Hi, my name is Pála, and I meditate every day.
At least, that is the story I am creating for myself.
That is the kind of person I will become, and I am moving closer to that version of myself every day I stick to my meditation practice.
So now I sit down every day to meditate.
Sometimes it is simple and easy.
Sometimes it is extremely hard.
Sometimes I meditate a second time later in the day, as I find the need to stop and listen to my inner voice.
Sometimes I wake up eager to meditate. Sometimes I want to skip the meditation. Being honest, the latter is much more common.
But one thing is always true: I meditate every day.
I sit and cross my legs. I set my timer. And I practice.
Sometimes when I sit down to meditate, reaching an actual meditative state is light years away. Sometimes I just sit there and wait a million years for the timer to go off.
And that is alright.
Because it is called a practice. So, I sit there. I do my very best to stay still. I listen to my breath.
And when I need an extra anchor to hold on too, I use one of these three techniques.
I count my breaths.
I pick a number and count my breaths downwards from there. My usual choice is 100 breaths, and I use this technique especially if I am not using my meditation timer. For me, 10 minutes is about 60-70 breaths, so this is a good number.
So, I start. I sit down, I take a deep breath in and out, 100. Another breath, 99. One more, 98. And from there I go onwards, until I reach zero.
This gives my mind something to focus on throughout the whole meditation and it keeps it simple and easy.
Another version is to count from one upwards and start again if you lose your concentration. If you are new to the meditation practice this might be your preferred option. It is simple and easy, considering how well it works in my children´s yoga classes. However, use a timer as well, as you´ll always be starting your counting over and over again.
I focus on the chakras.
If you are familiar with the chakras, this technique might suit you well. It is quite simple, as you count your breaths the same way as the former technique. However, you assign your breaths to a single chakra. Visualizing the chakra, the position and the color, see yourself breathing into the chakra.
If this makes absolutely no sense, stick with the first one.
So, starting with the lowest chakra and moving to the top one, breathe 10 breaths into each chakra. That leaves us with 70 breaths, which is a good duration to practice.
From there, you might want to move into breathing one breath into each chakra, or visualizing one breath going from the bottom chakra to the top one, exhaling back down to the root chakra.
I repeat a mantra.
Mantra is a set of sounds and vibrations. To put it simply, it is text made of Sanskrit words with a certain meaning. Those texts are often chanted or sung.
During my YTT I learned a few mantras and I love how repeating them out loud or in my mind makes me feel. And it is also a good way to meditate.
My favorite ones are Gayatri Mantra and Shanti Mantra.
First you need to put in some effort to learn the mantras word by word. By then you are ready to use mantras as a meditation tool.
With your eyes closed and your breath calm, repeat the mantra either out loud or in your mind. Let your breath be natural. Repeat as often as you want, maybe using your ten fingers to count ten repetitions, or setting a timer.
These are my three foolproof ways to meditate. Use them the way it feels right for you.
And remember that simply showing up is all you need to do. Even if you can barely stay still and are continually opening your eyes, know that you are dedicating those few minutes to yourself. Be it one minute or ten. Just do it.
And slowly meditation will become a part of your daily life.
One day you will wake up realizing that you have forgot how it is to live a life without meditation.
Your meditation practice will become a part of who you are.
Do you have any foolproof meditation tips? Share in the comments!