My purpose for writing this blog post is to aid those who are struggling to find motivation for their meditation practice, as well as to provide tips for beginners on their own unique and personal journey with the self-discovery practice and discipline that is meditation. As a newbie to meditation, you may have preconceived notions as to what you are "supposed to" experience, what meditation exactly is, or even "the right way" to meditate. These are some of my favorite tips and personal guidance that I myself use in my practice to help you get in the zen zone!
Define your purpose for meditating! Seriously, ask yourself why you are doing this. Having a clear purpose on why you are choosing to begin a journey with meditation can better aid you in finding motivation to begin (or continue) your practice.
Set the intention prior to meditating. "Today, I am meditating to..." Are you meditating to clear your mind? Clear your energy? Connect with Spirit or your Higher Self? Calm your anxiety? This gives you something to come back to should your mind begin to wander.
Use crystals to focus and calm your energy. You can even rub on them to keep your left brain busy while your right brain opens for meditation. Stones like clear quartz and amethyst are great for meditation purposes! Whether your meditation is focusing on a particular situation or issue like chakra balancing, seeking guidance and wisdom from Spirit or just to calm the mind, there is a stone for that! Try to find a stone that has energetic properties to help facilitate the type of meditative session you are engaging in.
Ambiance can make all the difference. Set the mood if you think it may help! Light some incense or candles. Put on soothing relaxation music. Turn off the lights. If possible, meditate in a room that is not a main focal point in your home. For example, if possible try not to meditate in your office as the energy of that space may impact your meditation. Since you are used to being in "working mode" in this space, it may be harder for you to settle your energy here for the purposes of meditation.
Use guided meditations. This was of great help to me! Go on an adventure of the mind. It is still hard for me to sit in the silence sometimes even after 4 years of meditating. My mind is very active, imaginative, and exploratory. Guided meditations definitely support this! I absolutely love guided meditations - so much so that I have actually written some myself and love guiding others on meditative journeys through classes I teach or online (YouTube). Here are a few I've done thus far...
- Releasing Fear + Doubt Guided Meditation/Visualization
- Meeting Mother Mary Guided Meditation (This one's my favorite!)
- A Day at the Beach with your Inner Child Guided Meditation
Start with 5 minutes a day. That's all you need to get started. Each week build upon that 5 minutes. At this rate, you will be able to sit for 20 minutes in a month! Also, try to take note or keep a journal of how you feel before you meditate in comparison to how you feel after your session. You may have some incredible insights!
Don't stress it! Don't be hard on yourself. This is probably the best advice I can give. Meditation takes time, practice, and effort. Don't compare your journey to someone else's. Just because someone may sit longer than you or "saw something" during meditation doesn't mean they are more skilled or are having a more fulfilling experience. Be patient with yourself and don't give up.
The Infamous Monkey Mind - Let it come and go! Know that meditation isn't necessarily having no thoughts. This was a huge misconception for me in the beginning. I worried about whether I was doing it right or wrong. I thought if I was seeing images or having thoughts that I was meditating incorrectly. Truly, meditating for me has been about training my brain to come back to center, back to focus, back to peace when my mind goes rogue. Let the thought come and float away as if on the breeze. By pushing away the thought instead of acknowledging it and letting it go, you are actually more inclined to come back to it over and over again during the session.
If you have trouble focusing or need to be engaged, try an active form of meditation like yoga, saying affirmations with mala or prayer beads, or focusing on the breath.
Take a class! Sometimes having the support of others, as well as a supportive environment and teacher, makes a huge difference when it comes to a meditative practice. Taking a class can help you to build a sense of community with like minded individuals and can also help to keep you motivated to continue the practice. If classes aren't your thing, find a friend that wants to begin a meditative journey of their own and team up to support, encourage, and motivate each other!
Give it a try outside! Fresh air does the body and mind good. Go to a scenic park, lake, beach, valley, or forest to help clear the mind and refresh the spirit. This will also aid in lessening distractions by being in a neutral environment.
Drink a cup of tea or some water first to help calm your mind and refresh your energy. You can even smudge yourself and/or your space to help clear the energy and create a healing environment.
Try meditating when you first wake up in the morning - before you even get out of bed! Your mind may be clearer in the morning thus making it easier for your consciousness to shift into a meditative state.
You may see weird things at first like a random banana that floats by or just the color yellow and nothing else - yes this has happened to me lol. You may just see flashes of light. It's okay! Acknowledge it. Yes, it could just be your mind doing it's thing however, it may be your subconscious or Spirit (wink) trying to get a message through to you. I have had some pretty amazing insights and visuals that come through in meditation. Some of my most powerful healing messages from Spirit have come through weird things I've seen or heard in meditation. If this happens for you, be sure to say thank you! It certainly is magical when it happens.
How do you best get your zen on? Leave a comment below and let me know!