How to Create a Daily Meditation Practice
An extract from Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. The meditation and mindfulness guidebook from London based meditation teacher Emma Mills
Research suggests that mindfulness training brings a great deal of positive change to the structure of the brain. However, some of those changes do not persist in the absence of regular mindfulness meditation, so it’s a good idea to create your own daily practice.
Set aside fifteen minutes a day for your meditation-related activities: put it in the diary. If you feel like you’ve only got a few minutes of formal meditation in you, be open to using the rest of the time for one of the other meditations in this guide, such as walking in nature or cooking a meal with presence.
Make a meditation friend so that you can encourage each another, or join a local group of like-minded people.
Keep a space at home, complete with a pillow and a comfy outfit at the ready, so that it feels more circumstantially convenient to meditate each day.
Keep your practice open, without too many expectations: it’s ok if you miss a day or if your meditations don’t seem to be doing anything. A bit like being bitten by the love bug, wonderful things are often whirring away at an unseen level just waiting to surprise you pleasantly.
Don’t try to do too much or force it. Yes, the benefits of meditation are clear and, yes, you may remember how good it feels when you do it. Yes, it can also require a little discipline. That said, sitting there struggling, or driving yourself mad trying to meditate for ten whole, eternal minutes, is probably not helpful.
One should never, so I’m told, become a slave to one’s programme. If, for instance, you have time off of an evening and you think you really should meditate ... but what you really want to do is play your guitar, then do that instead. That joy – that happiness that comes from the guitar – is a lovely meditation of itself.
But do be sure to do some, it only works if you do it.