So you’ve taken the plunge. You want to find out what all this meditation hype is about. Maybe a co-worker of yours swears by it. Maybe an old school friend said it helped with her stress and anxiety. Whatever the case may be, something has peaked your interest. You take to the world-wide web, and suddenly find yourself going down rabbit hole after rabbit hole with various professionals coming at meditation from: a medical perspective, a nutrition perspective, a “personal training” perspective, maybe even a religious perspective. You are now overwhelmed. Questions begin to form on whether you really even want to do this or not.
Well, today these 5 tips on meditation techniques and how to meditate as a beginner, are simply that. Simple tips. Break things down to the basics.
We have all been there. Sadly much of the information on the internet can forget to start at a place where we all once did. This series was birthed from all the chaos and overwhelm. Let’s try and go on this journey together and reduce all the unnecessary mental anguish.
You want to learn how to meditate? Then, let’s do just that! I hope you find these helpful my friend.
Meditation Techniques for Beginners: Overview
Tip #1- Set the Scene
You might hear other’s tell you that “there’s no perfect place to meditate.” I disagree. Whatever place cultivates your meditation journey is perfect in it’s own right. Whether you are own a nature walk, or in a completely silenced closet, it is a a wonderful place to have a meditation practice. The key here with this tip is the action and intentionality behind it.
Setting the scene implies that there is an action being done. This simply means choose your environment with intention and wisely. If your body is calling for an outdoor meditation, then don’t just rush and sit down inside your house and meditation just because you think “well, at least I got it done today.”
Listen to what your mind and your body is calling for, and set the scene for your practice.
Tip #2- Are You Ready to Receive and NOT Receive?
In part of preparation for a meditation practice, we often hear only one side of the story. We hear a lot about releasing expectations or to come in with an open-mind, but what all does that really mean? As we know, each and every time we meditate, whether it’s daily or even several times a day, each of those moments brings forth a brand new experience. No meditation practice is every exactly as the one before or after it. Therefore, we may receive a sensation or response in one practice and not in another. Does that mean one of them we did something wrong? Absolutely not! On the contrary!
The absence of sensation is still a response!
What can throw us off is our readiness (or lack thereof) to receive any outcome. Sometimes, if we have a practice that creates an intense emotional response, we may not be “prepared” for it. Not prepared in the sense of bracing for it or knowing it could happen. No. The readiness of receiving an intense response or even an “empty” uneventful one, is simply acceptance.
Are you truly ready to accept your meditation practice for what it is? If you have an intense emotional response, is your gut reaction to hide and stifle it? Or would you allow it to be its full intensity and accept it as a beautiful thing?
If your meditation practice renders a bland, uneventful, and possibly what seems like a void outcome, will you immediately be judgmental or feel frustrated? Or will you accept it, acknowledge it, and thank the experience for granting you grounding and resolve?
Meditation Techniques Continued…
Tip #3- Basic needs are met.
This one may seem strange, but I will tell you, it’s probably the most neglected one out of all of these. This is because it’s not one we consciously consider beneficial or a necessity for a meditation practice. But hear me out.
When we think of our most innate, basic needs, (or those identified by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs) what comes to mind? Water, food, and shelter.
Well, let’s say you have the shelter piece down. You are either in a house, apartment, or some form of shelter that you feel safe meditating in. Then we turn to the water and food element. If we are dehydrated that will severely impact our clarity and energy levels on top of many other issues. Same with food. If we hear and feel are stomach growling, that’s often difficult to tune out because it’s a physiological response. Why add on more distractions to your meditation practice when there will already be so many to begin with? Just keep hydrated throughout the day ensure you are following a good, healthy, meal-plan, and you’ll have those basic needs met!
Tip #4- Become a Witness
This tip can be a long-term investment and has many layers which makes it great for all levels of meditation students. At the beginner level, we only want to introduce this idea of beginning to distance ourselves from the intensity of distractions or excuses. Basically, anything that becomes a road block for us beginning a meditation practice, we want to start to viewing ourselves as a witness. Think about taking a birds-eye view to yourself.
So, when you are seated and beginning meditation, think of lifting up into the sky and then looking at your seated body from above. (I get it, this may take sometime). But the bottom line premise for using this tip is this: the more we can learn to become a witness, the less intense we feel the distractions and the more clarity we have when we aren’t so close.
Tip #5- Listen to your ancestor’s wisdom
I hate to be bias, but this one might be one of my person favorites. It is so powerful that sometimes it is difficult to find words to express how incorporating this in your meditation practice can set it apart from any other lifestyle method you may adopt.
Have you ever reflected on or asked yourself what is the one thing that would influence you to do something even in the most dire situations? Some people may call it “that little voice,” “intuition,” “little birdie,” whatever you may call it, the point is that we often listen to that voice above all.
We may even be going against our better judgement, or perhaps it’s just a large amount of fear. But, my take on this is that the only thing that could ever give me enough faith or wisdom to have a breakthrough during a large amount of fear, would be that of a divine nature.
We all have people who have gone before us, whether it’s 2000 years ago or just 2 years ago. There is an abundance of divine wisdom all around us. It is there to guide us if we just pause and choose to listen and call upon it.
Same goes for our meditation techniques practice.
Call upon your ancestors, whoever you define them to be for you. Ask them to guide your practice and to guide you to receiving the healing you may be seeking. Lean not on your own understanding because that is when mental roadblocks form and hinder our practice.
Learning these meditation techniques will help you to feel empowered in your practice and to refine what serves you…
Here is a wonderful free meditation guide to practice on your own!