If I have to name one habit that has been the most beneficial for me then it’s the practice of meditation. It’s the most important habit that I have formed in last ten years. I learnt meditation during a basic course with Art of Living. After a series of advanced meditation programs, I finally went for the teachers training program and became an Art of Living teacher in 2009.
Meditation has helped me in becoming more calm and peaceful. It helped in becoming more focused and less stressed. It helped me in having a heightened awareness and being more in gratitude. I am not perfect but meditation has certainly helped me in becoming a far better person than I was.
Most importantly, meditation helped me in being aware of my thoughts and what goes on in my mind. I used to get easily pulled down by negativity but now I observe the thoughts going on in my head and can make a choice between becoming a victim of negativity or being free and positive.
Due to immense benefits that I have experience by meditating daily for the past eight years, I highly recommend it to everyone. Meditation is not easy but you can start meditating and get better and better at it by daily practice. Like every other habit, it takes time to form a meditation habit and like every other skill, it takes practice to master it.
Here are some practical tips for beginners:
1. Start small. Start meditation practice by meditating just for five minutes daily for a week. Slowly and gradually keep increasing the time.
2. Make meditation a priority and do it first thing in the morning. You may forget to meditate if you decide to do it later in the day or simply might not get the time to do it.
3. Don’t worry too much about how to do it. Simply sit cross-legged on the floor or on a sofa in a quiet place and meditate.
4. Start simple meditation practice by simply sitting with your eyes closed and focusing on your breath.
5. Observe how you are feeling- tired, anxious, busy. Observe the state of your mind.
6. When you sit to meditate, your mind will wander here and there. That’s quite natural. Be aware and bring your attention back to your breath whenever your mind goes on a trip.
7. Be in harmony with your thoughts. Accept your thoughts and feelings as they are.
8. You might have doubts if you are doing it right. Don’t get into doubts and just be happy that you are meditating.
9. People think that meditation means absence of thoughts. It takes time and lots of practice to reach that blissful state of thoughtlessness. For now, just accept the thoughts as a passive observer and don’t get stuck in them.
10. Get to know yourself during meditation. Learn how your mind works.
11. Be committed towards meditation practice. Take 21 days meditation challenge in the beginning and commit to it.
12. You can meditate anywhere- while travelling, at home, in office, while walking. (Yes, you can do walking meditation too!)
13. You can start with guided meditations which are a bit easier for the beginners as they come with a set of instructions to follow.
14. Join a community of people who meditate where you can ask questions and get encouragement & support.
15. End your meditation session with a smile and a feeling of gratitude.
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