Let’s say you’re going on a long journey. What do you do to get ready for that trip?
- Look at the route on MapQuest, then program the end address into your phone.
- Pack stuff: clothes, toiletries, snacks…whatever you think you might need
- Research awesome things to do once you arrive; talk with everyone who’s been there.
- Have “goodbye” dinner with friends
- Arrange with someone to take care of pets & keep an eye on the house
- Put a hold on your mail delivery
- And more
The thing about meditation though, is that there is no particular end address. You can’t program in fifteen minutes and know exactly where you’ll be or how you’ll feel. Sure, you’ll still be sitting in the same place. But the experience of the meditation may have your mind and heart and soul in a whole different place.
And while you can talk and research, there’s nothing compared to the actual experience. That is, I can explain what chocolate tastes like, but you won’t really understand until you take a bite yourself.
Today, enjoy preparing for the journey. Before you sit quietly, look at the place you are going to sit. Tidy up a bit. Turn the heat up or down, get a sweater, put on some sweats. Do what you need to do to make this a special time for you.
Light a candle. Set a timer for five or ten minutes. I use Insight Timer because you can control the volume, select a bell, see how many other people in the world are meditating at the same time, and announce to the world that you’ve just mediated on Twitter.
Then sit quietly and breathe. Let the tension of the day melt into the floor, and just breathe. This is both the easiest and hardest practice you can do, just breathe. If you find your mind wandering, gently correct it, and bring it straight back to breathing. Just breathe.
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