In the beginning, for your physical environment, find a quite place, where perhaps you could prepare a small display of familiar objects, or just a small candle. For clothes, make them free and open so they don’t constrict you. If you need a cushion, sit and cross you legs at this point comfortably. Now this is important, find your center whilst seated. Try rocking you body forward and back in your seated position, until you find the place where it feels balanced, do the same from left to right, … when you find that balance place, it will feel right .. perhaps then place your hands in your lap (or some other comfortable place) and begin.
“It is not meditation that stops the mind. It is the surrender of the mind to the soul, and the soul to Truth. It is when you prefer the word of Truth to the word of your own intellect” –Yogi Bhajan
It is common that people when they first begin meditating, believe that they must stop their mind, stop all their thoughts in order to meditate effectively. Perhaps they have heard about the blissful meditations of friends and acquaintances and wonder why theirs isn’t this way. The mind activates innumerable neurons releasing a large number of thoughts, most of which we are not conscious – perhaps we are only aware of one major thought, perhaps a worry, a concern, an expectation, a fear … or perhaps a depression or shame for an event in the past.
A way to begin having a more peaceful mind is to try and stay as present as possible, I cover some of this in previous post here
When we sit still and quiet the body and breath, soon the flood gates open and the mind starts to release thoughts it has in the ego and the subconscious. These thoughts can overwhelm and unsettle us, control us … or you can let them pass, without engaging and release them. Don’t minimize or dismiss your progress, for in the beginning to simply sit with a quiet mind for 30 seconds is an achievement … for as we go into meditation, you will notice the distractions, the worry, the fear, “what’s for dinner” … etc, continue to present themselves, simply acknowledge the thought, but don’t engage, instead lightly move on and return to your point of focus, perhaps a mantra, a lighted candle, or simply your breath, which has a beautiful ability to focus time.
Practice will allow you to empty the subconscious mind, and with consistent practice you can sit for longer periods of time. The time you spend in meditation allows the mind to assist you throughout the day because it is not so preoccupied with being the boss, you become present in your life, a marvelous, peaceful and empowering state.
The sitting is not meditation, it is practice, with time and consistent practice, you will be able to take the state of being present, being mindful, during meditation and engage in that state in your daily life .. please remember that progress is all about small incremental steps, it takes time, please be patient.