Interested in Meditation, but allergic to woo-woo?
Ok – I wish I could take credit for that opening, but it comes from 10% Happier. Dan Harris and Joseph Goldstein believe that, while meditation cannot solve everything, it can make you 10% happier. Plus you don’t need a lot of (or any) fancy stuff to practice.
I have been practicing on and off for the past 10 years. The last few years have been mostly on and I do feel so much better when I start the day with 15 -20 minutes of mediation. Lately, I have been using Headspace and am in love with the guided meditations on the app. They have a free version to start with – and you and stick with that or move onto the subscription. (And, I get nothing from them – just love the company.)
Here are 5 things that I have learned are helpful when starting a meditation practice.
Clear your mind
This is your time – just for you. Tell yourself that all thoughts and all problems will have to wait until you finish meditating. Repeat these words firmly several times, so that you remember them when thoughts start to disturb your meditation. Tell your mind that however pressing a thought might be, it has to wait until you finish your meditation.
Avoid interruptions and distractions
There are a lot of interruptions and distractions that attract the attention and disturb meditation. There are several things you can do to avoid them.
- Meditate in a place, where you are alone and undisturbed.
- Close the windows and doors of your room.
- Take the phone off the hook.
- Turn off the TV and the radio.
- Turn off your computer.
- Switch off your cell phone.
Meditate at the same time of the day
I usually meditation in the morning, right after I get up. If you are a beginner, meditating at the same hour would soon become a habit. The mind will automatically remember to meditate at the same hour, and there will be less mental resistance to meditate. Early mornings or early evenings are good times for meditation, but you can choose any other convenient hour.
Meditate at the same place
Try to arrange a place for meditation. It could be a special room, a corner in a room, your office, or in a garden. Try to use the same place, at least in the beginning. This will make your mind associate meditation with a certain place, making it easier to meditate. Even if you don’t have a special place – just make sure that it is the same place.
A comfortable posture with a straight back
Sit in a comfortable posture. You can be on the floor or sitting on a chair – whatever is most comfortable for you. During meditation, there is a flow of energy upwards through the spinal column. It is important therefore, to hold your back straight, but without straining it.
I hope this helps if you are thinking about starting a meditation practice. Plus – who can argue with another 10% of happiness!
Move your body, put good things in and ENJOY every day!