To begin with, take a deep breath. Try not overthinking meditation. There’s a 1000 different ways you can meditate, and you’ve just got to find one that works for you. There’s no one right method. But if you look diligently - you will find your style :)
How does one look?
Experiment with different styles. Guided. Unguided. Breath-focused. Music focused. Chanting focused. Headspace app. Group. Solo. Try them all. Without attaching a religious connotation to it. Let it be a spiritual practice. Make it your 1-minute or 5-minutes or 30-minutes session of getting in sync with the very fabric and frequency of the Universe.
I have tried a lot of different methods borrowed from a mix of practices. And found 4 that work amazingly well for me. And they all serve a different purpose. So I’ve made 7-minute tracks for each and stitched them together to create a 30-minute track (integrated above).
If you’re just getting started, give it a shot.
Find a quiet, peaceful space. Maybe in your house or out in the park. Anywhere where you won’t initially be self-conscious
Sit either cross legged, and back upright. Or with your legs tucked under your butt, and back upright, Japanese style. Your choice
Wear headphones, plug them into your phone, and start the track (or any other guided meditation you so choose - Sam Harris and Andy Puddicombe from Headspace have fantastic ones).
Wear a facemask over your eyes. This helps block out the whole world. Don’t freak out about what thoughts will come to your mind. Don’t freak out about what thoughts will not come to your mind. Just let it flow.
Now just follow along with the track:
1st Set: Pranayam: With the background sound of Nature, focus on your breath, with a rhythm. A 4-8-8-4 rhythm. 4 seconds of deep inhalation - 8 seconds of holding your breath - 8 seconds of exhaling - 4 seconds of nothingness. Repeat. Till the bell chimes and transitions to the next set
2nd Set: Isha Kriya: Helps to humble the ego. By simply reminding yourself that you are not your body, nor your mind either. Say it aloud with each inhalation and exhalation. When you inhale “I am not my body.” When you exhale “I am not even my mind”. Say it out loud with each breath. Separate your ego from your being (this is borrowed from Isha Foundation and is a guided meditation with Sadhguru). Repeat. Till the bell chimes and transitions to the next set
3rd Set: Chakra Tuning: Balance the 7-Chakras, or centers of energy in your body by chanting these 7 frequencies, three times each. Puts your mind, body and soul in a state of resonance with the Cosmos. Till the bell chimes and transitions to the next set
4th Set: Om-Meditation: Chant a deep Ommmmmm to feel a strong vibration in your core. At your own pace. And as deeply from the navel as you can.
If a thought comes into your mind at any point - its okay! Just bring your attention back to your breath and to the focus of that particular set. If one particular set doesn’t do anything for you, its okay! Change it. Find another one that may work.
Experiment, Experiment, Experiment. And you’ll find your way :)
"Lighthouses don't go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining" - Anne Lamott
Bonus - A simplistic insight into how key hormones in the brain fire ... how Serotonin and Dopamine are created ... and what response their production boosts. Happy meditating!