Everyone always said I should start a meditation practice. But as a complete beginner, that always seemed unattainable. I wondered how I was supposed to start. And what’s the secret?
But, meditation is about getting your brain quiet. And now I know that the first thing I needed to quiet were all my excuses for not meditating. Because, they weren’t necessary or valid.
I mean, I’m not saying that starting a beginner’s meditation practice is easy. Heck, I wish it were. I imagine it’s always a work in progress.
But what I’m saying is that there isn’t any special other-worldly or hippie knowledge you need to start meditating. All you need is a desire. And about 5 free minutes of peace and quiet.
So today, I want to talk to you; the beginner meditator. And tell you that you can start your super zen meditation practice right now. No special tools or knowledge required! Here’s how to begin.
Pick a time in the day where you can spare 5 minutes
Let’s start realistic. I don’t know about you, but I need something easily attainable when setting a new goal. I’m not carving a half hour out of my day when I’m used to doing nothing. 5 minutes feels easy enough.
Be honest with yourself. When’s the best time? Is it when you wake up? What about when you get home from work? How about right after dinner? Only you will know what time in your day will best stick.
Set up a space that feels comfortable
You don’t need anything fancy to start a beginner’s meditation practice. You just want to have a space that feels comfortable. And this can be super simple at first.
Maybe start by throwing a few pillows on the floor. Sit with your back against the wall. Set up an essential oil diffuser. Or light some candles. Set up a space that feels sacred to you.
Get some inspiration
This step is optional. You certainly don’t need it. But you may find it helps.
Pick out some gentle, soft music to play in the background. There are many sites that have meditation music to download. Find something that feels good to you.
Or if you need guidance, check out the free meditation videos on YouTube. Or get an app like Insight Timer which offers thousands of free meditations. There are many ways to help get you started with your beginner’s meditation practice.
Officially start your beginner’s mediation practice
OK – now we’re ready to really get going! What I’ve learned from my practice is that it’s best to keep things simple when starting out. I used to incorrectly think that I needed to reach some earth shattering clarity or a place of ultimate zen for my practice to be worthy.
Close your eyes. Or if that feels uncomfortable, gaze softly at the floor. Focus on the breath. Feel yourself inhale, fill your diaphragm, and then exhale. Now you’re meditating. That’s how simple it is.
Accept that your mind will wander
It’s so easy to get massively cranky at your chattering mind. If yours is anything like mine, it has a ton to say. Especially when you’re meditating.
Accept that your mind will wander. It will probably do this a lot in the early days. Whenever you find your mind wandering, bring your focus back to your breath. You might have to do this every 30 seconds. That’s totally fine.
Set a soft timer
Your goal is to start with just a five minute practice. This will hopefully expand with time. But you don’t want to watch the clock.
So set a timer for yourself before you start. Just make sure the alert is gentle. If the alarm is too harsh, it will jolt you out of practice. Which can negate the calm you just tried to create.
Don’t give up on your beginner’s meditation practice
You might experience boredom at first. Or feel like, what’s the point? But don’t let that stop you. This is a practice. Which means that the more you do, the more you’ll likely get out of it.
Those who’ve been meditating for years tend to have a sense of clarity and calm. They tend to feel better when they’re meditating and worse when they stop. So if you keep going, you’re likely to reach that place too!
These are great tips! I’m actually going to a meditation retreat this month and I am so excited! I took a workshop at my yoga class and it was lifechanging! I am definitely a meditator now
Ooh, your retreat sounds like it will be amazing!
Erin Haugerud says
Ive always wanted to meditate. Maybe it’s not as difficult as I’m making it out to be!
Patricia G. says
My mind tends to wander a lot too. My main concern is that when I try to meditate, I will instead fall asleep or be totally unfocused. How would I stay focused?
Stay sitting and that should help. But if you fall asleep, don’t beat yourself up about it. This happens. just try again. And focus on the breath to keep yourself focused on something.
These are great tips, I use to make time for this and then I just got so busy! These tips will help me get back on track!
I just love all of your tips. I really need to do this since I find that my mind will not quiet down – just the other day I had a song stuck in my head for two days and couldn’t get it out. LOL! I love your idea of having a timer and just commit to doing it sometime during the day. Thanks so much for sharing!
I’m finding more minutes here and there to meditate, and it’s starting to pay off. Normally, I am too reactive to situations. When that starts to happen now, I step back and find a few minutes to meditate to quiet my mind.
RoseMary Griffith says
Good practice to start with just the 5 minutes. I’ve always been intimidated by the length of time people seem to take with meditation. I’d rather be physically active than sitting still. But I’d like to try to five, to see if can shut off that chatter brain we have in common!