Meditation is an effortless daily practice meant to release all of the unnecessary clutter in your mind. To outline a single, specific set of instructions for how to meditate would be unfair. Meditation is a different experience for everyone, and all of the techniques and tips I share are really just a guide-map for getting you started.
Once you are on the journey of self-discovery, your consciousness evolves to reveal the steps necessary for your growth. Start meditation early and build your practice gradually, day by day. These tips won’t help you perfect your meditation (that’s all you), but they will get you going:
One must possess the discipline to pursue a spiritual journey with all of their heart and soul. In the beginning, everyone is excited to start something new, but after the ‘honeymoon period’ of meditation is over, we may start to feel like we’re just sitting idle with our eyes closed. Suddenly, we start to think of countless other things, and get distracted while comprising extensive to-do lists for later in our minds.
The challenge here is to transcend these thoughts of boredom and continue on with the meditation practice. We are constantly in a state of doing, so when we try to sit and do nothing, it becomes increasingly difficult. It is necessary to shift gears though, and discover your silence. This will be your first step toward becoming a ‘human being’ instead of a ‘human-doing.’
Have a little (rather, a lot) of faith.
You must have faith that you have started your spiritual journey with purpose and meaning. If someone is forcing you to attend meditation classes, then you’re probably not going to feel any seeds of transformation. True faith comes from within; it cannot be forced. Ask yourself why you’ve decided to start meditating: Did someone else influence it? Or is it rooted in true inspiration? In the end, faith and an open mind will guide you in your meditation journey. Faith doesn’t mean you have to accept everything blindly. It means you must stay focused, with the belief that our souls have a divine plan and are always conspiring for our greater good.
Surrender your ego.
Every spiritual center should hang a sign up in the entryway that reads, “Leave your shoes and your ego here.” On the way out, you can take your shoes with you, but the ego should stay. As we attain more knowledge in life, we build huge walls made of ego up around us. This “I know everything” attitude keeps us away from an ocean of love and wisdom. There must be emptiness inside of us for true beauty to flourish. Socrates said, ”I am the wisest because I know that I don’t know.” Remaining a student throughout life is the key to self-realization. Make it a practice to leave your ego behind and accept yourself and others with an open mind and heart.
Seek out your Guru.
Guru is a Sanskrit word that means “the one who takes away darkness and shows light.” A Guru becomes very important when learning meditation. A Guru provides the guidance that helps you nurture and nourish your soul. The Guru knows your capabilities and therefore will never feed you more than you can handle. A true Guru is never self-proclaimed. He will appear when you are ready to surrender. Here’s a quick tip for knowing you’ve found your Guru: If a sleeping person says, “I am sleeping,” they are lying. The same holds true for a Guru. If somebody tells you, “I am the Guru,” you need to move on.
Find like-minded people.
Satsang (“truth company”) is an ancient Indian practice where people gather to discuss the truths of life. On your meditation journey, make sure to associate often with people who share the same passion as you. It’s ideal to have a Satsang in the presence of a master, but at the least, be sure to schedule a Satsang once a month. It’s important to discuss and share the experiences of your meditation journey with other spiritual seekers. Interaction with other spiritually minded people (along with avoiding toxic, negative people) can shine a lot of light on your path.
Try This: Daily Meditation Practice
Do this meditation daily, right after you wake up or before you fall asleep. Taking 20-25 minutes to practice this meditation will help you connect with your source of happiness. Remember, happiness comes from within. Everything else is just a temporary state of pleasure.
Sit relaxed in a chair, or on the ground in a cross-legged position.
Keep your back straight and your palms open.
Take a few deep breaths. Continue this breathing for a good 5-7 minutes.
Gently bring your awareness to your heart. Forget the rest of your body and only feel the presence of your heart.
Take a moment to be grateful for all of your relationships and blessings in life.
Now, while still keeping your entire awareness on the heart, ask yourself: “Where does my happiness comes from?” (Don’t try to find the perfect answer to that question. There is no right answer. Just meditate on the question and be open to any answers you receive.)
Keep your awareness on your breath and your heart. Sit in silence for a few moments before you come out of meditation.