Beginning a Meditation Practice



I am a total beginer in meditation. I am trying it for the last few days. I just sit quietly for 20 minutes. I tried to sit erect but I can't. I feel the best way for me is to lie down on bed. Is that ok? The flow of thoughts never stops either.

—ela singh, India


The successful practice of meditation is supported by a number of other practices that could help you very much.

To practice meditation effectively, in the beginning it is important to focus on relaxation of the body and the mind. I would suggest that you begin your practice by lying in Savasana, the corpse pose (lying on your back on the floor, arms at your sides, with the palms of the hands turned up). In this pose, you will automatically be breathing from your diaphragm. Slow, even breathing in this position can begin to relax both your body and your mind. Practice this in a relaxed way, and don’t force yourself into a position that produces tension. Spend at least 5 to 10 minutes doing this. This should help to relax your body and also to calm your mind. The breath and the mind are very closely connected. By using calm, deep, diaphragmatic breathing the effect on the mind can be very helpful.

After doing this practice for 5 to 10 minutes, then try sitting up to meditate. Having the back straight in meditation is important, and for that reason I would suggest you do this in a chair, rather than sitting on the floor. This may help you. Many people that I know sit in a chair to meditate. Lying on the bed to meditate is not a good position, mainly because you will tend to go to sleep, and also because you can’t feel the energy in the spine in that position.

Sitting in a chair have the spine straight, the chest expanded and the feet flat on the floor, and at the same time be relaxed in this position. Then inhale and tense the body, and exhale and relax. Repeat this 2 or 3 times. Then inhale through the nose for a count of 4 to 6, hold the breath for the same count, then exhale to the same count. Repeat this 6 to 12 times.

Once you have completed these practices, then you can begin your meditation focusing on watching the breath. Become the observer of your own breath. Focusing on the breath will help to calm your mind, and will also calm your breath. Practice this for as long as you feel to, bringing the mind back again and again to focusing on the breath when it wanders.

When you have finished watching the breath, then leave time at the end of your meditation for simply enjoying the peace and calmness that this practice brings.

I hope all goes well with your practice and that these suggestions will help you. Do try to find support from those who have their own successful meditation practice. This will help you immensely.