Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners

Published on July 23, 2015 by Jon Cornish

There are many misconceptions about meditation. People might believe its just something Buddhists do, or that it's just sitting around doing nothing. In both cases you'd be incorrect! Today more and more people of all types are meditating and there are a multitude of reasons for this!

Meditating is almost the opposite of sitting around doing nothing. In most types of meditating you're actively focusing on your breath, a visualization or a mantra which is a set of words that may or may not have any actual meaning. In all of these cases you are focusing intently on being in the now, not thinking about anything other than whatever you chose to focus on.

Today meditation gives me focus, calm, vision and willpower. I believe these four outcomes are beneficial for all people and achievable with just a few minutes of sitting every day.

Originally I wanted to meditate before football games to increase my level of focus. I found however that mediation for 5 minutes only before a football game was sort of worthless. It didn't calm me down and it actually made me see how out of control my mind actually was. Why should my mind, which has been out of control my entire life, suddenly be calm and quiet? I did some reading and found if I wanted meditation to help me, I needed to have a dedicated practice.

I now do a few different types of meditation. Whatever type I choose to do, I sit down with a timer set for however long I intend to mediate. This is the first key, your mind will say "you've been sitting here a long time" or "this is boring." Realizing these thoughts are just that, thoughts that have no power over you, you can take the first step in becoming a meditator.

There are a million guided meditations on the Internet but I'll help you get started. First sit in a comfortable chair or if you're flexible you can sit on a pad on the floor with your legs crossed. The primary thing that is important here is that you aren't leaning on anything. Next close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Feel the air going in and out with every breath. Inevitably when your mind drifts and start to think about something, acknowledge the thought non judgmentally then return to your breath. That's it. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and enjoy yourself. Meditation is not hard but the main perceived difficulty is believing you have to exert control over your mind. Rather than trying to control anything, simply return to your breath.

I'll talk more about meditation and its benefits in the future but that should get you started.

Happy Sitting!

Do you already meditate? What benefits have you noticed? Leave a comment below!

Jon Cornish is a Canadian football running back who is currently the starting running back for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League (CFL). You can follow him on Twitter here or on Instagram

Image by © 2014 LuckyImages - Fotolia via Dollarphotoclub

  • SamC

    I used to take sleeping pills to fall asleep, and anti-deprassants for years! The medications was helping me in some ways but anger and frustrations were always around. So, I went cold turkey with my meds, and I have experienced one of the worst withdrawals ever! After a few weeks without meds, I started attending a once a week 'buddhist meditation', combination of meditation and buddha's teachings not necessarily 'enlightened' me but the very least I saw the light and started to really know the meaning of 'compassion', of 'sufferings'. It has been more than one year since I had my last anti-depressant pills although I have taken a maximum of three sleeping pills I could honestly say, things are much better. I have joined a local buddhist temple to practice 'meditation' and try to sit (meditate) once a day. With meditation I am mindful! Meditation is my medication! I wish everyone a happy and a peacefull one! Samma Ditti!

    • info@aor.ca

      Thank you for sharing your story with us, SamC, so happy to hear you are doing better. Have an incredibly fantastic and healthy 2016!