Welcome to an overview of how meditation for beginners can change your life. In this brief article, we’ll go over what to expect, some benefits, and how to meditate effectively. Our first meditation tip is adapted from a program we used with our clients. Read on!
Meditation for Beginners by Joseph M. Deutsch. Here are five minutes to prepare for your first meditation. Try not to think about the sensations or thoughts that may come during the duration. Instead, pay attention to breathing patterns, feelings in your body, and above all, the quality of the breathing in your chest.
What to expect: Paying attention to the breath during the meditation practice will help your mind wanders, especially if your attention has been wandering during the meditation process. The three minutes should feel like three minutes but feel longer because your mind wanders a lot. As your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the breath, making sure to concentrate on the breath all the way through. Do this several times for each of the five senses: hearing, seeing, touching, tasting, and smelling.
What To Focus On?
What are you currently focusing on? Is there anything that you’d like to modify, change, or eliminate? If so, as you focus on your current moment, make a conscious effort to think only of the object, thought, or sensation that you’re focusing on at the moment. The objective of mindfulness meditation is to observe the present moment fully without judging, comparing, contrasting, rationalizing, or arguing with what’s around you. Think only of the sensations and emotions that you’re feeling at this very moment.
Walking meditation techniques: Using an evaluation statement such as “I am deep in thought about…” can be a good start. Or, walk slowly in a comfortable pace, letting your legs feel the floor and your hands find the sky. You may also choose to use your breathing to deepen your relaxation response, such as using your belly to increase awareness of the expansion of your breath. You may also wish to practice “breath awareness”, which means monitoring how your breath feels as it comes into your body, without judging it.
Formal Meditation Techniques
Walking meditation can be enhanced by combining it with an informal meditation technique called active listening. Active listening involves observing someone else’s experience as you meditate. When you engage actively in other people’s meditation, you are more likely to become deeply relaxed and focused. You’ll be less distracted, even if you are not fully aware of the thoughts that are passing through your mind. Of course, when paying attention to another person’s experience, you may not want to directly talk about what they are experiencing. That said, acknowledging their presence can help you become more relaxed.
When you feel that you are fully absorbed within this mindful meditation, take a few moments to observe your sensations. Pay attention to how every sensation feels in space and how it is being reflected in your body. As you notice your sensations and their characteristics, you will gain insight into the experience of walking meditation. In doing so, you can expand your awareness beyond the sensations and begin to realize the true nature of your body. Finally, as you pay attention back to your body and its sensations, you will find that your mind has slowed down and your attention has returned to walking meditation.