23 Temmuz 2016 Cumartesi

Meditation Tips part 3

20. Don’t sit longer than you can

Even so, after calming yourself before meditating and using a timer in the proper way, in the beginning at least, you’ll grow increasingly more restless as time goes on.
Maybe that time is 5 minutes, maybe it’s 10, or maybe it’s 20. Whatever it is, if you’ve only been meditating for a week, a month, or even a few months, there’s a time period you’ll get to where you just can’t sit any longer before feeling like you’re crawling out of your skin.
Once you get to that point, just stop sitting. It’s as simple as that. There’s no reason to push it. If you do this consistently, each day, you’ll gradually be able to sit down for longer and longer periods until the point where you feel as though you could sit forever peacefully without this feeling ever arising.
This stage is the goal, but there’s no rush to get there. Take your time, and don’t sit longer than you feel you can.

21. Start sitting for 5 minutes

When you begin your sitting meditation practice, simply sit for 5 minutes. Don’t attempt to sit for 10, 20, or more even if you think you can.
Don’t think you’re Mr. or Ms. hot-shot and go into your practice ego-first, that’s a sure way to stumble hard right from the get-go and lose the motivation to keep practicing. Just do 5 minutes and then expand later only IF you feel comfortable enough to do so.
By sticking to this, even if you feel you can do more, you make the idea of meditation a simple and quick practice in your mind, and this helps establish it as a daily habit.

22. Work in blocks of 5

With that being said, it’s generally best to increase your meditation in series of 5-minute blocks.
Let’s say on Monday you begin meditating, and one or two Mondays later you begin feeling pretty comfortable while meditating for 5 minutes, no longer feeling the intense restlessness you once felt after a few minutes of meditating.
That’s a good sign you’re ready to begin meditating for 10 minutes, at which point you should test it out and see how it goes. If you feel it a little tough towards the end, you can always push through it.
But if the difficulty is intense, as I mentioned earlier, there’s no reason to push it, so just go back to 5 minutes for another couple of days.

23. Have a meditation space

It’s important, at least with your sitting meditation practice, just as with work and family, to have a space designated for the activity.
By doing so, when you go to sit down in meditation distractions go away, you become focused, and overall become more able to cultivate a strong meditation practice.
You shouldn’t limit your meditation practice to this one place, but it’s still important to have a place like this you can go to that’s reserved for your practice. This is your Zen space, as I discussed in a previous post (which was an exclusive preview of a Zen for Everyday Life chapter as well).

24. Read a book, or get instruction

You don’t have to get personal instruction, but it’s important to at least read a book on meditation to get detailed instruction on the practice, preferably various forms of meditation you can use throughout your life and for various purposes (focus on one at first though).
This is all but necessary, as otherwise you’re shooting in the dark and aren’t completely sure if you’re doing it right.

25. Don’t restrict your practice to the meditation cushion

By this I mean don’t restrict your practice to sitting meditation only. As I mentioned, you can meditate anywhere and at any point in your day, no matter what you’re doing. But it can be easy to get comfortable and just stop there.
This is greatly limiting your practice. Once you get the hang of sitting in meditation, begin to try out other forms of meditation.
Most importantly, bring mindfulness into your everyday life.

26. Get a good audiobook (or a couple)

This will really help you take your meditation practice beyond the cushion and into your everyday life, on top of being the perfect complement to your book. With audio, you can take your practice with you wherever you go.
I love listening to audiobooks in my car (mostly Alan Watts right now) and still occasionally use them elsewhere as well. Test it out for yourself and see how it helps.

27. Try guided meditations

Rolling off of this point, in the beginning, it can be beneficial to try out some guided meditations. These are enjoyable at varying levels of practice but are especially helpful for anyone beginning with meditation.
Guided meditations are also nice for the same reason audiobooks are- you can take them anywhere and listen to them at just about any point in your day.

28. Let others know you’re serious

Let your friends and family know that you’re serious about your meditation practice. This is important for a few reasons, but an example would be letting those you live with know not to interrupt you during your sitting meditation practice.
For that purpose, if you live with others and you meditate, say, in your room, then you can hang a sign on your doorknob once you begin your meditation. There are various ways this can manifest, though, so you’ll have to look at your own life and take the necessary steps to let those around you know how important your practice is to you.

29. Reduce distractions

I’m talking specifically about sitting meditation here, but if you have a scheduled time for walking meditation, or even just plan to eat your lunch or another meal in mindfulness, then it’s important to reduce distractions as much as possible to improve your practice.