Meditation is an effective technique that has been around for centuries. People who meditate consistently find that there are short-term and long-term benefits. For instance, soon after they start sitting, mediators begin to enjoy a decrease in stress and anxiety, enhanced well-being, and, in many cases, improved sleep and overall health. In the long term, mediators are better able to understand how the mind works and how to work with their minds.
Until recently, serious mediators generally belonged to one of two categories. They either joined a monastery or ashram and devoted their lives to practice; or they left the hustle-bustle of the worldly life behind and sought refuge in the serenity of isolated hermitages. But we can find a way to meditate within our everyday lifestyle. Nowadays, however, many people who lead active lives – work, family, school, etc. – are willing to devote time and energy to meditation because they are convinced of the benefits. Some do their daily meditation sessions in groups, but far more are now meditating at home
What is the best way to meditate at home?
The first thing to do is choose a meditation method you can look forward to. Although constancy and discipline are necessary for practice, meditation shouldn’t feel like work. With the right method, you’ll soon be able to find the perfect balance between too rigid and too relaxed.
Next, here are some helpful tips:
Are you meditating because you want to manage stress, sleep better, or cope with chronic pain? If so, you may do well with guided meditation, relaxation meditation, or chanting. Are you looking to gain insights into the mind? This is the true goal of mindfulness and awareness meditation. Is your primary objective to develop qualities such as patience, empathy and generosity? Gratitude meditation is a good choice (if you can do a morning gratitude meditation it can benefit your whole day). Do you want to go deeper into your relationship with the divine presence? Spiritual meditation can take you there.
There are many valid forms of meditation out there. When you know why you’re interested in meditating at home, you’ll know which ones are right for you.
Start small and work your way up
While learning how to meditate at home, it’s important to start with small, manageable sessions. Even three minutes will make a difference. It might sound super short, but for some beginners, sitting in awareness for a few minutes feels like forever. Starting with short sessions also helps you to gain the momentum you’ll need to sustain your practice in the long run. As many meditation experts suggest, the quality of your meditation is more important than the length.
Pick a convenient time and comfortable spot
One of the best ways to meditate at home is to find a quiet place away from noisy distractions. Pick a time that’s convenient for you. Early morning is a perennial favorite time to meditate since this time of day is generally peaceful and there are few interruptions.
You’ll also need to find a comfortable position. While some mediators like sitting in the lotus position, there are other good options. You can sit on a meditation cushion, chair or even a couch, so long as you feel comfortable and you can sit up straight. Do your best to find a position where your spine is aligned. Your neck and shoulders should be relaxed, and your eyes can be half open or shut during the meditation session.
Try a guided meditation
Since you’re just beginning, guided meditation can add a welcome structure to your practice. Mindworks App is a complete resource that offers Guided Meditations, Mind Talks, inspirational Daily Cups and much more, all developed and curated by internationally-known meditation experts. Have a seat, choose from the guided meditations, and enjoy the journey. Mind works offers a free trial period with everything you need to get you started.
Whatever form of meditation you choose, awareness of the present moment is key. When you meditate, you train in being aware of whatever object of meditation you’ve chosen. There will be distractions in the form of sounds, odors, sensations of discomfort, tension, itching, etc. In addition, there will be distractions that your mind will produce all on its own: to-do lists, things you should have done or said, things you plan to do or say, emotions, daydreams… the list is endless.
To help the mind stay focused on the here and now, one of the best ways to meditate at home is to focus on the process of breathing. Be very aware of your respiration as you inhale and exhale; use the breath as an anchor for your mind. When those distracting thoughts pop into your head, simply acknowledge their presence and go back to focusing on the breath. Alternatively, you can use physical sensations, sound, or a visual object as the focus of your meditation. Forget about “emptying the mind.” Noticing and coming back is what meditation is all about.
Trungram Gyalwa, a renowned meditation master from the Himalayas, teaches that compassion is a fundamental quality that’s hard-wired in all of us. Meditation helps us control negative emotions (such as anger and envy) and uncover positive qualities such as loving kindness and compassion. Meditation gives us all the tools we need to develop the goodness that already exists within. For more check out this blog by Trungram Gyalwa Benefits of Meditation for the Mind and Body.
The most important habit I’ve formed in the last 10 years of forming habits is meditation. Hands down, bar none.
Meditation has helped me to form all my other habits, it’s helped me to become more peaceful, more focused, less worried about discomfort, more appreciative and attentive to everything in my life. I’m far from perfect, but it has helped me come a long way.
Probably most importantly, it has helped me understand my own mind. Before I started meditating, I never thought about what was going on inside my head — it would just happen, and I would follow its commands like an automaton. These days, all of that still happens, but more and more, I am aware of what’s going on. I can make a choice about whether to follow the commands. I understand myself better (not completely, but better), and that has given me increased flexibility and freedom.
So … I highly recommend this habit. And while I’m not saying it’s easy, you can start small and get better and better as you practice. Don’t expect to be good at first — that’s why it’s called “practice”!
These tips aren’t aimed at helping you to become an expert … they should help you get started and keep going. You don’t have to implement them all at once — try a few, come back to this article, try one or two more.
5 Types of Meditation You Can Do at Home
Meditation is one of those things that people talk about, but most people don’t really understand. You’ve probably heard of it as a way to ease stress or anxiety, but it may seem too foreign and strange to be a realistic option for you. Why sit with your eyes closed to ease stress when studies show that you could just as easily listen to music, spend time with friends, or exercise for similar results? The answer lies in the ability of meditation to connect your body and mind. Unlike other stress relievers, the point of meditation is to control your mind and focus on the present moment. This means that you can’t obsess over family drama or stress about your presentation that day — you have to harness your mind and control your thoughts
1. Mindfulness breathing
If you have trouble focusing your mind this will help you concentrate. All you have to do is bring your attention to your breath as it rolls in and out naturally. Your mind will still scatter to worries or to-do lists, but every time it strays, bring it back to the breath. Mindfulness breathing provides a calming effect to combat restlessness and anxiety, while relaxing your mind and body.
There are a few ways to do this. You can count your breath internally to maintain focus. Count one with every exhale until you reach 10 and start over. If it’s more natural for you, you can also count with the inhale, anticipating the breath that is coming. If you’re able to maintain focus, try just observing the breath as it comes in and goes out without counting.
2. Mantra meditation
A mantra is a word or phrase that is repeated over and over again during meditation. It can be said internally or out loud, and by focusing on the words, you keep your wandering mind in control. Not only does mantra meditation help calm and focus the mind, but the mantra itself makes a powerful statement or life affirmation to set the tone for the day. At first it may sound repetitive, but after a minute or two, the meaning of the words will melt away and you can focus on the sounds and vibrations of the mantra.
Eastern cultures have holy ancient mantras and Westerners have created some of their own. The key is finding what speaks to you. You may be drawn to the meaning or just the vibration or sound of certain mantras.
- Om – This is one of the most well known, basic mantras. It may look simple enough, but this mantra packs a punch. Om is the sound of the universe and the beginning, middle, and end or the past, present, and future.
- Om Mani Padme Hum – This is a Buddhist Tibetan mantra that originated in India. Each syllable has its own meaning, but as a whole the mantra helps to remove attachment to qualities like jealousy, desire, ego, and hatred while used in meditation.
- “Love is the only miracle there is” – This mantra derived from Osho, who was an Indian guru and spiritual teacher.
- “Be the change you wish to see in the world” – These infamous words were said by Gandhi, who inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
3. Music meditation
In this form of meditation, you listen to and focus on the vibration and sound of instrumental music. Focusing entirely on the sounds will flood your being with the music’s vibrations. Anytime your mind wanders, bring it back to the music. Like with any meditation when your thoughts leave the present moment, calmly bring them back to focus on the sounds in the present moment.
4. Color and chakra meditation
This meditation is slightly more difficult as it requires knowledge of the body’s seven chakras. A chakra is used in yoga and meditation and refers to seven points in the body where nerves and energy meet. Each chakra holds certain qualities like stability, creativity, and love, and is attached to a certain color. For example, if you want to open your heart to love and connection, you would focus your mind and breath on your heart chakra or the chakra’s corresponding color, which is green.
5. Guided meditation
A guided meditation can be great if you have trouble focusing on breath, color, chakras, or music, as a professional leads you into the meditation. Having someone guide you will help you control your wandering thoughts, and thanks to Headspace you can access various types of meditations in time durations that fit your schedule. You can pick a meditation session that fits your current mood or compliments an area you want to focus on. Download the app or use this service on your home computer.