How to Start Meditation for Beginners


Meditation can seem intimidating for beginners. But starting a meditation practice doesn't need to be complicated. With some simple steps, anyone can begin experiencing the many scientifically-backed benefits of meditation.

How to Start Meditation for Beginners

Find Somewhere Quiet to Sit or Lie Down

When first starting out, it's helpful to practice meditation in a quiet, distraction-free environment. This allows you to better focus inward.

Try to find a quiet space in your home where you can sit or lie down without being disturbed for 10-15 minutes. This can be your bedroom, home office, patio, or anywhere that gives you solitude.

Closing the door and turning off devices can minimize external distractions during your meditation session. You may also want to inform housemates that you will be practicing meditation for a short period of time.

Having a dedicated meditation space set up with pillows, blankets, lighting candles or incense can also help create a relaxing atmosphere conducive to meditation.

Get Into a Comfortable Position

Once you find a quiet space, getting into a comfortable posture is key. Ideally, your body should be stable and relaxed while meditating.

Common meditation postures include:

  • Sitting cross-legged on a cushion with your back straight. This is a classic meditation pose you may see people seated in. It helps align the spine.
  • Sitting on a chair with your feet flat on the floor and back straight. If crossing your legs on the floor is challenging, a chair provides back support.
  • Lying down fully or propped up slightly reclined on pillows. This allows the body to completely relax which can help calm the mind.

Avoid slouching or contorting the body into uncomfortable positions as this creates physical tension that can distract you while meditating. The most suitable posture for you may take some experimentation.

CBD is often used to help relax both body and mind to prepare for meditation. Applying a CBD topical cream before meditating can aid with physical discomfort. And many people find taking CBD oil drops prior to practice helps still racing thoughts.

Focus on Your Breath

With posture set, the next step is choosing a point of focus - typically the breath. Concentrating on the breath helps train attention and promotes whole-body relaxation.

As you begin meditating, direct your attention to the physical sensation of air moving in and out through the nostrils. Breathe through the nose unless congested.

Observe each full inhalation and exhalation without attempting to control or change the breath. The goal is to cultivate awareness of this automatic process that is always occurring.

Thoughts or external sounds may capture your attention. When this happens gently return focus back to the breath without self-judgment. Start again with the next breath stroke.

Be Kind to Your Wandering Mind

It's completely normal for your attention to drift many times when beginning meditation. The mind may fill with thoughts about daily responsibilities, replay conversations, make grocery lists, or drifted into daydreams.

Rather than growing frustrated, practice patience and acceptance of a wandering mind. View the practice of gently returning attention to the breath as the focus of the meditation rather than perfect, unbroken concentration.

Also know that the quality of focus often fluctuates naturally throughout a meditation session. Some moments attention holds steadier than others.

The ebb and flow of attention during meditation reflects the natural rhythms of the mind. Through meditation we become more acquainted with this endless stream of consciousness.

Start Small

When establishing a new meditation habit, start by practicing for very short sessions even if for just 5 minutes. A brief practice reduces intimidation for beginners and likelihood of quitting from restlessness.

It also sets a sustainable pattern of integrating meditation into daily life without overly burdening your schedule. The duration can slowly increase such as 5 more minutes each week as meditation becomes more comfortable.

Many people find pairing meditation with an existing habit like the morning caffeine fix easily cues a session before starting the day. Wherever meditation fits best, attempt to maintain consistency as daily practice optimizes benefits.

Expand Beyond the Breath

As the ability to focus stabilizes, experiment with widening awareness beyond just the breath. The breath remains always present as an anchor while attention includes sensations happening throughout the body.

Exploring the landscape of physical sensations cultivates mindfulness skills. Waking up to the multitude of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches occurring right now beneath the usual mental commentary about experiences.

This sensory exploration reveals a rich world continuously flowing through and around us that often goes unnoticed. Mindfulness meditation grounds us in the present moment calming anxiety about the future and regrets over the past.

Supplement Meditation with Yoga and Journaling

While starting small with brief sessions, a meditation practice can expand in many supportive directions over time through yoga, nature walks, art journaling and more. These activities nourish mindfulness similarly to seated meditation leading to compounded benefits.

Yoga calms the nervous system while improving physical health - outcomes also boosted by meditation. Performing yoga poses and sequences with full attention to alignment, breath and bodily sensations is a moving meditation. This builds upon stillness cultivation.

Recording thoughts, emotions and insights through journaling after meditation sessions enhances self-awareness gained from practice. Journal reflection solidifies development of the observer perspective strengthened in meditation to manage daily stressors with more wisdom.

Exploring complementary mindfulness-based activities amplifies and rounds out a meditation practice. Each supports the other on the path to reduced anxiety, emotional balance, self-actualization, enhanced focus and more.

Be Patient with the Process

Implementing a new meditation routine requires commitment through periods when benefits seem elusive. Know that a regular practice over lifetime holds the real potency versus sporadic intense sessions.

Some days meditation flows smoothly, the mind stills and blissful states arise temporarily. Other times sitting feels tedious, agitating and pointless despite effort. Ups and downs are guaranteed.

Through it all approach practice with playfulness, curiosity and detachment from goals. What emerges when simply watching the inbound and outbound breath today? Beyond striving, where does your attention wander when not manipulated? What unfolds by gently returning to the breath over and over?

These open questions reflect the spirit of meditation - letting go and bearing witness to the process. Progress unfolds slowly outside expectation yet profoundly reshapes perspective. Patience allows the process.

The journey of meditation has no fixed destination. There are only gradual steps building upon each other over years that reveal awareness as the way itself. With gentle persistence the fruits naturally follow.

Should You Keep Going?

By now you hopefully have developed an introductory taste of what meditation offers through consistent practice. But the most common question soon arises - is maintaining a daily meditation practice worth the effort?

It's easy acquiring beginner tips but quite another undertaking to actually implement relaxation techniques and mindfulness. So determining for yourself if more advanced meditation is worthwhile comes next when contemplating moving beyond beginner stages.

Ask honestly - have these initial steps towards training attention impacted daily life? Do you feel any differences in mood, stress, self-awareness or health? Have patience grown slightly stronger or negative thought patterns softened even a little recently?

If some genuine improvements have started unfolding then this confirms the immense value continuing onward. Keep nurturing the cultivation already under way. But if no benefits appear yet then consider switching the style of meditation approach without judgement before abandoning.

Experiment with other formats like breath awareness, guided meditations, mantra repetition, visualization, walking meditation, chanting and more. Sample different methods until resonating with your needs then commit. Trust your inner wisdom to discover the right path.

For millennia these techniques have empowered people worldwide through life's difficulties by developing deeper mind-body connections. But the journey begins with a single step. And with gentle patience plus gradual practice meditation rewards seekers increasingly over time.

So don't worry about advanced lessons yet! Just keep nurturing your beginning meditation habit. Then simply keep going step-by-step. Progress unfolds, lighting the way forwards revealing expanded awareness awaits around the next corner, and the next.

Frequently Asked Questions on Starting Meditation

Below find common beginner questions on building a new meditation practice with simple, straightforward answers.

What Time of Day is Best for Meditation?

While meditation can be done at any time, certain periods of the day tend to work better for most starting out. The ideal session depends on your natural energy levels.

If a morning person, try meditating soon after waking before the busy mind kicks into gear planning the day. The quiet dawn hours flowing out of sleep nicely support centering.

Night owls tend to prefer meditating later in the evenings once responsibilities wind down. Deeper relaxation arises during lower energy times allowing inward attention. Whenever chosen, attempt consistency.

Avoid meditating directly after heavy, fatty meals which divert blood flow to the gut for digestion leaving less energizing the brain. Light snacking beforehand is fine or fasting. Hydration supports alertness so drink water.

What Clothing is Best to Wear While Meditating?

Comfort counts most when selecting attire conducive to the relaxation response meditation cultivates. Loose, soft fabrics enable effortless breathing key for techniques involving breathwork.

Examples include yoga pants, sweats, pajamas, loose tees, kaftans and anything avoiding restrictive waistbands. Silky textures soothe nerves transmitting calming tactile feedback. Going barefoot also grounds energy allowing deeper meditative states.

Dress in layers allowing removal as body heats up during practice. Having cold limbs or torso distracts attention. Chill reducing socks, fingerless gloves and shawls guard warmth until the circulation flows. Then shed excess garb once immersed in meditative wave rhythms internally.

Overall, wear anything permeating an aura of ease so clothing choices don’t occupy mind space that clears during effective meditation sessions. Keep it simple through streamlined, uncomplicated attire choices benefitting your practice.

What Guidance is Available for Establishing a Meditation Routine?

Many beginning meditators benefit from some form of structured guidance especially when struggling to maintain consistency. Often just a spark gets momentum going.

Finding the right approach simply requires sampling types until discovering what clicks. Guidance abounds through classes, online programs, apps, videos, podcasts and books on everything from mantra chanting to sound healing to breathwork.

Local community centers offer affordable group classes teaching foundational techniques. Dropping into guided meditations in podcasts or apps provides portable support. Following YouTube channels builds daily practice through inspiration.

Seeking structured guidance as your abilities grow keeps propelling development. Online programs with tiered levels, live-streams, membership accountability and personalized feedback help prevent plateaus over years of practice through progressive complexity and novelty.

Be patient while experimenting with resources before expecting perfect fits immediately. Allow time for resonances to emerge from explorations into supportive guidance formats boosting meditation habit establishment.

What Foods or Herbs Aid Meditation Practice?

Certain foods and herbs contain compounds supporting neurological pathways for heightened focus, tranquility and self-awareness cultivated during meditation.

CBD uniquely calms anxiety, relieves inflammation and banks hyperactivity. Green tea uniquely brews L-theanine eliciting alpha brainwaves patterns signifying wakeful relaxation for attentive presence. Dark chocolate uniquely concentrates Anandamide, the “bliss molecule”, driving states of flow.

Curcumin in turmeric, sage, omega-3s, complex carbs and bananas aid neurotransmitter production inducing steadier attention, emotion regulation and inner spaciousness. Some foods heighten meditation’s effectiveness so consider dietary tweaks.

AdoptinggetElement also gently uplifts sessions. Burning frankincense resin or palo santo wood harmonizes. Sipping tart cherry or lemon balm herbal tea activates parasympathetic relaxation enhancing interiority. Chewing organic gum boosts cerebral circulation. Adding plants oxygenates indoor spaces.

However drastic diet and lifestyle overhauls usually backfire sabotaging consistency better built gradually. When desiring amplification, add minor enhancements steadily noticing their meditative effects. Keep starting simple.

What Signifies Progress in Meditation? How Do I Track Growth?

True advancement in meditation remains ever subtler and ceaselessly intermittent according to ancient wisdom traditions. However some general milestones mark path trajectory.

Outward signs like a lowering baseline stress level, decreased reactivity, improved sleep quality, added mental clarity and deepening self/other compassion indicate expanding consciousness from practice.

Tuning into inner signals also serves: strengthening meta-awareness to watch thoughts rather than identify with stories, spontaneous insight downloads, embodied presence lasting longer throughout day’s micro-moments and a sense of abiding “home” within.

Beyond qualitative feelings, maintain practice logs recording session length, distractions arising, emotions felt and mini life transformations encouraging progress visibility. Start a mindfulness calendar plotting mood scales week to week.

Over years progress compiles through acute inner seismic shifts and almost invisible incremental rewiring coalescing gradually towards awakening. Both dramatic peaks and subtle valleys equally further maturation. Behold the silent unseen stewarding.

How Long Until Noticing Meditation Results?

Newcomers often expect instant stress relief, clarity spikes and bliss waves from early meditation attempts. Yet as an intricate neurological reconditioning process, benefits manifest slowly through gradual immersion.

Lastingly transforming deeply engrained neural associations and emotional patterns requires patience and practice commitment over significant time through compounding subtle shifts. Expectations of quick fixes risk frustration.

However simple improvements appear once establishing brief but frequent sessions for about two weeks such as enhanced work focus, less reactive thinking and quicker recovery from upset. Maintain reasonable goals for sustainable gains.

After about one hundred days of daily practice flowing organically, noticeably improved resilience emerges. Still the mind, cultivate consistency which ripens fruits in right timing. Dominoes tip unexpectedly after hidden rearrangements form fresh alignments.

Come just as you are, meet practice sincerely receiving unfolding moments. Engage a beginner’s mindset through perpetual cycles of renewal. Even advanced practitioners return to basics and inquire naively. Progress secretly abounds unveiling joyful revelations in due course.

The present now holds all that mandatory initial steps germinating eventually into wondrous meditative blooms scenting your life’s journey more sweetly through ever-deepening mindfulness. But sow seeds first simply for their own sake. Then watch life’s garden grow.


Starting a meditation habit supports mental and physical wellbeing, but beginners often don't know where to start. Finding a quiet space and comfortable seated posture sets the stage for centering inward. The breath becomes an anchor loosening identification with thoughts by observing them come and go. Attempting perfect concentration often proves frustrating, instead gently return to the breath when the mind wanders without judgement. Be patient with yourself, starting small even at just 5-10 minutes per day. Slowly increase session length to continue rewiring neural pathways supporting reduced stress, emotional balance, self-awareness, focus, and more. Supplement sitting practice with yoga, nature walks or journaling writing supports growing mindfulness. Over lifetime gradual dedication reveals meditation’s immense transformative power for substantially improving quality of life through uplifted consciousness. Monitor incremental progress through tracking qualitative feelings like equanimity and patience or logging distractions and emotions arising during sessions. Have realistic expectations of gradual results emerging over months and years. Stay encouraged remembering that every session builds neural momentum leading to awakening.

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