Meditation and mindfulness seem to be everywhere these days, and the sheer number of resources can be overwhelming. Here are our personal picks on where to start if you’re wanting to learn how to meditate.
Meditation can be a serious endeavour: you have to sit down, dutifully count your breaths and rein in your wandering mind, and practice this every day whether it’s fun or not. But that isn’t Chade-Meng Tan’s approach to mindfulness.
The founding chair of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, which started as a mindfulness class at Google and now trains employees around the world, Tan lives by the motto that “life is too important to be taken seriously.”
And he adopts the same attitude toward cultivating mindfulness in his new book, Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within.
An example? A take on Metta, or loving-kindness meditation, where Tan recommends that we take a moment every hour to wish for two people at our workplace to be happy, thinking, “I wish for this person to be happy, and I wish for that person to be happy.”
“If you like, you may pretend you are firing a ‘happiness ray gun’ at them and make ‘pew, pew’ sound effects in your head. Batteries not required,” Tan adds.
Lovable meditation guru and musical artist (trained by Drs. Deepak Chopra and David Simon) David Ji offers The Meditation Room, exclusively for members of his SweetSpot Community.
You’ll have access to free meditations, timers, videos, and techniques; we recommend his weekly video meditations for his heartwarming takes on life, its challenges, and joys – plus his pup Peaches, the Buddha Princess.
He also offers a wonderful introduction to the different types of meditation if you’re just getting started in learning how to mediate or ready to try something new, like this quick BodyMind Meditation:
TRY IT! Instead of breathing regularly, right now inhale very slowly through your nose to the count of four.
One. Two. Three. Four.
Hold this in to the count of four.
And now exhale through your nostrils to the count of four.
Now hold that out to the count of four.
Continue this process eight more times. This should take you about a minute and a half. I’ll wait.
Home to more than 2,300,000 meditators, Insight Timer is rated as the top free meditation app on the Android and iOS stores.
Get incredible guided meditations at home or on the road from 1,350 meditation teachers in 25 languages on topics from deep sleep to healing (browse the most popular), or use the timer feature to customize your own practice with chimes and ambient sound.
Plus, did we mention it’s free? There are no monthly fees or lockdowns.
From Self Developments Secrets, this guide to meditation walks through the benefits and types of meditation – from concentration meditation to metta, to transcendental – in an easy-to-understand way, and offers a simple meditation to try for beginners.
P.S. If you already know how to meditate but want to go deeper, check out our tips for bringing your practice to the next level.