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Beginner’s Guide To Mindfulness Meditation (Part One)

Tibetan Singing Bowl
Tibetan Singing Bowl


What comes to mind when you think of meditation? Do you imagine someone sitting in full lotus in an Indian ashram, experiencing insights and visions while chanting Om? Or do you see someone sitting quietly and immobile at a monastery, surrounded by austerity and men in robes? Maybe you imagine lying down comfortably, relaxing, and moving thoughts to the beat of nature. All are possible scenarios since there are many different types of meditation.

Meditation is essentially focusing on something It is a mindfulness practice, which teaches us how to be present in each experience by focusing on the present moment. It is important to approach this moment, this experience, with kindness, acceptance, and awareness of sensory impressions.

What does it mean to be present? It means paying attention to whatever arises in any given moment, whether a positive, neutral, or painful thought, emotion, or experience. It is about embracing and attending to the entirety of life.

“Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.”


Meditation is a fantastic and powerful tool that gives us strength and inner calm. It improves our mental well-being as well as physical health.

Meditation have many benefits:

  • Provides relief from stress and anxiety
  • Improves focus and creativity
  • Boosts compassion
  • Improves sleep
  • Calms the mind

It is useful to have a clear intention on why you are meditating, instead of adding another ‘should’ to your everyday, busy life.

Beginner 039 S Guide To Mindfulness Meditation Part One


Think about why you would like to meditate. What is most important to you? 

Beneficial effects on overall health

Reduce stress levels

Curiosity – What is this? What can it do for me?

Deeper awareness of body, emotions, and the mind

Being alive and present 

Manage and positively deal with difficult emotions

Deepen interpersonal relationships and compassion

Enlightenment and spirituality

Or a reason not mentioned in this list. It’s worth remembering and writing down your intention for meditation, and return to it every time you practice or when you doubt or skip meditation practice. 

Beginner 039 S Guide To Mindfulness Meditation Part One

"The most important thing is remembering the most important thing.”


Spending 5-30 minutes a day meditating doesn’t seem like a lot. It is the same amount of time that gets sucked into Instagram or Facebook feeds. Yet, it seems, and well may be, difficult to create the time and space for the practice of mindfulness.

Here are a few tips to keep you practicing:
  • Build the mindfulness practice into your daily schedule
  • Practice regularly at the same time each day
  • Create reminders, for example post-its on the bathroom mirror, on the fridge or on the computer screen or simply create an alarm on your phone.
  • Beginner 039 S Guide To Mindfulness Meditation Part One


    You can meditate everywhere and anywhere. At home, in a park, and even at the office. Just sit.

    Our environment affects our state of our mind, so generally it is easier to meditate in a quiet and tidy space. What if a neighbor is practicing the trumpet or police sirens scream outside? Well, that is okay too. Try to stay with it. Noise and disruption can teach us how to be present and attend to what is happening outside with a gentle and caring attitude.


    A place to sit. You could sit on the chair, on the couch or bed, on the floor, on pillows, or on a meditation cushion. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you are comfortable, and not straining your body. There is no ‘best’ or required way to sit.

    A timekeeper. Something to measure time, such as a smartphone’s stopwatch, a guided meditation recording, or an app like Insight Timer, a free and simple meditation app.

    Beginner 039 S Guide To Mindfulness Meditation Part One


    Sitting, standing, walking.
    As meditation is the practice of mind, we may think it is okay to lay down and meditate. And that may be the case, if a physical condition or injury prevents someone from sitting. Otherwise, the optimal positions for meditation are sitting, standing or walking. When lying down, the mind puts itself into rest mode, and most often, we will fall asleep. An upright sitting or standing posture helps us stay alert and awake. The body effects the mind (and vice versa), and meditation is about connecting the body and the mind. An upright, but relaxed attitude means we have more contact with reality and what is happening. It is also easier to breathe in an upright position.
    Beginner 039 S Guide To Mindfulness Meditation Part One


    Sit on a chair, bed, or cushion as upright, tall and balanced as possible.
    Lower your arms along the body and loosen them for a moment. Put your hands on your thighs, knees, or lap in a natural position.
    Relax the head, facial muscles, and jaw and let the rest of your muscles hang freely.
    Close the eyes, or if you prefer, leave the eyes open, with a soft and receptive gaze.

    Feel the contact with, chair, cushion, ground. Feet flat on floor and feel lower half of the body. Be stable in your position. To find your centre of balance you can gently rock side to side and forward and backward until you find a sense of the middle of your posture.

    Alignment of the back, neck and head in a comfortable upright natural way, do not hunch, do not lean neck forward, simply sit up straight’ with the chin slightly lowered. To help with alignment imagine a string attached from the centre of the crown and you are being drawn upward. Also try and raise the chest slightly to prevent slumping.

    Invite relaxation of muscles, particularly the neck, shoulders, belly and face. The posture should be comfortable. The arms should hang effortlessly, with the hands resting in the lap or lightly on the knees. The legs should be comfortable and relaxed and if your knees do not touch the ground you can support them with extra cushions to ease any pain in the hips. Softness in eyes and jaws where a lot of tension can be gathered. This allows for openness and receptivity

    Be still. Stillness of body means stability, not easily moved, with a sense of balance. For the duration of the meditation it is important to sit very still. If you need to move, move slowly, intentionally and mindfully. If you feel the itching in the left shoulder, don’t lift your arm on autopilot. But first register, well, there is an itching. Only then slowly and with attention lift your arm up to your left shoulder and scratch if you need. And then also slowly and mindfully place your right arm where it used to be. We will also work with discomfort and pain in later weeks.
    Beginner 039 S Guide To Mindfulness Meditation Part One


    No, you’re not doing it wrong!
    Mindfulness meditation is not something you’ll eventually get really great at.
    Sometimes, you can feel relatively calm and relaxed, and sometimes thoughts and feelings will be so intense that you can only observe them and your breath in moments in between thoughts.
    We learn to accept what it is. We come to terms with reality, immerse ourselves in its flow, instead of resisting it. Only then can we transfer this openness into everyday life, and feel the richness and possibility available in every consciously lived moment.

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