"I was introduced to meditation by a yoga instructor when I was in high school. It was very calming and peaceful. I find it to be both practical and enjoyable. For a number of years now, my day doesn't start (even before tea) without the practice of meditation with my husband."
Set a time each day (some people meditate twice a day, but do what you can and want to do)
Be consistent, if possible. Go for 5 minutes for a week or a month and then add a minute monthly. I don't know many people who practice meditation (also known as "sitting") for more than 30 minutes at a time
I find it helpful to light a candle. It's funny- most of the time my eyes are closed, but there is something calming and ritualistic about having a tea candle burning
In some traditions, senses are not part of meditation. I'm of the mind that, if music and incense assist you in meditation, use it. I do, and love it
My husband has a timer with a soft bell that signals the end of meditation- that way neither of us is looking at the clock. We also use an app that plays soft music and--once the period is over--the music dies down and we know that we can now open our eyes
Meditate how you can, as you are, where you live. Some people use a chair or sofa or sit on the ground. I've done all of the above. But a few years ago, Daniel and I made little cushioned meditation benches that allow us to kneel on the carpet with our bottoms on a cushioned seat. If you want more information about this, send me an email by clicking here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mantra (from Sanskrit: literally a 'sacred utterance') is a word or phrase repeated (softly or internally) which allows you to focus on where you are and what you are doing. It's a way of "centering" yourself, stripping away distractions so that you can be in the moment as you meditate. You can use a mantra with each breath you take or by some other rhythm. It can be done for a few seconds only or during the entire meditation session. It's up to you; do what works for you.
Choose (or make up) your own mantra. Here are some common ones:
"I am not my thoughts"
"My Lord and my God"
"All is good"
"I am a channel of your peace"
Helpful Quotes for Meditators
"We could say that meditation doesn't have a reason or doesn't have a purpose. In this respect it's unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don't do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.”
“Meditation is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we already have. We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we’re doing rather than trying to improve or change or get rid of who we are or what we’re doing. The key is to wake up, to become more alert, more inquisitive and curious about ourselves.”
“Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present; inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here and right now.”