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Meditation for Beginners

Meditation for Beginners

By Jill Lawson for

To meditate is to disengage from a seemingly ever-present mental chatterbox and reflect on just one pure thought. Think it sounds easy? Then stop reading this article for a moment and witness your thoughts. Are they jumping from subject to subject? Does your thinking occur in fragmented thoughts? Do thoughts randomly pop up for no apparent reason? If youíve answered yes to any of these questions, then the following beginner’s guide to meditation will be helpful to you.

To Practice

Sit in a comfortable position, free from external distractions. Close your eyes and focus on one single thought, whether it is a word, image or repetitive sound, like a mood-boosting mantra.

Concentrate fully to maintain your focus on this one thought without interruption. If you make it even 30 seconds without any other thoughts entering your mind, you are doing remarkably well.

What to Expect

If your first attempt isn’t successful, simply try again. Meditation requires a tremendous amount of effort and repetition to master but yields great benefits, so be patient. It’s common to want to ditch the practice completely, as it can be extremely difficult to focus and concentrate. When your thoughts go willy-nilly, take a break and try again at another time.

You may notice your thoughts slowing down, giving you a sense of clarity and spaciousness. If this happens, it means youíre getting the hang of it.

If for even a fleeting moment you lose your sense of time and space, youíve done it! That means you are well on your way to being a master rather than a slave to your thoughts.

Meditation Tips

  • At first, practice meditating in short intervals, around five to ten minutes at a time. As you become more comfortable with the practice, you can extend the time you commit.
  • Try not to get frustrated when your mind begins to wander. When this happens, just refocus and try again.
  • If your lower back, hips or legs are uncomfortable in the seated position, then readjust. Nothing is more distracting than an aching body.


When we have mastery over our thoughts, they no longer dominate us. It’s then that we can let go of the anxiety-causing, push-pull relationship that our uncontrolled thoughts have against our will power, ability to trust, self-esteem and efficiency in completing a task. We become better at making decisions from a clear and open mind, rather than relying on the mental chatterbox that doesnít serve a purpose in our lives.


It doesnít cost a dime to meditate on your own; however, joining a meditation group may require a small fee.



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11:14AM PST on Jan 13, 2012

What are some of the better mantras that people would suggest? Also, are we supposed to use our distracting thoughts as reminders to return to focus on the mantra? I look forward to meditating soon.

1:27PM PST on Jan 9, 2012

This is far more difficult do with without guidance. As a solid part of the 21 day yoga challenge, I took 15 minutes this morning to meditate, but I couldn't keep a solid thought. My thought pattern was logical - but it still progressed quickly. Perhaps I should try a guided meditation first and then move to doing it myself after I get the basics down

1:29PM PST on Jan 8, 2012

Quieting mind chatter and using guided meditation is a great way to relieve stress.

10:19AM PDT on Oct 25, 2011

Thanks for a simple easy way to try relaxing.

2:13PM PDT on Oct 24, 2011

thanks, this is helpful. will re-post. Namaste!!

12:33PM PDT on Sep 25, 2011

I tried to meditate but went to sleep,is that normal?

3:13PM PDT on Sep 19, 2011

Thank u so much I really need this in my life I have like 20 thoughts going at the same time and its so hard to concentrate on 1 subject...wish me well:)

11:11PM PDT on Sep 18, 2011

I like meditating and it puts me in a good place. I still struggle getting passed 10 minutes, but I figure thats good too.

These instructions are good for helpng yourself fall asleep as well. Sometimes, I have a difficult time because of external or internal noise.

I found its important not to fight external noise, but listen to it, letting my mind blank out (rather than fighting or complaining about it to myself).

For the internal chatter, I try to replace it with a simple, non-word mantra, if that makes sense. A humidifier makes a good background 'woosh' noise for me so I just imagine that sound in my head. Inevitably, my chatter interrupts, but I try to repeat the woosh sound until finally, blissfully, I fall asleep.

7:24AM PDT on Sep 17, 2011

good to know

12:16AM PDT on Sep 17, 2011

this is a very informative .

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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