Understanding Meditation For Beginners

By Ethan Nelson August 13, 2017 3 min read

Understanding Meditation For Beginners

Meditation may have the ability to improve anyone’s life for the better. Even a small amount of meditation can add value. The problem is that meditation is not widely understood. There are countless myths and stereotypes surrounding meditation that it has traditionally been disregarded in western culture, although this is now changing and it is becoming more popular. Understanding Meditation for Beginners aims to debunk some common myths about meditation, highlight some benefits and teach you a simple and easy way to meditate.

Debunking 5 Meditation Myths

1. Must sit in lotus position

Some experienced meditators sit in the lotus position, but it's not required. I wouldn't even suggest sitting in that position for beginners. To start it's best to sit in a chair in a relaxed position.

2. Can't have any thoughts in your mind

Meditation isn’t about thinking about nothing and voiding yourself of all thoughts. Instead, it's about being aware of when thoughts arise and bringing you back to the present moment.

It pertains to not getting caught up in the stories we tell ourselves and calmly being in the here and the now.

3. You can't meditate with any distractions around

Many people find meditation difficult when a dog is barking, or when people are talking, but this is the very essence of meditation.

Meditation is about being in the present moment. Even if the present moment includes barking dogs, people talking, mowers running, cars driving or even an itch on your back.

4. It's a religious practice/it doesn't adhere to my religion

Sure, there are some meditations that are religious practices, but that's not the type of meditation that I'm talking about here.

I'm talking about a type calledmindfulness meditation,which is about immersing yourself in the present moment.  As a result, you may find happiness and fulfilment by living completely in the here and the now.

5. It's difficult

Many beginners shy away from meditation because they believe that it's too complicated. Or, they try meditation and find out that they are unable to think of nothing and then stop because it's too difficult.

You must realise that when you start meditating, you won't be able to stop all thoughts. It's the natural state of our minds to be thinking.

Meditation is about realising when you're thinking and calmly bringing yourself back to the present moment.

Benefits Of Meditation

Here are a few profound ways meditation may improve your life.

  1. Develop strong emotional control.
  2. Be unconditionally happy.
  3. Overcome negative addictions or habits.
  4. Build strong mental willpower.
  5. More productivity and creativity.
  6. Attain fulfilment in life.
  7. Unhook from stimulation.

Many of these benefits come from meditations ability to change the structure of your brain.

How To Meditate

1. Get a timer

Having a timer allows you to stay calm without worrying about how long you have been meditating. The timer on your phone works just fine. Set it to a predetermined amount of time. Ten minutes is a great time to start with.

2. Environment and how to sit

  • Sit in a quiet area, preferably alone.
  • Sit comfortably in a chair.
  • Make sure that your spine is somewhat erect so that you don't fall asleep.

3. The act of meditating

  • Close your eyes and start to become aware of the process of breathing, whatever you translate that to be. Whether it's the rise and fall of the gut or the feeling of air entering and exiting your nostril.
  • Allow your attention to rest in the mere sensations of breathing.
  • Every time you become aware that you're thinking, gently bring your attention back to the breath.
  • As you focus on breathing, you'll also perceive sounds, bodily sensations, and emotions, then gently bring your attention back to the breath.
  • If an unpleasant sensation arises, just become aware of it without reacting to it.
  • Continue like this until you can merely witness anything that enters your consciousness. 

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Ethan Nelson
Ethan Nelson

Guest blogger Ethan Nelson is a meditation enthusiast who blogs about his experiences and personal findings at www.mindfulyoungman.com helping his readers become more mindful and fulfilled in their lives.

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