5 Steps to Creating a Meditation Practice
In one of my earlier posts, “Meditation is Chicken Soup for the Mind”, I wrote about the benefits of meditating. Mediation has brought a clarity and centeredness to my life that helps me make it through even the most difficult of days. If you’ve been having trouble getting started with your practice, this post by Sarupa Shah will make it easier for you.
I was talking to a group of women the other evening, all of whom raised their hands as having had experience with meditation. Great start! I thought.
Then as I dug deeper, the excuses started to appear. Even greater! I thought. NOW the energy is shifting.
Meditation is, no doubt, as old as mankind. And while I cannot date that exactly – let’s just say it’s been around a very long time.
The deeper I got to talking with these women, the more I realized that they wanted to meditate, they wanted to allow themselves to experience the benefits that meditation brings, but something(s) just seemed to get in the way.
The most popular excuses for why meditation gets missed:
• Not sure I am doing it right
• Unsure if it is actually making a difference (ie: The emperor with no clothes on syndrome — “I don’t want to say I don’t get it in case I am ridiculed and laughed at!”
Meditation is a wonderful thing. For me, it is:
• The greatest act of self-love
• A healing tool
• An empowering experience
• And so much more…
It doesn’t matter if you love meditating (but don’t do it all that much), or used to do it a lot more, or are just trying to find a compelling reason to join the meditation revolution that has been simmering in the heart and soul of mankind for eons.
If you see yourself as having a conscious leaning, the defining energy is deliberate. Being of a conscious persuasion is not accidental. Nothing is. Everything is about a choice, and in this case, choosing to use one of the most powerful tools available to each of us to create our own inner revolution which of course radiates out to change the world. Excuses won’t create transformation!
Let’s take peace on earth; meditating gives you inner peace and when you have inner peace you contribute to peace on earth. Beautiful don’t you think?
Don’t misunderstand me as inner peace is not passive, nor does it mean that you should be full of surrendering resignation. Inner peace is when we accept who we are and claim more of that without the drama. It is when we live in harmlessness towards our self and others. It is when we tolerate – not the same as putting up with and quietly disliking – but the true essence of tolerance, which is embracing the acceptance that you have your way, and I have my way and neither is ‘more’ right or wrong!
Here are my 5 steps to developing a meditation practice:
1. Set the Intention to Meditate!
Sounds obvious but it is crucial and often missed. If you make this a ‘mental’ intention only, then you are staying in the energy of the lower mind. Lower isn’t anything bad, it is just the place of over cautious monitoring and hesitation and resistance. It all becomes emotional too.
When you hesitate or resist something you want to do – which could be anything, but we are talking meditation – it is because you don’t have the full picture. Your lower mind needs the full picture so it can be geared up to give you the green light and become a meditation ally. The best approach is to write down your BIG WHY in your journal. This helps bring your intention to light!
Now this is a funny word that causes emotional reaction in many and illusionary talks of, well, if you are disciplined you are not in flow. If this imaginary flow takes you away from doing what will help you reach the thresholds of the higher mental planes, then you are using the illusion of flow to take away your spiritual intelligence and from applying your intent. Discipline is a good word. Be a disciple of your true self, which is the all-singing and dancing version.
A way to do this is work out how much earlier you have to wake up, and all the other practical reasons that you may use as limitations to developing meditation practice. You do want to develop a meditation practice, don’t you? This doesn’t mean you say, well I don’t have room for a special meditation corner and sanctuary so I must wait.
Meditation is an inner journey so your external environment is not relevant but of course privacy and some quiet is helpful!
3. Avoid the “All Or Nothing” Approach
From have a wishy washy relationship to no prior practice of meditation, it isn’t sensible to think I will sit for 30 minutes daily. Start with a few minutes of meditation instead. Set yourself up for success rather than confusion and avoidance!
4. Get Professional
Now I don’t mean go and become a meditation expert or teacher but why not go to a meditation group, virtual or local? Why not purchase some meditations so you don’t use your meditation time sitting quietly creating mental to-do-lists?
5. Treat Each Day As An Opportunity to Meditate
If it has been a few days, weeks or more then make today the day you get back on the metaphoric meditation bike. Start back at point one and don’t forget to meditate.