"The thing about meditation is: You become more and more you."
– David Lynch
Meditation cannot be mastered in one day.
It is a lifelong practice that must be cultivated over a period of time. Acknowledging that this is just a beginning, we’re going to take the steps necessary to develop this important practice.
Meditation is the art of focusing 100% of your attention in one area. The practice comes with a myriad of well-publicized health benefits, including increased concentration, decreased anxiety, and a general feeling of happiness.
Although a great number of people try meditation at some point in their lives, only a small percentage stick with it for the long-term.
Here are tips to inspire you to create a sustainable practice as you cultivate the experience of meditation:
1. Be Still: Set aside specific time (preferably two times a day) to merely be still.
2. Your Breath: Breathe in and out deeply. This slows the heart rate, relaxes the muscles, focuses the mind, and is an ideal way to begin practice.
3. Big Stretch: Doing some yoga stretches loosens the muscles and tendons, allowing you to sit (or lie) more comfortably. Additionally, stretching starts the process of ‘going inward’ and brings added attention to the body.
4. Purpose: Being engaged in your practice is important. Meditation is an ACTIVE process. I encourage you to focus your attention on a single point or mantra and come back to that point or mantra whenever you notice your mind wandering.
5. Frustration: Being frustrated is a very common thing for beginners. When you feel frustrated, return to the breath and focus. Be gentle with yourself.
6. Body position: Experiment with different types of meditation. Try sitting, lying, eyes open, eyes closed, etc. Try to be comfortable without going to sleep.
7. Body Awareness: Notice your body as a meditative state starts to take hold. Once the mind quiets, focus all of your attention on your feet and then slowly move your way up the body (include your internal organs. This is called. a "body scan").
8. Location: Create a sacred space. Try arranging candles and personal spiritual objects to help you feel at ease.
9. Awareness: Awareness of your breath and ‘being present’ while not meditating is a wonderful way to evolve your meditation habits. Taking a walk and focusing on your breath is a great pathway to developing mindfulness.
10. Peaceful Place: The best way to attain deep relaxation is to have a quiet space. Turn off the phone, unplug noisy objects, and ensure your privacy.
Try It Now:
-Set aside a minimum of 30 minutes. Create your special place to meditate. Try using a meditation tape if that helps quiet the "monkey mind."
Before you begin, set an intention and write it down.