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Sunday
Jul012007

5 Tips for Developing a Good Meditation Practice

iStock_000001839983XSmall.jpgHere’s a quick guide to getting started with a regular meditation practice.

1. Stretch before you Sit

Stretch your body out to release tension before sitting down to meditate. If you know a yoga posture or two, like the triangle, or the warrior pose, you could try those to relax and stretch your major muscle groups. Otherwise just stretch how you feel comfortable, trying to give all your major muscles a few moments attention and relief.

You could give your arms and legs a bit of a shake too, just to make sure everything is loose and relaxed before you begin.

It's up to you how long you invest in preparing your body, if you're short on time, even a minute spent stretching can free you of a lot of tension.

2. Daily Dose

For maximum benefit from meditation, make it a habit. Set aside a time (or times) each day for your quiet time. Recommended times for meditation are the peaceful morning hours before the world gets up and starts rushing about, and twilight.

By making meditation a daily event in your life you will gain numerous benefits, not just from the practice itself, but from the simple act of commitment and awareness to meditation being a part of your life and your attunement to beneficial times of regular practice.

Regularity is one of yoga and ayurveda's recommendations for a strong and peaceful mind.

3. Setting the Scene

It's not always easy to enter into a meditative state, especially when meditating later in the day when your mind has picked up the pace. Or when you know you have other things that need your attention too.

To slide into a meditative state more easily you could use guided techniques where someone already in that state talks you through, or you could simply prepare yourself with a prayer, or statement of intention, that the next few minutes can be spent in peaceful contemplation and that everything else can wait.

You could breathe deeply for a minute or two, emptying your lungs with some push from your diaphragm and dropping your shoulders as you settle down to begin.

4. Don't Feel Pressured by Time

Meditation should be a pleasant and welcome experience, once you get into a routine, you may find your mind hankering for those moments of peace. But if you feel uncomfortable committing to 15-20 minute sessions, allow yourself the freedom to practice regularly and briefly. It's better to invest 5-10 minutes every day in meditation, that to sporadically enter into 30 minute meditation marathons. Remember the benefits of regularity, and focus on developing a self-healing habit that's easy for you to maintain.

5. Floating Thoughts

Meditators often refer to restless mind as the "monkey mind", In India's timeless classic, the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna confides in Lord Krishna that: "it seems that controlling the mind is more difficult than controlling the wind".

It's practically impossible to think of nothing, the secret of meditation is to let thoughts float by without giving them your attention. Your mind will wander, that's OK, just keep bringing it back to awareness of your breath, try focusing on the sounds of your breath as it enters and leaves your body. Practice keeping still and quiet and, though you can't silence your thoughts, you can hush them for a while and slow the swirling winds of your mind into a contemplative breeze for just a few minutes...

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Meditation is easy with someone to talk you through the experience and help you keep on track download a guided meditation MP3 now… and start enjoying the benefits of meditation in your life today

 

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Reader Comments (3)

Great article. Thanks for the fantastic suggestions on meditation. Although I have practiced many of your 5 suggestions, I don't usually take the time to stretch (tip number 1). I'll give it a try and report back.

Namaste'

Greg
http://www.mymeditationcoach.com
Jul 2, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGreg de Vries
I go through times when I keep up with my meditation practices and times when I slack off. Keeping up is definitely worth the trouble! I really liked the quote which said "controlling the mind is more difficult than controlling the wind" as it's so true, and gives me a little hope. It's time not to beat myself up about skipping a few days and just enjoy the present meditation.
Jul 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
Greg and Beth

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I've definitely found stretching or a few minutes pranayama help me settle into a more conducive and attentive state in my meditation practice.

Beat not the Beth! A windy mind can easily get blown off course, but we can bring it back and pick back up where we left off.

with best wishes to you both
Ananga
Jul 4, 2007 | Registered CommenterAnanga

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