Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed my first post on meditation where I wrote about some of the well known , and not so well known, benefits of a meditation and mindfulness practice. I finished that post by promising a second post on how to start such a practice in our lives. Now remember, before you continue reading this post, understand that I am writing this from the perspective of someone who has just recently begun a meditation practice, and someone who had thought such things quite silly until about 4-5 years ago. So, as titled, this article is my version of how to start a meditative practice by a beginner.
How Should I View Meditation?
To begin a meditation practice, I think the first thing to understand is that you do not need to view it as some weird spiritual yogi/guru type of activity – unless you want to, cause that’s also cool. Whatever floats your boat! The way I began to think about it was simply a way to quiet my mind and reduce/manage life stressors (whether I thought I felt those stressors or not). In other words full relaxation of my mind in the present moment. So, in the end, I was just a normal guy trying to get my “relax on” in a healthy way (ie. Not by sitting on the couch watching hours of TV). So I think the healthiest way to look at meditation is whatever way is going to get you to do it consistently.
How to Begin a Meditation Practice
For me, I just jumped right in. Literally, I think I read something for about 5 minutes on how to do it, and then just did it one day because I felt like it. It seemed to help that day which has kept me fairly consistent with it since then. The most difficult part for me was actually finding the right time of day to fit it in. I tend to be quite busy before and after work with golf, workouts, sports and food prep, so I decided I would take 5-15 minutes out of my work day for it. Luckily enough my floor currently has an empty office that I can use, and it works perfectly. No one can see me and I can’t hear them. I take my phone with me, turn off the sound, set my alarm and away I go. In the end, it shouldn’t really matter when you meditate, but it will most definitely help to give yourself a set time/schedule to do so. Maybe even send yourself a calendar invite :-). Regardless of when you do it, I am positive that there is at least 5 minutes you can spare each day.
How to Meditate
Like I mentioned above, I don’t think it’s necessary to read endless amounts on how to properly meditate before you begin, the whole purpose is to quite/relax your mind and focus your attention on one thing. It really doesn’t have to be all that difficult, so don’t over-complicate it like some people do with fitness. Personally, what I do is find a quiet enough place (that is not where I sleep) where I will not be bothered, sit or lay down, close my eyes, and put all my awareness into my breath, which should help quiet all the other thoughts in my mind. Yes, you will experiences random thoughts popping into your head during this process. Do not get frustrated with those thoughts, experience them and simply draw your attention back to your breath. The more you practice, the easier this will become.
Conclusion & Basic Resources
Here are a couple websites that outline some basic information about meditation, and provide tips for beginner. Remember, the best thing you can do is just start, don’t over-complicate it, keep it simple and as you progress in your practice you may begin to look into some more complex meditation techniques like this healing meditation.
I hope the above is helpful in some way; and hey, meditation may even improve your golf game. Why not, a quiet mind right before you hit your shot is the key to success.
The Barefoot Golfer