Meditation is something that everyone can do but as a beginner it can certainly feel a little strange to sit in silence at first.
Allowing yourself to observe your thoughts without judgement takes practice. The most important thing to remember is that you are not trying to get rid of your thoughts, you are learning how to not be distracted by them, and instead find the deep place of calm we all have within us.
It is about training yourself to become aware of your thoughts, not eliminating them. You can find some excellent information on the wonderful benefits of meditation here.
Firstly make sure that you are sitting comfortably, somewhere where you know you will not be disturbed for the next ten minutes or so.
Ideally, you should sit with your back straight and your hands placed lightly in your lap. You might find it easier to sit in a straight backed chair at first. There’s definitely no need to be in the lotus position. The idea here is to be able to sit easily without discomfort for the duration of the meditation. You could set a timer for anything from five to ten minutes. The longer you practice meditation, the longer you may be able to sit for, but when you are a beginner don’t push yourself to sit for 20 minutes if that seems overwhelming.
Let’s begin the meditation.
Bring your attention to your breath as it enters and leaves the body. As you inhale and exhale several times, bring your focus to the present moment with each breath. You can think of the breath as centering your thoughts. Breathe in and out, slow and steady breaths.
Release any tension held in your shoulders or hands, release any clenching in your jaw. Let your muscles drop as you gently bring your eyes to close shut.
Continue to follow the rhythm of your breath. Try to focus on the moment between your inhalation and your exhalation.
If you find yourself distracted just bring yourself back to those inhalations and exhalations.
Don’t worry about any thoughts that come, just be aware that they are there and then bring your focus back to your breath.
Think of your thoughts like falling leaves. Allow them to fall around you, but don’t get caught up in their stories.
Just keep bringing yourself back to the breath.
Begin now to scan through your body, starting at the crown of your head and mentally scanning all the way down to your feet and toes. As your attention floats past each area, notice where you feel tense or relaxed, where you may have discomfort or heaviness, lightness and ease.
The idea is to build up an image of your body and how it feels. Just spend a few seconds in each area of your body.
This builds an awareness of your thoughts and feelings as you get used to tuning into how your body feels.
Let your mind rest in the silence of your breaths for a few more moments, before gently bringing your attention back to the surroundings. Feel your feet on the floor and your hands in your lap.
You can open your eyes whenever you feel ready.