Meditation and mindfulness has the ability to change your life and should be taken as seriously as we do our health, fitness and what we consume in our daily diets. For meditation is what a gym membership is for your mind, and with regular practice we become less stressed, more energised and generally contented and happier.
Everyone who has tried meditation knows the wonderful benefits meditation has to offer, however to the same extent that we all know the Meditation Benefits we also may have realised how difficult it is to keep meditating on a regular basis, even for those of you, like myself, who have had more experience in meditating than others.
I had been meditating for many years as a lay person before I became a Buddhist monk, and even as a Buddhist monk spending hours and hours meditating everyday during the allotted morning and evening sessions, I could on many occasion watch myself avoid meditating during the day, instead searching out some form of distraction. After a while I found four things to be almost essential in keeping me enthused and motivated to meditate, and I would like to share them with you.
The first important lesson with meditation is to be kind towards yourself at all times. This means that inner dialogue you have with yourself, be kind, don’t scold yourself or be harsh, be kind. Everyone’s mind wanders when we first start to meditate, some of us more frequently than others, every time you notice your mind somewhere else, gently and kindly bring it back to the breath. This also includes the times when you promise to meditate but forget, don’t be harsh, be kind, a chuckle and a smile will work a thousand time better than scolding. When you do remember, if you can, take a seat right there and then and follow the breath for just a few minutes.
The second most important lesson and essential to keeping meditation a part of our daily lives, meditation doesn’t and shouldn’t be just for sitting meditation, meditation can be practiced anywhere and at anytime, your daily commute to work, back of a taxi or meditate while brushing your teeth. This is a great article on the very same subject, entitled “how to make meditation part of your daily life“
The idea is to allow meditation into our life, everyday, everywhere, not just forcing ourselves to sit for a gruelling 1hr, this is an outdated Victorian school approach to meditation that doesn’t and won’t work. As Ajahn Chah used to say
“If meditation was all about sitting for long periods of time, all chickens would be enlightened”
The third piece of essential advice is to practice with others. Meditation is a very personal journey and experience, but meditating with a group of people who meet regularly helps a great deal. However some caution must be exercised, while the regularity of the meditation group is of great benefit, the people can become a great distraction. Try not to spend time in idal gossip on your meditation practice, this leads to feelings of grandeur or inferiority and both won’t be good for your practice.
Even as a Buddhist monk in a monastery environment where everyone is supposed to be there in the seeking of enlightenment, there were large ego’s competing, superstitions that led to misunderstandings and feelings of pride over others or inferiority, we were always encouraged not to discuss our meditation practice, because every time someone did it led to either disappointment or pride, neither feelings are helpful too becoming calmer and more peaceful.
The fourth idea uses 21st century technology to give us the boost we sometimes need in the form of an App. There are some fantastic apps on the market, both free and paid for, the best Apps, in my opinion, have meditation timers that then record our progress showing us our progression with images of graphs and pie charts based on our statistics. This seems to work very well for western minds who have been schooled in this scientific method.
Equally for those of us that are a little older or prefer not to use technology in this way, then a simple note book or small diary can be used as a meditation schedule book that will serve just as well.
So if we are determined to make meditation a part of our daily lives and we are starting to use kindness towards ourselves and our inner dialogue, we have joined a group of like minded individuals who meditate regularly. We have the latest app downloaded on our smart phone and ready to go, then we stand a very good chance in succeeding.
Now there’s just one more little thing I want to share, for all those of you who have read this far, I’m going to tell you secret that will help you progress and keep meditating regularly.
As we progress in meditation and only after a short period of time we develop, quite naturally, something known as the watcher mind. That is to say your mind becomes used to observing and will naturally sit non judgmental and non discriminating just watching your thoughts and there karmic reactions. Meditation now becomes part of your everyday life and quite naturally.
Warning. At this point it doesn’t mean we can rest and stop our practice of sitting meditation on a regular basis, at this moment that the watcher mind develops, all those struggles from before will fade into distant memory, and we gently keep on the path, using our apps, schedules and kindness towards ourselves we keep practicing. Only now it becomes less of a struggle and more of a want and a delight to meditate.
Problems will arise, it is the nature of seeking happiness, to know suffering, and when they do may I suggest seeking out advice from Buddhist monks trained in the art of meditation, every monastery I’ve ever been to around the world always had someone I could talk too. Failing that approach, our Tips and Tricks Page to help you out with most of common issues faced with meditating. And also visit this website as often as you want, find inspiration form our Weekly motivational Short Stories, or find motivation in our Inspirational quotes and words of wisdom from some of most enlightened. Or alternatively use the Contact Form and I will endeavour to do my best and answer your questions or just be an ear to listen.
I spent a long period of my life as a Monk learning about myself and consciousness, I have spent thousands of hours in meditation learning first hand meditation techniques from enlightened meditation masters. The thousand and thousands of mosquito bites I received on my bald head as a monk, were not in vain. It has taken almost six years after leaving my monastery in North Thailand for my meditation practice and training to come to full bloom, just as my Abbott had predicted, and it is now, at this point in my life I wish to give back, freely, the awesome experience I’ve had exploring our human consciousness with mindfulness and meditation.
3 thoughts on “How to make Meditation a regular part of our daily lives”
Since a rapid spiritual awakening that was triggered by the loss of my fiancé, I’ve tried meditation many times. I believe I am now experiencing dark night of the soul and find when I attempt to meditate, my entire body rocks and moves and almost feels as if I am being sexually Violated. At times it has made me feel so nauseous too. Same with EFT tapping, I became very nauseous! Any suggestions? Ohh and I have a constant ringing in my ears that becomes louder with galactic shifts?!! Thanx. ☮️
I thank you for your response and find it very touching to hear your personal experiences with meditation.
The ringing in your ears is a completely normal experience, we all have an inner vibration sometimes experienced as a ringing in the ears, Ajahn Sumedho noticed his own ringing once he left the noise of Thailand and developed a wonderful meditation called “The Sound of Silence”. https://cdn.amaravati.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Ajahn-Sumedho-Volume-4-The-Sound-of-Silence.pdf and goes into much more detail.
As for your first problem with the rocking motion, I have also experienced this myself, not to such a degree as you seem to be describing, but I can offer this advice. A change of posture may help alleviate this problem, maybe a change from sitting crossed legged to sitting in a straight backed chair, keeping your spine erect, this all may help. The best piece of advise is to try and not get too involved with your thinking. Just watch the swaying motion of your body and as thoughts arise to just watch, don’t interfere, just observe. Remember to breath and that “this too shall pass”, nothing is permanent.
But I fear that there is something deeper connected to this and this above explanation isn’t helping you. The feeling or seeming feeling of being sexually violated while meditating, sounds as though it may be subconsciously linked to the loss of you fiancée. This I feel is a very personal issue to you and I shouldn’t really be discussing over a public website. However that being said, meditation isn’t about trying to change your thinking, this just happens naturally, what we are doing is watching our thoughts our actions and reactions, with practice and patience and above all kindness with our inner dialogue, gradually we see that which is causing us our issues. We see there true nature. Anything that is unhealthy we naturally drop as if we were holding a scolding stone. Each of us has a very personal life we lead with differences as vast as the grains of sand in a desert, but our human consciousness is the same process and watching or observing this process can and will reveal the true treasures of this magnificent universe.
It sounds as though you have a wonderful opportunity to really experience with wisdom and clarity some of the deepest truths of our human existence, it also sounds as though this is very personal and a tough time for you, this may require some deep courage to face head on. Never give up, try try again, when you need a break, rest, when you feel strong, work. Watch or observe your thoughts, but try not to cling to them, see them for what they are, impermanent, forever changing, to cling to them is like trying to hold onto fast flowing water.
I wish you courage and strength to continue through this seemingly difficult time