How to Start Meditating

There is nothing mystical about meditation. The goal is to simply slow down your breathing and heart rate. You don’t need to worry about “clearing your mind”… very few people can do that anyway.

Find a time and space where you can meditate. It should be someplace that is quiet, where you can be comfortable without falling asleep (so the bed usually isn’t the best place), and where you can sit for a reasonable time without being disturbed.

This can be sitting a chair or on the floor. If you can sit on the floor, sit with your legs crossed and place your hands on your knees. If you are sitting in a chair, make sure your feet a placed with the soles flat on the floor. Don’t cross your legs or arms. Place your hands on the arms of the chair or on your lap. In both cases, try to have your hands with your palms up. Both of these positions put you in a kind of triangle shape. The triangle shape allows you to be open and receptive on three sides, the palms up allows you to send and receive. More about this later.

Now, close your eyes, and work on quieting your mind. Some people say to empty your mind, but this nearly impossible, especially when you are first starting out.

The Japanese have a technique called “compartmentalizing” certain thoughts… to be retrieved at a later time. This was also used for me when I have had hypnosis. It works very well in meditation, too.

Imagine a beautiful cabinet, in any style and color you wish. See the color and material it’s made of, touch it, make it yours. Open the doors of the cabinet and you will see many drawers inside. Each of these drawers is a compartment to keep a thought, a memory, or a worry, to be kept safely until needed later.

Now start to quiet your mind. Whenever a new thought, worry, or feeling pops in, lovingly take it and place in a drawer, telling yourself you will come and get it later.

Focus on your breaths. Sometimes counting them is a good way to focus and keeps those unwanted thoughts out of your head.

Okay, now this process doesn’t seem like much, but it all is the process of meditating. And it will take some practice. Even if you can only do this for five minutes, it’s better than doing nothing at all. It may take a week or more to be able to get to this point comfortably.

~*~

You can spend a little bit of time before you start to meditate, but just daydreaming about what your cabinet might look like. If you work better using something visual, you can even create a scrapbook/journal about your meditations. Find a picture from a newspaper of what you want your cabinet to look like and glue that into a notebook or blank book. Label it “my safe place” using colored markers.

Daydreaming and journaling are also forms of meditating.

Did you know that gardening is also a way to meditate? Anything that you can “lose yourself” in, is a meditative experience, such as watching fish in an aquarium or clouds in the sky.

Cindi Wafstet/Epona’Bri/Moondancepages
© 2007
Permission to share freely as long as credit is given.

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