The practice of meditation is a helpful way to ease some of our stresses and strains. Particularly in these times of heightened anxiety and struggle. Many folks want to learn but don’t know how or where to start. My advice? Just do it! Just try, sit and be with yourself.
Meditation takes practice. I always suggest a 10 minute sit for beginners. Practice loving kindness toward yourself as you learn this new skill. It takes time and practice.
Here are 5 ways to begin - and stick to - a meditation practice.
ZONE. find a cozy spot in your house and make that your meditation zone. The consistency of one spot will help you stay with it. Avoid choosing your bed as your zone as the sleep association is strong there. Choose a space that is, if possible, uncluttered and brings the feeling of peace and calm. If you have an altar, choose sitting in front of it as your meditation space. We want to create an environment that reflects what we want to bring forward. If you can get outside for your meditation that would be great, too!
TIME. Ideally, for optimal habit forming we pick a block of time to be our mediation time, and stick with it every day. It doesn't have to be the same time of day every day, but say the same routine. For example, wake up, freshen up and then sit for 10 minutes, then start your day. Pick a block of time that is convenient for you and is also as peaceful as possible. Yogis share the benefits of brahmamurtha ~ the sacred time. This is the time before the sun rises, when stillness prevails. It is roughly between 4 - 6am
FOCUS UP. Pick a focal point for your 10 minute meditation. There are many focal points that are effective, like mantras, deities, images, sounds, energy centers and parts of the body. The most common and accessible for beginners is the breath. Close your eyes and watch the flow of your breath for 10 minutes. When your mind wanders, guide it back gently and lovingly to the breath.
GET GUIDANCE. Ask your teacher for support. Along with the support of a qualified teacher, you can use an app or an audio guide. There are many out there including: Liberate, Calm, Insight Timer, Spotify, even Youtube has many meditation classes.
PARTNER UP! An accountability partner always helps. If you have a friend who will start with you it will help you stay consistent. Come up with a plan together and check in once a week or so for support. If you have a family member or friend at home who will practice with you that will be great too!