Learn How to Meditate

Mindfulness Meditation

Maybe you’ve tried meditating in the past, but have quickly given up. You decided you’re no good at meditation, or that meditating is too hard. Or maybe you quit meditating because you think your brain just doesn’t work that way and you’re not able to meditate.

But meditation is much simpler than you might think. There’s no need to make your mind go blank and try not to have any thoughts. It’s perfectly fine to have thoughts while meditating, we all do. And we all get distracted while meditating. And when we meditate our minds wander, often constantly.

DBT mindfulness skills

When we meditate we simply notice when we’re having thoughts, and try not to allow these thoughts to carry our minds away. And we try to become aware whenever we’ve gotten distracted, and then refocus our attention back into the present.

The video below outlines five simple steps anyone can do to learn how to meditate. The videos that follow offer some more tips on how to meditate. And these are followed by some simple guided mindfulness meditations that you can use to help you meditate. And if you’d like to learn how to meditate in more detail, please check out my complete mindfulness meditation course. The first four lessons are free!

Learn How to Meditate

This transcription was auto-generated by YouTube.

In this video from my online mindfulness meditation course that you’ll find a link to in the description, you’re gonna learn how to meditate in five easy steps in less than five minutes.

Step 1: Pay Attention

When we meditate, we often pay attention to our breath. However, we can also pay attention to the flicker of a candle, the scent of some incense, or to a mantra, some beads who are rolling in our fingers, or even to the taste of what we’re eating. It doesn’t really matter what we’re paying attention to, just as long as we’re paying attention to something.

Step 1a: Your Mind Will Wander

Even though we’re trying as hard as we can to pay attention to something, inevitably our mind is going to begin to wander and before we know it, and despite our best intentions, we’re not paying attention to it anymore. This is going to happen sooner than we ever expected and much more often than we like, but we’re human, our minds wander, and there’s nothing we can do to stop that from happening.

Step 2: Notice When Your Mind Wanders

As soon as you can, notice that your mind has wandered and is no longer paying attention to what you’re trying to pay attention to.

Step 3: Acknowledge Where Your Mind Is

Once you notice your mind has wandered, simply acknowledge where your mind has gone and where it is right now. Maybe your mind has wandered off to something pleasant that you’re just daydreaming about, or maybe to somewhere not-so-pleasant and you’re dwelling on something or worrying about it, or maybe you’ve simply been distracted by some sounds and you’ve started listening to them, or maybe you’re just thinking about that funny YouTube video you watched earlier today. Whatever it is that’s carried your mind away after noticing your mind has wandered in step 2, in step 3 you simply acknowledge where your mind has gone and where it is right now.

Step 4: Let Go of the Distraction

As best you can, let go of whatever’s distracted you and pulled your mind away from what you’re trying to pay attention to. So maybe you’ve become distracted by some thoughts and started thinking about something, so as best you can, just let this go, stop thinking about it, and just allow those thoughts to pass from your mind, or let go of whatever you’re listening to and just allow the sounds to come in one ear and go out the other without even thinking about them.

Step 5: Gently Redirect Your Attention

Having let go of whatever distracted you, gently redirect your attention back to where you want it as you resume paying attention to whatever you’re trying to pay attention to. And we say gently because there’s no need to criticize or judge yourself for having allowed your mind to wander. It doesn’t mean that you’ve done anything wrong or that you’re not able to meditate. Because meditating isn’t about preventing your mind from ever wandering, which you couldn’t do even if you tried, but about noticing where your mind is from moment to moment and whenever you notice it isn’t where you want it to be, gently assuring it back.

So now that your mind is back to where you want it, whether you like it or not and despite your best intentions, and probably much sooner than you ever expected, your mind’s gonna wander again and again and again and again and again.

Step 1: Pay attention.

Step 1a: And despite your best intentions, your mind is going to wander.

Step 2: Notice that your mind has wandered.

Step 3: Acknowledge where your mind is.

Step 4: As best you can, let go of this distraction.

Step 5: Gently redirect your attention back to where you want it.

And as long as you’re doing this, you’re meditating just fine, no matter how often your mind wanders or how distracted you get.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them on the YouTube video page.