2: Meditation Tips for Beginners

Use these meditation tips to help start or deepen your practice. I don’t go into depth on why these are recommended but they are proven to work. These meditation tips apply to all forms of meditation practice.

  • It helps to reserve a certain part of each day for your “meditation appointment.” This way your body and mind get into the habit of meditating just as they do to eating at certain times. This is very useful if you intend to meditate daily. Daily meditation is recommended for those who seek lasting benefit from their practice.
  • Times that are especially good for meditation are early in the morning just after waking and night right before sleep. Dawn, noon, dusk, and midnight are also good times to meditate. The best time of all, is the one that works for you and that you can stick to, no matter what time that happens to be.
  • It’s much easier to concentrate if your body is not digesting a heavy meal. Eat very little or not at all for the two hours preceding your meditation time.
  • Light exercise and/or stretching before meditation can be helpful. Taking a walk in fresh air, or doing a calm yoga practice could help too.
  • Create a simple meditation space in your home and practice there as much as you can. Use this area solely for meditation. After a month or two of daily practice you will find it easier to meditate here. You will actually feel like meditating when you sit in your meditation space. It’s like getting a head start.
  • Have a focal point (possibly an altar) in your meditation area. Whether it’s elaborate or very simple is completely up to you. It should make you smile or feel deep reverence or devotion when you see it. Use this as your source for inspiration. When your thoughts run wild or head in the wrong direction, just look at your little piece of heaven and it will help to re-direct your heart and mind.
  • Find a comfortable way to sit with a tall, erect spine. It’s easier to mediate when you have the correct posture. Sit up without slouching and if possible, without using a backrest. Sitting on a chair, meditation bench, cross-legged on a cushion, or the edge of a firm bed, are all fine choices as long as you can relax and have the support you need to maintain your posture. A slight tension between shoulder blades to keep your chest open and shoulders from rounding forward is helpful.
  • Rest your hands in your lap with palms facing upward. Let the hands relax.
  • Don’t over do it! Just 10 – 15 minutes is fine to begin with. Meditate with deep attention and a joyful heart and only meditate as long as you can stay enthusiastic and focused.
  • Focused on what? This depends on you. I recommend using a traditional technique and resisting the temptation to modify it. Creativity is good, but focus that on the attitude you bring to meditation, the way you approach your technique etc., not the technique itself.
  • Use a proven technique and stick with it for some time. Don’t try to gauge your practice by what happens during meditation, and do not expect immediate results. Instead, observe over weeks or months how your life is going. Are you more patient, kind, and happy? If so, something is working. Or, are you becoming prideful, or stressed out? Then look at the way you approach your practice, it may be your attitude while meditating that needs adjustment.
  • Keep it fun. Isn’t having more Joy the whole point of anything we do? Taking yourself, or your meditation practice too seriously is like starting to run a race with your shoes untied.

1 Breathing Meditation Technique
2 Meditation Tips for Beginners
3 The Art of Meditation