A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation
Meditation is good for the body and soul, but many people think it’s more difficult than it is. Therefore, they miss a great opportunity to improve their health. Misconceptions regarding meditation abound, but the truth is far more uplifting than any myth. If you’ve never tried meditation, consider acquainting yourself with the basics. Then get ready to experience its benefits.
What is Meditation?
Most people associate meditation with Eastern religions such as Hinduism or Buddhism. They assume they cannot benefit if they don’t practice these religions. In reality, meditation can be religious, but it doesn’t have to be. Meditation can be as simple as sitting still for a few minutes each day and doing guided breathing exercises. Of course, if you want to use prayers, mantras, or verses, you can certainly do so. The goal is to give your mind and body a serene and affirming place to go.
You Have Time
Many people say they don’t have time to meditate. One common misconception about meditation is that it takes hours to work. In reality, you can meditate effectively if you have only one minute a day. A simple breathing exercise called the One-Minute Breath can help you do this. Additionally, you can meditate anywhere and anytime – at home, during your commute, on a break at work, or in the bathtub.
You Can Be Comfortable
The word “meditation” generally connotes sitting in a full or half-lotus position, which some people don’t find comfortable. The truth is, you can meditate in any position, although it’s best done sitting up. Otherwise, you might fall asleep; if this happens continually, it’s an indication you need rest more than meditation. Keep your spine tall and straight if possible. Roll your neck and shoulders to relax them. Keep your eyes closed to block intrusive stimuli.
Your Mind Won’t Be Empty
Some people eschew meditation because they associate it with an emptied mind. The truth is that meditation actually encourages you to focus more. Meditating effectively means teaching your mind and body to relax in preparation for what it needs to do later. In true meditation, you focus intensely on being at peace, affirming yourself, or acquainting yourself with your deity. All this keeps your mind full, yet clear and organized instead of cluttered.