Want to know what the hardest part of meditation is? Here's a hint: It has nothing to do with meditation at all! The hardest part is simply making the time to meditate. Once you believe in its power and see its results, you won't let anything get in the way of you and your peaceful practice. It might be tough in the beginning, but stay with it! It'll be well worth the effort.
Make a goal for yourself and evaluate your progress as you go. Commit to at least 3-4 periods of meditation for four weeks. After this time, evaluate whether the meditation has made a positive difference your life. I start my private coaching clients with 10 minute sessions twice each day for the first two weeks. What I’m trying to do is to get them to carve out two chunks of time and establish a routine/habit that we will expand over the next two weeks (up to 20 minutes each session). After the first month, I encourage them to try for 30 minutes in each session.
These meditation tips will help you to get started:
1. Choose a time to meditate. Find a good time for you to meditate. Mornings and evenings are natural choices, but choose what will work best for you. When I first started, I used part of my lunch break at work. Later, when I started working from my home office, I was able to increase my time in meditation each day. Again, you can start with shorter sessions in the beginning, but generally you should shoot for between 30 minutes (or even work up to an hour) during each session. The key is to make meditation a priority for yourself just like you would for everything else that's important in your life.
2. Keep an elevated posture. If you slouch, you won't be in a good position for meditation and you're more likely to feel like falling asleep. Elevate your posture and you'll feel more open to the world. Relax in a crossed legged sitting position and rest your hands in your lap. You may want to consider investing in a zafu/zabuton for comfort. On the other hand, if you have been living the typical American regimen of poor diet and no exercise, you may find that your flexibility is not what you remember it being! If so, don’t feel that you need to contort yourself into a full lotus position that will require a 911 call to extricate yourself from. Simply use a straight back chair, sit up tall, feel on the floor, hands on your thighs/in your lap.
3. Focus on your breath. Your main goal is to keep your attention on your breath as you breathe in and breathe out. It may help to say a mantra and visualize breathing in good energy and letting out the bad energy with each cycle. Again, don’t make this too difficult. You don’t need to travel to India and have the guru give you a secret mantra. At least in the beginning, use a word or phrase that speaks to your intention, such as “peace”, “love”, “OM NAMO” (Om is said to be the sound of infinity and immortality, containing within it all the scriptures of the world. Namo, in Sanskrit, means to honor, appreciate and be humble towards.) The key here is to breathe at a pace that's comfortable for you. Work toward deep, long breaths.
4. Acknowledge your thoughts. You want to remain fully present while you're meditating, and there's no doubt that thoughts are going to enter your mind while you're trying to concentrate. Don't be frustrated by these thoughts, but at the same time don't let thoughts take your attention completely away. Acknowledge your thoughts and then bring your focus back to your breath.
5. Fight the urge to sleep. Many people complain of the urge to sleep during meditation sessions, mainly because it's relaxing and they're meditating during early morning or late evening hours. Part of the problem is that most of us are quite sleep deprived and we’re masking it by downing Monsters and Starbucks, if not something worse. If you fall asleep in the beginning, just sleep. You obviously needed it. But that is also a signal to take action to fix your body’s energy problem in a healthy way and find a different time of the day to meditate. The bottom line is to remain awake with focus and good posture.
6. Maintain your practice. After you discover the many benefits of meditating, it will most likely become a part of you forever. You may not have time to do this every day, but it's important to keep up with regular meditation sessions. Meditation will help you keep a peaceful perspective on life and can tell you a lot of things about your true self. You can use it to relax, motivate, or energize you, depending on your purpose for each session. As you get more experienced with meditation, a more joyful and peaceful life will be yours!
In this session we will:
- Uncover hidden challenges that may be the cause of chaos, stress and discord in your life.
- Create a crystal clear vision for your “ultimate life” of tremendous success on your terms with ample quality time and energy for all your priorities.
- Leave the session renewed, re-energized, and inspired to transform your life and accomplish all of the things that are really important to you.
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Dr. Steve Stutz, CTACC is a Life Success Coach, specializing in helping busy professionals and entrepreneurs not only survive but to thrive in life and business. To receive periodic personal development tips and success mindset articles, please join his e-list by visiting www.forwardpathcoaching.com