You don’t have to meditate for a long time each day to experience the benefits of meditation. Five, ten or fifteen minutes of meditation is enough to calm your mind, improve your mental clarity, reduce feelings of stress and tension and give you perspective on your life. By meditating daily over a period of time you can improve your relationships, develop a balanced and happy mind all the time and uproot the negative minds that are the cause of your problems.
Although you may have heard of the benefits of meditation and feel inspired to try it, you may still find it difficult to meditate on your own at home. Weekly meditation classes give you the tools and confidence you need to keep your meditation practice alive and to put your daily problems into perspective. The combination of meditating in a group and receiving the support of a qualified teacher enables you to establish an authentic meditation practice that will grow and improve over time.
There is no set time of the day that is better for meditation as it depends upon the individual. Some people find that they have a clearer mind at the start of the day and prefer meditating in the morning. Others prefer to meditate in the evening to unwind after their day, but you can also meditate at any point throughout the day. Once we find a time of day that is best for us it is useful to have a routine of trying to meditate at the same time each day. This will help to keep our meditation practice regular and consistent.
We do not have to meditate for a long period of time each day to experience its benefits. Just by doing meditation for 5-15 minutes each day we will be able to reduce feelings of stress and tension, cultivate positive states of mind and overcome negative ones.
Sitting with our legs crossed in meditation is a traditional posture that helps to keep our mind focused during our meditation session but it is not necessary. You can do your meditation practice sitting in a chair. The most important feature of the meditation posture is to make our back straight but not tense. Keeping our back straight will prevent our mind from becoming sluggish or sleepy.
No. We should always be focusing on something in meditation, this is called our object of meditation. We can prepare our mind for meditation by focusing on a neutral object such as the breath, but actual meditation involves focusing on and familiarising our mind with a virtuous object. A virtuous object is an object that causes us to develop a peaceful, happy mind when we concentrate on it; such as love or compassion. By familiarising our mind with these objects inside meditation we will gradually learn to develop and maintain a positive and happy mind outside of meditation. We will notice over a period of time that our mind starts to change on a deeper level, and that peaceful ways of thinking will come entirely naturally.
Because meditation is a training of the mind it is better to remove external distractions, such as music, so that we are able to focus more clearly on the inner development of transforming our mind.
Getting our mind completely still and distraction-free requires practise, patience and familiarity. It is very common for distractions to arise in meditation. During the meditation session we can practise reducing mental busyness by returning our mind to our main object of meditation each time we notice it has become distracted. Outside of meditation we can train in reducing our daily distractions so that when we sit down to meditate we notice that our mind is naturally calmer and clearer.