I really want to start doing meditation but don't know where to start - any suggestions?

I'd like to learn it to help with stress, anxiety etc. Should I take a class, do a one-on-one, are there any home-learning methods?
Asked by Judy-J

10 answers

Top answer
A teacher who will offer you guidance, clarity and compassion re instructions and questions woud be most helpful. You could attend a course/group, one-to-one or a residential retreat.
Possibly explore approaches to find one that you "take to"; some practices (e.g. TM) use a mantra, others more directly connect with breath or body in sitting or movement/activities. Possible options you could consider:
Courses/groups: Mindfulness MBSR/MBCT (I and colleagues teach groups or individuals),
A group can offer a supportive interactive environment and home-learning
methods (MBSR) is useful if you can't manage a face-to-face arrangement.
Swami Saradananda (recommendable, I've known her over 20 years)

London Insight - various teachers, practice days and group-sittings: londoninsight.org
Retreat centres: Gaia House (teachers also regularly link via London Insight)
Dhamma Dipa - in Hereford and worldwide: http://www.dhamma.org
Read or CD's: 'The Mindful Way Through Depression' includes a CD by Jon Kabat-Zinn You dont need to be suffering from depression! its useful in regard to anxiety and practice.
or book: 'Full Catastrophy Living' by Jon Kabat-Zinn offers a comprehensive approach;
or book: 'Calming Your Anxious Mind' by Jeffrey Brantley
Wish you the best and do let us know how you are progressing. Enjoy!
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Hi Judy J!
I have been learning meditation for five years now. Nowadays I can relax and clear my mind more easily. I make better decisions and am more confident, spacious and open in life. I am more aware of my thoughts and emotions and thanks to my meditation practice, I am about 70% more able to transform my negative thoughts and emotions. So there's still some room for improvement! Now I feel like I can help others. I just qualified as a meditation teacher and recorded some meditation audio for beginners. If you'd like to listen to them, I'd love to hear your feedback!
You can get them on iTunes: itunes.apple.com/dk/podcast/already-calm/id541115968
Podomatic: alreadycalm.podomatic.com/
and Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/lyndwah/sets/meditation
Best of luck in your quest to learn meditation. It is a wonderful practice and I hope you and others benefit from it : )
Hi Judy
i am running a short Chi kung and Meditaiton course and workshop in march and april.
Chi Kung is a form of moving meditation and a good foundation for sitting medtation.
Helping you to find the inner stillness and centredness essential for any practice.
wishing you well in whatevery method you choose.
Hi Judy,
Lots of good ideas here already! Adding my own suggestions...
If you have a local buddhist centre, maybe try a lass there. Otherwise most yoga sessions will include elements of meditative practice to help you focus on being in your body. If these things don't click or aren't possible there's a good CD from The Art of Change called something like Learn To Meditate in 20 Minutes.
You might also want to think about what things in life make you feel calm. For some people this is ironing, for others swimming or listening to/playing music. Meditation can also be achieved through activity.
Hope you enjoy!
it not hard at just sit and rest for 10-15-20-min there so many type meditation i do 20min 2 times a day if you go sound true .com there free cd you can download there is a correspondence course you can do i did and love it good book to read chi nei tsang chi massage for the vital organs
best to join a group initially, buddhist centres do inexpensive ones even lunchtime classes, or try Swami Saradananda, who I did my meditation teacher training with, she can recommend good courses in your area. you really need a good teacher to set you up, Swami Saradananda swami.saradananda@virgin.net Persevere until you find a method you feel comfortable with and inspired!!
Try out a class first and then begin meditation practice at home for about 2 mins everyday. Meditation is about learning to breath correctly and sitting still to allow the body and the mind to align.
If sitting still is difficult, just lay on floor and practice long deep breathing with your eyes closed.
Hi, I will be holding a FREE meditation session in St. Johns Woood on Tuesday 22 Feb at 7pm - you are more than welcome to join the group!
What you will experience in this session:
- Meditation concepts & tips
- A simple de-stressing technique you can use anywhere
- 2 Non-religious guided meditations
If you are interested just email me at info@naturemeditation.co.uk and I will send you the details. I hope to see you there.
Julie Smith
CMA Certified Meditation Practitioner (Complimentary Medical Association)
Nature Meditations
Website: http://www.naturemeditations.co.uk
Email: info@naturemeditations.co.uk
Phone: +44 (0)7823335833
Walk calmly through the chaos around you....
The absolutely best way if you want to learn at home is to watch a DVD called Spiritual Reality. If you look at the company web page you can get more of an idea of what is on the DVD but you can also order in UK from Amazon although it appears to have different packaging. Precise, simple explanations and the visuals are brilliant. Even if you want to join a group this is going to give you a great head start. The clarity of explanations supported by the visuals will leave you in no doubt about whether you are doing it properly.
Hi there,
Good question! I find that people learn meditation using one or several methods depending on their preferred learning style.
The basic steps to a 15 minute meditation are:
1) Sit or lie down comfortably, hands resting in your lap
2) Close your eyes
3) Take 5 slow deep breaths to help you relax (breathe in through the nose and into the diaphragm (your stomach will swell), breathe out through the nose
4) Continue breathing slowly (through the nose, into diaphragm, out through the nose) throughout the meditation
5) Allow your focus to be on your breath
6) When you get distracted, acknowledge the distraction (whatever it is – tell yourself “not now”) and return to focus on being relaxed through your breath
I teach meditation techniques to my Life Coaching, Personal Development Coaching and Reiki clients, via e-mail and Skype (or in person). This 6 week course method works well as you will receive personalised support along the way (as well as advising you of recommended audio CDs/books, ‘home work’ to help you stay committed to the process, weekly follow ups and introducing you to other techniques which can be used effectively to reduce stress, anxiety etc.). Get in touch if you think this 6 week course method is an option for you.
Classes can be excellent too! Keep in mind that you would be sharing your ‘personal space’ with other people (some people find this challenging if they’re not used to it). So, it may feel a little different then doing this at home on your own when meditating on the days when you don’t have a class.
Ultimately, whichever method you choose, I think that it should encourage you to be consistent with this practice.
I hope this helps! You are welcome to get in touch if you have any questions.
Best wishes, Daniella
Life Coach, Personal Development Coach, Reiki Practitioner
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