How to Meditate: Beginners Meditation Techniques

Image from Aimee Ray

Image from Aimee Ray

Who’s this For?

This post covers beginners mediation techniques that I have used of the past 2 years to transform the way I interact with the world. This is seriously one of the best things I have ever done.

If you find a way to add mediation into your life, you will dominate, kick more ass, and live a much better existence.

It is also one of the easiest ways to prime your brain for success.

Why Meditate?

I have spent most of my adult life completely stuck in my own head.

I was unable to articulate and speak clearly because there was so much internal chatter going on. When someone would ask me a question, I would would think of 90 possible answers and I was unable to choose the correct one, because there was so much going on in my head. I would get nervous and completely seize up and it was pretty much game over at that point.

My brain and mind did not work very well. After a while, I just got really sick of dealing with the stress. I knew I could make changes, but I did not know where to start.

I had been following Dave Asprey on the Bulletproof Exec website. Dave had provided me with a ton of really helpful information that had made an amazing impact on my physical health. My blood work looked better than ever and I was in the best physical shape of my life. However, with so much focus on my body, I had neglected my mind and my brain.

bulletproof

Dave highly recommended using a device called the EmWave2. He talked about Alpha brain waves, lowering anxiety and reducing your response to stress. I remember thinking, “I don’t have any stress in my life”, therefore I don’t need it.

Once again, I was completely wrong.

My Experience

I am 2 years into my mediation experiment and the effects have been nothing short of profound. For the first time in my life I feel awake.

I still remember the first time I actually sat down and began to try and focus my wandering mind through meditation. I had just purchased the EmWave2 biofeedback device from the HeartMath Institute. I did my breathing exercises for about 10 minutes and felt completely different. I began to smile and a weird satisfaction overcame me. I had turned off the mind chatter, the inner voice was gone.

It was a paradigm shifting experience.

The negative self talk was completely gone. The chatter turned off. I was alive again.

I walked out to the local mall and strolled down the aisles of stores. People were looking at me. I thought I was imagining it, but I could feel the stare of dozens of people. I walked into a store to pick up a few tickets for a baseball game. When I walked in, there were two middle aged ladies deeply engaged in a conversation. When I walked in they both immediately stopped, looked at me and smiled. They both stopped mid sentence, eyes fixed on me.

I looked them both in the eye, un-reactive and calm. No mind chatter and completely present.

I was awake again.

They both stared at me in a way no one else had ever before. There was a silence that seemed to last hours before they were able to speak. Whatever was going on… I felt it and so did they.

I had no idea, what to think about the experience.

Time to Experiment

Over the next couple of months I experimented. I tried many other forms of meditation; HoloSync, Binural Beats, LifeFlow, Zen, guided, deep breathing, yoga etc.  Everything I tried expanded and improved my mediation practice.

The concepts and lessons learned from each method of meditation improved all other aspects of my life.

Meditation a Beginners Guide

Many of my friends have asked me ” How do I even start?”

Well, what follows is my quick start guide.

Step 1: Understand why you are doing it and what you want to get out of it

  • It is important to understand that meditation takes energy. Anything that takes energy, you are naturally not going to want to do (think exercise). This means that you are going to have to make a conscious decision to do it. No half assing it here. Decide that you want to do it and stick with it.
  • Write down 3 reasons why you want to do it
  • Write down 3 limiting beliefs that are going to prevent you from doing it
  • Write down 3 positive beliefs that will allow you to stick with it

Step 2: Start Easy

  • The easiest way to start is by simply turning off the radio during your morning/evening commute. No music, no input. Be in your own thoughts for a while. You are going to be very squirmy and will feel yourself reaching for the radio dial. Once you have done that, try sitting in a quiet comfortable place and literally try to focus on nothing. That’s it. Do it for 5 minutes. You’ll feel better.

Step 3: Experiment

  • Once you find a method that you like, try another. Variety is the spice of life and you may find that one style suits you much better than another.
  • My favorite teachers/methods: Alan Watts, Holosync, EmWave2 and guided mediation.

What can I expect?

Meditation is often the best 5-60 minutes of my day. I can go out and have an amazing day, where I crush it. I’ll come home and start my deep breathing exercises using my EmWave and around 4 minutes into my session, I’ll find myself laughing.

Even after an amazing day, being present gives me a sensation that nothing else can.

 

What is going on?

“Complete peace equally reigns in between two mental waves” Swami Sivanada

huh?

When you begin to consciously control your heart rate variability, you can literally cause your brain to create more alpha brain waves. Being in this Alpha state, is a state of relaxed awareness. Relaxed awareness is a state for optimal learning, being calm before a big meeting, pre/post exercise or even before bed.

4 Brain Wave Types:

      1. Beta: Awake  and alert state. Brain waves >40 hrz
      2. Alpha: Relaxed awareness state. Also, Optimal learning state. Information comes in unfiltered. Brain waves 13-39 hrz
      3. Theta: State of imagination and creativity. The state you are in right before you fall asleep. Ever notice how you are most creative and can think of solutions to problems, right before bed. Brain Wave of 7-14 hrz
      4. Delta: You are asleep. Enough said. Brain Waves <4 hrs

Brain_waves_large.gif

Using this information, you can consciously put yourself in a relaxed awareness state.

Call to Action

This is seriously one of the best things I have done for myself over the last 2 years.

Try it out, and let me know how it goes!

 

In Closing

Here is an Alan Watts guided meditation which is pretty straightforward:

About Ben Austin

My friends call me the illegitimate love child of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Nye. I’m a bodybuilding-yogi-science loving-foodie bringing an engineering approach to lifestyle design. Join me as I analyze the systems that go into optimal mental and physical performance and explore the stories and tactics of people who set the standard for the rest of us.

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