Meditation has now become a part of daily life for many people today.
Even while scientists load meditating monks into MRI machines to study their brainwave patterns and try to decode meditation’s medical benefits, ordinary people from all walks of life are downloading meditation and mindfulness apps at an astonishing rate.
Clearly, something about meditation is good for us. But what is it? And how can you harness the benefits of meditation in your own daily life? This meditation home edition guide offers you seven easy steps to being integrating meditation into your life today.
What Is Meditation, Really?
The definition of meditation may change depending on who you ask. For Buddhist monks, meditation represents a way to transform and ultimately transcend the mind.
For business people, meditation is a pathway to focusing the mind for improved productivity.
Your own personal definition may look even somewhat different than these. What is most important is that you choose a definition that is exciting and motivating so you will want to pursue your daily meditation practice.
Are There Health Benefits to Meditation?
The simple answer to this question is “yes.” Once you begin to learn about all the health benefits that are linked to creating a daily practice of meditation, you may even decide to deepen your practice and study by enrolling in one of our online crystal healing Evolve courses.
Meditation can reduce stress and anxiety, improve emotional balance, ease depression, increase self-awareness, improve mental focus and concentration, fight back against age-related memory loss and cognitive impairment, improve quality of sleep, deepen commitment to healing from addiction, lower blood pressure, control pain and facilitate kindness and forgiveness.
Are There Different Types of Meditation?
Here again, the answer to this question is “yes.” There are lots of different types of meditation, just as there are many different types of yoga and natural healing methods.
Regardless of which type of meditation you decide to practice, you will notice there are some fundamental basics which are shared by all. Mental concentration, a focus on the breath and emphasis on noticing without judgment are all basic hallmarks of emerging meditation practice.
However, some types of meditation may be better or more appropriate if you want to meditate for a specific purpose, such as to get better sleep or ease chronic pain. If you are not sure which form of meditation to choose, you might just start with the one that seems most interesting or accessible to you.
7 Steps to Start Your Home Meditation Practice
These seven steps can have you up and running with a personal home meditation practice today. Feel free to add to each step as you feel inspired to do so.
Step 1. Decide when to meditate.
The time of day you choose for your meditation practice can enhance or detract from your success. Try to avoid times when you feel especially tired, hungry or distracted.
While eventually, you will learn how to meditate anywhere, when you start it can be very beneficial to carve out some time to be alone in a quiet place.
Step 2. Set up your meditation area.
There is no hard and fast rule on how to set up a meditation area. You may want to meditate while sitting on a chair. Some people like to meditate sitting cross-legged on a cushion or blanket. Whatever seating you prefer, be sure it will help you keep your back straight and that it doesn’t cause you any pain.
You may enjoy burning a candle or some incense as a way to focus your mind and calm your thoughts. Some people like to wear certain clothes when they meditate. Be sure you choose clothes that are loose-fitting and comfortable.
Step 3. Let your housemates know you want to be undisturbed during your meditation time.
If you live alone, accomplishing this usually just requires muting your phone. But if you live with others, you may want to let them know in advance and even hang a sign on the door to remind them you are meditating.
If you have children, it can help to write on the sign what time you will be done meditating so they know when you will be available again.
Step 4. Set a timer if it helps.
One of the biggest obstacles many new meditation students experience is anxiety about how long to meditate, especially if they have other commitments that are time-sensitive.
It is easy to alleviate this concern by setting a timer. Your phone timer is ideal for this, especially if you can set the sound to something soothing like chimes that won’t startle you out of meditation and cause stress.
Step 5. Start out slow – meditate for five or 10 minutes, tops.
Sure, the Dalai Lama meditates for five or six hours a day. But he has been meditating since he was very young – plus, in a way, meditation is part of his job!
For you, perhaps five or 10 minutes a day is the perfect amount of meditation to help you achieve more mental calm, focus, and productivity. If you start out with a manageable time commitment, you will find it much easier to keep your commitment.
Step 6. Let your breath help you focus.
If there is one thing no one probably does enough of during an average day, it takes full, deep breaths.
If you get nothing else (highly unlikely, but still) out of your daily meditation practice, at the very least you will re-oxygenate every cell in your body by breathing in and out calmly and deeply.
Step 7. Always thank yourself for your commitment.
Just as it is important to set up a space that helps you meditate, so too is it important to close each session in a positive, affirming way.
One nice way to close your meditation session is to just thank yourself for taking the time to breathe, calm your mind and relax.
About The Author:
Elizabeth Marks is a freelance writer with a passion for learning new things. She writes regularly about Medical, Health, and Nutrition.