Have you postponed starting a meditation practice until you have time to go to a studio or take a training course? Stop delaying your mindful journey and start at-home meditation habit with the following tips.
1. Find Your Definition of Meditation and Your “Why”
Without knowing your “whys” for starting to meditate, it would hardly be possible to turn the practice into a habit.
Take a moment to answer the following questions:
- What is the point of meditation? What happens to a person when they meditate?
- What goals do I want to accomplish by practicing meditation?
- How will meditation help to achieve my other goals?
The pop-culture image of meditation as a mysterious ritual to communicate with the spirit, and master the power of thought to make your dreams come true is not entirely erroneous. But it is best to start your practice as a way to simply relax, concentrate, and quieten the mind.
2. Plan Meditation Sessions as Workouts for Your Mind
Just like physical fitness is a workout to enhance your body, meditation can be considered an exercise program to strengthen your mind. Developing a training plan and sticking to it is essential for seeing results in training physical and mental bodies alike.
How do you make a plan as a beginner? Consider consistency, convenience, and your answers from #1. Aim for shorter daily meditations rather than a few long practices and allow some flexibility with your timing.
Early morning might be the best time to find a moment of quiet for those who live in a busy household. However, always have an alternative, for instance, to meditate in the shower focusing on physical sensations or practicing while eating. A great example is a practice of mindfully eating a raisin by a renowned meditation teacher and practitioner, Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Look at your current goals and see how meditation can help you achieve them at a given moment. If you have a busy workday ahead, try meditation to enhance your focus and productivity, haven’t been getting enough z-z-zs lately – go for a practice that improves your sleep.
3. Take care of Your Body: Warm-Up and Posture
In the eight-limbed yoga system, asana practice is set as a meditation prep for a good reason: some physical activity before you meditate will make the mind less agitated and warm up the body to maintain stillness during meditation with ease.
Find the meditation posture that is comfortable in your present flexibility and strength condition. Any position that allows you to keep the spine erect effortlessly is good for meditating. If you find variations of lotus, cross-legged pose, or the Japanese kneeling position taxing on weak knee joints, sitting on a hard chair is a fine alternative. Overall find the balance between engagement and relaxation in the body.
4. Get Ready for Some Difficulties & Drop the Expectations
Prepare yourself for feeling physically uncomfortable, tense, have a lot of intrusive thoughts, and a strong desire to quit or fall asleep as you begin to meditate. All these problems are typical and by no means signal that you are doing something wrong!
Do not expect to achieve some particular state of lightness and relaxation after your first practices. In fact, do not expect anything, and just get curious to learn a bit more about yourself.
That said, determine a relevant measure of your progress: perhaps you are less reactive to the distractions from your environment during the meditation or can now find a moment of quiet between the pesky thoughts. Remember to look beyond the practice and notice small positive changes in the relationships with yourself, others, and overall well-being.
5. Get Your Questions Answered
Lastly, as you progress in the meditation practice, there will be questions arising that require answers. Home meditation practice can be daunting due to the lack of feedback that can impede your progress.
Luckily today, it is possible to get all the questions answered without leaving your home. Find a meditation community online where you can get relevant advice, share your experience, find the support of the fellow mindfulness seekers, and get inspired.
Remember, you can always ask all of your meditation, mindfulness, and well-being questions in DeepMeditate blog comments. Namaste!