My Meditation Diary: Tips, Tools and Awesome Meditation Resources for Beginners
I didn’t write this blog post just to share my experiences with meditation.
I wrote this blog post because I struggled with meditation for a long time and I know it can be difficult to know where to start.
I always wondered:
How long should I meditate for?
What does meditation feel like?
Is it wrong that my mind keeps wandering during my meditations?
Where should I meditate?
If you’ve also been looking for the answers to these questions, then I hope this post will share some useful insights. I’ve written my daily meditations for a week (featuring a different meditation technique each day!), including how long I practiced for, where I completed my practices and what I felt and thought during (and after) my meditations.
I hope you enjoy reading!
Monday 12th June
I decided to use the episode Mindfulness of Breathing (10 minute version) from the Mindfulness in Eight Weeks podcast. I simply sat cross legged on my bedroom floor with my headphones on and closed my eyes.
I found the podcast episode really helpful- it was calming and gentle and normalised my wandering mind.
With my headphones on, the sound of my breath was actually amplified, so it ended up being quite easy to focus on! I felt a little restless towards the end of this meditation, but I reminded myself that I was allowed to take this time for myself and there was nothing else I needed to do in that moment, and the restlessness passed.
Tuesday 13th June
My back was aching after a busy day at work, so I decided to lay on my bed with my legs up the wall and my arms out to the sides. I had a cushion underneath my hips and another along the length of my spine to create a little more space for my back. I felt really comfortable and it was easy to relax.
I set a timer for ten minutes and consciously relaxed my body using a body scan.
I brought my attention to my feet and took a deep breath in, releasing any tension from my feet as I exhaled. I continued to move my attention all the way through my body and as always, I loved the deliberate action of letting each body part relax. I’m always surprised by how much tension I hold in my body without realising, particularly in my legs, shoulders and neck.
About halfway through this meditation, I had the idea to write this blog post, which made it a little bit difficult to focus on the body scan! I had to bring my mind back to the meditation several times from mentally planning what I would write.
It always seems that good ideas come to me while I’m meditating!
Wednesday 14th June
I was so excited to attend a beautiful yoga and meditation event with One Life Yoga at the Melbourne Immigration museum.
It was an incredible venue and such a wonderful event to wind down after a big day at work.
The yoga session was both relaxing and rejuvenating, with soulful music and a great range of postures (I especially loved the hip-openers!).
For the meditation, we sat comfortably on the floor. I usually feel most relaxed with my legs crossed and my hands resting lightly in my lap.
We were encouraged to focus on our breath and the teacher then guided us to relax more and more as she counted down from 5. It was amazing to actually feel myself relax with each count, even when I already thought I was the most relaxed I could be. There were a few incredibly peaceful moments at the end of that meditation, where I felt so light and completely free from my thoughts.
Thursday 15th June
I went to an afternoon yin yoga class and practiced a meditation for the last ten minutes during Savasana.
It was a simple breathing practice which my yoga teacher called “Three-Part Breathing.”
Basically, we took a deep inhale, then exhaled the breath in three parts; first, from the stomach, then from the ribs and, lastly, from the chest.
I really enjoyed how deeply this meditation encouraged me to breathe and I found it a powerful one as it took quite a bit of concentration. After this meditation, I felt particularly clear and calm (however, this may have also been a result of the yoga!).
Friday 16th June
For this meditation, I used the free “meditones” track I downloaded from Tahlee’s beautiful website, Sonescence.
It was so simple- I popped in my headphones, pressed play and almost immediately felt completely immersed in this meditation and Tahlee’s beautiful music.
The track went for 10 minutes, but it felt like only a minute or two. I was so relaxed, I completely lost sense of time!
This was possibly the most “effortless” meditation I’ve done so far.
Friday 16th June
I felt like keeping things really simple for this meditation session. I sat on the floor in my bedroom with my legs crossed and my hands in my lap and just let my thoughts come and go until my timer went off 15 minutes later.
It may have been a simple practice, but I really enjoyed the challenge of letting my thoughts come and go without any external guidance and letting my own intuition guide me!
I didn’t notice any particular change in how I felt during or after the meditation as I was already having quite a relaxing (and productive!) day. I did feel glad that I took the time for myself to meditate, though.
Saturday 17th June
I was sitting at the kitchen table and noticed myself hunching over quite a lot, so I spontaneously decided to do a little meditation then and there.
As I inhaled, I reached my arms over my head to point towards the sky, then brought my hands together and lowered them to the front of my chest as I exhaled. When I inhaled, I pointed my arms back towards the sky and as I exhaled, I lowered them down to my sides.
I repeated this for several minutes and felt calmer and less tense in my back. I’ll definitely be incorporating this practice more into my everyday life!
Sunday 18th June
I had a really busy day trying to get a few things done for my business before Monday (as I work part-time at the start of the week and don’t usually have much spare time!).
It wasn’t until I was lying in bed at night that I remembered I hadn’t yet done a meditation!
I decided to do a simple breathing exercise which I learned during my time as a volunteer on the Helpline at the Anxiety Recovery Centre, called the Breathing Waltz. It simply involves breathing in for three counts, holding for three counts and breathing out for three counts.
I remember practicing, but I can’t remember falling asleep, so it must have done a great job helping me to relax!
Bonus day: Monday 19th June
I simply had to include a bonus day because I attended my first class at a wonderful yoga studio in Melbourne, called Humming Puppy!
The studio literally hums and creates such an immersive and meditative experience during the entire class.
Not only were there plenty of opportunities to listen to the hum, but the teacher also guided us through several meditations, including alternate nostril breathing and intention-setting.