You’ve heard about the many benefits of meditation, but you’re not sure how to start. Guided meditation can be a good jumping-off point for people who want to begin a sitting practice, but clearing your mind or focusing on your breath seems intimidating.
Listening to a calming voice giving instructions can help the mind focus and remove some anxiety you might feel about starting a meditation practice.
You don’t need anything special to get started meditating. All you need is a comfortable place to sit and time.
Many people who want to practice wrongly assume they must begin by sitting in absolute silence for an hour, trying to clear their mind. As a beginner, if you try to do that, you’ll feel quite frustrated. And jumping into the deep end like that can be a lot when confronting your thoughts for the first time.
It’s much better for your mind to practice for 5 minutes daily. The frequency at which you meditate is far more important than how long you meditate in a single session. The repetition of the practice trains your mind. As you come to your place of stillness every day, you will understand the process more.
Connect with your Unconscious Mind
Your unconscious mind controls 95% of your actions. This includes all of your internal systems that you need to stay alive. It also includes your habits, automatic reactions to things, and emotions.
Your mind is the architect of who you are, and most of it happens behind the scenes without you even having a say.
When you meditate, you build a bridge between the unconscious and the conscious mind. You can tap into that power and make it easier to change the habitual responses your mind has built over time.
Begin with the Breath
Breath is life. It’s universal for all living things. When you start a meditation program, whether it be an online meditation course or something that you do in person with a teacher, you will begin with the breath.
You are told to pay attention to your breath when you learn to meditate. Your natural instinct might be to breathe rigidly and more forcefully. Instead, breathe with normal inhalation and exhalation while focusing on the space where the air enters and leaves your body. Draw your attention to your nostrils and your upper lip.
How does the air feel there? What are the sensations you feel when you inhale and exhale?
Give Your Mind Something to Hold Onto
When practicing meditation, it is natural for all kinds of things to go through your mind. We are humans, and we like to grab hold of things in our brains.
An old Hindu saying compares the mind to an elephant’s trunk. An elephant’s trunk is restless and curious. If you walk through the market with an elephant, its trunk will stray, picking up objects to examine and explore. It could cause quite a lot of chaos.
But if you give the elephant a piece of bamboo to hold in its trunk, it will walk through the market concentrating on holding the bamboo and not cause any destruction.
During meditation, the breath is like the piece of bamboo in the story. It gives you something to come back to when your mind strays. Your mind will stray. All kinds of thoughts will pop into your head, but the trick is not to hold on to them. Instead, acknowledge that it’s there and let go of it. Then bring your mind back to the breath. You’ll find that meditation is mostly this… over and over again–allowing the thought to float away and bringing your mind back to the breath.
This is how you train your mind to focus. Over time you can drop down into the deeper brain waves and get in touch with the subconscious mind.
If concentrating on the breath is too difficult for you and you need something else to focus on, listening to online guided meditations is a good solution. In addition to the breath, the sound of the person giving you instructions gives you something to return to when your mind begins wandering.
Omstars has a vast library of online guided meditation programs for you to use as you start your meditation practice. These online meditation videos are perfect for people who are learning how to meditate and want to make it part of their daily lives.
Try practicing with this guided meditation video with Kino McGregor.
Do you want more meditation classes like this? Sign up for a free trial with Omstars to get started.