A Beginner’s Guide To Meditating

How To Meditate

The name of this website, Man of Attack, should not be misinterpreted.

When people hear the word “attack”, the first instinct is often to simultaneously do as many activities as possible.  But, if you’ve ever tried to brush your teeth and wipe your ass at the same time, you’ll know that multitasking isn’t as productive as giving your full attention to one task until it’s completed before moving on to the next one.  And, in a world full of simultaneously overstimulation (when was the last time you watch TV without being on your phone?), this can seem antithetical, unless you train your brain accordingly.

The modern rise of meditation should come as no surprise, in an environment where minds are spiraling, they need to be centered and the method is centuries tested for a reason.  Though it can quickly get intertwined with spirituality, which can be off-putting to some, even the most base level of meditative practice can yield great improvements in clarity, patience and focus.

How To Meditate — A Practical Plan For Beginners

Get An App

Meditation is a long-term goal and success comes over repeated practice.  There are a bunch of simple, inexpensive apps that will time your sessions and track your progress.  It’s a nice added motivation to see how consistently you’ve been meditation and a little pressure for when you’re not in the mood.

Plug Out

Yes, I’m aware of the previous suggestion, but try to find a space with as little stimulation as possible.  Clocks, phones, TVs, laptops, even their mere presence can be distracting.  Ideally find somewhere remote and outside of your usual environment, like the basement or a field.  As for the app on your phone, put it on airplane mode, shut your screen off and place it well out of view.  If you can’t go 10 minutes without expecting a phone call, you have really annoying relationships.

Just Sit

If you can handle it, the stereotypical cross-legged pose is great; it forces good posture and keeps fidgeting to a minimum.  But it can be a bitch on the hips, so if it’s more comfortable, sit upright in a chair, without resting your back on it and keep your feet flat on the floor.  No matter how tempting, avoid lying down because you’ll probably fall asleep.  Sleeping is not meditation. Cat naps are not how you meditate, no matter what your cat says or how well adjusted he seems.

Baby Steps

When first practicing meditation and learning how to meditate, you’ll notice how much you suck at it.  It’s not uncommon to only be sitting for a couple minutes before going stir crazy, so stick with what you can handle; start with 3-5 minute sessions for the first few weeks before you feel comfortable enough to go longer.  Ideally, you’d work up to two 20-minute sessions a day, once in the morning and again in the afternoon.  Start with the morning meditation first, since it may be easiest to do first thing in the morning before adding the afternoon session.  The key is consistency, so do what you can accommodate; any meditation is better than none at all.

Focus On Your Breath

This is the common goal of most meditation though there are a variety of ways to achieve it.  Just placing your general awareness on your inhalation and exhalation (it’s length, smoothness, how your body expands and contracts) can increase its deepness almost instantly.  If you more of a visual learner, the mental image of your breath (in different colors, blowing into the room, whatever floats your Buddha) can also maintain your focus.

Don’t Resist

When first learning how to meditate, you’re attempting to retrain a brain usually multitasking with a million things to focus on just one thing. An influx of thoughts is absolutely normal but the more you try to push them away, the more they’ll pop up.  As a thought comes in to your head (and you will have thoughts on just about everything), acknowledge it and then move on.  Pretty soon, your brain will tire of that game and finally give into the meditation and rewire it’s self on how to meditate more easily each time.

Go and Do

You’ve finally achieved a successful meditation and you open your eyes in a clearer, more relaxed state.  The last thing you should do now is check your phone and turn on the TV, it’s like jumping in a pile of dirt after a shower.  Instead, engage in a normal activity (brushing your teeth, getting dressed, going for a walk) with as little external stimulation as possible.  You’ll notice how much more aware you are of what’s in front of you as you’re mind can now block out all other distractions.  Action is meaningless if it’s not done well.

RJ CityRJ Skinner is the world’s funniest wrestler or the world’s most violent comedian. Probably neither. Follow him on Instagram.

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