Last week I talked about using something we can’t live without as a basis for your meditation. This week, and for the next three weeks, I am talking about the distractions many people new to meditation come across.
Without conscious effort on our part, our concentration skitters all over the place. We are bombarded from all directions with ‘the new and the shiny’. The pace of life seems to speed up every day, and our commitments take up more and more of our time, until, if we are not careful, we have no ‘me time’ for ourselves.
Meditation is more than sitting quietly in a room for a pre-set amount of time. It is a tool for focusing our minds on one thing at and for a specific period.
Well, no. Not if you are prepared to commit a few moments each day to meditation. The do this takes practice. And today I am going to offer five tips that will help you to meditate.
Learning to meditate is a bit like limbering up that writing-muscle. Exercise it regularly, and preferably at the same time of day, and it will become easier the more you use it.
Many beginners fail to understand that meditation is an active process. It is not an excuse to relax and nod off.
The art of focusing your attention to a single point is hard work, and you have purposefully engage your point of focus.
I cannot repeat often enough the importance of focusing on your breathing to learn to still your mind. Why? Because it is something you can physically use to measure your progress. Remember breathing deep slows the heart rate, relaxes the muscles, focuses the mind and is an ideal way to begin.
You may notice how often frustration creeps up on you. This is very common for beginners as we think “hey, what am I doing here” or “why can’t I just quiet my damn mind already”. When this happens, relax, don’t beat yourself up and refocus on your breathing and deliberately release the frustrations.
When you start an exercise routine, you begin with easy stretches. Stretching loosens the muscles and tendons allowing you to sit (or lie) more comfortably. Additionally, stretching starts the process of “going inward” and brings added attention to the body.