Life is often hectic, and that can affect the way people meditate. If you are focusing on other things, you’re not really getting the most out of your meditation. When preparing for your daily routine of reflection, it is helpful to get yourself into the right mindset so that you can have a relaxing session that is free of stress and worry. As stated by Zen Master So Sahn, “The point of practicing is simply to cut off worldly thought.” So, by really focusing on your meditation, you are helping yourself cut off worldly thoughts, and truly relax.
When deciding to begin a daily meditation routine, one way to help yourself settle down and concentrate on your practice is to set aside a specific, pre-determined time each day to meditate. Author and meditation teacher, Pema Chödrön, suggests that you get the most out of your meditation practice when you decide on a set schedule; “The fruits of meditation are manifold, and you really begin to see them and feel them when you practice regularly.”
Chödrön also suggests that when setting aside a time to practice, take a moment to decide on the amount of time you want to practice for. Whether you decide to practice for an hour, or thirty minutes, you will be happy you decided to stick to a pre-determined time so that you can focus on your meditation, and not on what the clock says. And if you want to practice for an hour, but don’t like the idea of sitting still for that long, Chödrön suggests you take a brief yoga/stretching break, then after your break, go back to your meditation; “Reenergize yourself and give yourself a break through movement.”
It is important to clear your mind before you meditate so that you can truly concentrate. A good way to clear your mind is by doing some pre-meditation yoga to get yourself in the right mindset. Meditation and yoga go hand in hand, and by doing both of them together, you are allowing yourself to relax on a new level.
Settling in is a big part of your daily meditation routine, and by doing this, you are assuring that you have a relaxing time while practicing. By doing a little planning before hand, and by stretching right before you practice, you can maximize your relaxation during mediation.