The New LEaf Meditation Project Beginners Guide
Meditation doesn't have to be time consuming, overwhelming or complicated. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Below is a simple three-step program specifically designed for beginners.
If questions arise or you would like to share your experiences as you begin meditating, please email Anthony. Remember, our mission is to help you in any way possible!
Stage 1: Starting (The First 60 Days)
Learning how to meditate is easy. Making it a daily part of our life is more challenging. We teach a stripped down basic form of Zen Meditation that is simple and can be done in just 3 or 5 minutes a day. In fact, we encourage you to focus only on establishing the daily habit, keeping the length of meditation as short as possible, for the first two months.
First, learn how to meditate using any of these resources:
- Schedule a free session with one of our volunteer meditation instructors
- Reading this short article about meditation
- Watching this 7 minute video
- Sign up for the next 90 minute beginners crash course, conducted via by conference call
- Join the email list to receive additional free resources to help you get started
Second, focus on establishing the daily habit.
New habits are hard. We know this because every January many of us aspire to start new habits that, despite our sincere intentions, seem to fall away before the month is up. Research from Duke University tells us it takes 66 days to firmly establish a new habit.
- Discover the obstacles to forming new habits and learn some scientifically researched steps to improve your ability to create new habits:
- Keep your daily practice so short that it is hard to justify skipping it. Learn more about the power of "Tiny Habits" in this TED talk
Stage 2: Deepen Your Practice & Invest in Wellness (60 Days & Thereafter)
We exist as a community to train and guide beginners to start meditating and to support one another in sustaining and deepening our individual practice. After creating a foundation of a daily practice, we explore new techniques and wellness.
Most of us who started meditating were compelled by a deep-seated urge to make our lives more sane and healthy. Wellness comes in many forms with topics ranging from physical and mental health to minimalism and decluttering and just about everything in between. It’s important and fun to explore all facets of wellness, incorporating those that resonate as part of our practice. At this point, we also suggest exploration of the various types of meditation including insight, zazen, metta or mindfulness.
Ideally, you will explore all of the wellness and meditation options. Since there is no right or wrong way to practice, you are free to pick and choose which options are most meaningful or effective for you. Our meditation instructors and resources will be your guides, but ultimately your personal experience will be your teacher.
Here are some of the ways we support each other in continuing to develop and deepen our practice:
Stage 3: Pay it Forward and Help Others (1 Year+)
Our community is based on the core values of compassion, generosity and service. Once we have established a daily practice, made it our own and begin to experience the benefits of wellness unfolding in our life, we naturally turn to helping others.
There are many ways to participate as a volunteer in our community. You can submit blog posts, start a local chapter or go through a six month meditation instructor training. We're also always looking to support new and creative ways to move toward achieving our goal of teaching a million people how to meditate. Feel free to invite your friends, family and colleagues to the New Leaf Meditation Project.
As a member of our community, sharing your experience and your input is valuable and appreciated. Here are some fun and simple ways to become more involved with the New Leaf
- Learn about submitting a blog post here
- Start a local chapter
- Apply to our meditation instructor training
Whatever your motivations for learning about meditation or starting to meditate may be, you will discover a daily practice will enrich your life in ways you couldn't have imagined. Our entire community is here to help you. As always, if you have any questions or need assistance of any kind, please feel comfortable emailing me directly at Anthony@newleafmeditation.org and I will do my absolute best to help you.
May your practice be strong and your life go well!
Anthony A. Cernera, M.Ed.
Founder & Meditation Instructor
New Leaf Meditating Project