Meditation always seemed like a crack-pot hippy dippy waste of time to me. I wasn’t depressed or unhappy so I didn’t need it.
It wasn’t until I was home sick one day that I realized what a good idea daily meditation was. I was watching Castaway, and sobbing hysterically as Tom Hanks screamed “I’m sorry Wilson!!”, and I decided to turn to Pinterest to ease my pain.
I don’t remember how I got to Buddhism, but I did and thus pinned like 100 posts ranging from “how to meditate” to “thought provoking Buddha quotes”. I thought about how I’d like to have more of that peace in my life, bought a 108 Mala nacklace off of etsy (you can get mine here) and continued watching Castaway.
I tabled it for a few months (I was pregnant with my third child so it was easy for me to forget!) until we got some scary news. We had markers that increased our likelihood of a genetic abnormality called “Trisomy 18”, a very serious and for the most part lethal condition.
We had to go on to do more testing, and things ended up fine for us, but for about three weeks my husband and I couldn’t even look at each other without me bursting into hysterics.
It was at this time that I remembered all the things I pinned about meditation. I grabbed my Mala beads, and began reading.
My first meditation was awkward. I felt weird and embarrassed that my husband might come in and think I’d gone off the deep end. I kept at it and it became easier and eventually I felt things inside me loosen that I hadn’t realized we’re knotted up.
Even after further testing showed our son was fine, I continued meditating fairly regularly.
Now I do it as often as I can. It has helped me be more grounded and calm, I feel like I’m a better wife and mother because of it. Meditation has been so healing for me, which is why I thought I’d do a little how-to on it!
Step 1: find a peaceful place-
I don’t have a pillow or blanket that I meditate on (though I will be getting one because that would be very nice), I just pick a quiet peacefully lit place in my house. I usually am on the floor infront of my recliner so I can have a little back support.
Just make yourself comfortable.
Step 2: romance yourself-
Dim the lights, really pull out all the stops! Put on loose fitting comfortable clothes, maybe even take a bath first!
Step 3: eliminate distractions-
As much as I love my little people, meditation is saved for times of the day when they are all sleeping! Get up a little early and do it right before bed. You will thank yourself for it! If I find time you definitely can!
Step 4: Mala beads
For me, it was very helpful. I wear them on difficult days and the energy they exude brings me so much peace. Additionally, for me it helps to have as almost a timer for my meditation. I have a beginning and an ending. It definitely keeps me connected.
If you want more info on Mala Beads and how they are used during meditation, check out this article. It is very informative!
I clung desperately to the manta “be still” during that scary time in my life where we were waiting to find out if our baby would be ok. So when I am stressed or anxious, I chant “be still” one time for each of the 108 beads.
It doesn’t have to be “om”, but I’ll tell you what that is one to consider. I laughed at the idea because it is very much the stereotype of meditation, but for good reason. Here’s some info on the mantra “om”.
Step 5: Allow your mind to wander-
This is not something that we do naturally anymore, it’s not easy and you really have to train yourself. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t right away.
The first time I meditated all I thought about was my husband possibly walking in on me and toward the end I found myself thinking “am I almost done yet???”. I wanted to hurry up and feel better instantly. But that isn’t how it works.
So don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get there right away. It took me a week of meditating every morning and night to really feel it. I mean instantly I noticed some things, but after a week something shifts.
So there you have it. My step by step guide to beginning meditation. Give it a try, you have nothing to loose! Get back to me and let me know how it impacted your life!