This month, I’m doing a weekly series to help you get started with (or continue) your home meditation practice.
Welcome back to #MeditatingInMarch! This week we’re focusing on how to meditate and three types to try. One of the most common things I hear from people is they want to meditate (or at least attempt to), but they don’t actually know how to do it. If this is you, here are the very basics:
- Find a quiet, distraction-free place if possible. If you can’t, no worries; consider using headphones to drown out any noise.
- Sit comfortably with a straight spine. You can sit in traditional meditation style — each foot under the opposite knee, with your feet flat on the floor (if you’re in a chair or on the bed), kneel, or with your legs stretched out in front of you.
- Place your palms up or down on your thighs, or bring your palms together at your heart.
- Breathe fully, deeply, and slowly. When you inhale, fill your belly with air like a balloon. As you exhale, allow your belly button to go back towards your spine. Note that it takes practice to learn how to breathe properly, so be gentle with yourself and give yourself time.
- Release your thoughts. Something else people tell me regarding why they “can’t meditate” is that they can’t quiet their minds. Learning how to let go of your thoughts when meditating takes practice. And even when you’ve been meditating for years, you’ll still have to work at this. Again, be gentle with yourself.
3 Types of Meditation
Now that you know the basics of meditation, here are a few types you can try to see which you prefer:
With concentration meditation, you focus on a single point, like a word or mantra, a non-moving object (like a candle or figurine), or your inhalations and exhalations, counting to four when you inhale, then again when you exhale (for example). The idea is to focus the entire time, but you’ll likely find that your mind wanders. When this happens (and it will, no matter how much of a seasoned meditator you are), gently bring your awareness back to the chosen object of attention and let the thoughts go.
Mindfulness meditation encourages you to observe your wandering thoughts as they drift through your mind. The intent is not to get involved with the thoughts nor judge them, but to simply be aware of them, and release then, letting them float on by without giving them too much of your energy or attention.
I’m not sure if this is the official name, but affirmation meditation is just as the name suggests: using affirmations while you meditate. You can find/choose affirmations for whatever you’re working towards in your life, like creating calm, joy, abundance, etc.
Here are a few tips for creating your own:
- Begin with the words “I am,” and/or the present tense. Speak your desires/intentions as if they’re happening now.
- If you’re having trouble believing what you’re saying, start your affirmation with, “I believe it’s possible to…” or “I give myself permission to…”
- Make it positive. For example, instead of saying, “I don’t let people disturb my peace,” say, “I only allow positive, peaceful people around me.”
Enjoy these tips? Found this post valuable? Please share with your people who need it!
Also, if you need assistance in beginning and/or becoming consistent with your meditation practice, check out Black Mom’s Guide to Calm YouTube Channel.