How to Start Your Mindfulness Meditation
Many people think about trying mindfulness meditation, but it can be hard to know where to begin and instead, find excuses on why not to start. Mindfulness is a tool, a mental technology, that can be used for quite a few things to make the changes in our life that we would like to experience.
Mindfulness meditation is not meant to try and make us to become different from how we already are. With practice, it helps us to become more aware of what is going on in our minds, moment by moment. It teaches us how to become aware of the present moment and helps us be ‘in the moment’, with whatever is happening to or around us, no matter what.
It can be used as a meditation that offers us a respite from all noise of our daily lives, and become aware of the constant chatterings of our mind. It can also be applied and used to become more aligned with what we are feeling and thinking, at any given moment. This make it very useful to help us become aware of the flaws in the what, where and how’s of our our thinking, and and then correcting them.
At first, it might seem a bit overwhelming and find people looking for reasons to be putting it off.
Meditation is often thought to be linked with occult mysticism or a weird religious practice. Yet components of meditation and contemplation practices are found in every religion.
Or, many people become frustrated when they don’t see or feel immediate results.
Here’s a few suggestions on how to start your mindfulness sessions.
The first step is simply to breathe. Become aware of your breathing. You could easily spend 5 or 10 minutes just being mindful of this most essential necessity of life. You don’t breathe, you don’t live.
By breathing deeply in and out through the nose, this will help you to reduce your stress level by circulating more oxygen around your body and sending signals to your brain that you are in the ‘rest and reflect state’. Your cortisol decreases, and your brain and body activities relaxes and slows down.
Concentrate on Your Senses
Another thing to do is to concentrate on your senses. This is a good way to start bringing your attention inward, listen for any sounds that you normally miss, notice what the temperature is around you and think about any smells you can detect. Touch and ‘feel’ an object.
Don’t search for sounds, just let them come to you naturally. You’ll quickly find there is much more going on in your soundscape than you initially realized.
Doing A Body Scan
Turn your awareness inward and do a ‘body scan’ meditation. This means that you’re concentrating on own body and how it feels.
Begin from the very top of your head and face, notice any muscles that feel tight. Slowly move down through your neck, shoulders, arms and all the way to your toes. Look for any tension, concentrate on that area and send relaxing, peaceful thought-energy there.
End by turning your attention to your chest, how it rises and falls as you breathe. Start to count your breaths and allow your thoughts to become still. Feel the peace.
Let Your Mind Go
Now you’re going to allow your mind to do and go wherever it wants. Allow it to wander, allow it to sit still, let it run free. What you are doing here is to just ‘watch’ your flow of thoughts, notice them, and don’t get ‘caught up’ in them. If you notice yourself getting sucked into those thoughts, calmly bring yourself back and begin watching them again.
Don’t apply any pressure to immediately succeed at doing this process perfectly. Don’t expect immediate results, and don’t worry if you need to stop to itch. The whole point is to become aware and allow yourself a gentle, mental break. If you push for results, the less likely they are to come. Practice daily and it will happen naturally. Keep a meditation dairy.
Guided Mindfulness Meditation Video
Excuses About Mindfulness Meditation
Most people who find excuses to resist any meditation practices are creating their own resistance. If you never try, you will never really know.
“I’m just too busy to learn to practice meditation.”
Just engaging in a few minutes of meditating twice a day will help you to sleep better, you will need less sleep, become more productive, feel less distracted, and make the most of your time every day. This has been shown by many studies.
Although, when you first begin to meditate, you’re likely likely to experience many mental distractions. Even if you decide to live in a cave, you’ll never have complete freedom from distractions, but with practice, it’ll be easier to turn down the volume on them.
So don’t judge yourself, just observe any disruptive thoughts, feelings, or sensations, and put them aside. As your ability to concentrate increases, so will your mind’s strength. You’ll discover that you can quickly adjust, rest and relax into the moment, enjoying the peaceful sensation of spaciousness and calmness.
“If I practice mindfulness, it will affect my goals and creativity.”
Engaging in mindfulness meditation practice will ground your restless energy, transforming this energy from a chaotic, even manic, discharge to a more focused and heightened exuberance that can be channeled into productivity.
If you’re uncomfortable with the thought of slowing down your mind because you think you’ll lose some valuable information or insight, it is just the opposite. Instead, you will actually re-access some of the wasted vitality and passion and channel it into becoming even more productive and creative..
“If I practice meditation maybe I’ll uncover something upsetting, and feel more fearful.”
This is actually an honest fear. Being afraid of what may arise from your subconscious isn’t completely irrational, but emotions that remain buried deep within you have no chance of disappearing on their own, and will remain as an underlying toxin that affects the functioning of your mind and actually harm your body.
If you’ve been avoiding those painful feelings from the past, you may not be able to handle more than a five-minute-long session of mindfulness meditation in the beginning. It may help if you find someone to support you through this process of uncovering this deep seated emotions. A skilled psychologist or mindfulness meditation teacher can be enormously helpful in guiding you through these emotions and helping you to understand and modulate their intensity.
“Practicing mindfulness meditation will conflict with my religious beliefs.”
The practice of mindfulness meditation is free of any religious or spiritual dogmas. If you believe in turning to your God for guidance, you can utilize mindfulness meditation to help you to set aside distractions and really listen to the divine wisdom that can be found only when you tune out the endless chain of thoughts your mind is constantly churning.
Meditation turns down the volume of your mind-chatter, and allows you to tune in and receive deeper wisdom and insights. Mindfulness practice is a pathway to discovery that any of us can use, regardless of religious beliefs.
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By cultivating mindfulness, you will allow yourself to hear the subtlest messages from your unconscious and become more aware and in-tune with the reality around you.
By embracing your circumstances in the present, you can create a fulfilling life that’s infused with insight and originality, you will become aware of a greater sense of purpose, become in-sync with the natural values of the world around you. All it takes is engaging in the regular practice of mindfulness meditation.