July 5, 2016
Meditation Methods, Part One: Preparation
- BE GRATEFUL. First, buy yourself a gratitude journal. It doesn’t have to be specifically marketed as one, just pick a small notebook in colors that appeal to you and leave it on your bedside table. Write in it every night (see our article on building a habit) before bedtime with a list of at least 5 things — which is significantly less difficult than it may seem — that you are grateful for that day. Example: I am grateful for the rain today that watered my garden for me.
- GET SET. Settle in to sit or walk slowly while you meditate unless you’re doing a body scan — lying down allows you to be less engaged and possibly even fall asleep!
- If you’re seated, keep your rear elevated in relation to your knees. This will help your posture and your focus. Keep your back straight, your chin parallel to the floor, and your core lightly engaged; elsewhere, relax your body where you can.
- KEEPING TIME. Set an alarm or keep a clock where you can see it with gently opened eyes so you aren’t concerned with timekeeping instead of your practice.
- BE READY TO RETURN. Pick a mudra or mantra! Mudras are hand positions that will help to keep you still and achieve different aims, like grounding yourself or soothing an anxiety. Mantras are little phrases you can say silently to yourself to bring yourself back into the present; it can be anything neutral or positive. If your mind drifts during meditation, bring your focus back to the present moment with one or both of these techniques.
Leave a comment with some other ways you prepare for your meditation practice!