- Prime your mind and/or body prior to meditation. This could be exercise, breath holding, or reading. If you just roll out of bed and meditate immediately, you are likely to feel lethargic and be unable to stop overthinking. Meditation should be an oasis of calm, stillness and silence, but this requires contrast. You create this contrast by priming prior to meditation.
- Contemplate equanimity. Equanimity means accepting all of life, the full spectrum of human experience as it is. Meditation is one side of the coin, but the other side of the coin is equally important: the hustle and bustle of life. Meditation is not about shunning business and thinking in favor of only silence and peace. Meditation is rather about balancing out our stressful lives with the other side of the coin: silence and calm. By priming ourselves prior to meditation, we embrace this duality, all aspects of life. We can appreciate silence only as it contrasts with noise. We can appreciate relaxation only as it contrasts with work.
- Priming is a part of meditation. This is how your whole life can turn into a meditation retreat. You are embracing all of life. It is possible to repeat this cycle several times per day and integrate it into your work: prime, meditate, work.
- Use a timer not a stopwatch, and don’t watch the clock. I used to meditate with a stopwatch. I would start the stopwatch, and watch the time increase from 0. I would usually aim for at least 10 minutes, but as I was constantly looking at the clock the duration of my session was always open to change. I was always in control of the session, but the problem is mediation is not about control. Meditation is about relinquishing control, and when you are constantly watching the clock this disrupts your session. Instead of letting go, you are in decision mode constantly deciding whether or not to continue meditating. You should not be making decisions while meditating. Determine the length of your session beforehand, set a timer, and do not look at the clock until the timer goes off. There is a principle in quantum mechanics which states you cannot observe something without changing it. When you attempt to measure your session by looking at the clock, you also disrupt and change your session.
- Put your phone in airplane mode. Meditation requires a certain amount of faith and letting go. In today’s modern society, people feel they need to be reachable 24/7. Your family and friends will be there in 20 minutes and true meditation requires freedom from distraction and notifications.
- When the timer goes off you are done, even if you still feel like meditating.
- I use a candle to meditate and look at the flame for the duration of the session. The interesting thing about candles is that while they are considered cute and feminine, the fire is as dangerous and real as any. A candle can burn your house down. Life is dangerous and harsh, yet while being fully aware of this we choose to strive for happiness anyway. Meditation, like candles, seems cute, cuddly and harmless, not something that a masculine man would engage in. But like fire, meditation is actually infinitely powerful.
Advanced Meditation Protocol