What’s the first thing you are told to do if electronics don’t work? Unplug it and plug it back in! Here are some “do-it-yourself tips” that will get your energies flowing in a positive direction and make your meditation time something you look forward to every day.
A Beginner’s Mind... Set your intention to approach your meditation without preconceived notions or expectations. Unlike so many things in life, we’re not looking for results or achievements in mindfulness. Just being where you are and quietly sitting in meditation is an accomplishment in itself.
Get Grounded... Begin by taking 3 deep breaths. Sit comfortably with your hands in your lap and your spine straight. You can either sit in a chair or on the floor. (If you are on the floor, sitting on the edge of a cushion to raise your hips will keep you from slumping. This is advice from the top. His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself!)
Settle in and Relax... Feel your feet where they touch the floor. Give kind attention to each part of your body. Starting with your toes, let go of tension though your feet, legs, hips, abdomen... all the way up to the top of your head. Listen to your body and just accept whatever you feel without judgement. Be as nice to yourself as you would be to someone you dearly love.
Focus on the breath... Notice each breath in detail as you inhale and exhale. The breath is your anchor, your lifeline. Your breath takes you back to your pure essence of peace and clarity. You don’t need to control your breath, just watch it. Thoughts will come, but as soon as you find yourself becoming lost in thought come back to the breath again and again.
The “Not Now” hack... I learned this valuable tip from teacher John Travis at Spirit Rock meditation center while on a 5 day silent retreat. Try gently telling yourself “Not Now” when you notice you’ve become lost in thought.
Feeling...Neuroscience tells us that giving yourself permission to feel your emotions, no matter what is coming up for you in the moment, is a key to happiness.
Press GO... Think a thought of gratitude, smile and go about your day refreshed, grounded and reset!