Meditation for Beginners
Want to learn how to meditate, but at a loss for how to start? I've rounded up some of my best resources for meditation and have my own personal tips and tricks to share with you!
#1. There are MANY ways to meditate.
Don't get stuck on any preconceived idea of how to meditate. This is a surefire way to defeat you before you even start. Try different things. Do what works for you.
#2. Be patient!
Habits take time and dedication. Be intentional and practice, practice, practice to develop this valuable tool. It will be worth it.
#3. Allow yourself some grace.
Don't get frustrated and give up if you find yourself unable to concentrate and sit still. Keep trying. If one way isn't working, try something else.
I am a huge fan of mixing things up so they don't get stagnant. Here's 3 different ways that I meditate.
Go outside. It's literally that simple. Focus your awareness on experiencing the therapeutic qualities of nature using sight, sound, touch, and smell. A nature walk is great if you have the time. If not, simply sitting on your deck is enough. Even if you only have 5 minutes. Eyes closed, or open. Listen to the birds singing. Feel the sunshine on your face. Watch the squirrels dash. Look at the clouds in the sky. Smell the fresh air. Close your eyes and just breathe. If you do a nature walk, concentrate on what you see around you. Stop and look closely at the buds on the trees, the animal prints in mud, the trinkle of a creek nearby, the bits of green popping up. Don't walk with blinders on. Look around. Slow way down. Concentrate on the quiet. Breathe.
Other ways to experience nature in a fresh and invigorating way: walk barefoot through the grass, get your hands in the dirt and plant something, play with a pet outside, honor the 4 seasons and embrace the beauty of each, sit by a body of water (a lake, river, creek, pond, or ocean; whatever is available), take photos, sit by a fire, watch a sunrise or sunset.
Pick a verse of the Bible. If you don't know where to start, Google search "Bible verses for _____" and it will give you plenty! You fill in the blank: "anxiety", "peace", "healing", "strength", "encouragement", "depression". Write the verse out. Think about it. Focus on one word if that is easier. Journal about the verse if you feel the Spirit move you. Then pray. How you pray or what you pray about isn't important. It is about opening the line of communication to God. After you pray, sit quietly for a few minutes. That is when God will speak to you. Promise.
[Scroll down to read some of my favorite verses.]
Get into a comfortable seated position and sit quietly. Breathe. Focus only on your breath. Set a timer for 5 minutes and lengthen it as you get more comfortable with meditation. If it is difficult to sit still (it always is for me!), then pick a word to focus on ("relax", "peace", serene", "joy", "positive"). Every time your mind begins to wander (and it will!), remember that word and re-focus. If you have to re-focus 27 times, it's ok! It will get easier.
Do a body scan. Where are you sore? Where are you holding tension? Is there any part of the body in pain? Focus on relaxing those areas.
If it is STILL too hard, try a guided meditation. All you have to do during a guided meditation is sit quietly and listen to the speaker's voice.
[See guided meditation video links below.]
Whenever you finish meditating, take note of what you are grateful for. Notice the peace and serenity you feel in that moment. A practice of meditation and gratitude will change everything.
Hope that is enough to get you started!
Verses to inspire you:
That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor of giving preference to one another, not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the fields shall clap their hands.
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.