Updated 22 November 2013

How to meditate

Meditation brings wisdom, deeper understanding, inner peace. Never tried it before? Metaphysical healer Dina Cramer shares a step-by-step meditation guide for beginners.

Step 1: Create the space for meditation
Set aside between 10 to 20 minutes during which time you won’t be disturbed.

Remember, this is your time – a time that should be completely focused on and committed to your own health and happiness. So, do what you need to do to allow yourself to be free from distractions. It's always a good idea to disconnect your phone or meditate in a room where the phone won’t disturb you.

It also helps if you have a special place set aside in your home where you can meditate. Create a personal sanctuary for yourself, a place of peace and beauty that serves as a reminder of your commitment to yourself. Light a candle or an aromatherapy burner, and have an arrangement of flowers and/or crystals, or photographs of your loved ones, in the room with you.

Step 2: Use a CD or an app
There are a number of different ways of meditating. However, a form that beginners find very useful is called guided visualisation. In this form of meditation, you have someone guiding you through a process that has a focused intention, such as connecting to your guides and receiving higher guidance.

Select the meditation technique that you want to use and read up on it before starting. If you’re keen, you can also get a meditation CD or an app to guide you on a wonderful journey through consciousness and healing.

The Meditation Society of Australia’s “Learn to meditate 1 - 5” app, available for both Android and Apple devices, is a fantastic tool that features a variety of meditation techniques, including mantra, meditating with breath and music, and meditating on an object. You can also download meditation music and videos from the Society’s website,

Step 3: Meditation posture
Meditation can be done while sitting or lying down. The main thing is to find a posture that’s comfortable for you, one in which you can relax fully. Generally, it’s best to be in a sitting position, because you need to be in a balanced state between waking and sleeping consciousness. Sitting allows you to relax and still stay conscious.

Sometimes meditating lying down is so relaxing that you could drift into a state of unconsciousness or sleep. This too is okay, as the effects of the meditation will still filter into your energy system. However, it’s best to remain conscious.

Try sitting on a chair with your eyes closed, your feet flat on the floor and your spine straight and supported. If you’re comfortable and able to, you can sit in the lotus position.

It’s important that your spine is straight to facilitate the free flow of energy through the chakras and energy body. It’s also important to make sure that your arms and legs aren’t crossed. This will block the flow of energy.

You can rest your hands on your thighs with your palms facing upward in order to draw universal energy into your system via the palms of your hands. When you sit like this, you’re receptive to Divine Energy.

Step 4: Breathing
The act of meditation is one in which you transcend the logical, rational mind and enter into a deeper state of relaxation and awareness. In meditation, we move from everyday conscious awareness, called “beta rhythm”, to an altered state of awareness similar to sleep. This is known as “delta rhythm”, or a state between waking and sleeping known as the alpha state.

The key to meditation is the breath: breathe in and out as deeply as possible. This oxygenates the brain, allowing you to access these deeper states of consciousness. It also helps you to relax and release toxins from your system.

Your breath is your life force. You need to breathe fully, filling the whole of the lung area, and breathe out fully, making sure that you’ve released all of the air out of your lungs.

Breathing is deeply connected to your emotional and mental state. Have you noticed that you breathe differently when you’re relaxed, compared to when you’re scared, anxious or excited? Your breathing rhythm changes when you’re angry or in love. So, by this token, if you change your breathing pattern, you can literally change your mind and emotions.

Step 5: Allow yourself to be guided
Sit, relax and allow yourself to just be in the moment. If a thought comes up that’s unconnected to the meditation, acknowledge it and let it go.

People often find it difficult to clear their minds and find that state of inner peace. This is because our lives are so busy and stressful. We’re continually worrying, calculating, thinking, planning etc. Guided meditations are therefore useful, especially for the beginner meditator, as your mind is kept focused on the process at hand. This keeps your conscious mind out of the way and allows you to access a deeper level of consciousness.

Meditation should be effortless, so don’t try too hard. Also be gentle with yourself. In the beginning, it may be difficult to transcend your conscious thoughts. You may also feel irritated and anxious. This isn’t necessarily a bad sign as it means that the stress, anxiety and irritability of everyday life are being brought to the surface in order to be released. Just bear with it – you won’t be sorry.

Step 6: Enjoy your day
Allow yourself to come out of meditation slowly, so that you don’t shock your system. Take the wonderful feeling of relaxation, bliss and healing that you’ve gained from the meditation session and radiate it throughout the day.

Step 7: Create a meditation discipline
If you’re serious about developing your spirituality and empowering yourself, it’s a good idea to create a meditation discipline where you’re able to meditate every day, preferably at the same time. This becomes your sanctuary. The inner peace you gain in meditation will be reflected in your life.

You may want to experiment with the time you choose to meditate. Initially, you might find it difficult to fit a daily meditation into your hectic schedule. However, if you do, you’ll very quickly notice the benefits: you’ll feel less stressed, things won’t irritate you as much as usual, your day will seem to flow easily and effortlessly, and you’ll find that you quickly become hooked to a daily meditation discipline.

On the days that you don’t manage to meditate, you’ll feel a noted difference within yourself.

If you’re a night-time person, or if you find it difficult to sleep, it might be best to meditate at night before bed. Just check that you don’t fall asleep too easily.

However, what sometimes happens is that we go into such a deep state of relaxation that we enter a level of consciousness that we experience as sleep – simply because we have no other word to describe it. You’ll find that if this happens to you, you’ll wake up exactly at the end of the meditation but that you won’t remember any of the meditation itself. You’ll most probably feel very refreshed, as if you’ve had a long nap.

REMEMBER: Each meditation can be done a number of times. The more you do a particular meditation, the more familiar you’ll become with it. You’ll also find that every time you do a particular meditation there’ll be some element that’s different than before. It’s therefore unlikely that you’ll easily get bored with the meditations.

(Ingrid Bosch, Health24, updated October 2013)


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