How To Get Started In Meditation

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Vivian is sitting in a cross legged seat, her eyes are closed. Her hands are in gyan mudra (index finger and thumb touching, all other fingers straight).

So, you’ve read about the wonderful benefits of meditation and now you’re wondering how to get started. I’ve been meditating for several years now and as a beginner meditator to now, my practice looks completely different. As a beginner, my focus was just getting myself to do it. For me, the way to do that is as soon as I would wake up, I would turn on my headspace app and meditate while I was still laying down! I wanted to make it as easy as possible for me, so that I continue to do it.

I meditated this way for months, before I started meditating sitting up on the couch or cross-legged with a pillow under my hips. Meditating sitting up allowed me to be more alert during my meditation. My tip here is to make it easy on yourself when you’re just starting. Be gentle with yourself and acknowledge yourself for even practicing! Every conscious breath counts & works like compound interest.

If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.

Dalai Lama

My meditation now is every morning, on my meditation cushion. I love using the cushion because I’m able to sit for 10 minutes with a straight back without pain. It’s the most comfortable position I’ve found for my meditation practice. Meditation can be hard as it is so finding a position that’s comfortable for you is crucial.

Meditation Posture Ideas

  • Laying down with something beneath your knees
  • Sitting up on a cushion with your knees lower than your hips
  • Sitting on a chair with your feet hip width apart and feet flat to the ground (might have to sit on the edge of a chair for this)
  • Sitting on a cushion with your back against the wall
  • Any posture that feels comfortable to you

Meditation Apps

  • Calm: I really like their daily meditations and the breathing exercises they have within the app. They also have courses that you can go through like having more gratitude, happiness, anxiety. This is my current go-to app.
  • Oak (free): This one is simple in that it’s the same few meditations. I like that because I know what to expect and what I’m looking for. This one also has some breathing exercises.
  • Headspace
  • Insight Timer (free)
  • Liberate: Black Meditation App for BIPOCs
  • Shine: WOC-owned app

When Should You Meditate?

ANYTIME you can! I’ve meditated walking (there are guided walking meditations), in the car before taking an exam, right before sleeping, right when I woke up, mid-day. There are no rigid rules. The time when you should meditate is whenever you can.

When you’ve decided to meditate, carve out that time for yourself and hold that time as sacred. I would definitely recommend meditating daily, so it becomes a habit. You could try linking it to another habit like brushing your teeth. This helps remind you to meditate right after brushing your teeth (or whatever habit you’ve chosen to link it with).

If you absolutely have no time to meditate, I suggest finding ways to be mindful throughout your day. Meal time is a good time to eat mindfully, slowly. You can chew your food and really taste the flavors. You could eat in silence. You could meditate while washing the dishes, really feeling the bubbles or listening to the sounds. You could really feel the different muscles of your legs as you walk. Be creative in finding ways to be mindful during your day 🙂

The thing about meditation is: You become more and more you.

David Lynch

Some Tips on Meditation

  • Thoughts will come up. It’s okay. It’s normal. Let them come, say hello to them, and let them pass by. A good visualization I like to use is imagining myself as a blue sky and the thoughts are clouds and I’m just watching them float by. Another visualization is watching the thoughts pass away like little sailboats.
  • Be patient with “feeling the benefits”. Meditation is something that takes discipline and daily practice. Try not to be attached to any outcomes, and just use the time as time for yourself. One day in the future, maybe the benefits will come, but try to release any expectations from your practice.
  • If sitting in meditation is challenging, I would recommend starting with walking meditation or practicing yoga to help achieve some breath with movement. Doesn’t have to be a full practice, but can just sit and raise your arms with your inhales and lower your arms with your exhales. Do this for several rounds before sitting in meditation.
  • Explore and experiment with different apps, meditation teachers, postures. What worked for me, may not work for you and vice versa. Be curious about your experience and play with finding what works for you and your practice. It’s okay if what works for you today is different tomorrow.

Meditation Playlist (YouTube)

Is meditation something you practice daily? Is there an app that you like to use? Share below so we could all benefit!

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