Meditation Guide. I thought it was time to write an epic, down-to-earth meditation guide especially for beginners. I mean…
We talk a LOT about the benefits of meditation, but how do you really get started with it? Do you just sit down and think about your breath? Are you supposed to have a certain pillow or chair? Is there an app for that?
Never fear! We’re digging deep into everything you need to know in this meditation guide…
And YES it’s THAT important!
Why? Because mediation can do so much for you.
Here are just a few (or 11!) meditation benefits:
- Connects you to your Higher Self (the spiritual part of you that knows your ideal purpose and why you’re here in this lifetime).
- Cleanses your aura.
- Helps you manifest your dream life.
- Improves your spiritual health.
- Grounds you.
- Gets rid of nasty, negative energy.
- Improves your journaling.
- Connects you to your Spirit Guides.
- Reduces stress.
- Develops your intuitive senses.
- Brings you ever-needed perspective.
And while it’s often talked about, it’s usually breezed over with, “start with a mediation”.
Uh, thanks, I’ll get right on that!
So — without further adieu, let’s dig into this meditation guide.
What is Meditation, Really?
Simply put, meditation is the act of bringing awareness to your thoughts, breath, and self.
The whole point of meditating is to clear your mind. This allows you to feel calmer and more connected to the Divine. (It also raises your vibration, which is a whole other bucket of awesome!)
- Have you ever tuned into your thoughts and they were super ugly? Like if you tried something and failed, and you heard, “Well of course! I always fail”.
- Or, have you ever been so confused about a situation, that you couldn’t even figure out what your OWN mind was thinking?
Meditation brings awareness to what goes on in your mind and allows you to become an observer to your thoughts.
Your mind is like a jam-packed freeway…
The best example I’ve ever heard was to picture your mind as a jam-packed freeway. I’m talking L.A. traffic, here!
Each car is a thought, and normally you’re hopping all over the freeway, trying to catch the thoughts/cars, only to end up feeling exhausted and confused.
Meditating pulls you out of the traffic and puts you on the side of the road.
It allows you to observe all the thoughts flying by but NOT chase them down and wear yourself out.
In a nutshell, it makes it easier to stay objective in situations and find clarity in your feelings and reactions.
Meditation Guide: How to Start
If you get only one thing out of this meditation guide, let it be this:
There’s no right or wrong way to do it.
Seriously! It’s not just something people say, there really is no right or wrong way. At the end of the day, meditating is deeply personal and relative to the situation.
That being said, let’s talk about some different ways that you can do meditation. Start with whatever sounds like the best for you:
Guided meditations are a really good place to start. They allow you the freedom to explore your mind but also provide some structure so you’re not sitting there thinking, “um, is this right?”.
It’s also great for beginners because it keeps you focused on the exercise and helps your mind from wandering.
During a guided meditation, a recording will guide you through the process. You’ll hear phrases like “relax your shoulders/arms/legs”.
All this means is to focus on that part of your body and make a conscious effort to release tension there.
Or, you may be asked to do a “body scan”. This is really simple. Just be aware of your body and where you feel tension. Are your shoulders tensed up? Is your stomach clenched? Are you pursing your lips? Now, try and relax the spots you find tension in. Voila!
Meditation Beads (Prayer Beads)
You can also try Mala (“prayer beads” or “meditation beads”). Side note: I. Love. These. Things. OMG, they are SO gorgeous and if you’re like me you are going to want to collect a ton of them!
During your meditation, rub each bead and repeat a “mantra” (word or phrase) in your mind.
My personal phrase is, “it is well with my soul”. I love it because it tunes out everything else in my mind and immediately calms me.
Another good mantra for meditation beginners is “Om” because it holds a very high vibration.
Om has a lot of different meanings. I was taught that it means oneness and is intended to unite us (the human race) as a group. Spiritual folks define it as a mystic syllable, considered the most sacred mantra in Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism. It appears at the beginning and end of a lot of Sanskrit recitations, prayers, and texts.
“Traditional” Meditation Guide
Finally, you can just dive in the good “ol’ fashioned” way! This technique can be tricky as a beginner meditation because your mind will wander at first!
However, when your mind wanders off to the million things you have to do tomorrow, let those thoughts float by and return to relaxing. Don’t beat yourself up over it or stress out.
In time, you will get better at quieting your mind. It’s one of those things that gets easier with practice :)
Easy Meditation Guide:
- Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes.
- Sit quietly (in any position you are comfortable) and let thoughts leave your mind. Imagine them floating away on little clouds.
- Put your hands on your belly.
- Focus on your breath. Feel your belly rise each time you inhale.
That’s it! Easy, peasy.
And if that sounds too boring, you can also:
- Count as you inhale.
- Repeat your mantra as you inhale.
- Visualize an image or a place.
- Imagine white light surrounding you.
- Play relaxing music in the background.
This meditation guide is just that… The practice is YOURS — remember the first rule? There is no right or wrong way.
Beginner Meditation Tools
First things first, all of these tools are optional. Meditating is really personal, and a lot of people like a lot of different things!
But, from a 10-year meditation veteran, these are some things you might like to try:
Guided Meditation App or Track
If you choose to try your hand at guided meditation, you’ll notice there are a TON of resources (yay!). Don’t be afraid to try a bunch of different ones or fall in love with just one.
- I’ve used Headspace for awhile now and I love it.
- There is also Calm and Mindfulness.
These all offer great ways to get your feet wet meditating!
Malas (Meditation Beads)
These beads (or malas) are usually used to count the number of times a mantra is recited while meditating. Personally, they just keep me focused.
My mala gives me something to hold and focus on with while my mind is busy reciting my mantra, “it is well with my soul”.
Another tip is to think of a feeling that you want to have right now, for example peace or love or clarity. Repeat that word in your mind as you rub each bead.
If you are going to pick up any of the tools in this meditation guide, I would go for a mala. It’s amazing how they help keep you focused and clear your head!
Salt lamps are all the rage right now and you might have wondered what all the fuss is about.
Basically, Positive ions (which actually leak negative energy) are created in different ways, including electromagnetic (EM) radiation from our electronic devices. (Note to self: stop sleeping with cell phone.)
These ions sap our energy, leaving us feeling drained. Salt is a natural conduit and grabs ahold of these positive ions and changes them into negative ions, which emit positive energy! So you can see why they are great to have during meditation!
Essential Oils and a Diffuser
If there is a second “tool” that I recommend from this meditation guide, it’s essential oils.
I love diffusing oils while I meditate. Something relaxing (like lavender) can really set the tone for an amazing meditation. Bonus: Many essential oils also help dispel negative energy!
Some of the best essential oils for clearing negative energy are:
You can even blend your oils, which is super fun! One of my favorite blends is lavender and eucalyptus. :)
Comfortable Chair or Meditation Mat
It can be tough to quiet your mind when your knees are crying out for a position change! As a beginner, I say, sit however you are comfy!
- Some people like to sit on the ground during meditation because it connects them to the earth.
- Others like to sit in a chair and plant their feet on the ground like roots.
The choice is really up to you! Plus, you can switch it up based on your meditation selection (if you’re choosing guided ones) or your mood (no matter what!).
Get creative in your space so you enjoy being there! (For me, a fuzzy blanket is a must.) It will improve your meditation and lift your energy.
Journal and Pen
This can be your regular journal or a journal you keep just for meditation!
Since meditating focuses on clearing your mind, it’s likely you will get some really good thoughts and ideas coming to you! You don’t want to interrupt your flow to hunt for a pen in your “Misc. drawer”. So keep a pen and journal near your chosen spot and let those ideas flow.
One hesitation people may have is the conception that meditation takes HOURS of sitting on the floor and focusing. Um, Namasta-no!
I mention a timer in this meditation guide so that you’re not checking the clock every few minutes. Really, you can start out with just 5 minutes. If you can go longer, go for it! Try to work your way up to 15-30 minutes, or whatever feels good for you.
Tip: Meditating should never feel like a chore – it should feel like a part of your day that you look forward to that helps clear your mind. It’s like a “freshening up” for your body, mind, and spirit!
If you’ve gotten this far in the meditation guide and still aren’t jazzed up about clearing your mind, it’s a-okay!
To be honest, some people just don’t like meditating. For these folks, try something else that quiets your mind. Maybe:
- Go for a walk in the park (nature is awesome for clearing minds)
Again, it should never be a chore. Remember the first rule of this meditation guide? There’s no right or wrong way to do it.
Also, once you’ve tried these alternative methods, you may feel ready to try meditation again! Start out with walking in the park or on the beach, and maybe work your way up to a guided meditation or meditating with some relaxing music.
Meditation Guide Takeaways
- Meditation is a deeply personal, non-judgmental task.
- The basics are often overlooked so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re first starting out.
- It’s also really easy to lose focus at first — so don’t give up or lose heart if that happens! Remember, your brain is wired to keep you active and productive.
- Meditating brings us back to the moment and promotes inner peace. It connects us to our Higher Self and increases our spiritual health, which helps us find purpose and insight.
- If traditional meditation isn’t your jam, you have other options! So really, there’s no reason to not dust off your pillow (or walking shoes) and dive into that brain of yours. :)