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Meditation: Finding Peace Inside, for Beginners and People with Disabilities

Meditation is an old way of calming down and feeling better inside. It can help you find peace and understand yourself better. Even though it might seem tricky, it’s something most of us can try. In this guide, we’ll learn the basics of meditation, especially for those just starting out, and see how it can really help people with disabilities.

Understanding Meditation:

Meditation is about being aware of your thoughts and feelings without judging them. There are different ways to do it, like focusing on one thing, being mindful, or being kind to yourself and others.

Benefits of meditation for people who have disabilities:

Meditation can help in many ways:

  • It can lower stress, which is helpful for people with disabilities dealing with extra challenges.
  • It can help manage pain better by making you more aware of your body.
  • It can make you feel happier and less alone.
  • It can help you focus and think better.
  • It can make you feel stronger and more accepting of yourself.

Getting Started with Meditation:

Starting your meditation journey doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s all about finding a quiet space where you can feel comfortable and relaxed. We recommend using further resources, we’ve provided some start points further below. But, here’s a simple guide to help understand what’s involved as you begin on this journey:

  1. Find a Quiet Space: Choose a place where you won’t be disturbed. It could be a corner of your room, a cozy spot in your backyard, or any peaceful place where you feel at ease.

  2. Get Comfortable: Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. The key is to find a position that allows you to relax without feeling strained.

  3. Set a Timer: Decide how long you want to meditate for. It could be just a few minutes to start with, and you can gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable with the practice. Set a timer on your phone or use a meditation app to keep track of the time.

  4. Close Your Eyes (or Keep Them Open): Close your eyes gently if you feel comfortable doing so. If you prefer, you can keep your eyes open and softly focus on a spot in front of you. The choice is yours.

  5. Focus on Your Breath: Take a few deep breaths to centre yourself. Notice the sensation of the air flowing in and out of your nostrils or the rise and fall of your chest and abdomen. Focus your attention on your breath and try to let go of any distracting thoughts.

  6. Be Present: As you continue to breathe, bring your awareness to the present moment. Notice any sounds, sensations, or thoughts that arise without judging them. Simply observe them and let them pass, returning your focus to your breath whenever you get distracted.

  7. Practice Kindness: Be gentle with yourself if your mind starts to wander. It’s natural for thoughts to come and go during meditation. Instead of getting frustrated, gently guide your attention back to your breath and continue to practice being present.

  8. End with Gratitude: When your meditation time is up, take a moment to thank yourself for taking this time to nourish your mind and body. Slowly open your eyes, if possible – stretch your body, and carry the sense of peace and calm with you into the rest of your day.


While meditation offers numerous benefits, it’s important to acknowledge the hurdles individuals with disabilities might face:

  1. Physical discomfort: People with mobility impairments or chronic pain may find it challenging to maintain a seated posture for extended periods. Sitting or lying down are the usual recommended positions for meditation. However, if your disability makes this challenging, you can try any position that works for you.

  2. Sensory distractions: Sensory sensitivities, such as sensitivity to light, sound, or touch, may pose challenges during meditation. For example, bright lights or loud noises could make it difficult to concentrate. Experimenting with different environments, such as using earplugs to block out noise or practicing meditation in nature where sensory inputs are more calming, can help mitigate these distractions. Creating a comfortable and soothing environment can make it easier to focus on meditation.

  3. Cognitive barriers: Some disabilities may affect cognitive functions like attention, memory, or processing speed, making it challenging to stay focused during meditation. Individuals may find their minds wandering or struggle to follow instructions. Starting with shorter meditation sessions and gradually increasing the duration can help build concentration over time. Additionally, using guided meditation techniques, where a teacher or recording provides instructions and prompts, can offer structure and support for maintaining attention. Breaking down meditation practices into smaller, more manageable steps can make them more accessible to individuals with cognitive challenges.

  4. Emotional obstacles: People with disabilities may also face emotional barriers to meditation, such as feelings of frustration, self-doubt, or anxiety. They may worry about whether they’re doing it right or feel discouraged if they can’t sit still or quiet their mind. It’s important to approach meditation with patience, self-compassion, and an open mind. Recognizing that meditation is a practice and that progress takes time can help individuals overcome these emotional obstacles. Finding supportive communities or resources specifically tailored to individuals with disabilities can also provide encouragement.

Using Apps, Podcasts, Videos, and Books:

There are lots of tools to help you meditate:

  • Apps like Headspace or Calm have guided meditations and other helpful features.
  • Podcasts like “The Mindful Minute” can give you tips and inspiration.
  • YouTube videos offer visual guidance, and some are made especially for people with disabilities.
  • Books by authors like Jon Kabat-Zinn or Thich Nhat Hanh can teach you more about meditation.

Finding What Works for You:

The most important thing is to find what works best for you. You can mix and match different methods, positions, and resources until you find what helps you feel calm and happy.

Meditation is something everyone can benefit from, including people who have disabilities. It’s a way to feel better inside and understand yourself more deeply. So, give it a try and see how it can bring peace and strength to your life.

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