Are you new to meditation? Lucky you! As famed Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki put it, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” That said, beginners do benefit from simple pointers on how to learn to meditate. If you’re wondering how to meditate, for beginners there are some basic guidelines that are shared by most traditions. These include how to position the body—keeping the back straight, what to do with your hands, etc.—and how to position the mind.
As a beginner, you might think of yourself as a “meditator in training.” Even if your “beginner’s mind has many possibilities,” that doesn’t mean you should use your practice time for daydreaming or mentally fine-tuning your shopping list. You’re training. What in? In presence, acceptance of change, and discovery of the here and now. By maintaining a beginner’s freshness and spontaneity even after you’ve learned the ropes, the training can go deeper and deeper into awareness and understanding. That’s the beauty of how beginners meditate: there’s always something worth discovering.