How to begin meditating - “Ten fingers”
Meditation for beginners
Do you have 10 minutes to go into silence every day? Or 2 times a week? Maybe 10 minutes seems like an awfully long amount of time in your busy life? We never have time. Lack of time is the number one excuse today. We always have things to do. Things to care about. We are busy and full of excuses. We are out of time.
Therefore, the practice of silence has to be an active choice in your daily life. It is a choice we make! Just like going for a run. Eating lunch. Taking a short break at midday. Talking to your friends and family. Writing a Facebook message or uploading pictures on Instagram etc.
The 10 minutes should be seen as the beginning of something new. It is not an end in itself. The most important thing is that you begin! Ideally, you should practice every day as this is the key to creating a new habit. However, if once a day seems overwhelming at first, commit to going silent twice a week at least and maybe only for five minutes in the beginning.
Before you start there are thing you have to remember. Some of the most important things are listed below:
- Choose your spot for going into silence
- Common errors in the beginning
- Don’t worry it’s normal – going into silence takes time
Choose your spot
When you go silent alone or with others, it is important to pick a place where you feel comfortable and safe. It can be indoors or outside. You decide. You have to spend the next 5-10 minutes here. So choose well.
How you sit is important for your body and breathing. You can sit on a chair, on a pillow, on the rough floor, on the ground or grass outside. It is your choice. Sit so your spine is straight and you can breathe freely.
Breathing is vital for the relaxation of your body and soul and for attaining silence. Breathing means life in whatever condition it may be. It might feel good if you place your hands on your chest in the beginning. Then you can follow how your chest moves in and out when you start breathing. By placing your hands on your chest, you will discover that you have a living body and a beating heart. You are not just a mind at work.
Now begin by paying attention to what you are going to do. Close your eyes slowly! Whether you are happy or sad, troubled or free, sorry or excited - you are here. Sitting and alive. Try to envision your entire body from the outside. See yourself like a living picture taken in your present moment. See yourself – feel your body in all its totality. This is you. Now focus on your breathing.
Focus is a way of activating your will. It is time to Go Silent. In the beginning, it is best to focus on breathing in and out. Breathe in and slowly count to five, breathe out, and slowly count to five again. Keep doing this in a continuing movement. You may find help in using your ten fingers, one at a time, while you count. Use the five fingers on your right hand when you slowly breathe in putting our hand on your chest. And when you breathe out again slowly and attentively use the five fingers on your left hand, counting to five while your hand is resting on your stomach. Your chest should move in and out. (Right hand: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - Left hand: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and again etc.).
If you fall out, simply begin again. No worries. It takes some time to rediscover silence in your body and mind. Remember you have lived a life surrounded by noise and fragmented impressions. Now it is time to try something else. Experience another kind of present. This of course will take some willpower and some time. However, do not despair! When you have practiced silence for some weeks, it will start to seem much easier to come back to.
Common errors in the beginning
There are all kinds of things, which will happen when you begin to discover silence. You can fall into many mistakes in the beginning. First, remember this is not a competition. You are not bound by all the things and requirements life in general needs from you. In silence, you are free to be yourself. In silence, you are loved for what you are. Silence is not about what you will or won’t become one day in the future. Silence is a way of being present in the living now. It is a way of remembering what life is all about. Life is lived in this moment. Not tomorrow or next month. Focusing on the present now will make you more balanced and secure. Below are some of the things, which might happen more or less in the beginning when you start to go silent.
- You try to force your breathing through
- You stop focusing because you become interested in something else
- You remember what you have to do later
- Your body is irritated and you feel uncomfortable
- Somebody interrupts you
- You experience a feeling where you simply want to give up and get away
- You begin to follow one of the many thoughts in front of your eyes
- You get dizzy - then take a break and try later
- Your stomach makes strange sounds
- In addition to this, you will experience so much more
Don’t worry about it if these things happen to you. Simply accept it and try again. Silence is a practice, and practice will help you.
Do not worry – going into silence takes some time
In the beginning, some people like to count inside their mind (Inhale: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - Exhale: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and again etc.). For some people, it makes it easier to focus if they have never meditated before. However, it should just be in the beginning. Counting is just the first step to getting focused on your thoughts. Counting is one way of keeping your mind occupied so it does not begin to wander from thought to thought.
Of course, this will not be easy in the beginning. Many thoughts will appear but remember all the time not to go with them. Let the noise be noise and let the fragments be fragments. Try not to follow all the thoughts and pictures. Let them go. Do not put energy into them. They are there and it is okay. You will always, more or less, have disturbing thoughts. Just return to the counting and your focus. Maybe try to see the number in front of your eyes when you get distracted. Moreover, do not lose hope in yourself. Keep believing that you are not alone. Life is inside you. You are alive. Your breathing will show you the way to inner peace and silence in your body and soul.