Tips that you can use to make the act of meditation easier to carry out
The act of meditation is extremely simple but yet extremely hard to achieve. It’s like falling asleep, some people can just fall asleep in no time while others wish that they can but simply can’t. Step by step instructions on how to fall asleep does little to help the situation.
What helps are tips in creating the correct ambiance, habitual triggers such that the mind will recognize that it’s time to “meditate”. Similar concept to our daily routine of waking up, brushing teeth and having lunch or dinner.
Here are 5 proven tips that worked for me!
1. DND (Do Not Disturb)
No text message alert, no calls from your mum, kid. Switch your phone to airplane mode so that no one can interrupt you. Change your setting to do not disturb on your phone.
There is no meditating if you are constantly interrupted. It’s the same for all other activities.
2.Same time same place
The experienced practitioner usually recommends before sunrise and sunset. Yogi recommends the time range of 4-6am. I feel we should not be bounded by such range. 4-6am I am asleep as I sleep late at 1 am daily. Sunset? That’s 5-7pm, I’m still in office and possibly the best time for an end day meeting and team huddles.
It’s not possible to force yourself awake at 4 am when you turn in at 1 am. You would say, why not sleep earlier? Well, if you have a hyperactive kid who kind of a night owl, it’s not easy. Plus I do enjoy the interaction with the time I am back from work with her with current 1 am sleeping structure.
It’s also not easy to tell your colleagues “I will be away or should we schedule our team huddle to be at 4 pm instead as I need to meditate at 5 pm.” Hmmm, unless I work for a company on mindfulness, maybe?
So do evaluate what books “instruct” you to do and take it with a pinch of salt. You are ultimately your own guru and there is no need to seek approval from a “book” guru.
I would still encourage a 2x meditation at any time. Why morning is recommended is sync up with today’s dynamic – intention on what you want to do today or go on for today. Evening or before bedtime is to offload all the mental and emotional stress that was faced. If 2x is too difficult to hit for a day, try nighttime as I feel it’s better to offload the stress, dirt and grime that you have gotten for the day.
Even my 2 years old toddler knows to play her toys on her playmat. By practicing meditation in the same place or on the same piece of furniture, it helps you find a sense of belonging to Park this activity called meditation. Of course, the place should fulfill the first tip which should be void of interruption – as little traffic noise if possible.
2. Do not meditate when you are full, hungry, sick or tired
When you are full, blood rushes to your stomach to aid on digestion and you will face food coma. Don’t stress yourself further by facing the food coma, while trying to concentrate on meditating.
When you are hungry, concentration level drops and you will be more interested in thinking about the next meal. Try eating light if you are hungry before going into meditation.
When you are sick, focus on recovering first. Do one thing at a time and don’t force your body to work harder when it is already weak.
When you are tired, your physical and mental states are already alerting you on the lack of sleep you have and the need to recover. Listen to yourself and the body and focus on getting back your rest before going into meditation. Even if you try meditation when you are tired, you will just fall asleep.
4. Sitting position for meditation
I’m not sure if anyone meditates standing up! (If you do, please comment over and share your experience please!).
Meditation is an active state of consciousness, you should not be asleep nor half asleep during the session. Lying down is possible but given our very unforgiving lifestyle, it’s more likely you will just fall asleep.
Sitting down forces you to be comfortable but not comfortable. It makes you get into the state of active consciousness rather than sleeping.
Have really bad backaches when sitting with just a cushion? Sit on a chair. Place your back on the wall. Add more blankets as support if you find sitting in a cushion difficult. A good posture will make meditating easier and the good thing is you get to increase your hip flexibility overtime!
That’s all folks. The 4 tips that have made me meditate consistently for the past 2 years! Try them out and let me know how it goes.
If you are a seasoned practitioner, do you have other tips that you can share with others? Please do comment over here! 🙂