Meditation For Beginners
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Meditation is the continuous practice of observing your thoughts rather than partaking in them. To really understand this definition of meditation, you have to understand that there are two minds inside your head: the ego mind and the subconscious mind.
The first mind I mostly refer to as the Ego. It’s the human psyche, it’s the internal monologue, it’s the personality we adopt, it’s the part of us that is represented on our natal chart as the Sun.
The ego mind is quite a busy and interesting creature. It’s a mark of our physical and spiritual evolution as a species.
It pretty much runs on autopilot. And that autopilot is based entirely on our primitive fight or flight response.
Many of our Earth school lessons involve moving beyond the limitations of the ego mind. And I like to merge the spiritual aspects with the psychological ones to paint a full picture.
The more I learn about human psychology, the more I understand what it means to truly meditate and be mindful.
One part of mindful meditation is simply observing the ego as it thinks endless thoughts. Another part of mindful meditation is shifting your awareness to your second mind, the Higher Self, the Soul Self, the subconscious mind.
These two minds make up our entire mental landscape. They are the seed of ourselves in this body, in this lifetime. And the biggest lesson we all came here to learn on this Earth School right now is how to detach from our thoughts (ego) so they aren’t “in charge” anymore.
On the outside, meditation appears to be sitting in silence with your eyes closed, “quieting” or “focusing” the mind. But on the inside, we’re actually observing the mind as it runs around like fucking crazy.
The ego mind is the one running around, throwing tantrums, judging everything, making plans, ruminating and worrying. The subconscious mind is the quiet voice of intuition, which is the God-like part of us. So it doesn’t have rampant conversation the way the ego does.
I realize this may be daunting to realize if you’re a beginner to meditation. The whole concept of “detaching” from your thoughts definitely seems out there.
But trust me. Every single human being that has ever achieved genuine happiness and success that lasts has figured out how to do this. Not everyone credits mindfulness meditation to their success, but plenty of people do. More people than not, it would seem to me.
And I’ll tell you another thing. Your ego is not the enemy! It’s just very loud and persuasive because it’s desperate to get its needs met. Like any of us!
The ego has many needs: attention, security, love, belonging, purpose, creativity and trust, to name a few. The ego quickly becomes a tyrant on a mission to build a perfectly safe world to live in. The subconscious mind speaks much more softly, so it takes more deliberate effort to hear it.
Meditation is the continuous practice of observing your thoughts rather than partaking in them. During meditation, you (as in, your subconscious/soul mind) watch the ego put on a show, as if you’re in the audience and the ego is somewhere in front of you.
Meditation is about learning to let go of needless suffering by releasing attachment to thoughts. It is the act of living in the here and now, and letting everything about the here and now be exactly as it is.
Meditation is easy enough to understand, but can be tricky to practice as a beginner if you’re on your own without guidance. So let’s fix that!
How To Mindfulness Meditation
I am passionate about guided meditations. And I am so pleased to announce that I am finally putting them out there for my supporters of the show!
Every week I share a brand new, exclusive guided meditation (with reiki) based on specific intentions. They’re 10 minutes long, so they’re not too big of a commitment, but perfect for keeping you consistent, and also giving you that lovely burst of healing energy.
If you’re interested in becoming a supporter and gaining instant access to the virtual vault of reiki meditations, you can go to spirituallyinspired.co/meditations . And thank you to all who are already supporting and who have been supporting for a while now! Your generosity astounds me!
Guided meditations so much fun to make, and I believe guided meditations are just like books. You can never have too many options, or collect too many, and every author has a unique style.
I love bouncing between authors and meditation creators because it’s a fun way to practice following my intuition. Every day is different, and I want to embrace the present energy fully whenever possible.
Listening to guided meditations is a fantastic place to start with learning how to mindfulness meditation. They are uplifting, beautiful, and calming.
Below I’ve outlined a basic meditation practice you can read through to get the idea of what a formal meditation session may look like. Eventually, you’ll find your own meditation rhythm.
There are no rules here, except one: be present.
Physically prepare yourself
Find a safe, comfortable place. Scan for tension from head to toe, allowing muscles to relax. Keep your back straight, sternum and chin lifted slightly. Rest your arms in your lap, loosen your hands. Soften your facial muscles. Unclench your teeth. Gently close your eyes.
Mentally prepare yourself
Leave behind what’s already happened today, put aside thoughts of what will happen later. Disembark the train of thought, and watch if flow past you instead. Whatever emotions or stories that arise are on that train, passing by as soon as they arrive if you don’t engage with them. Release judgments and opinions. Set an intention for your practice.
Follow your breath
Fully exhale all the air in your lungs; empty them entirely. Slowly breathe in fresh, clean air through your nose, until your lungs are completely full. At the top of the breath, pause for just a moment. Then slowly exhale all the air again through your nose. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Every time you catch yourself riding the train of thought, come back to focusing on your breath.
Check in and repeat
Practice this cycle of deep breathing and watching the train of thought for at least 10 minutes. Don’t give up just because you realize how challenging it is to not ride the train of thought. You will likely need to disembark the train several times during your practice. If not, then constantly.
Close with gratitude
Gratitude is the easiest way to step off the train and connect with Source. Take one last deep breath and smile. Thank yourself for taking this time to meditate. Gradually bring awareness back into your body. Resist the temptation to label your session as “good,” or “bad.” Be proud of yourself for making the effort.
Practice again tomorrow
Go about your activities with a renewed sense of peace and happiness. Become aware of the impact of your thoughts and judgments. Look for opportunities in your everyday life where you would benefit from getting off the train of thought. Commit to showing up for your meditation practice again tomorrow. And the next day!
Tips on How To Meditate For Beginners
Now that’s how a basic meditation practice might go. Each of those steps can be taken as a little meditation tip: physically and mentally prepare, follow your breath, check in and repeat, have gratitude, and be consistent.
Even those six steps will set you up for total meditation SUCCESS.
My clients who are new to meditation often face similar challenges and questions, so I thought I’d share a few extra meditation tips for you here:
9 Meditation Tips
I really want to encourage you to not give up on your meditation journey! There is no limit to the wonderful things meditation can do for you.
And if you’re reading this, I assume you are dedicated to your own personal growth, and you’re looking for some helpful hints. Below are nine simple meditation tips for when you’re just learning how to meditate:
Consistency is key
Decide on a specific time of day and space you will practice meditation. Forming a new habit is so much easier if you create a schedule and stick to it. Start small, 10 minutes in the morning. Give yourself the chance to warm up to the practice.
Give yourself a decent amount of time of consistent practice to reap the benefits. Experiment with what time of day works best for you. Pick a comfortable space at home you can always return to at that time. Set yourself up for success.
Don’t have a goal or expectations
Instead of having a “goal” to reach in meditation, have a reason why you started. And remember that reason whenever you’re tempted to abandon your meditation practice.
Allow whatever will happen to naturally unfold. Be open minded about the experience! Let feelings and experiences come and go. Take note of what comes up. With a relaxed mind, transformation occurs.
Pick something to focus on
When you’re first starting to learn how to meditate, it can seem boring or even impossible. It’s very helpful to have something to focus your attention on during meditation to help keep boredom and anxiety at bay.
You can recite affirmations aloud or to yourself, you can visualize yourself surrounded by white Divine light, you can pay really close attention to your inhales and exhales, or you can try simple meditation music or binaural beats.
Go easy on yourself
Meditation may be referred to as a “discipline,” but there is no room for harsh judgment in the practice. Nothing good will ever come of you being overly critical of yourself. If you are giving your best effort, you deserve some grace.
If you miss a day (or a few) days of practice, lovingly forgive yourself and simply begin practicing again. When you catch yourself lost in thought during your practice, lovingly forgive yourself and simply return to your breath. There’s no need to belittle yourself for slipping up. We all do it!
Pay attention, but let it be
The trickiest part of meditation is learning how this whole “not engaging in your own thoughts” business actually works. It’s a concept that is VERY difficult to explain with the limitations of language. The best way to figure it out is to just dive in and start!
While meditating, thoughts and emotions will pop into your head, seemingly out of “nowhere.” When they do (and they always will), recognize what the thought or emotion entails. But don’t give it any control or authority. Simply realize what the thought is, and let it rest.
Sometimes people are shocked by what comes up when they are learning how to meditate. They may not have realized they were still holding onto anger, or always feeling put down, or anything else from deep within. A quiet mind makes way for our emotions to surface, even the deeply repressed ones.
Meditation is the gateway to personal growth, and journaling can be the key that opens it up.
Journaling as soon as you can after meditation makes it SO much easier to work through these feelings. Handwriting your thoughts and feelings gives you a unique opportunity to really understand where they are coming from and how to digest them.
Related – How To Start Journaling
Relaxation is the result, not the act
There’s a common meditation myth that says meditation is the act of relaxing the mind and body. Actually, that isn’t quite true. Although I totally understand where the confusion would come in.
Meditation is the act of becoming more self aware mentally and physically. We notice the tense sensations we are feeling in our bodies, and we let it go with love. Hopefully resulting in physical relaxation.
We do the same thing with the thoughts in our head, which also results in relaxation. Relaxation is the result of meditation, but not necessarily the act of meditation.
Practice a variety of techniques
There are so many ways to meditate, and yet they all include simply being present in the here and now. Because “here and now” could look like anything! And we can be fully there to experience it when we aren’t stuck in our own heads.
Here are a few different avenues you can take to add more variety to your practice: attending live classes, listening to recorded guided meditations, practicing at home with trial and error, walking/movement meditation, pranayama, reiki or other types of energy work, reciting affirmations, and shower/bath meditation. Get creative!
It’s never too late to meditate
Meditation happens right here, right now. And again, right here, right now. In every single moment, you have the choice to be fully present within it and nowhere else. Regardless of how old you are or what your life situation is, it is NEVER too late to learn to be mindful.
It’s also never too EARLY to learn to meditate. If you’re a young teenager, young adult, or have young children of your own, they too can learn to meditate. The earlier you start meditating, the more benefits you’ll feel. But at any point in life you can develop the skill and reap the benefits.
Thank you so much for reading! As you go on your way today, know that I’m sending you an abundance of love, light, and inspiration. Blessed be!