Inspiring health and happiness in body, mind and spirit

Getting Started With Meditation

Meditation is a dependable, portable and lifelong practice that can help us stay clear, balanced and open, even on the most challenging of days. Although it is a simple practice, it is not always easy. The rewards are so great, though, that I encourage anyone who is the least bit curious to give the practice a try.

I've gathered a few resources here to help inform and inspire us as we dive into the practice.

WHAT IS MEDITATION?
Meditation is a state of being that arises when we are completely present in the experience of the moment with clear vision and a welcoming spirit. It is a state of being rather than doing, and it offers us profound insights into the nature of life, death, love and being.

It is possible to enter a state of meditation anytime, anywhere, and it is likely you have already had many meditative moments in your lifetime. The practice of meditation - setting aside time each day to deliberately cultivate this state of deep and present awareness - helps enrich your life with as much clarity, wisdom and peace as possible.

WHY SHOULD I MEDITATE?
Are you curious about why anyone would want to still quietly and cultivate deep presence in the world? In the essay Why Meditate? I share three good reasons to welcome the practice into your life.

I've written many essays about the ways that meditation has enriched my own life, and I offer them here with the hope that they will inspire you to do the same. Here are a few to get you started: Living in the Present MomentOne Sip at a TimeTo ShinePockets of Peace, and Blueberries of Happiness

HOW DO I LEARN TO MEDITATE?
On this site I offer many resources that I hope will help you start your own meditation practice. For starters, I've compiled my favorite meditation resources for both beginning and established meditators on this Meditation Resources page.

This short and sweet Introduction to Meditation primer gives you an idea about the many different ways to practice. I've written about practicing Basic Awareness Meditation here. And here's an essay that guides you through an Inner Listening meditation.

I've also created a series of Guided Meditation Audios to help you practice on your own. These audios are designed to accompany you as you meditate, as if I were meditating right next to you and offering you guidance about how to meditate along the way.

If the practice seems impossible to you, don't give up. Start out with a relaxation practice instead. I offer a few ways to do that in Relaxation 101 and in In the Moment Stress-Management Strategies. And I offer you some inspiration through my own experience in Just Sit, a story about how I finally settled into an established practice.

CAN KIDS MEDITATE?
Of course they can! Babies are born into a state of natural clarity and ease. (In fact, baby-holding is one of my very favorite meditation practices.) Kids easily find their way into states of calm, clear and steady awareness through their natural exploration of the world.

There are also many wonderful methods of gently incorporating meditation and mindfulness into the lives of our children, in ways that help promote peace, love, clarity and joy. I've written about my favorite Mindfulness Resources for Children here, and I've written about Growing Mindful Kids here. And I've written about ways to incorporate mindfulness in schools in Schooltime Yoga here. 

ARE THERE OTHER WAYS TO MEDITATE?
Yes, of course! If sitting still induces craziness rather than calm, then you may be better off with moving meditation practices like yoga, qigong and tai chi. You can learn more about cultivating Mindful Movement practices here.

And I have an entire section on this site about Lovingkindness practice, which is a particular form of meditation that cultivates a sense of kindness and goodwill toward all beings, everywhere. You can learn more about the fruits of this practice in these essays: Choose Love, Happiness Right Here, Right NowSpeak with a Loving HeartListening as An Act of Love and and Metta On The Trail.

I truly hope you will give meditation a try, and will find your life enriched and enlivened by the practice. The world needs as many sane, balanced and happy people as possible, and meditation is the best way I know to help foster these states within us. I write about meditation often, so check back from time to time to see what else is new here.

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