Meditation is a simple practice which is suitable for everyone. It can help to reduce stress, promote happiness and increase calmness and clarity. Practicing meditation is straightforward, and it can make benefits quickly. Here, we offer some basic tips to help you get started well with meditation. Please find a comfortable spot, take a deep breath, and be ready to relax.
Spending time on formal meditation is important to set up a routine and make you become comfortable with the practice. Only a few minutes per day can even make a big difference. Practicing meditation is an effective tool to bring you back to the present in stressful situations.
But when stopping meditating, you shouldn’t stop being mindful. The purpose of meditation is to make you mindful throughout all parts of your life so that you can become present, awake, and openhearted in everything you do, not just when you’re sitting on the cushion.
Mindfulness meditation doesn’t mean letting your thoughts wander or trying to empty your mind. Instead, it involves paying the attention to the present moment, especially your own emotions, thoughts, and sensations.
Although meditating by yourself is necessary, an experienced teacher’s guidance can be invaluable, especially when you’re getting started. Because your mind wanders so easily, the clear instructions of a teacher can help bring you back to the present moment.
WHEN THE MIND WANDERS
During meditation, your mind will wander. You may take notice in things happening around you, the other sensations in the body, thinking about the past or present, possibly judging yourself or others, or just get lost in thought. This is nothing wrong because it’s the natural conditioning of the mind to roam.
When this happens, just notice what is distracting you or what you are thinking about, then take a moment and pause. It’s not necessary to pull your attention immediately right back to the breath. Instead, let go of whatever you were thinking about, redirect your attention, then gently come and land again by returning your awareness to the breath.
After that, your mind may wander again. It’s natural. The important thing is how you respond when it happens. Simply notice what you are thinking of and take a while to come back to the present, and resume your meditation. Notice it, thinking, and then pause, and then come back again and again.