Culturally, we expect a certain result or predictable outcome from our efforts, so it is difficult letting go of expectations for meditation.
Also, disappointment of expectation can bring suffering, and isn’t that what we are trying to eliminate?
Understanding that each meditation will probably yield different results, and that regular time and place practice leads to better outcome, then here is a beginner’s meditation checklist;
As much as possible-
- Choose a regular time – free of interruptions, distraction, noise- where possible. People with small children, demanding pets or dependent relationships may encounter challenges. Do the best you can. Set a timer for 5 to 10 min. at first.
- Choose a comfortable space – but not so comfortable that you fall asleep!
- Relax your posture – scan the body, looking for pools of tension; focus on letting go of the tension location by location. I start at my toes, moving up through the body. Sit with a straight spine, arms and legs relaxed.
- Begin to focus on your breathing. Some like to focus on the sensation of breath in the nostrils, some prefer the belly, others the chest – You use what works best.
- Let go of your day… Let go of yesterday… Let go of future plans… Focus on this time, this moment.
- Focus now completely on the sensation of breathing. Ideas, thoughts will come- when they do, refocus to the sensation of the breath.
- Don’t rush back into your day when the timer ends your practice. Enjoy your efforts. Allow an interval to reengage into life.
For more detailed beginner’s instructions Mindfulbalance.org comes highly recommended.
Try not to become agitated if you discover people and events seem to be interfering with your meditation plans or practice. This is showing our human reluctance to change.
I will be writing more about dependency and its relation to personal growth in future articles, so please stay tuned.
Peace and abundance to all.