Welcome to week #2 of the Meditation Challenge! Week #1 was quite the start; many shared their experiences, challenges, insights, and successes. It was really wonderful to hear from everyone.
While we get going into week #2, we want to do all we can to keep the momentum flowing. To that end, here are some approaches to consider:
(1) Same time, same place: This gives a base to your practice. A steady, consistent routine gives you both physical and psychic space. Both your physical body and mental body become adjusted to your practice and will actually desire to do meditation at your scheduled time. Just as your physical body has a clock for eating and sleeping, similarly your mental body has a clock for meditating. The more regular you are in your timing, the more your mind will be ready and inspired to practice as that time nears. So meditating at the same time every day is very helpful. Returning to the same place serves as a physical reminder that “Yes, this is what I do when I get here – I meditate.” It is no different from going to the office or gym; the surroundings give you a strong sense of purpose.
(2) Empty stomach: We talked about this a little in the first post. Just think of it this way, “Light stomach, light mind.” Plus when food is in the stomach then all the blood rushes to that place and the body spends tremendous energy digesting the food. That makes one sleepy, groggy, and a bit dull. Whereas when the stomach is empty the mind is more apt to be pointed, clear, and focused.
(3) Reminders throughout the day: Now that you have your practice up and running, start implementing checkpoints throughout the day to remind you of your meditation. That helps in two ways. It makes you feel better in that very moment and it makes it easier to sit for your main meditation later on as already the mind has been thinking about it. So what are those reminders? How about closing the eyes and taking a mindful breath (or three) before starting the car, or a short kind ideation when openin the front door, or a still moment before taking a sip of water – essentially a checkpoint can be any normal activity that you do regularly each day. Instead of being merely mundane acts they become spiritual moments for you.
(4) Extended duration: Lastly, you might try lengthening the time of your meditation practice. Trying adding another few minutes. It is no different from adding distance to your daily walk or jog, or increasing the weight when working out. Similarly, by adding time to your meditation you develop greater sustenance and depth to your meditation practice.
So those are a few things to think about as week #2 gets underway. Much success to you in your endeavor. And do share with us this week how it is all going!!
Namaskar! (Honoring the divine light within you with all the charms of my mind and all the love and cordiality of my heart…)
(Note: Be sure to read our article – Why Meditation Is So Empowering – that is week #3 of our Meditation Challenge.