Struggling to get started with meditation? Watching how-to videos online can be a great help. Check out this guide to the best meditation for beginners videos from Arlo Laibowitz and get your om on! 

 

The internet – especially YouTube – is packed with videos on how to meditate. But where do you start when you're a beginner to meditation? What different approaches do these videos have? And are they really helpful to start or further develop your meditation practice? Well, the answer is yes, they are useful! So, here are our top six picks on the best videos around if you're searching how to meditate as a beginner. 

 

1. How to Meditate

There are many introduction videos, or 'Meditation 101' videos to be found on YouTube that are perfect for those just starting out on their meditation journey. One of the most accessible is How to Meditate on the watchwellcast channel. This channel consists of videos that give instructions on how to do 100 different wellness exercises in 100 days. Noteworthy topics covered in these other videos include how to be grateful, how to do yoga, how to stop procrastinating, how to apologise, and how to sleep better.

 

This video on meditation for beginners is playful and no-nonsense

It comes with a pleasant, but slightly quirky female voice-over, made for absolute beginners to meditation. It explains what meditation does – creating focus to the mind and training the brain – and goes over some of the scientifically-backed benefits of meditation: better mood, less physical pain, more blood flow to the brain, and lower blood pressure, etc.

Learn how to meditate for beginners


The main emphasis of the video is a step-by-step guided introductory meditation of counting the breath. Although not mentioned in the video itself, this form of meditation is the basis of vipassana, or insight meditation. Within the span of 100 seconds, this beginner's meditation video will guide you in doing your first practice.


And, according to the video, by doing this form of meditation for just ten minutes every day you'll start reaping the benefits. If not, you can try another type of meditation. For an absolute beginner, this how-to video is really all you need to get yourself started.


RELATED: The best books on meditation


It gives you some easy and compelling reasons to do so, and explains simply and clearly what technique to use. After doing this form of meditation for a while, or when you've become more versed in meditation techniques, you'll probably need deeper material. Either by developing vipasanna further, or moving on to other forms.

 

2. The No Bullshit Guide to Meditation

A more in-depth and longer introductory video on how to meditate is How to Meditate – the No Bullshit Guide to Meditation by Leo Gura of Actualised.org. His popular YouTube channel deals with many different meditation, self-improvement and self-actualization topics.


Leo Gura from Actualised.org teaches beginners how to meditate 


In this beginner's video, Leo talks on-camera at length about his own journey in his practice, and about the benefits of meditation for creating happiness in the present moment. Leo focuses more on the brain health benefits of meditation, ranging from increased productivity and creativity, to the melting of the ego, and the holy grail of meditation: attaining enlightenment.

 

Clear instructions how to perform the basic breath meditation

Leo then goes on to briefly mention different techniques of meditation, before further elaborating on a mindfulness of the breath meditation. He gives clear instructions how to perform this basic meditation, ranging from setting a timer for your practice, how and where to sit, and how to deal with the inevitable thoughts that will come up as you try to keep focused on your breath.


Leo also stresses the importance of creating a daily practice and emphasises that some of the benefits of meditation will come only months or years after you've started. He mentions the importance of having a clear goal and vision on why to meditate as well. And by sharing his personal reasons, he encourages us to formulate similar goals and vision to our own meditation practice.
 

“Leo discusses an in-depth approach to meditation for beginners and stresses the importance of creating a daily habit of your meditation practice.”


This video is targeted to basically the same people as the first video: beginners that want to start with meditation. The biggest difference between the videos is the amount of time that Leo spends in explaining the scientific background, his own journey, and the process of meditation. If you prefer a more in-depth approach, and being challenged more about your motivations to meditate, then this video could be a better place to start.

 

3. Easy Mantra Meditation

For people that already have a meditation practice of vipasanna and are looking for a new beginner's technique, Easy Mantra Meditation by the Yoga Vidya organization is an excellent choice. Yoga Vidya is a leading non-profit yoga seminar provider that facilitates retreats in northern Europe.


Easy Mantra Meditation for beginners with Yoga Vidya

 

Easy-to-follow steps to get you started with Om mantra meditation

In this video, a female practitioner (with male voice-over) demonstrates the basic and easy-to-follow steps to get you started with Om mantra meditation. The difference between Om mantra meditation and a breath meditation lies mostly in the focus that we create in our minds, either on the mantra or on the breath.


However, the result is the same: that we observe the sensations and thoughts that arise in non-judgmental awareness. A nice addition to this practice is the emphasis on positive affirmations at the end of the meditation that the video guides you through. As a beginner in mantra meditation, this clip is a great start.

 

“The difference between Om mantra meditation and a breath meditation lies mostly in the focus that we create in our minds.”

 

If you want to dive deeper in mantra meditations for beginner's, then there are more mantra-based meditation videos to be found on this channel. And if the way of instruction of the video appeals to you, then as an added benefit it could open up your practice to include yoga, to be found in other videos on this organization’s channel.

 

4. Transcendental Meditation Technique (Don't Pay $1,000+)

Based on Vedic traditions, this method was developed by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Transcendental Meditation (TM) has been made famous by practitioners as diverse as The Beatles, Oprah Winfrey, David Lynch and Russell Brand. What exactly it consists of involves personalised mantras that you have to pay for in training sessions by authorised teachers, although there have been criticisms of this. 
 

Free Transcendental Meditation for beginners

 

A free intro to beginner's Transcendental Meditation (TM)

In the video a male voice-over takes us through the steps of this form of meditation. It has a static picture of a meditating man on screen as the only visual element. The transcript of the video is listed directly below the video. It might be just as insightful as looking at the video itself, especially since both video and transcript explain how to choose your mantra.


It also explains the steps of the practice, that take much longer than just watching the video. The main essence of Transcendental Meditation, getting to the “no-thought zone” is addressed: how to recognize it, stay in it, or reconnect to it. It's this same “no-thought zone” that Deepak Chopra calls the field of pure potentially, or pure consciousness.

 

“Transcendental Meditation (TM) has been made famous by practitioners as diverse as The Beatles, Oprah Winfrey and David Lynch.”

 


The video itself is not the best, but for people that are attracted to TM, having a free beginner's introduction in working with this mantra technique might be all they ever need, instead of having to pay the high fees. Plus, other videos that also explain the technique for free will show up in your suggested videos on YouTube.

 

5. 10-Minute Guided Meditation for Self-Compassion

For people that want to explore another technique, based on metta, or loving-kindness meditation, the video '10-Minute Guided Meditation for Self-Compassion' is a nice place to start. This video is published by Sonima, a wellness brand that empowers people to live healthy, balanced, and happy lives. Self-compassion meditation as a technique has been made famous by the American researcher Kristin Neff, who in turn drew her inspiration from the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn.
 

10-minute guided meditation for self-compassion

 

This is technically not a how-to-meditate video, but, in fact, a guided meditation. It's narrated by Jamie Zimmerman, a doctor and practitioner of “meditation medicine” who tragically died in an accident two years ago. There's no visual instruction on how to sit or go through the practice. This guided visualisation meditation, with imagery of nature, people, and wildlife, presumes that you have sat before, that you're already versed in mindfulness of the breath meditation.


RELATED: 5 strategies to help you develop a regular meditation practice


It takes you through steps in visualizing children at different ages. Projecting your memory of yourself at these different ages. It invites you to use the same words of affirmation that are used in metta meditation, to send wishes of well-being: happiness, love, peace, a life free from suffering and living to the fullest.


If you've never practiced metta meditation and self-compassion meditation before, this video is a great start for beginner's. Especially if you meditate a lot within the vipassana tradition, it can be a real eye-opener on how loving-kindness and self-compassion can further deepen your practice. Sonima states that the video is especially suitable for people that are working on making life changes or personal improvements.

 

6. 10 Reasons You Should NEVER Meditate

Still not convinced that you should dive into meditation yourself? Then you might want to watch '10 Reasons You Should NEVER Meditate'. This playful and funny video made by psychologist, life coach and author Ralph Smart, gives you ten great reasons why you should (not) meditate.
 

Ralph Smart convinces beginners why (not) to meditate.


Ralph discusses on-camera some of the benefits of meditation. It ranges from how meditation changes the brain and the way we eat, to how meditation makes you let go of judgment and makes you stop ruminating and blaming yourself. He does all of this in a very mindful, light-hearted and insightful way.


Although not a 'how to' video itself, this is a great meditation for beginner's video if you first need to be convinced that meditation is something for you. The promise of meditation, that Ralph stresses as well, is that it makes you live fully in the present moment and makes you more confident. And, that ultimately, it makes you happier. Now isn’t that something you would NEVER want for yourself? ●

Main image: Colourbox.com

 

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Written by Arlo Laibowitz

arlo.jpgArlo is a filmmaker, artist, lecturer, and intermittent practitioner of metta meditation and morning yoga. When not dreaming about impossible projects and making them happen in the most impractical ways possible, he journals, listens to jazz, or cuddles with his better half.


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Candy

Posted

Lovely article! I really enjoyed watching these videos, especially the first two on meditation for beginners. I agree that a meditation practice has to be an ongoing practice for one to really see benefits, but the great news is that we can start with as little as 5 minutes a day! For me, it was easier to start with short guided meditations and then slowly work my way up. Meditation has definitely helped me be more present and connect deeper with myself. It also reminded me of something I read recently, by spiritual teacher Jeff Foster.

WHAT IS MEDITATION? By Jeff Foster

Meditation is not about getting yourself into altered states. Altered states do not last. It’s about becoming intimate with this state – this present moment, this day, this Now, its textures, tastes, vibrations, contractions and aches.

Meditation is not an out-of-body experience. It’s the opposite. It’s a full experience of the body and its ever-changing sensations, its amorphous clouds of shivers, tickles, undulations and pulsations, throbbings, fizzles, its pain and its pleasure, its opening and closing, its ever-changing form.

Meditation does not always make you feel “good”. In meditation, you feel exactly as you feel, and you learn to love that, or at least to allow it, or at least to tolerate it a little more than you did yesterday. Meditation makes you feel more like… you.

Meditation is not about getting anywhere. It’s about discovering that there is nowhere to get to. That you are already home, and your body is the ground of all grounds. It is about discovering true safety in the feet, in the hands, in the pit of the belly. It is about finding a sanctuary in your chest, a sacred shrine between your eyes, a loving friend in the breath, a mother in the motherless places.

Meditation is not something that you do with your mind. In meditation, the mind relaxes into the heart, seeking relaxes into finding, and even the most intense anxiety finds its home. You cannot make it happen, but you can fall into it.

Meditation is not for experts, or the ones who know. Meditation is for absolute beginners, those who are willing to face their present experience with wide open, curious eyes.

Meditation is a field of love, an ever-present ground of safety, presence and stillness, that you remember, or forget, or remember again.

Meditation never leaves you. It whispers to you in the stillness of the night. And even in the midst of an activated nervous system, a full-on panic attack, suffocating claustrophobia or the urge to get out of your body… meditation is right there, holding you, loving you, gently kissing your forehead, willing you on.

It will not abandon you, and ultimately, you will not abandon it.

And closing your eyes to sleep at night, meditation is there, snuggling right up to you.

Your soft pillow, the rising and falling of your own delicious breath, a light breeze coming in from the window, that billion-year-old sense of Being...

You are safe in your own body, my love. You are safe.

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