Important Tips on How to Meditate for Beginners
Meditation is a mighty act to strengthen the mind & build a holistic view of the world.
But just like anything out there, baby steps beat no steps.
Meditation is difficult for some minds to grasp because it is difficult to measure progress.
Where for the gym… it’s easy to see if someone is getting bigger.
Concentration skills are vaguer.
Learn meditation from someone who practices it.
Not from someone who has a lot of theory regarding meditation.
Theory does help in this field.
But what helps more is knowing what to expect.
In fields that are difficult to measure, it’s always good to hear what to expect.
So, you don’t feel crazy when going through it.
In this entry, you will learn a few tips on how to meditate for beginners, a few methods of meditation & how to incorporate it into your lifestyle.
Baby steps beat no steps.
The Monkey Mind
The mind is a dancing monkey.
And this monkey has no rhythm.
‘What is the Monkey Mind, Armani?’
It’s a mind where the thoughts have minimal congruence.
Hopping from 1 thought to the next.
The less congruence the thoughts have, the worst the monkey’s rhythm is.
One minute, you’re thinking about work. The next minute, you’re thinking about failing a wedding speech 7 years from now.
The mind is all over the place.
There are 2 states that the brain normally operates in:
- Default Mode Network: Mind Wandering State.
- Task Positive Network: Focused State.
Nowadays, with the rise of technology, excessive scrolling & added content, the mind is being exercised into Default Mode Network.
The Task Positive Network is becoming a thing of the distant past!
Exercising the Mind with Micro
‘You know what Armani… I have been exercising my mind into wandering mode without even knowing.’
Don’t blame yourself. Most people cannot tell.
That’s because you cannot see the mind with the senses.
This just means that that mind needs to be given MORE priority, not less.
Our goal is to gradually train ourselves to be in the Task Positive Network, more.
We don’t want to abruptly overwhelm the subconscious mind with this new practice.
‘Why can’t I abruptly change? Because I don’t want to deal with the monkey mind anymore!’
It’s because your subconscious mind does not like to be rattled.
The subconscious mind is like a little kid.
If you gradually introduce a new habit, then it doesn’t mind.
It’s sort of like putting a multivitamin in a kid’s applesauce because they don’t like eating the multivitamin by itself.
Gradual beats tsunami.
Increments win with the mind.
Understanding a Mental Rep
As you try to focus on a target, the mind will wander.
Let’s say your target is your breath…
As you are focusing on your breath for only 1 minute, the mind will start to think other thoughts.
Your goal is to make yourself AWARE that you lost track of your breath.
And gently guide yourself back.
Your goal is NOT to get pissed that you lost track of your breath.
Then with a poor attitude, come back to your breath and be like:
‘Damn, you can’t even focus for a minute?’
It’s easy to opt for the latter.
The “toughest” people get humbled real quick when they are making eye contact with the mind.
Have an empowering attitude throughout the meditation practice.
Some will never make eye contact with the mind. They’ll just react out old habits, rather than respond.
More importantly, distraction is good because it gives you the chance to become AWARE & come back to the target.
The process of becoming AWARE & coming back to the target IS the mental rep.
It’s equivalent to doing a bicep curl at the gym.
4 Targets to Choose From
Insights come out of concentration skills.
Concentration skills allow you to go beyond the mind & body alone.
This area beyond the mind & body is where true wisdom lies.
‘Are any targets better than other targets?’
That’s an ambiguous question, bud.
Remember, no 2 minds are the same.
What works for 1 person may be dead wrong for someone else.
Here are a few targets to choose from:
The good ole’ breath.
This one is cheap & is always with you.
I recommend counting your natural breaths rather than trying to alter your breath.
Feel the air from the tips of your nose as it’s inhaling & exhaling.
As you do that, you’ll notice yourself becoming hyper-aware of other body parts.
Such as the shoulders, chest, back, etc.
You aren’t what you read.
You are what you do, what you read, and what you remember from what you do & read.
Remembering is powerful.
Remembering allows you to strengthen neural pathways.
How about using the target to recall information?
Not only do you exercise memory, but you also start to think knowledgeable thoughts on autopilot.
3. Big Picture
Get a big picture of yourself.
Big enough where the face of the picture is roughly the size of your real-life head.
You can get images like this printed in printing shops or at Office Depot.
Then keep bringing your mind back to this picture.
Not only do you improve your focus, but you also improve your visualization skills.
Great way to kill 2 birds with 1 stone
4. Deliberate Practice
Meditation does not always have to be an isolated activity with your eyes closed.
There’s greatness to those who can do meditate with their eyes open.
Deliberate practice is purposeful practicing where you have a goal & you’re trying to improve.
The mind is not in Lala land. The mind is present in each rep of your practice session.
One way I meditate with my eyes open is in my YouTube channel.
I don’t edit out mistakes in my videos.
I do impromptu speaking.
Where I choose a topic & string together a series of thoughts for the talk.
Concentration is being exercised.
And I go beyond mind & body alone.
Execute the Tips on How to Meditate for Beginners
A targeted mind is a winner’s mind.
This is a gift many seek.
Yet only a few work for it.
The Default Mode Network is not bad.
It’s a region where a lot of creative thoughts lie.
I think visiting the Default Mode Network is great for vacation.
But not for a full-time residence.
Make your home in the present.
That’s the only moment that exists which allows you to create like a superstar.
For the time being, work your way up.
- Start micro.
- Pick a target.
- Bring your mind back to the target.
- Build up from there.
These are 4 tips on how to meditate for beginners.
Time to execute!
For more practical insights on Meditation, join the Meditation for Dummies Class!