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Ok, you’ve convinced me that meditation is good for me. Now what?

There is a pretty good chance you have heard about the benefits of meditation and not just from me. The idea has become less hippie-love-in and more mainstream. Even accepted and suggested by medical professionals. Ok, so you have convinced me. Now what? Perhaps these ideas may give you a jumping-off point

Find your time

It is said that the most auspicious time of day is sunrise, followed by sunset. The third best time of day to meditate is whenever you meditate. Just make it a habit and you’ll likely start looking forward to it. Start small. 2, 3, 4 minutes, and move up there. Don’t let a perceived lack of time keep you from the benefits of the practice.

Find your space

Ideally, this would be a space that would only be used for meditation, even if it is just a corner of a room in your house. I realize that is not always possible and we will address that in the next bullet point. The most important thing here is for it to be someplace free from distractions (internal and external).

Find your ritual

This can be where you transform a space into your meditation space. Maybe the ritual for you is turning down the lights, using sage or some other energy clearing, or lighting a candle. If you have a dedicated space, maybe your ritual is putting on a meditation shawl. Whatever you choose, you are looking to evoke the “haaaa” response from both your mind and your body. Think about how you feel when you walk into a place that offers you peace. Yeah, that!

Find your Seat

Whether you try an app, one of the suggestions below, or something else, you need to ready yourself. Finding a comfortable seat. Sitting in a chair, or on a meditation cushion, you want to be sitting at attention but without tension. I find that having my sitting bones slightly raised, allowing my pelvis to be tilted forward, makes having a lengthened spine possible with less effort (sitting like this is good for us and will help to strengthen the core which has gotten weaker over generations of sitting in chairs, but that is a whole other subject). Chin over the breastbone, eyes closed or a soft focus down. The object here is to rest the eyes.

Find your technique

There are phone apps for this, but I am not a fan. Though meditation should be internal, the apps may be a place to start. That is all I am going to say about them. You can adapt affirmations, or sing Mantras, but my preferred methods are Pranayama (A Sanskrit word referring to working with the breath) and Visualization. Here is a couple of my go-to’s.

Object of Beauty Visualization. This technique further supports initiating a feeling response. Bring to your mind’s eye something or someplace you found beautiful. Maybe the Grand Canyon, or a favorite art museum exhibit. Once you can see that place, remember how that object of beauty made you feel. Now sit with that feeling. Maybe you are reexploring the art or the place in our imagination. Remembering if your mind wanders (which it will likely do) bring your attention back to your object, without judging yourself for it. When you are ready to release (or your timer sounds), simply allow the visual to dissolve and just sit with whatever your experience is next.

Circle of Light. Though this is being used as Pranayama it also has a visualization component. Visualize a bright light at the base of your spine. Bright like the sun, but the color of the moon. On the next inhale, following that light up the front of your spine, landing at the space between your eyes at the top of the inhale. As you exhale, bring the light over the top of the head and down the back of the spine to the base, at the completion of the exhale. Repeat for the desired number of rounds, or until your timer sounds. Then allow the light to just fad and sit with what remains. Again, if your mind wanders, bring it back to your breath without judgment. It is also important here to make the pace of the visualization the pace of your breath. Resist adjusting your breath to the visualization.

When you select a technique to try, stick with it for six weeks or so, before trying something else. That is long enough that you’ll probably get a sense of how it is working for you.

As I mentioned above, there are several ways to meditate. You need to find what works for you. Feel free to comment below or message me if I can help.

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