While many types of meditation focus on clearing your mind and eliminating all thoughts, focused meditation for beginners is more open-ended. Also known as focused attention meditation (FAM), this form directs your attention to one object or sensation.
Many people find this strategy more effective and accessible than thinking about nothing, making it a great practice for those new to meditation. Learn more about the benefits of focused meditation and how you can get started at home.
Focused meditation offers practitioners several benefits that can improve mental and physical well-being:
Now that you know the benefits of a focused meditation practice for beginners, here’s how you can start developing a FAM routine yourself.
As we discussed above, this type of meditation is about directing your attention to one focal point rather than clearing your mind entirely. To get started, you’ll need to select that centerpiece for your practice.
Your focus can be almost anything — your breathing, an object in front of you, an idea or a mantra. Depending on where you meditate, you might be able to use your other senses to select a focal point. Is there a sound you can concentrate on or the smell of a favorite candle? Get creative to find what works for you.
One of meditation’s primary goals is to promote relaxation, so you shouldn’t force yourself to sit uncomfortably just because it looks “right.” Let go of your expectations and find a cozy place that allows you to focus on your practice.
Whether you’re on the floor, on a chair or somewhere else, try sitting up straight to allow for full breaths. You can explore other meditation positions to discover new ways to deepen your practice.
As you begin to craft a meditation routine, take your time. Concentrating on your focal point is a new skill that requires practice. You can begin with short five- or ten-minute sessions, which are long enough to help you relax but short enough that you won’t lose interest.
Once you’ve adjusted to focused meditation, you can experiment with longer sessions. Build up your foundation and you’ll be able to find deeper calm in extended meditations when it counts.
A dedicated meditation practice won’t spring up overnight — it requires consistent practice. If you’re starting with short sessions, it should be easy to set aside a few minutes every day or a few times a week for focused meditation.
Whatever schedule you establish, stick to it. Much of meditation is about finding a rhythm — and that includes a daily routine. Your body and mind will adapt to the pattern you set and make it easier for you to find inner peace.
Focused meditation doesn’t require any equipment or instructors, so you’re free to craft a practice how you see fit. Explore different focal points to find what feels best for your body and mind. You can gradually expand your meditation to deepen your peace of mind.