1. The key task in meditation is to get to know your mind as it is. Regardless of whether it is disturbed or tranquil, our job is to learn how to observe it without reacting and with kindness. When you feel lost return your attention to the breath and start again.
2. As much as possible meditate at the same time each day. Experiment with what works for you. Once you find a groove, find a way to slot meditation into your daily or weekly routine.
3. Guard your practice like a small plant – know that it can easily be uprooted by the busyness of your life. When you notice that the winds of the daily chores have laid waste to your practice, pick it up again. There is no end point with this.
4. A quiet place where you will not be disturbed is best for meditation. It is also good if the place that you use for meditation is not used for any purpose other than meditation. This will help build an atmosphere for practice.
5. Any posture that keeps the back straight, the belly open, and the shoulders relaxed is suitable for meditation. Ideally the knees will be in line with or lower than the hips.
6. Getting distracted in your meditation is perfectly okay. The willingness to notice this and to start again is the important point.
7. Meditation is about cultivating a kind and friendly relationship with ourselves. In an often turbulent world, it is a process of creating a ‘safe-place’ within. Watch with humour and patience as the mind runs into the past, present and future. With kindness and firmness bring it back. Use your breath as an anchor and start again.
8. Perhaps look at maintaining your practice in two-week time slots. If you take a break, try noticing what it feels like when you haven’t practiced in a few days/week/month. Does it make a difference?
9. Meditation is a delivery device for entering into mindful states of consciousness. You don’t need to be sitting on your cushion to do this. You can become mindful right now. Try this, bring your attention to the feelings of your feet on the floor, your bottom in the chair and the next in-breath. Do this for three more deep and long breaths. Good isn’t it?!
10. Enjoying the benefits from meditation is like eating fruit from your favourite tree. Before going to harvest, you must first till the soil, plant the tree, and nourish it until it blooms. Have patience with your practice. The fruits are close by.
About the Author
Written by Cameron Aggs, Cameron has over 17-years experience with meditation. He has completed 15, 10-day Vipassana retreats and teaches regular classes on meditation. He is also a Clinical Psychologist with Mindful Therapy Psychology Services. He can be contacted on 5451 1575