As a meditation teacher, a lot of people ask me how to meditate properly at home. Beginners who are just starting to learn meditation will definitely want to know some ground-rules.
In this guide I will show you best meditation techniques to get started with and explain some easy meditations. Plus, I’ll explain the ground-rules of meditation so you know how to meditate properly.
It is very important to learn how to meditate properly because, believe it or not, there are some serious health risks of meditation.
I learned this one day watching the morning news. The Dalai Lama was on. He was explaining how to meditate properly because many people do not meditate the right way.
The news reporter asked the Dalai Lama, “Can meditation ever go wrong?
The Dalai Lama’s eyes narrowed. He raised his hand and said “Meditation is very powerful. It must be learnt properly.”
The Dalai Lama continued to explain that when meditation is learnt in the East it is learnt alongside philosophy, history, and other aspects of culture. Meditation is just one spoke on a wheel (literally, the “Wheel of Dharma”, called DharmaChakra ). And it is only when all spokes move as one can the wheel begin to turn.
In other words: You must learn all aspects of meditation. You must learn how to meditate properly.
So how do you meditate properly at home?
Here’s How To Meditate Properly At Home For Beginners
1: Choosing the correct meditations for beginners
There are 31 different meditation techniques in use today. And it is important to start with suitable ones. I personally recommend trying some simple relaxing meditations at first.
Now, I know this sounds boring but bear with me: If you want to know how to meditate correctly you need to start with simple techniques. There are some seriously powerful advanced meditations. And they are not the correct ways to meditate if you’re starting out.
Take my word for this: Go slowly and start with easy techniques. I personally believe the best meditations for beginners are:
- Simple breathing techniques (this one is essential)
- Elementary mantras (such as meditating on “Om”)
- Easy visualizations (like imagining that you’re on a relaxing beach)
2: You Need To Have The Right Posture
One of the most important parts of meditating the right way is having the correct posture [READ: Best Meditation Positions For Beginners].
Many people ignore this tip. They believe that because meditation is primarily for the mind, the position of the body does not matter. This is a big mistake when starting meditation.
The reason your posture matters so much is because your mind and body are one. The way you hold your body has a direct influence on your state of mind. If you try slouching your mind will feel sluggish. If you try standing tall your mind will feel sharp. There is a direct relationship between mind and body. That is why it is impossible to meditate the correct way unless you use the right posture.
However, this does not mean that you need to sit on the floor with your legs spread. That’s not important. And a lot of people cannot do it. What matters instead is that your posture makes you feel grounded. And you should have your spine in alignment. You will know when you have the right posture because you will feel balances and focused. This is a good rule for meditating the right way.
3: To meditate correctly, watch your breathing
This is arguably the most important of all these basics of meditation. You need to use the proper breathing methods.
When you meditate properly your breath will come from your diaphragm at it will be relaxed and deep. Your breath might be quick in the beginning but it will slow down and deepen as you meditate.
Interesting fact: In 2003, Harvard scientists studied a group of ten meditators and discovered that their respiratory rates were much lower than non-meditators. This lower respiratory rate is indicative of lungs that are working more efficiently, and also of a clam and relaxed body and mind. That’s one reason why meditation is so healing, because it slows you down and increases circulation.
However, proper meditation technique requires that you do not force your breath. Nothing in meditation is forced. Let your breath slow down and relax naturally.
4: The Right Space
If you want to know how to meditate properly, start by getting your space set.
It is important to set aside a special place for meditation.
It is better that this place be a specially designated spiritual space.
The rules on a meditation space are:
- Must be peaceful
- Should be quiet
- Should be conducive to both relaxation and focus
- As few distractions as possible
When you are beginning meditation, meditate in the same space and reserve that space for meditation.
If you have ever visited a nature reserve, you will know why it’s important to preserve certain spaces.
You can feel the energy of a nature reserve the moment you enter it. It’s pure, wild, natural, a beautiful space that immediately conjures feelings of freedom and tranquility. The same is true for a meditation space.
Over a period of time your meditation space will become a sanctuary filled with spiritual energy. You will enter the room and immediately feel purity, tranquility, and warmth, because you have preserved the purity of the space.
5: The Best Time To Meditate For Beginners
There are good times to meditate and there are bad times. And while you can certainly meditate properly at home any time of the day, you will find you get more out of it at certain times. I recommend that when you’re starting out you only meditate when you’re already fairly relaxed, definitely not stressed. If you are stressed, go for a walk first to relax a bit, them meditate.
It can also help to have a dedicated meditation time. This will make it more of a routine.
When you know that at 6am you’re going to get up, enter your meditation space, and meditate for twenty minutes, your mind becomes pre-programmed for tranquillity. Not only does this help you start the day positively, it also creates a habit that will help you to continue to meditate even on those days when you don’t really feel like it (and no matter how wonderful meditation is, there always will be some times when you feel like skipping practice).
When I was touring England doing The Canterbury Tales (I played the overweight, alcoholic miller, though I don’t think it was typecast), I set the alarm for 5am every morning so I could meditate every morning for at least 20 minutes. Because we were on tour it was impossible to have one designated space so instead I would take myself off to some field or park and meditate there instead—there’s always a space and time worthy of meditation, no matter where you might be or how busy you might be.
6: Make Sure Your Attitude Is Correct For Meditation
It is basically impossible to meditate the proper way if you have a bad attitude.
The correct meditation attitude is one of non-judgment. To meditate properly you need to let go of your judgmental mind and accept things as they are—especially yourself. Too many beginners fail to understand that to meditate correctly you cannot judge what you’re doing as good / bad / right / wrong. Instead let go. Have a non-judgmental attitude.
7: If You’re Learning Buddhist Meditation…
If you would like to learn Buddhist methods, take a look at my article on Buddhist Meditation For Beginners.
Performing Buddhist meditations properly requires more than just pure meditation. In Buddhism, meditation is just one part of a much bigger practice. And if you want to do Buddhist meditations properly you need to understand the philosophy of Buddhism.
Proper meditation in the Buddhist tradition requires discipline and patience. It isn’t a case of “sit down and meditate”. It requires study and gradual development.
Follow those tips to meditate properly at home
How To Meditate At Home In Different Rooms Of Your House
In this section we will be looking at how to meditate at home like you’re on a DIY meditation retreat!
And what’s more, you will actually get more out of this than you would an actual retreat. Why? Because if you want to get the most out of meditating, you need to know how to meditate at home.
To meditate consistently you need to make it as easy and accessible as possible. And that means being able to meditate where you spend most of your time. In other words: You need to know how to meditate at home.
Plus, when you know how to meditate at home you can turn off the noise of the kids (or the parents…?), tune out the stress of the day, and relax.
As a meditation teacher I often visit people’s homes to show them how to meditate where they live. And it is one of the most rewarding things a person can do.
As well as the tips below, I do recommend creating a meditation space or room at your place.
The Best Ways To Meditate At Home
Here are the best ways to meditate at home. Try each of them and let me know which your favorite is!
How To Meditate In Bed
One of the best ways to meditate at home is when you’re lying in bed.
First things first: there is a right way and a wrong way to meditate when lying down.
If you want to know how to meditate in bed, start with that link above because it will teach you how to meditate in bed when you’re lying down. After all, bad posture is not going to help you to get into that lovely Zen state of mind.
If you want to meditate at home in bed, I recommend creating a relaxing environment, making sure the door’s closed (else, if you’re like me, your cat or dog will starting jumping on you), and dimming the lights.
If you really want to feel like you’re doing a meditation retreat at home, make sure you clean the room, make your bed look luxurious, and dim the lights so it’s wonderfully relaxing.
Then do this:
- Bring your awareness to your breath
- Take 25 mindful breaths
- Begin to notice your body and the feeling of lying down
- Let your muscles relax and let the bed take your weight.
- From here, you can either continue with a traditional technique, or listen to some relaxing music.
How To Meditate In The Shower
Another of the best ways to meditate at home is when you’re in the shower. Again if you want that home DIY meditation experience, prepare the space perhaps with candles and some relaxing music.
A lot of people ask me how to meditate in the shower. And no wonder. Showers are relaxing and therapeutic. Just be aware that there is the possibility of falling over in the shower and getting a spinal injury. Play it safe. And don’t go too deep when meditating in the shower.
Here’s how to meditate in the shower:
- Start by getting the water to the right temperature.
- Make sure you’re standing tall and relaxed with good posture.
- Now begin to focus on the sound of the water coming out of the shower.
- Next, feel the shower water on the crown of your head and meditate on that sensation.
- As with body scan meditation, move your awareness down your body, feeling the water cleaning you.
- Now meditate on the steam from the water, as it enters your mouth.
- Feel that steam moving into you and cleaning you from the inside.
- Now take 10 mindful breaths and say, “My mind and body are pure”.
And that is how to meditate in the shower.
How To Meditate In The Bath
Honestly, for me this is the absolute best way to meditate at home.
Now you know how to meditate in the shower, let’s look at how to meditate in the bath.
One of the best places to meditate at home is in the bath. Especially if you happen to have some lovely bubbles and perhaps a candle. Divine!
Here’s how to meditate in the bath:
- Get in the tub
- Let your body relax and make sure your head and neck are supported.
- Make sure you’re not putting your mouth below water-level. No one’s drowning on my watch!
- Take 25 mindful breaths to relax.
- Now feel the warmth of the water around your body. Feel how your body relaxes in the water.
- Meditate on the sensation of the water meeting your body, like one soft energy bubble cocooning you.
- Now slowly begin to clean your body with the soap.
- As you move your hand and the soap around your body, be mindful of the areas your touch. Ask those areas to relax. Let the bath take you.
- Once you have finished, say the mantra “My mind and body are pure”.
To Feel Like You’re On A Home Meditation Retreat, Silence Is Key!
The dog’s barking. The cat’s vomited on the carpet. Your kids are screaming at each other. And the place is a wreck. That’s when you need to know how to meditate in a noisy house!
If you want the home DIY meditation retreat experience, you will need to make the place quiet.
There’s the simple way to do that, and the hard way. The simple way is to put on some noise-cancelling earphones and listen to a relaxing guided meditation, or listen to some meditation music).
The hard way is to meditate in the noise. It’s not easy, but it is worth it. Because once you know how to meditate in a house that’s noisy, you will know how to cut out distractions.
The best way how to meditate in a home full of noise is to take the noise as a challenge. Imagine: If you can focus in that noise, you’ll be able to focus on anything.
There’s some tricks you can use for meditating in a noisy house too. The best one is to simply label the noises like you do when practicing vipassana meditation.
How To Meditate In The Garden
Ah. The garden. The best place to meditate at home. Especially if you have a mindful garden space.
But how do you meditate in the garden? Try some of these:
- Create a Zen garden
- Try five senses meditation (meditate on all the scents, sights, and other sensory information that you perceive in the garden)
- Do a slow and relaxing Zen Walking Meditation around the garden
- Pick your favorite flower scent and meditate on it
Indulge In A DIY Meditation Retreat At Home Today
When you can’t get away for a spiritual vacation to India, try a meditation retreat at home.
I used to feel crappy because I could never afford a meditation retreat. But then I made the clever decision to turn my own home into my meditation retreat. And let me tell you: it’s the best thing ever.
Look at it this way: you can go on a meditation retreat for a week, and after the retreat you’re back home in exactly the same space, feeling the same way you used to.
Or you can do a DIY meditation retreat at home. You can turn your home into a meditation space, and by meditating at home you train your mind to be relaxed and focused in your own home.
A holiday meditation retreat might relax you. But turning your home into a meditation retreat will literally transform your life because it changes the way you feel about the place you are in every single day.
So let’s do this. By the end of this you will have done a wonderful DIY meditation retreat. And you might like to read my guide to meditating at home too.
Here is my tutorial.
How To Do A DIY Meditation Retreat At Home
1. Preparation: Find the time
You’re going to want to set an entire weekend aside in order to do your DIY meditation retreat.
When you enter your home meditation retreat you want to be able to relax and you want to be able to meditate without worrying about what’s going on with the family, with your jobs, and with all those other responsibilities that hard-working you takes care of day in and day out.
This meditation retreat is entirely about you.
For this reason you’re going to need to prepare for your retreat.
Choose a weekend and make sure that you get anything on your mind out of the way before beginning the retreat.
The last thing you want is to have chores or responsibilities on your mind when you enter your retreat. Make sure there are no distractions when you go into your retreat.
Get everything done in advance and put your feet up.
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2: Clean ready for your home meditation retreat
No one likes a dirty home. Well, except the rats and raccoons. They love it. You and me? Not so much.
In fact, according to Psychology Today, mess is one of the leading causes of stress.
Sherry Bourg Carter tells THE DAILY MEDITATION:
“Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves. Messy homes and work spaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Yet, rarely is clutter recognized as a significant source of stress in our lives.”
Time to clean up the mess.
In order to help you prepare for your retreat it’s important to make sure that your home is clean and tidy before beginning.
The aim is to create a space which is conducive to inner peace. So, tidy up, clean, and make sure your home is in the right state for meditation.
Make sure you tidy up mindfully. Buddhist monks use chores as a mindful activity. Whatever you do, do it mindfully. Plus, this way you can begin your meditation retreat early—you wiil already be meditating.
3: Get a room ready at home for your DIY meditation retreat
In order to make your retreat effective you’re going to want to decorate at least one room of your home.
Remember, you don’t have the luxury of being whisked away to a spiritual vacation here. Your home is your temple for today. And the more beautiful and cathartic you can make your home, the more you will relax, and the deeper your inner peace will be.
Depending on your taste, this room might just be extremely clean, or it might contain specific objects. You might want to get some Buddhist art, perhaps a water feature, maybe a statue of your deity and any other objects that you associate with spirituality, inner peace and meditation.
But how are you going to design your meditation space? That’s an important question. That’s why I put together this guide to creating a meditation room to help you out.
3. Tell People you’re doing a home meditation retreat
Your friends and family may \wonder what you’re up to when they don’t see you for a weekend (unless, of course, you are doing a group retreat with family and friends, which, by the way, is a wonderful idea).
Tell people before hand what you are going to be dfoing so that they don’t distract you.
4. Gather the materials you’ll need for your home meditation retreat
You’ve already put together your cushion, mala, statue and other decorative items for your room. But you’re going to want some form of mindful-entertainment and perhaps educational materials too (if you’re interested in spiritual development).
Remember, this is your weekend away to indulge in spiritual relaxation. You don’t know when you will get this opportunity again. So you want to get the most out of it.
Make sure that you have books, DVD, CDs and other good stuff so you can learn / be entertained. After all, you might not be literally meditating the entire time you’re on retreat. For part of the time you might like to just put some music on or learn about different meditation techniques.
5. What to do during your meditation retreat at home
So now you are completely ready for your meditation retreat at home.
Just one question. What are you actually going to do while you are on your meditation retreat?
“Meditate” you say. But which kind of meditation specifically?
Try these techniques:
Breathing: Whenever I begin a long period of meditation I start with breathing. Breathing meditations are perfect for general relaxation and for getting you into a relaxes state.
Chakra: Chakra meditations are a powerful techniques for general health. As you are doing a complete retreat you have the time to do a proper meditation on each chakra.
Vipassana / Insight: You’ve now got the time to do a good spot of insightful meditation. Personally, when I practice Vipassana meditation I like to do it for at least one hour. That gives me the time to go deep with the meditation.
Loving Kindness: Your retreat shouldn’t focus entirely on yourself. During the weekend you’re going to be giving yourself the time to reflect. You will be reflecting on other people; family, friends and others. Take the time to incorporate at least one hour’s worth of loving kindness meditation.
Zen: Ah, Zen, truly one of the most beautiful words ever spoken. “Zen”. It means contemplation. And that’s what your meditation retreat is all about. It’s an opportunity for you to contemplate. Well, and to get away from the dishes. So why not try Zen meditation and find some inner peace while you’re on retreat?
Finally, why not get the whole family involved. That way, your hole home becomes a meditation space.
So, now you know how to do a meditation retreat at home. I recommend making your retreat last for 48 hours. This will mean that you need to make preparations in terms of deciding what you’ll be eating, when you will be meditating, when you will be exercising and doing yoga (presuming this is also a DIY yoga retreat).
Remember to take a computer so you can use all THE DAILY MEDITATION’s tutorials while you are doing your meditation retreat.
How to do a DIY meditation retreat at home FAQ
When it comes to learning how to meditate at home, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself before beginning:
Why do you want to learn how to do meditation at home?
For instance, are you looking for pure relaxation, to improve mental health, to improve focus for business or studies etc? Different types of techniques offer different benefits. Write a list of the things you hope to get out of meditating at home. This will help determine which is the right type of meditation for you. Go ahead and write the list now so you can make the most of the rest of this article.
The next question is :
Where are you going to meditate?
You have already chosen to practice at home, but where exactly? Some atmospheres are more conducive to inner peace than others. A room with a water feature, for instance, is often a favorite meditation area. Or how about in the garden? I’ve created two free guides that will help you decide where to meditate. The first guide helps you to design a meditation room. The second will help you to create a Zen garden.
If you are meditating at home make sure you have a nice meditation chair or cushion (preferably both) to support your body while you meditate.
When? Are there ideal times when the home is quiet and you will not be disturbed? If so, this is a great time for practice.
Take five minutes to answer these questions now. This will help you to commit. The most important part of learning how to do meditation at home is finding the right time and place in which to do it. There are many distractions at home and it is easy to lose the time. By answering these questions you will create a structure that you can use to meditate each day.
Q: I’m not sure where to practice
A. You can meditate anytime, anywhere. But it’s best to meditate anywhere you feel comfortable and will not be disturbed. Or, on a warm day, try meditating in the garden.
Q. I’m struggling to find the time
A. Try practicing for ten minutes before bed (as you wont be busy then anyway) and also try some mindfulness meditation while doing housework (so you can meditate while stilling getting things done) .
Q. I want to practice with my children. Any advice?
A. Meditating with children is a great idea, but be sure to pick the right kind of meditation. Simple techniques like breathing are the best here.
Q. I can’t find a quiet spot
A. If noise is a problem there are a few solution. You could play meditation to cover the noise. You could go for a walk and do Zen walking. Or you could look for an alternative place to meditate.
Q. I find it hard to focus. Any advice?
A. Almost all beginners find it hard to focus when meditating. This is naturally. Don’t worry. Keep trying and you will naturally develop more focus over time.
Q. Should I find a teacher or school before beginning?
A. This is entirely up to you. It certainly isn’t necessary. It is safe and relatively easy. That said, the knowledge a meditation teacher or school can offer is valuable. It depends how much you want to get out of meditation and how much you are willing to invest.
Q. I’ve been practicing for a few weeks but haven’t seen much benefit.
A. Try changing technique. If you’re been using seated try standing or moving. If you’ve been doing mindfulness meditation, try mantra meditation etc.
Q. Is it okay to practice in bed?
A. Practicing in bed is okay but not ideal. The reason it is not ideal is because you want to meditate while you have energy. If you’re tired when you start meditating you’re likely to just drift off.
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And Those Are The Best Ways To Meditate At Home
Now you know how to meditate at home, you’re going to find life so much more relaxing. You can cut out the stress and the noise and find some good old fashioned you time.
What do you think is the best way to meditate at home?
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