Meditation for Beginners:
5 Steps to a Successful Practice
I have said it before, and I will say it again – Meditation has changed my life.
And truth be told – I hope that it is a tool that you utilize if you are looking to shift your life into a more calm and peaceful place of well-being.
It took me a long time to become a daily meditator, mainly because I had so many misconceptions about meditation and how to approach it as a beginner.
My goal as a meditation teacher and wellness coach is to help everyone understand and welcome meditation as a practice into their life – especially those who are beginning.
In my blog, 3 Tips for Meditating, I deliver three helpful concepts that can be used as tips to help support your meditation journey.
But today, we are zooming in on the beginner and 5 specific steps that you can take to integrate meditation into your life and ensure a successful practice.
As we look at these five steps, remember that meditation is a PRACTICE. This means that it might take time to feel ‘successful,’ and as with any new skill, it is best to focus on consistency over duration.
Step One – Release Expectations
We all come with prior knowledge and understanding.
Too often, this creates a sense of expectation and can lead to a deficit mindset.
In this first step – I challenge you to release your expectations on what meditation is.
This is especially true if you think that mediation is the absence of thought. It is not the absence of thought, it is the AWARENESS of thought.
Release your expectations of what meditation should look like or what you should feel. Drop the shoulds and engage from an open place of ‘beginners mind’.
Along with this step, remember that meditation is a practice designed to serve you. You do not need to fit into meditation…it fits you – to your style, your needs, your life.
Step Two – Set an Intention
Before you begin your practice (and after you have completed step one of releasing expectations), set an intention.
This will look different for different people.
Do what resonates with you, here are some ideas:
Say a Prayer
Example: “Dear God/Universe, please help support me during this and all times.”
Ask for Guidance
Example: “Please give me anything that I need to know right now.”
Ask for Support
Example: “Please help me calm my anxious mind.”
Affirm a Need/Desire
Example: “I am healthy and strong and at peace.”
Step Three – Vision
After setting the tone by releasing expectations and setting an intention – it is time to begin your meditation practice.
Get comfortable – you can be sitting or lying down. Just try to make sure that your spine is straight and you are in a comfortable position.
Close your eyes, relax your breath, and… VISION.
Use your internal vision (sometimes called your mind’s eye) to imagine that you are laying on a beautiful hill, on a beautiful day, looking up at the sky.
Take yourself to that place as you drift between visioning the scene, and allowing your breath to flow naturally.
As you vision yourself on the hill, you are looking at the sky, and see puffy clouds passing by.
The clouds in the sky are your thoughts.
Step Four – Observe
Now that you have realized that the clouds are your thoughts, you begin to observe them.
That is all you can do with clouds – observe.
You cannot touch them or change them. You just notice.
As you notice, they drift by and change.
As they move and shift, you remain the same. You observe. You are the observer.
Step Five – Be Open
As you identify your role as the observer of the ‘clouds’ you now shift into being open to all observations.
Being open means that you detach from judgment.
Whatever thoughts, emotions, etc emerge – they are all allowed and all are ok.
You may have intense feelings, or none at all.
You may have an epiphany emerge, or not.
You may experience sensations within your body or your mind, or not at all.
Whatever emerges – be open to it, and invite nonjudgmental awareness.
Trust that whatever you need will emerge.
When you follow these 5 steps, you will set yourself up for a successful meditation practice.
Though this blog has been written as “Meditation for Beginners”, the fact is that each time you engage in a meditation practice, you are entering as a beginner.
So it will benefit all practitioners to keep these five steps in mind for every practice session.
There are many types of meditation – from guided, to mala, and more – we will dive into those more in an upcoming post. Regardless of format, these five steps will help you set up for success.
Remember that I am here to support you on this journey of wellness.
If you are a woman, you can join the Weekly Wellness Workshops on Thursdays at 7pm CST over Zoom for a half hour of mindfulness practice and learning. Just email me at email@example.com to get on that list.
You can also book a Reiki session, or begin with a free consult call to talk about your wellness journey, by scheduling here.
Be well and present.
With love and light,
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