You may have already hear about some many good things about meditation. The nature logical question in your head is: where do I start? Instead of giving you answers that are impractical yet politically correct. I will share with you how I got started and how I now make it part of my daily routine. I am a just an average person with average will power. So, if I can do it, I believe you can do it too.
Can You Spare 5 Minutes Every Morning for Meditation?
You may be wondering whether 5 minutes of meditation is enough for getting the nice effects of meditation. I would tell you from my experience that 5 minutes does help clear your mind a little bit but 10 minutes is much better. But to begin, let’s just aim for 5 minutes. And I high recommend you to do your meditation in the morning. Trust me, if you plan to do it after work, you are just not going to start. Excuses like “I just have a rough work day” or “I am too tired to meditate” is too common. Also, will power is a finite thing. You have the most will power in the morning and you will used up most if not all of your will power after working and making decisions. So, just make it a morning routine. You can be actually quite creative to find your 5 minutes. If you go to work by bus, just meditate on the bus. If you spend 15 minutes watching news every morning, cut 5 minutes and meditate instead. Knowing the news isn’t going to do you any good anyway. When is the last time watching news have helped you one way or the other. I know meditation can help you on the other hand.
Understanding the Big Idea Behind Meditation
You have to first know the idea behind meditation in order to really do it right. The idea is very simple and logical indeed. First, our mind likes to keep moving and thinking, pretty intensively. It can get tired and making our thinking unclear. We want to make it rest so that we can think clearly again. Since it’s impossible to make our mind 100% stop, we give our mind a simple task to do to make it very close to rest. We give our mind a task like repeating a mantra in our mind or observing our own breath. This process of letting our mind “half-rest” by assigning a simple task to it is meditation.
Choose Between Breath Meditation & Mantra Meditation
There are lots of form of meditations. It can actually get pretty creative. For example, hitting a meditation bowl, a simple metal bowl indeed, can be a form of meditation. But today, let’s talk about the two most common forms of meditation that I have practiced before. Both are suitable for meditation beginners. The two meditation methods are breath meditation and mantra meditation. There isn’t an answer for which method is better. Some will find one method more effective than the other. I personally tried both and feel that mantra meditation is more effective for me but I believe this is just a random thing. So, you must really try both to see which makes you feel better. In other words, which method gives you a clearer mind.
How to Do Breath Meditation?
Let’s talk about how to do breath meditation, or sometimes referred to as mindful meditation. First, you want to find a place where you won’t get disturbed. It can be your bedroom, your dinning room, a park or on the bus. A quite place is good while a place with white noise like bus is okay too. Then you want to sit in a relaxed position. Two common ways to sit is to sit on the floor with your legs crossed or sit on a chair. Place you hands gently on your laps. You can have them face up or face them. Now, close your eyes. Start observing the breathing in and breathing action of your breath. You don’t want to change or control your breath. You just want to observe it. Breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out. After a while, you will see thoughts flowing into your mind and that’s normal. They are thoughts that are in your subconscious mind, flowing into your conscious mind. These thoughts can be some silly things you pick up from TV, some stressful thoughts that are related to work or some bright ideas. Don’t force yourself to stop the thoughts but don’t think deeply about them also. Just say hi to the thoughts and let them pass by. Meanwhile, there is a good chance that you would find yourself not observing your breath anymore. That’s normal too. Just start observing again. Repeat this whole process for minutes and you will have your mind cleared. After your meditation, you can almost feel that you have a clear mind that can make more logical decisions.
How to Do Mantra Meditation?
Mantra meditation is actually very similar to breath meditation. Similarly, you want to find a place where no one bothers you and sit in a relaxed position with your eyes closed. This time, instead of observing your breath, in your mind, repeatedly read a two-syllable and meaningless word like “so-hum” which is called the mantra. It doesn’t has to be a two-syllable word indeed but I will just tell your what works best for me here for the sake of simplicity. Again, just say hi to your thoughts that flow from your subconscious mind into your conscious mind. If you discover yourself no longer reading the mantra, just gently start reading the mantra again. I personally find mantra meditation easier because I have a tendency to try to control my breath when I am observing it.
Slowing Increase Your Length of Meditation
Everyone’s optimal length of daily meditation is different. Many people recommend to have a 20-minute session in the morning, and another 20-minute one before dinner or before sleep. I find that doing a 10-minute meditation session is enough to get my mind sharp and clear. Remember to find a time that you can stick to everyday. Even if I have a lot of time or I am in a situation where I really need to relax, I won’t do a more-than-30-minute meditation session. I often feel that meditating too long can cause me headache. Some people like monks can meditate for hours but that doesn’t mean that this is something that every one should try.
I hope this piece of writing can help you get started with developing the habit of meditation. It is a really useful tool to have to help you make better decisions in life.