How to Meditate: 10 Important Steps for Beginners

Mindful or mind full? Although there’s a paucity of data about the history of meditation, its roots travel back to the ancient times. Although Indian monks weren’t the first people to meditate, they were the ones who put in a structured practise.

Recently, a plethora of scientific studies highlighted the amazing health benefits of meditation particularly in promoting well-being. Some studies also found that it does have physiological effects too, and can be effective in helping people manage pain, stress, and other forms of physical and mental distress. Not only that, meditation has been found to increase the size of the brain and enhance the neural activities in regions involved in learning, reasoning, and forming memories.

You don’t have to be a monk to start meditating. This mental exercise is for everyone – young or old. So how do you meditate?

Here are the steps to follow:
1. Set the time. Set aside enough time in your daily routine to meditate. Early in the morning (when your body is still relaxed and energetic) or in the evening (when you’re done with your daily tasks) are often most preferable. Start meditating for 5-10 minutes every day.

2. Find a quiet place – away from distractions. It can be in your room, it the most beautiful part of your garden, or anywhere that you can spend some time alone in silence. You can also find peace under a tree. Turn off your mobile phone, TV, or any electronic device.

3. Sit comfortably in a chair with your hands resting on your lap or knees. You don’t need to twist your limbs into a half or full lotus position. The important thing is you keep your back straight, your neck relaxed and your chin a little tucked in.

4. Gaze into the middle distance. Then take five deep, audible breaths. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. On the fifth exhalation, close your eyes.

5. Make sure your whole body is relaxed. Keep searching for the parts of your body that aren’t relaxed. Sometimes, you may need to adjust your posture. It’s okay. Your goal is to achieve full relaxation.

6. Be mindful. Observe your posture and feel the sensations where your body touches the chair or the ground. Feel the weight of your arms and your hands resting on your legs. Acknowledge your senses – anything you hear, smell, or taste. Feel the wind as it touches your face.

7. Listen to your body. Scan it from head to toe. Check any discomfort, pain, tension, anything peculiar. But don’t try to change what you find. Just take note of it. Next, search for the parts that are relaxed. Let your thoughts wander and never attempt to change them. Each scan may run up to 20 seconds.

8. Slowly, focus your attention to your breathing. Focus on the quality of each breath. Is it deep or shallow? Is it fast or slow? Count your breath. One, as you inhale. Two, as you exhale. When you reach ten, start counting from one. Sometimes, your thoughts will distract you. It’s okay. Just go back to breathing.

9. Free your mind. Spend about 30 seconds sitting still. Allow your mind to wander. Whatever enters your mind is completely fine. As you practise meditation, you will learn how to silence your mind – from focusing on one thing at a time to focusing on nothing at all. This may require a high level of discipline but it’s the pinnacle of meditation.

10. Prepare to finish. Again, become aware of all the sensations – the sound, taste, smell and touch. Feel the chair beneath you, or the grass or floor where you’re sitting. Feel your hands resting on your lap. And slowly, open your eyes.

I hope these tips are of use to you and I look forward to treating you soon!

We offer Guided Meditations here at the suite. Please contact us for more details.

Best wishes, Steve