Meditation: how to start

If you went through the SleepTracks Program, or if you’ve been reading my emails for a while, you’ve heard me recommend meditation repeatedly.

You’ve heard experts talk about the numerous benefits of a daily practice, its positive impact on your mood, your outlook on life, your confidence, your biochemistry, your energy level, your pain level, your resiliency, your ability to relax and let go…

And even, yes, your ability to sleep better.

(Not mentioning the invaluable fact that meditation isn’t about what you can get from it, but how it allows you to see who you are. I just won’t go into that for now.)

Yet I would bet at least 98% of the 45,000 readers reading this are not meditating on a daily basis.

Stuck in Somedayland

I coached someone in that situation once. She’d been telling herself for YEARS that she wanted to take on meditation, but it just never happened.

Why is that so? We listen to some good advice, think it makes real good sense, and then decide to apply it. But nothing happens.

Or: We do start — one day, two days, ten days maybe… and then life happens, we get derailed, or we simply forget what we initially set out to do.

We wake up three months or two years later, wondering: hey, why did I stop doing this? It was really great!

Or: why didn’t I start? I’ve known for ages that meditating daily would be good for me?

Sure, we have good reasons.

“I’m too tired, I’ll get going when I have a little energy.”

“I’m swamped. I’ll resume when I can catch my breath.”

“I don’t know how.”

Etc. But who are we kidding with these excuses? We don’t even believe them fully. They just buy us a semblance of good conscience and allow us to feel a *little* bit less conflicted.

The real reason is usually simpler: we didn’t turn the thing we wanted to do into a habit. We didn’t do it long enough to make it a part of our daily life, just like brushing our teeth or eating dinner is.

Make it simple, make it daily

The good news, as I told my client, is that making it part of our daily life doesn’t require a lot of time. 5 minutes a day is enough to get you started, and to keep going.

What makes a difference is the regularity. Especially with meditation. With regularity, your sitting practice becomes a bedrock of stability in an always-changing world. Priceless.

What got my client started is:

a) She agreed to commit

b) … to just sit for 5 minutes every day for one week. She could do more, but no less, and would consider her practice a success if she just sat still for 5 minutes (no matter if she couldn’t stay still internally).

No big deal, right?

Right. That’s why today I invite you to commit to practicing meditation 5 minutes every day for 7 days.

Are you game?

5 minutes. Any time of the day you prefer.

Even if you think of a million things during those 5 minutes, it’s a success.

Then, after you’ve been doing it for one week, recommit. Make a new agreement with yourself. See if you feel comfortable to sit for 10 minutes.

“But I don’t know how to meditate”

There’s no need to make meditation complicated. In fact, to make it real simple I suggest you use some audio support to get you going.

The Anxiety Ease track (part of the SleepTracks Program Premium) is a good one for that.

There’s another option that I’m testing right now: tracks that have been designed specifically for meditating purpose. I’ve just started testing these brainwave entrainment sessions, and I should be able to tell you how I like them sometimes next week. My first impression is really good.

In the meantime, here’s a video by meditation teacher Susan Piver with helpful tips on how to establish the meditation habit:

http://www.susanpiver.com/wordpress/2011/09/28/habit/

On the same page you’ll find a guided meditation. Try it!

Make it simple. Make it daily. Enjoy.

 

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