How to Meditate

At its heart meditation is just the simple act of taking control of your focus so you can learn about your mind and gain some management over it.

The benefits of being able to do this are huge, and the techniques available are vast.

So its no wonder why people might find themselves at a loss of where to start.

In this basic guide we’ll run you through the first few steps you’ll need for the majority of meditation techniques as well as give you some useful tips to help you on the way to finding the right way to meditate – for you.

a women focuses on meditation

Before you begin

It’s always worth spending a little bit of time before a meditation session getting yourself prepared. Here are a few essential tips to think about before we started.

-What to wear?  Ideally, you want to be wearing loose-fitting, comfortable clothes. Comfy bottoms and a baggy t-shirt are perfect. However, this might not always be possible; maybe you want to practice in your lunch break at work. If this is the case, just make yourself as comfy as possible. Take off your belt and shoes and make sure you can sit without any of your clothes becoming too distracting

-How to sit? If you can, sit on the floor, crossed legged, on a cushion with your back straight. Again with might not always be possible, so a sitting on a chair is also fine. The thing to keep in mind here is, can you sit with your back straight and do you find it easy to breathe? If yes, your good to go. 

-How long should I meditate? Don’t expect too much of yourself too soon. In the beginning, 5- 15 minutes is a perfect amount of time, as your practice increases so will your ability to meditate for longer. You may find having a guide allows you to stay focused for a more extended period of time – more on that later.

Let's get started

Well, no time like the present, right? 

Read through the instructions below and then if you want, pick a timer for your first meditation. The timer will give you a bit time to get settled before the first bell rings. A second bell will ring when the time is over. 

  1. Sit down, making sure your back is straight and you can breathe comfortable either through your nose or mouth.
  2. Set yourself a time to practice or activate one of the timers below.
  3. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Examine the different sensation caused by your breathing. Where can you feel the air making contact with your body? How far can you follow your breathe? What is your natural rhythm of breathing?
  4. When you realise that your mind has wandered onto something else other than your breathe, (and it will) just acknowledge what has happened and bring your focus back to where you want it. Don’t get frustrated with yourself; this is the main function of the meditation. 
  5. When the second bell rings take a few moments to examine how you feel compared to how you felt when you first started. If you feel the same, that’s fine, just be proud of yourself for completing the exercise.

More Meditation Techniques

Now that you’ve explored a basic breathing meditation, you may want to try something different as well as practising with a guide. Let’s start with a stress relief technique. You may find that you can meditate for longer with a guide and become less distracted. 

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Stress-Relief Breath Counting
  • Stress-Relief Breath Counting
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Body Scanning

In body scanning, the main purpose of the meditation stays the same, using focus to manage our thoughts.

However, instead of using our breath as the point of focus, we are using sensations that are arising around the body.

These techniques can be extremely relaxing and are perfect for people getting ready for sleep.

You may even be left with a newfound appreciation for your body that you didn’t have before

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Body Scan Meditation
  • Body Scan Meditation

Loving-kindness meditation

While some meditation techniques focus on developing “the mind,” others focus on developing “the heart.”

Often referred to as Metta or Boundless State meditation, Loving-Kindness is the practice of cultivating benevolence towards ourselves and others. 

By using the repetition of certain phrases, we direct goodwill and positivity to ourselves, our loved ones, people we don’t know, and even those we feel animosity towards.

We can then let go of our negativity and begin to create a deeper connection ourselves and those around us.

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Loving Kindness Meditation
  • Loving Kindness Meditation

If you want to explore mindfulness further try one of our courses