When you are starting out with meditation, we are overwhelmed by the many choices and techniques we have available, and many times we end up doing the wrong thing, because we start with more advanced types for which we simply do not have the mental equipment yet.
Thus it is important for beginners in meditation to choose simple techniques whereby you minimize the changes of external diversion and maximize your focus on one single object. Later on, once you get used to the simple meditations, you can get more creative and attempt the wide variety of meditation types and techniques available to you.
Here are 3 of the most powerful beginner meditation techniques that you can learn and use right away:
Count your breath meditation
This is simply a meditation to focus on the rhythm of your breath by counting your in and out breath. It is very easy to do, and at first you mind will start wandering around. Do not worry about it, it is quite natural. Just gently acknowledge that and shift your mind back into counting your breath again. With time, your mind will slow down and will stop wandering by itself, without any external ‘nudging’.
How to dit:
1. Sit down, close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Be aware of every breathing in and breathing out.
2. Do not try to control your breathing, or try to slow it down forcefully. Just breath automatically, freely and pay attention to the air passing through your nose, lungs and goes out again.
3. After a few breaths, start counting.
4. Breathing in, one………breathing out ,two……..breathing in, three……..breathing out, four… breathing in, five….. breathing out, six
5. Should you find yourself thinking of something else instead of your breathing, just acknowledge it, and return to your breathing, and start counting again
6. Now notice the sensations of your breathing. The depth, the speed, see if your breathing becomes increasingly slower and quieter, if your breathing more and more goes to your stomach or your chest, if your body becomes more relaxed through your breathing, …etc. Try to notice this as an outsider, without stopping from counting. If you cannot, then just go back to counting
7. Breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out, etc.
8. If at any time you notice any strange feelings in your body, like twinklings, or muscle reactions, just notice that, it is quite normal. Go back to your breathing
9. Once you got to 100, slowly return to normal, open your eyes, take in everything you see in the room, get up from the chair, stretch your muscles
10. You’re done!
This one is still one of my favourites. I love candles, so I am a bit partial to this 🙂
In this meditation, you will focus on a candle flame.
Turn off the lights, making sure that you still have some light entering the room, so you have the room in semi-dark. You will light a candel and position it at a level when you can look at the flame without any strains. Try not to think of the flame or the candle. Every time we wander away in our thoughts we return to the candle-flame without judging. Instead of a candle you can also choose an apple, a flower or any other object as your object of meditation.
How to do it:
1. Have the candle at eye level so you can see the flame easily
2. Sit down, close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing, just as in the first meditation technique mentioned above
3. Be aware of each breathing in and each breathing out.
4. After taking a few breaths, open your eyes and focus all your attention to the flame.
5. Breathe deeply and steadily and stare at the flame. Don’t think of the candle, the flame, or anything else. If your mind wanders away, just return it gently to the flame.
6. Breathe deeply and steadily and stare at the flame.
7. Continue simply focusing on the candel for the period of time you had set apart for this meditation exercise.
8. You can now close your eyes and try to see the object at the inside of your eyelids.
9. Try to visualise the flame as long as you can, but don’t strain yourself.
10. When the image disappears or you start thinking of other things, just try to get the image of your object projected in front of your eyes again.
11. When the time is up, just take back your thoughts slowly to the environment around you, open your eyes, stretch your legs, and just be aware of the here and the now.
12. You’re done!
Relaxation using visualization
This is a simple Visualization that helps you to reduce tension and Stress, totally suitable for meditation newbies.
How to do it:
1. Sit down, close your eyes, and direct your attention to your breathing, just as in the first exercise.
2. Be aware of every breathing in and breathing out.
3. Let your breathing go on autopilot and do not try to steer it.
4. Observe how the air slowly goes in through your nose, fills up your lungs, and goes out again.
5. Now you are ready to start the Visualization.
6. With every breath, you start to feel the positive energy into your lungs.
7. When you breathe out, imagine all negative feelings escape from your body together with the air you breathe out.
8. When you are totally relaxed, choose an image, a situation, or an environment that means rest, peace, and calmness for you.
10. Walk around (in your imagination) and enjoy every moment in your favorite surroundings.
11. Try to involve all your senses. Smell, taste, look, and feel as many details as possible.
12. Focus on this image and hold it in your mind as firmly as possible.
13. Enjoy this image in all its details and pay attention to all the emotions that accompany it.
14. Feel the tingling in your body, feel your muscles relaxing, and notice your body reacting directly to everything that you created in your mind
15. Continue this Visualization for as long as you like.
16. Any time you are ready to stop, take your attention back to the rest of your body and become aware of yourself being in the room.
17. Open your eyes.
18. You’re done!