Starting a Meditation Practice
Starting a meditation practice can be daunting. We have these images in our mind that meditation is sitting quietly on a mountain top, in lotus legs, hands turned up on the knees, eyes closed in rapture, and exuding the bliss of enlightenment. Um, I don’t know about you, but that aint practical for me.
Before diving in, it is helpful to define what a meditation practice is and isn’t.
What meditation isn’t is making the thoughts in our head stop. We are human and we are living in the real world. Our thoughts will never cease. We need thoughts to get us through every day. To help us make sense of the world we are a part of.
What meditation is, is the process of seeing these thoughts as the thinking mind separate from how we actually are. We are not our thoughts. Who we truly are and our thinking mind are two separate parts inextricably connected.
A meditation practice can be what we imagine above, or it could be washing the dishes. The key is the way in which you do the practice, that you do it in earnest, you practice regularly, and do it with purpose.
You will have setbacks. There will be days when you come out more frustrated than you went in. You will have days where it is impossible to concentrate. Remember, that isn’t you, that is your thinking mind. Let it be upset you didn’t “succeed at meditation” and then look at that desire to succeed with discernment rather than judgement that you couldn’t do it.
There will also be days where you are completely tapped in. When you have a set back, remember these connected days. See if you can bring that deep sense of connection and see if you are able to refocus your efforts.
Here are some tips I have for starting a meditation practice.
- Find a spot where you will always meditate. Let it be a place that is free from interruption and distraction.
- Pick a time, morning is ideal to help set our day up to be amazing.
- Choose the type of meditation you will do before you sit down to meditate and stick with it for at least 30 days before trying a new one.
- Have a test amount of time. Can be as little as five minutes.