7 Ways To Simplify Your Meditation Practice

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Meditation is supposed to be one of the best ways to de-stress and connect with your higher power. Ironically, many first-time meditators express how difficult it is to get still and actually pump the breaks on the spinning wheel of thoughts many of us have.

I recently began meditating on a more regular basis. My foray into it has been via Oprah.com’s 21-day meditation challenges through Oprah’s partnership with Deepak Chopra. I swear, each time they begin a new series I feel like it comes at the perfect time. Once the 21 days begins, I try my best to wake up an hour or two earlier than normal as a way to practice self-discipline and stay committed to the practice. But it hasn’t been easy to keep up, which is mostly due to the common difficulties many of us face when meditating: the inability to focus the mind only on a suggested element, such as the breath or a mantra. But as I’ve continued on my meditation practice, I’ve learned a few things that have shown me that even when I don’t feel I’ve done a good job “getting still,” I’m actually on the right path.

 

Here’s how:

  1. Pace yourself—Mediation doesn’t have to take place for long stretches of time. Two minutes of complete stillness and the repetition of a mantra flowing through the mind is enough to get centered and set a great tone of your entire day.

  2. Refocus—When your mind wanders with thoughts, simply refocus on the centering thought or mantra. Forgive yourself right away for allowing your thoughts to trail off. Meditation is about getting in touch with the essence of who you are, and who you are is an imperfect and divine human being.

  3. Practice often—Like anything else, the more you practice the better you’ll become. Getting to the place you want to be spiritually requires time and dedication. It’s no different from getting physically fit.

  4. Watch your thoughts—When your mind is wandering, it’s not always a bad thing.   You can take that time to watch your thoughts. Pay attention to what you’re thinking, but take a step back in your mind. It’s a great way to take inventory of what’s going on in your head without actually feeling like you embody the negative or mundane thoughts that continue to play in your mind, which often brings about self-judgment. So in other words, allow yourself to watch your thoughts with a level of detachment and remember that your true nature is the awareness that sees destructive or negative thinking for what it truly is.

  5. No perfect location—You can meditate any and everywhere. As you walk down the street, find a point in your body to focus on. It could be the bottom of your feet as they lift up from the floor then plant themselves again to propel your body forward. If you’re on public transportation, focus your thoughts on your belly as it rises and falls with each inhale and exhale. Choose a word or phrase that will help you start your day off in the most positive and productive way.

  6. Call it “me time”—View meditation as your time. It’s not about your spouse, your child, or even your annoying boss. It’s about you giving yourself the space and time to just reconnect with the greatness that you are.

  7. Go wherever—Allow yourself to visualize the most beautiful terrains, beaches, or landscapes. If you can’t get out of town for a vacay, get still and allow your mind to take you there for at least 10 minutes.

 

Abi Ishola
Abi Ishola

Editor-in-Chief

Abi Ishola is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Beyond Classically Beautiful, the acclaimed photo series turned multimedia platform. On any given day, you can find her tucked away in a perfectly lit Brooklyn coffee shop working for several hours. Then she dashes off to pick up her daughter from daycare. Abi is also a TV Producer, a proud FIT Alum, Nigerian-American, and a soul searcher.

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