1. Special Place
Try to set aside a place in your home, for example the corner of a room, dedicated to your meditation practice. It should be kept clean and clear, and not used for anything else. You may want to have some flowers, incense, a candle, and maybe picture to inspire you.
2. Special Seat
For meditation we should be comfortable, but not too relaxed. Choose a chair or cushion that allows you to sit upright rather than reclining. This will help you to stay alert. Keep your chosen seat in your meditation place, or nearby, so you can easily resume your practice on time.
3. Take a Shower
Ideally, take a shower before meditating. If this is not practical, wash your face or splash it with cold water. This physical purity helps with inner purity, and also with alertness.
It’s a good idea to wear something clean, light and comfortable for meditation. If you like you can even have a special set of clothing you only use for meditation. This gives a sense of ritual and helps to reinforce the habit.
It’s best not to eat a heavy meal before meditating, as this can dull the subtle nerves we need for meditation. On the other hand, we don’t want to be too hungry, as that can be distracting. First thing in the morning, try just having something to drink before your meditation, rather than a meal.
Ideally, meditate at the same time every day. This helps to reinforce your meditation routine. Morning is the best time, ideally at 6am when the world around us is calm and quiet, or earlier if you have responsibilities before then. Daily regularity is key. It’s better to meditate 5 minutes every day than 35 minutes once a week.
It’s best to meditate alone at home. Switch off your devices, and make sure others in your household know not to disturb you during your practice.
8. Don’t Give Up!
If your goal is 5 minutes, at least stay seated for those 5 minutes, even if you feel you are not meditating well. You may find the last minute is the best! At the very least, you will be reinforcing the habit, just by sitting still for that time in the same place.
We cannot completely control our surroundings, and there will always be noise or distractions outside our control. Try not to let this faze you, or use it as an excuse to skip your practice. Just by trying to remain calm and quiet, we can still make progress.
10. Start Now
Sri Chinmoy’s teachings are all about bringing spirituality into everyday life, accepting ourselves and our circumstances as they are. Rather than waiting for some future time, there is no better time to start than today!
Further reading: “Preparing to meditate” at srichinmoylibrary.com