When it comes to developing a practice, most people seem to think they are too busy, are unable to sit still, or can't quiet their mind long enough to meditate.
When I first tried to sit in meditation, this was definitely the case for me. But when someone told me that if I meditated for just 10 minutes a day I would change my life, I became determined to find a way.
After doing my research I came up with some effective techniques that actually helped my ever-racing mind to meditate. For a few years, I practiced daily and before I knew it, I just couldn't get enough time in my day for all the meditation bliss I wanted!
I began teaching classes that I called, "…for Real People," and they became quite popular. We explored accessible meditation techniques that anyone, even the young children in my youth classes, could practice.
Every good meditation practice must begin with finding what and where works best for you. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to meditate.
All you need to begin is to find a comfortable seat, so experiment and try out different positions. Ideally, your back is straight and your spine is aligned. But it is not necessary to sit on the floor or even to cross your legs. If you're unable to sit for any length of time, find a propped lying down position — just try not to fall asleep!
Here are six simple methods to try, to help you begin your meditation practice today:
1. Guided meditations
There are hundreds of resources online that have a huge supply of guided meditations and music to help sooth your soul. Try perusing Google Play or iTunes or my newest favorite, SoundCloud.
2. Candle Staring
If you have trouble focusing, you can light a candle and stare at it. Your attention will be held. If your mind races, just observe what it is doing and let those thoughts release.
Repeating words over and over again, can help you find calm and focus. You can choose from a number of Sanskrit mantras like the Gayatri Mantra, which has meaning in its words and sounds, or you can even make up your own. It doesn't matter what you choose, just that you feel good about your choice.
Another easy and down-to-earth meditation technique is to picture an idyllic being or setting in your mind. Focus on the picture and let yourself embellish it as much or as little as you need to.
5. Present Moment Meditation
Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breath. Take a few moments here then allow your focus to broaden to your body and the sensations that it's feeling. Now expand your focus to anything touching your body, noticing those sensations. Lastly, expand your awareness to everything you can hear and sense. Now reverse this process and come back, one step at a time to your breath.
6. Become the Observer
Focus on becoming the observer of your mind. Close your eyes and focus on the spot about an inch above of the spot between your eyebrows (Third Eye Chakra). Begin to watch what your mind and body are feeling, thinking and doing.
I have been able to sustain a meditation practice for many years now, and I've seen my emotional and mental state improve, calm and expand. Begin with just 10 minutes a day, and that's all you have to do to see real change in your life.