Learning how to meditate can be a rewarding experience. Meditation helps to reduce anxiety by teaching us to switch off from the worries that can plague us throughout the day. Meditation has the benefit of affecting your entire life, giving you the ability to better handle stressful emotions. Meditation allows us to be in tune with our inner self. When we live in the heart we can experience a sense of oneness with others, this brings a happiness that does not depend upon outer events.
Below are seven habits of successful meditators. Learning these seven habits will help your meditation practice to deepen and grow.
1. Make time.
Time should be set aside for your practice everyday. Twice a day (once in the morning and again in the evening) is preferred. Meditation can be done anytime, but it’s better to do it when arising and before that evening meal. Make a commitment to meditate at the same time each and everyday. After a while, your body will automatically want to meditate during those times. When you get into the habit of meditating everyday, it will be much easier for you to make progress in your practice. Developing a schedule not only helps to get you into a rhythm, but it also signals to the Universe your intent to meditate.
2. Pick a spot.
Equally as important as meditating the same time everyday is the need to meditate in the same place. If you plan to make meditation a part of your daily practice, you should have a meditation spot. Your meditation spot should be clean and uncluttered. The place you meditate should be quiet and free of distractions. It doesn’t matter where it is in your house, just as long as you are able find peace of mind there and can get access to it regularly. If you meditate in the same place every day it builds up a meditative atmosphere. When you sit down on that spot, your body will be ready for meditation. Your meditation place will develop a power of its own which will make it easier to meditate.
3. Be comfortable.
Meditation does not have to be an uncomfortable experience. You want to be comfortable, relaxed and focused when you meditate. While many people feel aches and pains when they sit cross-legged, with regular practice and stretching that discomfort can be completely alleviated for most people. Another option is to sit on a padded chair with a straight back. Since you want to clear your mind of all distractions when you meditate, you will need to find positions that are comfortable, yet not so comfortable that you might fall asleep. This is why you don’t want to meditate while lying down. Make sure the room temperature feels good. The room should not have extremely bright light since this can be distracting. The light in your room can affect your mood.
4. Learn to let go.
Meditation is the art of doing nothing. In today’s hectic, achievement-focused world we are almost always doing something. This “doing” mode is fueled by the belief that if only we did enough of the right things, had enough of the right experiences, earned enough money, or owned enough possessions we would be happy. As a result our minds are seldom, if ever, still. Instead we are busy fretting about what we should have done or said, planning what we should do or not do, say or not say, in the future, and worrying whether or not we will obtain the things and experiences we think we need to be happy. During meditation as the mind begins to settle down it discovers an inner calm and peace. The habitual mental chatter begins to fade away.
5. Sit with it.
After you finish your practice, give yourself at least 5 minutes in which to readjust to the normal world. Allow yourself the opportunity to begin to integrate the material that came into consciousness. Just sit and be still. Be in the present moment. If you start to think a lot of thoughts and become very active, you can prevent some of the meditative awareness from coming into your mind. You should not jump up from your meditation spot and run to your computer to check your email or the news. This is time for yourself to soak up the meditation experience you just had. While not all thoughts and feelings are going to be rosy when meditating, it’s important to not judge or criticize your experience. There is no bad meditation.
6. Be patient.
Patience is one of the key ingredients in meditation. There will be days when it seems like we are not making any progress in our practice. In times like these, it takes patience and perseverance to not quit and be discouraged. If we practice sincerely, we will progress. There is really no time factor. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Meditation takes time and patience. Don’t be in too big a hurry to get some kind of results. Learning how to meditate is a gradual process that takes time.
7. Enjoy it.
Meditation is taken very seriously by many people. Sure it should be held with a certain amount of reverence. However, it is also a source of great joy and lightness. A thing that can elevate the soul and spirit. Raise people up from dark spaces and bring them happiness again. Being able to take things lightly is a strong skill to have, one that can pay great dividends. By allowing yourself to enjoy a lighter element you can bring a strong and powerful source of energy into your life. Every time you allow yourself to feel joy you have a profound source of stress relief on tap. Opening up to joy can bring dimensions to life. Allow the wonder of life to flow through you and reconnect with the powerful forces that runs through the universe and bring the life that we are fortunate to be able to have.