I hear it over and over again:
New Person: “Wow, you teach meditation? That’s so cool! I’ve been meaning to try that…”
Me: “So why don’t you?”
New Person: “Well, I guess I just don’t know where to start.”
Does this sound like you? Have you been meaning to try out meditation but just don’t know where to begin?
Believe it or not, there’s no real secret to meditation. The key is simply to get started. Once you do, you’ll start to see that it’s actually way easier than you probably think. So, here are a few tips for getting started when it’s your first time meditating.
If you want to get started, try our free course: Quiet The Mind in 30 Days.
How To Meditate for The First Time
Get Over Your Mental Blocks
I don’t know why we think meditation is so intimating, but I feel like one of the biggest obstacles to getting started involves our own mental blocks.
We tend to have this idea that meditation is hard. That it takes too much time, or is something you really have to practice in order to get results. I mean, after all, how can a normal person even sit in the lotus position?
Before you begin, try to get rid of any expectations you have about what should or should not happen when you meditate. Don’t try to “get it right” or force yourself into any specific state. You don’t even need to try to stop thinking. In fact, “stopping thought” is one of the most counter-productive ideas you can have when you’re just starting out.
Instead, just realize that meditation is really just about spending a few quiet moments to yourself. You get to relax, and take that much needed me-time to calm down and reset. It doesn’t need to look or feel a certain way. Sit anywhere you please, and you can even have a nice warm drink in your hand if you want to.
When you meditate, all you’re doing is focusing on your internal energy, rather than the external world.
The easiest and most common way to do this is to focus on the breath. Breath is one of the key aspects of meditation. When you draw your attention to your breath, your body naturally relaxes. Just noticing your breath often causes you to slow down the air as moves throughout your body, and you’ll probably begin to take longer, deeper, and more centered breaths.
For beginners, I don’t recommend trying to do any complicated breath techniques. One of my favorite first-meditations to recommend for people is simply sitting and noticing, repeating: Now I am breathing in. Now I am breathing out, as your breath flows through your body.
It really is that simple. Of course, there are dozens of other breath techniques you could use, and I encourage you to experiment with them over time. Another of my favorite beginning meditations is simply to add a slight pause after your breath.
Breathe comfortably, allowing as much time as you feel is appropriate for you.
Use a Guided Recording
The last suggestion I have for first time meditators is to use a guided recording. Listening to a guided narration (with or without background music) will give your mind something to focus on, which will distract it from the constant stream of thoughts that usually runs through your head.
Additionally, if you work with an established guide, the recording will help lull you into and out of a deeper state of consciousness. From this relaxed state, you will be more detached from your physical environment, and more able to step back and observe your own natural energy.
We offer a number of free guided meditations here. Or, follow our proven introduction to meditation to kickstart your practice, and begin the process of transforming your life.