Meditation is a beautiful practice that can help us with many things. However, it can be incredibly difficult to get started. We struggle to sit, to concentrate, and to practice regularly. We don’t know exactly what we are doing. Here are a few ways you can get started with meditation practice.
Don’t overwhelm yourself. Get started gently. We think we need to sit for 30 minutes or 45 minutes in perfect meditation, but that’s not realistic for most of us when getting started. Instead, start gently with just a few minutes of practice. Do what is easier, and build up the ability to sit for longer periods. If you overwhelm yourself, you may turn yourself off to meditation practice!
One Mind Dharma offers a beautiful collection of guided meditations in their 5 Minute Meditation Practices album we highly recommend. These practices are accessible and relatively easy for those new to meditation practice. You can sit for a few minutes in the morning, in the middle of your day, or at night, and begin to familiarize yourself with the practice and how to meditate.
Listening to Guided Meditations
As mentioned above, guided meditations are a great way to get started. If you sit in meditation practice as a beginner, you may not know exactly how to meditate. Guided meditations offer you a direction, or some instruction. The teacher can help you keep your practice on track, explain what you should be doing, and help you to see things with clarity.
There are many sites out there offering guided meditations, and tons of resources. YouTube has many great videos with guided meditations from a ton of different teachers. Try different teachers, practices, lengths, and investigate for yourself what is useful and helpful!
Practicing with a Community
One of the best things we can do with any spiritual practice is to work with a community. In Buddhism, this community is called a sangha, and is an important part of the path. With a community, we can connect with other people interested in meditation, learn from their experience, and ask questions. We see that we are not alone in our struggles with practice, and we can find comfort and refuge.
You can look for local meditation groups on sites like www.FindASit.com or www.Meetup.com. Maybe there are groups, a temple, or a meditation center. If not, try to find an online community. Many websites offer online courses and classes, and you can find a community on apps like Insight Timer.
This is a tip that can make a huge difference. If you’re new to meditation practice, try being consistent. Set an intention, and follow through with it. Can you commit to sitting in meditation for five minutes a day for the next week? When you practice mindfulness regularly, you build upon your practice. This is why the format of monasteries and retreats exist.
Set an intention for yourself and see where it takes you. As you continue to sit regularly, you will build the habit. You won’t drag to the cushion to meditate as much, and it will become second nature. This takes time and continual patience, but it really can make a big difference!