Meditation is an art.  It is a practice of being aware of one's inner and outer self at the present moment.  It involves the use of the mind to achieve certain objectives which include relief from stress, relaxation and improved concentration and spiritual and growth.

Many people have attempted to make meditation a regular part of their lives but most of them were not able to stick with the practice.  One of the reasons for their failure to sustain the practice in the long term is their lack of will power to overcome its initial challenges.

Here are some meditation tips that can help beginners hurdle the initial challenges of meditation:

1. Set a specific time for your daily meditation.  A regular schedule can help to condition your mind to achieve a meditative mode. 

2. Begin your meditation with deep breathing exercises.  It can help to relax your muscles and condition your mind to focus.

3. Stretch your body to relax your muscles and to achieve flexibility.  This can help to make you more comfortable as you concentrate.

4. Meditate with purpose.  You cannot achieve a meditative state unless you consciously put your mind and heart to it.  You should understand that meditation requires 100 percent attention and focus, and it requires a lot of hard work at the start.

5. As a beginner, frustration will be one of your greatest challenges especially if you have difficulty focusing, and your mind keeps on wandering to other thoughts.  When this happens, you really need to go back on track by concentrating on your breath and let your frustrations pass by.

6. Do not limit or confine yourself to the belief that meditation has to be done on lotus or cross-legged position.  You can actually meditate on any position that you're comfortable with.  Remember, the most essential aspect of meditation is focus.

7. When you meditate, be consciously aware of your body parts.  Starting focusing on your feet and gradually move upwards, including your internal organs like your lungs and heart.

8. Designate a specific place for your meditation such as a room where distractions are a rare occurrence.  Make it more conducive to your spiritual practice by placing candles or spiritual paraphernalia in it.  These can help to set you in the right mood. 

9. Motivate yourself by reading books about the benefits and proper ways of meditation.

10. Commit yourself to the practice.  Strive to make it a way of life for you.

11. Keep stillness one of the most important elements of your meditation. It can greatly help to take you to a deep state of inner consciousness.  When you meditate, you must see to it that you are free from noise and distractions for the entire duration of your meditation session.

12. When you meditate, light a candle and use it as your point of focus to easily arrive at a meditative state.  A visual aid can be a powerful tool in meditation.

13. As a beginner, strive to practice meditation early in the morning as it is quieter and your mind is still fresh and not yet occupied with distracting thoughts.

14. When you are finished with your meditation, be thankful to yourself for your efforts.  Allocate at least two minutes to appreciate yourself for your ability to stay focused.

These are basic steps that can help you to develop your meditation skills. 

Understand meditation and make it a way of life.  It is a way to the oneness of the mind, body and spirit.  


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