When we picture meditation, we see lush carpets, maybe some pillows. We hear ohmmm sounds. There's quiet and engaging flute music. There's a cool breeze flowing in from a big open window and all is well.
Meditation is a foreign concept for a lot of people. And it seems complicated, otherworldly. It's really not. If a screw-up like me can get it right once in a while, there's nothing stopping you! Getting the healing benefits of meditation doesn't have to be scary or complicated.
Here is your at-home meditation guide. It's simple and effective. And it'll help you calm the F down. :)
1. What the hell is meditation?
Meditation is an ancient Buddhist practice which centers on mindfulness. Basically it's a calm approach to bringing consciousness to what you want to change and learn. It also serves as a great way to calm the hell down when you're stressed.
Lots of meditation enthusiasts view it as a way to cope with things that are beyond our control.
Sounds pretty awesome right?
2. Where do I meditate?
In college I had a sort of office space attached to my room. When shit would get really hard I'd take a big pillow, put it down in the middle of that room and meditate. This space became my sacred ground and each time I wanted to meditate I went to the same place.
Choose a place that you can return to every time you meditate. It could be a spare room, a closet...hell it could be your kitchen.
Having a routine, or a sacred space, no matter what it looks like, will help you meditate more regularly and efficiently.
3. What do I need?
Technically all you need is yourself. But if you really want to go ham I'd accessorize the space. Add candles, some beads, mood lighting and even a Buddha statue to really set the mood. People like to burn incense as well. They give me a head ache, but you just have to find something that works for you. This is of course an extra step, but if it helps...it helps.Peppering the space with positive relics makes everything a bit easier to do.
I find that you're a product of your environment. If that environment is calm, it'll help you be calm too.
4. Ok my room is set up. I'm ready to meditate. Uh...how do I do it?
-First you need to sit down.
Just sit down.
This could be in a cross-legged position, lotus position or even in a chair. Make sure you have enough support for your back and legs as this practice requires at least 5 minutes of stillness and breath.
-Next, you need to regulate your breathing.
I think in and out for three seconds each is a really good way to start. Just count...
In: 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand, 3 one thousand.
Out: 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand, 3 one thousand.
This will help you begin your meditative journey and calm your body.
-Finally, focus your thoughts.
This is the whole point right? Meditation helps with clearing of thoughts and focus. If you have an event or stressor that you're dealing with center your mind on it. Then, breathe through it, focusing all of your energy and channeling your stillness into that event or thought.
This is the goal of meditation: a free mind and a greater understanding of the events that are upsetting you.
5. After you meditate, set a time each week, maybe bi-weekly and create a schedule for yourself. This could be a great thing for you.
I didn't believe in it at first, and since I've been taking a little time each week to reflect and think about what's bothering me I can put more energy into fixing it.
Do you meditate? What works for you?
I'd love to find out and integrate your tips into my practice, no matter how disorganized or base...it helps. Every little bit helps.