Whatever you want to grow in your life, it’s essential to set yourself up for success. Meditation practice is no different. Many people don’t get the results they are looking for because they don’t create a supportive context for their practice.
The context of your practice includes your thoughts and feelings about what you are doing, as well as the environment that you create around it. In this brief article, we’ll talk about how to set yourself up for optimum success in meditation.
The most essential key to successful meditation is your firm decision to commit to it. If you want meditation to work for you, you must make it a top priority. You must be willing to say “yes” to meditating and “no” to other things that you could be doing with your time and energy.
To make it a top priority, you need to know why you are doing it. Are you meditating to relax, to find peace of mind, to transform negative emotions, to heal yourself from trauma, to improve your health, to be a more kind and loving person, to connect with your higher self, or to commune with the source of your life?
What is your primary motivation for meditating?
If the reason you meditate is important to you, then commit to meditation for that reason. Whenever you are considering whether to get up early to meditate instead of sleeping in, or to stay up later to meditate instead of going to bed, or to do anything else other than meditating, call to mind your reason for practicing. In that moment, re-commit to your practice because that reason is important to you. Make meditation practice a top priority.
Knowing your reason for practicing will also make meditation more effective. If you are sitting to meditate and your mind is wandering to a hundred other things, your reason for practicing will bring you back to focus. Use that reason to bring the proper energy and concentration to what you are doing.
O.K., so motivation and commitment are essential. What are some other keys to successful practice?
Another key is to schedule a consistent time to meditate every day. For many people, first thing in the morning is best. Meditation is a great way to start the day in the right frame of mind and with the right emotional attitude. For others, meditation is a great way to de-stress and let go of the day before sleep. Many find that they go to sleep easier and sleep better after meditating. Whatever time is most effective for you, schedule it and stick to it.
Create the right environment for your practice. Ideally, set up a space that is dedicated just for meditation, even if it is simply a chair in the corner of a room. Make sure that your meditation space is well-ventilated, quiet, and distraction free.
Tell your family, housemates, or work associates that you need 20-40 minutes of uninterrupted quiet time. Turn off your phone or cell-phone. If you need to create some white noise to drown out noises from outside your space, you might turn on a fan or some relaxing music.
I also suggest that you do nothing else in the exact spot where you meditate. That way the energy there is dedicated to deep relaxation, concentration, and your spiritual intention. To affirm that intention and remind you of the meaning of your meditation space, you may decorate the area with some art, photos, or other significant artifacts that symbolize the meaning that meditation has for you.
Finally, you may want to keep a journal of your practice to record your experiences and make your practice more meaningful and substantial for you. Set your meditation journal on your meditation seat to mark your spot and preserve the energy there. Log the date and time of your practice, along with significant details of your experience, and any insight you gained from that day’s session.
One final note that is vital for your long-term success: Know that your meditation experience will be different every day. Accept that. Allow it to be as it is, without being hard on yourself or the practice. If you are consistent, if you do it every day, you’ll find gradual, progressive, positive shifts over time.
On certain days, you may feel resistance or feel that you are getting nowhere. Don’t be fooled by this. These could be the days that you are releasing some old, pent-up emotions or long-held tensions. Observe these inner events, accept them, and let them go. Allow the process to unfold according to the deeper wisdom of your body-heart-mind-spirit.
On other days, you may feel so deeply peaceful that you wish you could stay in that state forever. You may feel a deep connection to Life or transcendence beyond space and time. Allow these experiences to unfold naturally as well. Observe them and let them go. Don’t try to hang on to them or attach to them either.
Be aware of yourself as the observing presence behind all experiences. Center yourself into awareness of awareness itself. In that realization, you’ll find true freedom.
Meditation is a natural human ability and a gift for our personal and collective evolution. Devote yourself to it and enjoy your practice.
Are You Ready To Discover The Benefits Of Meditation For Yourself? In the next few minutes, I’ll show you a simple meditation technique you can use to instantly release ANY unwanted thought feeling or belief. If your health and well being are important to you, click here to get started now.
Copyright 2009 by Kevin Schoeninger