How can you meditate in a way that suits you and that you can sustain?

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How can you meditate in a way that suits you and that you can sustain?
You would like to start meditating or pick it up again. How do you handle that? How can you meditate in a way that suits you and that you can sustain? In this article, I will give you 5 tips for when you start meditating (again).

1. Try different things

There is a very wide range of meditation courses and guided meditations. From meditation apps with hundreds of meditations (mostly in English) to meditations on Youtube (also in Dutch). Local meditation training and online courses. Breathing meditations, body meditations, visualizations, mindfulness meditations, and much more. Guided meditations and silent meditations. Where to start?

My tip: try different things and then choose one or two that you want to continue in the near future. That gives you focus. In the beginning, it is often nicer to do guided meditations than to sit in silence. After a while, you can switch things up and see what you like better (or maybe you discover that the variety works well for you).

You can safely repeat the same meditation many times or do it daily. But if meditation doesn’t work for you, don’t force yourself. Choose something else. There is no right or wrong, and you make it a lot easier on yourself if you allow yourself to experiment and discover what you really like.

2. Provide regularity

How can you meditate in a way that suits you and that you can sustain?

It makes sense to choose a fixed moment for meditation. That could be in the morning: maybe you can get up 10 minutes earlier so that you have a moment to yourself. You may be able to find time in the evening before going to bed, or during your lunch break, do a walking meditation or find a quiet spot in a park to meditate. Choose what works for you. After a while, your mind also starts to associate the moment with meditation. And then it becomes easier and easier to keep up with your meditations.

3. Try to meditate every day

If you have a fixed moment, try to meditate at least for a while every day. Even if it is only very short. In general: better every day for 5 minutes short than once a week (half an hour).

4. Be kind to yourself

The essence of meditation is to be with what is. Whatever it is. This also includes learning to look at yourself with kind eyes. So if you fail to meditate once or for a period of time, be kind to yourself.

It does not mean that you have failed, that meditation is not for you or that you will never succeed. It’s interesting to see if those kinds of thoughts go through your mind when you don’t manage to meditate according to plan. And observing those thoughts could also be considered meditation!

Just start over every time. With a clean slate. And each time try to open to what this meditation can give you now, this time. More about that later in my article with tips for advanced users.

5) Remember: meditation is broader than sitting on a cushion

How can you meditate in a way that suits you and that you can sustain?

Meditation is more than sitting still on a cushion and observing your breath. There are an incredible number of meditation forms. For me, meditation means being with what is. Whatever that is. Be with your breath. Or get lost in a visualization. Observe your thoughts or emotions. Be with your attention to your heart.

But also: do what you do with attention. Carefully walk the dog. Do the dishes. Greeting someone. Stand still and take in the surroundings (you’re probably thinking of a beautiful natural setting, but you could do the exact same thing in a drab office hallway, on a crowded platform, or in a place you’d describe as ‘ugly’).

You can meditate while walking. Or by bike, if you don’t have to pay attention to the traffic. On the bus or train. You can walk very slowly and follow all the movements of your body as you walk. You can also observe what happens in your body and mind when you run really fast to catch the bus. And everything in between.

There are an incredible number of possibilities. They all help you in their own way to be more aware. To be able to distance yourself from the maelstrom of thoughts and emotions. To live more in the here and now. To feel more compassion for yourself and others.

 

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