Do you want to learn the art of meditation?
Then you are exactly right here.
Meditating is easy and has many positive effects on your mind and body:
- You become more confident
- You dissolve negative thoughts
- You stop thinking too much
In everyday life, meditation also helps very well to relax , to deal with stress better and to cope with anxiety situations more easily .
As a beginner, however, you are usually faced with a few questions:
How exactly does meditation work? How do I get started? What posture should I adopt? What do I have to pay attention to and how do I know that I am doing it correctly?
Why learn to meditate?
Before I started meditating myself, I always thought that meditation was only for yogis and esoteric long-haired hippies. What advantages could there be in sitting there doing nothing and letting the day go by?
Meditation seemed to me to be a waste of time at the time.
A few years later and meditation has become an integral part of my everyday life.
Not only have I found out that meditating does not waste time but gains time (more on this in a moment ), I have also experienced all the other positive effects of meditation on my own body and do not want to miss them anymore.
The benefits of meditation
Learning meditation will help you:
- to become more awake when you are feeling sluggish
- coming down when you’re stressed
- to relax quickly and recharge your batteries
- to become more confident and gain inner strength
- get a better grip on your fears
- getting rid of negative thoughts
- to feel better all around – in no time …
In addition, you will quickly feel that you are more focused and think more clearly. This allows you to complete your tasks faster and with more ease.
That is why I wrote above that meditation does not waste time, it gains time. Because through meditation you approach your tasks more rested and focused and do them faster and with more zest for action.
Learn Meditation – What To Look For
Well, how exactly does meditation work? How can you learn meditation? What exactly do you do during meditation?
When you think of meditation, you are likely to see images of Indian yogis sitting as rigid as a stone, apparently doing nothing. This is what meditation can look like, but it doesn’t have to be.
Because meditation can also take place when you are talking to someone, when you are showering, going for a walk or are about to fall asleep …
When you start learning to meditate, I recommend that you make it as easy as possible for yourself. That means you don’t do anything else during this time. One focuses exclusively on meditating.
Here is my little guide for it:
Learn meditation in 7 easy steps
1. The meditation place
Pick a place where you want to meditate. Make sure it’s quiet and clean there. You should like the place and look forward to spending some time there every day.
If you want, you can also buy a small Buddha figure to accompany you in your meditation and set it up there.
But keep the place rather simple and remove all unnecessary things. After all, it’s about getting inside yourself. The easiest way to do this is to minimize all external disturbances.
2. Keep calm
Before you start meditating, make sure that your place is calm and comfortable. That means, switch your cell phone to silent and make sure that you are not interrupted by anyone for the duration of the meditation.
3. The sitting position
You shouldn’t sit on the cold floor. So get yourself a yoga mat or sit on a thick towel. Make sure you’re warm and cozy.
However, the surface should be rather hard. Meditating in bed is not such a good idea because that’s where you sink into.
If you’re a beginner, just sit cross-legged on your mat. If you are a little more flexible, you can also try putting one foot on top of the other (half-lotus) position.
If you don’t like sitting on the floor, then you can also sit on a normal chair. The main thing is that it is pleasant. Of course, it can be a bit uncomfortable at first, but it should definitely not hurt. (Meditating while lying down is not so good because you tend to nod away!)
4. The posture
Try to adopt an upright posture. An upright back causes your chest to open, you can breathe freely and an unhindered flow of energy occurs.
You just let your arms fall loosely in your lap and you put your hands together. The thumbs point against each other. The head looks straight ahead. You drop your shoulders.
In general, you are trying to relax your body while maintaining an upright posture. It looks something like this:
5. Before we start
So you are now sitting in a quiet place in an upright position. Now set your alarm clock for 10 minutes – that is completely sufficient at the beginning. Then close your eyes and consciously breathe in and out deeply into your lower abdomen a few times. In the meantime, check your posture again : straight back, loose shoulders, free chest, relaxed overall feeling :).
6. The meditation
After you have taken the first deep breaths, keep your awareness on your breath. In the beginning it’s just a matter of “getting out ” of your head and “ finding your way into ” your body.
Now feel your breath as it slowly flows in and out of your body. Feel your stomach expand as you inhale and contract as you exhale. This will help you focus on the moment and calm your head.
Warning: sooner or later, probably after a few seconds, your thoughts will distract you from it again. But that doesn’t matter, it’s completely normal. When that happens, just gently bring your attention back to your breath.
7. Waking up
The goal of this meditation exercise is of course that you take this state with you into your everyday life. So if your alarm clock gets you back after your 10 minutes, don’t jump up and run after your next task. Take your new clarity and your new energy with you to your next task. Stay aware of yourself and your breath. Keep your upright posture. And keep reminding yourself in everyday life to pause for a moment and become aware of yourself.
The 3 biggest mistakes in meditation
There are many tips and sites on the subject of meditation. Unfortunately, there is also some misinformation on the way, which makes meditation much more difficult than it should actually be …
Here I want to go into the 3 biggest mistakes that hindered me greatly at the beginning:
Mistake # 1: Don’t think ANYTHING
This is the biggest mistake I keep seeing. Very often when I teach people to meditate they tell me:
“But it doesn’t work for me, I just can’t turn my head off!”
Well my dear, here comes the good news:
Exactly THAT, you shouldn’t do either! You shouldn’t turn your head off. And you shouldn’t try compulsively to stop thinking!
Because the fact is:
The more you try not to think, the MORE thoughts you will have!
So what to do instead, you ask? Here comes the solution:
Instead of compulsively trying not to think anything, ALLOW your thoughts! You read that right. Allow the thoughts just as they come. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter. Just let the thoughts go. Because THAT is exactly the way to weaken and ultimately dissolve the energy of your thoughts.
The way to freedom of thought does not come through compulsion, but through total letting go and acceptance! Accept your thoughts exactly as they are. Look at them without evaluating them. Breathe deeply into your stomach and relax. And after a short time you will notice how your thoughts are getting weaker and weaker and weaker.
Mistake # 2: You need to maintain perfect posture
In some traditions, an upright posture is extremely important. Some teachers even prescribe a fixed posture, which it is best not to change during the meditation time.
The fact is:
YES, it makes sense for your breathing and your feeling of relaxation to assume an upright posture, but it is not necessary for meditation.
Whether you sit upright like a tree or slumped like a sloth doesn’t really matter. The most important thing is that you feel GOOD doing it. Because if you feel good about it, then you will enjoy meditating and you will continue to do it instead of throwing in the towel after one time.
My recommendation: Make sure that you adopt a reasonably straight posture so that you feel good and your breath can flow freely. However , if your body wants to relax and ” slump ” during the course of meditation , don’t try to stay upright for the devil but allow whatever feels good to your body.
Mistake # 3: Meditate with Willpower
Perhaps the biggest mistake: Many people try to meditate with willpower:
- To no longer think with willpower
- Sitting upright with willpower
- With willpower to focus on breathing or whatever …
True meditation has no direction and no goal . It’s pure acceptance and letting go. All methods that try to reach a certain state of mind with willpower are limited, inconsistent and conditioned. The desire to achieve certain states only leads to compulsion and dependence
So instead of willpower try to meditate with total ” letting go “. Accept everything that comes. Every thought and every feeling. Don’t be against it – because doing so will only reinforce the feeling or the thought.
Just perceive what is and accept everything that comes. That is true meditation.
Common questions and problems when meditating
Here I have summarized a few common questions and problems that I have experienced myself in the course of my meditation career:
It is true that the goal of meditation is to achieve a thoughtless state. However, this is NOT achieved by forcing yourself not to think. Does not work like that. What you need to do instead is this: let your thoughts fully, and then just watch them.
Just by observing and becoming aware of your thoughts, they will disappear after a while as if by themselves. So don’t try desperately to stop your thoughts , but let them flow as they come and just watch them. As a result, they will become less and less over time, until they disappear completely in the end and you come into a thoughtless state.
When is the best time to meditate?
What should I do if my foot falls asleep?
How often and for how long should I meditate?
It is not so important how long you meditate, but that you do it continuously. Continuity is more important than the length of the meditation. So it is best to make it your daily routine to meditate for 5 minutes right after you get up or when you get home from work.
If you’ve meditated for 10 minutes for a week, you can slowly increase your workload for the next week, to 15 minutes for example. There is no maximum duration. I myself need a break after 2 hours at the latest;).
What good is meditation anyway?
I don’t have time to meditate …
If you only have 10 minutes to meditate, meditate 20. If you don’t have time to meditate, meditate for 2 hours!
What does this saying mean to us? Quite simply the following:
Meditation benefits most of all to the person who, right now, believes they don’t have time for it. That means: the less time you have for it, the better it will do for you to start meditating.
Ultimately, this “ taking your time ” is just a decision in your head. EVERYONE has 10 minutes a day to meditate. The question is simply whether you care enough.
And as this wise master says so beautifully: The less time you think you have for it at the moment, the more time you should take for it!
How do I get rid of negative thoughts?
Don’t try to conform to any ideas. Forget all ideas about what meditation should look like or what it does. Just meditate, try it out and you will quickly find your own way.
Should I meditate with or without music?
Should I close my eyes or leave them open?
Do apps like Headspace or the like bring anything?
What types of meditation are there?
- The Concentration Meditation
This meditation is about consciously focusing on one thing (e.g. your breath, a mantra, an object). The idea behind this is to make your mind quieter. In the ancient Vedic scriptures, the mind is often referred to as “monkey mind”. So your head jumps from one thought to the next like a monkey. Therefore this form of meditation to focus your mind and make it calmer.
- Contemplative meditation
This includes image meditation, guided meditation and mindfulness meditation. The point here is that you follow spoken instructions or otherwise concentrate your mind on things (your body sensations / your thoughts). This form of meditation can be very helpful for beginners as it is quick to relax and very easy to perform.
- Pure Meditation
This is the purest form of meditation, and this is the way I meditate today. It’s about letting go completely and just letting everything be as it is. And then you just ARE. All effort disappears (even the effort of watching your thoughts disappears). You just ARE, with what is. It is difficult to put into words this state, but it is the ultimate state. Once you’ve experienced it yourself, you’ll know what I mean by that. To get into this state, just meditate a few minutes a day with the instructions above and try to keep letting go. Go deeper and deeper into yourself and into the silence and try every effort and every “Wanting to do ”to let go in gentleness.
The meditation that I discussed above is a mixture of concentration and pure meditation. Start by noticing yourself and your breath and then keep moving to just letting everything be as it is. Let go more and more. And don’t try to control anything (neither your feelings nor your thoughts). Just BE there with what is.
It’s your turn
Meditation is a very simple thing. The hardest part is taking the 10 minutes a day to sit down and just give it a try.
I cannot describe in words how much meditation has helped me in my life. It really is indescribable. So be sure to try it out and experience all the benefits of meditation on your own body. And you certainly have 10 minutes during the day to do something good for yourself, right ?!
If you know someone who would do well with this “Learn to Meditate” article, please recommend it to others!