Everyone makes it out like meditation should be this mind altering life changing experience every single time you do it. If you are a meditating person then your life must be on the up and up because you are just soooo spiritual and like awesome and like just the best like guru monk dude ever!! Obviously there was a bit of sarcasm there, and probably a certain type of sounding voice as you read that last bit, but just because you meditate or have tried it does not mean that you have a firm grasp on it yet or that it doesn’t get you annoyed at times. Ask anyone who has meditated and if you haven’t had that “Wtf why is my brain still running so fast and why am I still thinking. Oh hell now I am thinking about thinking! Damn this meditation! This sucks!”
Everyone has had that feeling. Meditation is a prolonged practice not an immediate shot of morphine. You might suck at it, or think that the practice itself sucks because you are not seeing the results yet. Don’t get me wrong, the formal type of meditation practice is not for everyone, but anyone who has stuck with it for a while typically sees some pretty snazzy results. That’s right I just said snazzy. Here I have written down 15 handy tips to remember when starting or even continuing your meditation practice. Hope you like. Feel free to like this post or comment on it with anything you feel you would like to share, or any tips you might have yourself that are not on here and would like to share with me.
- Make it a formal practice. You will only get to the next level in meditation by setting aside specific time (preferably two times a day) to be still.
- Start with the breath. Breathing deep slows the heart rate, relaxes the muscles, focuses the mind and is an ideal way to begin practice.
- Stretch first. Stretching loosens the muscles and tendons allowing you to sit (or lie) more comfortably.
- Meditate with Purpose. Beginners must understand that meditation is an active process. The art of focusing your attention to a single point is hard work. You have to be purposefully engaged in the process.
- Notice frustration creep up on you. This is very common for beginners as we think “hey, what am I even doing here” or “This is weird, I can’t do this” or “why can’t I just quiet my damn mind already”. Really focus in on your breath and let the frustrated feelings go. Allow the frustrations to pass through your mind like a cloud in the sky. Watch it pass you by instead of it being a part of you.
- Thoughts. Many people have concerns about what they should be thinking while meditating. It can be very hard to stop ones thoughts from, let alone to think absolutely nothing! So what do you do?! This confusion is perhaps one of the most common reasons that people stop meditating, but don’t let it stop you. It really does not matter what you think. Just allow your thoughts to “happen”. Clearing your mind will come with practice. Remember the saying “Practice makes perfect.”
- Experiment. Although many of us think of effective meditation as sitting cross-legged like the Buddha. However, beginners should be more experimental and try different types of meditation. Try sitting, lying, eyes open, eyes closed, etc. Find what works for you as a beginner and then try out other forms.
- Pick a specific room in your home to meditate. Make sure it is not the same room where you do work, exercise, or sleep. Place candles and other spiritual paraphernalia in the room to help you feel at ease.
- Commit for the long haul. Meditation is a life-long practice, and you will benefit most by not examining the results of your daily practice. Just do the best you can every day, and then let it go!
- Make sure you will not be disturbed. One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is not insuring peaceful practice conditions. If you have it in the back of your mind that the phone might ring, your kids might wake, or your coffee pot might whistle than you will not be able to attain a state of deep relaxation.
- Notice small adjustments. For beginning meditators, the slightest physical movements can transform a meditative practice from one of frustration to one of renewal. These adjustments may be barely noticeable to an observer, but they can mean everything for your practice.
- Do NOT Stress. This may be the most important tip for beginners, and the hardest to implement. No matter what happens during your meditation practice, do not stress about it. This includes being nervous before meditating and angry afterwards. Meditation is what it is, and just do the best you can at the time.
- Do it together. Meditating with a partner or loved one can have many wonderful benefits, and can improve your practice. It can motivate you to practice meditation more frequently rather than if you had tried it on your own. However, it is necessary to make sure that you set agreed-upon ground rules before you begin!
- Meditate early in the morning. Without a doubt, early morning is an ideal time to practice. It is quieter, your mind is not filled with the usual clutter, and there is less chance you will be disturbed. Make it a habit to get up half an hour earlier to meditate.
- Be Grateful at the end. Once your practice is through, spend 2-3 minutes feeling appreciative of the opportunity to practice relaxation. Repeat the phrase “Thank You” as much as possible. Being thankful is a key component of a healthy lifestyle.
– Greek Guru Guy