Frequently Asked Questions
What is meditation?
Meditation is the process of taking our attention away from the world outside and focusing it within ourselves. It is an ancient practice with many other names such as concentration, sitting in silence, or contemplation.
Why meditate? What are the benefits of meditation?
Meditation benefits our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. It has been scientifically proven to relieve stress, reduce blood pressure, enhance concentration, bring us joy and happiness, and help us calmly deal with life’s challenges. However, these are just byproducts of meditation. The most important reason to meditate is to become spiritually aware and realize our existence at the level of the soul. With this, a whole new world opens up for us.
How often should I meditate?
As often as you can! To reap the benefits of meditation, it is best to establish a daily practice in which you meditate at the same time each day, every day. Regularity is important in building any new habit, and meditation is no different. Meditating at the same time each day trains the mind to embrace the new habit.
I find it hard to control my mind. Can I be successful in meditation?
With effort and practice, anyone can be successful in meditation. It is important to understand that meditation is not about controlling the mind. Meditation is about stilling the mind. The difference is subtle, yet it is a key to success. With effort, anyone can learn to still the mind by focusing it on something that is peaceful and calming. This is why the SOS Meditation technique mentions the mental repetition of a calming word.
To learn more about the SOS Meditation technique, visit: https://www.sos.org/meditation/learn-meditation/
How long should I meditate?
As a beginner on the meditation journey, you can start with 5 to 10 minutes a day. Gradually work up to about 30 minutes a day or more. The longer you can sit, the better. It takes a certain amount of time to clear the mind of the thoughts of the day and to achieve the stillness you seek. The longer you sit, the more fruitful your meditations will be.
How can I learn to meditate? What’s the first step I can take?
The first step you can take is to try the meditation technique in the comfort of your home. Try it for 5 to 10 minutes a day. The trick is to get your mind to build the habit. Science of Spirituality offers a 7-Day Meditation Challenge for beginners. Try it here.
You may also choose to attend a meditation class. We have temporarily suspended our regular in-person meetings, but are offering online Learn to Meditate classes. Please see the schedule here.
Why is it important to learn meditation from a spiritual teacher?
In school, reading about a chemistry experiment in a textbook was informative, but it was only when that experiment was conducted in a laboratory in the presence of a teacher who could answer questions that the concept could be made clear. Meditation is no different. Meditation is an experiment that you conduct in the laboratory of your body. As you progress on the journey, you will have questions about how to perfect the technique and how to overcome any challenges that crop up. This is where having a teacher is vital. If you want to master the practice, it is important to learn from a teacher who has mastered the technique. On the spiritual journey, this teacher is known as a spiritual Master.
Can I meditate at home?
Absolutely. In fact, we suggest that you designate a place in your home as your meditation spot. Creating the space for an activity elevates its importance. Each time you see your spot, you will be reminded to meditate.
How do I start a meditation practice?
Start by finding a time when you are wide awake and can focus without interruption. Sit at this time every day and follow the technique accurately.
Before you know it, you will have established a habit, just like brushing your teeth morning and night.
Are there any tips for how to meditate better?
- Find a place – Find a quiet place in your home that you can dedicate to your meditation practice. When you do so, the space will become a reminder of your commitment.
- Find the optimal time – Anytime during the day is a good time to meditate. However, it is best to find a time when you are wide awake and when you are least likely to be distracted. Try experimenting in the beginning to see what’s best for you.
- Sit in a comfortable position – Find a pose in which you can sit comfortably without falling asleep or moving.
- Learn to focus – Learn to do one thing at a time during the day. As you train your brain to do one thing at a time, this habit will serve you well during your meditation practice.
- Be regular in your practice – Whatever time of day you pick, try sitting at the same time every day. When you do so, you develop a habit. Regularity is important.
- Keep a journal – Record the length of time you devote to your practice, your experiences in meditation, any difficulties and challenges, mini-goals, or milestones that you achieve. It helps track your efforts and keep you motivated.
- Develop love –As you meditate you will become more loving, calm, and peaceful. Sitting in meditation with love in your heart makes it easier to still your mind.