Meditation is a fantastic way to maintain good mental health, and at the same time it has many other life benefits, such as healing from anxiety and depression, better ability to think productively, greater clarity in life direction and decision making.
To set up a home meditation practice there are a few things to keep in mind.
- MEDITATE IN THE SAME PLACE EACH DAY
Try and do your meditation practice in the same place each time. Keeping the same place for your practice each time you do it will help your mind to automatically settle into your practice when it comes time to doing it. So it becomes another tool in your meditation practice box.
2. MEDITATE AT THE SAME TIME EACH DAY
It’s also a good idea to practice your meditation at the same time each day, ideally in the morning directly when you wake up. When you wake up your mind is clear – having been well rested, and the day has not yet begun, so your mind is likely to be not so full of thoughts as it may be later in the day.
3. CHOOSE A MEDITATION POSTURE AND STICK TO IT
Posture. Ideally the lotus posture is the best. That’s the one where your feet go over your legs on both sides. It’s not for everyone and I myself have not yet mastered it. If not you can try half lotus (just one leg over the inner calf of the opposite leg), or you can sit in easy crossed legged pose as I do. Alternatively you can sit with your knees folded under you or on a chair. Best to choose a posture that suits your body best and stick to it.
4. SET UP AN ALTER FOR YOUR PRACTICE
If it resonates with you you may want to set up a little alter, with objects like crystals or a Buddha statue (if you follow the Buddha’s teachings), mala beads or anything else that is meaningful to you and helps you connect and ground.
5. ADVISE OTHERS SO YOU WON’T BE DISTURBED
If you live with others, make sure that they don’t disturb you during your meditation time each day.
6. PRACTICE THE SAME GENERAL MEDITATION STYLE
It’s a good idea to practice the same style of meditation each day though you can vary this a bit, so you may practice Vipassana or Insight Meditation – and one day you will do a meditation on Metta (loving kindness) and the next day you will do one on Karuna (Compassion or Compassionate Understanding) or Mudita (Sympathetic Joy).
7. LET GO OF ANY IDEAS OF PERFECTION
Recognise that your practice will be different each day. This is not about perfection, or even about attaining anything, it’s about just doing the practice of watching the mind, watching the emotions, watching and feeling the physical sensations in the body.
8. BE GRATEFUL FOR EACH PRACTICE
Practice gratitude for each and every time you come to do your practice. Each time is a sacred time for connecting to your own soul and to the essence of the whole universe. Each time you show up on your cushion or your chair you are showing up for your soul, for your wellbeing, for you mental health and for everyone who will ever meet you.
If for whatever reason you skip your practice one day or two days or a week or two or even a month or two, just come back to it. Let go of all self judgement and all ‘should be, should have etc. etc.’ and just get back to it. Remember you are a divine spirit having a human experience and everything is perfect. See yourself as source or God sees you: you are always perfect, and it is never too late to return to practice and to return to health and return to wellness.