4. Minimize interruptions.
- Put your phone on ‘do-not-disturb’ mode and let your friends and family know that during this time you do not want to be interrupted.
- Shut the cat out. They love sucking up your meditation energy. The cat gets high, and you do all the work. As usual.
- Close the door, close your eyes and leave the ordinary world behind. This has a deep psychological impact. Give yourself completely to the practice.
5. Meditate in a comfortable, erect posture.
- When meditation is really working there is a flow of energy upwards through the spinal column. Slumping or slouching impedes this energy flow, impairs breathing and reduces mental alertness.
- Gentle stretches or warm-ups help prepare the body for meditation.
- Some people find that putting a small pillow underneath their hips alleviates pressure on the knees and induces better posture by elevating the spinal column. If sitting on a rug, cushion or folded blanket is not comfortable, you may want to meditate sitting in a straight backed chair. I promise you will not end up in hell for doing this.
6. Use Kiirtan chanting music before meditation.
- Kiirtan means singing or chanting a spiritual mantra. A mantra is a word of group of words, usually in sanskrit, that help sooth the mind and take you into a meditative state.
- Mantras can be repeated silently in meditation, but some mantras are intended for singing.
- Music is like a language of emotion – it can shift our emotional state in seconds. With the right music, Kiirtan can put us into just the right mood for meditation in a few minutes. Many meditators, both adepts and beginners, consider this an indispensable part of their practice.
- It is well known that breathing deeply and slowly calms the mind. That is one reason we sit with a straight back in meditation.
- What few people understand is that the nostril you are breathing through also has a significant effect on mind and body. If the flow of air through your left nostril is stronger you will be able to concentrate much better in meditation.
- It is easy to check which nostril is dominant. Just place your hand beneath your nostrils, breathe out, and you will feel which nostril emits a stronger flow of air.
- If your right nostril is dominant you can change it by lying on your right side with your head on your right arm for a few moments. The left nostril will become dominant and you should now sit for meditation. I know this may sound kind of weird, but it really works. I explain why in my article, The Nose Knows, but for now I suggest you just take my word for it and try it.
So that should be enough to keep you busy fine-tuning your meditation practice for a few days. In my next article I’ll give you the last three tips in this series, and tell you how to keep inspired about your practice.