How to Start Meditating Today
START MEDITATING TODAY!
I used to hate meditating, well maybe hate is a strong word, I didn’t understand it, and I definitely didn’t see the point of it. I remember being in a yoga class, dreading my first meditation. I was wondering what the point was and how long it was going to actually last. I’d done relaxation’s before at school and I actually liked them because they told a story but this was different. Pure silence with nothing but my thoughts racing around. Anxiously awaiting the end of this nothingness. It made me uncomfortable and I couldn’t surrender. That was about 11 years ago and times have definitely changed. Meditation has become a key part of my daily life but how did I get here from that much resistance? Can you really break through the resistance and start meditating today? Yes, you can, and I am here to show you how.
It wasn’t an easy process or a quick fix for me. I definitely didn’t wake up one day and feel like a zen monk committed to days of silence. Nope, it was a process. A long process of testing different styles and trying them all on to see what suited me.
Yoga was my first real introduction to meditation, I slowly learned to connect to my body in some way and whilst for a long time I didn’t fully surrender and feel with my body, it drew me closer. Trust me for years I found myself focusing on the pain in every pose and the race for the final savasana to end.
So what is meditation? It’s a process that slows your mind and connects you to your breath. According to the Oxford dictionary, the definition of meditate is to:
focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.
There are many different types of meditation, some I have tried, many I haven’t, but I look forward to the day I do try more modalities, and then I will be sure to share my experiences. There’s vipassana, transcendental, primordial sound, guided, silent, breath work, mantra, walking meditation, object meditation, visualisation, soul sabbaticals. The list goes on. If you are interested in reading more about the different types then I highly recommend The Secrets of Meditation by Davidji, it’s a classic book that goes into depth about the various types of meditation, and how it profoundly changed Davidji’s life from being stressed out on Wall Street to a meditation teacher. You can buy Davidji’s book here (or Aussie’s get it here).
I’ve stepped in and out of meditating over the years, but for the last few it has become a massive part of my daily rituals. It drew me out of my postnatal depression and helped me find happiness again. I’ll let you in on a secret, most days my mind still races with thoughts, and it’s not usually in the meditation that I notice the effects, it is afterward. It’s on the days when I don’t meditate that I really notice a difference. I feel more anxious, I have a tendency towards experiencing more clumsiness and I feel more scattered. It’s why meditation is a non-negotiable part of my life.
Trust me if a previously chronic over analyser like myself can meditate then you can too, and I can teach you how right here, right now.
THE MEDITATION PROCESS
This is one of the methods I developed for myself to help me become comfortable with the silence.
Timer (your phone timer will work, or I highly recommend the insight timer app, it’s what I use every time I meditate).
A cushion or chair (or a comfortable place on the ground)
A silent spot where you won’t be disturbed.
Find a comfortable place to sit, either cross-legged or on a chair with your back straight. For this type of meditation and while you are learning the ropes don’t lie down, you don’t want to relax so much you fall asleep, this is about focusing on your breath and allowing stillness in.
Set your timer for 1 minute.
Close your eyes, bow and surrender in gratitude, sit upright with your hand resting on your legs, palms facing upwards and close your eyes. Focus on your breath, breath in deeply from your belly and as you do push your belly out, and then as you breathe out retract your tummy and let the air slowly out. Don’t try to push thoughts away, notice them without engaging and return your focus to your breath. Sit in silence with your eyes closed and repeat this process until your timer sounds.
Do this every day, but here’s the kicker, increase your meditation by 20 seconds each day and before you know it you will be meditating for 30 minutes easily.
Now here’s the thing, I know this sounds too easy, and it is, but I want to make it super simple for you so that you really show yourself that you can meditate. It’s the exact process I used to learn to become comfortable with meditating for 30+ minutes because there was no way I was going to do that by jumping straight into the deep end. I love incremental increases, setting small goals and proving you can smash them, its kind to your ego, and nourishes your soul, I used a similar process to teach myself how to run too. Now if starting at one minute feels too easy, start at 5 or 10 if 20 second increments are too short increase them. This is your practice and you can easily adapt it to your level. I’m just providing you a framework that you can mold to your needs. Set yourself up for success from the start and watch the magic unfold.
Meditation can be easy, and it can be for everyone, it really is a powerful practice and I know it can serve you if you follow this process.
Please let me know how you go in the comments I would love to hear about your meditation journey.