I’m currently reading “How to See Yourself as You Really Are”, a book written by the Dalai Lama. It’s a somewhat short read, and might require you to read it twice to extract a proper understanding of the principles taught within it.
However, it’s packed with powerful lessons and techniques, based on seeing objects, people, and circumstances as they truly are, not just as they first appear. As well as advice, on focus, concentration, and meditation.
Which brings me to this article!
7 Steps to Meditation for Beginners
There’s a section within the book where the Dalai Lama shares his advice on meditation for beginners, in 7 very simple steps. Leading up to that, he explains how focus and concentration is very important to help you see things as they really are.
It’s also important to help calm your mind, and eliminate destructive emotions from your life, such as hatred, jealousy, anger, frustration and so on.
Here’s a breakdown of the 7 steps the Dalai Lama outlines in his book:
1. Sit with Your Legs Crossed
This is the most basic of positions for meditation.
You can meditate in various positions; however, the Dalai Lama says that sitting on the floor with your legs crossed is best practice. Also make sure to put a pillow or cushion underneath you, so the hard floor doesn’t cause discomfort and distraction.
2. Keep Your Eyes Neither Widely Open or Tightly Closed
Gaining a sense of calm is done by focusing on internal objects, rather than external objects. For this reason, keep your eyes ever so slightly open, gazing down at the tip of your nose. Having a slight visual stimulus whilst meditating will not distract from your mental focus.
If your eyes naturally close of their own accord later on, that is perfectly fine.
3. Straighten Your Backbone
Correct and upright posture is incredibly important for allowing energy to flow through your body with ease. Therefore, when meditating, make sure to straighten your backbone, and avoid arching or bending forward.
4. Keep Your Shoulders Level & Your Hand Four-Finger’s Width Below the Navel
The next best advice from the Dalai Lama is to keep your shoulders level and place your hands four-finger’s width below the navel. Place your left hand palm up, aligned with the center of your body.
Then place your right hand on top of the left hand, and make your thumbs touch so they form a triangle shape. Your right hand should also have your palm facing upwards.
This is a very relaxing position for your hands to be in, as opposed to the traditional “index finger touching thumb on either hand” position.
5. Keep Your Head Level & Straight
Be sure to keep your head level and straight, so that your nose is in a straight line with your navel. Arch your neck slightly, like a peacock.
6. Leave the Tip of Your Tongue Touching the Roof of Your Mouth
The reason for doing this is so that once you’ve become accustomed to meditation, you can meditate for long periods of time without drooling. It’ll also stop your mouth and from drying out, normally caused by breathing too strongly.
Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, near your front teeth.
7. Breathe In & Out, Quietly, Gently, & Evenly
The last tip on meditation for beginners is a simple one…
Breathe in, and breathe out… quietly, gently, and evenly.
If any of those three attributes aren’t followed, it’s going to cause your breathing to become completely uncoordinated, and make you lose focus. But you already know that, because anybody who’s ever said anything about meditation has remembered to mention the breathing part.
Here’s a quick recap of the 7 steps to meditation for beginners:
- Sit with your legs crossed
- Keep your eyes neither widely open or tightly closed
- Straighten your backbone
- Keep your shoulders level & your hands four-finger’s width below the navel
- Keep your head level & straight
- Leave the tip of your tongue touching the roof of your mouth
- Breathe in and out, quietly, gently and evenly
If you’re interested in making meditation a habit, try to follow the 7 steps above outlined by the Dalai Lama himself. You can also pick up his book to learn in more detail!
The bottom line is that so many successful people choose to meditate regularly. In fact, it’s a very common habit among the successful. Coincidence? I think not. That’s probably a good enough incentive for you to start trying it out for yourself.
Why not help teach your children meditation as well?