How to Meditate: 6 Tips for Beginners

Action item: Find one thing to make special about your practice. Buy a scarf or a special pillow, maybe even create a meditation corner or altar. You don’t need to start with a+ lot. You’ll most likely add to the ritual as it grows. But add in something that makes you look forward to it and signifies to your body: “We’re here to meditate.”

5. Explore

There are many types of meditation practices. My first entry point was at a workshop with James Baraz where I learned Vipassana meditation. As my practice grew, I found that I loved Kundalini meditation, Vipassana meditation, guided meditation and Brain Entrainment Meditation. You can just Google “meditation” or search on YouTube. There are endless resources. You do have to be willing to try on a few types to find what works for you. It’s a system of trial and error, and meditation is not one-size-fits-all. Once you find a few that you like, be willing to go deep.

Action item: Search online for a meditation to try that appeals to you. Load it onto your iTunes or bookmark it on your computer now to have it handy. Some are expensive; some are cheap; some are free. Cost doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of what you get.

6. Practice, Not Perfection

My teacher, Stephanie Snyder, once said: “You don’t get good at meditation. You get good at practicing meditation.” As a Type A, I approach most every skill the same: Master it. Do it better than everyone else. Own it. Meditation does not work this way. You cannot be perfect at it, and likewise, you cannot fail at it. All you can do is fail to attempt it. Make sure you reward yourself just for showing up and let go of any pressure you are adding to “do it right.”

Action item: Commit to doing it and being kind to yourself no matter what happens. After you finish your meditation, make a habit of saying out loud, “I’m proud of you for doing this.” And mean it! It will reinforce you and your subconscious and keep you coming back to the pillow.

Written by Holly Whitaker

Holly Whitaker is a sobriety coach, teacher, speaker, co-host and co-producer of the Home podcast, and Kundalini yoga and meditation instructor. She writes about addiction and addiction recovery on her website, Hip Sobriety.

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