Meditation for Beginners – What You’re Actually Supposed To Do?
Beginner meditation books and articles tell you all about the grand results you have doing their type of meditation: the clarity, the patience, and the fantastic transformative experiences.
But it takes work to get there. You don't get results right away, and if you're not practicing the right type of meditation, it can be frustrating and might seem downright impossible.
Types of Meditation
There are three basic types of meditation:
Stilling meditation is Zen. The goal is to calm the mind and bring many of the random thoughts to a stop. It's a necessary step to bring clarity.
Insight meditation is a focus on a specific thought and seeing what the mind brings up concerning that thought. This is similar to the flashes of creativity many artists feel.
Finally, visualization meditation is considered the apex of meditation because you focus in on a specific image. That image may be brought from your own mind or dictated to you from the outside source.
All three of these meditations work for everyone, but your path to get there might differ.
Classically, men excel at stilling meditation. Their minds naturally work in a way that being able to stop all thought is possible. It came in very handy during times of work and hunting. Single focus work is also a type of stilling meditation.
Classically, women, on the other hand, have a tough time with stilling meditation. A woman's mind naturally focuses on several different topics at once. Think of the mother who's cooking dinner, talking on the phone, and knowing precisely what trouble her kids are getting into.
Women excel in visualization meditation. The ability to hold many points of focus at once allows her to paint the rich tapestry without frustration. Men find it challenging to hold so many details at once.
To truly get all of the clarity and focus benefits from meditation, you need all three. However, starting with any one of these allows you to get the benefits to our health and starts our mind into the realm of quiet and peace. That’s how I can help you get started and choose the right meditation for you.
How Meditation Benefits Our Health
There are numerous ways that meditation can benefit our health. Some of these include:
What Meditation Does to Our Concentration and Mind
When you begin to have control over the random thoughts in your mind, you can focus on ideas that bring you benefits. For women who have problems with stilling meditation, practicing this particular aspect can help you focus on a single task and be more productive at that task.
For men, using insight meditation can help bring about more creativity.
All three types of meditation can help you switch between tasks with ease. One of the ways it helps is with children and co-workers. You could turn from being focused on your work to quickly devoting all of your attention to the person who needs you. And, if you need to start brainstorming ideas, you could switch again.
If that seems strange to think about, remember all the times you feel ignored by someone you were talking to. Or thinking about work when your children or spouse is trying to tell you something. Or worrying late at night when you should be sleeping. Meditation helps you to devote your attention to where you need it.
Meditation for Sleep, Depression, and Anxiety
If your mind races before you go to sleep, stilling meditation helps get you to a place where rest as possible. Visualization meditation can help people with anxiety and depression find a night of more restful and productive sleep. Insight meditation can help people come up with new ideas and insights, such as business owners, artists, and government workers.
Now, Let’s Learn How To Meditate for Beginners
Find someplace comfortable to sit where your back is straight and your muscles are relaxed, so you're not experiencing any pain or pinching. You'll be here for a little while, so make sure you are comfortable. Don't slouch or lay back, because that impedes your ability to breathe deeply.
Counting your breath works to focus your mind on a single task. Each breath in and out is a count of one. Start from number 10 and work backward. Repeat this several times to start. Then add more repetitions until you are sitting for at least 15 minutes doing that single task.
When you experience random thoughts, guide your mind back to your breath and counting without judgment. It's not a matter of if you will encounter random thoughts, but when they will happen and how often. Stilling meditation helps reduce those random thoughts.
Focus your mind on a single object. One of my first insight meditations was to focus on "elbow." Repeatedly say the word "elbow" to yourself and see where your mind leads you. The goal of this meditation is to pay attention to what thoughts emerge and not attach to any particular thought. It allows the free flow of ideas. Just be careful, because it can lead you to uncover negative emotions and upsetting thoughts.
You will need outside help for this one. You can find various videos and downloads online, or you can check out some of my information and online classes. They are a great place to start.
I recommend downloading my course on Conscious Breathing for a better understanding of some of these meditation techniques.