- choose a time of day without distractions – no phone, no kids, no interruptions. there’ll be distraction enough with your thoughts.
- decide how long you will meditate. i chose 10 minutes and set a timer on my phone. i was surprised to find that, in the beginning, it seemed to go on forever, but eventually 10 minutes was over before i knew it. i learned to synchronize my breath with how long i sat, so 60 breaths, in and out numbering 1, equaled 10 minutes. try 3 minutes, or 5 minutes. you can make the time.
- sit comfortably, any way that works for you. this can be on a pillow, with hips elevated above the knees, or sitting on a chair. over time,you’ll discover options that work for you and it’ll get easier. don’t give up. over time, with consistency and discipline, you’ll be able to meditate standing on your head (that may be going too far).
- close your eyes.
- observe your thoughts, and they’ll come, trust me. allow them to be there, but don’t take them seriously. your thoughts will try to convince you how silly this is, how impossible, that you have so many pressing issues to attend to. just see them for what they are – not you. the first week i began meditation practice was the first time i realized how many voices were in my head. they were layers deep. it was shocking, and over time they lessened. oh, they still come up, but not nearly as many, not as critical and not as persistent.
- you can have a mantra (words or sounds you repeat), you can count each breath, anything to keep your mind focused yet not attached to any thought or final outcome. i count my breath. i also repeat four words that are significant to me and i repeat each one of those words as i breathe in and out.
- don’t be hard on yourself. everyone can meditate. it doesn’t happen overnight and just as with any new practice, determination and discipline are key. but no need to obsess or get angry with yourself if you find it difficult. that defeats the purpose of practicing meditation. just being has been conditioned out of us and that’s why we’ve lost touch with our spiritual light.
- you’ll find that once you begin to quiet the mind during meditation, it will also be quieter out in the world. your decisions will come easier, ‘difficult’ situations won’t seem as stressful or worrisome. life gets softer, quieter and more fluid. lines between your sitting meditation and living become blurred and often become one. it’s a glorious experience.
Books I’m Reading. . .Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, The New American Herbal by Stephen Orr, Savage Beauty by Nancy Milford, The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven