The buzz around meditation has made its way from the West and penetrated into our busy Eastern lifestyles. From lowering anxiety levels to increasing creativity, meditation continues to improve the lives of the modern world. Let’s admit, at the pace society continues to move, it can be challenging to incorporate meditation as a daily practice—especially if you’re not sure where to start. However, there are many ways to make meditation a lasting discipline.
This is especially true if you’re just beginning. It can seem daunting to sit in meditation for an hour at a time when it’s your first time. Starting small allows you to manage your practice from a place that feels right. You can even start with one minute and see how that makes a difference. Remember, starting small doesn’t mean you’re skimping. Instead, you are starting from a place that doesn’t leave you feeling discouraged.
Do it first thing in the morning.
When we open our eyes in the morning, thoughts immediately begin to pop into our awareness. The further we continue into the day, the more tasks we take on and the more our mind finds things to “solve.” Meditating first thing in the morning sets a tone—a blank slate—for the day ahead. It might serve you to enter a meditation before you open your eyes. Have a timer set so you don’t start your day later than desired!
Work with a timer tool.
Yes. The timer serves you well in the morning and it also serves you as you grow in your practice. The benefits of working with a timer offer an invitation to deeper states of focus because it leaves the practitioner free from wondering how long they’ve been sitting. Whether you’re starting small or practicing at hour-long durations, a timer can provide freedom of thought from the chains of the construct of time. Another way to work with a timer is to set increments. Perhaps you set two 30-minute increments with a minute break in between for movement.
Sit after a movement or exercise practice.
Imagine sticking your hand into a small body of water. Watch as the dirt and sand rise to the top. As the ripples begin to find stillness the dispersed sediments settle and ground. After a few moments, the water is clear again.
This is how movement helps before meditation. If you’re finding it difficult to focus while in meditation, move your body beforehand. Do some yoga, dance, or run. Get your blood pumping and your breath going then find yourself in meditation.
Repeat a mantra.
The mind is built to think. Thoughts are something we can never escape. The goal of meditation is not to rid ourselves of thoughts, by the way. However, if thoughts are blocking your ability to focus, repeat a mantra to yourself to deepen your state.
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