Do you know that by spending just a little time preparing for your meditation, you can have a deeper experience in meditation? The question about ‘how to meditate’. Practicing meditation in our daily life is super beneficial for our health. As part of your morning ritual, it is very centering, grounding and can really set the tone for your day.
Personally, I have noticed that my day runs more smoothly, with ease and flow when I spend even just a few minutes breathing with my eyes closed every morning. Yes! That’s how easy it is to meditate. Many people think that meditation is very easy, others find it very complex and difficult. The truth is that it all depends on our mental state. If you are overactive and your mind is restless, meditating could be very frustrating.
In such situations, many of us quit after a few minutes of practice and say ”Meditation is not for me, I give up”. You just need a little patience and regular practice to find inner peace and harmony. If you’re starting with meditation, be patient. In the beginning, your mind will jump from one thought to another, just as a monkey. It is a natural condition. After some time and practice, you will find peace and tranquility. Do not fight your mind, take your time to arrive on the mat, and to disconnect from your daily routine.
Just start by sitting and focusing on your breath. You can count your inhalations and exhalations (to slow down your breath and go deeper). Repeating a word or phrase (with or without meaning) as a mantra can help you slow down your thoughts. But the simplest method just focuses on your breath. Your mind will ramble (that’s normal!) but just be aware of it. When you notice yourself thinking, refocus, and go back to your breath.
As a new practice, it takes a while to get into the habit of doing it. Here are a few suggestions to help you get into the meditation groove:
Choose a Convenient Time:
Meditation is essentially relaxation time, so it should be done entirely at your convenience. In theory, the best time to meditate is around sunrise or sunset, when the atmosphere is charged with powerful magnetic vibrations. The hours of sunrise and sunset, while nature transitions between day and night, are also ideal for the practice. You will also find these times quite at home, which will help in your meditation.
However, if you can’t meditate at this specific time, just find another calm moment for yourself, when nothing and nobody will disturb your practice. Try meditating every day at the same time; this will help you to get a stable rhythm and to find your moment of peace and harmony.
Get Comfortable Place:
Choose a place where you not likely to be disturbed. Quiet and peaceful surroundings can make the meditation experience for a beginner more enjoyable and relaxing.
We tend to make meditation more complicated and challenging than necessary. Take it easy. Start by taking a comfortable seat & place. If you’re flexible, sit on the floor, on a meditation cushion, bolster, or blanket (hips higher than your knees). If you’re not, sit in a chair with your feet on the floor.
Straighten your spine. Sit in a chair or against the wall if you need to. Lengthen the spine to help increase circulation and keep you alert. Your posture makes a difference too. Make sure you are relaxed, comfortable, and steady. keep your shoulders and neck relaxed, and eyes closed throughout the process. That you must sit in padmasana (the lotus position) to meditate is a very common myth of meditation.
Start with 5 to 10 minutes twice a day. If ten minutes seems overwhelming, begin with five. Don’t force yourself to meditate longer if you don’t feel ready. After a week, begin to add a minute to your practice each week until you build up to 30 minutes, or more, at a time.
This is again preparation for easy meditation. Deep breathing in and out as well as doing some Nadi Shodhan pranayama before meditating is always a good idea. This helps to steady the rhythm of the breath and leads the mind into a peaceful meditative state.
The breath is a gateway beyond the mind. Our mind is addicted to analyzing the past or projecting into the future. Observe the rising and the falling of your breath. Be in awe of your breath. Spend at least five minutes a day just focusing on the breath.
Focus on your heartbeat. This magical organ that pumps blood throughout your body and keeps you alive. And be deeply grateful for this miracle, and for every breath you take.
If your mind is jumping, gently try to return your focus to the breath or the meditation object. Don’t fight your mind or thoughts. This will just make you feel frustrated.
Imagine a cloud in the sky, stuff your thoughts into the cloud, and send the cloud away, then bring your mind back to the object of meditation or to the breath. Do this 1,000 times if needed. You will see that, after a while, the mental distractions come to an end.
If you have strong uncontrolled emotions, it is impossible to meditate. Keep a Gentle Smile on Your Face. A gentle smile throughout keeps you relaxed, peaceful, and enhances your meditation experience. As you get to know yourself, do it with a friendly attitude instead of one of criticism. You’re getting to know a friend. Smile and give yourself love.
As you come close to the end of the meditation, don’t be in a hurry to open your eyes and start moving about. Open your eyes slowly and gradually and take time to become aware of yourself and your surroundings.