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Basic Meditation Techniques

By Hayley Hunkin

Meditation is a very powerful way of relieving so many physical, mental and emotional problems that more people should really use it to help themselves. The problem is that there are so many different meditation techniques that it can be daunting for a beginner to know where to start. Here are some basic meditation techniques to help you get started.

The easiest meditation technique is to simply focus on your breathing. It’s always best lying down because you’re more comfortable, but you can sit if you prefer. Start by shutting your eyes and ignoring all other sounds. Breathe in and out normally and don’t force it. Just follow it as your air goes in and out, in and out, in and out. If you keep this process going, you’ll quickly become more relaxed. This technique is also the best one to start with if you wish to progress to other forms.

The Om method is a very common form. Instead of trying to empty your mind, you focus on one sound. You can repeat it out loud or in your head. The effect is the same. Because you’re constantly repeating the Om, your mind won’t be able to focus on anything else.

Emptying your mind is another method. Again, lie down or sit and let your mind empty itself. Don’t think about anything. Let each thought that enters your head just evaporate again so nothing lingers and your mind becomes still. You’ll quickly realise this isn’t as easy as it appears at first because you’re so used to thinking all the time. However, with practice, you’ll find it gets easier to achieve.

Guided meditation is another common, popular meditation technique. There are different ways to do it. This is often a good place to start if you don’t feel confident doing it on your own. Guided meditation can be done on your own or in a group. In a group usually one person guides you through the process and you follow their directions.

If you do a self-guided meditation, usually you imagine yourself somewhere tranquil and quiet. You can do it in a variety of ways. A popular method is to imagine you’re laying on a beach or on soft grass and are slowly sinking into it. You mentally relax each part of your body until everything is completely relaxed. Once you have achieved that, you can choose to remain that way for a while before coming out of it, you can leave yourself relaxed and come out of it or you can mentally re-energise your body as you bring yourself out of it.  

These are only a small sample of the different ways you can meditate. If you’re a beginner, these are probably the best ones to start with because they’re not complicated and you can develop your skills as you go. People like different techniques, so if you try a few of them, you’re bound to find some that you like and that work for you.

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