1. Location. Find a suitable quiet place for meditation. If it is very hard to find somewhere quiet, use some meditative music to drown out background sounds. If possible keep a corner of your room reserved just for meditation; this will help build up a meditative vibration in that particular part.
- It is important to meditate with a straight back. If you try meditating whilst lying down, you are more likely to fall asleep.
- Don’t meditate after eating a heavy meal – you will feel lethargic and sleepy.
- If possible shower and wear clean clothes before meditating.
- Try to switch off. If you try to meditate straight after work, you may be still thinking about the day. Try reading some books on meditation to help make the transition from work to meditation. When you start meditating yourself that for the next 10-15 minutes, you don’t have to think about the past or future – just concentrate on the present moment and your meditation. Let go of any tension in your body and try to be fully aware of the present moment.
- Soulful music. Meditation is a sacred activity. It is an awareness of a divine consciousness. Anything that turns the mind to loftier thoughts and experiences will help us in our meditation. We need to feel an aspiration to grow into something more fulfilling and illumining. Soulful music or writings by Spiritual Masters and great seekers can give us that inspiration to delve deep within.
3. Breathing. Our breathing has a big impact on our mind; if we can quiet our breathing it will help slow down our mind. The beauty of meditation is its simplicity. Just be fully conscious of your breathing, feel you are breathing in peace; if you can do this without getting distracted you will be able to meditate most effectively.
4. Regularity. If we meditate on a regular basis then we will gain an increased meditative capacity. We should not be in a hurry to judge our own meditation. If we feel we have meditated badly and start feeling we are hopeless then we will definitely lose inspiration. Instead we should feel that each time we meditate there is a golden opportunity to feed our inner being. Even if we don’t feel as if we are making much progress, we should remember that each time we meditate, we are taking an important and necessary step to improving our own meditation.
5. But meditation is difficult. Many newcomers to meditation find it difficult to quiet the mind. This is because the mind is so used to thinking that when we try to stop it is quite a shock to the system. But, if we really want to do something we persevere and practice; meditation is no different, the more we put into meditation the more we will get from it.
6. Try a different place – Heart. We are used to living and identifying with the mind. The nature of the mind is to think, judge and separate. These qualities of the mind are the opposite to true meditation, so if you have difficulty quieting the mind, try focusing on the heart. You have to put your whole attention and concentration on this place in the centre of your chest. Try to feel that your whole existence has become your heart.
7. Great power in group meditation. Meditation is about consciousness. If other people are aspiring to the same meditative consciousness it becomes easier for you to be receptive to it.
8. The calm mind. This is the essence of meditation, whatever form of meditation you pursue, they will share this common goal of quieting the mind. It is only when we can have a mind free of thoughts that we will be able to experience real meditation. What happens is that we can quiet the mind we can expand our consciousness. We feel an expansion of our consciousness; when we have a good feeling towards the world.
9. What is a “good” meditation? We can know we are meditating well when we have a good view towards the world. If we feel tension and disturbance then our meditation is not working well. We should have a feeling of simplicity and humility; if we feel proud with ourselves this is not a good sign. Meditation aims to reduce the ego, not expand it.