I had always planned on writing a post about meditation and I’ve gotten several requests to do so, so here we finally are!
In today’s post, I’m talking about what falls under the definition of “meditation,” how to begin a meditation practice, and suggestions for practice, based on my personal experience and what I’ve found works for me.
Expanding on the definition
I think the word “meditate” can be a little intimidating for those that have not ever meditated or don’t know much about it. It can seem like a daunting task to start this new thing that appears to be a huge commitment in terms of time and effort.
I was listening to a really cool talk about a year ago that shed a lot of light on what the practice can actually mean, and it made a lot of sense to me. Essentially, the speaker of this talk was saying that meditation can be defined as any moment of the day in which you find yourself fully present in the moment and in a clear and peaceful state. He went on to say that if you are truly living moment to moment in peace, there really is no need to have to ever sit down and formally meditate—unless you want to, of course—because you have found a way to be in a consistent “meditation.”
This really struck a cord with me, because I don’t always sit down and dedicate a chunk of time to meditating, but I have certain moments of the day everyday in which I just clear my mind and feel instantly free of worries. It was really nice to realize that these moments too can be considered mini-meditations and I love feeling like I’m working toward staying in a more consistently peaceful state. It’s obviously really difficult to live fully present all the time, but I think it’s a really cool goal to keep in mind.
Starting a practice
I was so tentative to start meditating and procrastinated for so long initially, mostly because I wasn’t sure how to do it. But there is no right or wrong—it’s all for YOU and to make YOU feel better. If that means just sitting for 30 seconds with your eyes closed and listening to music, then that’s your practice. If that means sitting for 30 minutes in dead silence, then that’s your practice.
Your body and mind will tell you what you need and what works best for you, and the only “goal” is to feel even just a little more centered than when you started.
For beginners, I always recommend following some guided meditations, of which there are so many free ones on YouTube if you just poke around. I found them very useful when I was starting out, but I still love them now and find them easier for me to do than sitting in silence. You can find guided meditations that are more general, just for relaxing, and you can find ones more geared toward specific goals.
I really like Doreen Virtue and her guided mediations. You can find some free ones here.
Finding the time
As I was saying in the first section of this post, I find some of the same moments everyday in which to meditate or have my mini-meditations.
It has become an automatic thing for me to do when I first wake up, and when I’m in the shower. I always take a few minutes with my eyes still closed in the morning, before I reach for my phone, to just clear my head in preparation for the day.
My most peaceful moment of the day has to be when I take a shower at night. Something
about the water is instantly calming and my mind is so easily able to just totally empty itself and relax.
I’ve been doing it for so long that it has become an automatic mini-meditation for me, which is so lovely and I now look forward to it. I know I can count on that time to just reset my mind from whatever happened that day or whatever stressful thoughts I’m having and just re-center.
So even if you’re super busy, or nervous to start a practice, know that it doesn’t have to be some huge undertaking. It can be as little as one minute per day in the shower. 🙂 Then if you like it, you can try different things. But even the smallest amount of time can be beneficial, and you can’t know until you try!
I’m curious to know what your experiences with meditation have been and what you guys find works for you! Let me know in the comments when you have a moment, and thank you, as always, for stopping by. <3