How to Meditate, Part 1
Getting Started with Meditation
There are a handful of ways to meditate, each of them derived from spiritual traditions. Within those traditions there are variations that are employed to suit the individual. But this all makes meditation sound more rigid and complicated than it is. For our purposes today, we will speak of classic Buddhist meditation.
To better understand how to meditate, it is best to achieve and understanding of what meditation is, and what it is not.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a way for us to experience our own present being. It allows us to be quiet within ourselves. Meditation does not bring us anywhere. There is no goal to meditation. Do not meditate in order to achieve clarity of mind. The clarity will come to you. Do not meditate to rid yourself of stress. The stress will leave you.
Do not meditate to work out a problem, cure an ailment, or make a decision. When you do something in order to get something, you are metaphorically leaning forward. In meditation, you are sitting still. You are not thinking about the future, the past, or being distracted with what is happening to the sides of you. This is an important concept of meditation.
Though meditation requires discipline and perseverance, it does not require you to work to clear your mind. It requires you to allow. Allow your mind to clear. Allow the random thoughts to evaporate from your mind as you participate in the now. Simply stated, meditation is the art of being.
When to Meditate
The best time to meditate is when you are in a balanced state. These are recommendations, not dictates.
- Do not meditate when you have just eaten a heavy meal, or when you are very hungry.
- Do not meditate when you are very sleepy and thinking about going to bed.
- Do not mediate when you are aroused sexually.
- Do not meditate when you are in extreme pain.
- Do not meditate when you have somewhere you need to be.
Having said that, if those are the only times when you can meditate, you should do so. It is better to meditate at a poor time than to not meditate at all. The recommendations are suggestions for a balanced meditation. But again, some meditation is always better than none.
How Often and How Long
You should try to meditate at least three times a week, though when you delve into meditation, you may find that you enjoy practicing meditation every day. Three times a week represents a minimum goal that will give you enough practice to develop your meditation to a satisfying degree.
The length of time that you meditate will depend on your individual situation. You may have more or less time in your day to meditate. It will also depend on your physical condition. Assuming a meditative position for a longer period of time will be more difficult for a person with certain physical conditions.
Generally speaking, it is widely recommended that you try meditating for between 10 – 40 minutes each time you meditate. Less than ten minutes will make it harder to fully experience the meditative state. More than 40 may tire your body or make it develop aches or numbness from being in the same position, motionless, for so long.
You will develop your own comfortable time for your meditation. On some days you may meditate for longer or shorter. Whatever you do, you will know when it is the right length of time.
What to Wear
When you meditate, wear clothing that is not constricting. You should not be aware of a tight waistband around your midsection or sleeves that are squeezing your upper arms during your meditative state. Loose, freshly-laundered clothing is best. You should always be barefoot when meditating.
To begin your meditation, ready your mind and your body. Slow your actions and calm your mind. As you walk toward the place where you will meditate, be aware of yourself and your body. Begin meditating before you meditate.
When you meditate, your seven energy centers, called Chakras, will be stimulated. Many people experience additional benefits from the meditation practice when they incorporate Quantum Stones in their ritual. Quantum Stones are stones that have stored spiritual vibrations. These vibrations enhance the energy movement within our bodies. The vibrational energy of Quantum Stones can be measured scientifically and felt simply by touch. Wearing such a pendant can raise your energy by a factor of between 2 and 12 or higher. During meditation, the energy coming from these pendants is palpable.
In our next post, we’ll discuss where you should meditate, your posture, and your mental state of awareness. In the meantime, you can continue to prepare your thoughts, select your clothing and gather your Quantum Stones to help maximize energy movement.