13 tips is a lot, so please don't feel you have to do them all. I would suggest choosing a few tips for now that attract you. You can always return here in a week or two for more tips.
1. My number one tip: show up for the practice!
I feel that 15-20 min/day is good to start with. A short session daily is better than a long session once a week...but for now whatever you do is good.
And remember what Kalu Rinpoche says..
2. Focus on your breathing.
Go for as deep a state of inner quiet as you can. I recommend closing your eyes and being conscious of your breathing, of your inner body, and of listening. I usually focus my attention just behind my third eye. But you might begin with sweeping your body, noticing any tension and letting go. Eventually you'll find what works for you. The main thing is to be present: be conscious of your breathing. And when thoughts start, and they will, try to let them go. The mind is a bit like a bike: stop pedaling it and it will slow down. But don't force it to slow down, just observe it. Observe and let thoughts go instead of following them. So this is a state of breathing and observation.
3. Sit in a comfortable position.
You could sit on a cushion on the floor or on a chair. Hips above knees allows your belly to be more open, so you're breathing is full and natural. Have a tall posture. I don't recommend lying down since we tend to sleep in that position. Btw, a 'Zafu' is a thick cushion that raises your butt up so you knees are lower. Another option is a meditation 'bench', which your butt goes on as you kneel on the floor. Your lower legs go under it. All of these positions benefit your posture, which is key. Tall posture means open breathing and greater alertness. I usually meditate sitting on my couch, cross legged, and sometimes I put my feet on the floor.
4. Don't eat a big meal before.
You want to be awake, not falling asleep. I often meditate at 430p, then eat dinner after.
But the usual times to meditate are just after waking, and just before sleeping.
5. Same time everyday is a good idea.
Just after waking or just before sleeping is good. Noon and midnight are also powerful times. The same time everyday makes it not a personality thing - it's not influenced by your changing emotions or moods. But for now, whenever you will do it is great.
6. My teachers say no special breathing exercises, and I agree. Doing some OM's is fine however. Three OM's at the beginning of your meditation can be nice, if you want.
7. Clothing: loose-fitting so circulation is not cut off.
Lighter colors and natural fibres may also be better. Natural fibres (80% or more) allows your body's electromagnetic's to flow. And colour matters too, especially if you are very sensitive. I often meditate in all white, loose-fitting cotton, and it helps me to be awake and relaxed. But as always, do what feels right to you.
8. For now put your hands however you are comfortable.
Mudras (positions done with fingers and hands) do have various effects in helping 'tune' the energies of the body and mind, but for now do whatever feels good to you.
9. A little stretching before meditation can help to open up the body.
This releases vitality so you are more awake and also at ease in your meditation.
10. Some people enjoy meditating to music.
Choose something without vocals. Vocals engage the left brain and thinking, so no vocals is better.
11. Guided meditations/visualizations are also a powerful option.
These give the mind something more to do. You'll find some on You Tube. There are several meditation apps out there too, like 'Buddhify'.
12. Life-style elements also really matter.
This refers to things like your nutrition, your work, your health, your home. Meditation may begin on the cushion, but eventually we adjust our life and routine in order to keep and deepen the peace and balance we are finding in our formal meditation practice. It may start on our cushion, but the goal is really meditation-in-action, or meditation 24/7. This means living in a state of peace, clarity, and flow. Our seated practice is a process of simplifying the outer variables so we can focus on just quieting our mind - a beginning - then we will bring that state into our life more and more, and we will want our life to support that.
13. I highly recommend connecting with a good teacher or teaching.
Being conscious of why we are doing a thing make us more effective and powerful at it. Eckhart Tolle's book, 'Practicing the Power of Now' is excellent and short, as are his other books and videos. I don't recommend most channeled teachings.
A last note: You may find yourself having an even busier mind at first than usual, or that you find yourself falling asleep. Don't worry about it. Just continue as usual. Even do shorter sessions if you want. Pay attention to the other tips here, maybe find a good teacher and your meditation will deepen and be more satisfying.
Finally, consider joining the Planetary OM Meditation, online, where Buddha Maitreya teaches how to use the OM to meditate, and gives a dharma teaching too. You'll find more info at ww.OMMeditation.org.
Also check out the Shambhala Meditation-Healing Tools, of which the Etheric Weaver is one. You can find out more about the Etheric Weaver on my Healing page. I have been using these meditation tools for over 10 years, and there's nothing else like them. To arrange for a personal experience of meditation with the Shambhala Healing Tools, contact me.
Hi, I'm Donovan Giraud. I'm a health coach, meditator and visionary, and I'm on a mission to help people heal themselves and evolve our world.