How to Support Your Ongoing Meditation Practice

The practice of meditation is actually quite simple: Just sit quietly and comfortably while you rest your awareness on the sensations of the breath as it enters and leaves your body. When you notice that your mind has wandered off, gently bring your awareness back to your breathing. Sure, you can refine and deepen your practice over time, if you want, but you can master these basics in just a few minutes.

What’s more difficult, however, is actually finding your way back to your meditation on a regular basis. Sitting quietly once a week, restful though it may be, won’t get you very far in the cultivation of present-moment awareness, which is the whole point of meditation, at least of the mindfulness variety most favored by experts and researchers these days.

Here are a few tips to keep you motivated and consistent:

  • Schedule your meditation each day. Enter it into the calendar on your smartphone or computer, and set an alarm to remind you.

  • Make a commitment to yourself for a time-limited period (say, a month or two) to meditate on certain days for a predetermined amount of time and then keep your commitment!

  • Set aside a special corner devoted to meditation, so whenever you pass it you’re reminded to practice.

  • Bring your meditation to work with you. Nowadays, so many folks are doing it that you might be able to find or create a meditation group where co-workers sit together.

  • Read an occasional article or book about the benefits of meditation to remind you why you do it and what you’re getting out of it.

  • Feel free to adjust the time you sit to fit in with your schedule. Five minutes is better than no time at all, but 10 or 20 minutes is far better. The more you do it, the more you’ll get out of it — and even enjoy it — which will naturally motivate you to meditate more.

No one is forcing you to meditate. You’ve chosen to do it because you believe it can benefit you, and you have no one else to answer to if you don’t follow through on your practice. But the more you do, the better you’ll feel about yourself and the greater will be your motivation to keep going!