How to begin?
Beginning with meditation is easy. The main and most important thing is – to begin 🙂 Really the only thing that is needed is to begin, right now. Well, after finishing reading this article. If we start something immediately we gain enthusiasm and inspiration. These two things are necessary to carry us through and make us continue. Because meditation takes time and requires patience. To think that we’ll feel or experience something right away the first day is naive (although it can happen if you are lucky). Learning meditation simply takes time and the first challenge is to show your patience and determination.
A big mistake is to start only with “theory” – by reading books and articles about meditation (like this one) without practical experience. Experience is everything. We can talk and write about meditation a lot, but meditation is something spontaneous. It is something hidden deep within each of us and we just need to brush it off and bring it to life. Each of us does meditation in a different way. So it’s not needed to “study” meditation. It’s needed to “practice” it. By reading thousands of books we won’t learn it. By trying practical exercises every day, we will. On the other handbooks and articles or videos can give us a lot of inspiration, without which we would give up easily. So it is good to read about meditation, but do the practical part at the same time. Every day. Our inner life demands at least basic discipline and that is our regularity.
And now (finally) some practical advice for beginners. Perhaps you know these things from books about meditation. Meditation means to dive into our inner world and discover what we have there. To be able to do that we have to calm down our minds and emotions. To do that we get help by singing simple mantras, doing concentration exercises and breathing exercises. After a couple of days or weeks, we’ll learn how not to be disturbed by thoughts and emotions, and we can add a meditation exercise to that. Later on, we can develop our own personal way of meditating.
When doing meditation it is important to have our spine straight up. So while lying down meditation won’t work. We may have nice and relaxing thoughts and images but that has nothing to do with meditation. Meditation is not relaxation! It is a conscious effort during which we’re trying to discover something and connect with something. For the same reason, it is not good to have our eyes completely closed. It’s better to keep eyes half-open so that some light can come into our eyes from outside. We are breathing in and out through the nose, slowly, deeply and freely. To create a better atmosphere we may burn incense and light a candle and use meditation music. These are simple things that can help to calm down our senses and focus on our inner world. We can also wash our faces (or take a shower) and wear clean and free clothes. If we have space for it we can create a special place for meditation in our home. Something that we use for meditation only. The best time for meditation is early in the morning (before breakfast) and in the evening (before sleeping). In the beginning, the hour of meditation doesn’t matter that much, and also how successful are is not so important. What is important however is our regularity.
To sum it up
- spine straight up (sitting on a chair on a pillow)
- breathing through the nose, deeply and slowly
- eyes slightly open
- we can use meditation music, candle, and incense
- begin by singing a mantra or doing concentration exercise
- continue by doing a meditation exercise
Finally, one concentration exercise
Perhaps the easiest way how to concentrate is to focus on our breathing. Because that is always with us and we don’t need anything else. We breathe in and out through the nose, slowly and deeply. Our eyes our closed or half open. Before each breath we refocus our attention inward. In the beginning our concentration will keep running away and that’s why we have to focus again and again with each inhalation and exhalation. It is allright to lose the concentration, we just have to keep coming back and not give up. After few minutes we won’t lose our concentration that much anymore. To make this easier we can repeat (in our mind) “inhalation” when breathing in and “exhalation” when breathing out, or some mantra such as “aum“.
And one meditation exercise
This exercise is connected with breathing as well. We keep breathing in and our through the nose, deeply and slowly. We don’t try to concentrate anymore. Instead, we imagine that we breathe in not through the nose but through the middle of our chest – where are spiritual heart is. To make it easier we can put our right hand on our heart. While breathing we are trying to feel this place. After we succeed in this, we will try to feel that with each inhalation energy and peace enters into us and with each exhalation restlessness leaves us. This we continue doing for a couple of minutes.
If for any reason, meditation doesn’t work for you, or if you are losing inspiration, you can meet with us at our free meditation classes 🙂