When learning how to meditate, the main issue most beginners have is the loud, inner chatter. The so-called monkey mind. This can be very distracting and is one of the main reasons people give up trying to learn how to meditate. But if you stick with one of the 5 simple meditation techniques below for several weeks, you will experience first hand how the mind works and learn how to tame the monkey mind.
Our minds are made to think. Thoughts constantly pop into our awareness, but it is in our power to choose if and when we engage with them. Meditation teaches us how to allow our thoughts to simply be there, and to float past and away without engaging with them. Once you learn this skill, you are on the road to inner peace. The following 5 simple meditation techniques will help you get started learning how to meditate. In another blog I will discuss guided meditation and visualisation and how you can use these methods to actively create a positive future.
- Sit comfortably on a chair or on the floor. Have your legs where they are comfortable. For some, this will be crossed; others might have them stretched out in front or sitting on one with the other outstretched. You can sit leaning against a wall, on a pillow, outdoors on a beach chair, on a bed or recliner. It doesn’t really matter as long as you feel comfortable, at ease and not in a position where you will fall asleep!
- Close your eyes. Take your awareness inward. Notice your breath.
- Begin to focus on your breath going in and out of your body. Don’t try to change your breathing. Just let it be. Notice how slow or fast it is. Notice how deep or shallow it is. Notice movements in your chest and stomach as you breathe in and out.
- When a thought comes into your mind, simply notice it and then go back to focusing on your breath. This may happen every second. That’s okay. Just try to re-focus on your breathing. Be curious about your breath, what it feels like, how it just happens on its own.
- Continue in this state for 5 to 10 minutes at first, longer as you progress.
- Prepare by placing an item such as a crystal, a flower or a candle on a table or on the floor. You can either sit on a chair in front of the table or on a cushion on the floor.
- Make yourself comfortable wherever you are. Sink in to the surface you are on.
- Begin to look at the item in front of you. Allow your eyes to gently gaze at the item, blinking when you need to.
- As thoughts arise, just notice them and bring your attention back to the item in front of you.
- Continue in this state for 5 to 10 minutes.
- This is a healing meditation for those who need healing in some area of their body.
- Sitting comfortably, slow your breathing down.
- Imagine healing white light being drawn into your body as you inhale.
- As you exhale, imagine this white light flowing to the area in need of healing, or throughout your whole body if there is not a specific problem area.
- Continue slowly breathing in and out until you feel a shift in the energy within you.
- This is a mindfulness technique to use while you are completing any task.
- Simply become aware of what you are doing. Stay present. Breathe slowly and deeply.
- Notice every detail as you perform the task. For example, while gardening, notice the feel of the soil on your hands, the smell of the ground, the movement of your hands as they push the soil apart to plant a seedling.
- You can use this method as you wash the dishes by hand, make your bed, brew a cup of tea or any other task you must do.
- Use this method while walking.
- As you walk, pay attention to each step you take. Notice each foot as it touches the ground. Notice how hard or soft the ground feels.
- Notice how your arms swing as you walk.
- Notice your breath.
- Be aware of your body in space and time.
When you conclude your meditation, slowly re-orient yourself to your surroundings and move mindfully into the rest of your day or evening.