So you’ve decided you want to meditate. You’ve heard it’s good for you. Everyone is doing it. Maybe you’ve even tried it. And stopped and started and stopped and started again. You’ve read books. You haven’t read books. Whoever you are and wherever you fit on this list, or not, you need to pick up a copy of Benjamin Decker’s Practical Meditation for Beginners. Ben outlines a systematic approach to integrating the various practices of meditation into everyday life.
Meditation for Beginners
One of the things that is important to know about meditation is that the word doesn’t mean just one thing. It’s not just one approach or technique. And one of the tips for making the practice your own is to experiment a bit until you find the way to practice that feels like it works for you. Or at least works for today. After all, we respond differently to the different techniques.
As Ben says in the book, “Please keep in mind that some of these meditation practices will feel more comfortable to you than others, and that’s why trying a range of techniques is so beneficial.” He also says, “All meditation, regardless of style or tradition, teaches the same basic skills: concentration, focus, awareness, and self-regulation.”
10 Techniques in 10 Days
Ben encourages readers to practice 10 techniques and schools of thought in 10 days. These are: Zazen Breath Awareness Meditation, Open Awareness Meditation, Mindful Observation, Mindful Eating, Observing Your Emotions, Walking Meditation, Body Scan Meditation, Mantra Meditation, Sitting with Difficult Emotions, and Lovingkindness Meditation.
Each of these 10 corresponding sections in the book include a description of and context for the practice, user-friendly instructions, instructions for seating positions and hand gestures, ways to go deeper, benefits of the practice, recommended reading, and a guided note-taking experience. The book also includes suggestions for building your own practice as well as a glossary of key terms so you’ll know your meditation lingo.
Even if you’ve been meditating for years, the survey approach helps demystify the different approaches to practice. Ben’s expert voice is friendly, as though you’re receiving advice from your neighbor over green tea. But this is definitely expert advice. Ben Decker demonstrates his sincere study and the expertise he has honed as a teacher at places including Unplug Meditation, The Den Meditation, Mystic Journey, and more.
If you need to jump-start your own practice, or are looking for an intro book to gift to a friend, colleague, or student, pick up Practical Meditation for Beginners.