“Ohm”.

That’s basically what a lot of non-practitioners think—or hear—about meditation, just pronouncing a series of peaceful ‘ohms’ until you achieve—actual—inner peace. 

But most of the time, when they try it out, they often just experience saying a lot of uncomfortable and badly-paced ‘uhms’, never attaining that inner peace they thought they would. 

Well, that’s because meditation is a skill that you need to learn and hone over time. Repeating a thousand “ohms” doesn’t necessarily give you the ability to meditate, if you haven’t truly mastered it.

The art of meditation involves training the mind to become mindful of your emotions and thoughts and staying present within a given moment. By staying in that moment, you become more self-aware and understanding of the emotions that you feel.

This practice has a lot of benefits which explains why so many people dedicate an important part of their day to it. Patience, self-awareness, presence of mind, and managed stress are just some of the benefits that people get from meditating.

So, you might be wondering, how do you begin?

Simple, just keep on reading. 

Starting a New Meditation Routine

If there’s one thing we know about learning skills, it’s that it’s going to take some time—actually, a lot of it. 

But plenty of those who have learned the skill of meditating assure beginners that there’s no timeline that you need to follow. After all, you’re not in it for the race, right? This is not a marathon that you need to complete nor a deadline that you need to meet. 

Moreover, it’s important that beginners understand the importance of not putting too much pressure on yourself if you can’t get past a minute without your mind wandering. As we mentioned, it’s going to take some time and time will be your friend. 

As you go along with your practice, you’ll notice just how much you’ve improved and how helpful it is to not give yourself unnecessary pressure. Of course, practice also comes with the diligence that you do it as often as you can.

On the other hand, in meditating, it’s up to the practitioner to decide on what works best for his or her body and mind. 

But, everybody has to start somewhere, right? A lot of people tend to work best when they have a guide to follow, especially during their first try. So, without further ado, here’s a guide to help you get through the first few days of your practice: 

First, sit in a comfortable position

Whether it’s in your bedroom or your patio, find a place and get in a comfortable position. For some, it can be a good idea to have a wall to lean into just in case you’ll be tempted to slouch every now and then. 

Pillows and other objects to help you feel comfortable are more than welcome, just make sure not to get too comfortable as you don’t want to fall asleep halfway through. 

Next, focus on your breathing 

As simple as this step sounds, it can also get tricky. When focusing on your breathing, don’t try to control it. Think of the air going in and out of your nostrils as waves hitting the shore—free-flowing and uncontrolled.  

The more natural your breathing gets, the better. Pay attention to how air flows into your body, own your throat, into your lungs, and back out again. 

Oh, and keep your mouth closed—always breathing through the nose.

Third, don’t let the mind wander 

This step is easier said than done, especially when you’re still new to the practice. But this is also where you get to train your mind to be more self-aware, that your thoughts are wandering as they go. 

Once you notice that your mind starts to cling on those thoughts and go wherever they do, refocus your attention to your breathing. Don’t punish yourself for taking on a ride with your thoughts, just simply bring your attention back to the air flowing into your body. 

Lastly, go on as long as you like

Whether it’s two minutes or 200, you decide on how long you want to meditate. Don’t fret if you can’t seem to get past that five-minute mark. As you practice more frequently, it will be no time before you get to reach an hour or so of meditation. 

Once you get there, you might also set an alarm in case you also get too carried away with your practice. Who knows, you won’t even notice an hour has gone past. 

Takeaway

Meditation, just like all the other skills in the world, will take quite some time before you get to master it. It’s not going to be as easy as just saying ‘ohms’ more often than you should nor is it just staying still for a few breaths or so. 

But breathe on, it’s going to be worth it. 

As you progress through your practice, you’ll notice just how beneficial meditating is for your life. And before you know it, you might even need to set up alarms because time just seems to flow more easily once you’re in zen. 

Once you find that you’ve already mastered it, you can explore more techniques suitable for intermediate and advanced practitioners.