People often ask how to get started with meditation and how to meditate. It can seem confusing sometimes because there are many meditation practices. But the reason there are so many is because meditation is so personal in nature. What works for me may not work for you…or…it might! The key is to try out different kinds of meditation and see what helps you to navigate to the peace within that is waiting for you.
Here are some ideas on how to approach and think about your meditation practice. Consider each point, then go back over the list and take them one by one and perhaps even write down what you think of each.
10 Tips To Jump Start Your Meditation
- Start with a reason “why” you want to meditate – if you can’t think of a reason for yourself, think about the effect that any changes you make could have on those around you.
- Commit to meditation. Simply make the decision to begin a meditation practice.
- Make the commitment 100% – meaning, do it no matter how you feel. Of course this is related to #2…the point is that people tend to commit in their heads, then at times do not follow through with their actions. Commit in your head and commit to the action.
- Don’t be a hero in the beginning – it will be difficult to start with and that’s okay, don’t give up. You might start out with some grand ideas about what the meditation might bring to you. Be careful…it may take awhile to find that peace within. Being aware of this can keep you from being gentle with yourself and giving yourself enough time.
- Sit with Dignity – the meditation posture or way of sitting is something that can confound you. It doesn’t need to! Whatever position you choose to be in to meditate only need to be dignified. No slouching or being sloppy here! You want to “sit with dignity” and what that is is different for everyone…what does it mean for you? Think about sitting with dignity and see how you feel. Do you feel pretty good? Then that is a good position for you.
- Pick an anchor – when your mind wanders, come back to your anchor. This anchor can be your breath, a mantra, a prayer, candle etc.
- Say “oh well” – when your mind wanders, this is your response. Be passive about this, no emotion and simply bring your attention back to the anchor. You are not getting rid of your thoughts, you are gaining the ability to direct your thoughts back to the anchor!
- Understand that it is not about “how you feel” during meditation but “who you are in your life” outside of meditation. This is where you will see the effects of your practice.
- Just Do It – don’t get hung up on the specifics and getting it “perfect”. There is not supposed to be a judgement about how you are doing meditating, just do it. Don’t judge your meditation experience, just allow it to be what it is.
- All of life is meditation – every moment gives us an opportunity to practice meditation.
Hopefully these 10 tips will help you to put your meditation practice into perspective and help you to view it as something that only can help you, and is not something to ever get stressed out about. The above tips are adapted from a video from Brian Johnson of entheos.com. You can view the full 15 minute video here: http://youtu.be/paTULfNHkWY
Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be loving…allow the quiet to settle in. Namaste.
Looking for some meditations to get you started? Try Dr. Kilstein’s 10 Minutes to Bliss