How to Start Meditating
Meditation seems to be everywhere these days, and unlike so many trends, it’s actually good for you. But many people see it as complicated or esoteric, and they don’t know how to start. In fact, they might say they “don’t know how to meditate.” But the truth is, meditation is pretty simple, and there’s no such thing as “knowing how” to do it.
Meditation is simple
Sit down, in a chair or on the floor. Rest your hands in your lap, and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths through your nose, and try to concentrate on your breathing. Voila! You’re meditating. An easy way to continue is by simply counting your breaths. Inhale, one; exhale, two. Inhale, three; exhale, four. When you get to ten, start over at one. If you lose count, just start again, and when your mind wanders, gently return your focus to counting the breaths.
There are some other common misconceptions about meditation, too. People may believe it requires special cushions, clothes, or music; or that you have to sit a certain way or in a particular place. While some of those things can enhance the practice later on, they’re completely unnecessary, especially in the beginning.
Another myth is that meditation requires sitting for an hour or more each day. While practising consistently every day is the best way to develop the habit, start by sitting for just two minutes at a time. Then work your way up to five, ten, and fifteen minutes. There’s no right or wrong time to meditate, but meditating at the same time each day can help you stay consistent in the practice. Many people choose to do it first thing in the morning, last thing at night, or immediately after coming home at the end of the day. Similarly, practising meditation in the same space can help build consistency, and using a space that’s quiet and free of clutter can help the focus come more easily.
The truth about meditation is that anyone can do it, anytime and anywhere, even if you’ve never done it before. Just close your eyes, and breathe.