ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Quality of Life & Wellness

What Does Meditation Do? A Guide for the Beginner

Updated on April 12, 2012

There's Nothing Mysterious About it

Do you long for a sense of calm and peace in your life? Do you believe that there is more to life than the busyness and stress of the daily grind? Do you wish there was a way you could escape fear, doubt, and anxiety? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. There is a very simple technique that you can use to help you become more grounded and find the peace that you crave--meditation. Although many people believe that meditation is a mysterious activity that they can't learn, this is simply not true. It is a very basic practice that anybody can use with successful results. You just have to learn what it is and how to do it.

What Does Meditation Do?  This Person Seems to Have Learned!
What Does Meditation Do? This Person Seems to Have Learned! | Source

If You Like This Article You Might Also Like

But What to do About Those Pesky Thoughts?

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, meditating is "to engage in mental exercise for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness." Huh?? Pretty interesting definition, but it provides absolutely no information for how to achieve this so-called "spiritual awareness."

I've had friends who have told me that they "can't" meditate. They report that they have tried sitting with legs crossed in the classic lotus position, but their mind just wanders the whole time. In fact, they say they spent most of the time wondering if they were doing it right!

The key to meditation is to first understand the difference between your thoughts and yourself. When you first try to meditate, you will see that your mind doesn't want to stop chattering. You see, your mind chatters on auto-pilot hour after hour, minute after minute. That's what minds do. What's for dinner? I'm hungry! Why did I yell at my sister the other day--that was stupid of me. My boss was such a jerk today. How am I going to pay my rent next month? We spend most of our time stewing over the past, worrying about the future, and making judgments about ourselves and others!

This mental chatter is your constant companion, yet you don't even realize it--not until you try to meditate. Then you see that you can't shut off those pesky thoughts very easily, and soon you begin to think you are a "failure" at meditation. The first step to learning to meditate is to learn that your thoughts are not you.

Acknowledge Your Thoughts, Then Let Them Go

Some people make the mistake of thinking that meditation is about blocking out thoughts. This is not the case. Instead, through practice, you can learn to acknowledge your thoughts in a detached way, then let them go on their way. As you become better and better at doing this, you will begin to achieve an inner peace. You will no longer feel that your thoughts rule you. You will begin to see them as they are--passing bits of cloud that cross the landscape of your mind. Sometimes you are happy, and your mental landscape is a bright and sunny day. Other times you are angry, and the storm clouds gather. But beneath the changing scenery of your thoughts, your true inner self exists. Meditation is all about shifting your focus away from your mental "weather," and instead seeing your true inner self more clearly.

Achieving this is simply a matter of practice. Like exercising a muscle, you will begin to learn to see your thoughts, but not to get sucked into them. It gets a little bit easier each time you practice. Some people like to focus on an image, like a burning candle, to help keep centered. Another common practice is to focus on the breath as it moves in and out of your body. Each time a thought distracts you (and it will) simply acknowledge it, then let it be on its way. I like to visualize my thought gently slipping down a waterfall, out of view. I am not blocking it or pushing it away--just letting it drift away.

Whatever method you choose, just do it. Start out with 10, 20, or 30 minutes a day--whatever you can manage. Sit in a quiet place and focus on your breath, or an image. Acknowledge the thoughts but don't spend time with them. That's it. Do this and you are meditating.

Keep Up the Practice

If you make dedicated time each day for this kind of practice, you will notice a difference in your life. Regular meditation has been linked to lower rates of heart disease, depression, and other ailments. It gives your body a "time out" from the constant chatter in your brain that can create stress, anxiety, and sadness. Yes, sometimes our thoughts make us feel good--but as everyone knows, even good thoughts can ultimately lead to disappointment.

The benefits of a daily meditation practice will begin to seep into your regular, "non-meditating" life, too. You will begin to see your thoughts differently. When you get angry or sad, you will bounce back more quickly, reminding yourself not to get sucked into the negativity your thoughts are generating.

It may seem like a simple activity, but a regular meditation practice will change your life. It is an incredible journey toward greater peace and awareness.

Sage Carter shares ideas, information, and advice for better living. Visit her at


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • sagecarter profile image

      sagecarter 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for stopping by, healthywholefoods. I hope the info in this hub helps...

    • healthywholefoods profile image

      healthywholefoods 6 years ago

      Well written article. I have always wanted to get into meditating. You have explained it well with a fantastic article. I will try to concentrate on breathing when I meditate. In the past, I've tried it a few time, but didn't have much luck, but I never tried meditating the way that you have explained. Thank you for inspiring my inner-self.



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)