I bet you didn’t know that May is National Meditation Month. If you haven’t tried meditation, take the time to learn and develop your own meditation routine.
What is meditation exactly? What do you actually do when you meditate? Is it sitting with your legs crossed, hands on your knees with palms up and eyes closed? This is one way to meditate but not the only way.
Meditation can be done sitting cross-legged and chanting, but that is not necessary. You can investigate one or more of several other meditation styles: mantra, mindfulness, spiritual, focused and guided.
No equipment is required to meditate. You can create your own special place for meditation: somewhere quiet, free from distractions and with a moderate temperature. It could be somewhere in your home or a natural setting, like the photo above of the waterfall at the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois.
Meditation starts with concentration. Keeping your mind focused on one thing. Clearing your mind of clutter and calming your mind.
The excerpt below, illustrates the beginning steps. This and explanations of the various meditation styles can be found at the Radiance Yoga blog
Start by developing your own personal meditation routine:
- Create a space – it’s best to meditate in the same place every day when you are starting out.
- Schedule it – it’s helpful if you can find a consistent time each day in order to build routine. However, if one day you shift to an alternate time, that’s just as good, too!
- Choose a technique – There are many different techniques to choose from (outlined below) once you find a technique that works for you stick with it and practice it regularly, it’s through regularity that the habit of mediation can be cultivated.
- Start small – Begin by sitting comfortable and closing your eyes. Relax and observe your thoughts for a few minutes. If you have trouble clearing your mind, an easy technique is focusing on your breathing, or even the sensation of your chair against your skin, without attaching yourself to these things. As thoughts enter your mind, and they undoubtedly will, just acknowledge them and let them pass. This is a part of the meditation process and it’s nothing to worry about. Repeat this process a few times a week and work your way up to meditating daily, for about 10 minutes each day. Don’t put pressure on yourself to become a Zen master — like meditating for a hour every day — only to abandon it. Starting slowly and keeping at it is the best way to work a meditation practice into your daily life and enjoy the rejuvenation, clarity and relief.
I have been trying this myself and it is not easy as it looks, but it does come with patience.
If you are interested in further reading, the library has a number of ebooks available.