Meditation is an approach to training the mind similar to the way you would train your body with exercise . 
It is a practise which means that you need to practise often to get the most benefits . (annoying but true ! ) 
The problem that people often have with starting a Meditation practise is that it is such a simple and quite frankly sometimes boring process that the long term effects can be totally underestimated. Sometimes you may need to keep remembering all the benefits that meditation has been scientifically proven to bring to keep you going. 
So, often my clients can get a bit disheartened with the apparent simplicity of the practise and can question if it is actually worth the bother and should we go and get a cup of tea instead ! I’ve thought this myself in the early days but something kept me going and I’m so glad I did because meditation has saved my sanity more than once . What always helped me at the start is to use the time in practise as my few minutes of paradise. I always made sure that I allocated the time to myself with no distractions even if it was only 10 minutes 
So to create my own little paradise I made myself a lovely warm comfortable place to sit with snuggly blankets to wrap myself up with and I always used beautiful scents with candles or essential oils to make this my serene space . ( I would recommend lavender, rose or frankincense for an early practise ) . I used to use relaxing music whenever I meditated ,there are some great free apps out there with healing or nature sounds . Another great tip is to try to meditate in the same place with the same surroundings . It helps the mind to associate these few minutes with something to be enjoyed. 
Really this is training the mind to associate these scents, sounds and tactile feelings with this calm state, Scientifically this is brain training (like Pavlos Dog ) so there is a method to this apparent madness. Another anchor you could use is to always have a crystal when you mediate. 
Your meditating crystal . 
Apart from the crystal being lovely to look at and hold its another message to your mind that when you hold your crystal it is time to let go and meditate . These tricks by the way are not in any buddhist book but come from my training as a hypnotherapist. Which is why I think I can help people go very deep into the trance state, but thats another blog . 
So Remembering that you are starting a skill when you begin to meditate and although the method is simple it is not always easy to master, so take your time —- or not, 
You could of course just throw yourself in and do a 40 minute session in silence. Not what I would recommend but then my first meditation session was a baptist of fire and I’m still here and still meditating . I shall tell you the story not because I recommend it but just to show you how not to do it really ! 
So over 20 years ago In my youthful wisdom and in my extended lunch break I walked past a Buddhist centre. At the time I was a fashion buyer with 2 young children and a separated marriage and a complete lack of money, and enthusiasm . I was what I recognise now as burnt out , exhausted and tired of life really . Not the first time and not the last time (but thats another story ) 
Anyway by some divine intervention , (maybe) a very smiley lady called Tracy caught my eye as she was walking in and said that I was welcome to join the lunchtime meditation. I have no idea to this day why I followed her into a strange buddhist temple with what I thought was an even stranger group of people , but I did and I’m so pleased I did . 
I was asked politely to put my donation in a saucer which appeared to be the grand total of 2 pounds . Not a bad gamble I thought. Only 40 minutes and 2 pounds to waste if it all goes badly which I was now beginning to think it was as Tracey had reemerged as ram jam something or other . Like Mr ben she had changed outfit and character all in 5 minutes . Astonishing I thought whilst hoping that I wasn’t expected to conjure up the same trick as I only go by the name of Joanna and didn’t have a bright orange robe and head gear in my bag, even though it was my best fashion buying mulberry bag !! 
The next moment was the most terrifying as ram jam something or other locked the door and said that our bags were safe to leave upstairs now and we were told to make our way silently downstairs. I have to now admit that I thought they were all after my very expensive looking but fake bag ! ( I was so shallow ). Im sorry to you all now . 
But at the time I insanely thought ;Oh well the last laugh was on me ,they wouldn’t get much for this bag on the black market 
So we descended the stairs in total silence which was obviously the rule , There were already a few rules here I needed to catch up with silence being one of them . I had always prided myself on the skill of polite conversation , like the queen , I thought . I wondered what she would have thought of this. . Totally out of her comfort zone I imagine. Just like me !! The next confusing thing I encountered was at the bottom of the stairs was a room full of blankets, strange shaped cushions and rather shabby mats.. Everyone seemed to be collecting different things and gathering them up in a messy fashion. Well no speaking seemed to be the form so it was no good asking anyone what was considered necessary and what was considered greedy so as the expert buyer I was I just took one of everything choosing my colours carefully. I thought if this was going to be my last day on this planet I was going to be coordinated. No-one else seem to be bothered about this so maybe things were ok after all. 
Clutching our mobile homes we all moved into the depths of the building, a very dark mouldy sort of room which they had obviously made great effort with to look nice and cosy. The alter was something else. So many candles ,flowers and strange articles. That could hold my attention for quite a while I decided if I couldn’t do this. We were all seated and ram jam something or other was still in her alter ego and took control. We were to all speak out load to each other and share . Well at last we could speak but share what ? 
The answer to that Soon became apparent . It seemed we were to share our problems. I really to this day don’t think thats what she meant but non the less there was quite a lot of I’m so tired I’ve had such a bad week life is hard followed by a quick I’m so glad I’m here though. Thats a relief somethings going well `! Anyway a few people shared nice stories about flowers and trees and skies so I went with the happy theme and said something insane about roses. . 
Then onto the gritty stuff. A very interesting bell was rung. I later realised it was a Tibetan singing bowl and ram jam guided us into a loving kindness meditation . I didn’t know that at the time either I thought she was making it up as she went along. I was quite impressed really until she told me to send my love to someone I don’t like. So very very hard when just separated from your husband. !! I cant remember but don’t think for one minute I did that ! 
Then more silence. Infact 40 minute of silence and nothing else. Wow this was quite a challenge. I even think I had a mild panic attack when I realised that I was in the middle of the room and couldn’t get out without everyone noticing me tripping over the uncoordinated mats and repeating excuse me please, excuse me please I am very polite. To my horror I then realised I was locked in anyway. There was nothing else to do but go with this silence and my own thoughts. Who would have thought thoughts and quietness could be so scary. 
This was the beginning of my journey. 
A journey back to myself ,my healing ,my own inspiration and a light mind . 
I wish for you to have this journey and thats why I’m sharing this . 
Meditation is not easy, its not even anything much at all to start with but it is a journey worth taking because the path is full of wonder, beauty and ultimately peace and joy . 
Remember that learning how to meditate is easy but being simple does not always mean being easy to master . 
Really we are asking the mind to behave in a different way than we have trained it for all of our life . 
It takes training to change habits and conditioning. It take time to retrain the brain and untangle the clutter that has developed . However this does not mean that meditating won’t have any immediate benefits. , 
Just one quick session of meditation can help to relax your whole body and mind . It will be so worth it so please don’t give up if you don’t immediately sees lights and have an awakening 
You will one day if you keep going . 
There are so many different ways to meditate so when starting out with a meditation practice I often get asked , how do I pick one and learn how to meditate ? 
I probably wouldn’t suggest the local Buddhist centre although it worked for me but I would suggest starting with a simple technique called concentration meditation where you focus your attention on the breathe as you allow yourself to relax 
Concentration Meditation 
• Find a comfortable place to sit that is quiet and peaceful if possible . A chair or the floor is fine for now but make sure that you feel supported and safe . 
• Surround yourself with beautiful textures, fragrances and sounds. 
• Try to sit upright with a straight but relaxed style . There is no need to cross your legs in a yogi style just put your feet on the floor to ground you and allow your arms to relax gently at your side. 
• Set a timer for 5 minutes . Its much better to start with a few minutes as this type of focus is quite hard for our busy full minds . To start with don’t allow yourself more than 5 minutes . Its much better to do 5 minutes well at first than 20 minutes of frustration. You can increase the time by minute increments every 3 days of practise until you reach 20 minutes. 
• Take a few deep breaths and close your eyes 
• Feel the chair or floor beneath you and feel supported and safe 
• Make your intention for the meditation. It could be as simple as just to relax at first 
• Notice your breathing and the natural rhythm of your body as you breathe in and out . 
• Just be aware of how your whole body rises and falls with each breathe 
• Relax your body allowing each breathe to just let everything go as you notice your body just sink deeper and deeper into the chair. 
• Start to count your in breaths until you get to 10. If you loose count start again . When you reach 10 start again and repeat the cycle for a few minutes 
• Just rest here allowing any thoughts to just come and go . Imagine them as clouds just floating by. 
• Open your eyes slowly and just sit for a few moments allowing the peace to flow throughout your body 
The most important thing to remember is that you cant do it wrong and its ok to take a while to learn how to find your own light mind, Infact allowing your mind to wander and keep bringing it back to your focus of concentration is exactly how you train and exercise the mind . 
Tagged as: meditation
Share this post:

Leave a comment: 

Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings