it is tidy. Some people experience discomfort because of dust while inhaling/exhaling.
✥ Make sure you remain undisturbed by people or by gadgets.
✥ Sit comfortably. Try to maintain a straight spine. Make sure you relax your neck and back, and shoulders.
✥ Try to meditate on an empty stomach. Or, do it after a few hours of a meal. Don’t do it when you feel heavy after your meals.
✥ If you don’t like to sit for meditation soon, try some warm-ups. Try to stretch or walk for few minutes. Or, if you know yoga, you can try a few. Warming up will help you get rid of a sluggish state.
✥ Once you settled, close your eyes slowly. Relax. Start with the slow inhale/exhale steps.
✥ Gently move to deep and slow inhale/exhale.
✥ Blend in with the rhythm of your breath.
✥ Continue this process for ten (initially) to twenty minutes.
✥ Once done, slowly relax, open your eyes.
Follow these steps every day.
12. What is the right way to meditate?
Ans: To be honest, there is no right way. There is only ‘what’s comfortable for me’ way.
✥ The point of meditation is to make you feel completely relaxed and bring peace of mind.
✥ If your mind and body feel calm and rested after a simple breathing meditation; it’s the right way for you.
✥ Meditation is a dynamic process.
✥ You improve on the go.
✥ You get better with it every day.
✥ You perfect things on the go.
✥ That is why there is no one perfect solution to achieve good meditation.
✥ By cultivating this habit day by day, gradually you attain a perfect mental space.
✥ Consistency is the key.
✥ Initially, you will experience a lot of discomfort. That doesn’t mean you have to give up or think that meditation is not for you.
✥ Don’t give up the meditation practice that easily or quickly. Try!
✥ If you don’t like it, you can quit. No judgments.
✥ Do it willingly
✥ There is no obligation that you “should” meditate regularly.
✥ It’s a choice.
✥ Don’t force your mind and body to meditate.
The right way to meditate is to start with a ‘willing to do it’ intention.
13. How to set the right tone for meditation?
Ans: Here are a few important pointers to set the right tone for meditation.
✥ Time is important. Pick calmer early mornings.
✥ If it’s not possible, pick sometime between evening-night (before sleep) when you settle the day.
✥ For those who cannot do mornings and nights because of your work/study, choose any time in-between.
✥ Make sure you are undisturbed and not on a full stomach.
✥ If your body asks for rest, give it. When you meditate with tiredness, you lose concentration quickly.
✥ Learn basic breathing techniques to kick start a basic meditation practice.
✥ If none of the above suits you, don’t worry. Try using meditation apps available online. Try the trial version and see how it goes.
Meditation is a simple process. Don’t put pressure into getting things right from the start.
14. Where to meditate peacefully?
Ans: To meditate peacefully:
✥ Try chanting mantras or specific words like Om/Aum. You concentrate on the words you say compared to what’s going on in your mind or on the outside.
✥ Situations around you will not always be calm. Accept it.
✥ Try to go with it instead of becoming angry. This will rob your peace during your meditation.
✥ Learn to focus on your breathing despite the noises. Slowly, things will fade in your mind. And only the breathing rhythm will remain in focus for you. It’s an excellent technique. But it takes some time to master.
✥ For beginners, guided meditation audios, calming sounds, nature sounds, meditation chants can help in bringing focus.
✥ You can download and use them offline if being online distracts you.
✥ Some people like to have a mild fragrance around them to calm the senses. You can try it.
✥ You can try the guided visualization technique for meditating. Calming and happy visual might bring in more peace.
✥ Meditate with interest. Meditate with an open heart.
Hope these little but essential ideas will help.
15. Is there any meditation schedule for beginners?
Ans: There are lots of meditation schedule prompts available online as printable's and downloadables.
You can find weekly/monthly meditation schedule prompts, trackers to help you with the meditation practice.
There are 10-days, 30-days meditation challenge prompts. They are more like a schedule to let you practice meditation consistently. Try them. They are good.
Or, if you like to have your meditation schedule, start with a separate journal for it.
Write the time you wake up, your routines, how much time you take before you sit to meditate, specific meditation time, checkbox for “I meditated today,” etc.
It can help you narrow down the good and omit the routines that hinder your meditation practice.
16. How many times should you meditate in a day?
Ans: It’s up to you.
Not just the early mornings.
If you have some time for yourself in any part of the day, sit with your eyes closed and meditate for few minutes.
Some people meditate three times a day. They meditate in the morning, in the evenings, and sometimes in the middle of the day.
17. What should I be thinking about while meditating?
Ans: The right answer to this question is a wonderful quote.
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious Breathing is my anchor.”–Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk.
Instead of feelings, substitute ‘thoughts’ here.
When you meditate; you cannot escape from thoughts, emotions, visualizations, noises, and all other feelings.
But your breathing rhythm is exceptional. It is an ongoing process happening inside you despite everything going on around you and in your brain, right?
That breathing is your anchor for meditation.
When you meditate, think about your breathing.
Set your focus and consciousness there. The rest will fall in place.
18. How to clear the mind for meditation?
Ans: It’s not impossible. But it’s quite a challenge to calm the mind.
The mind wanders off easily.
That too, when you sit to meditate, things you never thought about comes to mind.
But you can gain control and bring the monkey brain back. For that, certain intentional things are necessary.
✥ Practice deep-breathing. While doing it, focus only on the deep inhale/exhale happening. It will help you clear restlessness and calm your mind.
✥ Sit relaxed in a comfortable position.
✥ Tidy your surroundings.
✥ Avoid having distracting gadgets or things close to you while meditating. Move them away from you.
✥ And if you are using a yoga mat or any specific item for meditation, make sure it is comfortable for you.
You can clear certain thoughts (like discomfort) and feeling (body uneasiness) away from your brain. Our minds will wander off even when things get uncomfortable physically too.
✥ Don’t spend time to stop the noises/disturbances happening around you. You will do it forever.
✥ Instead, keep your focus on the breathing, or the chanting, or the listening.
✥ Slowly, everything outside will fade away. The mind clears the rest and keeps only breathing/chanting.
Always have your eyes closed
19. How to get the most out of meditation?
Ans: Here are few ideas that will help you.
Practice meditation willingly:
✥ It will help you get the most out of it.
✥ Don’t do it because everyone else is doing it or talking about it.
Do it for yourself:
✥ As exercise is to the body, meditation is to mind, okay!
Prefer suitable meditation technique:
✥ Choose a meditation method that suits you and your lifestyle (work/study/time constraints).
✥ It could be simple or advanced breathing techniques, normal breathing, Zen techniques, transcendental methods, or anything.
✥ Any method that you feel comfortable doing and gives you no pressure is the best meditation technique for you.
Consistency is the key here:
✥ Do it daily for a bare minimum of five to ten minutes in the morning.
✥ Don’t worry about perfection.
✥ Practice every day. Commit to it.
✥ Be kind to yourself.
✥ Don’t judge yourself.
✥ Getting hold of meditation can be irritating. And less attractive in the initial stage.
Get guided help:
✥ Guided practices by professionals can help you get the most out of meditation. It’s efficient compared to self-learning.
✥ There is no harm in self-learning. But guided practices will help you cover the doubts, uncertainties, and make you do things the right way.
✥ Healthy food habits and an active lifestyle help you.
✥ If you are a beginner, try online apps for meditation.
✥ You have apps that help you through meditation practices.
✥ You can find meditation headbands, free/paid meditation apps, audio formats, etc.
You can get the most out of meditation with these ideas.
20. How to meditate in bed for beginners?
Ans: If you have trouble falling asleep, lying in bed and meditating is an excellent remedy. You can easily doze off.
Here are few steps to help you meditate in bed.
✥ Lie on your back.
✥ Lie straight.
✥ Don’t crouch in any direction.
✥ Comfortably spread your arms and legs, but not too far apart.
✥ Your palms should face upwards.
✥ Close your eyes and relax completely.
✥ Inhale and exhale slowly but deeply.
✥ Don’t put pressure on your shoulders and arms while doing so.
✥ Don’t close your fingers. Don’t tighten your body. Just stay relaxed and rested.
✥ Continue to inhale/exhale for as long as you can. If you fall asleep, that’s alright.
✥ If you want to remain conscious and not fall asleep, use audio sounds, guided meditation, or guided voice with timers.
✥ Slowly relax your breathing from deep-normal.
✥ Put your thoughts on your body from head to toe.
Meditate in bed, preferably during the night times. It will help you fall asleep, get clarity of thoughts, and be in peace.
21. What is square breathing in meditation?
Ans: If you are new to meditation, square breathing is an easy and effective technique to begin with.
✥ Sit with a straight back.
✥ Sit in a cross-legged position.
✥ Make sure the cross-leg position is relaxing and not stressing any part of your body.
✥ Place your hands on your lap.
✥ Let the palms face upward.
✥ Relax, and don’t be stiff with your palms.
✥ Relax entirely.
Exhale first and get all the air out.
Step 1: Inhale slowly and count 4 in your head. By this time, the lungs will be full.
Step 2: Hold the air for another 4 counts.
Step 3: Now exhale slowly for four counts. All the air inside will be empty now.
Step 4: Remain in the same ‘air out’ for another 4 counts.
Repeat from step 1. Do it few times if you are new.
✥ Inhale 4, Hold:4, Exhale: 4, Stay:4,
This is the square breathing technique.
Holding your breath can be difficult initially.
If you feel uncomfortable or you have any breathing difficulty, don’t hold your breath.
22. When not to meditate? What to avoid before meditation?
Ans: Do not meditate:
✥ When you have a full stomach. Or when starving.
✥ When you feel you need rest, more than meditation.
✥ When you are feeling stressed out and know you cannot focus on meditation.
✥ When you have any breathing difficulties. Deep inhale/exhale can be bad for you. Listening to calming meditation sounds may help.
✥ Having coffee or tea can spike the alertness in your system. Sometimes you can find it difficult to bring calmness soon. Have twenty minutes before.
Also, don’t meditate if you are expecting desired results sooner. It takes time and patience. Don’t do it in a hurry.
The above are not “written or strict” rules. They are supportive guidelines to help you make the process easier.
23. How to change my lifestyle to support effective meditation?
Ans: The healthier you are, the more your brain and body cooperate with you!
✥ Make sure you get a well-rested sleep every day.
✥ And if you have trouble sleeping, start with a guided meditation in bed.
✥ Wake up early.
✥ Make your bed. Keep your surroundings tidy. De-clutter your surroundings now and then.
✥ Be active in the morning. You can find a lot of ways to do it like stretching, exercise, walk, yoga, cycling, or anything.
✥ Try to have more movements in your day. It’s said that sitting is the new smoking.
✥ Go out as often as you can. Don’t put yourself in your cozy spot always.
✥ Take foods rich in iron, omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, and essential fats to build the body.
✥ Hydrate adequately.
✥ Reduce your screen time. Focus on your digital well-being.
Don’t quit meditation soon. Try sincerely. Meanwhile, adopt healthy changes in life.
24. Is meditation compulsory in life?
Ans: No. There is no compulsion that you “have to” meditate because it has benefits.
Don’t force yourself to do it.
You will get the most out of things if you do it with interest. The same goes here.
25. Any Book recommendations about meditation available?
Ans: Reading books about meditation surely helps you. You can get an idea of what meditation is, what meditation is not, and all other related nuances.
· Mindfulness for Beginners by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Also, try the other book, “Wherever you go there you are” by the same author.
· Meditation made easy by Lorin Roche
· Mindful Meditation: Nine Guided Practices to awaken presence and open your heart by Tara Brach.
✥ Meditation for beginners by Yesena Charan.
✥ Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris.
✥ Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation by Sharon Salzberg.
✥ The Miracles of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh.
All the books we mentioned here have a ‘Goodreads score of 3.9 to 5. You can start with anyone.
Almost all the books we mentioned here are available in paperbacks, audible, apple books, and other easily accessible platforms.
These books cover mindfulness, simple meditation techniques, why you need to practice meditation, and such.
The Miracle of Mindfulness (Thich Nhat Hanh) and Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation (Sharon Salzberg) give you practical meditation exercises and techniques to practice.
As an endnote:
Spend few minutes of your time regularly–even one minute–to let things go, to pause your mind for a while, to breathe, to re-tune, and recharge yourself.
Uneasiness, difficulties and discomforts can happen initially.
But trust me; the benefits of meditation far outweigh the difficulties you face initially.
So, learn how to meditate. Do it regularly. It’s okay if you take it slow and do not rush. And in some time, you will see gradual but steady improvement in your overall health, mind, and performance.
We hope this article about ‘How to meditate’ is helpful to you. We will be glad if you learned something of value here.