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Top 10 Meditation Techniques and Tips for Beginners

Beginners can find meditation frustrating. These top 10 beginner’s techniques and tips make meditation easier to start and to stay with. Meditation can make you healthier, happier, and more productive.

It can even help you live longer.

But mastering your thoughts has never been easy and our multitasking, sensory-bombarding world makes it harder than ever.

Meditation is not complicated, but it’s not easy either.

Read on for five of the best meditation techniques for beginners, plus tips to help beginners succeed with their meditation.

 

The 5 Best Meditation Techniques for Beginners

Meditation usually involves sitting quietly, often paying attention to your breath, but it doesn’t have to.

There are movement-based techniques like yoga and walking meditations as well.

There are endless ways of classifying the many different kinds of meditation, so don’t be daunted if you see terms you aren’t familiar with like Kundalini or binaural beats meditations.

Mindfulness meditations are the most popular and straightforward types of meditation.

They involve just actively working at quieting the mind, usually by focusing on the breath or on a phrase.

 

Technique 1: Breathing Meditation

Breathing meditation is the most simple, basic form of meditation.

Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and breathe naturally, preferably through your nose.

Focus your attention on your breath, but do not try to change or control it.

When a random thought barges into your head, simply label it as “a thought” and bring your attention back to your breath.

This meditation actually trains your brain to stop jumping around and stay focused on the present.

 

Technique 2: Mantra Meditation

Mantra meditation involves sitting quietly while silently repeating a word or phrase called a mantra to yourself.

If you say it out loud, it becomes a chanting meditation.

A traditional mantra is “so, hum.”

Think to yourself “so” as you inhale and “hum” as you exhale.

But you can simply say “in, out” to yourself if you’d prefer.

At first, thoughts will pop into your head constantly.

That’s expected and normal.

The important thing is to not get discouraged, but just notice that your mind has drifted and gently bring yourself back to the present.

 

Technique 3: Walking Meditation

Movement meditations are great for those who have trouble sitting still.

You may want to consider a moving meditation if you have anxiety, since some people find meditation makes their anxiety worse.

The simplest moving meditation is a walking meditation which can be done anywhere, anytime.

A walking meditation is not the same thing as simply taking a walk.

The difference is both your attention and intention.

Walking while listening to an audio book or talking on the phone doesn’t count!

Consciously putting one foot in front of the other while concentrating on the sounds of nature, the feeling of the ground under your feet, and the sensation of the weather on your skin — that’s a walking meditation.

If you are lucky enough to live or work near one, walking a labyrinth is a wonderful way to do your walking meditation.

If you live in the US or Canada, you can check this labyrinth locator to see if there’s one near you.

As you walk, just as when you sit and meditate, unwanted thoughts will pop into your mind.

Gently remove them.

Other excellent movement meditations you may want to look into are yoga, tai chi, and qi gong.

As long as you are mindful, you can turn any activity into a meditation.

Think of the famous “wax on, wax off” scene in the movie Karate Kid, where polishing a car became a moving meditation.

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Technique 4: Kirtan Kriya Meditation

Kirtan Kriya is a type of meditation from the Kundalini yoga tradition, but don’t let the mystical sounding name daunt you.

This meditation is simple and has science to back it up.

During this meditation, sit comfortably and repeat the sounds “sa, ta, na, ma.”

You can say the sounds out loud or to yourself.

As you say the sounds, move your fingers in succession like this:

On “sa,” touch the index fingers of each hand to your thumbs.

On “ta,” touch your middle fingers to your thumbs.

On “na,” touch your ring fingers to your thumbs.

On “ma,” touch your little fingers to your thumbs.

 

Research has confirmed that doing this meditation for 12 minutes per day increases blood flow to two parts of the brain involved in retrieving memories.

It can improve memory in otherwise healthy people and has proved useful even for those with Alzheimer’s.

Other proven benefits include improvements in mood and sleep.

You can learn more about the proven benefits of this meditation in Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation’s white paper Yoga and Medical Meditation as Alzheimer’s Prevention Medicine.

 

Technique 5: Binaural Beats Meditation

If you’ve tried mindfulness meditations, but felt fidgety, frustrated, and unfocused, you aren’t alone.

Quieting your “random thought generator” is hard!

If you’ve read the bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love (or seen the movie), you’ll recall that even when the author was living in an ashram in India, she still found meditation a frustrating struggle.

She felt continually pressured that she wasn’t doing it right, which made her feel stressed out and bad about herself.

Kind of defeats the point, doesn’t it?

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If meditating in an ashram is hard, no wonder it’s hard for you to squeeze it into a hectic modern life!

The most common complaints about traditional meditation include feelings of impatience, frustration, and boredom, and not getting the desired results.

This understandably leaves many people, even when convinced of the many health benefits, wondering if they are wasting their time.

 

If this sounds like you, there’s a different kind of meditation you can try.

One that most beginners find easier and more rewarding.

 

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