Until You Can Meditate
8 ways to get ready for meditation.
Meditation changes lives. It has for me and many others I know. But what if you are not in a space where you can sit down, close your eyes and just be? What if it is not (yet) the next best step for you? Is there still hope?
Yes, there is. I started my silent meditation practise about 2 years ago. But my urge to meditate has been active for over 8 years. While the urge remained, I could not commit to sitting down by myself and meditating. I felt that I wasn’t ready. So, I followed my inner nudge and did what felt like the next best step. Below are some of those stepping stones that helped me get ready.
You can start with looking up your local area guides for any volunteer work where you can be of help to someone in need. It doesn’t even have to be the typical service oriented work. It can be administrative, technical or in some way putting your skills to use without expecting monetary returns. When you volunteer you get a sense of expansion that is ‘bigger than yourself’.
2. Stepping Back
Catching yourself in the middle of strong emotions and choosing to step back is a great way to practise real life mindfulness. It enables you to snap out of habitual patterns and become aware of choice a.k.a freewill.
3. Reading Scriptures & Ancient Texts
Begin with any scriptures or texts you already feel drawn to. Over time you can start exploring other ones too, if it feels right. Reading scriptures and ancient texts often invoke a sense of curiosity in us that is necessary to embrace the new and unknown.
4. Sitting with nature
Go for walk in the park, stroll barefoot on the beach, bike, swim, paddle or just sit under a tree. Do it with an interest in connecting with nature. All of nature has a sense of calmness that will rub off and pull you deeper towards your calm centre.
5. Playing with children
If there are children around you, under the age of 2, spend time playing or just observing them. Ponder on how they view the world. Babies have a carefree, joyful attitude that will prepare you for moving into a joyful place that meditation will bring you to.
6. Practising Yoga Poses
Yoga (and other practices based on mindful movements) help by giving you a point of focus. While holding the pose, you can learn to relax and just be without feeling the pressure of not doing anything, which is often the worry for anyone new to meditation.
7. Journal writing
The easiest way to slow down your thoughts is through writing. Practise journal writing everyday especially when you feel agitated or upset by something. Writing enables you to see the doer, the doing and the done simultaneously, which is the perspective meditation brings.
8. Guided meditations
Let someone else guide you to a relaxed, peaceful place through their voice or music. While you are still dependent on their guidance it helps you get accustomed to sitting in peaceful states while your body is still.
These are only 8 ways that helped me, there would be plenty more that your inner self may guide you to. As you keep following the inner guidance, you may wake up to a day where sitting in meditation feels like your next thing!