If you’ve been meditating for years or just starting out, follow these tips to get the most from your meditation practice.
Tip 1: Be sure to find a space to sit down comfortably in a quiet place with no distractions. You do not have to sit in a traditional yoga posture but do not lay down. You can sit on the floor or on a chair. What’s important is that you are comfortable.
Tip 2: Let go of expectations about meditation. Some people want to have a mystical experience based on the stories they heard from others. Let go of any beliefs and expectations. Let go of all beliefs and expectations before each meditation. Let go of any ideas of what mediation is, what you want from it, and what it is supposed to do for you. Mediation is not a means to an end. Mediation is a tool. Give all your attention to this current moment, then meditation will reveal its benefits. Be open to any experience that may occur.
Tip 3: Relax all your muscles and close your eyes. Do not squint your eyes or keep the muscles in a tight focused position. Relax. Check inside and do a body scan and become aware of how much tension you are holding, and then release it.
Tip 4: Use binaural beats or theta waves to help you go deeper into your meditation. Guided mediation is wonderful, but using binaural beats to train your brain to match the frequency helps you go deeper into your practice. This tip is not necessary but excellent for someone who may have a hard time shutting off the mind.
Tip 5: Crate an anchor. There are anchors you can create to help you focus during your meditation. The first anchor is the breath. The breath is the bridge between the seen and the unseen. When you find yourself going with the mind, become aware by putting your awareness on your breath. Another anchor you can create is using binaural beats to help bring you back to your awareness. When you find you’ve gone off with your thoughts, become aware and focus your attention on the sound of the theta waves while you listen. If you’re not listening to binaural beats during your meditation another option is to feel your body. Connect with how your body feels and body awareness to bring you back to your meditation.
What these anchors do is take your focus, awareness and attention off the mind or distraction and put it on something else and then keep it there. You are training your focus, awareness and attention when you meditate.
Tip 6: Disengage. You will drift off or go off with the mind, however, every time you notice you’ve drifted off and you notice you’re engaged with the mind, the moment you become aware, disengage. Don’t beat yourself up for not staying focused. Every time you catch yourself in thought, commit to disengage. Let them go. How you ask? Bring your focus, awareness and attention back to the body and breath or the sound of the binaural beats. This is a shift to what you want to stay focused on. In the beginning you will find your attention is short, but keep training your attention. This is the practice. It doesn’t matter how many times your attention goes off during your meditation. Keep bringing it back to the body and breath. For many just starting out in the beginning realize this can be hard work. Stick with it! The results are priceless!
Tip 7: Commit to 15 to 30 minutes every single day. It must be everyday, not a hit or miss practice. If you really want the benefits of meditation, and want to deepen your meditation and gain insights and understanding life and reality at another level, then you must practice every single day. For the 15 to 30 minutes you are continuously bringing your focus, awareness and attention back, again, and again, and again.
Tip 8: Learn to recognize what remains when there are no thoughts. Once you understand how to bring back your focus, awareness and attention, when you are fully focused on your binaural beats, breath or the sense of your body, you’ll notice thoughts do stop if maybe for a few seconds. In these moments notice what remains. The sense of I AM is all that remains.
In the beginning when you are just starting to meditate, be aware of this last tip. Continue to focus on disengaging from the mind. When gaps in thought become clear, then connect to what remains. YOU!
Meditation is getting to know this larger part of YOU and training your focus, attention, and awareness.
Your focus, awareness and attention is your most precious gift. Make mediation the most important part of your day!