How Do You Meditate?
Here are 10 tips on meditation that will enable you to experience its peaceful and joyful benefits.
1. Just do it
Meditation is something that anyone can do at anytime and anywhere.
Don’t think that you can’t do it. If you are concerned that you don’t understand it, don’t worry—nobody does in the beginning. Just jump in—the moment you do you will open the door to all the benefits of meditation.
2. Build a habit
An easy meditation tip is to make meditation a habit by doing it on a regular basis.
Many of us procrastinate and find excuses not to practice. When we feel a need to do a lot of other things before meditating, it’s really just a delay tactic, finding an excuse not to do it. Building a good meditation habit requires effort and consistency. It’s like going to the gym—at first it may seem forced and artificial, but in time it becomes a natural and essential part of our daily routine
3. Keep it simple
Don’t worry so much about whether you’re doing it right or not.
Lots of thoughts will naturally arise in your mind, which can feel overwhelming. Don’t get discouraged. Let them flow by without judgment or getting caught up in the storylines. Just keep it simple by continually returning to the breath.
4. Keep it short
One of the best meditation tips is to commit to short meditation sessions—perhaps one to two minutes to start and then gradually increase.
If we are too ambitious at the beginning and try to do 45 minute sessions, most likely we’ll get discouraged and quit. It’s better to meditate for short periods each day to create stability and a consistent habit.
5. Meditate in the morning
Start your day by meditating first thing in the morning.
When we wake up we feel refreshed. We aren’t thinking about too many things or concerned with all the things we need to do that day. If we do a short practice first thing in morning, it’s likely we’ll succeed in meditating on a regular basis. And, the positive benefits from that morning meditation will stay with us throughout the day.
6. Don’t worry about progress
It’s hard to predict how your mindfulness practice will evolve.
You could meditate consistently and not think anything is happening, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t progressing. Progress is like our growth when we were children—it’s so gradual it’s hard to see because we are so close. We are also too close to our own minds to see meditation progress in the beginning. But, there will be moments when we will notice a healthy, spacious shift in our minds.
7. Get meditation instruction
Progress in meditation is also connected with our skill level.
There are helpful twists and tweaks we can make to our meditation technique that can make a big difference in our practice. Seek guidance from experienced meditation instructors and trusted sources.
8. Remember the benefits
The benefits of meditation are numerous, but if I had to express them in only one word it would be joy.
This joy is not an emotional high, but rather something very grounded that stimulates our compassion, love and caring for others. Meditation also provides the courage to look at things in a positive way, even during the most difficult times. It creates resiliency, which is important for people with a lot of stress or who are going through hard times.
9. Be realistic
Meditation is not magic—it doesn’t remove us from all the difficulties we encounter and doesn’t guarantee we will be successful in all our endeavors.
We live in this world and have to face its truths, complete with all its challenges and ups and downs. When we are up, everything may feel fine, but it is when we’re down that we really need help. The resiliency we gain from meditation is what enables us to bounce back from the lows we experience.
10. Just do it again and again
Yes this is the same as #1 but bears repeating. This is the best meditation tip I can offer–just keep doing it.
Our minds are always with us. Working with our minds has many benefits. If we have peaceful minds, our perceptions of the world will change. We will have a much healthier, more positive view of the world and that means everything. We can see things more clearly, which enables better decision making. We will appreciate the good things we have and the good things our friends and family have. These good things will make us happy, which in turn will make us more successful in whatever we do.