Meditation is a form of mind training and, like weight training, it doesn’t improve with a haphazard practice. Practiced every day however, meditation contributes significantly to a better quality of life. It is therefore important to establish strategies that support a solid practice, allowing us to feel and see significant changes. The mind is a muscle that gets stronger over time and it takes consistent training to see your strength improve.
When things feel like they are at crisis point in our lives it is easy to stay motivated to do the things that help but the key to experiencing the numerous benefits of meditation is trying to practice regularly, come rain, hail or crisis.
Here are 5 things that will help to establish a consistent home practice:
- Set a firm intention – it’s important that you get clear about why a meditation practice is important to you. You may want to list all the things you have to gain from a meditation practice as a reminder of why you want to meditate.
- Create a habit – to create a regular meditation practice make it a part of your regular routine. Try to find a time that you are consistently available each day. Either in the morning upon rising, or last thing at night may work best.
- Create a special space– You may like to set up on an alter that reminds you of your spiritual life and inspires you to attend to your higher self. You could use a photo, flowers, objects from nature, crystals, candles, oils and books that inspire you. If you have the space you could also set up a meditation cushion or chair with your altar.
- Start small – Aim to sit for 5, then 10, then 15 minutes etc. A short, consistent practice is worth more than a longer, infrequent practice. Sit in meditation for as long as you can stay focused, and then build up slowly as your concentration improves. Some days there is also only enough time for a short practice, and it is more valuable to enter the silence, even if for a short visit, than not at all.
- Don’t stress – if you miss your scheduled time do not let it cause suffering with negative self talk or feelings of failure. This is counterproductive to reducing stress and feeling centred. Just start again the next day.
During The Livewell Playground’s Introduction To Meditation course (join over here for FREE) you will learn that mindfulness meditation is the practice of noticing where your attention is, noticing your thoughts, and then gently guiding the attention back to the breath, our centre, and a sense of peace.
Establishing a meditation practice should be viewed the same way.
We need to notice what is drawing our attention away from our practice. What is distracting us. Acknowledge what is going on and then gently, patiently, redirect our attention back to getting on the cushion, back to our practice.
It can be a challenge to step away from the noise and busyness of our daily life. It can be difficult to stay committed to taking time out to visit the quiet space inside. But practice will make it easier, and once you achieve a consistent meditation practice, your sense of calm, level of health and feelings of happiness will expand. It will be well worth the effort.
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