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Super Simple Instructions for Meditation Beginners

| Nirmala | Meditation

Super Simple Instructions for Meditation Beginners

Published on
08 March 2015

How to Get Started with Meditation

Someone emailed me asking for instructions in getting started with meditation, and so I wrote up the following super simple directions:

If you are just getting started with the spiritual practice of meditation, then I would suggest keeping it very, very simple. Here are some  simple instructions and helpful tips:

  1. Find a comfortable sitting position for you. It is OK to use a chair or a cushion on the floor, whichever is more comfortable for you. It is also OK if you are slightly reclined as long as your spine, neck and head are all in a straight line. It helps to have a particular spot and chair or cushion that you use and always meditate there whenever you can (although it is also fine to meditate wherever you are if the spirit moves you). You can decorate that spot in your home with flowers, candles or other sacred objects if you like.
  2. The easiest thing to focus on is your own breath. You can simply notice the sensations of your breath going in and out of your nose. Anytime your mind wanders, then gently bring it back to the breath. It is completely normal for the mind to wander a lot, just keep bringing it back to the breath. You do not need to change the breath, or breathe more deeply. Just notice the sensations in your nose as you breathe normally.
  3. It helps to stay as still physically as possible throughout the meditation, and in addition, it can help to keep your eyes under your closed eyelids still also. Just let your eyes sink into their sockets and remain stationary.
  4. Start with whatever amount of time is comfortable and gradually build up the length of time that you sit. You may discover that longer meditations have unique effects, but allow yourself to increase the time by just a few minutes every week or so, to allow your body and mind to adjust, and to build a steady habit without getting overwhelmed or discouraged. Note added: Recent neuroscience research has shown that there is much more benefit to longer meditation sessions up to an hour or more at a time. This may seem like a lot to someone just getting started, but once you experience the more powerful effects of longer meditations, you may find that you want to meditate for longer at a time. Definitely, I would suggest doing one long meditation each day instead of two shorter periods of meditation.
  5. At first, I found it helpful to meditate either first thing in the morning and/or the very last thing at night. This is an easy way to make it a regular part of every single day, as there is always more time at the beginning and end of the day if you just get up earlier or go to bed a little later.
  6. The only measure of whether it was a "good" meditation is if you stayed on the chair/cushion for the entire time. Meditation has its positive effects through repetition, and so even if your mind wanders a lot or you think nothing is happening, if you are still sitting on your cushion when the timer goes off, then it was a "good" meditation.
  7. If you want to also add a simple breathing technique, then I would suggest doing alternate nostril breathing for 10 minutes or so, just before you meditate, then simply follow the breath for your meditation. Here is a video that shows this technique.

Some other approaches to meditating can also be especially helpful for meditation beginners just getting started with a practice of meditation. The first is guided meditations, where instead of focusing on the breath while meditating, you focus on the words being spoken and on the experiences or perspectives being pointed to in the guided meditation. There are several guided meditations offered by my wife, Gina Lake, that you can listen to on this Youtube playlist.

Similarly, some people just beginning with meditation find it easier to focus on sounds instead of the breath. You can simply focus on the sounds that come and go in your environment, or you can meditate on the sound of peaceful and relaxing music, preferably instrumental music or music in a language you understand, so that there are not any words that might stimulate  a lot of thoughts.

Finally, another way to possibly deepen your meditation practice is to join the online gatherings for Christ Consciousness Transmissions that my wife and I offer seven times every week. The transmission of higher consciousness energy that happens during one of these gatherings can effortlessly shift you into a deeper meditative state. Everyone is welcome to join us the first time for free, and the online sessions are offered by optional donation after that. Much more info about these transformative gatherings is on this FAQ page.

I hope this is helpful, and may you discover the profound opportunity and potential for  spiritual growth and evolution that meditation can provide.

There also are more articles on this site regarding meditation:

What is the Best Type of Meditation?

""And here is a blogpost I wrote in response to a question about the best type of meditation that might be helpful when you are ready to explore different types of meditation beyond the simple instructions above: 

Q: I would love if you could tell me if mantra meditation has the same results as just sitting and being In open awareness, because I’ve been doing both, but I want to do only one. What type of meditation is best? Many thanks!

A: That is a very good question! I can share that my friend, Jeffery Martin, who is a neuroscientist studying awakening has found that the well known spiritual practices or kinds of meditation that are widely practiced all tend to work in bringing about a profound shift in consciousness for about 5% of the people who encounter them. And it is not the same 5% for all, but different people respond differently to different practices and types of meditation. (Read more about this perspective.)

""So my advice to you is to maybe focus on a meditation technique or other spiritual practice that you feel drawn to for a week or two, and then switch to working with a different type of meditation or practice for another week or two. Over time, that should give you a sense of what kind of meditation or spiritual practice works best for you at this point in time.

So, I would also encourage you to explore more widely over time and see if you can discover a  spiritual practice or form of meditation that is best for you. My friend suggests that someone should be able to tell if a particular spiritual practice or type of meditation is having a particularly powerful effect on them within a week or two. No one kind of meditating is best for everyone, and so you may need to explore a bit to find what form of practice is best for you. There is much to explore about how to meditate as a spiritual practice that can take you beyond the simple instructions above for meditation beginners

An In-depth Online Course for Exploring Many Forms of Spiritual Practice and Meditation:

For anyone who wants to explore many different practices and types of meditation to possibly find the one that fits best for you, you can check out my wife, Gina Lake's, online course, which is an in-depth exploration of spiritual practices and spiritual awakening that includes several different styles of meditation. (More info about this extensive online course, 'Awakening Now'.)