You almost don’t want to search online for information about how to meditate.
The basics to meditating are very, very simple. Too often, other people try and make it more complicated than they need to.
- Sit in a quiet place, take a few deep breaths to relax, and start watching your breath … just watching, listening … you’re on your way.
- You’ll start thinking other thoughts. That’s OK. Don’t criticize yourself … but just stop, and return to watching and listening to and feeling your breath.
- Other thoughts will occur to you. You may find yourself deep in mental conversations with others, or remembering things that happened, or you might come up with all sorts of fantasies of things that might occur …
- Then, you remember you’re meditating. Return to your breath.
- Do this for 10, 15 or 20 minutes a day. Maybe even twice a day.
There are all sorts of variations on this. There’s also lots of extra discipline you can add to this. Don’t listen to someone who says you need this particular mantra (a word you repeat to yourself instead of watching your breath), or someone else who says you have to sit a certain way or have a certain knowledge base before you’re really meditating. There are people who say you really need to be breathing in a particular way before you’re getting the most out of meditation.
For most busy people, these are all barriers to meditating. Meditation feels good, and helps get the brain going in the direction your soul and spirit want to go. You CAN get more disciplined about it if that feels like the path you’re on. However, if you’re like most people, you’ll never really start if you have a lot of “shoulds” in your head about it.
Meditation isn’t earth-shaking. It won’t immediately change your world. It’s not a drug. It’s a practice to help remind you … to help your brain realize … that the stresses and pressures and issues and allures of everyday life are temporary. It helps you put that stuff into perspective.
And, it helps give your brain some discipline. When you are meditating, and you get caught up in some train of thought that’s making you feel angry or frustrated or thrilled or excited, it’s valuable to know how to just quietly return to watching the rhythm of your breath. You’ll be better at that in real life now … better at not getting caught up in the flow of emotions. Especially other people’s emotions that you might want to stay clear of!
If you get interrupted while meditating, deal with what you need to deal with, and return to watching your breath. You may even doze off when you meditate. If you startle awake and realize you nodded off, can you guess what you do next? That’s right, return to paying attention to your breath!
Now, how does this change your life? Whether it’s inside your brain or outside, relating to others, there’s a constant soup of thoughts, emotions and information that you’re immersed in.
Most of it is not terribly important. No matter what comes at you, no matter what anyone else says or does, no matter how your very smart brain chooses to trouble you, you can get centered. You’ll learn this if you meditate regularly.
Finally, this is not some other religion that conflicts with your own. You may even find that this brings you closer to a faith that you hold dear.
If you try it and have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment here, or email me, instead!