These are the steps to take to start and maintain a Meditation practice. It’s easy to start a Meditation practice, but we need to take specific steps to insure that we can maintain it. By following these steps, you will develop a Meditation practice that will last a lifetime.
Before you start a Meditation practice, examine your motivation or intention for starting a practice. Think carefully about what you seek from your practice. Consider where you are now and where you wish to be.
Choose a Place to Meditate
It’s very important to designate a space where you will meditate. This should be a place that you consider “special” and possibly even “sacred”. Keep in mind that this is where you will be doing the “work” to address your motivations and grow. Respect, love and cherish your space.
If you have a room that you can designate as your Meditation room, this is ideal. However, dedicating a room for meditating is not necessary. You can designate any space as your Meditation space.
To create a Meditation space, follow these guidelines:
- Choose a space that is as quiet as possible.
- The space should be clutter free.
- Use either a chair with a backrest or a Meditation cushion.
- Decorate the space in any way that is conducive for Meditation.
- Insure that you will not be interrupted or distracted in this space.
Simply using or placing a chair in one room will suffice. For many people, this will mean placing a chair in their bedroom so that when they awake, they can do to this chair and meditate after waking up.
Pick a Time to Meditate
Pick a specific time of day to meditate and stick to this. It’s very important that you commit to meditating at this same time every day. Make this commitment and discipline yourself to insure that you don’t miss this time. See this commitment not as an obligation, but as an opportunity to bring about any change you seek in your life.
If you are unable to meditate at this time on any given day, that’s OK. Meditate at some time later that day and then return to your scheduled time the following day. Discipline yourself to stick with this. It is a commitment on your part.
Initially, it will seem a bit hard and you may not look forward to meditating each day. However, once you start doing this for a while, you will really look forward to meditating every day. In fact there will be days when you can’t wait to meditate.
What’s The Best Time of Day to Meditate?
The ideal time of day to meditate is when you first wake up. The reason for this is that your brain is not overwhelmed with thoughts first thing in the morning. Once the day starts, all the “I need to do this and I need to do that” thoughts will bombard you and create an obstacle that will make it initially difficult to quiet your thoughts.
If you’re rushed in the morning and find that you cannot find the time to meditate, either try waking up a little bit earlier or consider meditating later in the day.
Some people prefer to meditate in the evening. Meditating in the evening is fine. However, there are two important “rules” to follow if you will be meditating in the evening. First, meditate at least one hour before your normal sleep time. Second, do not meditate in bed.
It’s important that you have 1-2 hours for Meditation before your normal sleep time. When trying to meditate so close to your normal bed time, we can find ourselves very tired and may find ourselves dozing during the Meditation. Meditation is not sleep and sleep is not Meditation.
We recommend not meditating in bed for the following reason. When we lay down in bed, our bodies and mind understand that it’s time to sleep. You will find yourself fighting with the natural tendency to fall asleep. After all, we have spent years training our minds and bodies to fall asleep in bed. Why fight what we have trained ourselves to do?
Ultimately, the time of day you meditate may not be so important. They key is to choose a time of day that you can commit to and a time that you feel fairly certain will be available to you each day to meditate.
How Long Should You Meditate For?
When you first start meditating, 5 minutes is sufficient. Set a goal to meditate for 5 minutes each day for 2 weeks. a. Download an App to your phone to time your meditations. There are plenty of free ones out there which have some wonderful features like the ability to set the audio signal for the start and end of meditation. You can play chimes, bells, and lots of other things. You can also use a kitchen timer.
At some point during these first 2 weeks, you’ll find that you want meditate beyond the 5 minute signal. That’s great and by all means keep meditating for as long as you wish. Don’t feel a need to set a goal. Just allow yourself to meditate for as long as you wish.
b. As you get distracted, bring your focus back to the breath. Your breath is the friend that will help you to get back into your state without distractions.
c. There will be days when you just can’t get into a meditate state. Don’t fight it. Just return to meditation sometime later in the day.
d. If you really struggle with the 15 minute time limit, set a goal of only meditating for 5 minutes for the first few days, extend this to 10 minutes after a few days, and then extend to 15 a few days after this.
The benefits of daily meditation is enormous. Think of this like going to the gym, starting a diet, or learning a foreign language. The more work you put into this, the more benefits there will be.
However, if you don’t make the effort to do this daily, you will not achieve the optimal benefits and in turn not be able to fully realize what meditation can do for you.
If you struggle with any aspect of this program, you can contact me and/or Puntsok directly.
I believe in each one of you. I have seen the compassion in each one of you and believe that you all have the potential to be great meditation teachers.
Enjoy this experience!