24.02.2017

On Habits: Meditation, 5 key ideas

By Chris Hardy
Chris Hardy

Here are five keys for building your own meditation practice:

1. Use your breath
2. Do it daily
3. Commit 100%
4. ONE minute (!)
5. Don’t judge your meditation

Imagine if there was a supplement you could take that would:

  • help you focus
  • give you more time
  • relax more deeply
  • sleep better
  • stay calm and centred in the midst of a busy life
  • achieve more of your life’s and daily goals
  • stop procrastinating
  • have better sex
  • build grey matter in your brain
  • and help you be more creative and solution focused….?

Would you take it?

OF COURSE YOU WOULD!!

Now what if I told you that a consistent meditation practice has the capacity to do all those things for you, for free, without taking any dodgy supplement.

Here are five key ideas to start you off creating your own meditation practice:

1. Use your breath

The ultimate tool for living a better life is with you all of the time. Put your attention onto your breathing, notice your stomach moving in and out, the air moving past your nostrils, the sounds and sensations.

Try this now: Count to six as you breath in, hold in for two, then count to seven as you breath out.

6–2–7

It’s known a ‘centring breath’ and can be used to start and finish your meditation practice. It’s also available to you as a quick centring practice throughout the day. I use it before I sit down to do any work, I used it before I started to write this blog.

2. Do it Daily

Meditate every. single. day.

No questions, just do it. As you build up your relationship and understanding of the peace and tranquility that you have within you (that is, in fact, your natural birth right) then you’ll be able to ‘drop in’ to that space throughout the day.

Practicing how this feels each day gives you the best possible start and allows that calmness and quiet to become the foundation upon which the rest of your day is built.

As with anything, 10 mins, five minutes or even ONE minute per day is far better than one hour on the weekend. This is simply to do with how the plasticity of the learning mind works.

3. Commit 100%

Not 95%, not 99%, not I’ll give it a really good go.

Commit 100% is so much easier. There is no room for the whining voice which says that today is the day that your’e actually quite busy and a bit tired.

Give yourself a time frame, say one month, define exactly how your new habit will look (what time of day and for how long) and then commit 100%.

4. Do ONE minute!

I love this idea. Don’t commit to doing 30 mins a day when you’ve only tried meditation once or twice. That won’t last.

Only commit 100% to what you know you can definitely commit 100% to, otherwise you damage your sense of self-efficacy and self-belief.

Start with a commitment to ONE minute every day, first thing in the morning. This is easier to do because you have no excuses, you can always fine one minute.

As you hit your target three things start to happen:

A. Your self-confidence and self-efficacy build.
B. You also begin to realise and experience the benefits of meditating regularly.
C. You start to enjoy meditating and you naturally do it for more than one minute.

When you reach point ‘C’ you’re free to challenge yourself and raise your daily commitment, but only if you want to. My daily commitment is still for ONE minute and I’ve done that every day for eight years.

5. Don’t judge your meditation

Meditation works in mysterious ways. You are building grey matter, practicing concentrating, connecting with your inner silence and wisdom and training your mind to do as you wish, all at the same time.

You do now knot if your meditation was ‘good’ or ‘bad’ one. Nobody does.

What felt uncomfortable, difficult or unfocused might just have been your greatest meditation yet. Never judge your meditation, or anybody else’s for that matter.

What you can aim for and be proud of is consistency and daily commitment to the process of building your meditation practice.

If you want to go deeper into the art and science of building good habits then reach out to me and let’s connect. I’m happy to spend 30 mins in conversation with anybody who is interested to build good habits.