1. Create a Sacred Space
Yes, ultimately you will want to be able to meditate wherever you are and whatever the circumstances and as you build your practice this will be more possible. When we are just starting out, it’s nice to create a quiet space away from radios and TV and loud noises. It’s also nice to have a comfortable pillow or seat. If you like you can light a candle and play some peaceful music if that helps you to settle down to begin.
2. Settle Down
The idea is to be still so that we can make a connection. In the midst of our busy lives, our glorification of busy and our addiction to multitasking, being still is not as easy as you would think. Nevertheless, it is a prerequisite for meditation.
Take a moment to just be. Let your eyes scan the room that you are in and just notice. Notice how the light falls on different items, notice the temperature of the air, notice any sounds and let these things bring you to this present moment.
This one seems obvious, however taking deep and conscious breaths will also help to anchor you into this moment. As you breathe in, send the breath to any area of your body that is calling your attention. This intentional breath will help to prepare your body for this time of sitting still. It is a way to gently inform your body that it can relax and just be.
4. Set a timer
This will allow you to really let go and sink deep. No need to keep one eye on the clock. Start with three sweet minutes and build from there. Be sure to set your alarm to something gentle. No need to startle yourself. Chimes or birds singing or the sound of the ocean… these are just a few of my favorite.
5. Walk the Dog
Your mind is like a little puppy that will want to sniff every thought that comes your way. If the thought is juicy it will begin to gnaw on the thoughts and then chew away at it. This happens to all of us, especially in the beginning. We have to train our minds to walk on by. Say gently to each juicy thought, not right now I am spending time with the Divine. Then let the thought go and bring your attention back to your breath.
If you think of your mind like a little puppy, you will have greater compassion for the distracted ways of the mind.
6. Take Note
Creating and keeping a meditation journal can continue the mindfulness. This is a nice way to keep track of the inspirations or experiences that come to you in meditation. Some people receive insights and inspirations in meditation and it’s nice to press those thoughts to the page. Personally, I am a big fan of making this a part of your practice, but it is not for everyone.
7. Playful Practice
This one may seem self-explanatory but it’s amazing the ways we can mess the simple act of meditation. The practice of meditation is for peace of mind. Taking the practice seriously will milk all the light from it and possibly leave you even more agitated than when you began. So get playful with your practice. Think of a laughing Budhi, a happy thought, an experience of gratitude. Give thanks for the opportunity to practice before and after you are finished no matter how long or deep your practice was. Enjoy!
Do you have a meditation tip? Let us know all about it in the comments.
Love & Peace,