Beginners Guide to Effective Meditation

"Just as a writer only learns the spontaneous freedom of expression after years of often grueling study, when you begin to understand where meditation will lead you, you will approach it as the greatest endeavor of your life, one that demands of you the deepest perseverance, enthusiasm, intelligence, and discipline"      - Sogyal Rinpoche

The beginners guide to meditation will address your worries and concerns regarding meditation and put your doubts to rest.

The start of any great adventure is full of enthusiasm and uncertainty - uncertainty that causes anxiety.

While anxiety is good for certain adventures, to get the adrenaline flowing, for the journey we are to embark upon, it will be a needless hindrance.

Our journey is not for a heady rush, it is about peace, calmness, joy and serenity. About introspection and reflection.

Experience and awareness.

Why meditate?

Learning to meditate is learning to let-go.

By doing meditation, we learn to surrender.

Surrendering, so we can experience the stillness of the mind. Letting go, so we can free ourselves of our incessant thoughts.  

We are so used to "doing" something all the time that it is pretty difficult to simply let-go.

For some of us, the issue of control comes up. If our mind is not busy, not thinking anything, not doing something, then are we really in control?

Letting go can feel like surrendering control - a terrifying thought indeed. But, that is precisely what needs to be done.

In order to feel comfortable with dropping your defense mechanisms, to still the mind and to let go deeply, you will have to bring your confidence and your inner strength to the practice. 

Once you experience the stillness of the mind, you will realize that letting go is not only safe and secure, but also deeply satisfying.

As you keep stilling your mind, a profound transformation takes place. 

It may miss your eye, but immediate friends and family will notice how relaxed you have become. Your calmness will rub off on them and they will enjoy being around you.

A smile may become a permanent fixture on your face too. 

What do I need to do?

Two choices become imminent when beginning meditation.

The first is which type of meditation to do, and second, what kind of teacher or system to follow, if at all.

There are as many types of meditation as people on this planet, but for the beginner, a simple meditation works best.

It is best not to complicate things at the start.

Use the tools and resources in this beginners guide to let go of your fears and apprehensions and start your inward journey with confidence.

The content of the beginners guide is structured in three parts.

Prescribing an excellent beginner meditation is easy. But, it is difficult, if not impossible, to tell you which kind of teacher is best for you.

You need to follow your heart. Trust your intuition and instincts to find a reliable and trustworthy guide.

I can help you with some pointers. Broadly speaking, there are three different kinds of meditation teachers

Some teach proven traditional techniques in their original form that have worked for countless practitioners.

Others have modified the traditional techniques to suit modern times, and teach them in a more innovative way.

Both approaches, however, are common in applying a standardized method to which one is expected to adapt. You may take to them like fish to water or may end up totally frustrated, if they are not to your liking and temperament. 

The third type of teachers are what I call the be-spoke teachers, who modify their style according to each individual.

They offer something to suit every specific need, which is quite appealing, but the approach has its own drawbacks. While it is definitely more flexible, it lacks the clarity and assuredness of the former two, and requires experimentation over time before it can lead to an effective, personalized result.

In short, it may result in you taking more time to traverse the same distance. But, if you are willing to be patient, this may just be the route to take.

After starting meditation, remember to maintain a consistent practice and you will see changes in yourself, albeit gradually.

Do not expect immediate, dramatic results - the heavens will not part and angels will not come down to escort you.

Neither would you want to.

In the area of inner development, we want evolution, which is stable, bringing growth and lasting change, rather than revolution, which is disruptive and incapable of creating the conditions required for real, serious change.

To your inner growth!

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I would love to hear your meditation experiences. And, if you are a beginner, your questions and apprehensions about meditation. Comment below or contact me directly through the navigation bar on the left of this page.