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 my guide to how to do meditation for beginners, I showed you the best meditation techniques to get started with and explained some easy meditations. Today I’d like to 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 major meditation techniques in use today. And it is important to start with suitable ones.
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 Postures 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.
One way to get the right meditation posture is to use a good meditation cushion.
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 techniques.
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
Get started with my guide to creating a meditation room.
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
Get in the routine of meditating by downloading a good app.
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.
8: Proper Study
If you truly want to know how to meditate correctly you will need to study beyond just websites. I’ve created a list of the best meditation books for beginners.
As a writer I am bound to say this but: You just can’t beat books for studying. I recommend buying a few good books on meditation.
Follow those tips to meditate properly at home
We well as these tips for meditating properly, there are lots of products that can make it easier to meditate the right way. I’ve created a list of the most important meditation tools. They can be a huge help when you’re just starting out.