Daily meditation has made a world of difference in my life. From bringing me focus as a writer to calming me down when life knocks me off my feet, learning to find peace in the present moment is where it’s at. But meditation is also a practice that takes a lifetime to master and along the way you may struggle with stagnancy in your practice as you do in life. But there are steps that can help you get back on track.
1. Stop putting off your practice.
In my experience, it’s best to meditate first thing in the morning before you’ve begun to run through the thoughts of life. I roll out of bed, grab my cell phone (for the alarm) and head straight to my closet to get started with my practice. The earlier in the morning you choose to practice, the better for finding quiet in your home and in your head.
2. Build a community.
Establishing a vibrant meditation practice takes the help of a community to keep you on track. This can come in many forms, whether it’s a guided meditation podcast, a weekly meditation class or an annual retreat. Choose whatever helps you to stay engaged in your practice.
3. Cut the caffeine.
This is another reason to meditate first thing in the morning. You’ve yet to have any of the caffeine that points your nervous system toward everything except the present moment. Skip the cup of coffee if you’re looking for success in your meditation practice.
4. Stop striving so much.
Meditation is about learning to sit with what’s there and not reacting to it. It’s not about judging the thoughts that are running through your head and getting angry with yourself when you can’t seem to clear them. Watch your thoughts as if they were a movie on the big screen.
5. Allow your breath to be your anchor.
Allow your breath to be the center point of your practice. It’s the guiding light that keeps you on track. Whenever your mind starts to wander (and it will), bring it back to the present moment. This will happen over and over again, but the more you practice, the amount of time between when your mind wanders and when you catch it will begin to shorten. You’ll begin to notice that you’re spending more and more time in the present moment, which means you’re building the skill set necessary to stay present in your life.
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Image: Kashirin Nicolai