Many of us have the same reaction when we hear the word Meditation.

Immediately, we think of trying to get comfortable by shifting and squirming, all while trying to combat the barrage of thoughts that come flooding into our mind.

Of course, we have high hopes of reaching that zen like state, but can’t get pass the idea of simply sittingbeing still, and going inward.

It might also be the fear of what we find once the dust has settled in our mind, that also keeps us moving, busying ourselves, and in many ways creating our own little chaos.

These are all very good excuses that we tell ourselves over and over that keep us from finding our seat and moving into stillness, but eventually we may have to come to terms with what we are missing and what injustices we are committing to our authentic self in the process of keeping busy.

So, how do we begin to meditate?

Here is a simple list of ways to embark on the path of meditation and tips to keep you seated for the long haul:

1.  Start small, and without expectation.  5-10 minutes devoted to your meditation practice is all you need to find clarity + peace.

2.  Allow meditation to become apart of your routine.  In the morning Rise + Rinse + Reflect… Repeat!

3.  Develop a ritual around your meditation.  Set the space with a comfortable bolster, candle, calming aromatherapy, and drape a beautiful scarf over the shoulders to stay warm.

4.  Set a timer, a cell phone works great if calls are silenced, and do away with the clock checking.  Vow to stay seated with eyes closed till the harp tone on your timer brings you back to your day.

5.  Start with just noticing the thoughts, and note what comes up, as it is what is keeping you from going deeper and peeling back to find the next inner layer.

6.  Move to focusing on the breath, noticing all of it’s qualities, and any sensations of your experience.

7.  Allow a mantra to guide you deeper and busy that wandering mind.  So Hum (I am that) can be used with inhaling to “So”  and exhaling to “Hum”.  Or try Let…GoI…Trust, or makeup one that resonates with you.

8.  If and when the mind starts to look to the future and your list of to dos, simply come back to the breath and your mantra.

9.  Close your meditation in the same way each time.  I like to end with Saying Namaste +bowing to my true authentic self, and taking a few minutes to be grateful for the peace and joy in my day ahead.

10.  Repeat.  Commit to practicing tomorrow.  Same time. Same place.

Zen habits will form, and beckon you back to your bolster.  

 

If meditation has still got you down don’t forget to check out Swami Ken’s Meditation Workshop this Friday, July 13, 7-9pm at Om On Yoga.