Mindfulness meditation is a skill we practice regularly to increase our mindfulness–the state of being present to our moment-to-moment experience in a non-judging and curious way. To do this, we first set the right conditions for success. What is success? Success is our habitually doing the practices so we become more and more mindful. After a time, mindfulness becomes the way we live our lives. Mindful is just how we are. There’s a shift from doing to being. Let’s begin.
Set an Intention
Ask yourself, “why am I doing this?”
- Perhaps you want to feel less stressed.
- Maybe you want to be with strong emotions without getting caught up in them or pushing them away.
- Maybe you want to get unstuck from a repeating story in your head or free yourself from the wrath of a harsh inner critic.
- Perhaps you want to be more at ease with pain, or manage more easily a too busy daily schedule.
- Maybe you want to improve your concentration.
- Perhaps you want to change a behavior that doesn’t serve you, or acquire a new behavior that does.
Whatever your motivation is, take a few minutes and set it now. Remember you can change it over time.
Set the Stage
Do I have the right conditions that enable me to do my meditation?
- Do I have a quiet place to sit uninterrupted?
- Do I have a chair to sit on that allows my feet to rest comfortably on the ground. If your knees are higher than your seat, select a different chair.
- Do I have my phone handy to listen to the meditation audio?
- Do I feel comfortable guiding myself without the audio recording. Once you feel comfortable with doing a meditation, go ahead and dive in and guide yourself.
Set a Prompt
What’s my anchor? Your anchor is a daily routine– something that you do everyday; perhaps even several times a day.
Make the prompt something simple and meaningful.
- Perhaps it is waking up and putting your feet on the floor. This is simple and is meaningful because you are starting your new day with your meditation to set your mindfulness for the day.
- Possibly, putting the coffee or tea on to brew. Or, finishing your cup of morning coffee/tea. This is simple and meaningful because you have nourished yourself with an energy booster; now nourish your body/mind with some mindfulness.
- Maybe getting dressed.
- Maybe brushing your teeth at night before bed.
Whatever your cue is, set it now and use the same one every day.
Get the idea? Choose a cue and stay with it.
Remember, if the cue isn’t working for you, then change it to a new one.
Finding the right anchor helps you practice meditation consistently.
To help you remember fill in the blanks of this sentence and keep it handy on your phone or post-it, or somewhere where you can look at it frequently..
After I [write your prompt here], I will practice mindfulness meditation.
By attaching your meditation practice to something you already do every day, you’ll easily make mindfulness meditation a new routine.
When you finish meditating take a moment to celebrate. Congratulate yourself on doing what you set out to do. You can say inwardly. “Thanks, this is great.” or “Wow, I did it.” Or use whatever congratulatory phrase rings true and authentic for you.