Beginners Guide to Meditation

<this post originally was published at Gabrielle Bernstein’s blog>

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Does the idea of meditating freak you out? Throughout my years of being a meditation teacher I’ve witnessed all kinds of resistance to the practice. The most common excuses for not meditating are, “I don’t have time,” “I can’t sit still,” and “Meditation is for yogis and super spiritual folks.” Does this sound familiar? If so, I’m here to bust the myth the meditation is difficult and not for you. Meditation is for everyone, it doesn’t have to take much time and anyone can sit still (even if it’s for just a minute).

Before we go any further, let’s begin with a few definitions so you can get familiar and comfortable with the language of meditation. Sometimes the lingo can feel off-putting, but like most things you’ll pick it up quickly.

What Is Meditation?

First, what is meditation? Meditation is a practice that trains your mind. If that sounds a little vague, it’s because there are many types of meditation done for different purposes.

Probably the most popular meditation practice in the U.S. is transcendental meditation, or TM for short. A great resource on TM is the book Transcendence, by Dr. Norman Rosenthal. Another popular practice in the U.S. is mindfulness meditation, which is based on stillness and calming the mind.

I teach Kundalini meditation. This type of meditation uses mantras, breath work, mudras (hand positions) and even physical movements. (All the meditations in my book Miracles Now are Kundalini practices.) But even before I became a student of Kundalini yoga and meditation I designed my own stillness practice based on different tools I’d learned throughout my life.

What Are Mantras?

Another term that comes up a lot when talking about meditation is mantra, which I mentioned above. What is a mantra? Simply put, a mantra is a word or sound that you repeat throughout a meditation to help focus the mind. “Mantra” comes from Sanskrit: man is the root of the word for “mind,” and tra is the root of the word for “instrument.” Mantras help us disconnect from that stream of thoughts constantly flowing (sometimes rushing) through our minds. Keep in mind, not all forms of meditation use mantras.

I’ve meditated every day for the past decade. I owe my happiness, health and awesome life to this one simple tool. Through my meditation I have learned how to boost my immune system, release my fears and heighten my intuition. My daily meditation practice has given me an internal power that supports all that I bring forth in the world.

You too can experience this groovy power, intuition and connection by following the simple meditation steps outlined below. To help you demystify your meditation practice, I’ve created Gabby’s Guide to Meditation for beginners. These 10 steps will help you begin your very own meditation practice now and guide you to embrace the life-changing benefits that this tool has to offer.

Read more of Gabby’s Beginners Guide to Meditation here: http://gabbybernstein.com/meditation/beginners-guide-to-meditation

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