Learning how to do meditation is probably the best decision I've ever made. Without access to the inner resources that meditation has given me, I cannot imagine how I would have coped with the difficulties of life over the past twenty years. Neither would I be as happy with my life as I am today.
This blog on how to do meditation is written for beginners who are considering a meditation practice and want a way to get started.
There are many different meditation methods. One is not necessarily better than another, they are just different. They all have pros and cons.
My experience is that people who meditate always think that THEIR form of practice is the best! So my advice is to pick one method and get started.
There are three main methods of meditation:
Traditionally with eastern forms of meditation, students sit on a
cushion in a lotus or cross legged position with a straight spine. Using a cushion to elevate your rear, allows you to form a tripod with your knees and buttocks, for maximum stability.
Full or half lotus are the most stable positions for meditation but if you are like most people, that may not be comfortable or even possible for you. If that is uncomfortable for you -- as it is for many westerners --sit in a chair.
The most important aspect of meditation posture is a straight spine with your diaphragm muscles slightly stretched, to facilitate the flow of breath.. In fact, good posture is considered one of foundations of Zen meditation
where complete, effortless breath form the basis of the practice.
If you are simply learning meditation for the purpose of relaxing and quieting your mind, any comfortable sitting position, where your spine is straight, is acceptable. If you have a health problem that makes sitting physically challenging for you, you can can lie on your back - preferably in corpse position.
Before entering into meditation, decide on the length and method of the meditation practice. I would advise making sure you are in a quiet place with your phone set on airplane mode. That way you can set a timer with a gentle gong to alert you when the practice period is over.
The biggest misunderstanding people have about meditation is the idea that it requires you not to think. Good luck with that! Thinking is natural. We all do it all the time.
The goal of concentration in mediation is to FOCUS your thinking -- not stop it. It is natural, especially in the beginning for your mind to wander. If it does, simply bring it back.
There are many forms of concentration mediation. Here is how to do mediation using concentration:
This type of practice focuses on awareness of what is happening in the
moment. The goal of mindful mediation is to stay present and aware of
what is happening right now. More specific instructions on how to do meditation as a mindful sitting practice here.
As a sitting practice,
mindful meditation is about turning your attention inward. But you can also practice mindfulness with
eyes open, while eating, walking, doing yoga or repetitive tasks etc.. The goal is to stay present, observing your senses and whatever else arises. Sounds easy. You may be surprised.
How to do meditation for just being?
There are no instructions for how to do meditation of this type --other than to just be. Like I said, it is the hardest practice of all.