Meditation for Beginners

Meditation is the art of targeting 100% of your attention in one area. The practice comes with a myriad of well-publicized health benefits including increased concentration, decreased anxiety, and a common feeling of happiness.

The purpose of this article is to provide 10 practical suggestions to help beginners get past the initial hurdles and integrate meditation over the long term:

1) Make it a precise practice.

You will only get to the next level in meditation by setting aside definite time (preferably two times a day) to be still.

2) Start on with the breath.

Breathing deep slows the heart rate, relaxes the muscles, focuses the mind and is an ultimate way to begin practice.

3) Stretch earlier.

Stretching loosens the muscles and tendons permitting you to sit (or lie) more comfortably. Additionally, stretching starts the process of "going inward" and takes added attention to the body.

4) Meditate with Purpose.

Beginners should understand that meditation is an ACTIVE process. The art of focusing your attention to a single point is hard work, and you have to be tenaciously engaged!

5) Notice frustration sneak up on you.

This is very general for beginners as we think "hey, what am I doing here" or "why can't I just quiet my damn mind already". When this happens, actually focus in on your breath and let the frustrated feelings go.

6) Experiment.

Although many of us think of efficient meditation as a Yogi sitting cross-legged beneath a Bonzi tree, beginners should be more experimental and try different types of meditation. Attempt sitting, lying, eyes open, eyes closed, etc.

7) Believe your body parts.

A great practice for beginning mediators is to take observes of the body when a meditative state starts to take hold. Once the mind quiets, put all your interest to the feet and then slowly move your way up the body (include your internal organs). This is very healthy and an pointer that you are on the right path.

8) Pick a definite room in your home to meditate.

Make sure it is not the similar room where you do work, exercise, or sleep. Place candles and other devout paraphernalia in the room to help you feel at ease.

9) Read a book (or two) on meditation.

Preferably an instructional guide AND one that express the benefits of deep meditative states. This will get you motivated. John Kabat-Zinn's Wherever You Go, There You Are is tremendous for beginners.

10) Listen to instructional tapes and CDs.