How to Start a Meditation Practice
I saw the writing on the wall at the newspaper where I work as a reporter. It was about four years ago and the news staff kept getting more and more responsibilities and assignments with fewer staff to make it happen.
I loved the job but I felt crazy all the time and knew that the ever increasing workload was only going to continue, I knew I had to do something to help myself manage it all.
Enter meditation. I knew meditation would help me because my father had been preaching about it for years.
What about you?
If spending ten minutes a day in silence watching thoughts drift in and out of your head would give you inside secrets to what was going on at work and with your spouse and possibly even the moody teenager living in your house, would you do it?
That’s what I experienced with meditation. In addition to making work manageable, meditation has given me clues about where to go in other avenues of my life.
Meditation is like a mind eraser or like taking one of those white cleaning bars–a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser–wiping down the inside walls and floor of your brain. It may not erase bad feelings about the donut you ate for breakfast the day before but it will put the donut in perspective and help you think about it objectively.
There are several different types of meditation. I practice mindfulness meditation.
Five Tips for Mindfulness Meditation:
1. Find a quiet spot
If you’ve got a houseful of kids, use your vehicle. Are you a city dweller without a vehicle? Put headphones in and meditate on your commute. Go sit in closet or in the shower with the curtain closed.
2. Meditate at the same time every day
3. Incorporate your meditation practice into another daily habit
3. Set a timer
4. To start, sit one minute a day for three weeks
Focusing on your breath can help you empty your mind.
- Breathe in through your nose to a count of four.
- Hold your breath to a count of seven.
- Breathe out through your mouth with a whooshing sound to a count of eight.
- Repeat four times.
After that, I breathe in and out through my nose until practice is over. You don’t need to breathe through your nose but that’s what I do.
6. Observe each thought that enters your mind then let the thought go
7. Be Flexible
8. Meditation may feel weird or not right or make you feel dumb. You’re not. It’s okay.
Do you know how people always meet life partners when they’re not expecting to?That’s kind of how you’ll realize that meditation is making a difference. You’ll sit and breathe and watch the thoughts flow out day in and day out.Then something will happen and you’ll react differently than you have in the past or you won’t react at all.Or you’ll get assigned a big project at work and knock it out of the park under budget and on time or before it’s due.Then you’ll see that something has been happening with all that sitting.
Meditation for Beginners Q&A
How Should I Sit While Meditating?
Should I use a meditation app?
How Will I Know if Meditation is Helping Me?
You won’t know for some time but just know that meditation is helping you. Other people may notice changes in your before you notice them in yourself. For example, my husband remarked one day when I was arguing with our son that I had become calmer. It wasn’t until his comment that I became aware of it.
I Started Meditating but I’m Having Really. Weird. Dreams. Is that normal?