Meditation tips for beginners
I am no expert but I have 12 years of experience and love meditation. My journey mainly involved being self-taught, practising and also using the web, courses and books.
A coach or teacher can also add value, guide and mentor you on your journey. As part of my four pillars, I believe meditation and mindfulness are so important along with a form of bodywork like yoga, energy and polarity work and how you connect to source/love/faith.
Below is some information I have found useful on my personal journey learning about meditation.
A great book is The effortless mind - meditation for the modern world by Will Williams.
There are many types/techniques, body and hand positions, tools and equipment for meditation. There are also many ways of combining it with other modalities/energy healing types or things you love. There can be different timings and preferred times to meditate, and choosing a suitable meditation space/place/sanctuary can help. Journaling is also very helpful to monitor progress, thoughts, emotions, subconscious, intuition, visuals etc.
Simply, as a definition, meditation is to consider, contemplate or think deeply about (something). Focusing one's mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.
Scientifically it is a relaxing technique where you are halfway between sleep and awake in a Theta state.
Theta waves have a frequency of 4-8 Hz. and are activated when we are being insightful or creative. It's often referred to as the healing wave.
- Communication pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist Caroline Leaf, Ph.D
Theta waves occur when a person is in a light sleep stage or dreaming, as well as in a relaxed, meditative state of mind (commonly referred to as being on "autopilot/flow state").
It has many physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health benefits. For mental health, it teaches us to go to the present moment and embrace mindfulness rather than worry about the past, which can lead to depression (we can also use gratitude). Instead of worrying about the future, which can lead to anxiety, we can think about things we want to manifest or goals we have to look forward to/want to achieve in the future.
You can also research the eight Clairs, meditation and the pineal gland, and meditation and DMT.
Here is a link to an online article Meditation 101 which is quite helpful. But meditation simply is a beautiful journey of self-connection and practice, practice, practice! This means, instead of seeing it as difficult, something you need more practice with, or not having the time to do, you can approach in a playful, fun, relaxing way with variety.
Try different techniques, tools, body positions, timings, places etc. And find your own preferred personal way, journey and combinations that resonate and work for you. Some like using the breath, guided practice, body scan, crystals, copper pyramids, mantras, mudras, nature, chakras, priming, gratitude, loving-kindness meditations, lying down, cushions or other techniques.
Here are some other meditation tips that I personally use (in addition to the link below) that you may also find useful.
I prefer using a more zen-like mindfulness Buddhist technique by opening up all the six senses and eight Clairs. Being totally present, and simply focusing on my inner and outer world (like you are a radio/energy receiver picking up waves of energy and senses internally and externally). You can combine it with a specific intention, healing or just simply relaxing.
I always have no expectations and expect to sense nothing, other than to slow down my breathing and have a relaxing experience or meditate on an intention or healing. If I do experience anything it is a bonus and I just see what comes up or is sensed.
When anything is sensed I try not to get attached or excited as it just disappears very quickly - this is very important at the beginning. Just try to be the observer without attachment of your senses, like watching a movie, clouds going past etc. With practice you will sense more for longer periods using this technique and your meditations will improve.
Monkey mind/mind chatter
I try to reduce the monkey mind/mind chatter but often what does come through when you quiet the mind enough is important, symbolic, spiritual, emotional, messages from the subconscious/intuition/spirit etc. so they are valuable insights.
So I don't think 'no thought' is the aim! Rather to just slow down the mind chatter and monkey mind, and to tap into your intuition, subconscious, energy, inner and outer worlds, senses and the Clairs.
I personally don’t focus on the breath, counting, a mala (meditation beads) or guided meditations as it distracts me. However, these approaches were helpful in starting to be more present and may be helpful for others, and they are great techniques for beginners to reduce the mind chatter.
I focus on all the senses, the eight Clairs and mainly visualisation - the visual images in my inner eye or behind my closed eyes (Dr Joe Dispenza uses a similar technique) and I usually start to see from the dark blackness a colour or colours swirling and merging with each other alongside the other senses.
This can be the start of seeing many other brief images or visualisations but, again, it’s best to go into a meditation not expecting anything, and just see where the meditation and visualisations go. With more practice, you could go off into the cosmos, other realms/dimensions, Akashic records, astral projection, higher levels of consciousness and bliss!
Equipment, tools and apps
Different cushions, chairs, stools, body and hand positions (mudras) can all help you to be more comfortable. Different apps like Headspace, Synctuition, Buddhify, Muse etc. can be helpful. Different tools like crystals, copper pyramids, meditation mala beads, candles, incense, essential oils, headsensing Muse headband, blindfold, mantras, music, guided meditation music, binaural beats, tuning forks, Tibetan bowls, other types of sound therapy etc. can also be worth exploring.
Other modalities or practices
You can also combine meditation with other healing modalities/practices including Reiki, faiths, religions, kundalini, yoga etc.
Remember, at the end of the day it is your own personal experience and journey. It is not a race. It is a subjective experience so only you alone experience it as it is only measured or experienced by yourself.
Muse (head sensing eeg headband)
There is tech available to measure your real-time meditation experience, so you know you are actually meditating. So if you like tech I would recommend "Muse" the head-sensing headband which monitors brainwaves, movement, breath and heart rate.
I use the Muse 2 headband, and am an ambassador for Muse as a meditation teacher that uses Muse products with my clients, so you can receive 15-20% off with this link at checkout.
If you have other useful tips or experiences that you are happy to share that would be great!