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Tips for Meditation for Beginners

Updated on August 18, 2010

Learning to meditate can be a difficult process. Many beginners believe that people who meditate are special mystics trained by yogis who've carried the tradition on for thousands of years. This isn't the case at all. Meditation is something that anyone can do anywhere without any special sort of equipment. The following are a series of tips to help you along your path to meditation.

1. Find a quiet place that you can regularly go to and not be disturbed.

One of the most important steps if finding somewhere to meditate. It doesn't have to be under a tree in the middle of the jungle. It can be a special room that you designate for meditation. You don't need to have candles, incense, or anything else. Just a quiet room to be alone.

2. Focus on your breath.

Central to meditation is your breath. How you breathe will affect your state. The basic meditative breath is a simple slow inhale through the nose to the count of 5. Then exhale through the mouth to the count of 5. Continue this slow, rhythmic breathing. Do not fret over keeping exactly to the count, that isn't the point. This breathing will serve as the means to relax the body.

3. Relax your mind.

Many guides will say that you need to push any extraneous thoughts out of your mind the moment they appear. This is false. Acknowledge the random thoughts, then let them fade away. Do not force anything. Focus on letting thoughts go one by one until the mind completely quiets. This will take some practice at first.

The mind can be like a car radio that can't pick up the station too well. It's possible to hear the music, but behind everything there is a cacophony of white noise. Those random thoughts that appear are like that white noise. The way to tune into the station better is to acknowledge the random thoughts, but do not dwell on them. Let them fade. This may take awhile.

4. Do not become frustrated.

Many times you won't be able to completely quiet the mind or relax. That's okay. Stressing about your failures is only counter productive. Learning to accept yourself is as much apart of meditation as are the techniques. Forgive yourself. It's alright to fail because you will try again. It may take a few attempts, but you will succeed.

5. Become Aware.

As you meditate begin to notice the feeling of your body. Begin to feel your breath. Begin to notice the subtle signs of change in your body. Become aware of the sense of peace that develops from regular meditation. These small, subtle changes, require you to be aware of them. They are the reward for your practice.

Meditation is not difficult. It requires dedication and sense of understanding. An understanding of both how it is done and of yourself. Hopefully, these tips will help you avoid some of the common pitfalls of meditation.


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    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 7 years ago from Minnesota

      Great article. I especially love putting on calming music, and another helpful item is massage oil (just simply for the relaxing smell).