There are soooooo many styles of meditation out there, and so many people promoting them! (Including me! 🙂 )
If you’re just starting to explore meditation as a new thing in your life, it can be overwhelming — particularly when some people can be VERY didactic! (Errr…. INCLUDING ME!!)
If you’ve only recently become interested in meditation, then the very best meditation technique that you can do is the one that you feel like you can do.
By this I mean, if you stumble across some style of meditation in your everyday life, then try it out and see if you feel like you can do it.
Some meditations are a little bit complicated.
Some practices are a little strict in how much they say you need to engage.
Some techniques may feel awkward or weird.
Or some may even feel too simple.
If, for example, you hear about a meditation where you just sit there and watch your thoughts, that may be a very effective technique, but it’s also one that can be difficult to actually do. It may feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, or you just keep getting distracted. It may feel a little bit pointless, or if your mind is very busy, you may feel like you’re out of control, that you can’t be successful with it.
That’s fine! Those reactions are normal! But if it ends up being discouraging, or you just don’t see where you’re going with it, then it may not be the very best meditation to start with.
Other so-called “meditations” aren’t exactly what I would define as meditation. These can be things like guided visualizations, that take you to a very dreamy state and cause you to engage in storytelling in the mind. These could be helpful as relaxation, perhaps, but if you don’t come out the other side feeling more awake and energized, then they’re probably not meditation (at least not in the way that I use the word!). HOWEVER: If you’re just starting out, then there’s no reason not to do this type of practice, if it gets you hooked into the happy habit of sitting with yourself!
I definitely suggest doing them sitting up, though, if that’s what you choose; if you’re laying down, you’re too likely to drift into sleep, and that’s simply not meditating!!
One idea, if you like the guided thing, is use the audio to walk you through the steps for the first few days, but then try doing it on your own. That way, you’ll stay engaged with it. Otherwise, there’s a real risk that you’ll put the audio on, and then immediately space out — particularly after you’ve heard it a few times. It’ll be like watching the same-exact movie every day for a week. The first time you see it, and the second, and probably the third, you’re still engaged, but then after that, you’re bored, and you tune out and start fantasizing. You lose your ability to stay present with it. So instead, if you enjoy the guided thing, then do it a few times and after that, try guiding yourself!
Most important, when trying out any meditation practice, IS TO TRY IT!
It takes many back-to-back days of intentional planning to get a new habit started — or, for many of us, many more back-to-backs of unconscious action that led us into the ruts of our lives that we have trouble breaking out of!
With something like meditation, where the benefits reveal themselves more slowly, it’ll require some concerted effort on your part to simply get started.
So, do whatever type of meditation you feel can work for you — don’t get distracted by the hunt for the “perfect” technique or the “right” way to do it.
When you’re starting out, ANY meditation is a good meditation!
(Oh hey: That’s actually true at any stage of the path!!)
Find a style or a practice or a technique that seems interesting, and just do it! It doesn’t need to be long. You don’t have to have extended sessions of
torment meditation to get the good stuff flowing into your life.
You just have to do it!
The Universe will naturally lead you to the very best next step, when the time is right for you to take it.
So just pick a technique – and get started!