Tips for Quieting the Mind

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Tips for Quieting the Mind
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Meditation can help you to increase concentration, decrease anxiety, and give you a general feeling of happiness. However only a small percentage actually stick with it for the long-term. Here are some tips to help you continue with your meditation:

How can you make space for meditation?
1) Make space for meditation. Decorate a space for meditation. Use decorative pillows and color for an inviting feeling. Set up a rule for an example – before you turn on TV or your computer you need to meditate for 20 minutes. And remember 5 minutes are always better then 0 minutes.

2) Start with the breath. Deep breathing slows down the heart rate, relaxes the muscles, set the mind to focus and is an ideal way to begin practice.

Pick a specific space in your home to meditate. Place candles and other spiritual paraphernalia in the room to help you feel at ease.
3) Stretch. Stretching loosens the muscles and tendons allowing you to sit (or lie) more comfortably. Additionally, stretching starts the process of “going inward” and brings added attention to the body.

4) Meditate with Purpose. Meditation is an ACTIVE process. The art of focusing your attention to a single point is hard work and you have to be purposefully engaged!

5) Notice thoughts and let them go. The mind can create frustrations like “hey, what am I doing here” or start to think about what you will do after your meditation... When this happens, really focus on your breath and let the frustrated feelings go.

Try different pillows, carpet, soft zabuton and positions to personalize your space.
6) Experiment. Be experimental and try different types of meditation. Try sitting, lying, eyes open, eyes closed, etc.

7) Commit for the long haul. Meditation is a life-long practice, and you will benefit most by NOT examining the results of your daily practice. Just do the best you can every day, and then let it go!

8) Do it together. Meditating with a partner, friend, kids or loved one can have many wonderful benefits, and can improve your practice. However, it is necessary to make sure that you set agreed-upon ground rules before you begin! Make sure phones for an example will not disturb you.

9) Use a candle. Meditating with eyes closed can be challenging. Lighting a candle and using it as your point of focus allows you to strengthen your attention with a visual cue. This can be very powerful.

10) Be Grateful at the end. Once your practice is through, spend 2-3 minutes feeling appreciative of the opportunity to practice and your mind’s ability to focus.

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