Meditation: Quick Start Guide | A (basic) guide by Rob Crews
Here are three great reasons:
- Greater mental clarity
- Increased self-awareness
- Improved focus
What do you need before you get started?
- A quiet space where you won’t be disturbed
Read through the seven steps below before you get started.
— Step one —
Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. Any empty room will do – just make sure that you’re either alone or that you ask your family, friends or colleagues not to disturb you.
— Step two —
Sit in whatever position is comfortable for you. But I would recommend sitting upright — you don’t want to fall asleep! I’ve not yet mastered sitting upright without support so I generally sit with my back up against a wall, with a pillow behind me.
— Step three —
If you’re really short on time, set an alarm on your phone for when you need to get up and go. Once the alarm goes, take a couple of extra minutes before you open your eyes and get up. I find this to be a great reminder of the control that I have — I can hear the alarm and not feel like I have to respond to it immediately. I take my time and ease myself back into things.
— Step four —
You’re going to be focusing on your breathing — taking long, deep breaths and focusing on the sensations that those breaths create.
— Step five —
As you breathe in and out, count upwards. Count 1 for the first inhalation, 2 for the first exhalation, and so on.
— Step six —
Continue to count, starting from 1 again whenever you lose track of the count. There’s no number that you’re counting toward and losing track is totally fine – you’re just trying to keep your mind focused on one thing.
— Step seven —
Keep going for as long as you want (or until the alarm goes). If other thoughts crop up and distract you from the count, that’s fine! It’s not a challenge to clear your mind entirely — it’s just a process of slowing your mind down by reminding yourself that it’s ok to just think of one thing. There’s no pressure to achieve anything in particular!
Ok – you’re done reading! Time to get started. Just come back here after!
Good work! If you found that tough — don’t worry. Like anything else, meditation takes a bit of practice. The great thing about the above method is that there’s no requirement to clear your mind or achieve any particular goal — it’s just a nice way to get you feeling a little more aware of your mind.
It’s worth keeping with that routine for a little while, at least until the process of sitting and focusing on one thing becomes familiar. It took me a while to get used to it. The best way to reap the benefits of meditation is to practise it regularly. The longer the better (as with anything) but even 5 minutes a day is a great start.
If you’d like to learn a little more about theory behind meditation, check out the Meditation homepage.