Mindfulness has been proven to be beneficial to all aspects of life, from spirituality to relationship. People can experience many things from calm, clarity to confidence. Meditation is an essential part of mindfulness and almost everyone that is interested in being mindful has tried to meditate formally.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we can establish a routine of meditation in our lives? In fact, the busier we are, the more essential mindfulness is.
I was determined to meditate but I had tried many methods but failed for 3 years.
With my hectic schedule of school and work, I was exhausted when I had any free moment to meditate. As a result, I fell asleep on the spot whenever I sat down to meditate.
If I managed to stay awake, my worries and anxiety would consume me. Did I say it right? Did I do it right? What if I couldn’t find a job and become a burden? What if I couldn’t take care of myself, much less my family?
Where was the calm and clarity people talked about in meditation? I didn’t feel any benefit except for a sore neck from falling asleep.
I grew disappointed in myself and thought meditation wasn’t
I eventually gave up and assumed that meditation wasn’t for me.
One day, I came across a 2-minute video of a monk talking about being able to meditate any time, anywhere while scrolling on Facebook.
It took me 2 weeks to research about this monk from this well-edited short video of Hufftington Post. I found that he’s Tibetan meditation master named Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and I was delighted when I discovered he taught meditation!
I learned from his teaching that intention to meditate is the most important.
Not the clarity. Not the calmness.
A few years later, now with a rigorous hectic schedule of work (healthcare fields have long hours of work), I’m able to establish a routine of meditation. Now I can understand what all the raves are about the benefits of meditation.
It might not be glamorous or easy.
It is not bliss, not excitement, not satisfaction.
It is a gradual development of calmness and clarity.
It is a deeper understanding of the truth of me, of others.
It is a gratitude for life.
Best of all, it is much simpler than I expected. Here are a few tips that have helped me on my meditation journey, and I hope they’ll be helpful to you too.
1. Set a timer
We all have busy lives and a long to-do list. My mind tends to jump to the future and worry about the things that I could have missed and haven’t done.
Have you every constantly checking the clock to see how long you’ve been sitting or doing something?
Setting a timer solves the issue. I put aside a specific time to meditate and the assurance of a timer helps eliminate the desire to check the clock.
2. Start small
I was over-enthusiastic and set out to meditate 30 minutes. I failed miserably.
Meditation doesn’t have to be grand. 1 minute of mindful breathing is better than 1 hour of noises.
I started out with 5 minutes of meditation. Yes, 5 minutes.
You can spare 5 minutes in your busy schedule, right? It’s shorter than some commercial.
Eventually, you can build up your practice to 30 minutes or 1 hour each day.
3. Switch up your meditation
There are many meditation methods. You can love a particular method but if you have to do it every day, it will get boring. Our focus naturally gets diminished.
It’s like yoga. You need to do several poses in one session. You can explore goat yoga, aerial yoga, hot yoga, etc.
You can switch up different types of meditation: Zen, breathing, contemplative, mantra, etc. Have fun!
4. It’s okay to take a break
Whenever we start to build a habit or to break a habit, we love to have an uninterrupted continuation. If we have any slip-up, we tend to get overdramatic and give up.
I was like that, if I missed a day, I got so disappointed with myself that I would just go a week without meditation.
But taking a break is healthy and necessary. Even if it’s a break from the ultra-healthy meditation.
If you have a wedding to attend, a social event, a family reunion, don’t worry about your 5 o’clock meditation. Take a break.
5. Connect with others
We go to the gym more often if we have a gym buddy, right?
While meditation is something we do alone, there’s no need to be cut off from social interactions.
Continue to learn from your teachers or your favorite meditation masters. Talk with your peers about what you do, share your experiences. Your mind will be more opened and receptive to new ideas.
Join a meditation retreat, or meet up group, there’s a difference in meditating in a group and by yourself.
Those are the most important tips that have helped me on my journey and I continue to apply them in my current practice. I hope they are helpful to you too!
Meditation is simpler than you think.
May you have peace on your path.