Meditation for Beginners: How to get started
Posted by Meera Grace Hoon and Peter Kretzmann on 13th Feb 2015
New to meditation? At MeditationBench.com we want to encourage and inspire everyone to meditate, so we came up with some helpful beginner points to guide you on your journey inward with meditation. Even if you’re a longtime meditator, it’s always helpful to go back to basics!
First, let’s talk about the breath. No matter what type of meditation you practice, the breath is generally the focus and the most fundamental starting point in meditation. The breath is a powerful tool for everything we try to achieve in meditation – from focus and concentration, to calmness and clarity, and beyond!
By directing an inward focus on your breath, you’ll notice that your negative or incessant thoughts begin to fade. If thoughts persist, bring your focus back to your breath. Perhaps you’ll observe how your thoughts dissipated when you shifted your attention to your breath. Meditation can be quite empowering, as we make note of how we are in control of our focus and how powerfully we can change our thoughts, moods and ultimately, our lives, with simple shifts in where we place our attention.
In terms of posture, you’ll want to sit upright in a chair, or on the floor with a meditation pillow, zabuton or meditation bench underneath you to support your comfort. Sit with your spine erect, allowing its natural curves to remain. Make sure you’re comfortable during meditation! Comfort is very important for many reasons, but mainly, it gives us the ability to retain our inward concentration, opposed to being worried or agitated with our meditation position.
Your erect spine allows the energy in your astral body to flow upward (we’ll discuss the chakra system and the astral body in a future blog post), which is a goal in meditation. We suggest not to lie down when meditating because this disperses energy throughout the entire body, opposed to your erect spine guiding your energy upward. We want our consciousness, or awareness to rise during meditation, which is dependent upon the direction and uninterrupted flow of our energy. Put simply, when our energy is flowing upward, our consciousness is rising! This saturates our daily lives in uplifting energy, allowing our emotions, actions and perceptions to be more positive and come from a place of clarity.
We’ll leave you with a powerful meditation technique we love: “Hong-Sau” is an ancient and simple meditation technique that will help you with concentration. During meditation, with closed eyes, gently lift your gaze upwards to the point between your eyebrows and inhale slowly and naturally. As you inhale mentally say “hong” (rhymes with “song”) and as you exhale mentally say “sau” (sounds like “saw”). Let your breath flow naturally as you practice. As your body and mind still, the breath will naturally slow down. After practicing Hong Sau for some time, let the mantra go and relax in the calm after effects of the practice.
Hong-Sau means “I am He” or “I am Spirit.” These are powerful truths to repeat to yourself, and repeating “Hong-Sau” will give you a place to concentrate your energy during meditation. We hope this helps you deepen your practice, just like it helps us. May your practice bring you bliss and many blessings! And please let us know if we can help you on your journey inward!