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How to Meditate: a Beginner's guide

The meditation practices outlined here are inspired by Abraham Hicks (a Law of Attraction teacher) and Matthew’s personal meditation experience.

Matthew created this guide to help give back to the mindfulness community. You will find ‘Matt’s notes’ throughout this document where he speaks candidly about his personal experience on the variety of topics below.

Basics: How to meditate

  1. Prepare to meditate by getting dressed in comfy clothes like your pajamas.

  2. Find a comfortable place to sit where you will not be distracted by outside noise or the hardness of where you are sitting.

  3. Set up your meditation and decide what you would like to do.

    1. Option 1: Focus on your breathing.

    2. Option 2: Listen to white noise.

    3. Option 3: Count your breath or repeat a mantra.

    4. Option 4: Observe nature by watching a candle’s flame, the rustling of trees in the wind, or the passing of clouds. These are “eyes open meditations”

    5. Option 5: Listen to a guided meditation where you follow someone’s instructions.

  4. Close your eyes and meditate for 15-20 minutes. No more. No less.

  5. There are two possibilities in meditation. Either sit down and be genuinely satisfied or achieve a genuine feeling of detachment. Both are good and effective. The goal is to raise your personal vibration up to your higher self. More on this later.

It is human nature to want to learn as much as possible about a topic before trying it out ourselves. This is why Matthew has outlined the professional meditation teachings along with his personal experience with meditation (See ‘Matt’s note’). That being said, words don’t teach, only personal experience teaches. After going through this guide, apply any new and inspiring concepts to your meditation practice and find what works best for you. Meditation is a practice and a skill. The more you meditate the easier it gets and the more successful you will be.

How to approach meditation

  • Meditation is the process of quieting the mind. Letting go of everything and just being one with yourself and the universe. Through this type of meditation, you raise your vibration because you are letting your current vibration in order to go up and meet the universe’s vibration which is always the highest vibration you can achieve.

  • Do not sit down to meditate to work on a problem. You may sit down to help you let go of a problem, but if your mind is busy with a problem then you are not detaching and you are not meditating.

    • Matt’s note: In this case, it is not the time to meditate because your mind is too busy. Instead, you can address your concerns by journaling, talking to yourself, going for a walk, going for a workout, or going to do another activity that you enjoy. After these activities, your mind will be quieter and meditation will be easier. You should approach meditation with an “easy mindset.”

  • When practicing a meditation of genuine satisfaction, you are also being effective at raising your vibration. Calm your mind, then you will receive an enjoyable thought. Go to the movies in your head with that thought and simply enjoy yourself. This is another type of successful meditation and is related to the practice of visualization.

    • Matt’s note: if you are doing this type of meditation, do not put pressure on yourself to make the visualization come true. Simply enjoy the movie. The universe will unfold in beautiful and unexpected ways for you.

How to breathe for meditation

“The most tactile link that humans have to Universal source energy is through breathing” – Abraham Hicks

Meditation and Controlling the Breath vs. Letting Go of the Breath:

Different styles are good for different people. In a traditional Buddhist sense, to meditate is to observe the breath. In other words, you do not control the breath, you let the breath happen and you observe the breath go in and out.

Matt’s Note: I highly encourage reading this passage for anyone who is getting into meditation. As you read more on meditation, you will surely come across many opinions around the concept of the 'breath.' This is my experience and concepts that I find are sometimes missing in the meditation community.

People in the meditation community will say that breathing is an autonomic system in the body but that is simply not true. The autonomic systems are systems that we CANNOT physically control. We CAN control our breath. We CANNOT control the filtration of our kidneys or our liver, or the function of our immune and nervous systems. Those are true autonomic systems. The Respiratory system is the only system in the human body that has duality and can be both somatic (voluntary) AND autonomic (involuntary). This concept is important for the person learning how to meditate because they must learn the difference between a voluntary (somatic) breathing exercise and an involuntary (automatic) breathing exercise.

People will also say ‘just breathe’ but that can be confusing for someone who is trying to learn what ‘proper breathing’ is for meditation. The art of letting go is easier when you know what you are letting go of. This is why I focus on different types of breathing, so that when you do eventually let go, you can identify that you have let go. It’s nice to be able to tell the difference between ‘controlling the breath’ and a ‘letting go of the breath.’

When a person knows and understands the difference between voluntary and involuntary breathing only then can they tell the difference between the two. With this knowledge, a person’s meditation practice improves because they now can identify with certainty the type of breathing they achieved while meditating.

The universe has a law of duality. Presence and absence, with and without, everything and nothing, yin and yang, etc. You as a human being should know and understand both the everything-ness and the nothing-ness of the breath before the breath and meditation can be mastered.  

You cannot master the breath if you do not experience both:

  1. Controlled breathing with meditations that guide the breath. And...

  2. Letting go of the breath with meditations where you observe the breath.


You cannot master the breath if you do not experience both:

  1. Emptying your lungs completely, holding and feeling the true nothing-ness of the breath. And...

  2. Filling your lungs completely, holding and feeling the true fullness of the breath in your lungs.


Breathing while listening to a meditation:

  • If you are listening to a guided meditation, white noise, drums, or anything else, it is not necessary to focus on your breath (unless that is the goal) because you will be focusing on the sound. Let your breathing become automatic as you listen.

    • Matt’s Note: This will take some time. When you sit down you will not immediately enter a meditative trance. You need to sit with the sound and eventually (it seriously sometimes feels like forever!) you will calm down, you will merge with the sound, and you will enter a meditative trance. This takes time, be patient with yourself. I do highly encourage you to positively affirm or congratulate yourself when you do have a successful session.

  • Slowly breathe in and out while listening. Take care to be as comfortable as possible for all meditations.

‘Controlled breath’ meditations:

If you wish to count your breath for meditation you do not need to count the seconds – instead, simply count at your own natural speed and cadence.

Relaxed breathing meditation sample:

  1. Breathe in for 3 full beats, counting to yourself.

  2. Hold for a few beats

  3. Breathe out for 5 beats

  4. Hold for a few beats

  5. Repeat.

Do this at a comfortable speed and rhythm. This must be easy enough that you eventually reach a sense of detachment from your physical body. This may take time. This is not a dynamic meditation, but rather a calming one.

Long breathing meditation

This meditation will focus on you taking long breaths in and long breaths out. You may count your breath but let the counting change as you warm up your lungs.

  1. Slowly breathe in, hold, breathe in again, fill your lungs to the absolute maximum capacity, and hold slightly. Matt usually has 3 sets of breathing in before he is at his maximum.

  2. Then, slowly breathe out until you have no more air in you. As you get better at this you will be able to breathe out for longer and longer. Matt can breathe out for 20+ beats for reference.

  3. Then, when you are ready, start breathing in again. You can choose to either count or simply observe the breath, both work and both are beneficial.

Matt’s note: Feel the duality of the emptiness of your lungs when you have no air in you and the beautiful fullness of your lungs when you are filled with air. Understanding this duality, the importance of having no air, and the importance of full air will connect you with the ‘Everythingness of the Universe’ and the ‘Nothingness of the Universe.’ Both concepts are important.  

Lively breathing meditation:

This is one of Matt’s favorites. It should get your lungs full and your heart pumping. This is like the previous ‘long-breath meditation’ but has a faster tempo

  1. Breathe in with intensity for 3 long beats. Fill your lungs and feel alive!

  2. Hold for 3-5 beats or so, then breathe in again and fill your lungs to maximum capacity.

  3. Hold for a beat or two

  4. Then release a slow, wonderful breath out for 12+ beats. Empty your lungs till there’s truly nothing left.

  5. Hold the ‘nothingness’ for a few beats. Then repeat.


At the beginning of this meditation, you will need to warm up your lungs like you would warm up before a workout. Gradually work up to the lively breathing illustrated above. You will know when you have properly warmed up and you can start breathing with intensity.

Do this at an invigorating speed and rhythm. Your breathing should be so lively and involved that you detach yourself from your daily life.

Matt's Note: This is exactly like when an athlete's breath becomes automatic during their practice. The whole world melts away as they tap into the beautiful movement of their body and they lose themselves in their activity. The same can be said for the musician who loses themself in their music, or a chef while they cook, or an artist when they create... There are endless ways to tap into Universal Source Energy.

People say that exercise is the best way to get healthy, but maybe the reason why exercise is so powerful is because of the amplified breathing that makes us healthy. Amplified breathing combined with moving the body, is always going to be a winning combination for well-being.


Helpful meditation tips

  • The earlier in the day the better. There is less momentum at the beginning of the day and fewer things that can throw you off or stress you out. Meditating before the day gets started helps you manage life better.

  • As your mind wanders, and it will, gently acknowledge that you have strayed and easily go back to your meditation. Do not feel bad about having your thoughts wander.  

  • If you like, you may focus your attention on your solar plexus (halfway between your ribcage and belly button), or on your third eye (middle of your forehead). This is not necessary though.

  • You may also visualize being on a beach, a mountain top, or anywhere where it is easy for you to feel good. (Matt does this type often)

  • People do tend to make meditation a bigger deal than it needs to be. If you sit down, breath, and feel better by the time you get up, you have done a good job.

Matt's note: I absolutely love white noise meditations, especially since I live in the city and the sounds of nature are not quite as available. White noise and silent meditations are where I have my most detached meditations.

Guided meditations, are nice, but I do feel like I'm am hearing too much what the person is saying and I'm not as effective at reaching a true meditative trance or detachment. Guided meditations feel best for when I want help slowing down and relaxing into my goodness. It took some reflection to understand which type of meditation is best for the headspace I'm in.


Have questions? Email Matt at: 


Matt’s Favorite Meditation Resources

  • This was Matt’s entry into meditation and he still enjoys it to this day: Getting Into The Vortex Guided Meditations And User Guide - MP3 

  • This shamanic drumming and humming meditation is great to help you lose yourself in the drums: SHAMANIC DRUMS + DEEP TRANCE HUMMING MEDITATION The host channel has a TON of great meditation videos Meditative Mind YouTube Channel 

  • The Plum Village has a wonderful free app on meditation. (Search in your app store)

    • Matt’s note: there are so many apps out there that want you to pay to meditate or positively affirm. This is the one app that has consistently stayed with Matt on his meditation journey. I know that it may not be for everyone, but it truly is worth exploring.

  • There are so many meditation resources out there! Look around to see what you like best but don’t forget that you do not need an external resource to meditate. You are a powerful being and you can absolutely sit, breathe, and feel at one with the universe all on your own.

You can further your education on mindfulness with the following books:

  • Ask And It Is Given by Abraham Hicks – This is Matt's top recommended reading suggestion.

  • The Astonishing Power of Emotions by Abraham Hicks

  • You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

All three books are available as audiobooks.

Do you like this beginners guide? You can download it as a freebie in Matt's Store!


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