Why I make time to meditate and how you can too
Making meditation a daily habit
There’s an ancient Zen proverb that says, “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour”.
How relevant this wisdom is for this busy modern age where many people feel that they don’t have time for the very things that would benefit them the most.
It’s funny to think that hundreds or even thousands of years ago, humans were saying ‘I’m too busy to meditate’ or ‘I haven’t got time’. It’s a good reminder the busier we get, the more we need positive daily routines, not less. These are the foundations that support us when life gets challenging, they give us the extra energy and clarity we need to flourish. Somehow, when I meditate, life just flows more easily, no matter how busy I am. And synchronicities begin to speed up too because we are aligned to a higher force.
Making time to meditate is something that I don’t question anymore. It’s become a daily habit like brushing my teeth. When I look back I realise that finding meditation saved my life when I was at my deepest darkest and most difficult times. Learning to meditate is the single most important thing I’ve ever done for myself. So why would we stop giving this life-changing, simple practice the priority it deserves, every day? Daily habits are powerful and important to keep a track off.
How I discovered TM Meditation
I found meditation twenty years ago during one of the most challenging periods of my life. I was experiencing grief, stress and trauma – it felt like everything had come tumbling down and I was questioning life as I knew it. I had just split from a long term partner and my mum was dying – i found life incredibly difficult. This ‘breaking point’ was actually a shadow before the sunrise, and the start of a great awakening in my life when I found my spiritual connection to the bigger picture of life.
I have a good friend whose positive attitude I really admire. She’s been through a tough battle with cancer and had her leg amputated as a teenager which gave her intense mobility issues, yet she always seemed so upbeat about life. She came to visit me one day and left a card on my kitchen table about a local TM meditation course. She had left it for me without telling me – a subtle invitation to change my life that I will be forever grateful for.
I went ahead and did the course and it was like fireworks going off in my brain. I’d found my saving grace. Slowly but surely my life started to turn in a different direction and I felt more calm, centred and able to cope for the first time in a long time. I seemed to get ‘luckier’.
The David Lynch Foundation
I became passionate about the practice of meditation since that first introduction. I’ve been involved with the David Lynch foundation for many years, a fantastic organisation set up to promote TM meditation across the world. The foundation does a lot of work with children, women, soldiers and at-risk groups teaching meditation.
Their website is a great resource containing a wealth of scientific evidence about the effects of meditation. https://www.davidlynchfoundation.org.uk/
Here are three simple tips for meditation, especially useful if you are new to meditation and want to get started. You could decide to get started today.
3 Easy Tips to Help Get Started with Meditation
1. Keep it simple! The human mind will often try to overthink how to do it. The point is that you are not ‘doing’ anything. Rather just sitting in stillness and listening from the inside out.
2. Meditate twice a day. Choose times that are going to work for you and try to stick to them. I work around my breakfast time. I set a time for breakfast and I meditate before I eat. It doesn’t have to be a long time – 5 or 10 minutes to begin with works well. Find a comfy chair, sit down, feet on the ground or crossed legged, close your eyes and focus on your breath in and out. Imagine smelling a flower on the in breath and then letting go of anything you need to let go off on the out breath.
3. Stick with it, every day, for at least two weeks and see how much better you feel. It takes 14 days for a new habit to bed in, so keep at it and record your progress. Insight timer is a great app you can use for this and it’s free. Headspace and Calm are also great free apps to check out.
Like any great change in life, we can think about it, we can talk about it but the only way to make the change is to just do it. As David Lynch says, “If you don’t already meditate, take my advice: Start. It will be the best decision you ever make.”
I would love to hear your feedback on these ideas. Let me know what happens when you make time to enjoy the stillness and get into your meditation practice.
Good luck and don’t let your busy monkey mind put you off.