If you’re just getting started with meditation, then there are some really simple ways to make sure you get the most out of it.
Here’s what I’d recommend to get started with…
1) This is your time for you
As much as you can read about the right way or wrong way to do meditation, really this is about you and your journey with it. We all lead different lives so we need to make sure that adding something new into the mix fits in with our current schedule and priorities. Whatever time or effort you can give towards it on a regular basis is perfect for you and is not to be compared with anyone else’s practice or experience. At the very least you’ll be giving yourself a few minutes time-out every now and then. At the most, your life will change in amazing ways if you do it on a daily basis for at least 10 minutes a day.
2) Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed
When you first start-out meditating you want to give yourself the best chance to have as few distractions as possible while you are learning. Later on, when you are a seasoned pro, you’ll be able to meditate sitting beside a busy highway without being disturbed. Like most good things, this takes time to blossom. In the meantime, use whatever space is available, and if need be put a sign on your door that says, “Meditation in Session”, which may help get the message across.
3) Sit upright in a chair or comfortable on the floor
The reality is you can meditate standing, sitting, laying down, walking, or pretty much however you like. However, while you are learning it’s helpful to sit in a comfy chair, or on the floor, with the main emphasis being on having a relaxed posture rather than a stiff one. As your body becomes used to sitting still, it will naturally find it’s own alignment that works best for you so that you are comfortable and the body is not restless.
4) Free your mind.
Meditation is not really about clearing your mind as the thoughts won’t stop no matter how hard you try to make them. It’s more about learning how to not get caught up in them, and then they stop of their own accord. When you begin to meditate see if you can maintain a genuine curiosity towards the process itself as this will help keep the mind open and free from expectations.
5) Just do it.
Like any new habit or skill, it’s going to take regular, consistent practice to get the full benefits from it. Sometimes, when we start something new that we know is going to be good for us, the mind can try and sabotage our progress. Thoughts like, “I’m too busy meditate”; “I’ts too late to meditate”; and “It probably won’t work for me anyway” are all quite common. If this happens for you, simply notice them when they arise, and then show your mind who’s in charge and just do it anyway – you’ll be so glad you did later on!
Lastly, meditation is meant to be approached in a playful way. The moment you take it seriously, then you will create a tension around it, which will turn it into a task, rather than something that you are curious about. Take it as fun and you will be surprised, if you can be playful about meditation, your meditation will grow in leaps and bounds. After more than 17 years of meditation it still feels as fresh and fun for me as they first time I ever did it, so I know this approach works.