Ohhh the benefits of meditation….there are so many! Calmness, relaxation, peace of mind, feeling present, clarity, inspiration, feeling grounded, feeling blissful, remembering your inner essence, your inner-self….
Even with all these benefits, finding the time, and inspiration to meditate, can be as challenging as commanding a puppy, who is ready to play with it’s tail flapping 100 miles a second, to sit still.
While meditation can be tricky (to say the least) don’t forget, it is a practice! Practice, means you’re not supposed to be perfect off the top, and indeed, many would say that with meditation, perfection is not what you’re aiming for at all. For me, becoming hooked into a daily practice and allowing it to become a ritual has been very helpful in my life and letting go of the need to try and be perfect at it is a relief.
Your meditation practice develops over time and as you lend the consistent focus to it, you reap the rewards. Like anything else that we practice (yoga, piano, singing, skiing, calculus…), as we invest our time and focus we begin to experience the personal benefits that sprout up.
After I meditate I find that the next part of my day – at least for a little while – has a very different texture than before my meditation. Not because the world is different, but because I am present. And when I’m present I am experiencing life on a deeper level.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with flittering about on the surface of life, moving from one task to the next, and enjoying the day. But sometimes I want more. More depth. More of a feeling like I’m tapping my soul essence. More meaning. More peace.
If you are wanting to experience some of the benefits of meditation, here are a few ideas for you that have worked for me:
- Find a place you will not be disturbed. Turn off electronics (yup, I mean it….even turn off ‘vibrate’ on your phone). Sit either in a chair, meditation cushion, or upright on the floor. Make this place your “retreat place”. Even a corner of a room you can devote to your “ME” (‘me’ and ‘meditation’ time) will work well. It’s better not to be lying down unless you are using this as a tool to fall asleep (*don’t try this while driving either!)
- Set your timer and check it twice to make sure it is going (this is super important so that you don’t cut out early thinking time is running away with itself!)
- I like to set my timer for 10 minutes. You may want to meditate for longer but start with 10 minutes. This is long enough to make it worth your while, but short enough that you don’t use the length of time as an excuse not to do it
- Close your eyes
- Listen to your breathing – don’t try to change it, just watch it
- If thoughts come up set your focus again back on your breathing
- Listen to your breathing until the timer goes off (resist the temptation to check it – you already did twice).
See how you feel at the end of 10 minutes. The world may be a little different than before you began. Keep a little log if you are inspired about anything that came up for you during your meditation. For instance, I received the title of this blog “Bliss Within” as I was meditating.
I would love to hear about your meditation experiences and how your practice is going.