Health & Wellness / You’re Meditating Wrong: Our Mindful Tips For Masterful Meditation

You’re Meditating Wrong: Our Mindful Tips For Masterful Meditation

Health & Wellness Apr 15, 2019

Meditation is a simple practice but that does not make it an easy one. This ancient practice boasts many health and mental health benefits so it’s never too late to start. Check out our mindful tips for masterful meditation. 

 

The True History Of Meditation:

Meditation traces as far back to 1500 BCE in Hindu Vedantism traditions and though it’s debated if its origins are from Hinduism or Buddhism what cannot be argued is the presence it has a respectable, important practice in the South Asian culture.

Originally a spiritual based practice, since about the 1900’s, meditation began to spread to different parts of the world and along with that more formalized definitions (with a lesser spiritual implication) began to appear.

What Is The Definition Of Meditation?

Some describe meditation as a form of prayer, a practice that helps attain spiritual enlightenment, reflection, contemplation and the list goes on but overall, it’s a practice that involves a focusing the mind to help heighten awareness, the ability to pay attention and attain a higher level of consciousness (e.g. a calm, tranquil state).

Why Has This Eastern Practice Become So Popular In The Western World?

Deeply rooted in cultural practices, many South Asians have/are exposed to meditation from a young age. It’s practiced in daily life and/or suggested in Eastern-rooted medical therapies/treatment plans.

What has helped meditation become increasingly popular in the Western sphere, are the research studies that have taken place to better understand the impacts it can have on mental and physical well-being. That being said, it’s helpful to learn 1-2 statistics on the scientific benefits as it can help encourage consistent, daily practice (it can be helpful/motivating to some to shift perspectives on meditation as a common, respected South Asian cultural practice to one that has proven benefits on our brains).

Here are just two of the brain facts scientists have learned through a variety of research methods (for example studying MRI data of brains before, during and after meditation), that encourage us to practice:

 

 

Our Mindful Tips For Masterful Meditation
Our Mindful Tips For Masterful Meditation: Sitting in meditation is empowering. Photo Credit: http://indiabysam.blogspot.com 

 

How To Start Meditation:

There are several schools of thought and methods on meditation and we encourage taking an open approach to practice and finding what resonates with you. Don’t worry about if your practice is right or wrong, no method or school of thought is superior, the path to enlightenment is not a competition so the first step on the path is the taking the step itself.

To help you begin your journey (or continue walking on it) we are sharing some tips:

Start small: Ambition is great but strong trees have deep roots and can take time to grow. It’s absolutely true that the longer you sit in meditation the more benefits there are however don’t pressure yourself to start with 30-60 minutes, starting with even just 2-5 minutes is better than not starting at all!

Sit in stillness: Some schools of thought feel a meditative state can be achieved in a large variety of activities (for example, in Hinduism, yoga is also viewed as a form of meditation, some Buddhist monks practice walking meditation, and so forth) and we don’t necessarily disagree. It’s good to be open to different styles and forms of meditation to find the one that most resonates with you however to start, we do recommend the more traditional method of sitting with your eyes closed (or slightly open, holding your gaze at one point) as it can feel easier to stay focused while sitting in stillness (without movement or distractions around).

 

Our Mindful Tips For Masterful Meditation
Our Mindful Tips For Masterful Meditation:  Lots of support tools exist to help you stay comfortable.       Photo Credit: https://truestressmanagement.com

 

Stay comfortable: Some schools of thought may believe or spread messaging on meditation requiring the ability to push through physical discomfort (for example sitting directly on a hard floor) to really test the ability to stay focused. This isn’t necessary, especially in the beginning. We recommend making practice something you look forward too with the idea that the more comfortable you are physically, the easier it may be too focus on the mental elements of practice (for example, maybe it will be motivating to practice if you get to wear comfortable clothing you keep just for practice, a meditation pillow you personally selected, etc.). Keep a sweater or shawl close by in case your cold and don’t hesitate to play around with lighting and or include candles if they help you relax.

 

Stay in a space of self-love: Meditation in theory is simple but in practice it can be challenging; try not to put pressure on yourself. If your mind wanders, you’re not doing it “wrong,” it’s a part of the process. Meditation is mental exercise so like physical exercise, it can be hard to get in an initial grove with (for example your first experience trying to run might be frustrating, but after a few attempts, you get more comfortable). Don’t fill your mind with judgement, disappointment or expectation on how fast you should be able to get into a meditative state, give yourself space and celebrate each attempt you make with positive self-talk, no matter how the practice went, trying is a positive, healthy choice you made for that day.

 

Main Image Photo Credit:  https://chopra.com/articles/5-things-i-wish-i-had-known-when-i-began-meditating

Rachna Sethi

Rachna Sethi

Author

Rachna (@mindfullyyours)is a graduate of the Applied Mindfulness Meditation program from the University of Toronto, a certified Educator with two bachelor degrees and a diploma in Art Therapy. She's dedicated to living with a compassionate approach. Committed to helping people integrate Mindfulness...

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