You’ve heard meditation is good for you. You’ve got a friend who LOVES it. You’ve been meaning to try it. But… you haven’t tried it.
As a meditation guide, lots of people ask me the best way to create a meditation practice. What is the best time, the best space, the ideal schedule? On the one hand, there isn't an easy answer because everyone is different. Yet, the easy answer is simply do what works for you and start. Yes, just start. Don’t wait until you have the perfect cushion, the right app, the silent space. Just start. Here are a few tips to help you.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Right now. Close your eyes and take 5 breaths. Look at you! If you want to get more complicated add a time to try this (for example, before you get out of bed, when you get into bed, before you eat a meal, etc.).
Notice Your Life
Play with being present throughout your day. When you are washing the dishes, can you focus your mind on turning on the tap, picking up the dish, seeing the soap bubbles.? To take another step, notice all five of your senses. What do you see when you are washing the dishes? Hear? Smell? Feel? Taste?
What do YOU like?
You may notice that you like the way you feel when you try the steps above and you'll start looking for more options to meditate. I had to go to a class because I couldn't make the time for myself on my own. When I committed to a class, I showed up. You might be more disciplined, and an app could work for you. If you choose an app or a class, there are thousands of options. Notice if you like the voice and the 'energy' of the person guiding the meditation. Try different ways to meditate and notice what you like. I really like the active visualizations; I do not like making my mind go blank. Do you like starting your day with meditation or ending it with meditation (or both!)? Let yourself play - no pressure needed, no judgment of how much or what happened, just let yourself try it. When you decide what you like, you'll be more likely to do it more often because… YOU like it.
When I first started meditating I went to one class once a week. Even though I loved the class and the meditations; I would show up for class each week amazed that I hadn't even thought to meditate during the week. You might not meditate every day when you first start, or you just might fall in love and meditate whenever you can. Over the years, meditating has become something I love to do everyday. It is a yearning inside me that doesn't satiate until I sit quietly in that chair. I guide meditation classes because if more of us can walk around with that sort of love, the world is going to be a lovely place. Just start.