Meditation helps combat negativity, improves health, cures insomnia, and makes you happier and more peaceful from within. You must have read and heard these lines over and over again on several websites, journals or heard it on talk shows. But you are still uncertain as to how it can really help you. There is only one way to find out, you must experience the goodness of meditation.
Here is a simple beginner's guide to help you meditate the right way.
1. Posture: You can practice meditation by sitting on the floor or on a chair, just cross your legs and make sure your back is straight in the upright position. The body and mind are like two sides of a coin, if your posture is lousy then your mind will lose focus quite fast.
2. Eyes: it is easier to close your eyes, however, meditating with open eyes permits you to be in touch with your real self. If you meditate with closed eyes your mind will drift into a dreamy state and it would be difficult for you to focus. Initially you will find it difficult to meditate with open eyes, do not force yourself to do the same.
3. Focus: Focus in meditation means awareness. For example, someone is talking to you and after he or she has finished, you suddenly realise that you did not hear a single word because you were lost in your own thoughts. This is where you lack awareness. To meditate you need to be aware of who you are and where you are.
4. Breath: The best way to meditate as a beginner is to pay attention to your breath. Just centre your focus on the breath coming in and going out. Do not control your breath, just let it be natural. You can also maintain your focus by counting your breath. At times you may experience missing your count as your mind has drifted away. At that point just start counting from one again. The counting is only for your awareness, it does not access your meditation practice.
5. Thoughts: All kind of thoughts will enter your mind once you sit down to meditate. Do not force them away, they will only come back and disturb you even more. Gently, bring the focus back on your breath. Thoughts are just like untimely visitors, acknowledge their presence and calmly make them leave by being aware of your breath.
6. Emotions: Anger, sadness, fear, shame… these strong emotions have physical bearings, like sadness is accompanied by tears, fear with fast heartbeats. Just tell yourself it is ok… it is ok if I cry, it is ok if my heart beats too fast. Acknowledge the physical bearing of the emotion and once you have started loosening up, gently bring your focus back on your breath.
7. Silence: Silence is essential for meditation. It is not possible for a beginner to practise meditation in a noisy room. To shut down the external sounds you can also play a soothing meditation tape.
8. Length: Ten minutes of meditation is excellent for start. Once you are more focused you can gradually increase your time. An alarm clock will be handy, otherwise you will keep checking he clock to see if the ten minutes are over.
9. Place: Sit in a peaceful corner of your house. Light some aromatic candles and incense sticks to prepare the room for meditation.
10. Enjoyment: Meditation practice is the best thing you have done for yourself. So smile and enjoy it!