Episode 23 – How to start meditation for beginners

Meditation is showing potential in the sciences as being healthy for you.

Meditation is a subjective experience so depending on your philosophy about life and beliefs, meditation could be either of these views or even a completely different one altogether.

  • Way to connect with God (or a Creator) in an act of listening. There’s a saying out there that says, “pray is talking to God, while meditation is like listening to God.”
  • Self awareness activity to observe and connect with your thoughts.
  • Way to slow down your heart rate and breathing.
  • A completely different one altogether.

 

Benefits of meditation

Some benefits of meditation include:

  • Being more relaxed
  • Being more objective
  • Sharpened focus
  • Clearer thinking after meditative practice
  • Being more perceptive
  • Increased creativity
  • Physiological benefits
  • Perhaps even a certain peacefulness or calm

 

Got Yogi?

You don’t have to be a full on, hardcore meditation person to get these benefits. Meditation is dose related, so the more often you are in a meditative state, the more likely you will have the benefits of meditation overflow into your daily life. Its dose effect could be likened to exercise – the more you do it, the better you are for doing so (and thus, the more “meditation fit” you can become). It’s really up to you to find out what works for you. Let’s get into some guidelines on how to start meditation for beginners.

 

1. Explore all the different meditation practices

Find a some good meditation practices out there and then give each one a try to find which one suits your lifestyle.

 

Types of Meditation

Here’s a list of a handful to try:

  • Yoga
  • Tai chi
  • Qi Gong
  • Singing bowls
  • Guided visualisation tapes
  • Walking in nature or with animals
  • Super slow motion conscious walking
  • Flow state activities – eg. surfing, hobbies
  • Transcendental Meditation
  • Breathing
  • Body scanning and awareness

 

2. Setup your meditation environment

Meditation happens in your meditation place just like exercise happens at a gym and cooking in the kitchen. The important thing is keep your meditation environment the same.

 

Meditation Places

Some good places for meditation include:

  • Bed room floor
  • Edge of bed
  • Rooftop
  • Outside on the Verandah / deck
  • In nature at your favourite rock or tree
  • Trail
  • A mountain
  • Beach
  • Cave
  • Backyard

 

What are the other two meditation tips for beginners? Read on!

 

 

3. Prevent distractions

Distractions are the worst.

While you can’t control all possible distractions, you can eliminate some obvious ones.

 

What’s distracting you?

Some common examples of distractions include:

  • Phones

Phones are simple to avoid. Simply put it on airplane mode and place them outside of your meditation area for the duration.

 

  • Kids

If it’s kids, let your partner look after them for a while or simply let them know you’re meditating and need 5-10 minutes to yourself – #metime.

 

  • Outside noises – neighbours, cars, traffic, etc.

If it’s outside noises, focus on the noises as noise but don’t translate it into the meaning or the emotion.  For example, if it’s a car with an annoying muffler on it, focus on the noise and it fading away, rather than visualising a car muffler, a sports car and then translating it into an anger – just let it be.

 

Getting Distracted

If you do get distracted, don’t’ stress – just relax and pick it up again, or restart again tomorrow. It’s just like fitness, start slow, progress gradually and then you get “fitter and fitter” in your meditation.

 

4. Get into the meditation and enjoy it

A quick tip for enjoying meditation:

  • Put a timer on so that if you’re afraid of sleep, you can be sure to wake up without losing time to a power nap.

 

Meditate!

Meditation is showing to have a lot of benefits and it’s an exciting field of health and fitness to watch being discovered. Give it a try!

 

To summarize the tips again, here are the top four (4) tips to keep in mind:

1. Explore all the different meditation practices

2. Setup your meditation environment

3. Prevent distractions

4. Get into the meditation and enjoy it

Bibliography

  • Chek, P. (2009) How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!
  • Aurelius, M. (1964) Marcus Aurelius: Meditations (Translated by Staniforth, M.). Penguin Books
  • Chopra, D. (1995) Boundless Energy: The complete Mind/Body Program for Overcoming Chronic Fatigue. Three Rivers Press
  • Cosgrove, F. (2007) Coach Yourself to Wellness: Living the Intentional Life. Messenger Publishing.
  • Duhigg, C. (2012) The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business. Random House
  • Emoto, M. (2007) The Shape of Love: Discovering who we are, Where we came from and where we’re going. Doubleday
  • Hill, N. (2008) The law of success – Complete. BN Publishing
  • Kok Sui, C. (2005) Achieving Oneness with the Higher Soul: Meditations for Soul Realization (2nd Ed.) Institute for Inner Studies Publishing Foundation, Inc.
  • Kotler, S. (2014) The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance. Houghton, Mifflin Harcourt Publishing
  • Levitin, D. (2014) The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload. Plume Printing
  • McKeown, G. (2014) Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less. Crown Business.
  • Pirsig, R. (1999) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An inquiry into Values. Harpertorch
  • Seneca (1997) On the Shortness of Life  (Translated by Costa, C.D.N.). Penguin Books
  • Tolle, E. (2004) The Power of Now: A guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. Namaste Publishing

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Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness.

Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness. International Athlete, Elite Performance Manager for the Philippine Volcanoes rugby teams, qualified Dietitian / Nutritionist and qualified educator. Chris Everingham combines more than 10 years of experience and education together to deliver the best strategies to grow your mindset, rewire your habits and transform your life.

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