Couch to Buddha

Meditation ideas for beginners

Some objects of meditation in no particular order. You can hold your attention on one of these or tune in as many as you can at once.

Remember: for the duration of the practice, concentrate on your object of meditation, and when some other thought or feeling arises, just let go of it and return to your object. Concentrate and do this repeatedly to get the benefits.

- Breathing: the feeling of the abdomen expanding and contracting, the air in the nostrils or mouth.

- Positive mental imagery: picture and hold a pleasant image in your mind’s eye.

- Positive mental talk: repeat a pleasant sentence in your mind as a mantra.

- Visual: try to notice colour, shadow, depth, patterns, objects etc. Focus on one or on all of them together.

- Aural: try to notice all the sounds your experiences as clearly as you can. You can keep your attention on one sound or try to tune in as many as you can.

- Walking: the feeling of your body movements as you move

- Relaxation: the relaxing sensations in your body, the feeling of breathing out, the way your arms hang loose, any restful sensations in the body.

Happy meditating!

7 Replies

Hey nickhm! Can you share your mindful running experience? How do you do that?

I tried to listen my breath whilst I was running this morning, however it wasn't that easy as it is when my body is still..


I think as a carry over from my developer background, I tend to have an 'algorithm' in place for my meditation practice ;). 

For example, when I'm running, I'll often practice a technique called 'Focus Out', where I try to keep my attention on external sights, sounds and body sensations, or just a subset of the above. So I start with that. At some point then in running I'll get pain or physical discomfort, and this'll compete for my attention. If I can, I'll keep returning my attention again and again to the above, but if the discomfort becomes too intense, I might switch my object of meditation to the pain sensation itself and concentrate on this, noting things in my awareness like: How intense is it? Where is it located? Is it constant through time? Does it fluctuate or occupy a single location? Are there spreading sensations? etc. And I'll try and accept the sensation as it is without adding anything to it.

One tricky thing about listening to breathing is you might lose track of the sound of your breath, especially when it's noisy! So maybe you could try paying attention to the feeling of breath when you're running? Or you can switch to a different technique depending on the situation and just see what works. 

You're quite right about it being harder than during sits. But eventually you can get to the point where you can maintain a technique in day to day life just as you can during sits, and gets easier with time, but this takes some practice! :) 

Hope this was helpful! 


Thanks Nick!

Concentrating on the outside things is what really helps! once I noticed that focus on breath doesn't work I switched my attention to the nature sounds (as I love to run without music in the park) - that actually works! I also get some pain in my legs but haven't realised that focusing on the actual pain could help.. I'll try this next time!

Do run with or without music? Do you feel any difference?


These days I run without music. I like listening to the birdsong on my canal-run. But also earphones always seem to fall out during running. I think I must have large earholes or something :)

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haha I'm sure your ears are fine! just need to find the right earphones :)


A very good article for beginners. It inspires to meditate.

It is especially important that there are several directions of meditation practies.

It would be nice to write an article about practical recommendations for the first meditations. For example, about asanas.

It is always important to understand that meditation is not only rest, relaxation and bliss, it's also a huge working on yourself. Here you need to work hard for a result. And then this work becomes daily.


Thanks magilyn. Also great idea on the article!

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