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4 Tips To Meditation - Making It A Successful Practice
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4 Tips To Meditation  -  Making It A Successful Practice

For years, I never thought I would ever meditate. I always assumed it was reserved for religious practices or those who were properly trained in the practice. But I realized anyone has the tools at anytime to enjoy the benefits of meditation, as long as you know where to start.

When I first started thinking about meditation, I had no idea what to do or how to go about doing it. A lot was going on and I was hanging on to the last bit of rope of sanity I had. A friend suggested meditation so I was willing to give anything a shot at this point. She had practiced for years, so I was lucky enough to begin with some how-to tips to meditate from her. (Later, I married her).

When I was first exploring the idea of meditation, not only was my impression of the practice wrong, but my original approach was wrong, too. I always thought that when you meditated, you wanted to clear your head of all thoughts. While this can be a substantial goal after practicing for some time, it was truly unrealistic for a beginner like me to be able to accomplish just starting out.

So, the first tip that help me with meditation was to close my eyes and let the thoughts flow. Instead of fighting the thoughts, I let them wander into my head and and back out, giving them no attention. You will invariable have thoughts creep into your mind, but it’s important to remember not to hold onto them during the session. I think of my thoughts as a river, flowing through my mind, not letting any single thought linger and dam it up. It’s difficult at first, but after time, it gets easier and easier.

Next, having a mantra is an excellent tool for steering your concentration during meditation. I first thought mantras were reserved for specific types of meditation, but later realized mantras, like many other things, can be integrated in a way that works for you. I think of a word or phrase and concentrate on, using it as an anchor for my thoughts. If my mind wonders and starts to get fixed on a particular thought, I repeat the mantra to myself and bring my thoughts back into my relaxed state.

Another tip that has worked for me is concentrating on my breathing. As I’m sitting relaxed with my eyes closed, I pay attention to my breath, both in and out, much like the mantra technique, to help keep single thoughts from settling. I believe this can be classified as part of the Zen meditation method, concentrating on breath while meditating. I pay attention to my breath as I draw it in, feeling the cool, fresh air hitting the back of my throat and the breath being drawn down deep into my lungs, to the diaphragm, all charged with positive energy. As I exhale, I think about my lungs emptying, letting the warm breath carry out the negativity. As I meditate, I repeat this, concentrating on my breath. It’s been very useful and helps to keep my session on track.

Finally, I think the best tip is to simply practice every day. Even if it’s only ten minutes, it’s still beneficial mentally, physically and spiritually. I’ve heard we need to practice something on average 50 times before we become comfortable with it. That’s a lot, but give it at least a couple of weeks. If you don’t feel the positive difference by then, you will definitely begin to notice the negativity if you stop.


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