I try to meditate every day. It helps me set my mind to take on the day. I find that if I meditate in the morning, the sense of lightness stays with me throughout the day and makes it easier to deal with whatever issues I might face. You rise above the fray for a minute and remember that the physical world should not get you down because you are a spiritual being on a higher plane.
In the summer I go to a meditation class at the Longhouse Reserve in East Hampton led by Jim Owens (pictured above). I have learned a lot about meditation from him and wanted to share a few tips below.
- Meditate in the morning. I wake up, get ready for the day, and then meditate. It is important to meditate before your morning coffee or tea! You don’t want your mind racing while you are trying to calm it down.
- Make a ritual out of it. I like to make my meditation into a ritual that I can repeat day after day. So I light a candle, sit on a wool mat on the floor, and wear a shawl to “hold the good vibrations” from the last time. All these rituals help to get me into the zone for meditation.
- Listen to some spiritual teaching. I like to listen to a few minutes of spiritual teachings before I meditate to help get me in the zone. Right now I am listening to Eckhart Tolle’s audiobook A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose.
- Get into a comfortable seated position. I don’t like to sit cross-legged so I sit with my heels under my butt. I lie my hands on my lap and sit up straight, as if my head were “dangling from the sky by a silver cord.” Close your eyes.
- Start with oms. The point is not to make a beautiful sound. You just want to feel the vibrations of the sound in your body. That helps you focus inward and focus on the present moment. Try to om in four parts: ohhhhh, ahhhhh, mmmmmmmm, and then just sit and feel the vibrations in your body for a moment.
- The goal when meditating is to NOT think. You want to enter into the present moment and just BE. This can be very hard to do, especially if you are like me and have an overactive mind. I like to pretend that the thoughts are balloons and just take a pin and pop each one as it floats into my mind. This is hard! Sometimes I have to really pop a lot of balloons and a few just get away.
- Listen to your heart beat. If you really focus in on your heart beat, it helps make you focus on the present moment. You may only be able to focus for a few moments before your mind starts to wander. But each moment that you are truly focused on just that heart beat is a win. That means you are truly present.
- Meditate for about 10 minutes. My goal is just to get to that state where my mind is calm and I am not thinking about anything at all. it takes about 10 minutes to get there but when you do it is amazing. You realize that you are complete RIGHT NOW regardless of the past or the future. That realization is a powerful feeling that you can carry forward into your day.
- Ease back into the physical world. Once you are done ease back into the physical world. Take a moment to open your eyes and look around at the world around you. It should look different. You should feel like you have just returned from a higher plane and that the physical world is not all there is to life. Go forth into your day! The good vibrations of meditation will stay with you and help you keep a focused balanced mentality throughout the day.