How to Start Meditating in 4 Fun Steps
Creating a meditation practice can be a lot of fun. Choose an inspiring thought leader who meditates like Oprah Winfrey or Thich Naht Hanh and use these tools to start experiencing the benefits of meditation.
#1 Follow a Thought Leader who Meditates and Inspires You
Listen to them on youtube, podcasts, etc. Thich Naht Hanh, Pema Chodron, Oprah Winfrey, the Dalai Lama and Ekhart Tolle are some of my favorites. When you find one you really like, buy a book they wrote on mindfulness or meditation and keep it by your bed so you can read it before you sleep instead of playing on your phone, etc.
#2 Spend Time with People Who Meditate
When you start a new habit, you can reinforce it by having other people in your life with a similar habit. If you subscribe to a thought leader you admire who meditates, you are spending time with them.
Do you already have someone in your life who meditates? If not, join a community. Even meditation apps like Insight Timer allow you to see other people in the world you are meditating with each time you finish meditating.
Spend time with people who meditate. You will feel their peace. They take deep breaths, and you will take deeper breaths when you are with them. They are quick to laugh. You will laugh too. They see the flowers. You will want to experience peace and be that peace for those you love.
#3 Choose Meditation That You Can Do Everyday
Do it as soon as you wake up, just like brushing your teeth. Then nothing else will get in the way, and your whole day will be better. Have kids? Wake up before them. 10 minutes more of sleep will make absolutely no difference in your life, but 10 minutes of meditation could make a big difference. Have a partner? Ask them to help you by giving you the gift of that time each morning. Maybe they will even practice with you.
There are all kinds of meditation. Silent seated meditation, visualization, dance meditation, walking meditation, etc. What kind of meditation should you do?
To some, silent seated meditation may seem like the least attractive kind of meditation. You want to multitask, have fun, move around, etc. If this is you, silent seated meditation might be the best thing for you. It will bring much-needed space into your mind. And nothing could be more simple. Not necessarily easy, but extremely simple. Sit still in a quiet place and say and think nothing. Just see yourself as space, free of words. Free of self. Empty in a beautiful way. Simply a container for beauty.
Separate yourself from your thoughts. You are not your thoughts. You are so much more.
But you don’t have to start meditating like Buddha when your surroundings and experiences are quite different than those that do. Start where you are.
Note: If you are already a person with an active imagination and a lot of inner dialog, you might be drawn to visualization meditation. But this might not be the best choice for you. It may add more noise to your mind rather than peace. This is where I started, but thankfully I discovered other kinds of meditation soon after that.
Here are some videos on how to meditate silently and how to meditate to music while dancing:
#4 Reward Yourself Each Time You Meditate
Reinforce the habit. I use the Insight Timer free meditation app on my phone to keep track of how many consecutive days and I have meditated. Seeing that I have meditated consistently makes me want to keep doing it more.
And just regaining some control of your mind is a huge reward. Once the habit is formed, the rewards will evolve.
But What if There is No Quiet Time in Your Life?
What if you have young kids? You barely sleep 4 hours a night because you are so busy?
Meditation actually helps us create more time.
Meditation helps us see where we are being inefficient with time. When you are in the moment, you see things more clearly. Food tastes better. The air is sweeter. We hear the birds that were always there. We are more aware of the time we are spending distracted on social media. When we are aware, get that time back.
I am actually writing this at 5am with my 3 year old sleeping in the next room. I woke up inspired, did my daily Danceable Ritual saying”I love my life. I love my body and soul.” Then I opened the Insight Timer app on my phone, meditated silently for 10 minutes, and started writing this for you. Much love.