How To Begin a Daily Meditation Practice
All of our efforts are designed to make the noise stop
How do I make money and pay my bills, and at the same time evolve into the person I need to be?
Have you always wanted to start MEDITATING…but don’t know how? Or started a meditation practice and quickly fallen off the wagon? It takes a little instruction, but it’s simpler and easier than you may think. As yogis have known for centuries and scientists more recently discovered, the benefits of meditation are profound! Studies show, that MEDITATION can help you:
• LOSE WEIGHT
• Vastly IMPROVE COMMUNICATION + RELATIONSHIPS
• REDUCE ANXIETY + DEPRESSION
• OVERCOME ADDICTION
• SHARPEN YOUR THINKING and
• MASTER YOUR EMOTIONS!
When you meditate, you access deeper brainwave states, helping to clear distracting thoughts, reduce stress and boost brainpower while cultivating a spiritual connection and reaching deeper states of awareness and wholeness. Meditation trains us to use the inevitable challenges of life as opportunities to grow. This class breaks down and demystifies meditation. Here are the TOP 10 BIG IDEAS on how to start meditating.
The Top 10 Big Ideas
“The practice of meditation deeply affects our character. We are slaves to what we do not know; of what we know we are masters.” -Maharaj.
- Get Comfortable
We tend to make meditation more complicated and challenging than necessary. Take it easy. Start by taking a comfortable seat. If you’re flexible, sit on the floor, on a meditation cushion, bolster or blanket (hips higher than your knees). If you’re not, sit in a chair with your feet on the floor.
- Same “Bat Time”. Same “Bat Place”.
“One of the most lucrative ways to coax the mind into submission is to create a ritual. Set a clearly designated space for meditation. This can be as simple as a candle, picture or stone, thoughtfully placed. Practice at the same time every day. Start with the same protocol for each meditation. Routine triggers the mind out of the left brain (logical, linear) and into the right hemisphere (intuitive, non-linear).
- Sit Tall
Posture 101: Sit tall. Straighten your spine. Sit in a chair or against the wall if you need to. Lengthen the spine to help increase circulation and keep you alert.
- Start Small
Start where you are. If 10 min. seems overwhelming, begin with 5. After a week, begin to add 1 min. to your practice each week until you build up to 30 min. (or more) at a time.
- Be Nice to Yourself (Really Nice!)
As renowned meditation teacher Sally Kempton says, “Meditation is Relationship.” Ultimately, it is all about your relationship to yourself. The way you do anything is the way you do everything. Meditation teaches us radical acceptance, compassion and unconditional love. Be sweet to your byzantine mind. Surrender to exactly who you are and what is happening – Right here. Right now. Smile.
- Note Your Excuses
Meditation is a practice of self-inquiry. Observe the excuses you tell yourself. “I’m too tired.” “I don’t have time.” You can carve 5 – 10 min. out of your day. Notice how your mind rationalizes breaking your commitment. No judgment. Just observation and understanding. Then, recommit.
- Find a Meditation Buddy
Accountability is the answer to your excuses. Find a buddy. We all have an overactive, unruly mind. It’s built that way! Find a friend who is also beginning to meditate, join a Facebook group or online course. Your struggle is normal…and it will get easier.
- Practice Makes Perfect
Or at least perfectly imperfect. As the great Ashtanga guru, Patthabi Jois says…”Practice. Practice. Practice. All is coming.” Like anything, we get better with practice. Think of your meditation as bicep curls for the muscle of your mind. You are training your brain to focus, concentrate and let go. Over time, with consistency…you will become more skillful.
- Just Breathe
The breath is a gateway beyond the mind. Our mind is addicted to analyzing the past or projecting into the future. The breath is only ever right here, right now. Focus on your breath to anchor the mind into the present moment.
- Start a “Benefit Book”
End your practice by observing the benefits of your practice. How do you feel? What is your emotional state or mood? Make note any changes so they register in your body and conscious mind. Next time you resist meditation, remember the benefits to help you motivate and stay committed.
Meditation is not just concentration. It’s mental toughness, and will power. I study excellence, and I know that it doesn’t matter what domain a person who is excellent at what they do is in—there is always a meditative quality to their training and their performance. They may not train like you train at a monastery or at a retreat center, but certain qualities are there: right effort, wisdom, concentration, and faith or confidence.
I think we do ourselves a disservice when we predicate everything on this dualistic approach of sitting practice and then the rest of life. I think we’re limiting what meditation means. Dr. Dre says in one of his songs, “I got my mind on my money and my money on my mind”; whatever is on your mind, that’s your meditation.
“I got my mind on my money and my money on my mind.” Meditation is a way of life.
How do you practice? What helps you Tell us in the comments below.
Peace and Blessings
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