Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Easiest Meditation Practice Ever

Just do it. Nah, just kidding; if it were that easy then there wouldn't exist the thousands of books and articles doling out advice on how to meditate. I've read some of these books, and they all say pretty much the same thing. Meditation is like eating healthy or exercising. It's one of those things that you know is good for you, and you'd really like to do it regularly, but you just can't quite muster whatever it takes to make it happen.

Fine. I get it. But you wouldn't be reading very far into this particular blog article, if you weren't at least interested in meditation in some way. Meditation is proven to make you smarter, measurably decrease your stress levels, and noticeably makes you feel so much better.

To make anything good for you really work, you are going to have to make it habitual. The way to do this is to trick yourself into integrating it into your daily life. 10, 20 or 30 day challenges are great for this. Make it as easy as possible. I started several months ago with "Meditate 5 Minutes a Day for One Month". Easy. And I'm still doing it.

With regular practice of any activity that is "good for you", a noticeable change begins to happen after several days. This magical transition makes activities like running, yoga and eating right completely unimaginable to quit after you've reaped the benefits. You remember what life was like before, when you felt much worse, and you don't want to go back. Remembering this feeling will keep you going.

I don't want to give you any more rules except these two crucial points:

1. Sit up straight. It can be on a bus, your couch, or on the floor. There exists a fallacy in yoga that because savasana is practiced at the end of every session, meditation isn't necessary. While savasana can help prepare you on how to clear your mind for meditation, there is a difference between laying down to clear your mind, and sitting up. Maybe it's chakras, energy alignment, or intention. I don't know or care what it is (you can google it), but savasana is not like meditation nor is it a substitute.

2. Just breathe. Think to yourself- "Breathe In, Breathe Out". Always come back to the breath.

My cat scratches on the door, "Breathe In, Breathe Out".
The neighbor starts his leaf blower, "Breathe In, Breathe Out".
MOMMMMMM!!!!!!..."Breathe In, Breathe Out".

Nothing matters. Sit there, and breathe.

I usually set a phone timer. This gives me a goal to reach. Over time, you will be surprised that 20 minutes isn't a big deal any more. I recall when 5 minutes was excruciating. Just keep doing it until you feel like you can add more time. There are some days when the timer is my savior.

As for any other details, it doesn't matter. How long, where to sit, how to sit, what time of day, eyes opened or closed, it doesn't matter. Do it at your desk, in the bathroom, in a closet. It doesn't matter. All of that will come as you practice. All you have to do is show up, for five minutes a day, sit upright, breathe, then watch yourself transform. You got this.

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