I’ve spent many years on the spiritual path being quite overwhelmed concerning the huge offer of meditation techniques, books, teachers and systems. For a long time I did not know where to start and what to do. I have received many teachings and studied a lot but I never came across a basic meditation practice for beginners that would actually keep me interested long enough to continue. Instead of discovering clarity I found myself more confused and bewildered over the time. So I dabbled around a bit – that is until I decided to dedicate myself to a single practice and cultivate it earnestly.
Getting started with your meditation practice is quite simple however. I would like to share three secrets with you that have helped me heaps:
1. Do it
2. Do it right
3. Do it consistently
Do it – sit down and practice the technique
Getting the results of Meditation practice is of course dependent on doing it. You have to make the time, adjust your lifestyle and create the best “growing conditions” for successful practice. These growing conditions (such as a qualified guide and a quiet lifestyle which is conducive to inner silence) are not enough in and of themselves. You have to sit down regularly and do the same technique, moved by the wish to discover true peace and rest within your center. I found some inspiration in what Bruce Lee said: “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
Do it right – commit to the structure
Doing the practice the right way is very important. I have wasted a lot of time jumping around alternating the technique to my liking. Basically the “right way” here means sticking to your teachers advise perfectly, putting it to the test diligently, practicing the technique beyond preference until results start showing. That requires commitment, trust and diligence. Having these ingredients we will soon see proper results (joy, bliss, deeper insights and the ability to go beyond stress and relax under pressure etc., to mention just a few). I recommend a few points to practice the right way:
- Practice under the guidance of a qualified spiritual guide.
- Seek advise from your teacher regularly
- Practice the technique twice daily or more often if you can
- Read good books to receive inspiration
- Stick to the exact structure and work on mastering it
- Take your time, let go of expectations
- Trust the technique, have faith in the process
- Cultivate the steps you are working on throughout the day
- Have a supportive community of spiritual friends who practice the same method
- Know that you get better each time you cultivate mindfulness
Do it consistently – cultivate joyful discipline
Consistency is key. Do the same thing over and over again and you will get better at it, eventually even master it. In order to really explore a technique and “enter” it you have to stick to it and do it. The technique doesn’t get wider in scope or more complex – it deepens as you go along. It’s about doing the basics over and over and experience the secret hidden passageways and insights that are buried within the seemingly simple structure. We also should practice our technique throughout the day and night. Each time we remember our meditation we should engage the practice. Whether you are sitting on a bus on the way to work, while waiting at a traffic light, while walking through the town or waiting for someone – train your mind according to your level. Dig deeper with consistency and you are cultivating the right way.
Make yourself a training schedule you feel enthusiastic about and go for it. In the first week you want to learn the technique. After each week you should add five minutes to your session until you can sit still for one hour. I highly recommend joining a Yoga class until you can sit well for one hour. From week two onward you should drop the guided practice and do it by yourself – training your mind well. Having practiced this technique for one hour at least once every day (one full hour) for one, two or three months you should go on developing the next step which will follow. Moving on early will not help the process. If you are interested to get started, begin right here with these meditation stages for beginners.