4 Ways to Cultivate a Meditation Practice

Meditation is simple, but it ain’t easy

It’s arguable that it’s a whole lot harder than yoga asana practice.
When you’re practicing asana, your mind has plenty of sensations to occupy itself. When you sit, sensations are more subtle. It’s hard work to zero in on what’s actually going on moment to moment when it at least appears that there’s not a whole lot happening.
People say often they can’t meditate because when they try, their minds spin-off even more than they do in daily life. It’s not a sign of an inability to meditate; it’s actually a sign that they’re paying closer attention than usual to the normal state of their minds.
Most of the time, most of us are, in fact, lost in thought. We just don’t notice it until we try to meditate.
Meditation is the art of completely ‘letting be’ and let a state of pure consciousness rise up.

How to Create a Consistent Meditation Practice

If you find yourself making excuses, feeling like it’s not working, feeling like it’s a waste of time, despite the fact that you really want to develop a consistent practice.

Here are some tips

1. Set a Time

Forming new habits requires that we not only set a strong intention and resolve to follow through, but it also requires that we be specific about the how and the when. Setting a specific time during your day really helps your meditation practice become a habit. If you’re not at all a morning person, try to resolve it by getting up an extra hour earlier so that you are able to sit first thing in the morning. Getting up earlier than your family members and before the phone starts ringing gives you a greater possibility of a quiet chunk of time. Also, the “I’ll do it laters” is rarely happening.

2. Set a Space

You don’t need an entire room for meditation – a corner of a room will do. You could also use an empty, spacious closet (if you have one). Based on the purpose of your space, you could make it in the main area of your house, or simply in an empty corner. You could even make one in your backyard or garden. Or even by the ocean site.
Whatever works best for you.
Wherever you feel at peace.

3. Be Realistic

We all start meditation practice with good intentions, but all too often those intentions cause us to set goals that we can’t achieve, such as, “I’m going to meditate for an hour every day!”
It’s much more beneficial to start small—say five minutes a day—and know that you can maintain it, than to commit to something that you won’t be able to keep up.
Even if you are able to work up to 20-30 minutes a day, there will be days when that’s just not possible.
It’s really okay to do just what you can on those days, even if it’s only a few minutes, or even no minutes.
Beating yourself up for missing meditation isn’t helpful. What is helpful is remembering that meditation is a lifelong practice.
Those days you miss here and there are not all that significant in the context of consistent practice.

4. Think of Your Meditation Practice as “Mind Maintenance”

Meditation practice is just as crucial to the well-being as eating breakfast, brushing the teeth, and practicing yoga. It’s a way of checking in with the state of the mind and tending to it the same way we tend to our body’s needs. Realizing this will probably be the most powerful motivator for you to make it consistent.

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