15 Meditation Tips
When I started meditating I wish I had known some things. 25 years later I figured I’d share them with you.
1. You’re allowed to do anything that you need to.
It’s OK to move
It’s OK scratch an itch
It’s OK to adjust if you’re uncomfortable
The position you’re in can be a bonus, but it is not a necessity
This is about you, not about the technique.
2. Consistency over time is more important than how much you meditate.
Every day for 5 minutes is better than 20 minutes twice a day every other day.
3. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
Best meditation I ever had in my life was when I was able to do is 20 minutes a day two times a day, but never let that goal keep you from meditating every day.
4. Some days you’re going to daydream.
Don’t let that get you down. You put your time in and it may not have been perfect, but you’ll to do it again later or tomorrow; no worries.
5. Shutting down your thoughts completely is neither a goal nor a normal outcome of meditation.
The more important thing is how much energy you give to the thoughts and how much or how long you grasp onto them. The less energy you give them the more easily you will relax and go deeply into your own consciousness.
6. Comfortable is better than painful no matter what.
There’s no way for a normal person to be in pain by choice of position and still meditate.
7. Outside noises aren’t great, but they can be overcome or even used.
For a decade of my meditating career I lived in a flight path of an airport that was probably 2 miles away. I used the plane sounds as a reminder to go back to my focus and to let everything else go. It’s not ideal, but it definitely does help to build up your mental muscles.
8. At some point you fall asleep or nod off and wake up as you head drops.
It will disappoint you or scare the crap out of you depending on which happens. Don’t worry about it. Keep meditating if there’s still time left or get up and go about your day if there isn’t and don’t let it bother you.
10. Instead of using alarms use a consistent sound that ends.
I need a cue to stop because time tends to get funny when you’re deep in meditation. A minute can end up feeling like 15 or 20 minutes can feel like five and you’ll start wondering, “how long has it been?” instead of meditating, which is no good. Also, it can be very jarring to have a sound occur while you’re deep in meditation as a signal to stop. Great, 20 minutes of peace and now I have a bunch of adrenaline dumped in my body by a fight or flight reaction caused by a low gong noise. So go with a consistent noise and let it fade so that silence is your signal to stop.
11. Eyes open meditation is a valid way to meditative.
Personally I only meditate with my eyes open when a light is just perfect and then only partially open. I simply like to meditate more with my eyes closed, but eyes open meditation can be very powerful as well. It blurs the lines between your meditative and fully conscious states.
12. Complete darkness, not only is it not needed it isn’t best.
You want some indirect light and if possible light levels that remain consistent during the meditation. Partly cloudy days with the shades open can actually make meditation more difficult. Complete darkness on the other hand, can lead to either sleep or difficult transitions back to full consciousness.
13. The sense of smell can be used to your benefit.
I know just about nothing when it comes to aromatherapy, but I do know that a consistent smell is a wonderful way to let yourself know ‘Ahh! I’m here again, that place where I meditate. Especially helpful if you happen to be somewhere other than where you normally meditate and can produce that smell.
14. Find ways to remember during the day that you meditate.
It helps you to recall that peaceful feeling from deep within the meditation and bring it into your waking life. Meditating can be like a tool that you create in the morning and bring with you each day, to be used when needed.
15. When I’m tired I use guided meditations.
And sometimes when you’ve created time to meditate you are exhausted in that moment. That’s when I use a guided meditation. It’s simply easier for me to stay awake following someone else’s voice.
I hope that these 15 pointers help you understand more quickly than I did that meditating is about you and your relationship with yourself not about some sort of perfection in technique or some sort of fight against your conscious mind. If one person can find a little more peace a little more quickly that would be wonderful thing for me
7 Minutes for Yourself
How does taking 7 minutes all for yourself, shutting off the outside world and relaxing feel to you? What about taking time to just rest, giving yourself time and permission to collect your thoughts, taking a few deep breaths and letting the world just be instead of fighting with it? It may feel selfish or impractical, but what if that time refreshed you and helped give you the energy and attitude to do more with the rest of your day?
People who rely on you need you to care for yourself
You don’t have to be some sort of expert meditator to gain significant benefits from a guided meditation. This is a version of a meditation that I was taught in middle school and as a stressed out 12 year old it was great for me. I was able to do it on my own after being taught, as you will be able to after listening to this, but it was most effective when the teacher initially led me and the class through it. It lets you take a quick mental break in your day, relax, drift through the sky on a warm safe cloud then get back to the day refreshed and renewed. Put in your headphones, find a way to relax and click play. Close your eyes, rest your head, even if it’s just on your folded arms on your desk or kitchen table and use this time for you.
Relaxation with Cloud (06:22)
Please note: This podcast uses binural beats and is most effective with headphones. Please do not drive while listening to this meditation.
In this meditation you are invited to relax and intend yourself to experience joy. I will guide you into a joyous space to help you create the things that you want in life in your mind. This is an initial step in creating them in your life. Feeling good about them. As we continue to feel at home on the inside we can start to create that beauty in our lives.
Dreaming It In
This is a guided meditation to help you relax your body. Feeling at home on the inside means allowing your body to relax and not fighting against it. As you relax the body you are better able to turn down the chatter of the mind and hear your heart. May the peace of your soul calm your body.
I have renamed, cleaned up and moved my meditations to have them submitted to places like iTunes. I am going to be re-posting them here. They will be under the heading At Home on The Inside, which is the feel I hope they evoke for you. The first is Relaxation with a Cloud. A shorter meditation that takes you on a small flight of fancy and brings you back relaxed, refreshed and recharged.
Unless otherwise state these will have binural beat track which will be more effective with headphones and should never be listened to while driving.
Relaxation with a Cloud
I was hoping to get my meditations saved at Libsyn and create an RSS feed through Feedburner, but I wasn’t able to get that far this week. I did however create a logo that I hope you’ll be seeing on iTunes next week.
My audio logo for Meditations:
And now it’s off to the windy city in the middle of a notably chill February. There will be good friends and good beer, who cares how cold it is :-]
Well, Meditation III took much longer than anticipated, but here it is in a number of formats. If you choose to listen to the tracks that include binaural beats or the isochronic tones please do not do so while driving and do use headphones. I have included tracks with out vocals this time so that if you don’t want to do the guided meditation you can just listen to the music or the music with the effects.
Please get comfortable, either sitting or laying down, and enjoy this time to relax and imagine.
Voice + Music/River + Isochronic tones:
Voice + Music/River + Biaural Beats:
Voice + Music/River only:
Music/River + Binaural Beats:
Music/River + IsochronicTones:
So these meditations have been a while in coming, but I’m happy to say that I have learned a lot in the meantime. I found out how to use my audio editing program (Audacity) to create not only the binaural beats, like the ones from the first meditation, but now I have found out how to create ramped isochronic tones. The below program goes from 14Hz down to 4Hz (over time thus the ramping part) or from the brain wave signature of an active person down to the equivalent of deep sleep. Again I cannot say that I’m fully sold on all the hype that surrounds them, but I have used isochronic tones for meditation significantly over the past two years to great personal effect. They will only be effective with head phones and do not listen to the meditation with the isochronic beats while driving.
Just my keyboard, someone’s amazing nature audio recording and me.
All that with the isochronic tones
Here is the first of my guided meditations. There are two different recordings below. The first of which is vocals, music and sound effects only. The next one also includes binural beats at a frequency of 5 HZ. This will only be useful if you are wearing head phones so if you aren’t I’d just listen to the first one. If you do choose to wear them and select that track, in your right ear you will hear a tome of 100 Hz and in your left you will hear a tone of 105Hz. This creates a pulsing sound as your brain interprets each tone simultaneously. There is limited evidence that these tones are effective for helping meditation, but I have used them for years and have found them helpful. That all being said NEVER listen to binural beats while driving, especially ones that are meant for mediation or sleep.
Mediation Number One:
Meditation Number One with Binural Beats: