meditation

6 Tips for People Who Don’t Have Time to Meditate

Interested in beginning meditation but don’t know where to start? The good news is that all you need is 5-10 minutes a day to get started.

Are you thinking to yourself, ‘Ten minutes, I don’t have an extra ten minutes a day! My life is already jam packed with work, family, social obligations, and I’m not even mentioning my growing to-do list”?

Well, what if I told you that the benefits of meditation include a reduction in stress, sharpened concentration, improved circulation – and as you get further into your practice you’ll experience a quieter mind, a more open and receptive heart, a sense of inner freedom – and perhaps even a streak of creativity that’ll help you make films like David Lynch. (Lynch has been practicing Transcendental Meditation for over thirty years.)

Sound good?

Here are six easy tips and meditation techniques for beginners that will help get you started. These tips worked for me when I began my practice – and although I’m a lot further along then I was a year ago when I first started, I still have a way to go – as it’s important to remember that meditation is a process.

1. Be comfortable in a quiet place. Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. To get started, it doesn’t matter whether you sit or lay down as long as you are comfortable. You can sit cross-legged, on the floor, or on a chair. If you can sit erect, then great. If not, it’s just important to have your body in a somewhat stable position. Then have the palms of your hands face the sky.

2. Become “present”, i.e., become totally aware of your current surroundings. What do you hear? How does it feel to sit? Do you feel tension in a specific body part? Where are your thoughts? Are your thoughts running? (That’s perfectly fine, it happens to the meditation pros, too). Just try to sit and “smell the roses” as best you can.

3. Focus on your breath. Breath, breath, breath. Meditation (and yoga for that matter), is all about the breath. Try to take long and deep breaths, and feel your breath move throughout your body — from your lungs and out through your nostrils or your throat. (Breathing through your nostrils is better though either will work). Your mind will wonder (which is okay), just try your best to be as focused as possible.  And as meditation guru, Sharon Salzberg always says, “bring it back to the breath.”

4. Feel your body. Once you’re focused, take notice of your body and how each body part feels. Start with the toes and work your way up to your head. If your mind continues to wonder then bring your thoughts back to your breath. Breath 5-10 times with full concentration on each breath. Take it a step further and hum “Om” as you breathe out if you feel like it. If not, no biggie.

5. Learn from the pros. Deepak Chopra does a lot of things well – including meditation. Check out his 11-minute video where he walks through some great meditation techniques for beginners. Not into video, and you’d rather read? Jack Kornfield’s book, Meditation for Beginners, is one of the best, quick-reads on meditation you’ll find. And if you’re ever in New York City and would like to check out a class then there’s none better than Sharon Salzberg’s beginner meditation classes at the Tibet House.

6. Practice, practice, practice! Like anything, practice makes perfect. Make sure to carve out a time each and every day to practice. You’ll hopefully find all your practice totally worth it as meditation can be life-changing!

Happy meditation!

This post was written by Jason Wachob. Jason is the Curator of MindBodyGreen.com, a site that provides tips, news, and interviews on better, healthy, and green living.

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  • http://selfhelpnotes.org Joe

    Check out the book “8 minute meditation”. It teaches you how to meditate effectively even if you have only a few minutes a day.

  • http://www.howtoplaza.com HowToPlaza

    Nicely written blog post. People who don’t have “enough time” to meditate often forget that they can use their time more efficiently if they can control their thought process and reflexes.

    ~~ Sarah ~~

  • http://ithinketh.com Self Improvement Articles @ ithinketh.com

    Meditation is an excellent self improvement technique that many people do not use. Try meditating each day for a week, and you will see a huge difference in stress reduction, concentration and creativity!

  • http://financialphilosopher.typepad.com/thefinancialphilosopher/ Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

    This is a great post! Personally, I believe meditation is something that can be done anywhere. To extend upon the ideas of this post, I highly recommend the book, “This Light in Oneself,” by Jiddu Krishnamurti.

    “Meditation is not something that you do. Meditation is a movement into the whole question of our living: how we live, how we behave, whether we have fears, anxieties, sorrows; whether we are everlastingly pursuing pleasure; and whether we have built images about ourselves and about others. This is all part of our life, and in the understanding of that life and the various issues involved in life, and actually being free from them, we inquire into meditation.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • http://www.yourhealthcolumn.com zach

    You organise it well.
    The tips is just superb & simple.
    Happy to visit this site again.

  • http://www.divyeshweb.com Divyesh

    process is handy, i tried & feel more relax, giving me deep feelings – http://www.divyeshweb.com/sitting.html

  • http://www.zennotes.com Jeff Gardner

    Great resource, thanks.

    I find it helpful when engaged in activity, as opposed to formal sitting, to rest the attention on where the working surfaces meet, doing this as often as I remember.

    Finer action results, the right level of effort is expended, and avoidance of over effort typically results.

  • agusalim syam

    in Islamic religions we know the prayer (sholat) as a meditations way 5 time each day, and each time we doing prayer we need 5 minutes till finish. during prayer, we should to control our breath when it is coming and out. the prophet Muhammad saw, had received this order 1400 years ago, as a medicine and tolls to communicate with the God. the order is not for the Muslims only, but for all the mentions of this world…thanks

    i am from indonesia

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    Aw, this is a really quality site.

  • http://tommyjisplace.com/ Tom Renfro

    I just finished reading your delightfully written blog post and I was struck by the paragraph:

    “Are you thinking to yourself, ‘Ten minutes, I don’t have an extra ten minutes a day! My life is already jam packed with work, family, social obligations, and I’m not even mentioning my growing to-do list?”

    I was struck by it because even though meditation is the most powerful tool we have to effect transformational changes in our lives, the quote captures our prevalent belief about time.

    I remember Deepak once telling us that:
    “If your doctor gave you a prescription to walk for twenty minutes a day, and told you that those walks alone would lead to good health, peace of mind, freedom from worry, increased success in your personal and professional life, would you follow her recommendations?”

    Meditation, which alters the brain in many positive ways, in fact in ways that no single drug can and is the most effective way of changing the brain’s set point for happiness.

    For anyone who is new to meditation and is looking for effective meditation techniques, especially the time crunched beginner, then check out tommyjisplace.com, meditation for beginner’s site.

    Thank you for your delightfully written and informative post.

    Tom Renfro
    tommyjisPlace.com

  • http://www.beginners-meditation.com/ meditation sound

    I loved your article. It is easy to read, simple and very informative too. The 6 tips you gave can really help a lot of meditation enthusiasts.

  • http://www.beginners-meditation.com/ meditation sound

    In addition, meditation is indeed a nice way to increase self awareness. Keep it up!

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