Meditation is the key to living a joyous, peaceful and healthy life. Everyone needs this practice to live well in our demanding world. You don't have to be a yogi or a monk to practice meditation nor do you have to devote a lot of time to it. So how do people who are devoted to spiritual practice fit it into their already packed schedule? Here are some ways that really work.
1. Schedule it in. Time will never magically appear. You will always have something to do and somewhere to go. Make a date with yourself and keep that date even if you have to do it before everyone else wakes up so you are not disturbed. Mark this time on your calendar and make meditation a non-negotiable part of your day.
2. Get it done early. Wake up, brush your teeth, wash your face and meditate. Make it part of your morning ritual and soon it will become as routine as brushing your teeth.
3. Overcome excuses. As a spiritual coach, I have heard many excuses such as "I don't have the time," "I wake up too early as it is," "the kids are so demanding" "I like to watch TV to relax." Other clients make up bogus meditation practices to pass for an authentic practice. Real-life examples of what people have told me include, "I meditate while driving my truck," "I meditate walking the dog," "I meditate working in the garden." Are these really meditation practices? No way. Certainly, these are relaxing activities but they are not substitutes for the real thing.
4. Do it in a group. Meditating with others is more powerful than going it alone and has wonderful results. Consider scheduling a group meditation once a week at someone's house followed by lunch or dinner together. Also find support from like-minded people. Don't discuss your new practice with others who won't understand or support you. Sometimes loved ones are threatened when you start something new because they are afraid that you will change, which will alter the relationship. They are right. You will change, but only in positive ways.
5. Meditate in a designated place regularly. Have a special area in your home devoted to your practice. Put down a mat, pillows, a blanket or whatever makes you feel most comfortable. Once you start meditating in this special place, you will feel beautiful energy each time you enter into this haven. If its summer, consider meditating in your garden or out in nature.
6. Find a practice you enjoy. Make sure it's a time-tested practice and one that you are comfortable with. There are excellent Hindu and Buddhist practices and others that you may like.
7. Think positively. You can do this. Remember, meditation is not just for yogis and mystics. Mothers can do it when their kids are napping, executives can do it before the workday begins, students can do it in their dorm rooms -- anyone can do it no matter what their circumstances. If you have resistance, push through it. Tell yourself you can do this. Even if you miss a day, don't give up. Just start again tomorrow and keep going. When we immerse ourselves in positive thoughts and people who support us, we are sure to make progress on our spiritual path.
So what, exactly, do you get as your meditation practice deepens? I promise you will feel bubbles of bliss during your daily life, a sense of calm when stressors arise, a deep feeling of abiding peace, a general state of health and well-being, the desire to laugh, have fun and play, the ability to get more done in less time, greater prosperity and - my personal favorite -- an increase and expansion of love in your heart.
I've been enjoying the benefits of meditation for many years now -- a great feeling, that has real lasting power. You can do it too. Just follow the seven tips and you will be well one your way to infinite bliss.