The key to learning how to meditate is to become familiar with the basic steps. In order to reach any goal you must have the correct information to get started. This is also true if one wishes to practice meditation techniques. The basic steps to follow are very simple.
The first thing to do is choose a quiet place to meditate. Have you ever tried to focus your mind on reading while sitting in a busy café? Or perhaps tried to finish an important project while the kids are playing cowboys and Indians in the living room? It doesn’t work! You will need to find a place where there are as few distractions as possible.
At first, the best place to meditate is indoors, you will find there are fewer distractions there. If you prefer being outdoors while meditating, be sure it is a comfortable place that will not get too hot or too cold. There should also be a feeling of serenity around the area you choose. If you do get disturbed, you may have difficulty getting back into your meditation. That is why it is important to choose the right environment. There is usually somewhere in your home that can serve as your special place to practice your meditation.
The next important element is proper posture. You will need to master proper posture to avoid straining your back muscles. As a beginner your meditative session will usually last for about 15 minutes. If you are not properly aligned and you are all hunched over, I assure you that you will be more stressed at the end of your session than you were when you started. Your body will send you painful signals that will distract you.
Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor and position your shoulders so they are aligned over your hips, then relax the neck without putting the chin too far up or down. Relax your hands and rest them palms up on top of your thighs or in your lap. This position will invigorate you and will keep you alert throughout the whole meditation process. If you are very tense and cannot relax in this position it is perfectly acceptable to lie down.
The third step is to find your focus. This does not necessarily have to be in the form of an actual object. You can just close your eyes and focus on your breathing. There is no need to force or count your breaths just become aware of it flowing in and out of your body. Some people prefer using a mantra or some simple word or phrase that is meaningful and relaxing to you. Using these techniques will help you reach a deep meditative state much more easily. The use of breathing and mantra techniques will help you relax, which is one of the main benefit of meditation.
The last and most important element is passive awareness. It is only in this state of mind that you can be fully aware of your surroundings and still feel completely relaxed at the same time. Letting go of the distractions within you and around you, allows your body to completely relax. This is when you will begin to feel the full benefits of your meditation technique.