How to Prepare for Mediation
You can mediate almost anywhere and anytime, but it’s always a good idea to have a routine for your mediation practice. There are several reasons for this, including getting your mind and body ready to get quiet, getting your family to recognize that time and place as your quiet space and to ensure your mediation practice is consistent. Try these ways to prepare for mediation.
Choose the time and place—You want to decide on a time and place that will be quiet, with as few distractions as possible, for meditation. Turn off your phone, shut out the lights, tell your loved ones you are unavailable. It doesn’t matter if you choose to mediate in your bedroom or in your office. The time of day is also totally up to you. Maybe when the kids are in bed or first thing in the morning is better. Just choose a time when you can have solitude and are alert enough to concentrate. The space can be big or small. The most important thing is consistency.
Light scented candles or incense—This isn’t something that everyone might want to do, but it’s a great way to set the tone for mediation. Our sense of smell is the best for recalling memories, so when you smell that familiar smell, your mind and body will start to prepare automatically for mediation.
Play background music—Some people prefer silence, and that’s fine too. But beginning mediators find that total silence can be a bit too overwhelming at first. That might sound strange, but think of all the noise we are used to. No matter where you go, you hear TV’s or music piped in. If you want to play some music while meditating, find something soothing with no lyrics. Our minds tend to “grab” the words the singer is singing and wants us to sing along. Best to avoid that. Play the music softly so that it doesn’t end up becoming a distraction.
Wear comfortable clothes—There may be times when you are in a suit and want to mediate. That’s good too. But most people find it easier to sit for a while if they are as comfortable as possible. This means comfortable clothes. But if you get the urge to meditate in your suit or dress and heels, go for it!
Get your body read—Since we hope to reduce the amount of distraction, it’s always a good idea to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, blow your nose, put on a sweater, etc. before you sit. It’s hard to concentrate when your throat is dry and you keep coughing.
Yoga stretches—It’s always a good idea to do some stretches before sitting, especially if you plan to sit for an extended period (whatever that means to you). While certainly not mandatory, doing a few simple standing yoga postures before sitting can prepare both your body and mind for sitting. Some that are good for this include Cat Pose, Sun Salutation, Standing Forward Bend, Chair Pose and Downward Dog pose.