I was trying a new guided meditation the other day, and I realized how out of practice I was. I have not been meditating at all lately, and I am trying to get back into practice with it. I had trouble concentrating, I couldn't get comfortable, I was unable to relax into the meditation. So, I've decided to go about re-training myself as if I were a beginner. However, I have learned a few things over my 9 years of studying and practicing the craft, so this time I am more prepared. On this note, I want to share my meditation tips, either for beginners of for those who are out of practice and want to get into meditation again.
1. Try guided meditations. I find these very helpful, and I still used them all the time when I meditated on my own. I know that cd's and mp3's cost money, but luckily there are many good guided meditation podcasts available for free on iTunes. I personally enjoy Wynyfryd's Meditation Room and Meditation Oasis. These guided meditations can provide structure and can help you focus and concentrate. You can also learn techniques that you might want to use in your own personal meditations.
2. Practice often. Practice makes perfect, and the more often you meditate, the better at it you get. When you are used to meditating often, you will be better able to fall into a meditative state. This can help with other aspects of your craft too.
3. Keep a journal. This can be tedious, but it really helps. Write in it even if you can't concentrate and you don't really meditate. You can find connections, like maybe you have more trouble concentrating if you meditate before work, or if your best meditations happen in the afternoon. It is also a good place to keep a record of any spirit guide meetings or astral journeys that happen.
4. Consider mantras. Find a personal mantra to chant either aloud or mentally, or use one that already exists. Om (Aum) is a powerful sound that can aid in meditation and deep breathing. You can also try using a pagan song or chant, such as "We All Come From the Goddess" or "Isis, Astarte, Diana..."
5. Set the mood. Try different kinds of music, candles, incense, etc. (since you will most likely have your eyes closed, be careful to observe fire safety precautions). Find some things that work for you. I enjoy listening to Enigma when I'm meditating. You can find some wonderful music at import stores (I have one that I bought in an Indian import store that has some eastern music themes and a techno beat).
6. Learn what works for you. As always, use your intuition. Try different things, and you will learn what you like, and how you prefer to meditate.