Meditation 101: A Beginner’s Guide
This video is part of the Mindfulness Incubator video series. (2/16)
Despite what you may have heard, meditation does not involve joining a group, paying any fees, wearing special outfits, sitting in a funny position, or believing in anything in particular. It is a simple, secular, scientifically validated exercise for your brain. You don’t have to do it yet, but just so you know, here are the three steps:
Sit with your back straight and your eyes closed to notice the feeling of your breath coming in and going out. Pick a spot where it’s most prominent; usually, that’s your nose, chest, or belly. Focus your full attention on the feeling of your breath.
As soon as you try to do this, your mind’s gonna go nuts. You’re gonna start thinking about what am I gonna have for lunch, why did I say that dumb thing to my boss? Your brain’s gonna go nuts, and that’s fine. The whole game is to notice when you’ve gotten lost and to start over. Do it again and again. Every time you do that, it’s like a bicep curl for your brain, and it shows up on the brain scan. Scientists have found this in the lab. It’s also, by the way, a radical act. You’re breaking a lifetime’s habit of walking around in a fog of projection and rumination, and you’re actually focusing on what’s happening right now.
Meditation is unlike anything you do in the rest of your life. Failure is actually success. As I said, the whole game is just trying, failing, starting again, failing, starting again.
Here’s my advice: you should be meditating every day, 5 to 10 minutes a day. That’s it. This doesn’t require some giant investment. I don’t care how busy you are; you have 5 to 10 minutes to give this a shot. I guarantee you it will make a big difference.
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We’re constantly bombarded with information, tasks, and distractions, leaving little room for stillness and introspection. But what if I told you that a simple practice, one that doesn’t require joining a group, wearing special outfits, or any particular belief system, could be the key to unlocking your brain’s full potential?
Meditation, as described in this enlightening transcript, is a scientifically validated exercise for the brain. It’s not about escaping reality or suppressing your thoughts; it’s about harnessing the power of your own mind. The steps are straightforward: find a quiet moment, sit with your back straight, and close your eyes. Focus on the sensation of your breath—whether it’s the gentle flow of air through your nose, the rise and fall of your chest, or the subtle movement of your belly.
Now, here’s the catch: as soon as you begin, your mind will likely resist this newfound stillness. It will wander to thoughts of daily tasks, what’s for lunch, or past conversations. And that’s perfectly okay. The real magic lies in recognizing when your mind has wandered and gently guiding it back to your breath, again and again. Each time you do this, it’s like a mental workout—a bicep curl for your brain.
Science has shown that regular meditation can reshape the brain, enhancing your ability to stay calm in stressful situations, fostering creativity, and improving memory. It’s a practice that can transform failure into success. In a world that often pushes us to chase after the next big thing, meditation invites us to embrace the here and now.
So, here’s the advice: Dedicate just 5 to 10 minutes of your day to meditation. It’s a small investment that yields significant returns. Regardless of how busy life may seem, you have the time to embark on this journey. I guarantee you that it will make a profound difference. It’s not about becoming a different person; it’s about discovering the full potential of the person you already are.