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16 Practical Tips For Meditation Beginners

Meditation for Beginners

Meditation, particularly mindfulness meditation, has become extremely popular over

the last few years. While meditation can be very simple, there are several common

mistakes and misconceptions about meditation that you’ll want to avoid if you’re new to

the practice.

Getting started on the right foot increases the odds of maintaining your meditation

practice and getting the most benefits from it.

Use these tips to avoid meditation pitfalls:

1. Sit up straight. Slouching may be comfortable for a couple of minutes, but it

takes more strength than you think to support poor posture. Sit up straight and

let your skeleton support your weight.

2. Start slowly. Just a couple of minutes is enough to start. There are two good

reasons for this. It’s easier to be compliant when you only have to sit for three

minutes at a time. It’s also challenging to meditate for an extended period of

time if you’re not experienced.

3. Meditate multiple times each day. By sitting for just a couple of minutes, you

should have time to sit for multiple sessions. You might want to try meditating

for a few minutes each hour.

4. It’s all about the breath. Your breath connects you to the moment and helps to

keep your mind focused. The breath isn’t something to be focused on intensely,

rather it acts as an anchor to maintain awareness of the present.

5. Count if necessary. If you’re struggling to maintain awareness of your breath,

count your breaths. Count each inhalation until you’ve reached five and then

start over.

6. Keep your eyes opened slightly. It’s easier for your mind to wander from the

present if your eyes are closed. Keep your gaze lowered and soft.

7. Acknowledge thoughts but avoid dwelling on them. All thoughts should be

treated the same. They’re just phenomena passing through. Let them go and

return your attention to the breath.

8. Be patient. It seems like it should be easy to concentrate for a few minutes, but

the mind likes to stay busy. It’s a challenging habit to break. Be patient.

9. Sit comfortably. It’s not necessary to sit with your legs folded up like a pretzel.

Any position that can be held comfortably for the planned time is good enough.

10. Use a timer. Without a timer, you’ll find yourself worrying about the time and

continue to peek at the clock. Set a reliable timer and you won’t be as

preoccupied with the time.

11. Increase your meditation time by 5 minutes each week. Avoid the temptation

to progress too quickly. Ideally, you’ll look forward to your meditation sessions.

Progressing too quickly causes restlessness and agitation.

12. Consider getting expert assistance. There are many free opportunities to

meditate with others. Look for local meetups or contact your local Buddhist

temple. With so many people meditating, you’re bound to find an expert willing

to help.

13. Take every opportunity to meditate. Meditating at home under perfect

conditions is great practice, but the ultimate goal is to have the ability to

meditate anywhere. A skilled meditator can meditate on a 99-degree packed,

loud, smelly, subway.

14. Be persistent. If you’re meditating each day with the full intention of improving,

you’ll eventually become a skilled meditator.

15. Stretch first. Your meditation position should be comfortable and easy. If your

position feels like a stretch, you won’t be comfortable. Stretch first.

16. There’s no reason to be concerned about your hands. Just place your hands

comfortably on your lap. Allowing your hands to be lower can eventually pull

down on the shoulders and become uncomfortable.

Meditation can bring you both mental and physical benefits. Use these tips when

beginning to meditate and you’ll quickly become skillful at a practice you can enjoy

for the rest of your life.

If you are looking for mindfulness tools to get started we invite you to use any of our free resources. These can be found on our website.

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