Meditation Tips for Beginners: The 5 Cs
We’ve all heard about the awesome benefits of meditation. But let’s be honest — meditation is an intimidating word. It feels huge. It feels lofty and unattainable. It feels like something better suited to some enlightened spiritual leader than a busy and stressed-as-all-get-out teacher. Am I right?
Here’s the thing though: Meditation is attainable. It requires nothing at all but yourself. And once you understand the basics of it and what you need to do to get started, you’ll realize it’s absolutely within your reach and something easy to get into the habit of practicing on a daily basis. And the best part? Its effects are cumulative. So the more you meditate, the better you’ll get at it, and the more benefits you’ll continue to reap from it.
So first things first: Understanding what meditation is and what it isn’t.
Your mind relationship
Meditation exercises the mind for awareness and a healthy sense of perspective. It doesn’t quiet the mind — silencing all thoughts and feelings. Meditation is about practicing a positive relationship with your mind and the thoughts you think.
Connecting with yourself in quiet determination, you can witness your own mind without judgment. Observe how your fears and doubts aren’t the ultimate truths we often confuse them to be. That there’s no need for urgency in every thought.
Meditation won’t change your mind but foster an awareness of it — the good and the bad. You will better understand the thoughts you have. And understand that your thoughts aren’t in control. You are.
Now that you understand that, here’s a plan to get you started on your path to regular meditation.
Meditation Tips for Beginners: The 5 Cs
Choice is the most important step in meditation for beginners.
- Choose the amount of time to begin — you can start with as little as 2 minutes.
- Choose a quiet and peaceful location: a bed, the floor, even a chair. Find a place that works best for you.
- Choose comfortable clothing.
- Choose to practice and to continue practicing. Meditation is like any exercise — it takes time and repetition. Don’t just “try it.” Commit to a regular practice for at least a month.
2. Check yourself
Check your position. Don’t worry about crossing your legs or finding the perfect pose. Simply sit with your back straight but not rigid. Relax your neck and tuck your chin in slightly. Rest your arms and hands on your lap.
Check your body. Begin with the soles of your feet. How do they feel? Move to your toes. Then your ankles. Climb slowly up your body checking in with each part of you as you breathe.
Pay attention to your breathing. Notice your breath filling your lungs. Feel the air as it releases from your body. Count your breaths. “One” as you take in your first breath. “Two” as you breathe out. Repeat to a count of ten. Then begin again.
Your mind is going to wander. This is absolutely normal. Allow your thoughts to enter. See them as friends, not as interruptions. Let your mind observe your thoughts — part of the process is getting to know yourself. To create a relationship with your mind. Notice what is going on inside there. As you get to know your thoughts, treat them with the courtesy of a new friend then gently guide them on their way, as you return your focus back to the practice of meditation at hand. Breath in, “One,” breath out, “Two.”
5. Close with kindness
When you’re ready, or when your time is up, lift your eyes and smile. Be thankful for this time. Congratulate yourself for sticking to your choice to meditate today. Acknowledge the relationship you have begun with your mind. And recognize that this was an amazing time just for you.
Make a lasting relationship with your mind
Meditation, like any exercise, takes practice. Are you going to be fantastic at it the first time? Heck no. But don’t give up. Creating a lasting relationship with your mind — one of peaceful understanding — is a beautiful and beneficial thing. Just stick to your 5 Cs. They will guide you and support you on this exciting journey!
Ashley is an award-winning copywriter and content expert with more than a decade of proven results for national and local clients. From brainstorming high-end conceptual content to styling sentences that engage and convert, she’s got a knack for shattering the status quo. When she’s not in full-on writing mode, she’s hanging out with her rascal of a puppy and discussing the plausibility of unicorns with her 8-year-old daughter.