A meditation can take place anywhere, at any time all that you need is yourself and your breath. Last week we discussed 5 Common Myths About a Meditation Practice. This week we will go a bit deeper and give you 5 quick and easy steps to start meditating today.
Simply creating a peaceful space can be a very beneficial to your meditation practice. Start by finding a small quiet place where you can place a cushion or chair, a candle, or any pictures that have special meaning to you. To create a space that enhances tranquility add plants, stones, seashells, or fresh flowers. While listening to your breath is essential in a mediation practice, many people find ambient music to be a helpful way to relax. Tibetan bowls, gongs, or crystal bowls can enhance meditation and allow you to go deeper into your practice.
5 Simple Steps to Start Your Meditation Practice Today
1. Take a Seat
Whether you sit on a chair or cross legged on the floor, make sure that your spine is upright with head centered. Remember your mind and body are are connected, so place special attention to your seated position. Use a cushion or chair if you need extra comfort and support.
2. Relax Your Eyes
Close your eyes and allow yourself to to drift into relaxation. When you are starting try to remember to soften the eyes, and let go of all tension around the eyes and face. If closing your eyes makes you feel too sleepy, you can also lightly gaze at an object for focus.
3. Let Go
Let go of all thoughts and distractions, and sounds. When you notice thoughts coming into the mind, let them go by returning your focus to your breath.
4. Listen to the Breath
Paying attention to the breath is a great way to anchor yourself in your practice. Focus on your breath flowing in and out of the body, like an ocean wave. There are many ways to use the breath to aid in meditation. Try different breath patterns, counting the breath, and experimenting with breath retention.
5. Be Consistent
When starting a meditation practice begin with only 5 minutes at a time. Slowly over time increase your meditation time by 5 minutes each session. Try to eventually build up to about 20 minutes per day to notice lasting effects. Experiment with what length of time works best for you to center and relax your mind. Next schedule a time that works with your daily schedule, and try to keep the schedule consistent. Many people find the morning hours right after waking to be the best time to sit quietly. Find a time that works for you and make it a daily practice.