I would like to start off by saying this is not a complete list of meditation techniques beginners can start with. They are simply techniques I came across, meditation techniques used and found useful and effective when I started meditating.
Free meditation techniques beginners can start an introduction to the practice with:
Counting Though Breaths- I found this technique useful as a distraction when I started meditating. As I took a deep breath in, I counted to 8. Any number works, as long as you stay consistent. As I exhale, I again count to 8. Inhale, count to 8, exhale and count to 8. Doing this helped me keep thoughts out as I pictured the numbers floating in as I inhaled and conversely, floating out as I exhaled. Again, I found it a great technique to distract the novice mind.
Candle Visualisation. This is a common concentrative practice that I also used in the beginning of my meditation practice. Simply picture a single lit candle in the middle of a room with nothing around. The candle itself only illuminates enough space to show itself. Concentrate on that single flame as it flickers and dances. If thoughts begin to creep in, bring your concentration back to the flame. This takes practice, but is a great “gateway” to a traditional practice.
Concentration On Breath- Breathing is the pillar of meditation, so using breath as an apparatus to facilitate meditation only seems natural. This is a great technique that may require some practice, but has been very rewarding. As you relax, pay attention to your breathing. When you breath in, envision your lungs breathing in white, positive energy. As you breathe out, imagine all the dark negativity leaving with that breath. Each time you breathe in, think positive, refreshing energy coming in and as you breathe out, release all the negativity you can.
Mantras- A mantra is a word or phrase repeated during meditation to help keep the mind on track. I never truly understood mantras or how they were used until I started listening to guided meditation programs. Once I saw how versatile they could be, I realized I could create my own mantras for my personal purpose or situation. When the mind wanders, a mantra can be an effective tool to help bring it back on course. Just remember, when creating a mantra, keep it positive. Instead of something like, “I don’t smoke any more”, try something like “I enjoy being a non-smoker”. This helps keep the positive energy congruent with the mantra.