Taking time to meditate improves our daily life. Meditation help us to: live more in the present; find forgotten joy in the small facts of life; differentiate between the important from the small potatoes; look at our daily challenges from a different perspective…an enlightened one, to list just a few.
I used to view hundreds of pictographs on Facebook and other social media about the power of yoga and meditation, and up until a few weeks ago, I agreed, liked, re shared but never actually got up from my computer for meditation. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I started meditating every morning and now, those 15 minutes are part of my daily routine, just like tooth brushing. How I’ve done it? I had a plan first which I am going to share with you.
1. Meditation Planning
The perfect time for meditation is right after you wake up. In the morning your mind is not crowded with thoughts and activities of the day. It’s well worth waking up half an hour earlier than usual and taking the time to meditate.
2. Waking up in a gentle way
Try to synchronize your waking up time with the sun rise. Set your alarm clock on a gentle waking up setting. Philips does an alarm clock with different soundtracks to choose from. Mine has a bird thrills soundtrack. Anything nature inspired will do, heart beat, waves..Be gentle with yourself. Take your time to wake up slowly. Before getting out of bed, start wriggling you toes, your fingers, roll your eyes, stretch. Regardless of being able to see the sun or not do one or more sun salutations.
3. Location, location, location
Choose a place in your home or in the garden that you can dedicate as your meditating place: a cushion on the floor or a chair will do just fine. Wherever you sit, keep your spine erect and your shoulders relaxed so that your breath and energy can flow freely.
4. Breathing and breath awareness
Once you’re sitting straight but comfortable, start being aware of your breath.Take a deep breath in and exhale completely. While you’re emptying your lungs, release any tension in your body. Continue breathing and focusing on your breath.
5. Using a mantra
Mantra means an instrument or vehicle of the mind. A mantra is a tool to help quiet your mind first prior to experiencing moments of silence. You can make your own, receive a personal mantra from a meditation teacher or use a simple mantra of “1, 2”. As you inhale, silently repeat “1” and as you exhale, silently repeat “2”. Inhale “1”, exhale “2” and keep repeating. When you notice that your awareness has drifted off to thoughts, gently bring it back to the repetition of “1, 2”. Go easy on yourself: there is no right or wrong ; be tolerant and non judgmental with yourself thus becoming tolerant and non judgmental towards others. Any random thoughts that will pop by your mind, allow them to come and go. Don’t hold on to them. Go back to your mantra, “1,2”. Follow your breath. Relax.
6. When to stop
Continue for as long as you like. There is no right or wrong time to stop. When you’ve finished, continue your day, and whenever you encounter annoyances or difficulties, just pause for a second, close your eyes and remember your first 15 minutes of the day. You’ll feel instant calm and be able to approach the challenge in a more relaxed manner.
7. Turning morning meditation into a habit
Repeat every morning. In about a week, you’ll have been turning your 15 minutes (more or less) into a new healthy habit.