Meditation is the practice of turning your attention to a single point of reference. It can involve focusing on the breath, on bodily sensations, or on a word or phrase known as a mantra. In other words, meditation means turning your attention away from distracting thoughts and focusing on the present moment.

One of the greatest benefits of meditation is that it is a way for us to become more self-aware. It is an opportunity to get out of autopilot, reconnect with the present moment and clear the busy mental chatter that keeps us stuck in a place of stress and overwhelm. 

Meditation isn’t always easy or even peaceful. Here are some of the common challenges that may arise when you start a practice.

1. Don’t Get Caught Up In The How

Most people worry about where to sit, how to sit, what cushion to use … this is all nice, but it’s not that important to get started. Start just by sitting on a chair, or on your couch. Or on your bed. Just sit somewhere quiet and comfortable.

2. Count Your Breaths

Once you’re settled in, turn your attention to your breath. Just place the attention on your breath as it comes in, and follow it through your nose all the way down to your lungs. Try counting “one” as you take in the first breath, then “two” as you breathe out. Repeat this to the count of 10, then start again at one.

3. The Wandering Mind

Your mind will wander. This is an almost absolute certainty. There’s no problem with that. When you notice your mind wandering, smile, and simply gently return to your breath.

4. Let Go of Judgement

When you notice thoughts and feelings arising during meditation, as they will, look at them with a friendly attitude. See them as friends, not intruders or enemies. They are a part of you, though not all of you.

5. Sounds and Sensations

One tendency of our mind is to want to think about the sounds, to start to make up a story about the sound, or we have a reaction to it: I like it, I don’t like it. See if instead, you can simply listen to the sound. Notice it with curiosity and interest. The sounds are coming and going

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