Meditation is a time-proven strategy for calming the mind, regaining inner strength and reconnecting with one’s inner being. I mentioned this already few times before, but can’t repeat myself enough here – People often erroneously believe that meditation is a form of Eastern religion. While it is true that Buddhism, yoga and other spiritual movements embrace meditation, other religions and cultures also advocate for meditation as part of holistic living and appreciating oneself. But how can a person who has never meditated begin to do so?
This is a question that many ask. It is an important question because unless you ask you know how to do it, you will never make any progress. The reason there are many frustrated wannabe meditators is lack of understanding. Many also engage in meditation expecting miracles to happen overnight. Thousands have also fallen into the trap of believing that meditation is only for the elite. Knowing where to start is a crucial step towards becoming an effective meditator.
What Is Meditation?
I believe that you must begin by eradicating fallacies that you might be harboring concerning meditation. I have in mind what I said earlier – meditation being a form of Eastern religion. More than that, it is imperative that you banish from your mind the idea that meditation means halting your thought processes. I must say that this is a ridiculous belief and assumption. Not even in sleep does your mind cease thinking completely.
You also need to stop believing that when meditating you cease to feel or have any emotions. Don’t be cheated. Your body, soul and mind are in constant activity. They may slow down when you are sleeping but they remain active. You cannot suddenly force your mind to become blank. If that happens, then you will have bid the world farewell. Meditation does not aim to stop you from mental activity; it only helps you to focus on a single issue.
Preparation Is Key!
Meditation is a rendezvous with yourself and the Supreme Being!
Why should I prepare when I simply want my mind to rest and recuperate? Allow me to disappoint you by informing you that meditation is work! Lazy people cannot meditate. The level of effort and concentration needed in meditation can only be attained by very strong people although anyone can learn, through perseverance, to meditate. In essence, there exists something like preparation in meditation.
Preparation is both physical and mental. Some gurus also opine that meditation requires spiritual preparation. Physically, you need to have a meditation mat or some other comfortable flat surface. Your environment should also be quiet to avoid distraction. We will delve deeper into that later in this article.
Mentally, you prepare for meditation by relaxing. How do you relax when there are so many problems and concerns in your life? That is the reason you are engaging in meditation in the first place my friend! More specifically, you need to breathe in and out until your body relaxes. You must practice holding your breath for long.
Spiritually, preparing for meditation involves prayer. While prayer and meditation are not synonymous, most people who engage in meditation also practice one form of religion or the other. If you do, it is important to seek divine intervention before you begin to meditate. More often than not, prayer helps you to focus on the task at hand. Often meditation is considered to be part of prayer with the person who is meditating taking time to reflect on his or her relationship with the Supreme Being.
Calming The Body Is Crucial…
A calm body and mind are imperative for meditation. When you decide to meditate, you must understand that you need time and space to be quiet. More than that, you must train your body to be still. Avoid any movement and concentrate all your energy on the activities in the brain. Your hands and fingers are not exempt from this principle and must harnessed. At the beginning it will be hard but you will eventually reach the ideal level.
Facing Upwards Is Recommended
Over the years, it has been discovered that where your head is facing is very important in meditation. Your eyes must be facing slightly upwards; the same level as the summit of your head. Focusing on one point during meditation is important since it will help you bring all your physical and spiritual energy to one area and your spirituality will be awakened.
What Should Happen During Meditation?
1. Set Aside A Specific Duration And Time For Yourself: Meditation should be longenough to attain its objectives but short enough not to bore or demoralise you. New meditators should begin with periods of between 10 and 15 minutes every day. As you practice, you can increase the duration. Please remember to have a timer. Don’t forget you have work, family and social life to attend to.
2. Have A Designated Place For Meditation: Meditation must take place in a quiet place where people cannot disturb you. Create a special space or room for this purpose. You can meditate in your bedroom or study as long as you have enough air and the place is clean. Have a mat, cushion or chair to sit on. Make this place a rendezvous with yourself and the Supreme Being.
3. Maintain An Upright Posture: You can use a chair for this purpose, particularly when you are beginning to learn how to meditate. You can also adopt a number of postures including crossing your legs. Never forget, though, that your spine should be erect; that you must not slouch, and the body should relax during meditation.
4. Control Your Breathing: It is very important to regulate your breathing pattern during meditation. You need to engage in what is called measured breathing whereby you inhale, hold your breath and exhale methodically and repeatedly. Concentrating on your breath is an effective technique of ensuring that you achieve your meditation goals. With constant repetition, you will master the technique.
Don’t give up when the going gets tough. Keep on trying because the benefits of meditation far outweigh the inconveniences you have to contend with during the initial stages.
More Thoughts On Meditation
- You can never learn to meditate effectively at a go. Meditation is an art that you master with practice.
- You need patience to become a good meditator. At the beginning, you may rise from your mat feeling that you have achieved nothing.
- While the mind is not empty during meditation, it needs to focus on a single issue, and you must be on the lookout to bring it back to the desired status every time it strays.
- You need to control your breathing but you should not concentrate on this activity to the point of losing sight of the need to relax the mind.
- Learn to close your eyes and focus on the area between the eyebrows, on your forehead, as this is the seat of the spiritual eye.
- End your meditation with a prayer just as you began it as this connects you more intricately with divine power.
- You can learn to meditate even when you walk by simply focusing your thoughts on one issue.
- Nature can be a good catalyst for meditation. Consider meditating in the woods or on the banks of a lake or river when the situation allows.
- You can use meditation to focus on difficult scripture passages as this will give you a deeper understanding.
- Create regular time for mediation and train your mind and body to observe that ritual.
Your Grace Guru