By Darshan Goswami, M.S., P.E., Pittsburgh, PAMeditation is a practice for calming the Mind, Body and the Soul.
In today's fast paced busy lifestyle, many of us feel anxious, tired, frustrated and over extended. It's difficult to find a balance and take some time out to relax and do the things we enjoy. If we don't find a way to relax and rejuvenate, stress levels tend to build. This can then have an ill effect on our health. If you're looking to feel more relaxed, happy, and calm throughout your day, meditation can help achieve the inner peace you need.
Meditation is a practice that has been around for centuries. Steps on learning how to meditate properly for beginners are very easy. Meditation is one of the easiest and life changing skills that could help in relaxing the mind and body from stressful thoughts. Meditation also helps in enhancing a person's understanding about his body thus developing the potential skills of the mind. Being enlightened or self realization is perhaps the main objective of meditation. Meditation lets us unravel things spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.
The most important thing to know for a beginner at the early stage is that meditation is NOT something that you can measure in terms of success or failure. The very first step in learning how to meditate for beginners is to suggest you to clear your mind. Meditation practice is a life long journey that can be used to focus and train your mind to experience a more peaceful and calm mode of consciousness. Many people mistakenly think that they are failing at meditation because thoughts arise in their mind when they try it. This is perfectly normal.
For a beginner there are several easy methods that can be used to learn meditation. A few popular meditation methods include:
Breathing meditation - Conscious diaphragmatic breathing is a great meditation for beginners. It is extremely relaxing to the autonomic nervous system and a powerful weapon against stress, depression and anxiety.
Mantra Meditation - The person simply repeats a sentence or group of words that have a phonetic significance to attract positive energies.
Transcendental Meditation (TM) - TM is a technique for avoiding distracting thoughts and promoting a state of relaxed awareness. The person repeats a single word or phrase called a mantra and is taught to allow other thoughts and feelings to pass.
Mindfulness Meditation - This is one of the oldest forms of Buddhist meditation. A typical meditation consists of focusing your full attention on your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Focusing on each breath in this way allows you to observe your thoughts as they arise in your mind and, little by little, to let go of struggling with them. You come to realize that thoughts come and go of their own accord; that you are not your thoughts. More and more psychologists recommend mindfulness meditation because it is a very effective natural treatment for stress-reduction, depression, anxiety and other emotional difficulties.
Guided Meditation - The person learns "meditation with the help of a guide or meditation teacher," or by listening to a guided meditation recording.
Walking Meditation - The person can meditate while you are on your feet and on the move. You can really turn the simple act of walking into a tranquil meditative experience.
Imagery Meditation - A technique that involves the use of visualizations so as to tailor your meditation to achieve specific outcomes, from healing to stress relief, personal development and much more.
Chakra Meditation - This meditation focuses on the energy centers in the body and can be as long or short as you'd like, depending on the time you spend on each element. This method that uses specific visualizations so as to open and cleanse the 7 major energy centers in the body. The chakra meditation is an excellent way to recharge your body, mind and soul to revitalize you from the inside out.
Meditation for Beginners
Meditation is an effortless experience. It requires no exertion. For some people, this is an unexpected self-realization. Meditation for beginners could be pretty simple and can be taught in few steps. However the execution may seem to be difficult at the beginning because it's not easy to train your mind. It could be simple enough to empty your mind of thoughts but to prevent them from coming back is lot harder than you would ever expect. Let's look at the easy way to learn how to meditate.
The most common technique to learn how to meditate for beginners is the focused conscious diaphragmatic breathing method. With this method you are made to sit or lay comfortably while focusing on the sound of your breathing. Close your eyes and turn your attention to your breathing and keep your breathing at a constant pace. While focused on your breathing you may have random thoughts suddenly put into your mind, simply brush them aside and return to sound of your breathing. Concentration is very vital for meditation. Concentrate on your breathing and feel the tensions in the body go away. Meditating with eyes closed can be challenging for a beginner. Lighting a candle and using it as your point of focus allows you to strengthen your attention with a visual cue. This can be very powerful to focus your mind.
As your conscious mind begins let go you will feel your body relaxing and may experience tingling sensations, you are getting deep into you relaxation. Let this wonderful, relaxing feeling spread across your whole body.
How to Meditate for Beginners: Tips
1. Set aside a regular time for your meditation.
2. Find a clean, quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Make sure all phones, television, etc. are turned off.
3. Wear comfortable clothes and put yourself in a comfortable position.
4. Warm up and stretch a little bit by doing some Yoga Postures or Pranayama.
5. Sit down in a comfortable position, relax and rest your hands on your lap. Your back, neck and head should remain straight. You may feel best cross legged on the floor, in a straight back chair or lying down on a comfortable surface. Regardless of how you sit, it's important to maintain the natural curve of your back.
6. Breathe slowly and deeply and focus on relaxing your body. Close your eyes softly. Begin by taking a few slow and deep breaths - inhaling and exhaling from your nose with your mouth closed. Don't force your breathing. Let it come naturally. The first few intakes of air are likely to be shallow, but as you allow more air to fill your lungs each time, your breaths will gradually become deeper and fuller. Your breathing will eventually slow down and become deeper. This in turn will relax your body muscles and reduce your heart rate.
7. Gently observe your breathing and bring your attention back to your breathing. Take as long as you need to breathe slowly and deeply.
8. Be aware and center your attention on your breathing. When you are breathing deeply, you'll begin to feel calmer and more relaxed. Continue focusing on your breaths for as long as you like. As you develop greater focus power, you will find it easier to concentrate.
9. Practice the above for 10-15 minutes per day. First thing in the morning is the best time for meditating as your mind is peaceful and relaxed.
10. When you are ready to end the session, open your eyes and stand up slowly. Stretch yourself and extend your increased awareness to your next activities. You've done Meditation!
Make a commitment to meditate daily, over time, you will enjoy the benefits of deeper consciousness and awareness which increases happiness, decreases stress and provides overall wellness.
Many health experts have recommended meditation to be a part of our daily routine to give time for some quiet moments. Meditation offers so many health benefits that can change a person's life, solve problems and attain a greater level of life satisfaction. Daily meditation can help in improving one's health and breathing, balances the mind from different thoughts and create surge in mood-stabilizing chemicals and hormones such as serotonin. Many health experts have proven its amazing benefits to the body, mind, and soul. Meditation is one of the most efficient ways to relieve stress and other stress related disease, decrease heart rate and blood pressure, lower metabolic rate and cholesterol, and to increase the body's energy levels thus keeping it away from tiredness. It is like a pill that takes away all the pain that life gives.
Even popular celebrities, athletes and personalities are into meditation because of the benefits that it could bring the body and mind. As little as five minutes of deep breathing is enough to lower blood pressure, ease muscle tension and boost immunity.
About the Author:
Darshan Goswami has over 35 years of experience in the energy field. He is presently working for United States Department of Energy (DOE) as a Project Manager in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. He retired as Chief of Energy Forecasting and Renewable Energy from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, DC. He is a registered Professional Electrical Engineer with a passion and commitment to promote, develop and deploy Renewable/Green Energy Resources and the Hydrogen Economy.
In dedication to his life serving humanity and poor people, the author supports:
India Foundation for Children Education and Care, Inc.
"There are many dedicated people behind this non-profit foundation dedicating their services free of charge (unselfish giving)." - Darshan Goswami
Further Reading by Darshan Goswami:
Defy Aging with Yoga Healing Power of Meditation
The Purpose of Living Simple Secrets of How to be Happy Can Money Make You Happy?