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How To Start Meditating

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New to meditation? Wondering how to start meditating? Or would you like to have deeper, more vivid meditation? If so, read on!

Change How You See Meditation

Everyone seems to know about meditation these days, but it can feel so hard to get into. I’ve so often heard people say “I’m terrible at meditating” or “I just can’t sit still for that long” or “my mind just won’t shut off”. The truth is, anyone can meditate, and it is really easy to learn how to meditate.

The first step in learning how to meditate, or developing a deeper meditation practice, is to shift your thinking around meditation. To begin, you need to move at your own pace. Meditate for a minute. Then meditate for 5 minutes. And if that’s all you can manage, cool. There’s nothing wrong with that! You’re meditating regularly, congrats!

Remember that the goal is not to be “GREAT” at meditating. You are not here to win an award! Take all the pressure off. Don’t worry about whether you’re doing it “right”. Move out of the “critical parent” voice and just sit back. Foster the “curious observer”. You’re watching your mind, relaxed, unhurried, without judgement.

Just by creating the time to meditate and sitting down, you are already reaping the benefits. WELL DONE! That’s great! And the more you practice, the more rewarding you will find it.

Start A Meditation Journal

A meditation JOURNAL is a book you can write in every time you meditate. It can be a very helpful tool when you are learning how to start meditating.

This way you can track your progress, such as how often or for how long you are meditating, what works for you and what doesn’t.

Having a journal nearby while you meditate is a good idea in general. When you finish your meditation, you can pick it up and record any thoughts, feelings or experiences you had, before they fade away.

I’ve also sometimes found it helpful to journal just before I meditate. It can assist you in quieting the mind a bit by getting out some of the day’s concerns or stresses. Or, it can help you begin to focus on your intent by writing down what you want to do in the meditation session.

Meditation journal

What To Wear

You’ve been wondering how to start meditating, but I bet you haven’t thought about what to wear. Of course you can wear whatever you’re wearing at the time! There’s no rules when it comes to meditation. The main thing is to be comfortable. But there are some guidelines that are great to follow when you are just learning to meditate.

Rough textures and noisy fabric can cause distractions when you’re trying to get into a meditative state. 

During meditation, your heartbeat will naturally slow. To aid circulation flow, tight clothing is best avoided. This includes belts, bras and shoes. Loosening or removing these, and wearing loose fitting, comfortable soft fabrics are best. 

You will also find that your body temperature lowers while meditating. So it’s a good idea to keep something warm nearby that you can easily reach for. A shawl or blanket works well.

How to start meditating choose a blanket or shawl

I mention this in Tools for Witches, a shawl, robe or blanket kept specifically for energy work is a great idea. Each time you use it, your mind will more strongly associate it with being in a magical meditative state. After enough repetition, the mind will begin preparing to enter that state whenever you bring out the item.

Create A Meditation Preparation Ritual

If you’re new to meditating, or would like to have deeper, more vivid meditations, it’s a good idea to build a meditation preparation ritual.

A preparation ritual means a set of steps you follow every single time you get ready to meditate. This does two things to help you start meditating in a deep and vivid way.

HOW A PREPARATION RITUAL HELPS:

  1. Building a habit within the physical body: You will find the more you repeat your steps, the faster and more completely your physical body relaxes and releases stored tension.
  2. Training the mind: It will become easier and easier to quiet your mind, to slow your thoughts, and to sink into a state of calm.
Arrange crystals for meditation

Be careful not to develop a ritual that is over complicated or time consuming. It needs to be something that you can do in a few minutes. Creating something that takes too long runs the risk of becoming a deterrent to meditating. 

Your ritual can change and evolve as you progress, but try to always have one or two parts of it that never change. Rituals become more effective and powerful the more we repeat them. Changing it too much too often would defeat its purpose.

YOUR RITUAL CAN BE AS SIMPLE AS:

  • Lighting a candle
  • Getting comfortable
  • Picking up your meditation crystal
How to start meditating prep ritual

Choose A Supportive Environment

When you are learning how to meditate, you want to make it as easy as possible for yourself. Begin by creating a supportive environment in a place that you won’t be disturbed. It’s great to meditate in your SACRED SPACE, but anywhere quiet will do.

You can enhance the energy of the space as part of your preparation ritual. Here are some examples on how to do this:

  • Put on some relaxing instrumental music (music with words can be distracting).
  • Burn some FRAGRANT INCENSE.
  • Bring out your favourite CRYSTALS FOR MEDITATION and arrange them in front of you or around you. 
  • Choose a single crystal to be your meditation stone, that you only use for this purpose. Hold it in your hand or place it in front of you.
Hold a meditation crystal in hand

Breathwork

You’ve set the scene, you’re dressed for (meditation) success, now all you need is a good starting point! Want an easy to do meditation that will be useful forever? Read on!

Breathwork is the perfect place to focus your practice when learning how to meditate. As we covered in the previous article, begin each meditation with your personal preparation ritual.

Once your space is prepared, the next step is to begin consciously relaxing, calming and centering yourself. Starting with your breathing is a simple and highly effective way to do this. 

Breathwork is a perfect beginning meditation because it connects you to your body and spirit simultaneously. It’s also something that you can come back to, over and over again, as you progress to other types of meditation. Whenever the mind wanders, return to the breath.

BREATHWORK MEDITATION

Get comfortable in a seated position that you will be able to stay in for a while. You might want to choose a chair that offers your back support, or if you sit on the floor, something soft to cushion you from the hard ground. 

As you get comfortable, start noticing your breath.

Just begin by breathing normally, but become aware of the process. Notice the rhythm, and feel the natural movements in the body with each breath. Take note of how you are breathing – are you breaths shallow? Fast, or slow? Don’t form opinions or judgements – just take note, be the curious observer of yourself. Continue to do this for a few moments.

During any meditation, you might find your mind has wandered and you are thinking about other things. Simply bring your attention back to the awareness of your breath in this way to re-centre yourself.

Now consciously take three deep, slow breaths. Keep your awareness fully on the experience.

With each inhale, feel the cool air entering your nostrils and expanding your lungs. Notice your shoulders lift a little as you breathe in. Feel your stomach expand outwards along with your chest. Breathe deeply in to really feel this experience.

At this full moment, pause for just a short while. Notice the complete stillness in this pause.

And then gently and slowly exhale. Again being fully aware of the feeling of the warm breath leaving your mouth or nose as your chest and diaphragm deflate back to neutral position. Your shoulders coming back down, your stomach lowering. Let the air exhale all the way out.

Just before breathing in again, pause for just a moment. Stillness. And in… Repeat through three deep breaths.

Now allow your breathing to return to normal, finding its own natural rhythm again. You will notice you are breathing a bit deeper than you were at the beginning. Your lungs are more open, you feel more centered and present.

Set An Intention

Sit in this quiet, peaceful state for a few moments. 

You may wish to ask your spirit guides / angels / higher self to assist you with your intention, and to guide and protect you during this meditation. 

State your intention to yourself, whether it be simply to have a restorative meditation session, or whether it be for a specific purpose such as healing or communing with guides. 

Stay aware of the breath, the rhythm of the air, the soft movements of the body with each inhale and exhale.

How To End A Meditation

When you are ready, you can begin to bring yourself out of your meditative state gently by wiggling your toes and fingers. Become aware of the sounds outside of the room or space you’re in. Slowly expand your awareness into full wakefulness and alertness. 

It’s a lovely practice to include a thanks at the end of each meditation to your guides for their protection, love and wisdom.

Open your eyes and gently move the body, feeling energized, refreshed and aligned. Take a deep breath in, release.

JOURNAL

Now is a good time to pick up your meditation journal and jot down any notes you’d like to remember about this experience. You may want to note how long you meditated for, what you did and how you felt before and after the meditation. Any thoughts, emotions or images that came up for you during the meditation would also be helpful to note.

Progress At Your Own Pace

If you are just beginning to learn how to meditate, there’s no reason to make things complicated or to try to meditate for long periods. You will find that with repeated practice, it will very naturally become easier to get your mind and body into a meditative state, and you will stay there comfortably for longer periods.

To begin with, create and start repeating your meditation preparation ritual. Follow that with the breathwork exercise. Practice staying the “curious observer” and gently bringing yourself back to your breath when your attention wanders.

Summary

If you’ve been wondering how to start meditating, you now have a starting point! Create a supportive environment, start a meditation journal, plan a ritual to repeat each time you start meditating, and do a breathwork exercise. Set an intention for each meditation, and thank your guides at the end of your session. Whenever you find yourself losing focus, come back to the breath. Start small! When you’re just starting meditating, there’s no need to try meditate for ages. Just do a few minutes a day.

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