How Do You Meditate? A Meditation Toolkit
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 meditate. If you are concerned that you don’t understand what it’s about, don’t worry—nobody does in the beginning! Just jump in—the moment you do, you will open the door to all of the benefits of meditation.
2. Build a habit
An easy meditation tip is to make meditation a habit by doing it often on a regular basis—daily if possible.
Many of us procrastinate and find excuses not to practice. If we feel a need to get a lot of other things done before meditating, it’s really just a delay tactic. 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 and then gradually increase.
If we are too ambitious at the beginning and try to do 45 minute sessions, there’s a good chance we’ll get discouraged and quit. It’s better to meditate for short periods each day to create stability and a consistent habit. We can even start with one or two minutes and gradually increase to 10 minutes.
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 much yet or worrying about all the things we need to do today. If we do a short practice first thing in morning, we’re likely to 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 might meditate consistently and not think anything is happening, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t progressing. Progress is like our growth when we’re children—it’s so gradual and close to us that it’s hard to discern. Likewise, we are too close to our own minds to see meditation progress in the beginning. But, unpredictably, there will be moments when we’ll notice a healthy, spacious shift in our minds.
7. Get meditation instruction
Progress is also connected with learning the art of meditation.
There are helpful twists and tweaks we can apply 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 is rather something very grounded that stimulates our compassion, love, and caring for others. Meditation also provides us with the courage to look at things in a positive way, even during the most difficult times. And it creates resiliency, which is important for people who are dealing with a lot of stress or hardships.
9. Be realistic
Meditation is not magic—it doesn’t remove all the difficulties from our lives and doesn’t guarantee we will be successful in all our endeavors.
We live in this world and have to face the reality of it, complete with all the challenges, 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 can expand this to meditation in daily life.
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. There are many benefits to working with the mind. If our minds are peaceful, our perceptions of the world change. We will have a much healthier, more positive view of life. We see things more clearly, which enables better decision making. We appreciate the good things we have and the good things others enjoy. All of this goodness will naturally contribute to our happiness, success, and ability to bring about positive change.
This article was adapted from Trungram Gyalwa‘s Mind Talk “The Benefits of Meditation.” Read more about choosing the best meditation practice for you with our free eBook.