The most challenging and meaningful part of your meditation practice may begin after you rise up off your cushion. If you take the insights you acquire during meditation and apply them to your daily routines, it can change your life!
After all, you probably meditate for less than a half hour a day, which leaves a lot of hours free for wandering off course, especially when you’re dealing with deadlines at work and parenting at home.
Learn how to stay on track by integrating meditation into the ordinary activities that fill up most of your day.
Steps to Take While You’re Meditating:
1. Set your intention. Set an intention that will guide your actions. Having goals gives you something to strive for, along with a map for how to reach your destination. Spend a few minutes at the start of each meditation session thinking about what you want to accomplish.
2. Narrow your focus. While meditating can enhance any aspect of your life, you’re bound to wind up overwhelmed if you try to tackle too much at once. Clarify your priorities and pick one project for your starting point.
3. Form a resolution. Make a firm decision about what you are going to do differently today. Aim for something that is challenging, but within your grasp if you make enough effort.
4. Create a timeline. It may be difficult to listen attentively or give up swearing for the rest of your life, but you may be able to stick to your resolution for an hour or an afternoon at a time. Those victories will add up.
Steps to Take in Between Meditation Sessions:
1. Slow down. Rushing around interferes with mindfulness and awareness. Move at a deliberate pace, and take frequent breaks to conserve and replenish your energy stores.
2. Eat mindfully. Meals are one of the most obvious triggers you can use to remind yourself of anything. As you drink your morning coffee or eat your lunch, go over your resolution for the day.
3. Be flexible. Actual events may look quite different from what you envisioned while you were meditating. Look for ways to adapt the spirit of your resolution to whatever conditions may arise.
4. Refresh your motivation. Even if you’re short on time, a brief meditation session can help you channel your thoughts. Take a few deep breaths and chant a mantra while you’re showering or driving to work.
5. Help others. Use meditation to strengthen your relationships and make new friends. Boosting your kindness and compassion draws others to you and tends to make you happier.
6. Find a buddy. You’re more likely to stick to any resolution if you feel accountable. Team up with a friend so you can give each other encouragement and feedback.
7. Join a community. If there’s anything more powerful than a single meditation buddy, it’s a whole community. Research places in your neighborhood that might offer meditation programs. That could include yoga studios, community centers, and public libraries.
8. Make friends with yourself. You’ll accomplish more with a gentle and positive attitude towards yourself. Know that you are worthy just the way you are. Think of learning and growing as a gift to yourself rather than a set of corrections.
9. Continue your studies. Acquiring more skills and knowledge can help you deepen your spiritual practices. Sign up for classes or browse online for books and videos.
10. Protect your health. It’s easier to meditate when you keep your body fit. Exercise regularly, eat nourishing foods, and stick to a consistent sleep schedule.
Who said meditation is a passive activity? To realize the full benefits of your sessions, stay focused and put what you learn into action throughout your daily life.