By Leo Babauta
In this webinar, I talked about how my meditation practice helped me through my dad’s recent illness and death. Then I shared some practical meditation tips (and later answered some questions):
- Get your butt on cushion – all that matters is starting. Even if you donâ€™t do it for very long, even if youâ€™re not very focused, just form the habit of starting your meditation each day.
- The habit is more important than results. This month, you probably wonâ€™t get the results you imagined. Thatâ€™s OK. All you need is the habit, and the results will come over time.
- You donâ€™t have to be good at following your breath – the point is to see what your mind is doing.
- Watch your expectations. You might get frustrated if you have expectations about meditation that arenâ€™t met.
- Busy is the most important time to meditate. Often people skip meditation because they have a lot to do. This is the best time to meditate, actually, even if itâ€™s for just one minute.
- Fingertip of your attention â€” different places to put it. Entrance of your nose, back of your throat, your lungs, your stomach, up and down your body.
- Meditation is practice for mindfulness in other activities. What you see when you meditate is actually what happens the rest of the day, and you can notice what happens in your mind the rest of the day â€” when someone irritates you, when you are stressed out, when you canâ€™t sleep.
- What to do when your mind wanders. Donâ€™t judge yourself, just see it. Return to the breath. Repeat.
- Be present with what is. Whatever is happening in your mind, your body, and all around you â€” this is the reality of the present moment. Just be there with all of that, instead of wishing it were different.
- See that thoughts are like clouds. They pass. So do your feelings. So do unpleasant and uncomfortable sensations. If you can see these as passing clouds, you wonâ€™t be so subject to their whims.
Questions I answered included:
- Any tips on how to practice non-attachment during meditation? Especially detaching with love from someone you care about right in the moment when you feel upset.
- Everyday, my schedule is different so how can i find a consistent trigger for when to meditate? I’ve been doing it at random times for the past year but end up missing a day or two a week.
- Are there guided meditations or apps that you recommend?
- How to meditate, when I’m tired, but really want not to fall asleep? as you already told, it’s quite easy…. and is having the exactly same time every day is important to form a habit?
- How do you stay consistent at a habit that makes you feel negatively during/afterward? How can you look at the habit so the negative feelings do not become negative reinforcement?
- I usually meditate in the morning however over the weekends when I’m not going to work I’m not motivated to meditate. Any tips on how to be more consistent over the weekends?
- You said it doesn’t matter where we sit, but is it better to having a special place as a trigger, or better to meditate in same seat where we do things like work so learn doing it when busy?
I also mentioned Bodhipaksa, who you can find here.