Learn How to MeditateSo, you want to learn how to meditate? Meditation can be a great way to relax at the end of a hard day or even visualize your dreams and desires. Meditation is practiced by so many different cultures and world traditions going back several thousands of years. It is because of meditation’s long and varied history, that it can become difficult to understand exactly what meditation is and what it is used for. There are guided meditations, relaxation meditation techniques, meditations for visualization, meditation for meeting your spirit guides, and so many others that it is easy to get confused when you first get started.
So, if meditation is the act of bringing our attention back to the now, then where is our mind when it isn’t in the present? There are really only four different things we can be thinking of when we are not living in the present:
- The past – feeling nostalgic or regretful of the way things happened in the past
- The future – feeling hopeful or fearful about how future events may happen
- Judgments of others – focusing on the negative or positive qualities you perceive in others
- Judgments of ourselves – focusing on the flaws or virtues we believe to be true about ourselves.
If you want to learn how to meditate, here is a good beginning exercise. Set aside 5 – 10 minutes by yourself in a quiet and relaxing place. Then just simply close your eyes and focus on your breath. Get curious about your breath and just watch it? When do you stop breathing out and start breathing in? Can you spot that space between the two?
Your mind will naturally wander. Don’t beat yourself up over this (after all, that is just a judgment of yourself). Whenever you catch yourself thinking of anything other than the present, simply take your attention and place it back in the present moment.
Continue doing this for a few minutes and then, when you feel the time is right, open your eyes and allow yourself to slowly come back into your day. You will probably feel much more relaxed and energized.
When you learn how to meditate, you are embarking on a wonderful world of self-discovery. As you continue to do this, you will find yourself becoming much more aware about how your mind works and what trips you up and distracts you from the present moment and what you truly want.