You may be familiar with the concept of meditation and its profound benefits, but how do you start your own daily practice and get it to stick?
1. Losing focus and returning to focus, creates awareness
An important point to understand about meditation is this: meditation isn’t about trying to force your mind to be free of thoughts. Losing your internal focus from your breath or your mantra (OM is a great mantra to use) and then returning to your focus, is an act of awareness. Each time you notice that you’ve gone from mantra to thoughts, this is exactly how you begin to build your awareness.
The process is that simple.
2. Be Gentle
When you notice you’ve lost your focus from your breath or mantra, you have an opportunity to gently remove your attention from your thoughts. Using a casual, nonchalant approach instead of being harsh, critical, or judgmental when re-focusing internally is an act of self-love. How we treat ourselves is how we will treat others. We have the opportunity to strengthen our ability to be gentle many times within our daily practice.
3. Couple Your Meditation with an Existing Habit
We all have rituals first thing in the morning. Attaching your practice to an existing activity is very helpful in establishing its importance.
4. Start Small
Decide how many minutes feels right for you when initially sitting to meditate. 20 minutes is an ideal amount of time to work up to, but may feel overwhelming at first. 5–7 minutes is a great place to start. It presents a challenge but is absolutely doable.
5. Add Another Minute Each Week
If you start with just a few minutes in the beginning, add an additional minute as you become more comfortable sitting. Set a goal to add another minute each week until you have built up to 20 minutes.
6. Enjoy It
Allow yourself to appreciate the time you are taking out from a busy day. Every time to sit, you are putting a deposit into your ‘Zen bank’. You’ll be very grateful for these ‘savings’ when facing stressful events.
Don’t be discouraged. Meditation is a practice, and like anything new, takes time. Any effort you put towards meditation adds up, so give the effort time to accumulate in your Zen bank, even if you start with small deposits.
See Dawn’s website at dawnsmithppc.com