Since November 2011, I have meditated daily and my practice of meditation has absolutely transformed my life. In this article, I share some pointers about meditation that I have learned over the years. This blog post is designed for:
- Someone who knows nothing about meditation
- Someone who is just getting started with meditation
- Someone who has a little bit of experience practicing meditation; yet now is interested in some formal instruction.
My top five tips for the seated practice of meditation:
- Pick a suitable spot in your home
Finding a suitable spot to meditate is crucial to having a quality meditation session. Pick a spot where you have plenty of room to sit. A spacious room is better than a cluttered hallway. Pick a space that allows you to feel good. If one particular room in your house reminds you of a loved one who has passed, avoid that room. Pick a space that feels good. Choose a space that is quiet and where ideally you can dim the lights.
Choose a space where there are minimal distractions. Turn your phone on silent. Turn off all notifications on your phone. If your meditation timer is not on your phone, consider turning off your phone altogether for the session or keeping it in another room. Put away other electronics. Minimize external stimuli that could potentially distract you while you are concentrating on meditation.
- Maintain proper posture
Maintaining proper posture is essential to having a fruitful meditation session. On the ground or on a chair, find a comfortable seat. Allow the sit bones to firmly root into the ground or chair. If it helps you maintain a proper posture, use a mat, cushion, or meditation bolster. Sit with your spine upright. Breathe fully, breathe deeply. Sit in such a way that it allows you to sustain the posture for some time. Engage the muscles that line your spine and then relax as much of the body as possible. When you meditate on more of a regular basis, you will find out through experience what proper posture feels like. For me, experience has always been my greatest teacher, especially when it comes to learning about proper posture for meditation practice.
- If you are able to, close your eyes
Closing your eyes during your meditation can be very helpful when practicing. It is perfectly okay to have your eyes open during your meditation practice; yet, these are my tips on how to have a quality meditation session. If you are unable to close your eyes, focus on a non-moving point on the horizon.
Closing your eyes during your meditation session helps you close off your senses. It becomes a lot easier to avoid paying attention to external stimuli that may distract you during your meditation session. Closing your eyes during meditation allows you to turn your senses inward and focus on sensations within yourself.
- Focus on your breath
Focusing on your breath during your meditation session gives you something to concentrate on. Our breath connects the mind and the body. Mindfulness is the practice of strengthening the connection between the mind and the body. In the practice of meditation, we make respiration a voluntary process. When we are focusing on our breath, we are increasing the likelihood that we can allow the mind to still. In a meditation session, the more you are focusing on your breath, the less likely a disruptive thought comes to you.
- Relax and avoid worrying about entering into a meditate state of consciousness
Focus on your breath and let go of your inclination to want to enter into a meditative state of consciousness. Allow thoughts to arise and then return attention back to your breath. Do not avoid thoughts that come up. Allow thoughts to arise naturally, observe your thought, do not judge the thought, allow the thought to pass, and then return attention back onto your breath. Surrender in the moment. Let go of any attachment that you may have about the practice of meditation.
These are my top tips for practicing seated meditation. I hope these bring insight into your meditation practice. Comment below. Would you have included any other tips for practicing seated meditation? Share them in the comments below.