It can be a big challenge for new meditators to get in the long-term habit of daily meditation. Doing a course or meditation challenge can be a big help to get started, but what happens after that? How do you actually solidify your meditation practice as a staple in your daily life?
Often you’ll speak with longterm yogis and meditators and they’ll tell you that their daily practice is just a part of their lives — falling alongside eating and sleeping. If they skip out on their practice, they feel like a foundational part of their day is missing.
In the beginning though, it’s not like that. It’s often more of a struggle than anything else.
The Importance of Making Meditation a Habit
Meditation is a powerful tool for increasing physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. This tool must be put into practice on the daily in order for the benefits to be experienced.
Unfortunately, it’s not a magic wand that when waved once transforms everything! In my experience (and in the experience of my teachers and my students), it seems most of us need to dedicate ourselves to the practice in a longterm way if we want to reap the benefits of a happier mind, body and soul.
There’s one big thing you’ve got to have...
There are definitely some great steps you can take to help make meditation a lasting habit in your life. One of the most important things though that needs to come from within is self-discipline and commitment.
Now, this commitment doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but it does need to exist. There must be a part of you that’s willing to put in the effort because no one else can do it for you. Once you’ve got that box ticked, the rest will fall into place.
1. Get a Teacher
Lasting inspiration can’t always come from within. That’s why having a guide on this journey is so important. Whether it’s someone you see in person, lessons you take online, books you read or seminars you attend, a teacher will help to keep you grounded in the practice.
Their experience, ideas and insights will help to illuminate your path and keep you inspired as you continue on your daily exploration of the practice.
2. Create Structure
Give yourself structure so that every day you’re not making it up as you go. Routine is paramount to success, so craft one for yourself. Decide how long you’ll sit for, where you’ll sit, what time of day, maybe even what cushion you’ll use or what shawl you’ll wear. Having set staples for your practice will help you to make it a daily tradition in your life.
3. Keep Going
Meditation is a journey into yourself. It is a practice that aligns you with the truest parts of who you are, clearing away the rubbish, while bringing you closer to a universal oneness.
It’s also really great for balancing blood pressure, reducing anxiety and overwhelm, and boosting immunity...just to name a few highlights! The rub is that you’ve got to keep at it. Don’t quit. If you fall off the wagon, get back on. If you lose motivation, seek out others to help inspire you. Above all, keep going.
These tips also apply to yoga. Both practices (which are one and the same, really), are elevated by consistency and dedication. They’re wisdom traditions that are thousands of years old, passed down teacher to student and through ancient texts. They’re meant to be applied to life, and not simply pondered!
I hope these tips help you to make meditation a lasting habit in your daily life. Take it one moment at a time, relishing in the beauty of stillness and silence. The more you practice, the more you’ll discover.