Meditation Course for Beginners (Part 2)

Different Types of Meditation

There are many different types of meditation. We'll cover some of the more common types below but if none of these suit you, you'll find many more to explore on the internet.

Some types of meditation involve just you or maybe you plus a small item to help you focus, such as a candle. Other types of meditation work by you listening to a CD or MP3 file. Again, there is no right or wrong way to meditate. Feel free to experiment with some of the different types of meditation explored below until you find one that works well for you.

Breathing Meditation

In this meditation, you will be focusing on your breath.

This is probably one of the easiest methods of meditation to begin with.

Start by adopting a comfortable position. You could sit down in a chair or lie back on a bed. The important part is to be comfortable so that you're able to focus solely on your breathing.

Once you're comfortable, close your eyes.

Start to notice your breathing. We breathe so often that we tend to take breathing for granted. So take the time to notice your breathing.

Notice the air filling your lungs.

Then notice as you breathe out and the air leaves your lungs.

Repeat the process of noticing your breath.

As you do this, you'll find thoughts coming up. They might be about family, friends, work or absolutely anything else. That doesn't matter – it's all part of the process and it is perfectly normal to continue to have thoughts whilst you are meditating.

But once these thoughts come up, let them drift out with your next breath. Each you’re your thoughts drift, bring your mind back to focusing on your breathing.

Walking Meditation

If you find it difficult to sit still and keep your eyes closed whilst meditating, then walking meditation could be good for you.

There are four components to a walking meditation:

  • Becoming aware of your breathing
  • Noticing your surroundings
  • Being conscious and attentive to your body’s movement
  • Taking some time to reflect on your meditation experience

Become aware of your breathing in much the same way as you would for the breathing meditation process. Notice each breath as you breathe in and then breathe out again.

Become conscious of the air filling your lungs and use each exhalation to send out any distracting thoughts – you'll find that after a little bit of practice, your extraneous thoughts will quite happily ride out of you on a cushion of air!

When you start noticing your surroundings, you'll likely be amazed. We take lots of things for granted in our everyday life and much of what is around us goes completely unnoticed. When you are walking around, notice the different colors that you see. Notice that even blades of grass, which initially appear just "green", are actually varied in color and hue. You'll find that once you start this tuning in process, you'll notice more and more things that have previously escaped your attention.

Don't just notice colors. Listen out for sounds. There may be bird song, road noise or the chatter of people or animals. Consciously tune in to these different sounds. Notice the different tunes sung by the birds. If you are in an urban area, pay attention to the different traffic noises. Each car's engine sounds slightly different. So does the sound of wheels on tarmac.

You'll find yourself hearing things that have merely passed you by before. There are also smells to fill your senses. Maybe the aroma of freshly mown grass or the sweet smell that occurs just after a shower of rain. There are plenty of smells in the atmosphere and the chances are that most of these have slipped past your consciousness.

Tune into your body's movement. Start to notice the light pressure on the soles of your feet as you walk. Be aware of the air brushing onto your skin, whether it's a calm day or a windy one. Pay attention to your body's movement as you walk around. Feel how your arms swing as you walk along. Notice how you hold your head – is it upright and attentive or a different position? Switch your attention to different body parts as you are walking and you'll be fascinated at what you find.

Once you've completed your walking meditation, take a small amount of time to come back to your normal world. During this period, mentally run through your thoughts and feelings that you experienced during your meditation time. Think what you can do to enhance your experience even further next time you choose to do a walking meditation.

Gradually come back from your peaceful site to your regular world.

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