Meditation – Best Practices

Meditation

Meditation

Meditation is like working out. When you work out, you put a lot of stress on your muscles. That’s how they get bigger. That’s how they get leaner. That’s how they get stronger.

The same applies to your mental muscles. Because that’s what meditation is. It’s a mental workout.

Physical muscles get soft if you don’t challenge them or you don’t put pressure on them. With meditation, you’re going to challenge and put pressure on your mental muscles.

Believe me, it is quite a workout to let a mental image just pass over your head like a cloud without judging it.

For example, there was an episode of your childhood that used to burn you through your core because it was really humiliating, it was disgusting. Whatever it was, it takes effort to do that. But that’s how you challenge your mental muscles. And the more pressure you put on it, the stronger it gets.

Practice Daily

Meditation - Best Practices 1

The good news here is that you don’t have to spend all day meditating. In fact, if you’re doing that, you’re overdoing it. That’s probably going to do more harm than good. Instead, focus on spending no more than 15 minutes a day.

With meditation, a little bit of consistency goes a long way. So focus on your meditative practice for no more than 15 minutes every day. 15 minutes is plenty.

Associate Your Meditative State with Certain Stimuli

This is for advanced students. Usually, by this point, it will probably take months, if not years. But most people, if they’re consistent, will reach this point.

When you perceive any new stimuli, allow yourself to focus on your meditative state. You’re basically linking the meditative state of peace, calm, inner serenity and harmony with stimuli that normally upsets you.

For example, if you work with an ex, it can be quite uncomfortable, awkward, and frustrating. This person broke your heart, this person cheated on you, or you’re embarrassed because it didn’t work out. Whatever the case may be, it’s going to be very hard to handle that stimuli.

After you’ve meditated, and you’ve gained some emotional distance, allow yourself to look for that stimuli and link it with a meditative state.

In other words, you are replacing the stress, discomfort and embarrassment that you normally feel when you perceive that stimuli, maybe it involves seeing the face of your ex or hearing his or her voice, whatever the case may be.

Now, you’re replacing it with a meditative state. The meditative state, of course, involves a sense of calm, being in control, clarity, peace, healing, restoration. So instead of that person’s voice or image just stressing you out, upsetting you, now, it calms you down. You say to yourself, “I’m okay. There’s nothing to get hung up about. I can deal with this situation, this person, these memories at a certain level. And I’ll be okay.”

Sure, in the beginning this is going to be difficult because of your mental habits. When you are just starting out, the urge to go back to your old reactive patterns, with its rush of negative emotions, seems to be all but irresistible. This is the hardest part. But you can overcome.

Choose to override this ‘natural’ tendency and it will get easier and easier to respond to life’s stimuli based on your highest values instead of your feelings or whatever is convenient or easy.

The more opportunities you seek to practice your newfound power over your emotions, the stronger your mind becomes. It also makes the link between certain ‘positive’ stimuli and positive emotions or positive mental states.

Of course, none of this happens all at once. It takes time. Still, every time you successfully choose to focus on being calm and successfully recall the mental calmness of your meditative state, the easier it gets. The secret is practice.

Interestingly enough, to get the practice you need, you actually have to seek out situations or stimuli that normally stress you out. That’s the only way you can test our your ability to recall a calm inner peace.

Usually, people do not need help recalling stressful, embarrassing, traumatic, or painful memories. Start there. Since these are thoughts, you have a lot more control over the thought and the outcome.

Compare the above to testing out your meditative recall skills on actual people. People can be quite random. You might have a very sticky situation on your hands and unlike memories, there’s no ‘rewind’ button if you end up saying or doing something that harms your relationship or takes it to a much lower level.

Regardless of how you do it, give yourself the opportunity to constantly test out your ability to recall that state of mental calm, serenity, and peace. In that special space you have built for yourself within your mind, there is no need to prove anything. You don’t have to be somebody else. There are no painful memories. There is no worrying future. Instead, you just have calm in the here and now.

Understand that you always have this available. Get some hope from this fact. Call this link at will. Once you have trained yourself to remember that meditative state when situations present themselves, the next step is to call it at will. Meaning, you yourself will trigger that meditative state.

You no longer need stimuli. That’s when you have reached a higher level of practical meditation because that sense of calm, release, and objective distance that you feel with your emotions pretty much persists on a 24/7 basis. You only need to choose to call that meditative state to being and it happens. You now know it like the back of your hand.