We go to Meditation class because we desire something. For most people, they desire to stop an issue. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most people want to try Meditation because they want to either learn to relax and/or they want to stop their minds from constantly chattering. Meditation can definitely address these needs and I am going to give you the 5 steps to accomplish these.
1. Don’t Expect Miracles from Your First Meditation Class
There is a misperception that you will resolve whatever issue you are trying to address by simply taking one Meditation class. The beneficial effects of Meditation take time. For some, they can see their lives improving within only a matter of a few short weeks. For others, their lives may only slowly change over a period of months. Whatever issue you have brought to our Meditation class has probably grown and multiplied over a very long period of time. We cannot undo within one hour what has possibly taken years to create. You should be fair and kind to yourself. Give yourself a few weeks to start seeing a difference. Just like anything you study, the more you do it, the better you will become.
2. Make a Daily Commitment and The Beneficial Effects of Meditation will Happen Quickly
Meditating only on occasion will mean that the issue(s) that you are trying to address via Meditation will take some time to resolve. Think about an exercise program. If you go to the gym every day, you will see noticeable progress within a very short period. However, if you only go to the gym once a week, you will see a difference, but it could take many weeks before that difference is noticeable. Meditation works in the same way. If you make a commitment to meditating daily (even for only 5 minutes) and visit The Compassion Center once a week, within only a few very short weeks, you will start to experience very noticeable differences. You will feel happier, your focus will be much sharper, you will smile more, people will start to react very differently to you, and there will be many other positive changes.
3. When First Learning to Meditate, Set Reasonable Limits and Expectations
After your first Meditation class, don’t go home and try to meditate for 20 or more minutes. Set 5 minutes as your goal. If you feel that after 5 minutes you want to keep meditating, then keep meditating. Think about how difficult it is when you first take a Yoga class or go to the gym. But the more you do it, the easier it becomes and you can do more and more. To help you, there are a good number of free Apps available that will allow you to set a time. I personally use the Meditation Timer. It’s free and allows you to choose how long you wish to meditate for.
4. You Must Be Comfortable When You Meditate
It’s not essential that you start a Meditation practice by sitting cross legged on the floor. It is perfectly acceptable to sit in a chair. You must be comfortable or you will never be able to sit still and get into a deep Meditation. If you sit in a chair, just remember to sit upright with your back slightly away from the back of the chair and keep your feet flat on the floor. If you wish to use a Meditation mat, but have problems sitting cross legged, try using one of the Meditation Benches from Dharmacrafts. These keep you sitting erect, take all the pressure off your hips and off your knees. When you visit The Compassion Center, please ask me about these and I will show you how to use one during your Meditation.
5. Set Your Intention Before Each Meditation
Here is the Golden Gift I have for you. No matter why you want to meditate, your Meditation practice will reveal things to you that you didn’t realize or were unaware of. For example, we recently had a man visit us who explained that the reason why he came to Meditation class at The Compassion Center was that he needed to “shut up that little guy who keeps talking in his head”. So his “intention”, in the early stages of his practice, will be to quiet his mind. What he will discover, after he continues to meditate for a few weeks (or possibly a few months) is that there is a reason why the chatter in his head is so bothering. There are deep rooted feelings, issues, experiences, and events that we all bury deep into our subconscious. That constant chatter is a way for the mind to tell you that these things are there and they want attention. Once we remove the chatter and acknowledge these feelings, the chatter starts to subside.
The best piece of advice I can give anyone who is interested in Meditation is to be patient with themselves, make a commitment to practice meditation, wake up each day and meditate for as long as you can (even if it’s only 5 minutes) and within a very short while, you will be able to address whatever your intention is and you will become a much happier person.
We recommend our Meditation for Everybody for first time meditators and people who have never been taught how to meditate. The Compassion Center teaches Meditation Classes in Staten Island, every Monday and Thursday nights and Sunday mornings. Please view our calendar of events for more details.