If meditation is your New Year’s Resolution for 2014 but don’t know the first thing about it, all hope is not lost. Meditation, for all its promising benefits, is not impossible to learn quickly. In fact, if you’re persistent enough, you can learn it in seven days. You owe meditation to yourself: it’s a habit that will expand and relax your mind, not to mention that it will finally free you of worldly anxieties. So here’s a week long guide that you can follow closely so you can finally integrate meditation in your life.
Monday: Start the week right by finding the perfect time and place to meditate. You have liberty to choose the time that is most convenient to you, as long as you stick to it with determination. Morning is ideal, after your body has had ample time to rest. You can also choose to meditate after dinner, when you’re just about to go to bed. The place of meditation must be uncluttered, quiet, and free of distractions.
Tuesday: Now that you’ve found the perfect place, the next part is learning the correct posture. There is a variety of poses to choose from, to sitting on your heels and sitting cross-legged on the floor, to sitting on a cushion or a chair. Your hands must be placed on your knees, with your thumb and index fingers forming a circle. Another position is for your right hand to placed on your left, with your palms facing upwards and on your thumb on a level with your navel. Sit straight, with your head erect upwards and your shoulders relaxed.
Wednesday: On your third day, you will be performing meditation proper. Start by allotting around 10 minutes. Even less will do, as long as it doesn’t get in your schedule and starts to feel like a chore.
Thursday: Breathing meditation is one of the most effective techniques for starters, as it relaxes your mind and allow you to focus. Start by breathing deeply through your nose and allowing your ribs to expand and your diaphragm to contract. Exhale through your nose, counting along the way as you do.
Friday: After you’ve learned how to meditate by breathing, the next part is to use words. This will add texture and rhythm to the entire practice. You can start by affirming yourself every start of the session. You can also repeat a mantra over and over again, using sounds like ‘om’ or words like ‘peace’.
Saturday: Now, it’s time to visualize. Picture yourself ensconced by a white light. Attract the light in as you breathe deeply and feel the warmth envelop your body. Imagine yourself in your favourite place, and allow your senses to engorge the scenery.
Sunday: In your final day, try progressive muscle relaxation. This is a technique where you lie with your legs straight, feet to the sides, heels together, your arms placed by your side, and your palms up. Then, prepare to lift your right toes—and just before you do, release them. Do this for every part of your body from the toes up to your head.