Getting Started with Meditation
Where and When to Meditate
Any time can be a meditative moment – it’s all about awareness and intention.
It’s better to have a short meditation practice than no meditation practice at all. Find a time that works and stick with it – consistency is the key.
Start gently. If new to meditating engaging in too long an initial stretch may put you off from keeping up with a practice. Start out with small increments of time, say five minutes, and increase it as you get used to being still for longer periods.
Turn any available space into a meditation area – the deck or patio, the bathroom, a corner of the room, while on the bus or train, out by a favorite spot in nature. Ideally, you want to pick a spot where you'll not be disturbed. Consistently return to that same place and your subconscious mind will positively anticipate what’s coming next.
Preparing to Meditate
The objective is to be relaxed but alert. It helps to anchor your practice by focusing on your deep, regulated breath, or a sacred word or phrase (mantra), an object such as a candle flame, or a body part, or an inanimate object, to which you can return your attention when you've noticed your mind has wandered.
If you feel antsy and distracted perhaps begin your meditation with gentle movements or stretches and then become a witness to your breathing
Be clothed in your right mind – that’s the only dress code! That is, set a clear intention to meditate. Having said that, you may want to ensure that your clothing is comfortable and unrestricted.
Ensure you are physically comfortable in your meditation position or environment. Have a blanket or shawl handy, as deep relaxation cools the body temperature drops. Remove the blanket if you become too warm or feel sleepy.
Avoid strong scents and perfumes, especially if meditating with a group.
Where possible, avoid meditating around lots of electrical or electronic equipment.
Click here to download free podcasts of Rev. Paulette’s weekly Touching the Stillness broadcast and access a wealth of meditation and mindfulness tools and tips, as well as inspiring examples to make your practice relevant in navigating cultural, social, and political development in the world around us.
Archived episodes of the show from 2008 to 2018 are available at Unity Online Radio.