10 Practice Rules For A Successful Meditation
There are 10 practice rules that everyone needs to know about meditation. When you follow these 10 rules you will be successful in meditation.
Congratulations. You’ve decided to start meditating. And that is a great decision. Because meditation will help you to relax, it will clear your mind it will… well, it will do a lot. Just take a look at this list of more than 100 health benefits of meditation.
Today, you’re beginning your journey towards an even healthier, happier you. And as my Zen-sational readers would say, every positive step is a step in the right direction.
What is it you want to get out of meditation?
Take a moment to answer that question. Do you want peace of mind? Happiness? How about confidence?
Whatever state of mind you’re looking for, you can get it with meditation and with my teaching.
I’d like you to start on the right track
As someone who quite literally spends hours every single day teaching and writing about meditation. I am very passionate about it. And all my students and readers matter to me. You’re one of them.
So with that in mind, I would like you to start meditating in the right way. Because if you start in the right way you will win the race.
So with that in mind, lets take ten minutes to cover the absolute basics.
Take a look at this guide to the basics of meditation. Then come back here so I can show you the best way how to meditate easily.
Taken a look at that article? Great. You’re now ready to meditate.
10 Practice Rules For Meditation
1: Choose a Time [OPTIONAL]
One of the biggest mistakes people make when learning is that they don’t set aside the time to practice properly.
The majority of people simply feel like meditating. So they go and sit down and close their eyes, and then a few minutes later they remember that they’ve left the oven on or that they have to make a phone call.
Practice is all about relaxation and focus.
You need to allow yourself to relax and focus, and that means setting aside twenty minutes when you know you won’t be distracted.
So, step one in our guide is this:
Set aside twenty minutes in which you don’t have to do anything. Get everything done before your meditation period starts.
If there are other people in the house with you, let them know that you are going to be meditating for the next twenty minutes and that you don’t want to be disturbed. It’s only twenty minutes, so it’s not really a lot to ask.
If you want to make a daily routine, you may find it helpful to set aside twenty minutes each day at the same time, perhaps in the morning or when you get home from work. That way you will establish a habit and, before long, you’ll be practicing without even thinking about it. That’s good. Meditation is best when you are dedicated to it –and really, it’s only twenty minutes a day so it isn’t a big commitment.
Practice Rules For Meditation 2: Create a quiet Space [OPTIONAL]
When you practice you want to allow yourself to fully relax. Any clutter in the room is going to put you off and distract you, as will any source of noise. So, before meditating, create a relaxing and quiet space.
If you really want the best space possible, use our guide to creating a meditation room.
You might like to decorate this space with various personal objects. If there is something that means a lot to you and that helps you to relax or to get into what I call the “spiritual zone,” then include it in the room.
Put some plants in the room too and perhaps some paintings as these can create a suitable atmosphere too. Also, if you are a religious person, you might like to include some religious statues of whichever belief you follow. Of course, this is entirely optional.
Another great item to have is a mala. This is a necklace of 108 beads that are used to count your breaths.
Practice Rules For Meditation 3: Time [OPTIONAL]
Time can be a very distracting thing.
Many people feel as though they are rushed when they are practicing. They keep eyeing the clock.
That’s never going to help your focus.
The more focused you are, the better your meditation will be.
To eliminate the need to keep looking at the clock, just set an alarm for twenty minutes, or however long you wish to meditate for. That way, you won’t keep wondering what the time is when you’re trying to enter Nirvana.
Try using our free meditation timer. It’s relaxing and will help you to focus (as well as, you know, timing your meditation)
Practice Rules For Meditation 4: Posture [IMPORTANT]
Posture is very important.
Meditation is all about focus, and the last thing that will help you focus is an itch or a cramp.
It’s worth doing some very light stretches for five minutes before you begin. This helps your body to relax and helps you to get into the right posture. You will find that with a relaxed body and good posture, your mind automatically relaxed and your focus increases.
Many practices include specific postures, which range from the sitting positions of Zen meditation to the mudras of Yoga, Buddhism and Hinduism.
However, for this easy guide to meditation we don’t need any specific sitting positions or hand gestures (mudras). All we need is posture which is good enough to keep us from being distracted. So, sit on the floor (with a meditation mat) or a seat, make sure your spine is in good alignment and relaxed, your chin tucked in a little and that there is not itching or fidgeting going on.
Practice Rules For Meditation 5: Breathing Meditation
Breathing is the easiest of all meditation techniques. It is also, arguably, the best. That’s why we’ll be covering basic breathing in this guide to how to meditate in ten easy steps.
To meditate on your breath all you need to do is focus your mind on your breathing.
Close your eyes and focus your mind on the breathing as it comes and goes between the space between your lips and nose. That’s the basic breathing meditation technique.
Practice Rules For Meditation 6: Simple is Best
As a beginners you might be eager to try more advanced meditation techniques. Don’t.
The reason why most people want to try more and more complex techniques comes down to their ego. We want to be advanced, because we feel that that would be an accomplishment. Being “advanced” gratifies the ego.
Meditation, however, is about moving past the ego. So, when you’re meditating and you experience the thought I need to do more say to yourself, “That’s my ego talking” and return to the simple technique.
There are also health risks of meditation. Meditation is completely safe when you start off easy, but if you just in at the deep end you might regret it.
Practice Rules For Meditation 7: Thoughts
It is inevitable that some thoughts will come into your mind and distract you. That’s really the point. The aim of meditation of to silence these thoughts so that you can focus your mind without distraction.
In order to do that, however, you need to know how to deal with thoughts when they arise. It’s here that some people go wrong with meditation so let’s take a look at the basic principles:
1) Don’t argue with your thoughts or to be annoyed by them.
2) Don’t fight your thoughts.
3) Don’t repress your thoughts
3) When a thought comes to mind say to yourself, “This is just a thought. It isn’t real.” Then return to focussing on your breathing.
Practice Rules For Meditation 8: When It Gets Hard
There are going to be bad days. That’s just life. And it’s on bad days that you need to meditate the most. But it’s also on bad days that meditation is most difficult.
Let’s say you’ve had a bad day at work. You’re stressed. Maybe you’re even worried you might lose your job. You have all these negative thoughts circulating your mind like a plague. You need them silenced. You try to meditate, but you just can’t focus through the thoughts. What do you do?
There are a couple of solutions to this problem.
Firstly, and this is really really important. Do NOT blame yourself for not being able to focus. Do not tell yourself that you SHOULD be able to focus. Your mind isn’t perfect 100% of the time. You need to be accepting of its minor hiccoughs. When you can’t focus, tell yourself, “It is okay. I will focus as best I can.” Never blame yourself (I know I’m hammering this point a little but it is very important).
You also need to make meditation as simple as you can at such times.
Try counting your breaths, or focusing on the rising and falling of your abdomen, or, if you are stressed, focus on your hand as you clench and then release your fist (this is a great relaxation technique btw).
Remember, you’re not perfect. No one is. You don’t need to have perfect focus 100% of the time, that’s okay, accept it. You’ll find that as soon as you accept your weaknesses—in meditation as in life—they will no longer have such power over you.
Practice Rules For Meditation 9: Meditation Isn’t Divine
Okay, this might seem like a weird thing for a teacher to say, but meditation isn’t divine.
It is a very straight forward (and very powerful) practice.
Why do I say this?
Because when you think that it is some supernatural miracle you start to expect amazing things to happen. And here’s the very strange thing about meditation: the more you expect to get out of it, the less you will.
Actually, that’s just like life. It’s when you stop expecting too much that good things happen, don’t you find?
But it’s true. If you go into it expecting to immediately become enlightened or to find supreme happiness after ten breaths, you will get nothing out of it. When, however, you enter meditation with a clear mind, when you don’t force meditation but you just sit back and let what happens happen, then you will see amazing results.
Bottom line: don’t have grand visions about meditation. Don’t expect to become Buddha overnight.
Practice Rules For Meditation 10: Join Our Facebook Page
One of the best things you can do with meditation (well, with anything, actually) is find a group of like minded people.
When you find a group of like minded people you will be reminded to practice often. You will also get to talk to meditation with other people, which helps you to progress in your practice.
If you would like to discover more about meditation, my complete guide to meditation is now on sale.
So, I’ll hope to see you in our Facebook Page.
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Paul Martin Harrison
Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book Journey To The Buddha Within You.