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How to Open Your Body, Mind, and Spirit to Meditation

Part of the Meditation For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Meditation is a practice that engages not only your mind, but your body and spirit, too. Use the tips in the following list to engage every aspect of your being in your meditation practice.

  • Discover how to relax your body (if you don't already know) by practicing some deep relaxation techniques.

  • Experiment with different sitting positions (cross-legged, kneeling, on a chair) until you find one you can hold comfortably for 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Explore the basic meditation techniques (mindfulness, loving-kindness, mantra, visualization), choose one, and stick with it — for a few weeks or months at least.

  • Take a meditation class with an experienced teacher, join a meditation group, or attend a meditation workshop or retreat.

  • Talk with your family about your interest in meditation to make sure they feel comfortable about your practicing at home.

  • Reflect on the many ways your mind stresses you out, as well as the power of meditation to help you work with your mind.

  • Remind yourself of the scientifically proven health benefits of meditation, from lower cholesterol to greater longevity to an enhanced immune system.

  • Consider what motivates you to meditate and rededicate yourself to the practice, especially if your enthusiasm flags.

  • Follow a healthy lifestyle: Eat well, exercise regularly, and, if possible, avoid smoking, drinking, and watching too much TV or engaging in other mind-numbing activities, especially right before meditating.

  • Read spiritual books (if you're so inclined) that connect you with the sacred and inspire your meditation.

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