Anyone who has ever practiced meditation with any regularity knows that the benefits are innumerable. Those who have practiced meditation with intensity during a silent retreat and then quickly lose impetus in everyday life, also know about the profound effects of going within.
Along with a sitting practice comes obstacles, both self-imposed and societal, that get in the way of consistency. For example, sometimes we despise meditation.
Below are five simple antidotes against the challenge of maintaining regularity in your contemplative wellness routine:
- Passive Aggression. Many times we would rather socialize with friends or roommates, or bond with our spouses or lovers. They are clearly a problem in this situation. Instead of raging out directly against these obstacles, just be somewhat snide towards them while channeling most of your transformation anxiety upon yourself. Use it to make a dramatic exit from the social situation, slamming whatever doors you can, and then sternly plop yourself down on your cushion as though this is entirely their fault.
- Complete Change of Lifestyle. Meditation is meant to cultivate a sense of contentment, and appreciation for what is instead of what we would like to exist. But for some of us, the image of a steady meditation lifestyle just doesn’t coincide with the world of offices, commuting, commerce, entrepreneurship, recreational activity or personal relationships. If your aim is to have monk-like meditation focus and nothing less will suffice, don’t try to use the other four tips in this list to help you. Simply give away all of your possessions and move to Sri Lanka. Or set up a tent in the mountains of California and travel to town once a month for food stamps and groceries.
- Create a Militant Schedule. Print out copies of this schedule and tape it up in prominent places, especially for other people in your life to see, so that you can stay on task. Always leave about 30 minutes per day open in case something unexpected arises, like red lights or extra bowel movements. Factor in three hour-long meditation periods even if you work 40 hour-weeks and need time to travel, shop, cook, eat, communicate and exercise. Include in your schedule every necessary daily task, such as post office and intimacy. If someone calls or visits whom was not in the plan, allow no more than 15 seconds to tell them to email you their availabilities to schedule a conversation. This comes out of your 30 minutes free time. Never allow time to just, “Unwind”. If you are meditating correctly, you shouldn’t need to ever just chill out.
- Substitute for least pleasurable activities. Sometimes we don’t want to meditate merely because we don’t really love our daily lives, and with our sparse spare time we want to do something more pleasurably stimulating. Strong pulls include digital media, sensual gratification such as food, intoxicants and sex. And for the author, scrabble. Instead of dropping these from your routine, cut out something else that is less rewarding. Clean less, sleep less, organize finances less, respond to emails less, call your family less and instead of cooking just get a couple tacos to go. Tacos are cheaper than cooking, and save time toward meditation. This way you’ll have time for scrabble and meditation.
- Meditation Lock Box. Many of us know what it is like to get a temporary inspiration to meditate, but then after sitting on the cushion for only a few minutes, we get fidgety and quit. If this is your problem, the Meditation Lock Box is perfect. It operates just like a large safe with a time-release door lock and hole at the top for ones head. Simply set the lock-dial to your desired length of meditation, climb inside the steel chamber and enjoy your uninterruptible meditation time. Warning: Do not use a meditation lock box if you have bladder control problems or are cooking. Do not light candles before entering.
Photo credit: markhillary/flickr and Jeb Cadwell
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