The foundation of any spiritual practice is daily meditation. Ideally, one would meditate every day at the same time and in the same place. This structure helps your mind relax as mediation becomes a habit. As your mind becomes accustomed to this practice, one can reach deeper states of mediation and/or branch off into the exploration of different states of consciousness.
As I a practice meditation (usually in the same place and at the same time), my biggest challenge and I believe, the biggest challenge for anyone who attempts a form of seated meditation, is the babbler, aka, mind chatter or “‘monkey mind.” The babbler is the never ending stream thoughts that race through your brain – constantly reminding you of all the things you have to do, places you have to go, conversations you had earlier in the day, etc. While the goal of meditation is to quiet that babbler and go into a state of non-thought, most meditators find it difficult to turn of their brain.
Here are a few techniques that I have found to help quiet the mind before mediation:
- Gentle stretching or 10-15 minutes of hatha yoga postures – especially if you sit all day at a desk.
- Rhythmic breathing – Take an in breath for a count of 7 (expanding the breath into your belly), hold for 1, exhale for a count of 7, hold the breath out for 1. Repeat for 10 rounds.
- Listen to Babbler Beater (see link below) a soundtrack that will help dissolve mind chatter, trains the brain to quiet itself and helps move you into deep states of awareness.
- Take a warm bath -My favorite!
Other tips to consider:
- Limit your intake of caffeine, sugar and other stimulating foods prior to your meditation.
- Make sure you are wearing comfortable clothing. Comfort is key!
- Find a quiet room where pets, kids, cell phones and spouses will not bother you.
Give yourself the gift of daily meditation. Your whole life will improve. I guarantee it!
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