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Meditation Tips for Beginners

  1. Release expecations
    Meditation has many benefits, primarily, relaxation. If you're stressing and straining because you haven't heard the voice of the Goddess yet or you can't seem to meditate for more than five minutes straight, then you're missing out on what meditation really is. Not to mention, meditation is a different experience for everyone. If you have expectations based on someone else's experiences, you're going to be disappointed. Release any expectations (except perhaps for the general idea that it will be beneficial) so you can truly experience whatever meditation is for you.

  2. We all have to start somewhere
    So what if you can't meditate for more than 5 minutes at a time or you start thinking of your grocery list in the middle? No one is expecting any more from you (unless you didn't read Tip 1). Relax. Even Swami Meditatesfordays had to start out with smaller increments, and even Super High Priestess of the Wiccan Coven of Tree Hooha probably didn't see images in her meditations for a good long while. You'll get there eventually, which leads to Tip 3...

  3. Practice makes perfect
    Meditation is like any skill, which means that you can get much better at it by doing it often. Even a few minutes a day can be extremely beneficial and will move your skills right along. Of course, those few minutes need to be solely devoted to meditation, not anything else. Set a timer if you're that worried about missing something. If you don't even have a few minutes to set aside to relax and get in touch with yourself, then perhaps you should examine your schedule and prioritize a little better. How important is meditation to you?

  4. Get yourself in the mood
    Do you need incense and candlelight to get in the meditative mood? Go for it! Landlord doesn't allow candles? Chuck 'em. They're not necessary. In other words, whatever it takes to enhance the mood and make it easier for you to meditate is what you should do. Not sure what will help? Experiment. Try different combos of things like music, incense, candles, seating, location, etc. You'll be sure to find something to get you just in the right mindset. However, disruptions are never conducive to a good meditative mood so try to minimize them whenever possible. For example, turn off the phone before beginning.

  5. Comfortable is key
    You're going to have a hard time meditating if you keep getting a wedgie from those pants that you're wearing because you haven't done laundry in a while. Likewise if it's too cold or hot in the room or if you're sitting on a hard surface. Before you begin make sure that your clothes aren't going to constrict and that you're in a comfortable position that you can stay in for a little while. Laying down is fine (as long as it won't make you fall right to sleep). Your mind will eagerly seize on anything to interrupt your meditation so minimize the opportunities.

  6. Find a focus
    There are plenty of resources that say you should try to think of nothing when you're trying to meditate. Personally, I think it's next to impossible for most people and especially for meditation beginners. Hell, I still can't just sit there and think of nothing. The best tool for meditation is a focus of some sort. Guided meditations, which are narrated by a friend or a recording, are excellent for beginners. They have a lot for your mind to do and you simultaneously get to practice visualization. If guided meditation doesn't work out, simply focusing on a candle flame is also a really good method. Chanting Hindu mantras or your own prayers works well too. A very simple one is to focus on your own breath. If at any time your mind starts to act up, you simply bring it back to your focus point, and don't panic, a wandering mind never means you've failed. Beating yourself up will only take you further from your focus and further out of your hard-won meditative state. With a focus, you always have something to go back to instead of "think about nothing."

  7. Don't be afraid to experiment
    If things aren't working for you or if they are but you like to mix it up, then try new techniques. Even if the new way doesn't jive with you, you could always go back to the way you were doing it before, no harm done. Here is just a small list of things you can do to spice up your meditation life: walking/moving meditations, visualizations, entering objects/tarot cards, mandalas, working with friends, keeping a meditation journal. I'm just scratching the surface here. There's tons to explore, so go forth and meditate.

Copyright K. Mayberry. Not to be used without permission.

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