In this guide, we will be looking at how to do meditation at home for beginners. This will be a complete tutorial, so you learn how to meditate properly.
Infographics showing how to meditate in easy stepss.
When you’re learning how to meditate at home (as opposed to on a retreat or at a studio), you don’t have a personal teacher, so it’s imperative that you take your time to learn properly. To help you, I’ve included lots of meditation tips for beginners in this guide, as well as an FAQ.
It is essential to learn how to meditate correctly at home. Because you do not have a teacher, you will want to go slowly, mainly because there are some risks of meditation.
I learned this one day watching the morning news. The Dalai Lama was on. He was explaining to beginners how to meditate correctly because many people do not practice proper meditation techniques.
The news reporter asked the Dalai Lama, “Can you do meditation 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 in the East when beginners learn to meditate, they study it 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 that the wheel begins to turn.
What does this mean? It means that when learning how to do meditation at home, beginners need to understand all aspects of the practice. This includes the techniques, the benefits, the philosophy, the risks, and the science. So, let’s look at how to do meditation at home for beginners who want to learn the real art of mindfulness.
How To Do Meditation At Home For Beginners
Because you’re learning how to do meditation at home, rather than having formal tuition, I recommend taking your time so you can learn properly. It begins with choosing a technique.
1: Choosing the correct way to meditate
There are 31 major meditation techniques in use today. To get the benefits you are looking for, choose the right method. I recommend sticking to the easy ways when meditating at home.
Try the following method.
An Easy Meditation To Do At Home
- Sit somewhere quiet where you will not be disturbed. Sit comfortably and with good posture (you do not need to sit with crossed legs if you find this uncomfortable).
- Tell yourself that you are going to be relaxing for the next 20 minutes.
- Take a few deep breaths to relax. If you have tension in your body, stretch gently.
- Begin to breathe. Count the in-breath to a count of five “1, 2, 3, 4, 5…”
- When you reach the end of your inhalation, stop for a count of two
- Now breathe out to a count of five
- Let each breath begin naturally. Do not force it. Just let your breath come and then start counting again.
- Simply focus on the sensation of your breath moving around your body.
- Continue to a total of 108 breaths.
This is a very simple meditation to do at home. You will find it relaxing and grounding, and it will help to quieten your mind.
If you would like to try other methods, here at the best meditations to do at home as a beginner:
- Simple breathing techniques (this one is essential)
- Elementary mantras (such as meditating on “Om”)
- Easy visualisations (such as imagining that you’re on a relaxing beach)
And of course you can always do a guided meditation.
2: If your posture’s terrible, you’re meditating wrong
Because you are doing meditation at home, you do not have a teacher to correct your posture, so it is important to be mindful of how you are sitting.
If your posture is awful, you are meditating wrong. [READ: Best Meditation Positions For Beginners].
Many people ignore this tip. They believe that because the practice is primarily for the mind, the position of the body does not matter.
The reason your posture matters so much is that 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.
Many people who meditate at home practise in bed or while sitting on the couch. Bad idea. Instead, sit on a specific cushion or on the floor, with good posture.
You don’t need to sit crossed-legged if you don’t find it comfortable. What matters is that your posture makes you feel grounded and that you have proper spinal alignment. You will know when you have the right position because you will feel balanced and focused. This is a good general.
3: Mindful breathing
Your mom always told you to “Watch your mouth”. And she was right. Because the best way to start meditating is to watch your breath coming and going through your mouth.
When you’re just learning how to do meditation at home, you will probably concentrate on the various breath-based methods. Proper breathing is essential to proper technique.
When you meditate correctly, your breath will come from your diaphragm, and it will be relaxed and rooted. 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 of a calm and relaxed body and mind. If you find you breathe slower when meditating, that’s perfect. But don’t force it. The best way to do meditation at home is just to let your breath be and calmly observe it. As you relax, your breathing will become deep and diaphragmatic, but not because you’re pushing it, rather because you are relaxing (when you are relaxed you naturally breathe properly).
4: Proper space
Make sure you have a proper meditation space at home. Your space should be a specially designated spiritual space.
The rules for spaces are:
- Must be peaceful
- Should be quiet
- Should be conducive to both relaxation and focus
- Have as few distractions as possible
For your home meditation practice, meditate in the same space and reserve that space specifically for your practice.
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 tranquillity. The same is true for Zen spaces.
Over time your space will become a sanctuary filled with spiritual energy. You will enter the room and immediately feel purity, tranquillity, and warmth because you have preserved the purity of the space.
5: Developing a daily habit
A lot of people ask me how to meditate daily. For beginners, it can be hard to get into the habit of meditating at home.
I recommend that you keep your home meditation practice to a specific time of day. When you know that at 6 am you’re going to get up, enter your Zen space, and focus on your breath for twenty minutes, you create a habit.
6: To meditate properly, change your attitude
It is impossible to meditate properly if you have the wrong view.
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 or bad, right or wrong. Instead, let go. Have a nonjudgmental attitude.
When you’re not sure how to meditate, you often get distracted during your practice. You’re thinking to yourself, “Am I meditating correctly? Is this right? Is that right? etc.” And these unwanted thoughts, ironically, prevent you from meditating the right way. That’s why you should adopt a nonjudgmental attitude and just go with it.
7: On Buddhist methods
If you would like to learn Buddhist meditation at home, take a look at my article on Buddhist Meditation For Beginners.
Performing Buddhist meditation at home requires more than just mindfulness. In Buddhism, meditative exercises are just one part of a much bigger practice. 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 focus on your breath”. It involves study and gradual development.
How To Know You Are Meditating Correctly
As a meditation teacher, lots of people ask me how to tell if you’re meditating correctly. This is a trickier question than it seems. The practice is a subtle one, and it can be hard to know if you’re meditating properly (although the tips above will help).
You can always read this scientific guide.
Essentially what matters is the effect the practice has on your mind. You are number one judge of that. To know if you’re meditating correctly, ask yourself if you feel better after your session and if it benefited you for the rest of the day. If you didn’t notice the benefits, you probably are practising the wrong way, in which case you might like to change to a different method.
Simple Ways To Meditate At Home
In this section, we’ll look at how to do meditation at home in different rooms of your house. Try each of them and let me know which one is your favourite.
One of the most straightforward ways to meditate at home is when you’re lying in bed.
However, if you do this, you need to make sure you are meditating properly. Check you have good posture even though you are lying down. Then proceed with the steps below.
- 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.
In The Shower
Another simple way to meditate at home is in the shower. Showers are relaxing and therapeutic. Just be aware that there is the possibility of falling over in the shower. Play it safe.
Follow this short tutorial:
- 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.
- Feel the shower water on the crown of your head and bring your awareness to that sensation.
- Move your awareness down your body, feeling the water cleaning you.
- Now focus 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 ten mindful breaths and say, “My mind and body are pure”.
In The Bath
Now you know how to meditate properly in the shower, let’s look at how to do it in the bath. Honestly, for me, this is the absolute best way to meditate at home. Simple. Relaxing. And cleansing. Here is how to do it:
- 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.
- Focus 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 you touch. Ask those areas to relax
- Once you have finished, say the mantra “My mind and body are pure”.
In The Garden
Ah. The garden. One of the best places to meditate at home. Try some of these exercises:
- Create a Zen garden
- Try five-senses methods (focus on the scents, sights, and other sensory information in the garden)
- Do a slow and relaxing Zen Walk around the garden
- Pick your favourite flower and meditate on it
5 Ways To Learn To Meditate Properly On Your Own
Now we have discussed how to do meditation at home, beginners might like to learn more.
I’ve created a list of the best ways to how to learn meditation at home. Pick the one which is best for you.
1: Our free meditation guide
My passion here on THE DAILY MEDITATION is to teach people how to meditate properly. That’s why I have created a massive guide showing you the top 31 ways to meditate.
It contains tons of information on how to meditate for beginners to learn. I’ve also provided guides to all the differenttechniques for beginners to try.
2: Take lessons
You want to learn how to meditate properly, you should probably work with a proper teacher. I personally give meditation lessons online.
It’s crucial that you find a teacher who is right for you. Otherwise, they will teach you inappropriately.
We all have individual styles of teaching that we like. And we all have our own beliefs. Some teachers are amiable and teach simple techniques. Others are more serious, religious types who will teach you not only about the techniques but the philosophy too.
Books are still one of the best ways to learn how to meditate for beginners. And there are lots of great books on meditation.
What makes books an excellent way to learn meditation at home is that they are structured. Unlike a website where you jump from one page to the next in an unstructured way, books have a clear beginning, middle and end. You progress through a book logically, so you’re always on the right step. That’s why, even in 2020, they are still one of the best ways to learn how to meditate (for beginners I recommend reading… my book! (shocker right?)) You can see it in the ad below).
4: Beginners Retreats
What better way how to learn to meditate properly than while on vacation at a retreat [READ: The Best Meditation Retreats].
Retreats are an excellent way to learn. For starters, most retreats have some truly excellent teachers with years of experience
There are specific retreats for beginners too, where you will be taught in a structured way.
Then there’s the fact that you will also be with other people who are also learning. It’s a great way to socialise and to learn from each other.
5: Online Courses
The staggering rise of online courses makes this one of the best ways for beginners to learn meditation at home.
There are very many different online courses to choose from, so you will be able to find one to match your needs perfectly. There are courses for kids, teens, adults, parents, men, women, everyone.
A friendly warning: There are good, average, and terrible online courses. Read the reviews and comments from other people who have been in the same course; otherwise, you might end up wasting your money.
When it comes to learning how to meditate at home, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
Why do you want to learn how to do meditation at home?
For instance, do you want to relax, to improve mental health, to improve, 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 technique for you.
Where are you going to meditate specifically?
You have already chosen to practice meditation at home, but where exactly? Some atmospheres are more conducive to inner peace than others. A room with a water feature, for instance, is a good choice. Or how about in the garden?
If you are practising at home, make sure you have a lovely Zen chair or cushion (preferably both) to support your body while you sit.
Are there ideal times when the home is quiet, and you will not be disturbed? If so, this is an excellent time to practise.
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 time. By answering these questions, you will create a structure that you can use to meditate daily.
Q: I’m not sure where to practice
You can meditate anytime, anywhere. But it’s best to practise where you feel comfortable and will not be disturbed. Or, on a warm day, try in the garden.
I’m struggling to find the time
Try practising for ten minutes before bed (as you won’t be busy then anyway) and also try some mindfulness while doing housework (so you can meditate while stilling getting things done).
I want to practice with my children. Any advice?
Meditating with children is a great idea, but be sure to pick the right kind of meditation. Simple techniques like breathing are the best option.
I can’t find a quiet spot
If noise is a problem, there are a few solutions. You could play meditation music to cover the noise. You could go for a walk and do Zen walking. Or you could look for an alternative place to practise.
I find it hard to focus. Any advice?
Almost all beginners find it hard to focus when meditating. This is natural. Don’t worry. Keep trying, and you will naturally develop more focus over time.
Should I find a teacher or school before beginning?
This is entirely up to you. It certainly isn’t necessary. The practice is safe and relatively easy. That said, the knowledge a teacher or school can offer is valuable. It depends on how much you want to get out of your practice and how much you are willing to invest.
I’ve been practising for a few weeks but haven’t seen much benefit.
Try changing technique; if you’ve been using seated methods, try standing or moving. If you’ve been doing mindfulness, try mantras etc.
- Q. Is it okay to practice in bed?
Practising in bed is okay but not ideal. The reason it is not ideal is that you want to meditate while you have energy. If you’re tired when you start, you’re likely just to drift off.
Now you know how to meditate properly 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.
I hope you found this guide helpful. Remember to share and subscribe.