In Tips and Q&A
To not just stare at the wall while sitting down for meditation, but touch the bliss of your inner silence, you need to know some things. In order to make it as easy as possible for you, we summarised those here:
Although meditation can be done at any time, yogic mapping of human energetics suggests that the optimal times are dawn and dusk. Without doing a deep-dive into this yogic logic, it may be interesting as a side note that at dawn/dusk, the central energy channel called Sushumna becomes active more easily along with the Ida (left side) and Pingala (right side) channels, resulting in a deep sense of centeredness, awareness and inner harmony.
If your lifestyle doesn’t allow you to spare time at dawn or dusk, you can fix a particular time of the day for meditation and try to stick to it to build a habit, especially as a beginner. Make it happen as you see fit. For busy schedules sometimes the only chance to get some daily meditation is to simply wake up earlier.
Once you are successful in making it an integral part of your lifestyle, it becomes effortless and natural. You can then meditate anytime you want.
Generally you can meditate everywhere in a quiet environment where you can be undisturbed for a while. As a beginner it is highly recommended that you build a habit of meditating at the same place at home. It can be in the middle of your living room or at a dedicated corner for meditation only. Once you start to meditate regularly at that place, you will find it easier and faster to move into meditation as soon as you sit there. A survey amongst 1000+ Meditation Easy App Users has shown that 78% of regular meditators & mindfulness practitioners (at least 4 times a week) have a dedicated space for their practice. So it is indeed very helpful to have a dedicated and personalised space for a regular practice.
Keep it empty or add minimalistic art work, light up candles, incense sticks or whatever it takes for you to create an inviting ambience.
If you have the opportunity to be close to nature for meditation, nothing better than that! It could be a calm secluded spot in the middle of a forest or on a mountain top or on river sides or sea shores, all these places allow you to attune yourself with existence and go deeper into inner silence.
Once you have perfected meditation in a peaceful environment, you can extend your practice to remain in meditation while travelling or doing other activities.
Sometimes it is difficult to make an immediate cut between the rush of your daily activities and sitting directly for meditation. We recommend you to mentally create a space for meditation, sit with a sincere attitude and as you start meditating, leave everything else behind for those moments. Often a change of gear in your mind is required taking you out of everything else and committing a certain amount of time just for yourself, to do nothing.
To bring you in the right mood just before the meditation, it can help to already slow down from your daily activities, put aside your phone, have a cup of tea, light some candles or consume some spiritual content in form of books, podcasts or videos allowing you to tune in.
If your mind is very active about a certain idea, and you cannot leave a particular thought behind when you start meditating, it can help to note it down or simply get it done before you start meditating.
Needless to say that you should try to minimize any kind of disturbance during your meditation. Switch off/put aside your phone, let other housemates know you don't want to be disturbed etc. This time is finally just for you!
Avoid heavy meals before you meditate. Best is to have at least 2-3 hours gap of not eating anything before meditation. In this way your stomach bag is empty and your energy not drawn into the digestions process making you unnecessary drowsy.
Often beginners tend to fall asleep during meditation due to tiredness of the body or mind. To avoid that, try to meditate when you are more awake and ensure enough sleep during the night. Also with time, your body & mind get used to the process of sitting down and will naturally be more relaxed rather than trying to achieve something during the meditation.
Unrest in the body
We all know that little tickling somewhere on our face or in our legs which we experience especially while trying to sit silently for meditation. Also, if you are not yet used to sitting still for a longer period of time or your feet and legs tend to fall asleep during meditation. It feels as if our body does not want us to sit still. The reason is that its nature is simply to be active and it will have to get used to this new dimension. Still, there is no need to bear any discomfort, so gently move your body or change your position if needed. There is no strict rule to force yourself into a certain posture so choose what works and allows your body to be at ease. A calm and relaxed body & mind are essentials to move into meditation. Gradually with practice time, your body will get used to sitting still and if you want also your ability to sit in a cross-legged posture will increase.
Too many thoughts
Thoughts are normal and we all have and will always have them. The idea in meditation is to be aware of them, to see them and to not get involved and run with them. Like clouds you should see them passing by, not affecting your being. Slowly with practice you will be able to realize that each thought is randomly followed by another and that they are not necessarily connected. Being aware of the gap between one thought and the next allows you to gain more and more distance to them and taste a state of just being. With awareness the gaps become bigger and bigger and thoughts have rarely an impact on your meditation.
Still, if you are having too many thoughts of what you have to do or maybe even creative ideas during your meditation, it can help to have a notebook at hand and simply write things out of your head whenever you feel that they are too persistent.
No grounds for frustration
Sometimes sitting down feels like waste of time. The good news is that it is never a waste but rather takes you forward on your journey. The very attempt of you sitting down, trying to calm down and be aware of your body and mind, is the crucial part in the overall process. Some days you will reach to a state of pure awareness and, bliss, and sometimes you won’t. But the mere trying will take you further in your journey of self-exploration. The golden rule is not to expect a certain state out of your meditation. You cannot control the moon, the stars, the environment and the many other factors that all influence your present state of being. You can’t force a good meditation, but rather accept and tune in to the natural flow. By sitting down you simply make yourself ready and available for the meditation to come to you.
Let's say you experience deep silence and profound realisations in today's meditation session. Chances are that when you will sit again tomorrow for it, you will try to expect a similar experience again. That exact expectation will become a barrier and you might come out of it with disappointment. Amongst other things, to sit in meditation with openness to allow the present moment unfold what it contains, is one secret to success in meditation. To expect a certain outcome might not only result in disappointment when you cannot reach there but also might limit the possibility of reaching even higher. Thankfully, every day is different.
Keep silent and know
Maybe you have observed this phenomenon in our life already: you feel a certain passion about an idea or feel dedicated to a certain plan, but as soon as you speak it out and share it with other people, that energy drops and your attitude towards your idea/plan significantly changes. Same is with meditation - if you are going to shout out loud how good you feel after today’s session, chances are that your state will not prevail. So be silent and keep the good news inside. Others will notice a positive vibe around you without you mentioning it.
Until you learn how to find your own way into meditation, there are techniques which can be very helpful for you to not shoot in the dark, but to rather follow a framework. In ancient wisdom of meditation, 112 techniques have been created to reach meditation keeping in mind different types of people across time. These techniques have always been considered as 112 unique doors to move beyond the mind by pretty much every spiritual leader over the centuries. Amongst these techniques, there is at least 1 technique which fits best for every individual based on the type of his/her mind. However, many of these techniques take extreme measures and are no longer applicable to the mind and man of today. In the Meditation Easy program, we have crystallised the very essence of all these meditation techniques in 30 core techniques which cover essential themes of everyone's daily life in the 21st century.
Once you have tried out different techniques, you will develop a holistic sense of what meditation is, understand different ways in which you can reach to meditation and most importantly, you will find your style of meditation as some techniques will be more natural to you.
In this short video Dhyanse talks about the importance to start your meditation journey with meditation techniques:
If you are choosing guided meditations for your practice, make sure the guided meditation is based on a technique and not just what could be called as ‘Pleasant Gibberish’. Eventually, your aim should be to even drop the outer guidance and move inwards without any external push. Your own intelligence should become the guide and take you where you want to be. In order to achieve that level of mastery over your meditation, you need to try out several meditation techniques to build a holistic understanding and incorporate the right ones in your daily practice.
We wish you the very best on your journey!
Dhyanse & Kristin