Starting with Meditation
Started a meditation practice yet? If you have, good for you! If you haven’t, we have some tips to get started.
Granted, there is mediation advice galore on the internet. But we like what the New York Times has to say on the matter the best. According to David Gelles, the trick to meditation is mindfulness. In other words, being awake, present, and open-hearted. The practice “involves playing close attention to the present moment – especially our own thoughts, emotions and sensations – whatever it is that’s happening.”
Meditation, after all, is training the mind. “The goal isn’t to stop thinking, or to empty the mind. Rather, the point is to pay close attention to your physical sensations, thoughts and emotions in order to see them more clearly, without making so many assumptions, or making up stories.”
How to get started
Pick a time to meditate every day and stick with it. It can even be for 10 minutes, five minutes, or even one minute. Think of how little time that is (especially, in comparison, with how many minutes we waste being online!).
Pick a meditation spot. All you need is a comfortable position where you can sit upright.
Many people don’t meditate because they “run out of time” in the day. Try to carve out some time for yourself. It’s not an easy thing to do, we know, but it’s important. It is also helpful to have guidance. There are mediation videos on YouTube as well as in Gelles’ great NY Times piece (click here and scroll down to find meditation tracks that range from one to 15 minutes long).
The article also touches on something called “body scanning.” Rather than focusing on breathing, this is a focus on different sensations and areas of the body while mediating, from the head to the toes. After getting used to sitting meditation and body scanning, walking meditation and mindful eating are other areas to explore.
What we’ve found so far with meditation is that our brains wander. This is normal, but we’re told that the more we practice mediation, the easier it becomes. Like anything else, just starting is the hardest part.