Meditation for beginners: 8 valuable tips from a pro to get you started

You’ve decided to start meditating, you know everything about it, you’ve even devoured our special file on the question and yet you still can’t get started for real? Don’t panic, you are not alone. Indeed, practicing meditation when you are a beginner is not always an easy task. However, there is no question of getting discouraged, recalls Marianne Leenart, mindfulness meditation teacher and author of Passage ! My anti-cliché meditation book.

“It’s normal to struggle when you start, she explains. If tomorrow you start playing basketball, don’t expect to become Michael Jordan after three practices. Meditation is the same, it’s a training, it’s a practice. Being restless and having racing thoughts during meditation is completely normal, it’s part of the process.”

With her book, Marianne Leenart wanted to promote an uninhibited meditation far from clichés and to show beginners that there are many ways to get there. “Just because you start meditating doesn’t mean you have to become a vegetarian overnight, speak with compassion and benevolence all the time and be a model of zen. Let’s be honest, with meditation there are a lot of things that calm down, but that doesn’t prevent you from being angry sometimes, from loving to party, from being a good guy.says the author.

So to give a boost to all beginner meditators beset by doubt and laziness (admit it), here is the advice of our expert.

1 – Choose the right type of meditation to start

I started in the deep end with a 10 day Vipassana retreat. An ultra-austere moment, in silence. Even boring! But despite everything, there is no denying it, it worked. I was at that time in my life in great pain. This retreat really opened my eyes. Then, later I discovered that there were also other ways to meditate, just as effective, but much more accessible, pleasant and joyful! So why inflict this kind of violent practice on yourself I wondered? That’s how I got into mindfulness meditation.

2 – Make meditation a date

The hardest thing is not to start, but to continue. Meditation is mental health. For this to work, you have to find a regularity. This regularity, many manage to find it for the sport, the practice of an instrument… For the meditation, it is often more difficult and it is not surprising.

It’s not because you’re lazy, crap or the king of procrastination, it’s just that meditation is quite a confrontational process and goes against everything we’ve learned so far. . All our life we ​​have been told that we had to run, accomplish lots of things and then we are taught to take time to slow down, do nothing, not speak, achieve nothing, produce nothing. There is an inner frenzy that pushes us to always be on the move and this is about going against the current.

3 – Write a letter to the beginner meditator that you are

Photo: Shutterstock

One of the first things I have my new meditators do is write a letter of intent to themselves. The idea is to clarify one’s expectations by answering several questions… Why do I start meditating? What are my expectations? What’s wrong with my life that makes me sick of it and want to try meditation? What do I hope this practice will change in my daily life?

I invite meditators to re-read this letter in times of acute flemingitis. This allows you to restore motivation, to reconnect to your deep need and to the momentum you had when you started. I wrote one 10 years ago and I still read it from time to time.

4 – Start meditation with a support

There are plenty of apps that have developed around meditation for beginners. It’s very nice as a starting point. It’s a good entry point because they’re easy to use. It’s also reassuring for the user: no commitment, no judgement, zero fear. However, once you have an idea of ​​what meditation looks like, I find it important to experience another phase of your practice by meditating with others.

5 – Meditate with others when you are a beginner

It’s hard to meditate alone. It is therefore important to meditate in a group at the start. If you can, sign up for weekends or workshops to practice with other people. There are plenty of online sessions that have been created since the Covid. It is much easier to maintain a certain attendance when you have a regular appointment. Even if it’s dematerialized.

The presence of a teacher also makes it easier to progress. It allows your motivation to be refreshed a little on occasion by someone who knows about it, it’s precious. Someone who helps you when you feel like you’re in a bind.

beginner meditation men and women practicing in a group
Photo: Shutterstock

6 – Set an achievable goal

What is important is regularity, not quantity. Many people get started by setting unattainable goals. If you start with hour-long sessions, it’s hard to fit meditation into your daily routine. As a result, you risk becoming discouraged. It is therefore better to bet on a shorter practice, ten or fifteen minutes a day for example.

7 – Be indulgent with yourself

Failing to get started is part of the process. We must therefore avoid at all costs to inflict too much guilt on this subject. Guilt and pressure don’t work with meditation when you’re just starting out. We have to find other ways. From the moment you have identified your desire to get started, all you have to do is find ways to make it easier for yourself.

8 – Make meditation a pleasure ritual

Make this moment a pleasure and not a punishment. To do this, you can, for example, set up a small comforting space where you will enjoy going to on a daily basis. You can also create rituals like listening to music before, reading an inspiring text or treating yourself to herbal tea after your session.

Is your motivation reinvigorated? If you want to know more about Marianne Leenart and discover more advice from the expert, go to her website or in bookstores to discover her book Passage ! My anti-cliché meditation book.

We would love to give thanks to the writer of this short article for this incredible web content

Meditation for beginners: 8 valuable tips from a pro to get you started

Check out our social media accounts along with other pages related to them