Setting Up For Meditation

It's typical at this point for meditation teachers to go on and on about how you're supposed to sit, place your hands, hold your chin and so forth. But I'm going to be keeping things very simple here so you can get right away into meditating. Nothing's worse than having a bunch of hoops to jump through first when all you want to do is sit down and learn to meditate.

So Here We Go. Step One: Sitting Down.

This is pretty much no-brainer, common-sense kind of stuff. You'll obviously want to find a fairly quiet place where you're sure to be undisturbed for the duration of your relaxation practice. No phones ringing, no kids crying for your attention - just a few minutes of alone time. (No doubt you deserve it!)

As far as where and how to sit, I recommend just finding a very comfortable chair that supports your head. Later, you may find it better to sit up straight in order to stay alert. But let's cross that bridge when - and if - we get to it.

With that said, if you find yourself falling asleep during these guided meditations, it could be due to a couple of different reasons. It may be you are simply tired and need more sleep. In that case, there is no reason not to use the recordings as a way to help you fall asleep and get that needed rest. You might also want to head over to Fitness Online and take their 30 second, free test that gauges whether you're suffering from sleep deprivation. Once you've caught up on your sleep, you can get back to learning how to meditate. First things first!

If, on the other hand, you are pretty sure you're already getting enough sleep, then you may find that adjusting your position helps. In this case, try sitting on the edge of a normal chair (like a dining room table chair or an office chair). Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your head balanced above your shoulders and if you feel your head drooping, then straighten back up and refocus on the guided instructions.

Step Two: Setting Your Intention.

It's always a good idea whenever starting your meditation practice – or any kind of practice for that matter – to set your intention. This can be as simple as saying "Now I'm going to meditate." Or if you prefer, you can say a prayer, recite a poem, whatever – as long as it helps you set your intention to actually do the thing you are setting out to do.

Why does this work? Because at any given moment, our minds are filled with numerous competing desires calling to be acted upon. Furthermore each of these desires, when acted upon, gains a kind of momentum. This means that once you act upon a desire, then for a certain amount of time, you will remain committed to continuing with those actions that help fulfill that desire.

It's very much as if you're standing in front of a crowd of people, each one yammering for your attention - like, for instance, you're the president's Press Secretary in a roomful of journalists, and they're all shouting out their questions. Once you acknowledge one journalist, all the rest quiet down - for as long as you continue to answer that journalist's question. Hesitate for longer than a second or two, and all the rest start yammering again.

Likewise, setting an intention raises one of your competing desires above all the rest – at least momentarily. It also adds that certain momentum which, if you can keep it going, will help you maintain your intention despite the constant yammering from all the other desires.

So, set your intention right from the start, and then get going right away with fulfilling that intention while the momentum is still fresh and has a chance of continuing.

And Step Three: Meditate!

Once you've found a good setting in which to sit, then set your intention and you're set to start with the first meditation recording.

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