Tips for Sitting Meditation
One of the purposes of meditation is to focus and calm the mind. However, learning to focus may be a daunting task to beginners as well as experienced meditators, so following are tips to help ease the process.
If you are a new student to meditation, select a meditation or two that you feel comfortable with. If you already meditate, then review and apply these suggestions to compliment your current practice. You may begin with only a few of the tips and add others over time.
There are four categories of tips. The first set are to assist when approaching meditation, the next category are suggestions to be used at the beginning of each sitting meditation followed by considerations while you are meditating. The last category are for further deepening your practice.
- Meditate early in the morning, 4:30-6:30 AM. Alternatively, noon and evening.
- Develop the habit to meditate that same time every day.
- Use the same space for your practice whenever possible. It becomes a special place, a space to be respected. Try not to use the space for anything else.
- Keep the lights low.
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- Find a easy and comfortable way to sit. Use a chair if necessary.
- Read something uplifting, pray or contemplate a higher teaching or concept.
- Consider turning on soft calming music.
- When you walk into your space, set an intention such as to relax, be focused, open or to find an answer to a situation that needs resolved.
- Sit and take a few deep long breaths to facilitate relaxation followed by watching the breath.
- Set the intention that you will remain in meditation for 10 minutes or specific length of time. Lengthen the time as it feels appropriate.
- If you choose to use a mantra, regardless of the language, use a short mantra such as AUM, Guide me now, I am Free or a phrase that has meaning to you. Repeat it over and over again out loud, maintaining focus on each word, feeling the vibration and its presence go throughout your body. As you settle in with the mantra you can voice it softer followed by repeating it under your breath.
- If there is frustration or a wandering mind, see it, accept it, be an observer of it, let it go and watch it fade away my gently bringing yourself back to watching your breath.
- Sometimes it is easier than other times to focus. Be aware of this and accept it.
- Let go of judging yourself and thinking that you are meditating wrong or are not capable. There is no such thing. Let go by bringing your attention back to your breath.
- Always be kind and considerate to yourself while meditation.
- Be grateful for whatever has happened during your practice.
- Place pictures or a statue, a reminder of something peaceful in the space in front of you. You may use these objects as a focal point during meditation.
- Light a candle and place it in front of you as a symbol of light and devotion.
- Surrender to whatever represents the Highest power. It might be Jesus, Buddha, a Saint, Nature, the Sun or whatever is the special and 'higher' to you. This helps to instill humility and respect.
- Call upon the Divine, your Guides, to be with you, to support you and guide you. Ask to receive their energy. Give yourself permission to receive. Develop a feeling of confidence knowing that you are being supported and receiving.
- If you have different meditation techniques, ask the Universe, the Divine, which one to use, don't think or judge the response.
Come back to all of these tips on a regular basis and reevaluate which ones are best for you. Keep in mind the importance of being patient and kind with yourself as you learn to focus your mind and remember the benefits of meditation to help keep you motivated. The more something is practiced, whether it is sports or learning to speak a new language, results in greater experience that leads to a higher level of competency. The same applies for meditation. Keep at it and you will succeed!