How to Establish your Daily Meditation and Mindfulness Practice
Follow these 6 Easy Steps
Discover What Supports a Powerful Daily practice
Reveal underlying resistances
You may find that as you begin to set forth a daily meditation practice that you experience resistance or delay. This is common.
Understanding that there is no failure in having negative thoughts around meditation.
These thoughts may reflect the habitual thoughts/energies in our minds.
6 Easy steps to discover what supports a powerful daily practice:
1. Establish a daily routine or time & place for your practice.
Planning & establishing a time and physical place (sacred space) for your meditation practice is key to the commitment. Set the intention of what you are comfortable and willing to do. Perhaps 10-15mins daily in the morning or evening or both. After 21 days of practice a habit/rhythm is established and the body/mind will respond well. Try not to fall into the mind excuse trap of “I’m too busy”. Consider things that that you currently waste time on that can be converted to available bandwidth.
Be comfortable in your seated position with straight spine! Otherwise your mediation will be all about feeling uncomfortable. Honor your body and use props as required (pillows, back jacks, chairs) to create comfort. Sitting in lotus pose doesn’t work for every ‘body”.
Begin with a simple ritual - light a candle, incense, set an intention, pull an Oracle card.
Create a sacred space. Symbolically incorporate objects that remind you of your Divine Self - crystals, rocks, pictures, statues, figurines.
2. Trust your meditation practice is creating a positive effect.
Your thoughts about the practice will create the future reality of the experience and ultimately the result. The only way ANY new practice will have a positive impact on your life is if you truly embody the belief that it will do just that!
It’s also important to become aware of the subtle (and not so subtle) improvements in your daily life. This will support your new belief. This belief is critical to your trust and ultimate commitment to the practice.
3. During your meditation trust that whatever arises is right.
If thoughts or feelings arise that you are not doing it right gently remind yourself that meditation is about resting your awareness in the experience of the present moment. Meditation judgement may arise if you are feeling sleepy, ungrounded or uncentered, or the focus/attention wanders into the past/future/planning mind. Begin to practice labeling what is happening. If sleepiness is present, acknowledge sleepy; if feeling uncentered go back to anchoring in the breath; if the mind wanders, notice where and label the thought. Acknowledge that you are not doing anything wrong - it is the movement of the mind.
4. Let go of expectations around the meditation experience.
Allow each meditation to unfold organically without a planned or hoped for experience, invite a child-like curiosity. Uncomfortable sensations/emotions/thoughts may arise that you are resisting. You may notice pain, sadness, anxiety and fears that you wish would disappear. By remaining mindful in the present moment and cultivating acceptance, you are able to change your relationship to the experience. Bringing kind awareness to what is arising and acknowledging with ease, allows you to rest deeper in the experience and it is most likely to change! All is impermanent.
5. If stress or unpleasant feelings arise when you meditate bring kindness and
compassion to yourself for the experience.
It is important to appreciate and understand that you are experiencing previously unconscious aspects of the mind. Firstly, engage in a slow and deep mindful breathing exercise to relax the body & mind. You may notice painful or unpleasant thoughts, memories, physical sensations or other experiences arising more often and they may become intense. You may feel unsafe when they arise and then avoid meditation practice. In many situations, things may seem more stressful before they get better. You have not done anything wrong if this is the case and things feel more intense - quite the opposite - you are actually becoming more mindful. In addition to learning to steady and stabilize the attention, your mindfulness practice is enhancing your skill of relaxing into a more spacious awareness that enables you to observe the ‘textures’ of any experience.
6. Practice Mindfulness in the “everyday mind”.
There are endless waves of experience that flows in and out of the present moment - all the thoughts, feelings, sensations, obstacles, discomforts etc.
What is “everyday mind” ?
When frustration and doubt arise.
When attention wanders, or sleepiness sets in.
When there is physical pain, sadness, anxiety, or some uncomfortable emotion.
Although these experiences are ‘real” they are not ‘you’ and not permanent. You may think the problems and resistances that arise are you or you must get rid of the unpleasantness.
Practicing mindfulness means having the courage and patience to sit and move in everyday life with these intense but changing waves of everyday mind. It means bringing a more careful and sensitive attention to each wave, to each condition or situation as it unfolds. To develop this level of attention to everyday mind requires letting go of all expectations, judgments and agendas. It means moving in closer, engaging and embracing whatever is arising in the here and now. Over time this processor careful, non-judging attention to intense experience results in a sense of inner steadiness, stability, peace and equanimity - and a vastly deeper understanding of Life.
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