Beginner’s guide to meditation

What is meditation about?
Meditation is a way to transform the mind through the practice of paying attention. It is not about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It’s about training the mind to have the ability to be present, to rest in the here and now, and to be fully engaged with whatever you are doing in the moment with a word only described as peace.

There are many mental health benefits that go along with meditation, such as helping with substance addiction, increased focus and concentration, improved self awareness and self-esteem and the ability to lower stress/anxiety levels.

Anyone can meditate, it is simply a skill you can learn similar to drawing or writing. Think of it as learning a new language, it takes practice to get comfortable doing it.

How much should you meditate?
Meditation is not complicated, as long as you follow the steps below. The key is to commit to sitting down every day, even if it’s for five minutes. An author/meditation teacher named Sharon Salzberg says “One of my meditation teachers said that the most important moment in your meditation practice is the moment you sit down to do it.”


How to meditate
Read these steps, be in a place where you can relax, set a timer, and give it a shot.

Take a seat
Find a place to sit that feels calming for you.

Set a time limit
If you are just beginning, then start with a short time such as five to ten minutes.

Pay attention to your body
You can sit with both of your feet on the floor or criss cross, just be sure to feel stable with a high posture. The process of meditation goes beyond the mind to the deepest level of the inner Self.

Feel your breath
Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes in through your nose and out through your mouth. You can close your eyes if you would like.

Notice when your mind has wandered
Inevitably your attention will leave the breath and wander to other places; might it be the smells/sounds around you or thinking about what else is going on that day or previous things you went through. When this happens, simply return your attention back to your breath.

Close with kindness
When you’re ready, gently lift your gaze and if your eyes are closed you can open them now. Take a moment and notice any sounds in the environment. Notice how your body feels right now. Notice your thoughts and emotions.

There are also apps that can help guide you through your meditation like the mindfulness app, headspace, and so many more.