Meditation: A Beginner's Guide To Mindfulness

how to rwally meditate

Meditation is a practice that can help you feel more relaxed and aware of your thoughts and surroundings. It is not about clearing your mind of all thoughts but rather observing and focusing your thoughts for relaxation and mindfulness.

Meditation is not a one-size-fits-all experience. It is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of contemplative practices, with many different types of meditation to choose from.

Meditation can be as simple as focusing on your breath. You can also try concentration meditation, which involves focusing on a single point, such as a candle flame or repeating a mantra. Mindfulness meditation encourages you to observe wandering thoughts as they drift through your mind without judgement.

You can also try visualisation techniques, such as imagining a coin sitting above your navel and rising and falling with each breath, or creating a peaceful place in your mind and exploring it.

Meditation can be performed with your eyes open or closed. You can also try walking meditation, which involves observing the movement of your feet and becoming aware of your body's connection to the earth.

There is no right or wrong way to meditate. The important thing is that you have taken time to invest in your mental wellbeing.

Characteristics Values
Time 5-20 minutes
Location Quiet, peaceful, comfortable
Posture Comfortable, upright
Eyes Closed
Focus Breath, mantra, visualisation, body scan, walking


Finding a comfortable spot

It is also important to wear comfortable, loose clothing. You don't want to be distracted by feeling too hot or cold, or by tight, restrictive clothing.

Once you have found your spot, you can begin to focus on your breathing.


Closing your eyes

Getting Started

First, find a comfortable place to sit, somewhere warm and quiet, where your mind and body feel at ease. You might want to sit cross-legged on the floor, on a chair, or on your bed. It's important to be upright, with good posture, and to feel supported.

Focus on Your Senses

Once you're in position, close your eyes and focus on your senses. Notice what you can feel, hear, smell, and taste. This will help you feel more connected with your body and less concerned with the thoughts in your head.


With your eyes closed, simply breathe in while saying "breathe in" in your head, then breathe out while saying "breathe out". Focus on this circular breath and the words in your head for 20 minutes. It's okay if your mind wanders—just gently bring your attention back to your breath.

Ending the Meditation

When you're ready to finish, stop repeating the words and focusing on the breath, but keep your eyes closed for a couple more minutes. Then, gently open your eyes. Stay seated for a little longer before getting up and going about your day.

Alternative Methods

While closing your eyes is the most common approach, it's not the only way to meditate. You can also try meditating with your eyes open a crack, or by focusing your gaze on one spot.


Focusing on your breath

Find a Quiet and Comfortable Space

Create a peaceful environment for your meditation practice. Choose a quiet place away from loud noises, strong odors, or excessive decorations that might distract you. You can meditate indoors or outdoors, whichever suits you better. If you prefer fresh air and a natural setting, find a spot outdoors that is away from cars or crowds.

Prepare Your Sitting Position

Sitting is the most common and natural meditation posture. Find a soft surface, such as a plush carpet, a yoga mat, or a meditation cushion. You can sit on the floor with your legs crossed, or you can sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground. The key is to maintain a straight spine and a comfortable position that you can maintain for an extended period.

Remove Distractions

Ensure that you won't be disturbed during your meditation practice. Turn off or silence your phone and any other potential sources of noise. Inform others around you that you need some private time for meditation and request not to be disturbed. If you have pets, make sure they won't distract you.

Time Your Breaths and Focus on the Curve

Once you are settled, begin to focus on your breath. Time your inhalations and exhalations, aiming for slow and controlled breathing. Try inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Focus on the curve of your breath, the transition point between inhalation and exhalation. Try to slow down this curve by adding a brief pause between inhalation and exhalation.

Observe the Physical Sensations

Pay attention to the physical sensations and reactions in your body caused by your breathing. Notice how your diaphragm, throat muscles, and shoulders move and shift with each breath. Feel your belly moving up and down. You can place your hand on your diaphragm to enhance this awareness. This practice helps you stay grounded in the present moment and cultivate mindfulness.

Redirect Your Wandering Mind

It is natural for your mind to wander during meditation. When you notice your thoughts drifting, gently bring your attention back to your breath. You can use a word or phrase, such as "breathe," to help you refocus. Be patient and compassionate with yourself, as meditation is a skill that improves with practice.

Remember, the key to successful meditation is not to force it but to allow your body and mind to be as they are while maintaining awareness and focus on your breath. With regular practice, you will find it easier to focus, and your meditation sessions will become more calming and beneficial.

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Using a mantra

A mantra is a word or phrase that is repeated during meditation. It can be chanted, spoken, whispered or repeated silently in your mind. The term comes from the Sanskrit, with "man" meaning "mind" and "tra" meaning "release". The idea is that the mantra acts as a tool to help release your mind.

Choosing a Mantra

There are many different mantras to choose from, from traditional Sanskrit mantras to personal affirmations. The best mantra is one that resonates with you personally, bringing you a sense of peace, focus and connection. You might want to consider the sound and vibration of the mantra—does it feel soothing and calming? Does it evoke a sense of power, energy or compassion?

  • "Om" or "Aum"
  • "Om Mani Padme Hum"
  • "So Hum"
  • "Shanti"
  • "I am strong"
  • "I am safe"
  • "I am healthy"
  • "May I be happy"
  • "May you be healthy"
  • "May we all be at peace"

How to Meditate with a Mantra

Once you have chosen your mantra, you can begin the meditation process. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  • Pick a suitable location. You need a quiet environment where you will not be disturbed.
  • Find a comfortable position. There is no rule for which position is best. Pick a position that you can comfortably maintain for a long time.
  • Fix a schedule. Decide the duration of your meditation in advance and set a timer.
  • Start with something simple. If you are feeling restless, gently close your eyes and try to relax your body. You could play some ambient sounds or soothing music, recite a prayer, count down from 100 or focus on your breath to calm your mind.
  • Chant your mantra. Start chanting your mantra out loud or in your mind as you continue to breathe slowly and steadily. Try to match your chants to the timing of your breathing.
  • Maintain your focus. Distractions are inevitable, so don't be discouraged if your mind wanders. Patiently redirect your attention back to your mantra and use your breath as a guide.
  • Bring your meditation to a close. When your timer goes off, don't rush to stop chanting. Let the rhythm of your mantra chanting naturally taper off. Then, sit still and observe the void of silence in your mind.
  • Set achievable goals. If you are a beginner, start with an introductory 5- or 10-minute mantra meditation. Regular meditation practice is more beneficial than a lengthy meditation once in a while.
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Visualising a peaceful place

To begin, find a quiet, comfortable place where you won't be disturbed. You can sit or lie down, whichever feels most relaxed for you. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Feel your body relax with each exhale.

Now, imagine a peaceful place. This could be a real place that you've been to before, like a meadow, a forest, or a beach. Or it could be a place built entirely in your imagination, like a slowly swaying bridge over a babbling brook or an ancient oak tree in the autumn.

Try to make the visualisation as vivid as possible, engaging all your senses. What do you see, hear, smell, touch, and taste? The more realistic the visualisation, the more engaging the experience. Imagine yourself in this peaceful place, taking a walk and looking at the lovely, peaceful surroundings.

You can stay in this visualisation for as long as you like. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to the peaceful place. When you're ready, slowly bring your awareness back to your physical surroundings. Wiggle your fingers and toes, take a few deep breaths, and then gently open your eyes.

Frequently asked questions

You don't need to set aside a huge chunk of time to meditate. Even just 5 minutes a day can make a big difference.

No, you don't need any specialist equipment. Just find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down.

A wandering mind is a natural part of meditation. When you notice your mind wandering, gently bring your focus back to your breath.

Many types of meditation involve focusing on your breath. You can also try repeating a mantra, performing a body scan, or visualising a peaceful place.

There is no "right" way to meditate. The important thing is that you've taken time to invest in your mental wellbeing.

Written by
  • Seti
  • Seti
    Author Editor Reviewer
Reviewed by
  • Aisha
  • Aisha
    Author Editor Reviewer
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