7 Steps to Best Prepare Yourself for Meditation
1. What is Your Focus?
What you focus on is what you create. So the time before meditation spend time bringing your focus to think about your meditation time. What do you want for your meditation today? Is there a prayer in your heart for your meditation? Is there an issue in your life that needs attention, clarity, resolve? What do you want from meditating today? Focusing in like this is preparing your mind and heart for a powerful start of your meditation. You are not wondering whereabouts unknown. You have an intention, a purpose, you are moving through your day with your eyes on your inner compass.
2. Create a Space Conductive for Going Within
It can support your meditation practice very much to create a place that offers you inspiration, calm and peace the moment you enter it for meditation. You can dedicate a room to this purpose or a nice corner somewhere in your house. The more simple the decorations are the more it invites a feeling of calm and peace. Bring something to this space that gives you inspiration to go within. It can be a beautiful picture of nature, a picture of a saint or a master, anything that reminds you of the love and truth you are cherishing.
Tend also to the practical things you need. I always meditate with a box of Tissues, water bottle, hand towel and my journal. You can play music if you like and dimmed lighting or a candle really works nicely.
People that have created a space specifically for meditation tend to hold their commitment to meditate 80% more of the time then people who do not have a dedicated space available.
3. Prepare Your Body
It is nice to be clean and free of any odours before going into meditation. They actually can be a distraction for yourself or others of you meditate in a group. Brush your teeth, put on fresh and loose fitting clothes. It is nice to have a clean feeling about you. Cleaning yourself in preparation can be like a cleansing, you cleanse yourself of all the 'muck' of the day.
4. Sitting Down versus Laying Down
Research has proven that laying down Promotes us to go to sleep and that is not really to be present in our meditation anymore. Meditation is about being awake, being clear. I recommend you sit up straight and comfortable enough so your body will not distract you during your meditations. The most asked question is if one needs to sit in the lotus position to get the most benefits from meditation. My answer is this; Yes it is proven that when we sit up dead straight and have our legs crossed and our fingers in the mudrah position the kundalini energy in our spine can move about more freely and helps us to reach de states states of consciousness when going within. But my experience is that many people have this happen by meditating in many different other positions too. I suggest it is better to sit up comfortably and be able to go deep then to try to sit in a lotus position and be distracted by discomfort of the body. So I suggest you find your own way with this.
5. Empty Your Mind
Meditation is NOT a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.
A way to prepare yourself to have the mind be reliably 'empty' so you can focus inside is to write down all the present thoughts you have, things you are trying to remember, things unresolves from the day despite. Just calmly sit and write all thoughts down until you mind feels relatively empty and it certainly is not trying to “hold or remember” any information or to do's.
Trying to stop your mind from thinking is like trying to stop a river from flowing with your bare hands … it's exhausting and almost impossible to accomplish!
When you learn how to meditate, you learn to step out of the river , and let your thoughts flow past you effortlessly. When you learn to do this, you will find that your river of thoughts slows down all by itself. No effort is required.
Meditation is an act of letting go – not an act of shutting down.
6. Let Go of Expectations
It is important for you to let go of any expectation you might have about your meditation. Sometimes we desire to have an experience we had before again because it was so wonderful. This desire can stop the flow and be in the way of what wants to happen in meditation right now and we might not get the experience we needed to take our next step forward. Letting go of expectation help us to be more open to what is happening and that what wants to happen in response to our desire.
7. Focus On Your Reason to Meditate
Spiritual desire is to meditation what the sun is to human life; we need the sun to keep our life forces going, and we need spiritual desire to sustain our focus and endeavors in each second of meditation. Everything stems from your spiritual desire. You do not have to see at as spiritual desire if that does not resonate with you. You can see it as your motivation, your intention or you drive to improve and evolve. What ever you call it, this kind of desire is a feeling inside, and it is what sustains your focus as you meditate.
So take some moment at the beginning of your meditation and reflect on your intention, the very reason why you are sitting down and going inside. Focus on it and let yourself connect to feeling it. Let this feeling of spiritual desire carry you all the way in.