How to Start a Meditation Practice
Can you spare 30 seconds today? If so, you’re ready to begin your meditation practice. Consider this 30-second meditation an invitation to discover all the practice has to offer and let this short meditation be a welcoming way for you to establish a routine.
How to Meditate: Find the Gap Between Your Thoughts
In meditation, we say “stay in the gap” — referring to the space between each thought. Most of us have a pattern of thinking: Thoughts constantly populate our minds, and silence when we aren’t thinking may be rare. Through meditation, we learn to stretch the gap, inviting more calmness and stillness into our being.
Starting small with a 30-second practice sends a powerful message to the brain that we can quiet our thoughts, however briefly, to allow for some peace. Over time, you can develop a habit of taking this type of pause, eventually extending the meditation to one, two, or five minutes or longer.
Try This 30-Second Meditation
This 30-second meditation practice is simple. At any time throughout your day, stop for a moment and close your eyes. Breathe in slowly to the count of five, solely focusing on your inhalation. As you breath out to the count of five, allow your mind to remain blank. Repeat this slow in-and-out breath at least three times.
If thoughts begin to populate your mind, don’t stress. Just keep breathing and allow them to pass. Once they’ve passed, focus on the gap. The micro-meditation will naturally bring you into the present moment. Focusing on the present allows you to slow down, observe your thoughts and reactions, and invite more ease.
Train Your Brain to Quiet Your Thoughts
As you start to meditate for 30 seconds more often, you are naturally training your brain to be still for a longer time. A micro-meditation practice like this will lead to longer sits. Once most students start meditating in small intervals, they begin craving more time for meditation.
A 30-second meditation opens the door to a deeper practice and more self-awareness. If you can train yourself to consciously breathe, you can train yourself to do anything. By gifting yourself this small amount of time, you start to develop personal power.
As you develop your practice, remember baby steps are key: Sit for just a few moments and work your way up as it gets easier to quiet your thoughts. I have students who started with 30 seconds of meditation per day; they now regularly sit in meditation for 30 minutes or more. Remember, meditation does not actually require time or skills — everybody has 30 seconds, and that is all you need.
Beginner meditator? Try this course on Demystifying Meditation with meditation teacher Almeiri Santos, where she helps define meditation as you learn to establish a practice.
Welcome to the doorway to more peace of mind. All you have to do is take less than a minute to walk through it.