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I see that you’re finally thinking about beginning your meditation practice.
Or, you may already have started meditation but you’re finding it difficult to practice regularly.
Whatever stage you might be at with meditation, there’s always that feeling of whether you’re getting the most out of the practice or not.
This is even worse for beginners.
A teeny-tiny doubt about either the technique, posture, time, or the never-ending thoughts gives rise to merciless judgment eventually making it more difficult for any beginner to continue the practice, let alone make it a lifelong habit.
I had to experience this same struggle when I was beginning my meditation practice a couple of years ago. After researching, learning, and experimenting (a lot) with different techniques, timings, and spaces, I was finally able to persist through the struggles.
I’ve been practicing mindfulness meditation daily (almost) ever since.
What I have realized with my experiences with meditation is that along with identifying the most suitable meditation technique for yourself, there are some very important tips that many of the teachers or audio guides never actually talk about.
In this article, I’m going to share 10 tips that will help you begin your journey into meditation seamlessly. These tips are meant to be followed before you begin your meditation practice.
They have definitely helped me out and I hope they do the same for you.
Know Your Objective
You may already have read about the several scientific benefits that a long term meditation practice can provide you. And you wanna begin meditation to get your share of benefits. Right?
Although there’s nothing wrong with this, it often comes with one major drawback.
Most people fail to continue a meditation practice in the long run because they don’t see any immediate beneficial change in them (You may experience some positive change after a few weeks with daily practice). Their over-expectation hinders their mindset for continuing meditation daily for an extended period of time.
To avoid this struggle, you must keep in mind the two very simple objectives when you begin your meditation practice.
- Your first objective when you meditate will be to dedicate all of your attention on one single thing (breath, mantra, etc.).
- Your second objective will be to take the time out to meditate every single day, no matter what happens in your life.
You can use the following affirmations to remind yourself every time you meditate.
These two objectives will keep you humble enough to continue the practice for the rest of your life.
Practice in a Quiet Space
Even though you can practice meditation pretty much anywhere, it is recommended for any beginner to choose a quiet space for the practice. A quiet and peaceful place will help facilitate stillness within you and make you comfortable to practice.
Make sure to set up the place exclusively for meditation and perform the practice in that same place every day.
Remember to turn off any electronic device before you begin to minimize possible distractions.
Be Well Rested First
Your mind must be active and consciously aware during the meditation practice. If you are tired and worn out, chances are you will fall asleep while meditating.
There’s no real harm in that but it robs you of the meditation experience and makes your practice almost useless.
Select a timing to do the practice when you will be mentally active and your body will support your intention to perform the practice. This will help you get the most out of your mediation.
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Practice at Your Best Timing
At what time of the day you do your practice matters significantly for you to continue meditation every day. The best time for you to practice meditation should be the time you actually look forward to doing it and get the most out of it.
And you must make sure that your mind, body, and behavior are in the best possible state when you practice meditation.
This will help you not only to get immersed in the act of meditation wholly but also, to experience the feelings and benefits that it can provide at the present.
In my article on Find Out the Best Time to Meditate for You, I share five questions that you can use to find it out. They are:
- At what time of the day do I feel relaxed and well-rested?
- At what time of the day do I feel more awake and active?
- At what time of the day do I feel calm and peaceful?
- At what time of the day will I be able to adopt a positive set of mind?
- At what time of the day will I be able to look forward to experiencing the meditation practice in excitement and joy?
Depending on the kind of life routine you follow, by answering the questions, you should be able to identify some timing of the day which will have overlapped with each other.
That overlapped timing should be ideal for you to do the practice every day.
Once you have identified your ideal timing of the day, put it in your daily schedule. Make sure to do the practice at this time every day. This will help build consistency in the practice which, in turn, should help you get immersed and get the full experience out of meditation.
Find Your Best Posture
When you are just beginning your journey into meditation, posture matters for one concern alone.
How comfortable you are in that posture.
You do not have to sit in the lotus position (padmasana) to meditate. It is a myth!
You could be sitting down with an erect spine, or lying down on the yoga mat or practice while walking or in any other position. What matters is which position/posture provides you maximum comfort so that you can focus your attention in the practice.
You can make use of accessories like meditation cushions, blankets, etc. to make yourself more comfortable. You can find a list of the best meditation accessories here. (Opens in Amazon.com)
Prepare for the meditation practice as you would for sleep.
Everything must be comfortable for you.
Since you’re beginning the practice with the objective of doing it every day, have a minimum time commitment for yourself.
You can even start by dedicating a minute to it. The key here is, to be honest with yourself and know how much time you sincerely can commit to the practice every day.
Keep adding more minutes as you progress.
Most teachers and long-term practitioners will advise you to aim for at least 20 mins of regular practice for effective results.
Keep Your Appetite Satiated
The reason for this is pretty simple. You do not want your mind to keep thinking about food during mediation or let the hunger cramps distract your attention from the practice.
Nor should you feel sleepy after having your meal. It is advisable to practice meditation 2 hours after a meal.
Calm Your Mind
Before you begin your meditation practice, make sure to calm your mind. Otherwise, you will not be able to concentrate while meditating and it’ll be a complete waste of your time.
A calm mind will help you make the most of the practice.
You can calm your mind by performing some deep breathing exercises.
Breathing is connected with our mind and emotions.
Take a few deep breaths to slow down your heartbeat and restore the necessary calmness in your mind to prepare yourself to ease into a mediative state of mind during the practice.
Warm-up Your Body
Before settling down into your convenient position to practice meditation, perform some very light exercises and stretches to warm up your body.
Warming up will immediately improve blood circulation throughout your body and remove any tension in your muscles making your body feel lighter. This will enhance your comfort during practice.
Keep a Gentle Smile
This is probably the most important of the 10 tips that I’ve shared with you.
Bring a gentle smile on your face as you get ready to begin your meditation practice. The smile will make you relaxed and peaceful.
Remember to keep that beautiful smile intact throughout the practice.
These 10 tips will enhance your preparation for the meditation practice and help you get the most out of it.
Your objective should be to incorporate meditation into your life as a habit.
You should miss it if you don’t do it for one day.
Once you get started, the next step is to build a sustainable meditation habit every day.
You can read it here.
The best time to start is today and don’t look back once you do.
So, what are you waiting for?