You want to be Zen. In fact, you want to be Zen so much that it’s stressing you out. Worse, you are finding your meditation sessions are not going well, or think maybe you are not doing it right? If this sounds familiar, don’t get frustrated, just work through these meditation tips and give yourself a break.
Here is the lesson…
Meditation works. It really does. But it’s important to not give yourself a hard time on those days when you struggle to shut out the world. It happens to everyone and you can and must forgive yourself for those times. Let the frustrations go because you are blocking your own progress when you hold on tightly to these doubts. So, are you ready to get started?
Meditation tips for clearing the mind
So, perhaps your problem is that you can’t clear your mind? Maybe, it’s impossible to stop your thoughts from bounding through your mind at lightning speed. Yes, it’s frustrating. We call it monkey mind and even the most disciplined of minds experience it. You are not alone.
Visualize yourself scooping up the bombardment of thoughts in your hands. Visualize yourself doing this, and make these thoughts colored or, see them as a cluttered entanglement in your hands. Then, visualize yourself, breathing onto them, blowing these thoughts, scattering them into the wind where they drift out of sight and out of mind. Or, you can visualize yourself placing your thoughts one by one in a box. Visualize them dangling from your fingers and then, releasing them, watching them fall from a great height into a box. Don’t forget to place the lid on it quickly.
Meditation tips for your over-zealous expectations
Often when people start meditating, they expect immediate results. More than that, they expect life-changing results and, meditation takes time to infiltrate into every aspect of life. You get out of meditation what you put in, so if you practice regularly and you commit yourself to doing so, your results will be more beneficial. But it takes time to build up the technique, especially if you are fretting about it. It’s important to let that go, don’t think about expectations or wanting to be Zen, let the benefits of mediation work for you on an individual level. You are unique and therefore, your meditation benefits will work on an individual level too. The trick is to enjoy the benefits as and when they happen.
Meditation tips for staying the course
Sadly, people give up meditating before they have really tapped into all the benefits. They have expected too much initially and became disappointed. If you went to the gym, you wouldn’t expect to have abdominal muscles of steel after just one session, or, if you started jogging, you wouldn’t expect to be able to run a marathon. Meditation takes time but little by little, the benefits will become apparent. You’ll enjoy the sessions and that’s important. You will come to appreciate the time away from the stresses and strains of daily life.
When you start feeling disillusioned, consider whether you are meditating enough? Are you struggling to stay in the zone? Perhaps a guided meditation CD would be beneficial at this stage. If you are not meditating often, you won’t fully grasp the techniques or be able to train the mind to respond the moment you think, ‘it’s time to meditate.’ It may help if you find a special place for your meditation sessions. This alone will make you want to be there. If you have an outdoor space that revitalizes the senses, use it, or, create a meditation room if you can. This investment in time and energy will make you want to stay the course.
Meditation tips for inconsistency of practice
Do you meditate only when you feel your nerves are completely frazzled? That may be your problem. Sure, meditation works really well for those stressful times. It works well when you need a little nurturing or, when inner healing is required. It’s a great way to de-stress after a busy or difficult day. But, it works best when you meditate regularly. This is because it becomes easier to quieten monkey mind and it becomes easier to get into the zone immediately. You have trained your mind to respond to your commands. If time is the issue, try to meditate first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. Meditate on feelings of positivity, meditate to protect yourself from the stresses of the day. Meditate at night so that you have deep slumber and feel amazing. Make meditation work for you.
Meditation tips for when you can’t sit comfortably to meditate
If you are relaxed and comfortable sitting in the yoga lotus position and your posture is good, then, go for it, but you know that you can meditate anywhere, in any position? The trick is to be comfortable. If sitting cross-legged is uncomfortable and distracting for you, don’t do it. The whole point of meditation is that you must shut out the external world and let go of any distractions, but, if your back is aching and your hips and knees are screaming out in agony, you will not be able to turn your attention inwards. Nor should you because you are probably injuring yourself in the process.
Lie down if you want to. You don’t even have to lie flat on your back if you are not comfortable doing so. While it may be best in this position, meditate in the way that suits your needs. If you have a reclining chair, relax back and you may find you embrace meditation in a way that you haven’t before because your body was just not comfortable. You may be physically fit but that doesn’t mean that you won’t carry tension in your neck and shoulders, this area is prime for being knotted with tension. Try to eradicate this first. Do some yoga, stretch out your body, shake that tension out otherwise, your mind will just be on those aching muscles.
Meditation tips for needing to be in the right mood
Wouldn’t it be great if at a certain time each day, we felt the lure of meditation as if someone was ringing the bell, and you immediately tuned into the right frame of mind to meditate? Well, yes, but it’s not going to happen. There will be days when you are totally not in the zone but, a meditation would still do you the world of good. If you really want to create a meditative routine, you must choose the times of the day or evening which suit you and decide that on these times every day, irrespective of moods, you will meditate, yes, even if only for ten minutes.
A quick but focused meditation session will give you so many benefits and just as importantly, you are setting and endorsing this as a positive behavior. If you have never meditated before, don’t go over the top with this. You may find that ten-minute burst will be sufficient. Perhaps meditate for ten minutes before you get up and then, sneak in a five or ten-minute meditation at the workplace, assuming you have a quiet space where you will not be disturbed. You don’t need to be in the right mood to meditate, you just need the desire to do so.
Meditation tips for if you fall asleep
Many people meditate and fall asleep half-way through. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. You might only have time to meditate when you are in bed and you become so relaxed during your meditation that you feel your body sinking down into the mattress and before you know it, you are out like a light. Don’t get frustrated by this. You are getting some much-needed sleep and there will be benefits gained.
If you want to meditate and stay awake, you are better off meditating elsewhere, or, fit in another meditation quickly during the day. You are gaining numerous benefits from your body and mind being totally relaxed. Think about it, your body is healing when you fall into a deep sleep, it’s restorative and, is what we all need. In fact, it’s the only way to be able to wake up energized in the morning. So, do not allow yourself to become frustrated if you should fall asleep, just increase your meditation times, make them more frequent and allow yourself to totally relax while in bed at night. If you don’t fall asleep, you are gaining meditative benefits, if you do, you are sleeping, healing and relaxing. It’s all good.
It’s so important that you learn to go with the flow and accept, that on some days, your meditation session will be difficult. It doesn’t matter. Persevere because by doing so, you are training your mind to respond regardless, and meditation will then become a part of you. It can very quickly become a part of your life and if you don’t meditate, you will very quickly feel the difference. Don’t get frustrated, don’t second-guess your progress, just let it happen.