Though many of us are aware of the health benefits that are proven to come with a meditation practice of and have begun their journey in practising meditation, there are plenty of people out there who are not too sure how to start the practice.
Learning the techniques and meditation practice can and will work for anyone willing to devote some time to it.
For those who have just begun to practice, a successful meditation is simply one that leaves you feeling tranquil and rested.
Steps to Follow to Help You Start on Your Journey With Meditation Practice
Firstly, find a space in your home where you won’t be disturbed by anything or, anyone; including your house phone, cell phone, television or stereo. Sit on the floor in crossed leg position on a yoga mat, or the edge of a medium-sized cushion or a folded blanket.
This crossed-legged posture is called Sukhasana, and known as the “posture of ease”. If it proves difficult to sit on the floor, it’s also excellent to meditate when sitting in a chair while keeping the soles of your feet on the floor.
The aim is to keep your back erect, which simultaneously allows for the flow of breath through the main pathways along the spine and cultivates your prana (life force).
Once your prana has begun to move, you will find that you become more limber, and any stiffness will gradually disappear. When you are comfortably settled, tilt your head to lower your chin slightly and release the back of the neck, aligning it with the rest of your spine.
Position your hands in “Shanti Mudra”, letting them rest on your knees, with the palms facing towards the ceiling, to receive energy, keeping your index fingers and thumbs touching lightly to form a circle.
Begin your practice by closing your eyes and being mindful of your intention. Of course, your thoughts will continue to come up, when this happens but don’t try to force them to disappear.
Let Thoughts Be and They Will Move On
Thought will come up; witness it, then let it go. Concentrate always on your breath, rather than on the thought, and you will find that the thoughts will dissolve. No matter how quiet your environment, you will be surrounded by a noise of one sort or another, including noise from your own inner agitation. Don’t try to silence the sounds. Focus, instead, on your exhalation.
Over time, you will discover that even the most distracting noises become harmonious with the sound of your breath. Practice for ten to fifteen minutes at a time, in the beginning, lengthening the time to twenty and then thirty minutes when you are ready.
The optimal time for meditation is during the junctions of the day (sunrise, sunset, noon and midnight) when the lunar and solar breaths are in balance.
The Forms of Meditation
Sometimes it is difficult to do silent meditation, especially in the beginning. If we merely sit silently, practising self-inquiry, we may simply get lost in our thoughts and end up more confused and disturbed.
Generally one begins a meditation session with a formal practice; employing techniques like mantra, prayer, pranayama or visualisation. Meditation, in particular; a passive one, opens up the subconscious mind. If we are not ready to handle it, complications can arise.
People, who are emotionally disturbed, and particularly those with aggravated Vata, should start with mantra meditation. The most important thing is the consistency of practice. It is better to meditate a little every day than to do a lot of meditation on an irregular basis.
Meditation Is Not Intended to Cause Discomfort.
If you develop a pain in some part of your body, do whatever you need to do to relieve the pain.
Send your breath into the leg that falls asleep or whatever part of your body is in pain. Move quietly, and then resettle yourself.
If your discomfort becomes intolerable, quietly get up, leave the room, and walk around carefully, keeping your awareness on your breath.