Meditation for beginners – 15 practical tips to calm the mind
Posted On June 15, 2018
Meditation is a wonderful exercise to teach the mind to fully concentrate on one thing.
Many people try meditation at some point. But especially as a beginner it is difficult to just sit and watch the breath.
And unfortunately most of them stop after a short time, because they don’t notice any success.
This is a pity, because regular meditation not only calms the mind, but also brings health benefits – about which there are enough public studies.
The following tips will help you to overcome the first hurdles and make meditation a habit.
The right attitude
Before you start meditating, make it clear that the first successes are yet to come. So you should be motivated and start with the right attitude.
Do not expect anything and make meditation a daily habit in your life. The successes will only be noticeable in the long term.
When I started meditating in 1995, I couldn’t sit still for five minutes and certainly couldn’t watch my breath for minutes. Gradually I could increase the duration up to one hour.
Practice every day
The deeper levels of meditation can only be reached through daily practice. Leave yourself 5 – 15 minutes free for meditation – preferably twice a day.
Stretch your body
Before you start, stretch and stretch. The muscles are loosened and you sit more relaxed. I usually do the sun salutation twice, which stretches the whole body.
Find a place
Find a fixed place in the apartment for meditation. If you always meditate in the same place, the habit becomes stronger more quickly.
You could make yourself a corner in the living room. If you like, put up a small altar with a Buddha statue and candles.
Set up a cosy “meditation corner”. You will always like to sit and meditate there.
Don’t let yourself be disturbed while meditating. Turn off the bell. Phone and mobile phone silent. Children are still sleeping or in school.
As a beginner you need a quiet and peaceful atmosphere. Only then can you meditate attentively and consciously.
Read a book about meditation
When you start meditating, read one or two books about meditation. That motivates. I also listen to CDs with guided meditations.
Recommended again and again: “Meditation for Beginners” by Jack Kornfield. Book plus CD with six guided meditations.
Begin with the breath
Breathe calmly and deeply. This calms the heartbeat and relaxes the muscles. Focus your attention on the breath.
For beginners, mindfulness to the breath is a popular and simple form of meditation.
Don’t get angry
Don’t be disappointed if you are constantly distracted by thoughts at first. That’s normal.
Maybe you’re also wondering: What am I doing here? Why can’t I just shut down my damn mind?
If that happens: Concentrate on your breath and let go of frustrated thoughts and feelings.
As a beginner, try different meditations. You don’t have to twist your legs like a yogi in a lotus position.
Meditate sitting, lying, with closed eyes, with open eyes – experiment.
If you can’t sit on the floor with your legs crossed, try a meditation pillow. The cushions are 15 – 20 cm high and facilitate sitting with crossed legs. They are ideal for yoga and meditation.
Pause briefly again and again during the day. Pay attention to your breath.
Feel the present moment: the “now”.
The short meditation is extremely helpful for this.
Use a candle
It may be difficult for you to meditate with your eyes closed at first. If so, try placing a candle on the floor in front of you.
You can then look at the candle with half or full eyes open, slightly concentrated.
Don’t worry about it.
Meditation is what it is. Some days are better than others. That’s just the way it is.
If you are angry or nervous even before meditating, then it is an inappropriate moment to meditate – at least for beginners.
Even if you get nervous while meditating, stay relaxed and do not increase your nervousness. Try to stay calm and keep an eye on your breath.
Meditate early in the morning
Immediately after waking up it is a good time for meditation. The house is still quiet and you’re undisturbed.
Your mind will also be reasonably calm before the usual flood of thoughts begins. Those are good conditions.
Try to get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning to start the day with meditation. You’ll make quick progress.
At the end of your meditation linger briefly in gratitude. Be thankful there is meditation. Be grateful for this tool to train and discipline your mind – to achieve inner peace and spiritual freedom.
Meditation is hard work and at some point you may think that meditation is no longer so important to you.
You just don’t feel like constantly concentrating on your breathing and training your mind – especially if you still don’t feel any success.
When you have reached this point, please read the books again and listen to the CDs.
Hopefully they will motivate you again, because especially with such thoughts you need meditation.
If you give up now, the mind takes control of your thinking again. Don’t let it come to that. Hang in there.