Monday, March 11, 2013

Meditation Preparation

Don't just do something, sit there. Easier said than done, right? The art of meditation may be ritualized. When I need to reawaken that practice, a message to the subconscious that it is now the time to sit can be helpful. Good intentions become intercepted by my to-do list, the simple enjoyment of my cup of tea and answering e-mails, or if I am lucky, the company of a close friend.

Today I commit to reconnecting.

1. Dedicate a time in the morning or evening. 15 to 20 minutes is enough. When we make a commitment and set aside time around when we sleep, we insure that we will be available and ready to be open to the meditation. When I revolve it around my sleep, it makes it much easier to make the time.

2. Create a space where you sit. It may be a corner in your bedroom, a meditation pillow, or if you are like me and live in a very small space, it can be your favorite chair. The point is to have a space where you sit down and know it's your "seat". Like having a desk where you work. Creating space to settle and ground down will help to inform your body. Our bodies have a memory, so it is helpful to allow it to remember.

3. Set a timer. It's amazing how many times I look at my clock after just five minutes. If you set a timer, you don't have to anticipate the time going by. This will get you into the habit of concentration and connecting to a timeless place.

4. Give yourself a touchstone. Mala beads, a mantra, or a power object can give you something to hold on to (literally!). A major tool of meditation is coming back to the present moment. When you have a touchstone to remind you, it's like holding the hand of a loved one. A gentle reminder to be here. Now. Your thoughts may try to take  a hold of you, but you have something to focus on and bring your back.

5. Get in the mood. Music relaxes me. Coyote Oldman, Shaman's Dream, or Krishna Das are my favorites. Lighting a candle or incense ignites the ritual of connecting me with spirit. Dimming the lights in the room helps me as well.

Now you are ready. Preparation brings awareness and honoring to our practice. Yet at any time, you may call on the constant connection that you have with spirit. Your direct line need only be activated with awareness.

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