Meditation and mindfulness have been popular topics amongst many dealing with stress, anxiety, and wandering minds. Because of the pandemic, individuals are spending a lot more time at home and, as a result, leaving us isolated with our thoughts, social media, and the news feeding information to keep us on our toes.
Consequences arise when we neglect to nourish our bodies and feed our minds with hearty thoughts that galvanize calmness and gratitude.
Therefore, we put together this blog to inspire your heart to get back on track, wherever you may be in this present moment.
No, it’s not too late to start.
Our goal is to encourage you to train your mind through this guide for beginners in mindfulness and meditation. Even if you are familiar with the practice of meditation and mindfulness, please join us today and every day on this journey.
Today’s blog will talk about meditation techniques and building awareness in the body.
We will mention benefits, but before you get further into reading, keep this in mind: “Meditation is no goal. Simply be present.”
Our goal is to share lessons and challenges of meditation and the relationship between the mind and body.
Before we dive further, here is a list of short-term benefits that come with daily meditation practice:
Lowered Blood Pressure
Lowered Heart Rate
Lower Cortisol In The Blood
Deeper States Of Relaxation
Noting the positive benefits that meditation has on the mind and your immune system, those things are not the goal. They result from what your practice welcomes into your life.
The thought could be, “I need to meditate because I feel stressed out, and my mind won’t let go of this single thought.” However, we challenge you to see the meditation benefits because of the practice, not the goal.
Simply make no goals.
We encourage you to let your meditation and mindfulness practice be a gateway to enrich a deeper understanding of your inner-self. Allow dedicated, conscious practice throughout the day that brings you closer to your body.
A conscious practice will bring you to yourself, predominately.
The Challenges Of Meditation Practice At Home
We’ve heard it all, excuses about why you can’t or won’t meditate, and that’s okay. It is pretty common for individuals to feel irritated or annoyed because of the sounds of life outside.
Perhaps distractions are inevitable in your household. You either have children, or it’s common for your house to be jam-packed with rumbling in the kitchen or yelling at the T.V. screen.
Whatever the cause may be, we understand and gently challenge you to hold your reasoning from a birds eye view perspective or the eye of the observer. From the observer’s eye, ask yourself, why don’t you want to spend mindful minutes on yourself? It would help if you got real here and then decide.
The biggest challenge of showing up to meditate for beginners at home is the lack of discipline. Lack of disciple is not a bad thing. It is not a judgement you have to place on yourself, nor is it something to punish yourself.
Our minds are powerful and established in their ways. For the mind, stepping out of the comfort zone is death to the ego, which holds on to behavioral patterns, beliefs, and values for survival.
A simple practice of meditation and mindfulness can be just that: noticing yourself cling to the idea of something. Simply recognizing this will open up the mind and help you come back to the present, where the only way is artlessly being.
The Relationship Between The Mind And Body
“The mind and body are one. When the intimate relationship between mind and body is disrupted, ageing and entropy accelerate. Restoring mind/body integration brings about renewal. “ – Deepak Chopra
What does it mean to have a relationship with your body?
It means listening and being in tune with your emotions, senses, and needs. Listening to your body looks like responding with nurture when you are in pain. Being connected also means slowing down when you are in pain or rest when you feel sluggish.
We recognize that our busy schedules do not allow for that. Yet, we believe subsidizing time spent on the couch watching T.V. with wine with a bit of mindfulness and meditation would help build a stronger relationship with yourself.
Imagine living in a space where treating yourself with harmful food and drinks for the taste was no longer satisfying. Indulging would look different and on a completely different scale.
A shift happens when we build a bridge between our mind and our body. We invite a revival of stronger listening. A moment-to-moment interaction with ourselves can sense the tickle in our toes or the whisper from our bellies.
The purpose of this relationship is a deeper understanding of the self. It is a conscious moment-to-moment way of being where you then open up the gates to healthier boundaries in your life. Our relationship to the body means tending to emotions, allowing them to flow with each fleeting moment.
Types Of Meditation Techniques
In this part of the “How To Meditate for Beginners At Home” blog, we will discuss a handful of meditation techniques.
Our goal is to open up space and let this be a guide for beginners and layout different ways on how to meditate.
1. Concentration Meditation
Concentration meditation is where you focus on one thing for a time. The challenge is to refocus your attention and build a capacity to let go of thoughts. The idea is to listen to your breath and pay attention to the distinct sensations in your body.
The idea of sitting down and meditating can sound daunting, perhaps even dull, but don’t let that steer you away. Concentration meditation can take on different focus points and environments.
If you live near the ocean, sitting down at a park bench and focusing your attention on the water, and let the seas put the mind at ease. Another focus point can be fire and getting lost looking at a flame of a candle.
The world of concentration meditation is your chance to explore and get creative. Find what feels good for you! You don’t have to limit yourself, instead try all of your options. You can go as far as repeating mantras or counting mala beads, and listening to meditation music.
You will know when you’ve found something that works for you. The goal is not to give up and build a habit out of this. Train your mind.
2. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness Meditation is the practice of being the observer. Mindfulness is taking a birds eye view perspective on your inner state and thoughts and having zero involvement, attachment, or judgement.
Sitting in the observer’s seat, you can explore how different emotions, thoughts, and experiences move through your body. This type of mindfulness empowers us to notice how we judge and label experiences instantaneously.
We are not wrong for seeing things in black and white or judging. We have the choice to readjust as soon as we realize our thoughts and behaviors.
We do not define practicing mindfulness as sitting alone. Mindfulness is practicing the awareness behind every action, movement, and task. It can show up as a conscious shift in your mind where you feel and observe your movements and thoughts.
Imagine focusing your attention on the running water while you are doing dishes. Being mindful would mean feeling the sensation of the water on your skin and the way it travels with a gentle force.
Pay close attention to your movement and the weight of each ceramic plate in your hand. Take in the dish’s aroma of soap and dinner as it lingers in the kitchen air. To have mindfulness, you must let your senses consume the present moment.
It becomes a meditative state—a rich moment of stillness from a simple task.
3. Moving Meditation
Other moving meditations are Tai Chi and Qi Gong.
A moving meditation that you can incorporate into your daily routine is walking meditation. Essentially, you have no excuse not to try this because we all walk and move every day. You can integrate this into your daily life while walking around the house or the main strip on Waikiki, Oahu.
In your mind, a walking meditation would look like this:
Walking Meditation focuses your attention on each step and observes the sensation between your foot, the hardwood floor, or the snug feeling of your high-heels as they greet the ground which each step.
The idea is to let yourself fully experience walking with your mind, your body, and your senses. A simple conscious shift is enough throughout the day because this way, you are taking steps forward. (No pun intended)
The more time we spend focusing on our bodies and our breath, the more connected we become to ourselves and achieve internal stillness. You have the tools to quiet the mind. “Walking meditation is like eating. With each step, we nourish our bodies and our spirit. When we walk with anxiety and sorrow, it is like we are eating junk food. The food of walking meditation should be of higher quality.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
3 Simple At-Home Practices For Beginners
How to begin meditating?
Acknowledge the fact that you showed up today to begin your meditation practice. This journey is authentic and unique to you. What and how you decide to proceed is entirely your choice, and we are here to guide you by providing unique resources to aid you.
You don’t need to bring anything to practice except for the vow to yourself that you will continue showing up and quieting your mind.
Here is how to meditate for beginners at home.
You can start with 2 minutes for the first week and then escalate the time with each week. Again, this is a suggestion, find what feels good for you and progress at your own pace.
Find a comfortable and quiet space in your home with no disruptions. If this is not available to you, use the bathroom floor. Yes, we said it, 2 minutes in the tub or the floor. No one will interrupt you here.
The invitation is to sit or lie down.
Take a deep conscious breath and close your eyes or have them rest gently halfway.
Breathe naturally without controlling your breath.
Now you can draw focus on your breath or the sensations in your body.
There are vital things to keep in mind with this type of meditation practice:
If this is your first time, setting a timer can help keep you focused and on track sitting productively for the two minutes.
You can use music during your meditation. Spotify and YouTube are great resources for meditation music that can make your experience more comfortable.
The most important part of the practice is refocusing your attention when the mind takes over. It doesn’t mean to stop or that you are doing it wrong.
You will have the urge to itch, scratch or move. Try to do that with your mind first. Although moving through your meditation is not wrong, the challenge with specific concentration meditations is stillness.
Guided meditations require you to sit or lie down. The technique is like sitting meditation, except you are following a voice that is guiding your practice.
It is important to stay fully aware during these practices and recognize when you are dozing off or thinking about something else. Simply bring your attention back and allow the voice to guide you.
Popular apps like Calm or Headspace are also available to you for download/purchase on your phone.
If you have a dog, you can start and end your day with a walk with your pup. Walking with your dog is a fantastic opportunity to integrate a meditation/mindfulness walk where you focus your attention on each step.
Plus, is there a better way to spend time with your dog than to be fully present?
You can start a couple of times a week. Give yourself 10 to 15 minutes to go for a walk where you fully immerse yourself in your steps.
We know Oahu for its beautiful scenery and remarkable views. Perhaps a hike is where you can begin your journey while getting grounded in the mountains.
We Enjoyed Writing This Blog For You
We hope that this “How To Meditate For Beginners At Home” blog brought value to your day. Our invitation is to show up and give yourself the gift of being present, with each moment, with every practice. “Know that life can only be found in the present moment.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
We hope you gained some value out of reading about our meditative practice. Call us at (808) 200-4611 or request an appointment online if you are interested in getting a massage appointment with us in Honolulu, Hawaii. By inviting you into the clinic, we invite you to be part of our family.