If you’re learning to meditate, you’ve made a good choice. Meditation has a huge range of benefits, including better physical health, better mental health, less stress, greater peace of mind and even access to psychic powers and altered states. However, meditation isn’t always easy, especially in the beginning. Unfortunately, a lot of people give up meditating because they don’t get the results they’re seeking as quickly as they’d like. To avoid becoming one of the statistics, try bearing the following tips in mind:
1. Keep it simple
First of all, keep your meditation practices simple, at least start with. There are lots of different types of meditation, some of which require special clothing or equipment, or involve complex postures or routines. While such practices can have value, they can also complicate things unnecessarily for beginners, and lead overwhelm. The last thing you need is to make meditation more difficult than it already is, so choose a simple practice routine to start with. I suggest just sitting or lying down in a quiet place, closing your eyes and focusing on your breath as it enters and leaves your body.
2. Stay comfortable
Following on from the above point, it’s very important to be physically comfortable while meditating. If your body feels discomfort or pain, this will have a negative effect on your state of mind and make meditation more difficult. So don’t try to force yourself into the lotus position or any other posture that isn’t easy for you – special postures are often adopted by advanced meditators for specific reasons, but they’re certainly not necessary for a complete beginner. Just sitting in a comfortable, supportive chair or lying on your bed is a perfectly good meditation posture. Similarly, it’s also important to wear loose comfortable clothing that won’t dig in or otherwise irritate you during your session.
3. Start with short sessions
When you’re just learning to meditate, try starting off with short meditation sessions of around 10 minutes every day. As time goes on and you get more used to it, you can increase these to 20 or 30 minutes or more. But if you start off by trying to meditate for long periods, you’ll almost certainly find that your mind wanders so much that you just become bored and frustrated. It’s like starting an exercise regime – you don’t try to run a marathon the first time you go out for a jog, but you build up gradually – it’s the same with meditation, as hour-long sessions are really the equivalent of a mental marathon.
4. Don’t expect instant results
Meditation is a skill, and like most skills, there are a few people who seem to have natural talent, whereas most of us have to work at it. Most forms of meditation involve some degree or type of mental focus, whether you’re focusing on something specific (such as your breath or candle) or are trying to quieten down your thoughts altogether. This sounds very simple, but it’s difficult for most people who don’t have any kind of mind control training. So it’s important to realise that the full benefits of meditation come with continued practice, and you shouldn’t be surprised if it feels like not very much is happening in your early sessions. Just keep meditating consistently day after day, and meditation will become progressively more rewarding as your ability to relax and focus your mind increases.
5. Try brainwave entrainment
If taming the mind proves to be a major challenge for you, as it is for many people, you want to try listening to a brainwave entrainment recording as you meditate. Such a recording can be used either alone, or in conjunction with many other types of meditation (such as focusing on the breath).
A brainwave entrainment recording contains repetitive sounds such as binaural beats. These directly influence the frequency of the brain waves that your brain produces. Since meditative states are associated with the production of lower-frequency brainwaves than everyday waking consciousness, listening to such a recording makes it easier to relax mentally and benefit more from your meditation sessions.
If you decide to use a brain entrainment recording of this type to improve your meditation sessions, I suggest checking out the meditation recordings over at http://www.brain-sync.com which can be found in the ‘Meditation’ section in the menu on the left. These are great quality recordings and I can highly recommend them.
You can read more about brainwave entrainment at http://www.quantumbliss.com/
Loren Mann is an experienced ‘explorer of consciousness’ who enjoys writing about self-development topics and sharing helpful, high quality resources, and may receive compensation as a result of making these recommendations.
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