5 Simple Steps for Setting Up Your Home Meditation Practice
This is my first in a series of blogs guiding you through setting up a home meditation practice. Subscribe to my blog and be kept in the loop!
I’m so happy you want to learn how to meditate and are interested in beginning or returning to a consistent home practice!
We know it’s good for us. There is more and more research showing the benefits of meditation practices for chronic stress conditions.
When I began my meditation practice, I suffered from chronic anxiety that gave rise to panic attacks.
I never imagined, 13 years ago when I started practicing meditation, that it would have changed my life so profoundly I’d be writing about it with the intention that others discover the amazing fruits of this simple, inward practice. But here I am! And it’s a good place to be. Because I’m HERE. Sitting practice, or meditation, has taught me that.
I began my practice 13 years ago after stumbling into an introduction to meditation class. I went to the class a few times and began a practice at home. I would lay out a big pillow and use it to prop my sit bones up off the floor. I’d sit up tall and try to follow my breath. After about 5 minutes I thought I might run out of the room screaming. I couldn’t BELIEVE what a hard time I had sitting still. I expected to sit still for 30 minutes right off the bat.
Now I know consistency is more important than amount of time.
Now I see that if your home practice is structured well, you will have more success making it a consistent ritual in your life.
So below I’ll list the steps to get you started on your home meditation practice.
Believe me, you DO have time. I have two kids under 7, a career, and a consistent art practice. If I can make the time….
1. Set your intention.
Why do you want to start a meditation practice? To calm your mind? To find some ease? To find some inner peace? To better your focus? To connect with God, or spirit? Take out a piece of paper, or your journal, and ask yourself the question. Write down your answer. Change it if you need to. Now, write it down in ink. Use nice pens, crayons, and markers. Keep this as you will set it next to your sitting place as a reminder of why you are meditating.
2. Schedule a time you will commit to sitting for just 5 minutes.
Add a minute to settle in and a minute to transition out. So 7 minutes. Decide what the time will be. Morning, afternoon, evening. Whatever works for you. Many people prefer first thing in the morning. The time itself is irrelevant. What is relevant is that it be something that is possible for you.
3. Prepare a space in your home.
It’s true, meditation can be practiced anywhere. But I find it helpful to create a special space at home to sit. It helps make the intention more tangible. It helps to continue a behavior you want to sustain. You don’t have toothbrushes all over your house do you? You keep them in one spot. It helps you with a behavior that is important for you to engage in and maintain. Hence, make a spot for your meditation.
Nothing fancy. A simple space large enough to sit in. Prepare your space by clearing it of clutter. You may set up a simple altar. Again, your altar serves as a reminder of your intention to practice meditation. Maybe it just has a flower. Maybe a statue. Place things on your altar that represent the qualities of peace, clarity, and joy you want to cultivate in your practice.
4. A cushion or chair
I use a meditation cushion called a zafu. I place my zafu under a mat called a zabaton. You can purchase these many places. I like Dharmacrafts.com. If sitting on a cushion seems daunting due to physical limitation such as knee, hip, or back pain, than sitting in a straight back chair is just as good.
In my next blog I’ll outline how to sit. For now, set yourself up.
5. A timer
Use a watch or your phone. There is an app called Insight Timer that I like to use that includes a bell that starts and ends your sit. You can program it for however long you want.
Ok! Now you are set up to start your home meditation practice. In my next blog I will guide you through a simple yet ancient practice that anyone can do.
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