Finding Quietude: Meditation 101
Meditation: Shhhhh… it feels good.
Meditation was something I found endlessly daunting at first, but soon became the quietude and calmness that rocked my world. I can't put my finger on the why or the how, but I will tell you this much, for me... I am just happier and much more collected.
I urge you to give it a shot. The worst thing that can happen is that you gave yourself ten minutes of quiet in an endlessly loud world. Here are some tips to help you get started:
"This is how I meditate on the left, and this is how I wish I could meditate." @taralaferrara
Sit against your headboard while in bed, on a chair, on a couch, in your car, or anywhere with comfortable back support. It’s best not to lie down, but it’s not necessary to sit up completely straight.
Calculate Your Finish Time
Check the time and add ten minutes on top of your start time. This will be your finish time. So, if you begin at 7:30am, your finish time will be 7:40am. Repeat your finish time to yourself once or twice. It’s best not to set an alarm or you may end up shocking yourself out of your meditation. Close your eyes.
Notice Your Breathing
Without speeding up or slowing down your breathing, just notice it. Expect your mind to wander away from noticing your breath. Do not fight this; it’s a natural occurrence.
Embrace Your Thoughts
It’s okay to get lost in your thoughts. And whenever you realize you’re meditating, just passively begin to notice your breathing again. For now, let the act of meditating become synonymous with both noticing your breathing and getting lost in your thoughts. Let all of the thoughts come and go—as you forget and become aware that you are meditating, it’s best not to resist any thoughts, including ideas, songs, conversations, images, feelings, or sensations. Embrace all mental experiences without concern, remorse, or regret.
In a typical meditation, you’ll begin by noticing your breathing for a minute or two, then you’ll get lost in thoughts for a minute or two, then you’ll remember you’re meditating, and slowly return to noticing your breath for a little while, then you’ll get lost again.
Come Out Slowly
Check your timing device periodically, and after ten minutes, slowly open your eyes and bring yourself out.
If the above tips are still a bit daunting, try using an app Headspace or Calm to help you with a guided meditation. I have found these apps to be very helpful, especially when you are first getting started.