This is How I Meditate: The Correct Way to Meditate is Up to You

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Meditation can happen anywhere. You don’t need any special equipment or even a quiet room. 

Many people are discouraged from meditation because they lack spare time or the ideal environment. All you need is yourself and will desire to start.

I try to meditate every morning. I’ve read many mindfulness blogs that discuss waking up at 530 to meditate and begin their yoga routine. I think that is beautiful, but it’s not possible for everyone. 

I wake up around 7 a.m. So, morning meditation works for me. However, there is no correct time to meditate. It can be a great way to start your day at 3 p.m. if that works for you.

There are a few principles that apply to all kinds of meditation. Apart from those, it is really up to you and how you want to practice. There is no one perfect answer to “how to meditate.”

This post is not a comprehensive meditation for beginners guide. In this post, I will discuss how I got started with meditation and how I think about my practice. I will also give you a few suggestions on how to get started and what to expect. 

First Impressions of Meditation

I was talking to one of my friends. He said that he feels stressed all the time. I suggested meditation. He said, “I don’t think I would be able to focus on mediation.” I understand that mentality, but it falls into one of the first misunderstandings people have about meditation.

You do not need to clear your mind to meditate. Your mind is designed to create thoughts. Meditation isn’t about fighting those thoughts. Meditation is a way to build the tools necessary to better experience the present.

I have been meditating for years, and loads of thoughts come up every time I practice. When I started, I was like my friend. I didn’t think meditation was possible for me, but now, meditation is a big part of my life.

How I Started Meditation

how I meditate

Meditation was not a new concept to me when I started. I came of age in the Unitarian Universalist church. Calling it a church isn’t really appropriate. Basically, all my religious education classes focused on social justice and personal reflection.

The first time I remember meditation was in an RE class when I was about 11. It was a guided meditation. I don’t remember where I was guided, but I didn’t approach meditation from zero. 

I didn’t really know what it was. Just that the liberals at my church would talk about its benefits occasionally. I was more interested in listening to Rancid and having my first sexual experience. 

When I was about 26, I started yoga to be more active. Meditation is ubiquitous in yoga spaces, so meditation became a part of my practice.

I would do yoga using YouTube videos and examples of Vinyasa flows I found on Google Images. I would then try to meditate, with varying success.

I went on like that for a few years. Eventually, I became acquainted with the ideas of gratitude and stillness.

Stillness is not the thinking part of mediation. However, It is more than just not thinking. It is the moment between breaths. A state of mind that is quiet and open. It takes some practice to get there.

Gratitude is the way I benefit most from mediation. When I am having a hard time finding stillness or connecting with my breath, or if I keep following thoughts and increasing my anxiety, I turn to gratitude. 

I know how it sounds, but taking a moment to be thankful for what you have is healing. I focus on my breath and thank myself for taking the time to do something for me.  

How it’s Going

I don’t meditate every day. I try to, but life gets in the way sometimes. The skills I learned through mediation are helpful even if I missed my morning practice.

I am better at regulating my emotions, less reactionary, and allowing myself to be a witness. I have learned to acknowledge what is happening in a situation, and I can better evaluate the type of response I need to take.

I am not an emotionless statue. I just have a better idea of when I need to walk away and revisit a conversation or problem later with a clearer head. 

I see mediation as an incredibly positive addition to my life. It hasn’t made my life perfect. But that is why it is called practice. 

Where I Want to Be

I want to make meditation and mindfulness a priority. I am improving in my practices. I want to continue to make positive lifestyle choices. Incorporating meditation into my life helps me set exercise, dietary, and work goals. 

I will continue to meditate and see improvements. 

Mindfulness and meditation practices don’t need a specific goal. You just need to sit down and do it. The benefits will become apparent with time.

how I meditate

Starting your Meditation Journey

Meditation might seem like an impossible task. In reality, it is incredibly easy to access.

Getting comfortable

Ideally, I like to sit somewhere amazing in nature when I meditate. More often, I meditate in my room on the floor.

Make yourself as comfortable as possible. Sit on your bed, in a chair, on the floor, anywhere is fine. Lying down in bed is also fine, but you run the risk of falling asleep.

I like to check in with myself before I start. Make sure I am ready to sit in that position for a while.

Focusing on Breath

Next, I focus on my breath. At this point in my meditation, I know a little better how my body is feeling. I might choose to do a breathwork exercise.

I let my breathing find a natural rhythm. I notice how the air moves through my body. In my nose, into my lungs, and out again.

Getting Used to the Noise

I live in a city. When I meditate, I often hear cars, horns, motorbikes, music, yelling, dogs barking, etc. It used to bother me, but it doesn’t anymore. I don’t regard these noises as distractions but as another part of the present.

I like to think of the notices as waves. I notice their origin and where they come from. Sometimes, I look for the moment the sound changes or stops. If startled by a car horn, I look for the silence it leaves behind.

I accept the sounds around me as part of the space in which I exist. It took me a while to get there, but I don’t mind urban chaos when I meditate. I am a city human, after all.

Focusing on the Breath Again

Other things besides sounds may disrupt your focus. Usually, those things are feelings and thoughts. Thinking while meditating is normal. That is why we have minds. Our minds produce thoughts and help us deal with difficult problems and emotions.

When a thought or feeling arises while in meditation, you have a choice. You can follow it and see where it leads you, or let it take over your consciousness and pull you away from the present moment.

It is fine to follow a thought. When a problem or situation is particualarly stressful, I will follow that thought while I meditate. I will go through multiple scenarios and hopefully reevaluate my more complicated emotions.

You want to return to your breath at some point in your thoughts journey. Getting too much into your head about something that has already happened or might, may, potentially happen is counter productive.

The best way to deal with a stressful situation is to address it with a calm mind.

You always have the choice to return to your breath. We use the breath in meditation because it is something inherent to us. It is always there. We can control, work with, or just let it be.

When you are ready to let your thoughts or emotions go, your breath will be there for you.

Gratitude

I try to enter and exit each practice with love and gratitude. Sometimes, I enter into meditation practice with a lot on my mind. I’ll be depressed or anxious and sit down with a lot of self-doubt.

I focus on my breath and hold on to the present moment for dear life. I thank myself and the universe—after all, I am a part of the universe.

I find that thought comforting. I am made up of the same stuff as stars and galaxies. The electrons in my feet interact with the electrons on the ground, in my blanket, and in the cotton of my T-shirt.

I focus on my breath, and I am thankful that I get to have that experience. It helps me find stillness and love myself more.

Read next: Mindfulness Exercises

FAQ

How do you meditate correctly?

There isn’t really a wrong way to meditate. To get started, check out a few guided meditations on YouTube and see what works for you.

I don’t recommend trying to meditate for the first time when you are having intense feelings. If things are getting scary or hard, reach out for help.

How do beginners start meditating?

Start by sitting comfortably and setting a timer for five minutes. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Allow emotions and thoughts to enter your mind, and try your best to let them go.

What do you think when meditating?

Many emotions and thoughts will come up while meditating.

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Author
Jillian has been on a journey to find peace in the chaos since 2016. Mindfulness, meditation, and yoga have helped them keep present. They have been writing as a passion since an early age and writing professionally since 2018.

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