It seems like everyone is talking about meditation these days. Maybe you’re a long time meditator, and you’re all about the apps and the retreats. Awesome! But maybe you’ve tried it a few times and just couldn’t get the hang of it? If that sounds familiar, don’t despair!
Meditation is just like any other skill – it takes time and effort to get better, and when you do start to feel improvement, it’s like a breakthrough that brings tears to the third eye. You might get a little addicted to the feeling of being in quiet, calm, alert but restful awareness. Some say it’s like being in a vast, peaceful plane that keeps expanding, like you’re floating above yourself, or like you feel weightless and heavy at the same time.
However you experience meditation – and perhaps you’re experiencing frustration at having a monkey mind, amarite? – there are little things we can do to help the process along, and cultivate the optimal environment for practicing meditation.
TIP 1 – De-clutter
There’s nothing worse when you’re trying to de-clutter your mind than a room full of clutter. Create a calm area, even just a wee corner of the room, that allows for maximum relaxation and minimum distractions. Use a focal point to help you become grounded, like a statue or candle upon which you can set your worldly gaze.
TIP 2 – Get Comfortable
Ok sure, we’ve all seen the pictures of meditating sages of yore, with their legs twisted into pretzel shapes, 12 hours on the clock and still counting. For us regular folk, though, sitting down in the lotus pose for just 10 minutes may indeed pose some ‘dead-leg’ problems, to name just one. Find a comfortable position that works for you. Bring in cushions or a chair, yoga mat, blanket etc. Get comfortable, and settled, and get ready to breathe.
NB: remember to keep the spine straight but not stiff.
TIP 3 – Get Personal
It always helps to remember why you’re trying to meditate in the first place. If you have no why, you won’t try. Create a mantra or an affirmation that you associate with your cozy little meditation space, and say it each time you sit down to meditate. Why are you here? Why are you taking time to connect with the breath and the self? Something simple like “I’m here to learn, grow and care for myself” or “This is my space to be at peace” will remind you why you’re there, and why you care.
TIP 4 – Go Green!
Plants are good for our health for a variety of reasons. Having a living, breathing plant in your meditation space allows you to connect with nature, a reminder that it’s you and all the other living beings of the world in it together. Perhaps you’re not feeling that connection yet but trust me; get a little plant with you in your meditation space, talk to it, nurture it and be amazed as you watch it grow with you. Celebrating life, in all forms, brings you closer to who we are deep down.
TIP 5 – Have some fun
Meditation can seem tough at first, there’s no doubt about it. It’s frustrating, it can be disappointing, and it takes patience and compassion for yourself to get better. Getting through the first few weeks, therefore, needs a resilience that can be helped along with a healthy dose of humor. When you inevitably become distracted, instead of feeling defeated, smile, have a little giggle and be amused at the nature of the brain to pull you into thought. Laugh at yourself, at your brain, at the process. Life becomes lighter when we smile.
I hope these tips can help you along in your meditation journey! Let us know what you think, and if you have any tips to share let us know!