The Minimalist’s Guide to Meditation

All transformation starts with a desire and longing for something more, and that is all you need to get on to a new path. This is an easy guide to enter the road of meditation practice. And yes, meditation is for everyone.

Meditation is the ancient practice of cultivating awareness in the present moment, for a while. It is a technique for calming the mind and entering a state of consciousness. When you meditate, you are fully awake and alert, but it is an inward state that is different from the normal waking state. The purpose of meditation is to be grounded and centered in our own body and mind and to experience our essence.

Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. Cambridge English Dictionary

What are the benefits of meditation practice?

Meditation not only creates structural changes in the brain, but it is also good for the soul. It relaxes our nervous system and helps the body to calm down from a state of stress, improving sleep, increasing focus, and much more.

There are numerous benefits of starting a meditation practice, and the benefits will reveal themselves for you along the journey. However, meditation has an impact on our health in a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual way, and helps us to balance our energy levels.

Different types of meditations

There are many variations of meditation techniques, and your task is to let your intuition guide you to whatever works best for you. I prefer to keep my meditation practice simple and let my experience evolve, rather than the instructions. Less is more! But remember it’s up to you to find out. Some techniques will work better than others and vary from time to time. Simply cut, each meditation has different techniques with different purposes, but I recommend to explore the very basics before taking the next step in your practice.

Mindfulness meditation

This is my core practice, and where I started my meditation journey. It has a wonderful simplicity in it and only requires you to show up and to pay attention to each moment, without judgment. Simply being. You take the role of an observer of your thoughts and emotions, and all you need is your stillness. Mindfulness meditation can also be a guided meditation if needed. It is defined by Jon Kabat-Zinn as “The awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally”.

Guided meditation

Just as it sounds, the practice is being guided by another person’s voice. You will find guided meditations in various channels online such as YouTube, podcasts, apps, etc. It can be a great start for the beginner to experience the spontaneous effects of starting to meditate. I can recommend The Mindful Movement as a channel for great guided meditations.

Set a time and space 

5-10 minutes per day is a great start, and you will soon feel if morning or evening practice is the way to go for you. Don’t know? Begin with a morning practice to start your day with mental clarity. This is the time of the day when you set the tone for the rest of the day, but once again try your way forward. Find a spot where you can relax to make your practice. When decided, stick to your practice to build a routine.

Set an intention 

Transform your desire into a concrete intention before you begin your meditation practice. It helps you to activate your receptivity. Then fully let go of the outcome and focus on the experience and to receive whatever will come to you in each moment, with an open mind. An intention may be “I welcome meditation as a new practice in my life, with curiosity and an open mind.”

Start gently

A great way to start your meditation practice is to focus on your breathing. The physical sensation of breathing is always present and you can use it as an anchor to the present moment. Notice when your mind is wandering away into thoughts and gently return your attention to the breath. That’s all, to begin with.

Meditation practice is about to explore, without any expectations. It will help you to openly observe whatever shows up, and make you receptive to the spontaneous effects of the practice. Just play with it and allow yourself to be curious. Go with the flow. This is your journey and only you know what is best for you. Let your intuition guide you forward. 

All best, and remember that knowledge comes down to one thing, practice.

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