Meditation retreats and meditation teachers are great sources to learn meditation as well as deepen your practice. However, not everyone has that option. For some, they very much prefer to learn meditation on their own at home.
You might have social anxiety, you might not be physically able to leave your home, or you might prefer to learn at home at your own pace. The good news is that you don’t need a meditation retreat or a meditation teacher to learn. While that may be the optimal way to learn meditation, there are other ways. All you need is some time and your mind to learn.
In this article, we’ll go through the best ways to learn meditation on your own at home. We’ll go through where to start, and the best meditation practices when it comes to learning anything, such as meditation, on your own at home.
Dedicate space and time to your practice at home
When it comes to learning anything on your own, the most important thing to consider to make it work is to become accountable. Without a teacher to keep you accountable, it can be easy to forget to practice or allow yourself to procrastinate.
The first way to mitigate this is to dedicate space and some time to your practice at home.
Dedicate a space
You don’t need to dedicate an entire room of your home to your new meditation practice. However, ideally, you should find a space in your home that you can return to daily to sit and meditate.
This space should allow for some privacy so that you’re not distracted or interrupted while you are learning to meditate on your own at home. The reason is that you don’t want to give yourself any reason not to stick with the practice. if you don’t dedicate a space, you may find yourself telling yourself, “I don’t have enough privacy” or “I don’t have anywhere where I can meditate in peace.”
Instead, take a quiet corner in your home and use that to meditate. It can be your home office, your bedroom, even the bathroom if that’s the only place you can find yourself undisturbed for 10 minutes or longer. You don’t need any particular meditation posture either. Do what’s comfortable.
You don’t need to dress up this space in any fancy way, either. It just needs a comfortable chair or cushion on the floor if that’s what you prefer. You also don’t need to dedicate this space formally. Return to it daily to help you form the habit.
Dedicate some time
The second part of this crucial first step is that you need to dedicate some time to the practice and work to stick with it. There’s no best time to meditate. The best time is the time that works for you.
What’s more important is that you stick to this time. Whether you need to block it out of your calendar or set a reminder on your phone, do it. This time is yours, and it’s precious. If you don’t treat this time seriously, you’ll find yourself caught up in some other distraction or responsibility at home. It’s easy to procrastinate at home since there are a million other things you could be doing at that very moment that you dedicated to learning to meditate on your own at home.
Treat your meditation time like an appointment you must make. Remember, there’s nobody else to keep you accountable except yourself.
Use an app
You don’t need to be in the physical presence of a teacher to learn to meditate from someone who’s an expert. Because meditation only requires the mind, a teacher doesn’t need to be with you physically to instruct you, or even give you feedback. Some apps can help you meditate on your own at home as well as keep you accountable.
The best meditation apps are the ones that offer guided instruction for any goal you’re trying to achieve. We’re biased, but we recommend you try and use Declutter The Mind. It’s our free guided meditation app that offers everything you need to learn how to meditate, at your own pace.
Unlike learning to meditate with an instructor, the app keeps track of your sessions and your progress, giving you a tactile feel to growth. There are also push notifications you can set to remind you every day, at a time you specify, to meditate.
Regardless of whether you choose to use our app or not, ensure you use something that allows you to ease into it. It should also work to address the more common struggles beginners have so that you don’t give up early in the learning curve.
If you don’t know where to start with an app, start with its introductory course or practice that will teach you the basics and introduce you to meditation. Declutter The Mind has a 30-day course for beginners that walks you through your very first meditation session ever, all the way to the next steps after your first 30 days.
Use guided videos on YouTube
Even you’re not big on apps, or you haven’t had the best experience with meditation apps, you may still need some instruction early on if you want to make meditation work and stick.
A lot of the more experienced practicers will say things like “you don’t need guided instruction” or “you don’t need an app to learn to meditate.”
While this is technically true, what you may find is that when you’re first learning to meditate without any instruction, your mind will wander—a lot. Not only will this become discouraging after a while, if you’re oblivious to it (since there’s no guided instruction), you’ll never feel like you’re progressing or if you’re even “doing it right.”
So, if you’re still resistant to using an app to learn how to meditate on your own at home, look for YouTube videos instead.
We have our own meditation YouTube channel you can start with if you’re not sure where to look. You can start your journey on YouTube by searching thing such as “guided meditation for a complete beginner,” or you can use our video for beginners:
Practice mindfulness outside of meditation
One of the first things you’ll learn when you’re practicing meditation on your own at home is that meditation is called a practice for a reason. It’s practice for real life. With enough time on the cushion, you’ll begin to realize that there are moments in your daily life where you can practice mindfulness that doesn’t require meditation.
To successfully deepen your practice, learn the different ways to practice mindfulness outside of meditation. When you’re at home, practice mindfulness when you’re doing the dishes or other chores. If you’re at the dinner table, practice mindful eating. These are things that you would learn at a meditation retreat or with a meditation teacher, that you can teach yourself early on so that you begin to see progress.
Practice mindfulness right nowTry practicing mindfulness outside of meditation right now. Notice your weight on the chair you’re sitting on right now as you read this. Notice where your hands are. Notice your breathing.
Tell friends and family
The last step to pull this all together is to tell friends and family, especially if you live with them. This is important for two reasons.
The first is that it might afford you some privacy and respect while you attempt to learn meditation on your own at home. When you tell people you’re going to learn something new, and you’ll need their help, they’ll more often than not respect that.
The second reason is the more important one: it creates accountability. Imagine telling your spouse you’re going to learn meditation and dedicate 10 minutes to practice every day. A few days later, you’ve skipped a few practices, and your spouse calls you out on it. Or, in other cases, you avoid skipping any days because you don’t want to get called out on it.
Either way, telling these friends or family members what you’re attempting to do will give you a better chance at sticking to the practice. We’re programmed to want to avoid letting down people we care about than avoid letting down ourselves. We also care a lot what other people think.
If this is too embarrassing or you’re afraid your friends and family wouldn’t’ understand (there’s a lot of misconceptions around meditation), you can instead use an online forum or community to keep yourself accountable. Maybe there’s an active community, forum, or Facebook group you’re in that you can share this with. It may help keep you accountable to the practice.
Finally, there may be a friend or family member who you can practice with. Just like a gym buddy helps keep you going to the gym regularly, a meditation buddy can help you stick to your practice. They don’t even need to be someone you physically meditate with either. It can be someone you virtually meditate with. Maybe every day at 10 am, you text one another before starting your daily practice in your respective homes. Get creative!
Now’s your opportunity to learn meditation on your own at home. Remember the things you’re missing out on without a formal teacher and look to fill those gaps when you’re learning on your own.
Do you have any tips to help make it easier to learn to meditate on your own at home? Share them in the comments below.