Easy Meditation Routine for Beginners

If you’ve been wondering how to get started with meditation, you’ve come to the right place. There is a lot of information out there, and a wide variety of resources that can perhaps feel a bit overwhelming to a beginner.

Imagine – being able to decrease anxiety and stress, while increasing your productivity and emotional intelligence – the benefits of meditation are well documented, and all you need is set of simple tools that you can develop and make your own.

In this post, I’ll describe the two general types of meditation, and share a simple meditation routine to get you started. See my post on creating a meditation practice for advice on setting up a regular practice for yourself to get the most out of it.

Types of meditation

There are two general kinds of meditation:

  1. Concentrative
  2. Contemplative

1. Concentrative

Concentrative meditation is exactly what it sounds like – you concentrate on something specific, and keep shifting your focus back to that thing every time you notice your mind has wandered. If you’ve ever heard of mindfulness meditation, that is a concentrative practice.

A few examples of concentrative meditation could include:

  • Focusing on the sensation of your breath at the back of your throat
  • Softly gazing at a candle, focusing on the candle.
  • Observing a plant, flower, rock, or other item, keeping your thoughts focused on observing it.
  • Repeating a word or phrase, focusing on what it sounds like and feels like to vocalize it.

2. Contemplative

Whereas concentrative meditation is about focusing and noticing the thoughts you’re having, contemplative meditation is about creatively engaging with your thoughts.

Contemplative meditation often involves visualizing something in your mind’s eye or bringing out a feeling. These visualizations can include visualizing colours, places and people, for example.

Where I learned these tools

I learned these and other meditation tools from a variety of sources, including meditation books, audiobooks, meditation classes, and local healers I worked with. See my post on setting up a regular practice for some suggested resources.

First, some advice

Before jumping into the meditation routine, here are my suggestions for getting started with the tools in this post

  • Give each of the options a go over the week, to find those that resonate with you.
  • Start out by spending just a little bit of time on each. I suggest starting at 2-3 minutes a day, but if all you have is two minutes in the bathroom, just go with it!
  • Don’t multitask during this 2-3 minutes. Until you’ve developed your skills, don’t do anything like driving or chopping food or anything else potentially hazardous while doing this meditation.

Two-step meditation routine

  • Step 1: Choose one of the options from the list below (try on a new one for size each day!).
  • Step 2: Set your timer for 2-3 minutes, and wash, rinse, repeat your option until the timer goes.

Remember: be gentle with yourself. It’s completely okay if you get distracted. In fact, when you notice you’ve gotten distracted, that’s a HUGE victory! It means you’re doing the meditation exactly right.

Concentrative meditation ideas

Below is a sample of concentrative options you can choose from to get started.

Breath

Focusing on the sensation of your breath going in and out anywhere in your body (how it feels in the back of your throat, how your belly rises and falls, how it feels at the front of your nose).

  • Choose an area of your body where you can feel your breath.
  • Wash: Notice what it feels like as the air rushes in.
  • Rinse: Notice what it feels like as the air moves out.
  • Repeat: If you find your thoughts have wandered, that’s okay, just go back to noticing what the air feels like.
  • Wash, rinse, repeat!

Flame

Softly gaze at a candle, focusing on observing the flame as it flickers and glows.

  • Wash: Notice the movement of the flame.
  • Rinse: Notice the colours of the flame.
  • Repeat: If you find your thoughts have wandered, that’s okay, just go back to noticing the movement and colours of the flame.
  • Wash, rinse, repeat!

Item

Gaze at a favourite item (plant, flower, rock, or jewelry) keeping your thoughts focused on observing it.

  • Wash: Notice the shapes of the item.
  • Rinse: Notice the colours and textures of the item.
  • Repeat: If you find your thoughts have wandered, that’s okay, just go back to noticing the shapes, colours and textures of the item.
  • Wash, rinse, repeat!

Word

Repeat a word or phrase (such as love or peace or calm), focusing on what it sounds like and feels like to vocalize it.

  • Choose a word like love, peace or calm.
  • Wash: Repeat the word at a steady and soothing pace. It’s okay if you start out whispering. Over time, work toward vocalizing with increasing volume.
  • Rinse: Notice how it sounds in your ears and feels in your throat and chest to repeat the word.
  • Repeat: If you find your thoughts have wandered, that’s okay, just go back to noticing how the word sounds and feels.
  • Wash, rinse, repeat!

You can do these meditations anywhere that you’ll have 2-3 minutes to dedicate to your routine.

Contemplative meditation idea

If you’d like to try out a contemplative meditation technique, I suggest using this option that combines a visual with concentrative.

Waves and breath

  • Imagine you’re standing on a beach.
  • It’s a beautiful beach and you can feel the warm sand under your feet.
  • Walk along the edge of the beach where the water is gently washing up to the shore, and then pulling back out.
  • As you stand there, you notice that the tempo of the gentle tide matches your breath.
  • As you breathe in, the water washes up to the shore, covering your feet and rushing gently around your ankles.
  • As you breathe out, the water pulls back out toward the sea.
  • Repeat this until your timer goes.

Some meditation location ideas

  • While in the bathroom (especially for those living in a busy household or open office environment)
  • Sitting on a bench while on a coffee break
  • Sitting on your balcony or deck
  • Sitting on your couch (take a couple minutes before you reach for the remote!)
  • In a small corner of your home where you can safely light a candle (on a fireproof dish!)

I hope this routine gives you some options to try on for size, and some practical ideas to start meditating today. It’s just two or three minutes – no matter how busy we are, we can all for sure squeeze in a couple minutes.

So jump in and let me know in the comments how it goes! Also let me know if you have any questions or run into any issues – I’d be happy to see if I can suggest some ideas to support you.

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