How To Meditate: A 10 Step Beginner’s Guide

Meditation helps you to grow your own intuitive faculty. It becomes very clear what is going to fulfill you, what is going to help you flower.

Osho

Life can get a little crazy at times.  The hectic pace and demands we face on a daily basis often leave us feeling stressed, overworked, tired and even unhappy.  Meditation is a simple, effective and convenient way to calm your busy mind, relax your body, become grounded and find inner peace amidst the chaos of day-to-day life.

I was first introduced to meditation at twelve years of age by my grade school drama teacher.  At such a young age I didn’t have much to stress about, but even then I was drawn to the benefits of meditation.  I loved quieting my thoughts, feeling present and enjoying the deep sense of relaxation and peace that came from meditating.  Throughout my life I have continued to explore various approaches to meditation and have discovered how profound the benefits can be.

Newcomers to meditation often feel intimidated.  They imagine a monk sitting in lotus pose for hours on end atop a mountain.  But the reality is that meditation is much easier and accessible than most people realize.

Here is a simple 10 step beginner’s guide to meditation:

1. Sit tall
The most common and accessible position for meditation is sitting.  Sit on the floor, in a chair or on a stool.  If you are seated on the floor it is often most comfortable to sit cross-legged on a cushion.  Comfort is key.  Now imagine a thread extending from the top of your head, pulling your back, neck and head straight up towards the ceiling in a straight line.  Sit tall.

2. Relax your body
Close your eyes and scan your body, relaxing each body part one at a time.  Begin with your toes, feet, ankles, shins and continue to move up your entire body.  Don’t forget to relax your shoulders, neck, eyes, face, jaw and tongue which are all common areas for us to hold tension.

3. Be still and silent
Now that you are sitting tall and relaxed, take a moment to be still.  Just sit.  Be aware of your surroundings, your body, the sounds around you.  Don’t react or attempt to change anything.  Just be aware.

4. Breathe
Turn your attention to your breath.  Breathe silently, yet deeply.  Engage your diaphragm and fill your lungs, but do not force your breath.  Notice how your breath feels in your nose, throat, chest and belly as it flows in and out.
Read more: Stop & Breathe

5. Establish a mantra
A mantra is a sound, word or phrase that can be repeated throughout your meditation.  Mantras can have spiritual, vibrational and transformative benefits, or they can simply provide a point of focus during meditation.  They can be spoken aloud or silently to yourself.  A simple and easy mantra for beginners is to silently say with each breath, I am breathing in, I am breathing out.

6. Calm your mind
As you focus on your breath or mantra, your mind will begin to calm and become present.  This does not mean that thoughts will cease to arise.  As thoughts come to you, simply acknowledge them, set them aside, and return your attention to your breath or mantra.  Don’t dwell on your thoughts.  Some days your mind will be busy and filled with inner chatter, other days it will remain calm and focused.  Neither is good, nor bad.

9. When to end your practice
There is no correct length of time to practice meditation, however when first beginning it is often easier to sit for shorter periods of time (5 to 10 minutes).  As you become more comfortable with your practice, meditate longer.  Set an alarm if you prefer to sit for a predetermined length of time.  Another option is to decide on the number of breaths you will count before ending your practice.  A mala is a helpful tool to use when counting breaths.

8. How to end your practice
When you are ready to end your practice, slowing bring your conscious attention back to your surroundings.  Acknowledge your presence in the space around you.  Gently wiggle your fingers and toes.  Begin to move your hands, feet, arms and legs.  Open your eyes.  Move slowly and take your time getting up.

9. Practice often
Consistency is more important than quantity.  Meditating for 5 minutes every day will reward you with far greater benefits than meditating for two hours, one day a week.

10. Practice everywhere
Most beginners find it easier to meditate in a quiet space at home, but as you become more comfortable, begin exploring new places to practice.  Meditating outdoors in nature can be very peaceful, and taking the opportunity to meditate on the bus or in your office chair can be an excellent stress reliever.

Meditation is a simple, effective and convenient way to calm your busy mind, relax your body, become grounded and find inner peace amidst the chaos of day-to-day life.  Begin meditating today and reap the rewards.

 

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30 Comments

  1. I’ve been meditating consistently for about six years – started in 10 minute increments sitting in a chair, now sit 25 minutes on a cushion zen style. Once I caught the idea I really could do this I kept at it because it made me feel good, or virtuous or something. Now I see it’s also given me what I might call a steadiness of mind and being that means, somehow, I fit in the world more comfortably.

    A

    • Anne, thank you for posting.
      Just yesterday someone made a very similar comment to me… that meditation helped them feel like they fit into the world somehow. I have to wonder how much meditation could help young people who go through adolescence feeling like they don’t belong.

  2. Hi all,
    I’ve mediated everyday for seven years now. I practice the Art of Living breathing, yoga and meditation techniques. Its been an experience beyond words. It has made me calmer, more relaxed, more energetic and reduced my tendency towards anxiety. I feel so lucky to have the experience of silence on a daily basis. “Love is seeing God in the person next to us and meditation is seeing God within us.” ~~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

  3. Thanks for commenting, Maya. Beautiful quote.

    You mention experiencing silence on a daily basis. Have you read the Power of Silence post on Stop & Breathe?

  4. Hey nice write up. I like the steps they are simple and easy to understand for anyone. I think people think meditation is complicated so this will be a good read for anyone.

    • Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      I agree. Meditation shouldn’t be complicated and the more we can show people how accessible it is, the better off the world will be.

      Thanks for reading.

  5. Sam Knight |

    hi thankyou for this i found it really helpfull as i need this information for a school assignment and wondering if anyone could give me the authors name for my resourcing.

  6. Wow…I tried it for five minutes and im exhausted but feel great! Thank you :)

  7. Hey,
    I am a beginner. I’ve practised meditation around 5-6 times and its really wonderful the way i feel after meditation.
    I am thankful to you for showing me a direction.

  8. I am new and I will b trying this I hope my experience is as wonderful as u guys

  9. Thank you for this guide. So pure and easy, I’m prepared to start practicing immediately.

  10. Hi to all, it’s truly a nice for me to pay a quick visit this web page, it consists of valuable Information.

  11. My brother recommended I might like this website.

    He was once entirely right. This publish truly made my day.
    You can not believe simply how much time I had spent for this information!

    Thanks!

  12. Thanx…I didn’t understand the meaning of meditation until now.It proves someone that a calm state is always better for life’s different orientations

  13. Thanks…Meditation was something for me that I never understood…now I kno the meaning and it proves that a calm state is always the best among life’s orientations.

  14. Hi I am going through a really rough spot in my m arriage and my mind has not been able to switch of, the only time I feel peace is when I sleep, I was thinking of taking up mesitation to see if it xan help clear my mind to make me think clearly about everyrhing and to be finally happy n at peace again, please help?

  15. when you experience Meditation not only give you peaceful & health body but also it is the way to achieve what you plan !

  16. Roshini Raja |

    it is awesome 2 me bcoz i’m a fresher 2 this. It’s really helpful 4 me

    Big thanks 2 u guys

  17. Tim Jan Rozendaal |

    Hi everyone,

    Most of the time my mind feels very restless, so to me meditation sounds like a good solution. However, when I try to focus on my breathing I feel stuffy, and so I reach the opposite of what I want Shall I just keep on trying or do you have any tips?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi,
      Just try really hard to focus on your breathing if you lose focus just start off again and try to focus on only your breath nothing else don’t be distracted and maybe have a mantra like “breathe in and out” “in and out” or any mantra at all good luck hope this helped.
      Cheers,
      Debbie

  18. Hi,
    I only started like a minute ago and I all ready feel great, I agree that meditation should be practised every day or so for full mind and body comfort.
    Thanks so much
    Cheers,
    Debbie :)

  19. Hi all,
    I am a beginner. One think i realized whenever i followed my breathing sense i felt pressure on my head. Something like some load kept over it. Can anyone tell me why so? Why its happening? Is it normal or anything else?

  20. This is great, and I use the mantra technique too. Well written. A brilliant post.

    There is more though, and meditation needn’t be just sitting and looking inwards.

    We meditate in so many ways during the day – that is, we achieve a certain mental state during the day in different ways, similar to the state we enter in meditation. I wrote more about it here at http://www.lifechange90.com/how-to-meditate/ and it’s worth a look.

    Often when you are starting to learn to meditate, it all seems too hard, so unfamiliar, but when you realise we have all been doing it anyway in some form, it makes more sense and the transition to this meditation is much easier, faster and more effective.

    Best wishes with meditating, it is worth it and something that everyone really should do!

  21. Hey there, i want to start. I hope my experience will be great as u all.

  22. I just spent an hour on Amazon looking for a learn to meditate book. There are a lot of them. Then I stumbled upon your blog. Your ten step guide is simple and eloquent and is really all one needs to begin a meditation practice. It really is that simple. Thanks a lot for posting it.

  23. caron hatfield |

    I am just starting, so am looking for some pointers

  24. Ms.Bourgeois |

    A lot of people have told me that this will help me with my anxiety……Hopefully they are correct.

  25. Thoughtful and very helpful posts here. I’m ready to start. I’ve been dealing with anxiety for the first time in my life and it’s consuming. Blessings.

  26. Shivaprasad |

    im a begginer.. bt i think i’ll hv a wonderful experience.. thnk u for ua kind guidelines.

  27. i dont know why im an very anxious these days but after the meditation it felt great thanks for the tips

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