13 Temmuz 2016 Çarşamba

Meditation Tips for Beginners Part 1

1.You can meditate anywhere

Meditation isn’t just sitting in a crazy difficult folded leg position (the lotus position) with your eyes closed.
You can meditate anywhere, anytime of day, and in multiple positions with multiple forms.
Expand your practice to your entire day and utilize multiple forms to see the real power of meditation. To learn how to meditate, or for ideas on where to start your practice, you can read How to Meditate for Beginners.

2. You don’t have to close your eyes

It’s a common misconception that you have to do meditate with your eyes closed, and while this is perfectly acceptable (for sitting meditation at least…), it’s highly beneficial especially in the beginning to meditate with your eyes partly open to help you stay alert and avoid dozing off.
Many traditions and backgrounds meditate exclusively with eyes partly open, never closed.

3. Start simple

Don’t jump right into walking meditation or mindful eating, start with breathing meditations. The most basic, most common, and most useful of which is mindful breathing.
This is essentially the same as sitting in meditation (with mindfulness of breath), so whether you sit or take a minute or two throughout your day to practice mindful breathing, whatever works for you is fine.

4. Walk it off

There’s an exception to the last point. Whether you’ve just begun or have meditated for some time, if you feel a strong energy in your body, or are extra restless, you shouldn’t force sitting meditation, you should get up and walk slowly with mindfulness (walking meditation).
This is a common practice that helps the practitioner calm their nerves so that they can sit more successfully.
In the beginning, you should sit despite this restlessness, but if you’ve sat for a few weeks and still find yourself moderately restless it can be beneficial to do walking meditation for a moment and then sit after.
This is also a valuable advanced meditation tip for those who are experiencing an abnormal level of restlessness.

5. Find what works best for you

Once you’ve practiced mindful breathing for a few weeks I’d suggest you start trying out the various other forms of meditation. This usually begins with walking meditation and expands out to eating meditation, driving meditation, and so forth.
It’s limitless really, and I wouldn’t just dive into them without some instruction, but you’re free to experiment, find what works best for you, and structure your meditation practice accordingly once you’re passed the initial phase of practicing mindful breathing.
Keep in mind, I’m not saying don’t sit in meditation, but I am saying that you can sit for half a day in meditation or you can sit for 30 minutes and do other meditative forms, like do walking meditation, and focus on simply living your everyday life as it is in mindfulness.
For anyone living a halfway “normal” life, this is generally much more effective and far more natural.
Even with regards to sitting meditation, there’s no one way to do it. You can sit and be mindful of your breath, or you could mix it up and be mindful of the many sights and sounds within your field of awareness as well. Or you could even meditate on compassion from time to time.
The choice is up to you, so find what works best for you.

6. It usually takes practice (but not always)

Some people get the idea, that is, how to be mindful, almost immediately. But most people take a while to get the hang of it.
I was the latter, so if you’re having some difficulty in your practice don’t worry, it’s only natural. There’s no rhyme or reason to this, and those more proficient at first don’t go on to be better at mindfulness, they just get it faster.
So don’t be discouraged by this and think it “isn’t for you” or something else discouraging. Mindfulness is universal, and the challenges you’re facing will actually help to strengthen your practice in a way that the person who had no difficulty in the beginning will take longer to acquire.

7. Soft focus, not hard

While mindful, it should feel as though you have a soft, but constant, focus on your object of meditation (your breath, steps, etc.) and of anything else that comes into your field of awareness, rather than a hard focus that makes you strain your eyeballs and hurt your brain.
If this is what you’re doing simply relax a bit and remind yourself that you’re not forcing your awareness, or focus, on one point.
Your object of meditation works more like an anchor helping you stay in the present moment, rather than a laser target that’s concentrating your focus.
If you become drawn away, by a thought or sensation, this isn’t a bad thing, it’s only bad if you don’t acknowledge it with your mindfulness.
These thoughts and sensations coming into your field of awareness are totally natural, and should be welcomed (of course after acknowledging them, come back to your object of meditation- breath, steps, etc.).

8. Don’t worry about whether you’re doing it right or not

I didn’t get the hang of mindfulness right away, it took me some time. Get a good resource with instruction on how to meditate and simply follow it as best you can, practicing at least a little each day.
As long as you’re doing that, don’t worry about whether you’re doing it right or not. With time, provided you’re doing you best to follow the instruction, you’ll get the hang of it.

9. Don’t worry about your hands

I know you’ve probably seen pictures before of people meditating (who hasn’t?). In those pictures, they were usually doing something specific with their hands, right? That specific hand placement is called a mudra (Sanskrit for “sign”), and it’s generally meant to symbolize some important principle in the particular meditation or spiritual tradition that it originated from.
Mudras can be used to enhance your practice specifically while sitting in meditation, so feel free to use them, but in no way think that they’re required.