Optimal Mastery

contribute your peace

Embracing Uniqueness: Establishing a Meditation Practice

photo of woman meditating alone

In the midst of our busy lives, finding inner peace and clarity can feel like a distant dream. However, by establishing a daily meditation practice, we can create a sanctuary of stillness and tranquility within ourselves. Let’s explore the flexibility we have in creating a unique meditation practice and some simple ways to embark on this transformative journey.

Carve Out Time

Ideally, we could set aside dedicated time each day for our meditation practice. If this feels doable to us, we can start with a realistic duration, such as 5 to 10 minutes, and gradually increase it as we become more comfortable. This could be during our morning or evening routines, a walking meditation in the park on our lunch break, or a yoga class we attend regularly. The important part is choosing a time that suits our schedule so we can commit to it consistently.

writings in a planner
Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

If we have an alternative lifestyle, daily or consistent practice may not be as practical for us. In these cases, we can instead identify the routines or tasks that do occur for us somewhat regularly and then find ways to integrate meditation organically. Perhaps, if we’re a writer, it looks like taking short, walking meditation breaks when we’re spending long hours at our computer to beat a deadline. In other cases, if we’re a busy parent, we can incorporate a mindfulness practice into the time we spend washing dishes or playing with the kids. No opportunity is insignificant and our meditation practice is sure to grow as we become more familiar with its benefits.

woman lying on bathtub
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Create a Sacred Space

If we can, it can be helpful to designate a peaceful and clutter-free area in our home as our meditation space. It could be a corner of a room, a cozy cushion or a comfortable chair. We could even personalize the space with calming elements like candles, plants or meaningful objects. Having a sacred space can help set the intention for our practice and create a conducive environment for inner peace.

a man sitting in yoga mat meditating
Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com

In the many cases where we may not have the space to designate soley for meditation, we can recreate the same intentional environment on a smaller scale. Having a sacred candle to light or perhaps a designated meditation mat could serve to cue our attention and focus too. In situations where we are walking or otherwise active, like doing housework or sitting in traffic, we can utilize fundamentals of meditation such as attuning to our breathing, utilizing a mantra, practicing mindfulness or loving-kindness meditation to elevate our experience regardless of our environment.

person wearing white pants and white socks standing beside brown broom
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

Find Your Posture

When applicable, we adopt a posture that allows us to be both alert and relaxed during meditation. We sit with our spine straight, shoulders relaxed and hands resting comfortably on our legs. We may choose to sit on a cushion, a chair or even on the floor with crossed legs.

a woman doing a yoga exercise on a chair
Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA on Pexels.com

In some cases, it might be best for us to lay down. In other cases, like walking meditation or yoga, our awareness and mindfulness will be applied to maintaining the flow of different postures. The key is to utilize postures that keep us comfortable and minimizes distractions, knowing that what serves us in one scenario may not serve us in another.

woman practicing yoga
Photo by Elina Fairytale on Pexels.com

Focus on the Breath

With many meditations, we begin with a gentle shift of our attention to our breath. Focusing on the natural rhythm of inhalation and exhalation. When we do this, we allow our breath to be our anchor, bringing our awareness back whenever our mind wanders. Paying attention to the breath helps calm the mind, center our thoughts and bring clarity to our inner world.

silhouette of man sitting on grass field at daytime
Photo by Spencer Selover on Pexels.com

In other cases, like ecstatic dance or walking meditations, we may simply be noticing our breaths in their organic fluxuations as we move through a variety of factors. We can also find ourselves using precise breathing techniques to deepen our meditation, or even to induce certain physical, emotional or spiritual processes. Regardless of the intensity or intention, our breath will always be our meditation partner.

low angle view of woman relaxing on beach against blue sky
Photo by Chevanon Photography on Pexels.com

Start with Guided Meditations

If we’re new to meditation, guided meditations can be invaluable. There are numerous apps, recordings and online resources available that offer guided sessions led by experienced meditation teachers. These provide instructions and support, making it easier for us to establish a practice and navigate any initial challenges.

woman in gray tank top lying on bed
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Additionally, we can also explore yoga classes or incorporate listening to mantras while we go about our days in order to help ease ourselves into meditation. All progress counts and getting creative with our goals can make them more accessible. We never have to sacrifice our opportunities for the ideal when we seek to optimize our mastery.

women in activewear doing yoga
Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

Be Gentle with Yourself

Remember that meditation is a practice, and it takes time to develop. Let’s be patient and gentle with ourselves, letting go of any expectations or judgments. We can accept that thoughts and distractions will arise during our practice—it’s natural. When this happens, we can also acknowledge them without getting caught up, and gently bring our attention back to our breath or chosen focus.

beautiful woman holding a huge leaf on her head
Photo by Ryanniel Masucol on Pexels.com

These situations of difficulty or challenge are precisely where our meditation skills are developed and refined. If we can only meditate in perfect conditions, we’ve lost sight of the true power of the discipline. By taking on conditions that aren’t ideal and embracing unique opportunities to utilize our mindfulness practices, we ultimately develop our resilience and grace for everyday life too.

cheerful mother and daughter resting in bed
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Gradual Progression

As we become more comfortable with our practice, we can gradually explore different meditation techniques or extend the duration of our sessions. Experimenting with mindfulness, loving-kindness, breath awareness and other meditation skills will allow us to find what resonates with us. Gradual progression will help deepen our practice and continue to increase our inner peace and clarity over time.

anonymous barefooted woman strolling on wet sandy seashore
Photo by Dario Fernandez Ruz on Pexels.com

Establishing a meditation practice is a powerful step toward curating more bliss and enjoyment in our lives. By carving out time, creating a sacred space, finding our posture, focusing on the breath, starting wherever we’re at and being gentle with ourselves, we’ll begin gradually progressing in our mindfulness and presence. Commiting to meditation is to embark on a transformative journey, where we learn to embrace the stillness within and witness how different practices can nurture a sense of calm, clarity and profound well-being in every aspect of our lives.

Let us know your thoughts…

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.