CHASING MINDFULNESS

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Excited about starting a Meditation Practice?  GREAT!  It's quite simple.  Just follow these 5 steps and feel free to tailor them to your preferences and physical surroundings.  Let's get started!

First

 

Create a special place to Meditate – This is called staging.  Set up a good, comfortable, quiet, disturbance free, safe place to Meditate. This step is very important.  After you become an experienced Meditator you will be able to Meditate at will pretty much anywhere, but at first, do the staging.

 

To stage, find a quiet, comfortable place where you will not be disturbed. You can sit, recline, or lie down. Spend some effort with your staging.  It can make a huge difference.  Just as we tend to like comfy bedrooms and convenient kitchens, a loving safe place to Meditate can go a very long way to supporting your practice.

 

Take notice of each of your senses and be good to them.  Many people like candles and scents and background music (without lyrics) all of which can be quite supportive to your practice.  I like antiques so I have “antiquey” things in my Meditation room.

 

You will want to be in a dimly lit area and use an eye pillow or other eye covering – as dark and as completely covering your eyes as possible.  This keeps light from affecting your pineal gland, which loses its intuitive capacity in the presence of light.

Second

 

Pick a time of day to Meditate that you can repeat and be consistent with.  Hands down, first thing in the morning, before or after your first caffeine packed drink, is the best time to Meditate.  It sets your day off on the right foot, the morning energies are particularly nice, and you begin your day with a clear mind and balanced emotional package.  That said, anytime that works consistently with you is best.  I tend to Meditate in the evening because my wife takes baths 3-4 nights a week and it keeps our small dog occupied.

 

Meditating for 10 minutes 5 days a week is much, much more beneficial than meditating for an hour once in a week.  There is good science that says Meditating 20 minutes twice a day every day, is highly beneficial.  But unless you live in an ashram, that can be hard to do.

 

Third

 

Try different body positions.  The traditional Meditation posture which is being seated-with-your-legs-crossed-and-your-hands-in-mudra’s-with-pole-straight-spine is a bit challenging for most people who do not have “bendy” bodies.  There are benefits to it, but for many people sitting up with a straight spine is challenging.  Remember that there is no best way to have your body positioned when you Meditate; choose the position that is best for you. Don’t be concerned with what other people do or say about Meditation postures. (In almost all of my Meditations I lie down simply because it can be more comfortable for me, but most people who do so will tend to fall asleep, at least at the start of their practice.)  Many people also use back-jacks, reclining chairs, or simply a comfy chair.  The key is to maintain a body position that does not distract you.

 

Wear comfy clothes, and not the clothes you sleep in. If you wear pajamas to Meditate, you will be sending a signal to your subconscious mind and body that it is bedtime – and your body will react.  I almost always wear warm socks as my feet tend to get cold.

 

A heavy blanket is also a really nice thing to have, but it is optional.  The effect of a heavy blanket is likely largely psychological, but the effect is profound.  When people sleep under heavy blankets in the winter (as compared with light blankets with the same warming effect), they will sleep better and deeper.  The same is true with Meditation.  A heavy blanket is a hard thing to use in the summer, but I promise you, you will love using one from the very moment you get one.

 

Fourth

 

Have an open mind.  The more you are willing to experience whatever your Meditations bring you, the faster you will grow.  You do not have to understand all of your Meditative experiences.  After all, Meditation is about improving your life outside of Meditation just as working out is about improving your life outside of the gym, track, or stadium.  Meditation is not about having Cosmic Experiences, meeting God/the Universe/the Creator.  Once you Meditate long enough, you will realize that you are already these things.

 

Fifth

 

Be gentle with yourself.  If you start a practice and fail at miserably at maintaining it, good for you!  Simply start again.  When you were a baby and tried to stand the first time, did you fall down?  Almost certainly!  Simply start again.  Having a friend or loved one Meditate with you is a great way to bring consistency to your practice.  And Meditating in groups can also have its own profound effects.

 

There are almost as many ways to Meditate as there are people on the planet. Have fun and explore all those that you desire, but pick a method and stick with it.  An analogy would be that the person you know that is good at 12 sports, but they participate in all 12 they are not likely to master any of the 12.  Kind of a jack of all trades, master of none. 

 

Go ahead.  Find yourself and then change the world.  Be a master.

Here's a Bullet Point Version of the Above

First

  • Create a special place to Meditate – This is called staging.

  • Space should be comfortable, quiet, disturbance free, and safe.

  • Take notice of each of your senses and be good to them.Candles, scents, and background music (without lyrics).

  • Place special objects in your special place:stones, coins, notes, and the like.

  • Make sure your area is dimly lit and use an eye pillow or complete eye covering.

 

Second

  • Pick a consistent time of day to Meditate.

  • Morning is best but any time of day or evening that you consistently repeat is perfect.

  • Meditate more frequently for less time than less frequently for a longer time.

  • Meditating for 10 minutes 5 days a week is much, much more beneficial than meditating for an hour once a week.

 

Third

  • Find the body posture that is best for you.

  • Try different body positions.The traditional Meditation posture which is being seated-with-your-legs-crossed-and-your-hands-in-mudra’s-with-a-pole-straight-spine is a bit challenging for most people who do not have bodies that are “bendy.”

  • There is no best way to have your body positioned when you Meditate.

  • The key is to maintain a body position that does not distract you.

  •  Wear comfy clothes, and not the clothes you sleep in. Warm socks can be a plus.

  • Experiment Meditating under a heavy blanket.It’s a wonderful experience.

 

Fourth

  • Have an open mind.The more you are willing to experience whatever your Meditations bring you, the faster you will grow.

  • You do not have to understand all of your Meditative experiences.

  • Meditation is about improving your life of Meditation just as working out is about improving your life outside of the gym, track, or stadium.

  • Meditation is not about having Cosmic Experiences, meeting God, or the Universe.All these things are within you already.

 

Fifth

  • Be gentle with yourself.

  • If you start a practice and fail miserably at maintaining it, good for you!Simply start again.

  • Try different practices, but hone in on one and stick with it until mastered.

  • Meditating with a friend or in groups can have additive effects.

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