Welcome to week one of my Tools for your Spiritual Journey series – How to Create a Solid Meditation Practice. As we begin a new year, many people will be setting new goals and making resolutions they desire to achieve over the course of 2018.
In the next seven weeks, I will provide you with seven fabulous tools you can put to use immediately for personal and spiritual growth. If you can commit to create a solid meditation practice, it will change your life.
My own meditation practice is young. I have only been meditating for about six months. I admit that my own practice is not as solid as I would like. This is one of my goals for 2018. Even so, meditation has improved my everyday life immeasurably. So let’s begin.
What do I consider a solid meditation practice to be?
The meditation goal I am personally working towards is twenty minutes, twice a day. I am not there yet, but I am committed to achieving this goal in the coming year. One size does not fit all. Your meditation practice may vary slightly or drastically from my own.
Some people meditate only seven or eight minutes, once a day. Others spend hours a day in deep meditation. You can even meditate for two minutes at time while waiting in line or for your child to get out of school. I’ll explain this technique in more detail later in this post.
You will have to discover for yourself what will work for you as you create a solid meditation practice in your own life. And I definitely do not recommend trying to sit still in silence for twenty minutes on your first attempt. At six months in, I can get still and quiet for about sixteen quality minutes.
What is required for you to create a solid meditation practice?
You really only need two things if you truly wish to create a solid meditation practice. The first and foremost is to simply show up. Commit to doing your best every day. Meditation isn’t as difficult as many people believe.
Choose a time in your day that you will meditate and stick to it. At that same time each day, show up to work on your practice. I like to meditate first thing in the morning and at 8:00 pm in the evening.
My morning session helps me to get my day started off right with clear intention and intuition. My evening session helps to clear away all of the unnecessary information I have accumulated throughout my day.
The second requirement for a solid meditation practice is patience. Quieting your mind can be very difficult for many people. You may feel you are failing to meditate properly because you can’t eliminate your thoughts completely or your meditation doesn’t immediately relax you. Be gentle with yourself.
It’s okay. You don’t have to be perfect at this!
Meditation doesn’t have to be this deep state of thoughtless relaxation. In fact, for the vast majority of us, it isn’t. We think, a lot, all the time in fact. Thoughts are going to come and go even while you are meditating. Let them.
No matter where you choose to meditate, noises are inevitable. Your child might knock on your door. The neighbor may be outside. Someone may honk their horn in the not so far off distance. That is all fine. Just smile and let the sound come and go, then get back to focusing on your meditation.
I often hear geese flying overhead during my evening meditation. I have come to appreciate and enjoy the addition to my stillness.
Start small. A few minutes a day is all that is required for you to get a taste of what meditation can give you. Once you feel the power of looking within, you can gradually increase the time you spend doing it.
You can create a solid meditation practice anywhere!
There are no rules about where you should meditate. You can meditate indoors or outdoors. Sitting on the floor, on a cushion, in a chair or lying flat on your back. It is completely up to you. The most important thing is that you are comfortable and your back is straight.
I have meditated in my living room, my bedroom and my office chair at work. My personal preference is to meditate sitting up in my bed. I can close the bedroom door if I need to and it is also a place I associate with relaxation.
Another goal for me, in 2018, is to dedicate an entire corner of my bedroom to be my meditation space. I believe this will enhance my ability to create a solid meditation practice of twenty minutes each morning and each evening.
There are many forms of meditation available. Find one that suits your practice.
My recommendation, if you are a beginner, is guided meditation. I still enjoy and use guided meditations. I think they are awesome. You can find guided meditations on YouTube and there are also many apps to choose from that can be downloaded directly to your device.
When choosing a guided meditation make sure you find the voice guiding you to be soothing. You want your meditation practice to be something you look forward to. If you are listening to a voice you find irritating, that won’t happen.
One of my favorite guided meditations is Rebecca Campbell’s light sourcing meditation which is free for you to download and try for yourself.
Another type of meditation I find very useful as a beginner is binaural beats meditation. These are very specific sound frequencies, often set to music, designed to alter brain activity.
Again, you can find binaural beats meditations on YouTube and many apps are available. Headphones or ear buds will be required to get the full effect from this type of meditation.
Look for Theta and Alpha frequency recordings to aid your meditation. I like to use Delta frequency recordings to promote sleep on nights when I didn’t get my evening meditation session in.
The online course I am using to create a solid meditation practice in my life.
There are many forms of meditation I have not touched on, including mindfulness, continuous breathing, concentrating your attention, as well as chanting mantras and using vibration in your practice.
I am learning about each of these forms of meditation practice through a fun and practical online course provided by meditation master Davidji and HayHouse online learning.
The course is The Art of Meditation: A Real World Guide to Balance, Inner Healing and Self-discovery. This is where I learned Davidji’s sixteen second meditation practice. You can literally do this any time and anywhere.
Ready? Let’s do it. Get comfortable. Close your eyes (after you have read and understand the next steps). Take a deep breath in for the count of four. Hold it for the count of four. Slowly and gently breath out fully, emptying your lungs, for the count of four. Hold that emptiness for the count of four.
Woohoo! You did it! The sixteen second practice. Use this to calm yourself throughout your day. I like to call it the sixteen second miracle!
If you are interested in reading the other posts in this series, I have included links below.
Thanks for reading and wishing you a stellar 2018!