Why You Should Forget Everything You Think You Know About Meditation

No matter how busy, prone to a wandering mind, or allergic to the lotus posture you are, there's room for meditation in your life.

D3sign/ Getty Images
D3sign/ Getty Images

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

. . . a very good place to start.

1: Forget Everything You Think You Know About Meditation

First things first—before you dive into your practice and get transported into heaven by my sweet, mellifluous voice—forget everything you think you know about meditation.

One of the most valuable, lesser-known keys to squeezing the maximum juice out of any new experience is to start with a very open beginner’s mind-set.

So show up with a newbie attitude, even if you feel you’ve been there and done it when it comes to meditation. According to our Mindvalley brain expert, Jim Kwik, one of the biggest reasons people fail to embrace new information optimally is that they’re weighed down with prior “knowledge” about the subject. So when you press play on the 6 Phase Meditation recording, do so without expectations of yourself.

2: Decide When You’ll Start Practicing

Timing is everything—especially when it comes to meditation.

So the second thing to consider is when you’re going to start your practice.

If you ask me, the first thing in the morning is always best. There are a couple of reasons why.

First off, Phase 5 is all about planning your upcoming day, so if you’re practicing at eight o’clock in the evening, you haven’t got much of your “perfect day” left. What’s more, meditating in the morning sets you, and everyone else around you, up for a nice twenty-four hours. Stock up on compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, creative visualization, and spiritual connection before you tuck into your morning omelet and you’re onto a winner, right?

Second, your brain is in a perfect state (the alpha frequency) for optimal meditative practices specifically upon awakening. We know this because our brain waves can be actively observed and charted using a machine called an electroencephalograph (aka an EEG machine).

When you begin to meditate later—say, in the afternoon—your brain has to shift from the everyday waking state (beta) to this resting state (alpha). And this can be quite difficult for newbies to do. But if you start first thing in the morning, you’re giving yourself a great leg up—because you’re naturally in alpha anyhow.

3: Give Your Fellow Home Dwellers a Head’s-Up

If you live alone, you can skip this bit. You have the unique setup for peace and tranquility at your fingertips, so being interrupted is not an issue.

But if, like me, you have kids, housemates, an affectionate spouse, or hyper pets, you don’t have that luxury. So I think it’s always a good idea to let whoever you live with know when and where you’ll be practicing and politely ask them (or beg them) not to disturb you.

Do what you have to do. Promise your kids you’ll play with them afterward or tell your spouse you’ll make them breakfast. Just as long as they treat the fifteen to twenty minutes you’re taking for yourself as sacred.

4: Decide Where You’ll Practice

Then there’s the conundrum of where to practice your meditation. For me, I like to sit up in bed as soon as I wake up and meditate there. I cross my legs and shove a pillow behind my lower back, but again, you don’t have to. You can have your legs nice and straight with a cushion underneath your knees if you like.

As long as your spine is straight and comfortable and your head is free, you’re in a good position to meditate. Bed, chair, floor, wherever. At home is the best setting, but if you’re on the move, in a garden or park, or at the office, you can still make it work.

Just don’t lie down, because that’s a sure-fire way to snooze fifteen minutes into oblivion. That said, once all this becomes a habit for you, you’ll be way less likely to ever fall asleep while doing the 6 Phase Meditation, even if you’re a bit tired. Your brain will come to know the difference between meditation time and nap time. So for now, just sit up nice and straight wherever you are.

5: Grab Your Phone and Open the 6 Phase Meditation Audio

Now it’s time to enjoy the 6 Phase Meditation in real time.

Have your cell phone close, and open the meditation to begin. I recommend treating yourself to some good-quality headphones so you can enjoy the best sound quality. Even better, you’ll get an extra special experience if you layer some binaural beats (two-tone auditory illusions that occur when you hear different frequency sounds in the left and right ears) or relaxing music behind the track. All sound options are available for free in the app.

6: Take a Deep Breath and Follow My Lead

Now it’s time to begin the meditation. I’ll be guiding you through from start to finish, and you’ll navigate the process just fine because you’ve gone above and beyond by reading this book first.

Remember, you don’t have to already be in a space of calm and tranquility as soon as you start meditating. You’ll get there by the end of the recording, so just meet yourself where you’re at. Come as you are and enjoy.

It makes me happier than I can say to tell you that you’re about to join over a million other human beings who practice the 6 Phase Meditation every day. Welcome aboard.

Excerpted from The 6 Phase Meditation Method: The Proven Technique to Supercharge Your Mind, Manifest Your Goals, and Make Magic in Minutes a Day, Rodale Books (September 20, 2022).

Find out more at http://www.mindvalley.com/books/6phase 

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