How to Build a Meditation Practice Starting with the Basics
Step 1: Find a quiet and comfortable spotThe first step to starting a meditation practice is finding a quiet and comfortable spot. It doesn’t need to be a dedicated meditation space, just a cozy corner in your home or office. Choose a spot that is free of distractions and has a comfortable seating arrangement or place to lie down. You can add some candles or incense to create a calming atmosphere.
Step 2: Set a time limitWhen you’re first starting out, try to meditate for just 5-10 minutes a day. As you get more comfortable with the practice, you can gradually increase the time to 20-30 minutes. The important thing is to be consistent in your practice and set aside a specific time each day.
Step 3: Focus on your breathOnce you’re settled in your spot and have set a time limit, the next step is to focus on your breathing. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, then let your breath settle into a natural rhythm. Focus your attention on the sensation of your breath as it enters and leaves your body. Whether you point your attention to the tip of the nose, or the rising and falling of your belly. Allow your breath to become the anchor of your attention. Whenever your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your breath.
Step 4: Be patient with yourselfWhen you’re starting a meditation practice, it’s important to be patient with yourself. You may find it challenging to still your mind and focus on your breathing, but that’s okay. Every time you practice, you’re strengthening your mindfulness muscle. Don’t get frustrated if your mind wanders or you find it hard to meditate. Don’t try to do anything. The point of meditation is not to block thoughts from coming in. Simply observe thoughts as they come and go and don’t attach yourself to them. You are not your thoughts. Be still and be at ease. Take it one day at a time and keep showing up for yourself.
Step 5: Try guided meditations
Guided meditations are an excellent way to start a meditation practice. They provide a framework for your practice and can be a helpful tool in calming your mind and guiding you into a deeper meditative state. You can find guided meditations online, or ask our staff for some recommendations. Our favorite guided meditations are from philosopher, neuroscientist, and author Sam Harris or film maker Daniel Schmidt.
Starting a meditation practice can be a life-changing experience. Even just a few minutes of daily meditation can help you feel more focused, calm, and centered. Remember to start small, find a quiet and comfortable spot, focus on your breath, be patient with yourself, and try guided meditations. If you’re looking for a more immersive meditation experience, consider booking a Pandora Star Light Meditation session or a float session with NH Float today (even better if you combine the two and do them back to back). With time and consistent practice, you’ll reap the full benefits of meditation and discover its power to transform your life.