Here is a guide on how to meditate. Here are some important things to remember:
- Get comfortable. You can sit in lotus pose or in a chair.
- Keep your body erect. Sit up and make your spine erect.
- Relax. Focus on relaxing the muscles in your body. Especially focus on relaxing the muscles in your face. Make sure you’re not holding any tension there. Relax.
- Focus on your breathing. Breath in through you nose and out through your nose. Your breath is key.
- Set an alarm. I usually meditate 2 times for a total of 40 minutes a day. Sometimes I will break these up into smaller increments like 10 or 15 minutes or longer sessions for 30 minutes or more minutes. If you’re just starting out then start small with say 5 minutes or perhaps even less if that seems difficult. Consistency is key, it is better to do it more frequently for a shorter period of time than it is to do it infrequently for longer periods of time.
Here are some other tactics that can be used when meditating:
Use a tone. These are tones like ahhhhhhhhh, ohhhhhhhh and ummmmmmm. You use these when you exhale and you hold the tone for the entire breath in a steady manner until you’re out of breath. Inhale and do it again. The vibration feels quite therapeutic.
Close your eyes. I use this way most frequently.
Open your eyes. Focus on a point in front off you. Keep your focus there. Some meditators suggest holding your gaze slightly down.
Pause between breaths. This one is like holding your breath between the inhale and exhale or vice versa. Hold your breath for a few seconds or however long you feel comfortable with. You shouldn’t have to gasp for air. You’ll notice that your thought typically stops when you momentarily hold your breath.
Focus on your stomach. When in you inhale imagine that your stomach is a balloon and fill it with air. When you exhale release it and gently suck in. This technique works well on nerves. If you’re nervous or stressed a few minutes of doing this will calm you down and get you in your body. This also works well with addressing stage fright, nerves with an interview, public speaking and any situation that gets you worked up.
Scan your body. Start with your feet and move up slowly to your scalp. For example, first focus on your feet and any sensations you feel there and then your ankles up to your shins and so on.
Count breaths. One inhalation and one exhalation is considered one breath. Simultaneously visualizing the number as you count helps too.
Alternatively you can use a four count. Inhale for four seconds, pause for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, pause for four seconds and then continue.
Learn more about using your breath to meditate.
Watch your mind. Watch what thoughts come and go. If you find yourself getting into a train of thought then let the thought go and return to your breath. Observe your mind.
Rock. Try gently rocking back and forth as you sit.
Generally you want to remain relatively still, however if you have a scratch then scratch it as you will waste more energy trying not to scratch it. Sometimes while sitting I will also do forward folds (used in yoga) where I’ll clasp my elbows and fold over my knees and hang. I can at times also clasp my hands together and put them behind my head. This will help straighten your posture while simultaneously stretching behind your shoulders.