Before I begin, let me tell you that my meditation journey only seriously began a few months ago. Before that, it was an on and off practice that I did whenever I remembered. So I am in no way a long time student of meditation, but a newbie myself.
But that’s what it’s all about innit? Sharing with each other what we have learnt so far and how we are doing. Sharing our own personal journey with others, in hopes of inspiring them and making them feel less alone as a beginner.
So what is meditation, Tanja? Why is meditation so great?
Well, meditation is a practice to help you calm your mind and focus on the now, the being in the now, the being.
There is plenty of science behind it, but even if there wouldn’t be (but it is), we still have millions of people who have benefited from practising it. Meditation heals your body and your brain. It helps you be more focused, more mindful, and it makes you happier. Who doesn’t want that?
But since you came here because you want to know my tips that are all about meditation for beginners, let’s get right into it:
- Number one thing that I want every single person to know is something that up to this day most people are not aware of. And that is, that meditation is not about not thinking. You cannot not think. It’s impossible. What you can do, is to be aware of your thoughts and simply observe them. Dan Harris says it best in his book 10% Happier: “Meditation is not about feeling a certain way. It’s about feeling the way you feel.”
- There is no such thing as having an unsuccessful meditation practice. It’s just practice. Sometimes you sit through the meditation and all you can think about is how you forgot to post on Instagram, and other times you actually observe the thought about how you forgot to post on Instagram. That is the only difference, but it doesn’t make it a bad session. It’s called a practice for a reason. Yes, you will get better at some point and you will spend more time as an observer than lost in thought, but it’s all about being aware that you are actively getting lost in thoughts and then gently coming back to the place of observation. Sometimes you will have to do that 50 times in a minute and that is okay.
- The goal of meditation is not about becoming enlightened, which is probably what most people think will happen. I personally don’t believe anyone is enlightened or even close to being the new Buddha – or if that is even possible. We do live in a world where billionaires are seen as Emperors and Gods, after all. The goal, if we think of it that way, is to be more mindful and aware.
There you go, three simple tips – or better said, three simple takeaways from my own meditation journey.
A few resources:
- Waking Up: Searching For Spirituality without Religion by Sam Harris is THE book that got me hooked on meditation and mindfulness. I talk so much about Sam on my website, it’s ridiculous, but he truly is someone who marries science and Eastern wisdom so beautifully.
- The Waking Up Podcast with Sam Harris is one of my top 3 podcasts – and I love podcasts. My favourite episode is titled Is Buddhism True and in his earlier episodes, you can also find his guided meditations.
- Juliana from BohoBeautiful has beautiful guided meditations on her YouTube channel, and they are simple to follow and have the most calming music in the background.
- Linda Hall and her guided meditations are something that I discovered only a month or two ago, but they have already become my favourite. I love guided meditations and I love music that I can focus on, which makes this channel perfect.
- Adrienne from YogaWithAdrienne is currently my favourite yoga teacher that I follow and practice yoga alongside because her yoga practices are also filled with mindfulness and short meditations during or after the practice. She truly captures what yoga is all about – not a workout to get fit, but a spiritual practice to connect with yourself and life.
Please let me know in the comment section if you liked this meditation for beginners post and what you took from it. And if you are a beginner as well, why have you decided to try this practice? I am looking forward to hearing from you.
p.s. – If you are super interested in helping animals this spring, please read this post here.