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Simple Meditation Tips To Improve Your Life

A simple meditation practice can change your life.

I meditate very simply, regularly, and this simple practice has improved the quality of my life. I believe in the life-enhancing force of meditation so much that I put together some simple breathing exercises on the blog which you can access here.

Meditation can be as simple as taking time to sit in silence bringing awareness to your internal landscape. It can be just for a few moments.

I have been meditating regularly since 2019 – and by regularly I mean pretty much every day. I wrote a beginner’s guide to meditation a while back which you can read here.

Meditation can be as complicated or simple as you choose to make it. As I prefer to keep everything simple and love to support those at the start of a transformational journey, I offer a simple beginner’s guide based on my own journey. Here are some breathing patterns to try.

I have shared my experience and lessons with many others, who have found great benefit in keeping things simple. This is how we have started a regular meditation practice, simply.

There are 4 elements to simple meditation practice. Simply –

  1. Sit
  2. Breathe
  3. Let it Go
  4. No judgement

1. Simple Meditation – Simply Sit

Meditation is about creating space to return to the present. Where you do this is largely immaterial. Find a space in which to sit, lie down, stand, or even walk. It is your practice. If you prefer to have a meditation space, go for it. If you want to be flexible, permission is granted. Decide where you wish to sit on the day.

You do not require special clothes, music, candles, incense, a room, or an altar.

You can meditate at any time of the day, multiple times if you wish. I try to start each day with meditation as I have found that:

  • starting the day with meditation sets up the day well, and
  • the day gets busier as it gets older, so it can be harder to create a space with so many demands crushing in.

You simply need to stop and start to take a few intentional breaths to slow yourself down.

Simple Meditation Tips - simply sit

2. Simple Meditation – Simply Breathe

Meditation is about using focus to return to being present. The simplest way to return to the present and to achieve a sense of calm is to bring your focus onto your breath.

The reason breath is a simple choice is, well simple:

  • we all breathe, so our breath is accessible
  • it is life-giving, so a positive focus!
  • our exhales and inhales are rhythmic and so we can follow breathing patterns
  • it is available for us any time of the day or night.

When I feel emotional, I now know to focus on my breath – I generally count my cycles of in and exhales.

When I can’t sleep, I breathe in patterns which help return me to calm, bring comfort and alleviate sleep-deprivation-induced panic.

Returning to a focus on our breath, our life force is a remarkably soothing practice.

Simple Meditation Tips - simply breathe

3. Simple Meditation – Let It Go

Meditation is about feeling better and living well. The challenge of meditation is to let stuff go. Let go of your:

  • busy thoughts
  • future plans
  • future worries
  • past discontentments
  • self-judgement
  • others’ judgement
  • shame
  • fear
  • and any other nagging heaviness

The idea is to give yourself a break; to create a pause in the day that benefits your sense of wellbeing. After meditating we can often feel lighter, simply by having paused and breathed and allowed ourselves to put stuff down for a bit.

A quick google of the benefits of meditation will convince you of the wide-ranging benefits to your physical and emotional wellbeing. We all carry a lot, so the idea of a simple practice to alleviate some of the weight makes sense.

Helpful Analogies

I have used various analogies when leading others in meditation. The three scenarios below all help support our letting go of clutter and returning to peace.

With much gratitude to the original authors, I don’t remember which ones I learnt where, but they all work well.

Clouds passing across a blue sky

Our mind is the blue sky and our thoughts are the clouds. Instead of following the clouds (our thoughts) as they move across the blue backdrop (of our mind), we let them go as the temporary and insubstantial shadows that they are.

Busses arriving and leaving a bus stop

Our mind is the bus stop and our thoughts are the passing busses. Instead of leaping onto every bus that arrives, we sit back and watch them arrive and depart, another one arriving and departing.

Fallen leaves floating down a stream

Our minds are the stream and our thoughts are the leaves, and as we watch the leaves swirling and moving downstream, we don’t try to catch them, but let them keep moving past beyond us.

As we meditate we can choose one of these to help us to let all the bits and details go past. We need not hold onto anything, any thought, any anxiety, any task for the time that we sit in meditation. We can simply release them all and let them move away out beyond the periphery of our view.

Simple Meditation Tips - let it go

4. Simple Meditation – No Judgement Thank You

Meditation can improve the quality of your life.

Remember the reason for your meditation practice and go easy on yourself. Meditation should be a gentle practice. It is a habit that shifts and changes as you repeat it.

Some days are easy, while other days are harder to sit still, even if you have been meditating for years, as I have. Certain periods of life are easier to be calm, while others are harder.

What doesn’t help is harsh criticism of ourselves believing that we are doing it incorrectly. Comparison with the meditation habits of others is also not conducive to a smooth and beneficial practice. In our meditations, we should aim for a self-judgement-free zone.

Imperfect Practice Is Still Beneficial

If we meditate regularly we will find that an imperfect practice is still beneficial. We can experience the overall benefits of meditation in a range of imperfect scenarios, for example:

  • on the days when I more easily enjoy a deeper, stiller meditation,
  • as well as the days when all I can do is to guide my jumpy mind back to my breath over and over again,
  • when I am by myself in silence,
  • and also when I sit with my daughters around me,
  • in the times when I need to meditate entirely for myself,
  • and when I have more capacity to meditate with others in mind who benefit from my improved state of mind.
Simple Meditation Tips - no judgement

Many types of meditation exist and there is much research on the benefits of meditation. Instead of complicating our practice with rigid rules and lots of information, we can choose simply to practise sitting (or lying down, standing, moving) in silence, and trying to bring our focus back to the present moment.

There are 2 overarching rules to a simple meditation habit. There is no need:

  1. to hold fast onto set rules,
  2. for self-judgement, as we simply persevere with sitting and breathing.

Meditation is staying with the challenge of sitting in stillness, again and again, even when it is hard.

So that is it.

I put together a meditation printable which I hope you find useful. You can find it here.

Thanks for reading.