There is only one good way to get better at meditation and to receive more benefits and that is regular as well as punctual practice. There are no short cuts.
Here are some tips that will help you build a daily practice into your busy life.
1. Choose a good time – first thing in the morning – where you can set aside 15 minutes to be calm and quiet. Be realistic, choose a time that you are actually going to be able to get up and give it your best effort – every day. Yes that does include Sundays.
2. Create a beautiful space where you will practice your meditation. Arrange flowers and candles there. Place some images of nature, something vast and beautiful, or a spiritual teacher. Keep some inspiring and spiritual books within easy reach, preferably written by a genuine spiritual master. Set up a sound system where you can play spiritual music. Make it a sanctuary where you will want to spend time. Only use this space for your meditation, spiritual reading and reflection.
3. Make sure you shower or at least wash your face to refresh and wear clean, light and loose fitting clothing for your meditation practice.
Those three important steps will help provide an environment that is conducive to a more fulfilling inner experience. Below is one good morning routine. Going to group meditations and reading spiritual books will also give you some techniques to practice in the beginning as you learn to quite your mind and meditate with the heart.
1. Gently close your eyes. Focus all your attention on your breath. Observe if it is shallow or deep. Is it fast and superficial or slow and relaxed?
2. Begin to slow your breathing down. Work on filling and emptying your entire lungs. Concentrate on filling your lower lungs by expanding your belly then fill your upper lungs by expanding your upper rib cage and back ribs.
3. To ensure you fully exhale collapse your upper chest emptying that part of your lungs and then contract your stomach by drawing your belly button toward you spine. Imagine that these breaths cleanse you of built up tension and stress. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for at least 5 minutes.
4. Now draw your attention to your body and consciously relax all the muscle groups beginning from the tiny muscles in your face, back of your head and neck. In rhythm with each breath choose a muscle group or part of your body to soften and release tension. From your face and head work on down your neck, shoulders, chest and so on, all the way down to your toes.
5. Gently open your eyes just enough to let light in. Rest them on either a candle flame or a flower that you have in front of you. Don’t think about anything just allow you attention to be focus on the object in front of you.
6. Feel you are breathing in the quality of the candle flame – light or the flower – beauty. With each breath feel that quality entering into you.
7. After 3-4 minutes gently close your eyes and imagine the flame or flower inside your heart. Feel these qualities of light or beauty radiating out into your entire being.
8. Finish by slowly chanting 7 times a quality which you would like to increase in your life and share with the world. Here are some suggestions “Peace,” “Light,” “Beauty,” “Love,” “Joy.”
Join us in our weekly classes to learn more about expanding and building your practice of mediation.