How to create a meditation routine even if you don’t want to
Prerequisite: Understanding the rationale, purpose, and process of mindfulness meditation.
Here is the “Do it” list to help you in creating a meditation practice routine
Prioritize. You need to insert into your brain that meditation is just as important as showering,
eating, working, etc.. I think it’s amazing how much time we make time to text zillions of times
during the day, but impossible to find 10min every day to meditate.
Set your intention. Ask yourself as you sit down, why am I meditating today?
See what emerges. Then ask yourself, what are my deepest reasons for practice?
Always return to these motivations when practice gets tough.
Thanks to neuroplasticity, your mind will remember them.
Review your day and pick a time to do it that makes sense. If you are not a morning
person, wait till later in the day. If you come home exhausted every night, try the mornings.
Then, allow meditation to become a habit. That is: do it at the same time in the same place
every day. The way to cultivate a habit is to repeat the same schedule day after day.
The more consistent you can be, the easier it will become thanks to the new rewiring into
your brain induced by neuroplasticity.
Be gentle with yourself. If you think you’re a failure and blame yourself for missing a day or a
week, meditation then becomes another reason for self-hatred, anger, and even suffering.
Look, meditation training is like swimming upstream, doable, but takes some effort.
Be forgiving, and never judge yourself or your meditation you will be able to maintain
your practice. On the opposite, judging yourself and your meditation is a recipe to quit.
Be patient. The benefits of meditation are subtle, slow, and invisible initially. With time you
will be able to notice the difference as far as serenity, and mind control is concerned.
Be flexible. If you miss your morning session, be creative rather than upset.
Take a mindful, silent walk at work; sit before you fall asleep. Don’t throw in the towel just
because your daily routine got jeopardized.
Pick a doable amount of time to meditate. Don’t strive for an hour sitting unless it seems
easy to you. Twenty minutes to a half hour can work fine. Stick with it if that seems easy,
and fits in with your schedule. Even five minutes will activate those new neural pathways
as described previously. 10 min. of good meditation is more effective than 30 min. with
an unrested mind.
Join a reputable group practice.
Weekly group practice is critical for a few reasons: 1- It is easier than solo practice
2- It will enhance your meditative skills and therefore help you in your solo practice.
Practice so-called “dynamic” meditation such as walking, and mini mindful meditation
on the go such as while eating, washing, gardening, etc….
Remember that the practice is cumulative. 5 min. here and there are 5 added min.
Sometimes sitting truly feels impossible. Then use your designated time for some kind
of spiritually supportive practice: read a dharma book /talk, listen to a tape, watch a good
Zen video on YouTube.
They are plenty of excellent sources such as Alan Watts, E Tolle, and the Dalai Lama.
You may also write in your journal.
This is not the end of the world if you miss a few sittings.
Again, when you screw up, be gentle, and self-compassionate with yourself.
I already said this, but I’ll say it again because it’s key for developing regular practice.
Never be judgmental as far as the frequency and quality of your meditation and be impatient.
If you do, quitting is around the corner. Too bad. THANKS