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Ways to Deepen Your Meditation Practice

Article from: Spiritual Life

There are a million and one things that can get in the way of a daily meditation practice, but like the old Zen saying states, “you should sit in meditation every day for twenty minutes, unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.”

The trouble for most of us is that, even when we do sit down to meditate, we have another million and one things competing for our attention and dragging us away from our center.

Well, readers rejoice!

We’ve compiled a list of 108 practices that are sure to take your mindfulness to the next level, no matter where you are in your meditation journey.

We hope you enjoy 🙂

108 Simple Ways to Deepen Your Meditation Practice

  1. Find your ideal meditation posture so you can comfortably sustain your meditation undisturbed

  2. Try not to move after the first few minutes. Simply notice your impulses of discomfort to move, scratch, yawn, or stretch

  3. Set a timer for yourself if you need to as you’re beginning

  4. Create a dedicated meditation room or space

  5. Remove all clutter and distractions

  6. Use a blanket to keep yourself warm

  7. Set your intention before each meditation. Something as simple as “Meditation comes easily and effortlessly to me now” can be very effective

  8. Meditate at sunrise. This is one of the most energetically potent times of day, when you are most receptive and uninhibited

  9. Wait for as long as it takes to find a consistently natural, calm, and undisturbed breath

  10. Remember that meditation is not to control your mind, but to release your mind’s control over you. Instead of combatting thoughts and trying to do away with them, allow them and release their hold on you. Do not react, simply witness

  11. Meditate at a consistent time each time

  12. Meditate for a consistent duration each day

  13. Start with just 5 minutes at first, and work your way up

  14. Ideally, meditate twice a day for your chosen amount of time (once in the morning and once in the afternoon)

  15. Complete your full time commitment when you meditate (no matter how long you meditate, the most powerful experiences often come at the end of your chosen length of time)

  16. Read inspiring books to deepen your understanding of and inspiration for meditation

  17. Surround yourself with inspiring books near your meditation space

  18. Learn some chants, to calm your mind and feel your devotion

  19. Try guided meditation to completely release into the experience

  20. Draw your focus to your third eye center in a relaxed and sustainable way

  21. Consider using a mala to count your mantra

  22. Release any ideas of what you think meditation is “supposed” to be

  23. “If you want to find God, hang out in the space between your thoughts.” – Alan Cohen

  24. Be kind, gentle and patient with yourself. Meditation is a lifelong journey, NOT a destination

  25. Meditate before eating meals, when you are lighter and brighter

  26. Chant affirmations (aloud or in your mind)

  27. Do a few minutes of yoga or stretching before meditating to relax your body and go deeper, faster in meditation

  28. Focus on meditation as an offering, rather than trying to achieve something

  29. Turn your phone on airplane mode (or don’t carry it with you at all) to eliminate all distractions

  30. Feel as though your creator / idol is meditating with you

  31. Tell yourself, “with every thought I detach from I move one layer deeper” or “with every sound I hear I move one layer deeper.”

  32. Keep a meditation journal to record your experiences

  33. Drink a glass of water before and after your meditation

  34. Read one of your favorite quotes or passages about meditation before your practice

  35. Release your attachments to time as you meditate. Have no schedule. Transcend the future and the past and enter the eternal present

  36. If you use one, do not check your timer. Develop the discipline to sit still without distraction for the duration of your meditation

  37. Meditate in a group (this is an instant and very powerful way to deepen your experience)

  38. Meditate in Nature

  39. Bring an element of Nature to your indoor space

  40. Occasionally use a block of your free time to set out in meditation with no time limit, and see how long you can go

  41. Set meditation goals to inspire perseverance

  42. Be inspired by the words of Paramhansa Yogananda, “When others end, I’m just beginning.”

  43. When time can afford it, go a little longer than normal

  44. Relax the shoulders and release them away from the ears

  45. Let your belly be natural and relaxed

  46. Remember to lighten up J

  47. Practice willingly and joyfully, with devotion and without thought of reward

  48. Practice meditation in the movement of your day, while walking, cooking, driving, or exercising

  49. Offer your meditation as a gift to the Divine Mother

  50. Be present with each and every sensation that arises

  51. Practice non-judgment and non-attachment throughout your day

  52. Pray to become aware of what is trying to make its way into your consciousness

  53. Pray to become a vessel through which your Divine calling may be known and expressed in this life

  54. Pray to be guided through a deeply calming, joyfully bright meditation experience

  55. Pray for inner stillness and relaxation

  56. When you feel tired or a drop in energy, try meditating instead of consuming caffeine

  57. Continually search for inspiration, and new ways in which you can fill your practice with joy

  58. Create a meditation altar filled with beautiful, uplifting, inspiring things that bring you back to your purpose and your devotion

  59. Experiment with new and different sitting positions / postures

  60. See your meditation as service to the planet

  61. Offer unconditional love, kindness, and upliftment to situations or people

  62. Become soft, fluid and yielding, for “Whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. What is soft is strong.” – Lao Tzu

  63. Learn what it truly means to meditate without an agenda

  64. Encourage your family / friends to meditate and invite them to join you

  65. Share the power of meditation with a child

  66. Develop a habit of not over-thinking your decisions throughout your day. Practice listening to and following your intuition in everyday life, and watch it deepen through meditation

  67. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment. – Alan Watts

  68. Ask for divine guidance / help when you need it! Know in your heart that you are not alone, and you never have to do anything alone.

  69. Open yourself to become a channel and concentrate on feeling the tangible vibrations of lightness, peace and bliss that are flowing through you

  70. The mind is responsible for the feelings of pleasure and pain. Control of the mind is the highest Yoga. – Swami Sivananda

  71. Ask yourself, “What is behind my attachment to this thought / feeling / reaction?”

  72. Remember that the answers you seek are already within you. You must learn to get quiet and listen

  73. Watch movies that will inspire your meditation practice

  74. Follow the breath, concentrating single-mindedly on making it long, easeful and smooth. Notice how thought-distractions instantly break the flow of breath, and return to it again and again

  75. Embrace your beginner’s mind. It’s impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows

  76. Remember, if you have time to breathe you have time to meditate!

  77. Notice the impulses and desires that arise and gently release them

  78. Recognize your true self as the “witness” behind your thoughts and feelings

  79. Let every thought come and hug you, but you don’t hug anything. Then, gradually, the noise will start to back off. – Mooji

  80. Sometimes practice disciplined posture, sitting on sit bones, spine erect, heart uplifted, shoulders relaxed, breathing mindfully

  81. Sometimes practice complete surrender and pay no mind to how you are sitting or breathing, or how you might look to an outsider. Just let go

  82. One day per week have a longer meditation than normal

  83. Share meditation practice with someone you love

  84. Find someone who is more experienced in meditation, and ask them questions or meditate with them

  85. Listen to the silence

  86. Become aware of the most prominent sensation in your body. Hold your awareness there for a time, and then move to a slightly more subtle sensation. Hold your awareness there for a time, and then move to an even more subtle sensation. And so on

  87. Ask for help! Find an instructor, a class or an online resource to guide you

  88. Keep moving forward on your path no matter what. Don’t give up

  89. Offer it up. Whatever you meet in meditation that challenges your peace, do not fight with it (fighting is attaching). Simply offer it up to a higher power to transmute and release it from your heart and mind. Do this over and over and over

  90. Learn to hear your inner guidance. It speaks to you in words, symbols, feelings and callings which are often mistaken for fleeting glimpses of imagination

  91. Don’t get caught up in the “how”… just do!

  92. Check in with how you’re feeling at the beginning of your meditation, and accept it all, totally and completely

  93. Try counting your breath. Start with inhaling for 5, exhaling for 5, and then experiment with lengthening and deepening the breath

  94. Stay with whatever arises. Notice your tendency to “run” away from things as they come up by opening your eyes, shifting your seat, scratching an itch, etc. and instead just stay calmly with whatever comes up until it passes

  95. Become friends with yourself. Learn how to just be whole in your own presence, and always approach yourself with love instead of criticism

  96. Meditate anywhere! Don’t let a busy day stop you from fulfilling this sacred commitment. Meditate in the car, on the plane, in the waiting room… anywhere!

  97. Always let your breath be light and even

  98. Keep your face completely relaxed

  99. Soften the mind – keep your mental focus soft, not hard

  100. Don’t take your thoughts too personally

  101. Resist the impulse to claim each and every thought as your own

  102. Learn to smile at the voice in your head

  103. Be here now, and be somewhere else later

  104. Remember that the best meditator is the one who meditates!

  105. End your meditation slowly, with mindfulness and an honoring of the stillness you’ve just created

  106. Smile when you’re done J Feel grateful for your accomplishment

  107. Remember that “The you that goes in one side of the meditation experience is not the same you that comes out the other side.”

  108. Take your practice off the cushion and out into all the moments of your life

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