How to Meditate. Part 2
If I had a dime for every time someone asked me how to meditate, I'd be a gagillionaire. Practically.
For context, I've been meditating for at least a dozen years. I've taken meditation classes on various meditation techniques. I've read all different sorts of books on the subject.
Aside: The book Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza is a good one. Here Dr. Dispenza talks about how meditation can improve how we experience out past traumas.
I have been a regular at different group meditations called sangha. I used to host daily morning meditations on FB live. Generally, I have a daily meditation practice as part of my daily self-care--like brushing my teeth or taking a shower. In short, I'm a trained meditator who actively practices the practice of meditation.
In part 1 of this "How to Meditate" series, we centered on what meditation is. In part 2, we're focusing on how to start a meditation practice.
How to Start a Meditation Practice
According to the article "How Meditation Impacts Your Body and Mind" by Kendra Cherry:
Choose a quiet spot that is free of distractions. Turn off your phone, television, and other distractions. If you choose to play quiet music, select something calm and repetitive.
Set a time limit. If you are just getting started, you might want to stick to shorter sessions of about 5 to 10 minutes in length.
Pay attention to your body and get comfortable. You can sit cross-legged on the floor or in a chair as long as you feel that you can sit comfortably for several minutes at a time.
Focus on your breathing. Try taking deep breaths that expand your belly and then slowly exhale. Pay attention to how each breath feels.
Notice your thoughts. The purpose of meditation is not to clear your mind—your mind is inevitably going to wander. Instead, focus on gently bringing your attention back to your breath whenever you notice your thoughts drifting. Don't judge your thoughts or try to analyze them; simply direct your mind back to your deep breathing.
The most important part of starting a meditation practice is to start. One minute of mindfulness is better than none. In part 3 of this series, we'll talk about the different types of meditation.
Ponderance Question: Does starting a meditation practice interest you? Why or why not?
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