How To Begin Meditating

Straightforward and simple (but not easy), meditation is essentially training our attention so that we can be more aware--not only of our own inner workings but also of what's happening around us in the here and now.

Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation
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Meditation practice is like the gym for the mind, a time we practice cultivating inner wisdom. This site focuses on the practices of mindfulness and compassion (i.e. vipassana or insight meditation). Meditation can be practiced formally. It is recommended to dedicate time each day (even a few minutes) to awareness training, to opening the heart, to listening to the body. You can practice with or without guidance. When starting a new practice, using guiding meditations can be quite supportive. There are many teachers out there. Try out a few to find the styles that resonate with you. While many practice in a seated position, you can practice while standing, laying down or walking. Always choose what is most supportive to you at that time.  

Also, meditation can be practiced informally. Go to Simple Supportive Practices for examples.

When I first began meditating, I tried so hard to do it right. Every time my mind wandered, I would get frustrated and felt as if I would never be able to meditate. I am hoping to help you avoid this situation. Meditation is not something we achieve (are you listening my fellow perfectionists?). It is a means to training the mind to become more aware, to open our hearts to gently be with all of our experiences. In essence, meditation is a way to wake up to our lives.  

There are many ways to meditate, but the most common is breath focused meditation. This is a common way to anchor your attention as you develop your skill of concentration, a foundation of mindfulness. However, there are other ways to anchor attention like in the body or sound. (more to come in this area…)

Please go to Guided Meditations to use recordings to help you begin and deepen your practice, or use the guides below. 

Here are some tips for beginning a mindfulness meditation practice focused on the breath:

Instead of berating ourselves for getting lost over and over again (as we all do), we can take delight in all of those moments of waking up from being lost.

Joseph Goldstein
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Supportive Free Guides

Meditation Apps I recommend

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