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A Beginner's Guide to Meditation

Meditation is an ancient art of focusing your attention. Read on for some tips on how to get started.

Meditation is an essential part of yoga. Yogic meditation basically involves controlling your breathing while emptying your mind of all thoughts. Meditation has been proved to have a number of health benefits such as increased concentration and decreased levels of anxiety. People who meditate often report that a meditation session leaves them with a feeling of satisfaction and inner peace.

A large number of people attempt meditation at some point in their lives. However, only few of them will continue to meditate on a regular basis. People often abandon their efforts largely because they find they are not able to meditate effectively or they feel as if they are not getting any results. Here are some ways to get past a few stumbling blocks when you begin meditation.

Make it Part of Your Schedule

Many people tend to meditate only if they get some free time during the day. However, on most days, there is always something that demands their attention throughout the day. So, meditation takes a backseat. When you decide to begin meditating, you need to set aside some time each day for it. Add a meditation time to your daily schedule. This will ensure that you spend at least some time engaged in meditation.

Apart from deciding on a dedicated time for meditation, you also require a special place. Choose a room or area in your house where you do not engage in any work. Also, avoid selecting the room in which you sleep. Once you have decided on a place to meditate, place a few aromatic candles there. This will help to put you in the mood.

Do a Little Stretching First

You cannot simply drop what you are doing and suddenly start meditating. You have to ease into the process first. A good way to get into a meditative frame of mind is to start with a few stretching exercises first. Stretching loosens the muscles and tendons in your body. This will make it more comfortable for you to sit down or assume your meditative position. Stretching also makes you more aware of your own body, making it easier for you to 'draw' into yourself.

Bring Purpose to Your Meditation

Meditation is not just letting your mind aimlessly wander about. It involves actively engaging your mind so that you are successfully able to let go of all distractive influences. Being able to focus your mind on one single point requires a lot of hard work and practice to master.

Meditation need not be done alone. If you and your partner decide to meditate together, it can be an enjoyable experience as well as a chance to bond with a loved one. However, make sure that both of you set some rules or guidelines. This will ensure that neither partner is distracted during the meditation session.

See that You are Not Disturbed

Ideally, meditation needs to be done twice a day, in order to maximise its benefits. The best time to meditate is early in the morning. At this time it is generally quieter, which will help you to focus. Your mind is also relaxed as you have just woken up from a night's rest.

Another mistake that people tend to make is not taking into account possible disturbances. When you meditate, you need to be at peace. You should not allow yourself to be disturbed with thoughts like, "Is the phone going to ring? Are the children awake? Is something cooking on the flame?"

Recognise when You are Frustrated

Getting frustrated is part of the journey to achieving peace through meditation. It is not uncommon for you to suddenly start feeling doubts about what you are trying to accomplish. When thoughts such as why am I here, what am I doing, etc. start creeping through your mind, recognise that you are feeling frustrated. Then, concentrate on your breathing and try to let go of these feelings.

Meditating effectively takes practise and requires a lot of patience. Try out various meditation techniques and find out which one works for you. Once you are set, you will start to see the difference it makes to your life.

What do you think about meditation? Do you meditate on a daily basis? Should meditation be made compulsory in schools and workplaces? To share your tips, views, and experiences, click here.


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