I am so stressed about this move to Berkeley I just want to be stress free and happy like you said my older son a few weeks ago. Can you guess what my answer was? I said to him find a Zen center or meditation center close to you that can give free meditation session for the beginners. It makes it easier on you if you have a meditation buddy to talk, once in a while to keep you in to the path. Here are some tips and trick I often use that you might find it helpful in meditation practice.
Things that definitely help in the beginners’ practice:
- An area in your apartment that is clean where you can place your meditation mat.
- Large Zabuton Meditation Mat. 33″ long and 30″ wide and a “Zafu”. You can purchase this at a Zen center near you or any online store.
- Take time into finding a comfortable posture for yourself. There is no rush it takes time and practice. Always remember meditation is a lifelong practice. So good care must be taken in finding a good posture that helps. It took me multiple years just to find that I am very comfortable sitting on Zafu on the Zabuton in “half lotus posture”.
- Light a candle or incense if you like. Personally I don’t like to attach any rituals other than just to sit on my mat into meditation.
- Make a fixed schedule but be very easy on yourself how long you can sit still for the first few months/years.
I prefer it as the very first task, as the number one chore in my to do list, in the morning as soon as I wake up use the bathroom, brush my teeth, awake and I am on my meditation mat. This is pretty much like part of nourishing spirit/mind routine just like how we have nourishing body routine with a breakfast, lunch, dinner. This is no different from that. Making meditation as a routine, one of those sorts of things I do worked out very well for me try it out it might work for you as well.
A sort of “must do” for practice:
As someone said it takes 21 days to form a new habit getting into meditation takes some effort and determination. I still have those days when I am still in bed one part of my mind says stay in bed and the other says, up it is time for meditation. We all struggle with this if you fail to in the morning in a day just be easy on yourself and try to do in the evening.
By the way if you are very stubborn like me you are more than likely to keep going in the path. Meditation does require a lifelong commitment to practice irrespective of what circumstances you are in. Whatever life situation you are in if you are having good days,or bad days, your life situation should not become hindrance to your meditation practice. Be very determined; be very stubborn about your practice on the path.
Here is something I found from Massachusetts general hospital Mind body Medicine: tips and trick to practice mindfulness during the day.
Happy meditation and welcome to a tranquil, peaceful, blissful, joyful and happy life.