As you start your meditation practice or wish to enhance your practice, here are some tips that can assist and benefit your continued practice.
Even though one can practice anywhere, including a busy airport. At home, it is nice to have a corner or room set up just for your meditation time. This area becomes a physical and mental cue for you to come to the quiet. Make this area special to you. Create an altar if you like with candles and other objects that you mind meaningful to you on your own quest for peace in your life.
I have a meditation room set up in our home. I have a few meditation cushions, candles, an altar with a statue of the Buddha, a peace lily plant, a salt lamp, and other artifacts that remind me of my personal path. I also have a day bed that at times I will use for body scan type of meditations or for a sitting meditation.
When I walk past this room, I can feel the serenity calling me within. It is my sanctuary of peace. When I enter the doorway, I can feel the intention and guide towards the inner world.
Yet this doesn’t have to be an entire room, it can be a corner spot in your home with your favorite chair.
Additionally, you may wish to have a small routine, lighting a candle, cup of herbal tea to sip before you begin, or even a yoga mat to do a few stretches.
Setting a Timer
You may be using a timer already, however, be sure when you use a timer that you set it with the intention of sitting through the entire time period. It is tempting when the mind wanders fiercely to shut down the timer before it has expired, or not set one in the first place.
Setting a timer assists your intention for the practice. It is a statement, “I will take 10 minutes of time to lovingly care for myself by this experience. I commit to this time and will see it through.” In a commitment such as this, you will indeed succeed.
Will your mind wander? Of course! That is what the mind does. It loves to take strolls off into the past and into the future. The timer itself is another focal point besides the object you are using in meditation, i.e. your breath, a mantra or affirmation, or another form.
Write in a Meditation Journal
In one of my mindfulness certification trainings, besides merely tracking the hours spent in meditation, we also kept a record of our practice. This record was the observations of the practice itself. This would include the date, the length of the practice and a review of the experience during a session.
- Date: 1/21
- Practice:10 minutes
- Observation: Monkey mind the entire time. I still sat until the timer rang. I’ll try again later.
- Date: 1/22
- Practice: 10 minutes
- Observation: In my meditation today I noticed for the first several minutes my mind was wandering incessantly. My attempts to bring the focus back to the breath seemed futile at first and I wanted to just end the session. However, I persevered with the focus of breath on the nostrils. Soon I found my mind calming down and finished the session with a little more ease.
- Date: 1/23
- Practice: 10 minutes
- Observation: Today I have a miserable cold. My mind would not settle as I just wanted to fall back to sleep. The more I focused on the symptoms, the worse I felt. When I focus on the lovingkindness phrases as I learned in class, I started to see a shift in my mind and how I felt.
When you record your practice each day, you are recording your progress. You will be able to see patterns and clear examples of how a certain meditation worked for you, what didn’t, and what you could focus to work on in your practice. It is an essential tool to the meditator.
Certainly you can keep this in your personal journal and write further on insights and thoughts that came to you.
How We Can Help
Here at Meditation Stepping Stones, we know how meditation plays an important role in our ability to deal with stress and anxiety. Our mindfulness class and our meditation classes all assist you to relaxing and calming your mind. You can learn more about our classes below.
Our current classes:
For the online classes, be sure to use the link to register for each class session you attend. This helps me to know in advance who is attending. You will receive the link for the conference automatically from the system.
Personal Sessions – The personal sessions will run similarly as well except it will be only you and myself meeting. You will have more time to ask questions, work intimately together on goals, right technique, receive worksheets and other easy assignments to help you grow in your meditation practice.
If you have further questions, use the contact form here on the website. I’m happy to answer any questions may have.
Be sure to join our Facebook Group too and you can ask questions, share with others and receive support.