Start meditating today with these meditation tips are for everyone, everywhere, anytime. Ever.
You don’t have to be a master at meditating or turn your life upside down to experience the benefits of meditation. You don’t have to be perfect or visit an ashram to start meditating. Keep trying new things and pick what works for you.
You might find you already do some of these things. Yippee!
Tip 1: START SMALL
Sit in silent meditation for 5 minutes once a day. You don’t have to clear your mind of thoughts. Just sit and let thoughts come and go. Voila! You’re meditating.
Tip 2: GO GENTLY
Meditation is very forgiving and doesn’t require you to have it all figured out before you start. Maybe you’re not ready to sit in silence. That’s okay. Every time you are consciously kind and accepting of yourself your mindfulness grows. That’s all you really need.
Tip 3: BEFRIEND YOURSELF
Imagine you are sitting across from an old friend who happens to be you. Check in with yourself – How you’re feeling? What are you thinking? What do you need? What feels in alignment with your true nature? Listen to what you have to say. You are wise.
Tip 4: BREATHE
Imagine your body as a balloon you are filling with air. Carry every in-breath to a different part of your body, expanding it with air. With every out-breath release tension. You can do this anytime, anywhere, as often as you need.
Tip 5: BE WHERE YOU ARE
The past does not exist in the present moment. Nor does the future. The present moment is all that truly exists. When thoughts & emotions come up about the future or past, let go and focus on something happening in the present moment. Coming back to your breath or your feet on the ground are a good place to start.
Tip 6: FOLLOW THE JOY
Engage in an activity that brings you joy and gives you an opportunity to get lost in the moment. Most creative endeavors, when done for the pure joy of it, give us a chance to connect with our natural rhythm and flow, while bringing a great sense of peace, calm and presence. Listen to what would feel most joyful in each moment and let this be your guide.
Tip 7: WRITE IT DOWN
Get the inner noise out of your head and onto paper. This includes journaling, list-making, doodling, note taking, you name it! A writing practice clears tons of space for deeper listening and stillness.
Tip 8: GO FOR A WALK
You don’t have to sit in a dark room with candles and mantras to meditate. Take a nature walk and let the trees be your example. As you walk, let your mind wander and let your breath find it’s natural pace. Walk without aim or direction. It’s also a good opportunity to listen to your inner voice by pausing and asking your heart (and feet) what direction they feel like going in today.
Tip 9: LISTEN
Start easy by listening to free guided meditations online. You can also find guided meditations to download for when you are offline and want to meditate without distraction. If you are looking for an app, the Insight Timer is a great resource. If you want something more in-depth, go with the Oprah-Deepak 21-Day Meditation Challenge or the Stay with Yourself 8-Week Meditation Course.
Tip 10: READ
Find new ways of thinking and practicing meditation/mindfulness with a book on the subject. I suggest There Is Nothing Wrong With You by Cheri Huber, The Mindfulness Code by Donald Altman, and On Becoming an Alchemist by Catherine MacCoun
Bonus Tip: JOIN A COMMUNITY
Most cities are home to a myriad of yoga studios, meditation groups and mindfulness workshops. They each offer a unique perspective and approach to meditation. You can also find a community online through Facebook or an app like Insight Timer. Try them out. Perhaps one will resonate.