Here are 7 tips to help you establish a meditation practice.
1. Practice at the same time in the same place â€“ both am and pm. Over time this creates a groove in your biorhythms and in the space/time continuum so that when 7 am and 6 pm (or whatever times youâ€™ve chosen) roll around you are naturally drawn to meditate.
2. Practice on a light stomach â€“ donâ€™t chow down before meditation, it just draws your attention to your third chakra. At the same time, an empty tummy can have a similarly distracting effect. When I was at an ashram in India the nuns would have a little snack (they quaintly called it â€œtiffinâ€) at around 5 pm before their meditation.
3. Splash water on your face, forearms and hands, and feet before your meditate. Lots of nerves that get overheated in these areas. Itâ€™s amazing how a little water can calm them down, calm you down so you can focus.
4. Use a wool or cotton blanket (if you donâ€™t have either of those, a tiger skin will do 😎 Thereâ€™s something about sitting on natural fibers when youâ€™re meditating. It gives you a better electromagnetic connection to the earth. Being as Bengal tigers are on the endangered species list, I wouldnâ€™t go trying to procure a skin. But if you happen to find one at yard sale, please let me know.
5. Clear your mind. Use the 6-3-6-3 breath practice at the beginning of your meditation practice for a few minutes to help you settle the crazy monkeys down. They donâ€™t like counting, it makes them really bored.
6. Mantra â€“ a two syllable Sanskrit mantra works best, a mantra that has been vibrated by a teacher is even better.
7. Sing! If your monkeys are still jumping around or if you know breath counting isn’t going to placate them in the least, try some kirtan. If you play an instrument, great. If not, use your favorite kirtan artists tunes. You can browse around Youtube to find some good kirtans that you resonate with. I like Jai Uttal: http://jaiuttal.com/ a lot. There are lots of other artists who are great. Singing also stimulates your vagus nerve â€“ the main nerve of the parasympathetic nervous system which means it helps relax you into meditation. And that repetition that you get through singing mantra can really help kick the monkeys out. Not only that, but the meanings of the mantras are truly beautiful and elevating. When you really feel like you canâ€™t meditate at all, singing an be a great alternative.