We don’t get ripped from going to the gym once, and it’s the same for meditation.
The benefits of meditation won’t happen just by thinking about it or wanting to do it. You HAVE to do it consistently.
With physical exercise, you’re going to see a toned arm after regular arm workouts. With training your brain, you can’t see it physically, but you will feel the benefits. And it's pretty life-changing.
So where to begin?
You have to have an intention to do the practice. That means carving out a time to sit, and it’s best if you could make that time consistent so that you can create a habit and have a regular practice.
People sometimes have a misconception that meditation takes a lot of time and think "I don't have time for it!" You don’t need to sit for an hour, even 5 or 10 minutes is better than none. AND everything is a matter of priority. “If you have time for social media, you have time for meditation.”
Find a place where you will be undisturbed, where no one will be asking for your attention.
It’s okay if that place is not completely quiet. Sound is not a barrier to meditation. Just make sure to close the door and to let your family know that you need your quiet time. If you have pets, leave your pets outside. Some people also like to set up their meditation place like a sanctuary – lighting candles, having pictures of their loved ones…it’s all up to you.
And if you want to have a mini unplug at work, another suggestion is to even find a meeting room. Again, make sure you'll be undisturbed.
You might also want to look up meditation classes to go to. I find the experience of practicing in a group vs. solo is different.
Explore What Resonates With You
There are many types of meditation; you have to find what you like. Some people come to me and say “I can’t meditate” and then I ask them “What did you do?” Like exercising, just because you tried running and didn’t like it, you can’t say you’re not going to workout. You can also try yoga, circuit training, spinning, weights, dancing, etc.
Touch, Sight, and Sound are three senses which most focused meditations are based on.
Touch meditations can include breathing and body scans.
Sight can be visionary (e.g. imagining a light) or candle gazing.
Sound can be a mantra or singing bowls.
YouTube or Apps (e.g. Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer) are good resources for you to find what you like!
I highly recommend that when you are new to meditation, it is best to do guided meditations. This way there is a voice nudging back to the practice before you go too far in your thoughts and distractions.
Now it's Up to You
I have shared with you some pointers on how to kick-start your meditation practice.
There is no secret to training your brain. It’s Time, Commitment, and Practice.
Today is the last day of January. Last call for starting your 2018 goals!
Sharing with you a quote, “The willingness to do creates the ability to do.” ~ Paul McWilliam