One of the most common questions I receive from students, friends, and family, is about meditation. People have seen the headlines that meditation can have a positive impact on every facet of our lives, as Western science confirms what the East has known for millennia. But how to get started?
Many people are surprised to find that when they try to just sit down and close their eyes, it is not as easy as it would seem to be. Our culture is built on constant movement and we are bombarded with information all day long. To pull the plug on that outside stimuli and turn inward can be tough.
I've also realized that there are some misconceptions about meditation that cause people to get easily frustrated when trying to meditate. First, people think that their thoughts are supposed to stop. When they don't, because they won't, people think they've failed at meditation and give up. Second, people think they have to meditate for twenty minutes, two times per day, while sitting in lotus position and burning patchouli while wearing a natural fibers. They have a laundry list in their head of the "right way" to meditate and when their two-year old busts into their meditation area every five minutes, the dog starts barking, or they feel pressed for time that day, they give up.
I've realized over the past few months that a really great solution for beginning meditators is a guided meditation. I have practiced different types of silent meditation on and off for many years. A few months ago, I received a mild traumatic brain injury that seems to have "reset" my brain. When I sat down to meditate after my injury, my eyes flew open after only a few seconds. The silence I had once enjoyed felt unbearable. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to start using guided meditations instead and they have really helped me to feel safe and settled in my meditations. The comfort of having someone lead me has helped me to fall back in love with meditation.
As such, I've felt inspired to start creating guided meditations for you. I'll be posting these regularly. They'll be around five to ten minutes long so that you can easily fit them into your day. Practice in the morning, at night, during your lunch hour, or several times a day. Once per day is a perfect place to start.
Make sure to check out my recent post, How to Sit, to help you find your expression of easy seated pose before you start the meditation. You'll want your body to be comfortable while you meditate so that it doesn't distract you.
Ready to get started? Enjoy this seven-minute Awareness Meditation today.