Easy Ways to Start a Meditation Practice
- It is ideal to practice in a clean, clutter-free and quiet room. It also helps to have the room dimly lit.
- Sit in a comfortable seated position with your spine held erect. If you choose to sit on the floor using a cushion or pillow will add comfort. You may also sit in a chair. The key point is comfort so that you feel good in your body.
- Breathing through the nose at a rate that is calm is essential during meditation. If nose breathing is challenging, simply breathe slowly and consciously to help relax the body.
- Choose a specific time and duration for your practice. If possible, try to meditate at the same time each day to build consistency. Start with shorter durations, 5-10 minutes, and gradually increase your time spent during each sitting.
- Live in present moment awareness. During meditation, it is common for people to experience a myriad of thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. Include these things in your practice without trying to suppress or engage them. Let them come and go.
- It is also common for people to drift off into sleep. If you find yourself drifting off, bring your awareness back to your body, your breath, and your sitting posture.
- Lastly, some students may find it helpful to incorporate a focusing tool. Here are a few suggestions:
- A simple technique would be to follow the rhythm of your breath, focusing on the inhalation and exhalation.
- You may try silently repeating a short, positive affirmation, prayer, or mantra.
- Focus on a specific area of your body, Chakra or Marma Point.
- You may also try listening to soft, soothing background music that aids in relaxation and can also help you focus. Listen and focus on the vibration of the music and how it resonates in your body. Feel how your breath and the vibration of the music flow and intersect throughout your body.
It is most important that you find a technique that adds grace and ease to your meditation practice. Explore different techniques and remember there is no right or wrong. Each individual will have a unique experience. Each meditation practice offers an opportunity to explore ourselves without expectations, to quietly witness the subtle dimensions of our inner self, and to be open to what is present.
Here is a link to my guided meditation CD; Illumine , for you to practice at home.